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Again, it's the dogs that don't hunt bark which require some attention, and in this case it's an argument which the Supreme Court today decided not to hear, implicitly affirming that the Second Amendment allows for reasonable gun control measures.

The great state of Georgia passed a law in 2010 which bars the carrying of weapons or long guns in eight designated places, including a government building, a bar, on the premises of a nuclear power facility, within 150 feet of any polling place, and places of worship, without the proprietor's permission. Basically, when you show up at one of these facilities, the law commands you to tell the security person that you're carrying a weapon, and stow and secure it however they order. Failure to comply is a misdemeanor offense.

Edward Stone and Jonathan Wilkins sued to have the law declared unconstitutional, alleging that they regularly attend religious services, possess a weapons carry license, and would like to carry a handgun while worshipping, arguing that the law violated both their First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

In July 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit agreed with the district court below and dismissed the complaint, as summarized by these excerpts:

We searched the Amended Complaint to no avail in an attempt to find factual allegations that could possibly be construed as alleging that the Carry Law imposes a constitutionally impermissible burden on one of Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs. At various points, Plaintiffs allege that they would like to carry a handgun in a place of worship for the protection either of themselves, their family, their flock, or other members of the Tabernacle. Plaintiffs conclude by alleging that the Carry Law interferes with their free exercise of religion by prohibiting them from engaging in activities in a place of worship when those activities are generally permitted throughout the State. That Plaintiffs “would like” to carry a firearm in order to be able to act in “self-defense” is a personal preference, motivated by a secular purpose. As we note supra, there is no First Amendment protection for personal preferences; nor is there protection for secular beliefs.
To state a facial challenge, therefore, Plaintiffs must take the position that the Second Amendment protects a right to bring a firearm on the private property of another against the wishes of the owner. Put another way, Plaintiffs must argue that the individual right protected by the Second Amendment, in light of Heller and McDonald, trumps a private property owner’s right to exclusively control who, and under what circumstances, is allowed on his or her own premises. ...

[P]roperty law, tort law, and criminal law provide the canvas on which our Founding Fathers drafted the Second Amendment. A clear grasp of this background illustrates that the pre-existing right codified in the Second Amendment does not include protection for a right to carry a firearm in a place of worship against the owner’s wishes. Quite simply, there is no constitutional infirmity when a private property owner exercises his, her, or its—in the case of a place of worship—right to control who may enter, and whether that invited guest can be armed and the State vindicates that right.

A place of worship’s right, rooted in the common law, to forbid possession of firearms on its property is entirely consistent with the Second Amendment. Surely, given the Court’s pronouncement that the Second Amendment merely “codified a pre-existing right,” Plaintiffs cannot contend that the Second Amendment in any way abrogated the well established property law, tort law, and criminal law that embodies a private property owner’s exclusive right to be king of his own castle. By codifying a pre-existing right, the Second Amendment did not expand, extend, or enlarge the individual right to bear arms at the expense of other fundamental rights; rather, the Second Amendment merely preserved the status quo of the right that existed at the time....

An individual’s right to bear arms as enshrined in the Second Amendment, whatever its full scope, certainly must be limited by the equally fundamental right of a private property owner to exercise exclusive dominion and control over its land. The Founding Fathers placed the right to private property upon the highest of pedestals, standing side by side with the right to personal security that underscores the Second Amendment....

Plaintiffs, in essence, ask us to turn Heller on its head by interpreting the Second Amendment to destroy one cornerstone of liberty—the right to enjoy one’s private property—in order to expand another—the right to bear arms. This we will not do. If, as Blackstone argues, our concept of civil liberties depends on a three-legged stool of rights—personal security, personal liberty, and private property—it would be unwise indeed to cut off one leg entirely only to slightly augment another. Rather, our task is to read the Second Amendment’s preexisting right alongside the equally important rights protected by the Constitution in order to strengthen all three legs and thereby better secure the foundation of our liberty.

In its petition for a writ of certiorari, the plaintiffs asked the supremes to explore the question this way: "Does a state criminal law that targets religion, and is neither neutral nor generally applicable, pass strict scrutiny muster under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment?" The supremes didn't bite.

The Court has accepted no cases on the interpretation of the Second Amendment for this term; I would not be surprised if next term, the Court takes up the Illinois case I referenced last month, regarding whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home, and not just within it.

Originally posted to Adam B on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:21 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Kos Georgia, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Scalia will be getting an angry letter tonight. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm certain that Wayne's World will feel the need to educate the court on their inability to understand the "Original Intent" of the constitution.

    If ONLY that was the Wayne I was talking about...

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:30:42 PM PST

  •  Great Diary (20+ / 0-)

    You always do great work around here Adam B.  Thanks!

    The symbol for the Republican party shouldn't be an elephant -- it should be a unicorn.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:35:10 PM PST

  •  Thanks, (21+ / 0-)

    I'm curious about two things:

    1) Does the definition of government buildings include schools in this case?

    2) So Georgia law allows someone to come into a private home with a concealed gun without telling the owner, if the owner has not specifically identified by sign or speech that they may not?

                          Curious,
                          Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

    by Chacounne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:37:10 PM PST

    •  According to the statute (17+ / 0-)
      (3) "Government building" means:

            (A) The building in which a government entity is housed;

            (B) The building where a government entity meets in its official capacity; provided, however, that if such building is not a publicly owned building, such building shall be considered a government building for the purposes of this Code section only during the time such government entity is meeting at such building; or

            (C) The portion of any building that is not a publicly owned building that is occupied by a government entity.

      link

      As to the second question, I think that goes into the common law of trespass.

      •  Sounds (8+ / 0-)

        like the answer to the first question is "maybe", according to whether a public school is considered a government entity. I would think it would be, but maybe I'm missing something.

        On the second, and as trespass requires a notice of some kind, someone can come  into a private home with a gun without telling the owner if there is no notice by sign or speech. Lovely :(

                      Thanks,
                      Heather

        Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

        by Chacounne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:54:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is not different than without a law (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lujane, Puddytat, raincrow

          Nothing is codified WRT privately owned buildings outside of those explicitly defined.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:59:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess I was naive in thinking (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, gunnarthor, raincrow, schnecke21

            that it would be required to ask permission to bring a gun, especially a concealed gun, into someone's home. Interesting that "Castle Doctrine" doesn't apply. SIGH !

                                    Just my two cents,
                                            Heather
                                   

            Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is inflicting it on whom.

            by Chacounne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:20:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You set your own rules (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mrpiano, raincrow

              If you don't want someone to have a gun in your house, don't let them in.

              •  I think the point she's making (10+ / 0-)

                is that the owner of a home shouldn't have to check with every one that comes into their home to make sure they aren't packing heat.

                Something like a child's birthday party where you end up with a dozen adults you've never seen before showing up at your house.  

              •  Concealed carry laws make this difficult (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cany, schnecke21, Miggles

                Part of my objection to "concealed carry" laws is that I have no idea who in my vicinity has a gun -- whether in a shopping mall, a movie theater, a college campus, or my own house. The court's "private property rights" argument would, it seems to me, make it very difficult to justify concealed carry laws, because they interfere with that right -- and are intended to do precisely that.

                •  I don't understand. (0+ / 0-)

                  You are free to only enter private businesses that post "no firearms allowed" signs.

                  In

                  because they interfere with that right
                  I don't know what "that right" you refer to is.

                  Individuals don't have a general right to come onto someone else's property and demand that the property owner disallow things that the individual dislikes or feels uncomfortable with.

                  For example, some individuals feel that commonly used pesticides are dangerous to human health and that cross contamination is inevitable in a restaurant that serves any foods that may have come in contact with such pesticides. Such individuals are free to patronize only restaurants that only serve organic food. However, an individual has no right to demand that a private restaurant serve only (or, even any) organic food.

                •  I think you are conflating two questions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Smoh

                  Do I have a right on my private property to control what guns people have? Absolutely.

                  Do I have a right to know when someone is carrying a gun?

                  The first question has been definitively answered. The second question has not.

                •  No scarlet letter (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Smoh, fuzzyguy

                  Rugbymom: Neither do you know if that person walking by in the mall is a murderer, rapist or child molester, nor if the person merging from the on-ramp has half a dozen DUI convicvtions. You do not seem to be afraid of this, yet are concerned that someone with no criminal record whatsoever (or they would not have a concealed carry permit) might be carrying a weapon? We, all of us, do not wear our varying statuses and preferences in red letters on our chests.

                  I agree it is really up to the person concerned to declare their weapon, and there is little way to enforce it short of searching everyone at the door, but that does not invalidate someone's permit to carry concealed in places other than your private property. It would be like saying "because you cannot smoke in restaurants, you cannot smoke anywhere".

                  I do think a stated-at-the-door policy on guns might be somewhat self-selective. "Gun friendly" places might be less popular with the gun-averse and vice versa. And if someone tempted to defy such policy on principle knows they face criminal charges for doing so, it would be a deterrent, especially if it could put their legal concealed carry status at risk.

      •  That's exactly what I thought. Trespass in the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DefendOurConstitution

        case of bringing a firearm onto another's property.

        So... question. If the property is GATED and there is no "no trespassing" sign on the gate, is the presumption of private property/common trespass assumed or not? And would that, then, eliminate the worry, without specific signage, of both/either trespass/trespass with a weapon?

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:56:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Schools are covered separately. (15+ / 0-)

      Statute here, but there are exceptions:

      O.C.G.A. § 16-11-127.1
      Carrying weapons within school safety zones, at school functions, or on school property

      (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

      ...   (2) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, knuckles, whether made from metal, thermoplastic, wood, or other similar material, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher....

      (c) The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to:

         (1) Baseball bats, hockey sticks, or other sports equipment possessed by competitors for legitimate athletic purposes;

       ....

         (5) The following persons, when acting in the performance of their official duties or when en route to or from their official duties:

            (A) A peace officer as defined by Code Section 35-8-2;

            (B) A law enforcement officer of the United States government;(etc.) ...

         (6) A person who has been authorized in writing by a duly authorized official of the school to have in such person's possession or use as part of any activity being conducted at a school building, school property, or school function a weapon which would otherwise be prohibited by this Code section. Such authorization shall specify the weapon or weapons which have been authorized and the time period during which the authorization is valid;

         (7) A person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10, when such person carries or picks up a student at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school or a person who is licensed in accordance with Code Section 16-11-129 or issued a permit pursuant to Code Section 43-38-10 when he or she has any weapon legally kept within a vehicle when such vehicle is parked at such school property or is in transit through a designated school zone;

         (8) A weapon possessed by a license holder which is under the possessor's control in a motor vehicle or which is in a locked compartment of a motor vehicle or one which is in a locked container in or a locked firearms rack which is on a motor vehicle which is being used by an adult over 21 years of age to bring to or pick up a student at a school building, school function, or school property or on a bus or other transportation furnished by the school, or when such vehicle is used to transport someone to an activity being conducted on school property which has been authorized by a duly authorized official of the school; provided, however, that this exception shall not apply to a student attending such school;
      ...

         (17) Teachers and other school personnel who are otherwise authorized to possess or carry weapons, provided that any such weapon is in a locked compartment of a motor vehicle or one which is in a locked container in or a locked firearms rack which is on a motor vehicle;...

  •  Wild . (10+ / 0-)
    on the premises of a nuclear power facility
    What could be wrong with that ? Are they afraid someone might shoot and kill a nuke ?
    Are they afraid someone might take over a nuke and use it as a bomb ?

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:38:45 PM PST

  •  Shows the 2nd Amendment repealers (5+ / 0-)

    who are a vocal minority of Democrats that the 2nd Amendment doesn't not preclude reasonable regulation on guns.   Thanks for the diary, Adam

    SCOTUS seems to be in good form today, they rejected hearing appeals from a few other Republican extremist groups too(on Medicare and on campaign finance).

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:55:55 PM PST

  •  The problem with the suit is their worship of guns (13+ / 0-)

    is apparently more important than their worship of anything else.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:56:49 PM PST

    •  So, OK... found a First church of GUN-hood (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, DefendOurConstitution, Smoh

      that will have guns in church as a requirement to join... with a Bushmaster on the altar... bandoleers of bullets festooned around... pictures of Jesus with a rifle... and all the weapon worshipers, gun cultists can go there carrying on Sunday... and admire all the members of congregation's side arms... and for communion they can all fire at a target with a picture of whichever evil liberal who they are convinced wants to take away their metal incarnations of godhood...

      Oh, wait, they already do all that in their local gun club shooting range... but hey... this way they can do it on Sunday too.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:00:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The NRAvangelists very clearly know that a gun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83

      is always superior to a child's life; their 27-Word Gospel tells them so (at least the way it is interpreted by the NRA high priests).

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:07:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I read the statute summary (12+ / 0-)

    Nothing prohibits the church from allowing the ongoing possession of the weapon once it is identified by the carrier. The law, in the case of the private entities detailed (e.g. a church), only requires that the gun owner inform the private property owner of their possession.

    Am I reading that right?

    If the church wanted to allow guns, "safe storage" could be in a concealed carry holster on the person who owns the gun.

    Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

    by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:57:47 PM PST

  •  WTF? (12+ / 0-)
    Edward Stone and Jonathan Wilkins sued to have the law declared unconstitutional, alleging that they regularly attend religious services, possess a weapons carry license, and would like to carry a handgun while worshipping
    I can hear the ads for it now...

    Come on down to Eddie and Jon's House of Guns 'n God! Where we've got the 10 Commandments and 30 round clips! Yessirree bub! See our life size model of Charlton Heston as Moses holding an Uzi while he parts the Red Sea with superior firepower! Iffin' the Bible don't put the Fear of God into ya we're bettin' our collection of Bushmaster accessories of silencers and scopes sure will! And after we pass the collection plate keep your wallet open for our ammo specials! That's Eddie and Jon's House of Guns 'n God. Turn right at the light off of I-85 at Greenville.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:58:56 PM PST

  •  Time for Messrs Stone and Wilkins to (5+ / 0-)

    start the "Church of Guns", aka "The Church of AK-47 Jesus", so they can have their guns on them while they worship

    Repeal the 2nd amendment.

    by Calouste on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:00:41 PM PST

    •  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image (0+ / 0-)

      Can't Jehovah just strike these fools dead right now?  Please?

      •  but worshipping machined metal? no problem. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:02:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like worshipping wood sticks in a t shape. eom. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DSPS owl, fuzzyguy

          It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

          by JayFromPA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:56:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it is what it stands for really... (0+ / 0-)

            the crossed beams of wood were used by authorities to execute  people ... both guilty and innocent... but beyond that usage as a tool of torture and death it hard to hold up a liquor store or shoot up a school with a cross no matter what the size... not useful for suicide or in winning an argument or attacking a relative and anyway it has been a symbol of sacrifice and or redemption.

            Guns however do not seem to often be symbols of sacrifice and or redemption... and are useable in many different scenarios to threaten harm or death from small to pretty large... especially semi auto, large magazine, assault type rifles... And situations from defense to assault to warfare and many criminal or acts of terror are all much easier than carrying around either a sharpened crucifix or a full sized single use cross.

            Also Crosses need at least several hours to complete the death process and be ready for another victim... And that is the optimal turnaround with a weak and unhealthy victim. Healthier occupants of a cross would take a lot longer. Sure a spear can be used to prolong the agony by allowing lung fluids to escape so that instead of suffocating they die of dehydration and blood loss... or a bladed weapon or spear to the heart could speed things up but that sort of loses the whole long drawn out agony purpose for the whole exercise.

            And Crosses need hammers and nails and extra assistants to help hold the victim in place while doing the fastening process... slow and inefficient... and really in the old days they'd leave the victim hanging there to rot, attract worms and be torn up by birds... so it could be a while before it was usable for the next victim... having lots of extra crosses in storage might help but the extra expense and space needed and the extra nails just makes it a less desirable option compared to a gun.

            And as a symbol of a cult... a gun just seems to be detached from any of symbolism and ethos of just about all established religions and most of their offshoots.... true some revolutionary groups have AK47s in their logo... but they are more political than religious.

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:56:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wow that went right over your head. (0+ / 0-)

              I was pointing out that worshiping two crossed sticks is also worshiping an inanimate object.

              It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

              by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:35:00 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  just went beyond the inanimate object thing (0+ / 0-)

                the surface implications of your comparison were simple and uncomplicated but if looked at a bit more it lead to a lot of history, psychology etc. (I should probably do a diary...not an overlong comment... apologies)

                So... here is the not yet a diary, overlong beyond the point, comment... reading optional...
                ___________
                Inanimate object is besides the point for a cross or any religious symbol (star of David, Crescent Moon)... people do not worship it as a god itself or as an object with direct inherent power for life or death, practical and or theoretically... most Christians take it as a reminder of what their creed tells them was a sacrifice made by the central incarnate figure of their faith... A gun cult, should one ever be founded, would presumably imbue it with more direct meaning in the use of guns by adherents than a cross would be as some sort of weapon.

                (Not that Christianity or Islam have not symbolically weaponized their symbols...An inverted sword looks like a cross it is true and Scimitars rather resemble an Islamic sword design but those are coincidences not a direct link to the symbol's origins... )

                So just taking these ideas and the wider implications of them and mulling them over...

                The "crossed sticks" is like any logo... it labels something, is a focal identity for a loose grouping of like minded people... but it in of itself is not a weapon, or any sort of direct implement of death and destruction or a symbol of using force to gain power or to overcome adversaries, suppress enemies or overthrow authority via direct threat of physical harm and death...

                Your comment was not wrong or right and for me was a starting point for a lot of related memes and ideas... But also I thought the crossed sticks comparison was not entirely apt beyond the immediate idea of inanimate items being used as religious symbols and the potential step to them being directly worshiped.

                So it just prompted me to explore the implications of veneration of ideas or beings via an idol or thing and extending that to items that also have direct function in everyday life. And figuring out what kind of symbol something might be does vary even within a religion... Sikhs who follow Khalsa are required to carry a knife with them... a symbolic knife (along with the bangles, uncut hair etc) but it is typically a blunt ceremonial blade... but even that has gotten them in trouble with TSA. It symbolizes their resolve to defend their fellow believers among other things but that does not cut much slack with Homeland security.

                After all, religions have argued for probably millennia about where to draw the line between idols and reminders, logos, representations or other physical focal points for prayer, meditation or just labeling. Iconoclasts and graven image phobics have gone to one extreme while others have over ornamented and over-statued and imaged every aspect of their faith's history or trappings to where many adherents are more like idol worshipers...

                But back to guns and weapons as totems or idols, focuses for worship - there were and are ancient venerated special ceremonial swords in Shinto shrines in Japan (they were confiscated by US authorities... temporarily in the end... because they could in theory be used as a weapon)
                Imagine a cult that had special guns as holy relics or focal points in their house of worship... gold plated or jewel encrusted maybe, or just very well made with the finest materials... inscribed with religious verses and or related symbolically with gun use by a holy figure in their faith....
                And imagine them getting a religious exception for possessing them in a country that banned guns or maybe just assault rifles...

                I don't want to give any gun nut survivalists an excuse to start a Church of JC of the latter day Gun fetishists with their sacrament being firing a gun in a church firing range and having ceremonial guns on the altars of their holy places... platinum and gold plated Bushmasters... Holy AKs... seems far fetched but it does seem like there are nutters out there that are barely one step away from totally going with something like that...

                Now if a cult had Two sticks joined by a CHAIN or even THREE sticks joined by a bit of chain (sansetsukon) as their holy symbol then it would be more akin to a gun as as holy symbol with dual use as a direct, useable weapon both figuratively and literally... and even if it was mainly as a reminder of a specific incident at the start of their belief system... it would still be more "Dual use" than two sticks.

                Church of Nunchakus?... the two linked sticks could represent the latent strength and power of defenders of the weak and helpless or something... and no associations with terror groups or mass shootings... unlike say a possible Church of Numb Chuck which has crossed assault rifles as their logo and Chuck Norris and Saint Ted the Nuge in the stain glass window bulls eye. But I would say that there are more people out there with an overlarge and unseemly reverence for their own guns and all guns in general than any combination of sticks would be for them...

                And that comes back to the inherent deity in an object like a couple of pieces of wood or a gun or any object. Extreme "back to basics" believers in Christianity and Islam and probably others regularly denounce trappings or symbols that could be interpreted as creeping idolatry and try to stick to words so much that some worry about the bible or Koran etc. becoming an object of worship itself...being supposedly the direct words of GOD that is inevitable... a physical manifestation!!... even if separated by a few steps to print a book etc. it could end up becoming a type of idol; direct words from above... can't get more tangible than that apart from bones of saints or a piece of the true cross or other "relics"...

                Sorry if this went on at length... more about my fascination on the topic than on the small distinction between the utility of an actual religious symbol and that of a hypothetical one... and the differences  what they would each represent plus the functions and implications of religious symbols in general and whether they become idols or get imbued with violent associations to empower believers in some way.

                Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

                by IreGyre on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:26:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a little confused here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    perhaps you could explain.

    On the one hand you reference a state law that prohibits carrying weapons into a place of worship. But the text of the decision you quote talks about a property owner saying you may not bring a gun onto my property. Those are two different things and I don't have time to read the entire case. Can you give a quick summary that reconciles them?

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:07:56 PM PST

  •  Very interesting diary. Thanks. nt (0+ / 0-)

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:10:52 PM PST

  •  Guns in bars (0+ / 0-)

    -- a penumbra and emenation from the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 14th, and 21st amendments.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:21:16 PM PST

  •  another hmm (2+ / 0-)

    A place of worship’s right, rooted in the common law, to forbid possession of firearms on its property is entirely consistent

    But, it's not the church doing the forbidding; it's the state.

    •  However, the church gets to set the rules. This (8+ / 0-)

      simply requires the person to notify the church they're carrying, so the church has the knowledge needed to make the decision.

      This should point out, however, that the same right to make
      that decision is not given to nonreligious businesses, except bars.  You own a grocery store, a law office, a daycare center - there's no requirement you be notified.

      Michigan has the sense so far to outright prohibit guns in schools of any kind, including daycare, and hospitals.  They tried to undo that sensible regulation, but it came on the governor's desk like the day after the Newton killings and he vetoed it.  I guess there's a tiny working brain left in some rethug minds yet.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:31:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's sensible about that regulation? (0+ / 0-)
        Michigan has the sense so far to outright prohibit guns in schools of any kind,
        How did prohibiting them help anyone in Newton?
        •  I'm sorry, but how stupid can you get?????? (0+ / 0-)

          Laws against murder don't stop all murders, therefore, let's make it legal.  Laws against stealing don't stop theft, so let's make it legal.

          If you think it's sensible to allow people to carry weapons into a school, then you're too hopeless for me.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:44:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right on, bro! (Except for anything that might get (0+ / 0-)

            me banned).  In other words, I completely agree with you, but am too chickenshit to use those words.

            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

            by Smoh on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:05:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I admit to having second thoughts on it myself, (0+ / 0-)

              but decided that admin would agree with me on this one and might let it slide.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:30:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  So you're theorizing... (0+ / 0-)

            That somewhere, there is a person who would shoot up a school and commit murder, except that he doesn't want to get caught with guns in a gun-free zone?

            See, people like you aren't able to think about this rationally. You just emote. You outrage.

            Please explain to the rest of us how keeping properly licensed guns out of a school building would deter any school shooting. Is the potential murderer sitting there in his basement dungeon thinking "Gee, I don't mind going away for capital murder, but if they tack on an illegal guns-in-schools charge... well, I just can't handle that!" ? Is that what you're thinking?

            It makes no logical sense.

            What is it about people like you, that you scream and beg for asinine security practices that don't make anyone safer?

            •  No, I'm not theorizing anything so stupid. See (0+ / 0-)

              people like me just emote; we don't think rationally, so I'm sure we're incapable of theorizing about anything.

              Fortunately, I don't have to explain things to "the rest" of you, since the vast majority of people get it without it being explained to them.  Since you don't, I'll explain.

              Laws won't ever stop everybody from everything and we're going to have murders, rapes, theft, arson, and a whole lot of things going on regardless of how many laws there are or what the penalties are.  

              However, laws stop some people doing things just by their existence.  And then they stop other people from doing things through less direct means.  Some people will bring a gun to school just because they can; others will bring a gun to school to kill someone.  A law against doing so will tell us the difference between the two.  If bringing a gun to school is illegal and you see someone walking into a school with a gun, you immediately know they're a criminal and you call the cops; if it's not illegal, why would you call the cops?  And if you did, what do you think they would or could do about it?

              There are many ways making something illegal makes it less likely to happen.  It doesn't nor will it ever mean there's no one out there who will be evil enough to do it anyway.  But you use a little common sense and make it illegal BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING WRONG.  In and of itself wrong.

              You're the one who is quite totally and completely incapable of separating emotion from rational thought.  You're so fixated on guns and gun rights, you're incapable of thinking about human beings.  You're fixation with guns is much more important to you than other human beings.  And you're so emotional, you can't see it for a second.  So don't bother talking to me about "emoting".  I couldn't begin to keep up with you in that department.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 06:54:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Query (0+ / 0-)
    The Court has accepted no cases on the interpretation of the Second Amendment for this Term; I would not be surprised if next term, the Court takes up the Illinois case I referenced last month, regarding whether the Second Amendment guarantees the right to bear arms in self-defense outside the home, and not just within it.
    The Circuit Court in Moore remanded with a mandate to the trial courts to enter judgments of unconstitutionality of the Illinois ban, and issue injunctions, but stayed the mandate for 180 days to provide Illinois time to craft a law which would pass constitutional muster and render the cases moot.

    Do you think that Illinois will do exactly that - rewrite the law to allow carry in public but with stringent precautions such as NY does?  

    I think that seems more likely than continuing to fight for a complete ban.

    I am a warrior for peace. And not a gentle man... Steve Mason, 1940-2005

    by Wayward Wind on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:28:34 PM PST

  •  Wouldn't it be even nicer if SCOTUS read (0+ / 0-)

    "Guns and Grammar" by Dennis Baron?

  •  Hmm, it is quite interesting that (4+ / 0-)

    a church and nuclear power plant are similarly dangerous wrt having guns there.

    In some ways, I can see that.

  •  What kind of deranged freak (4+ / 0-)

    brings a gun to a church? Seriously?

    What part of that whole Prince of Peace thing doesn't this person get?

    Barack Obama for President

    by looty on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:39:29 PM PST

    •  odd that only liberal churches get targeted (0+ / 0-)

      along with Black churches, Synagogues, Sikh temples and Mosques... so what is the deal with the gunz everywhere all the time people? Are these peckerwood gun fetishists are afraid of retaliation someday?... figure that sooner or later commies and undesirables will come gunning for the "real Americans" in their places of worship??? After years and years of random crazy right-wingers egged on by non stop fright wing media targeting others places of worship... that the worm will turn and these lurking un-American threats show their true dangerous colors that they were hiding the whole time...

      News flash assorted Fox-Rush-dominionist knuckleheads wherever you may be or what paranoid flavor you come in... you and your churches have people in them who are far more likely to shoot up a Unitarian church etc. ... than any of the scary phantoms you imagine are a clear and present danger to you and your fellow worshipers. the gun carrying guy next to you in your open carry church is statistically more likely to go out and shoot up some commie or furrin church than any of them showing up in yours... so you really do not need to be armed and dangerous in your place of worship...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:15:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A person who routinely carries... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayFromPA, KenBee, fuzzyguy

      ...a concealed weapon probably would carry their weapon into a church unless there was an indication that the church banned it.

      I know it seems strange to those that don' t understand firearms, but not to most of those who carry routinely (including some off duty LEOs).

      If you ever have the opportunity to shake a President's hand, I guarantee you you are within a very few feet of firearms yet I've never heard of someone refusing to get that close to a President for that reason.

      When President Obama goes to church, I can assure you there are firearms in that church -- yet that doesn't seem to scare people.

      I hope the members of the Secret Service who guard the President are not "deranged freaks".

      Would someone who was, with good reason, fearful of attack by a spurned lover be a "deranged freak" to carry a firearm into church in case the spurned lover violated the restraining order? Strikes me as prudent, not deranged, as if the spurned lover knew that everyone voluntarily (i.e., no TSA searches/scans) relinquished their firearms upon entering a church, it would be an obvious place to attack w/o fear of being stopped quickly by the victim.

      May not be a good idea, but I think suggesting that anyone who would carry a firearm into a church is a "deranged freak" is more than a bit overboard.

      •  Like everyone is as trained as the ss? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, DefendOurConstitution, Smoh

        Not even sort of the same.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:10:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay... (0+ / 0-)

          ...where do you draw the line?

          Some local police officers are not particularly well trained in firearms use. An avid recreation shooter who competes in IDPA or similar events is likely better trained and more current than a significant percentage of the police who just meet minimum periodic re-qualification requirements.

          Perhaps we should just have a skills test for carrying a firearm into a church. Local police who can't pass can't enter with their firearms -- on, or off, duty; those that can are free to enter regardless of their employment choices.

          What percentage of the gun massacres in the US do you suppose are perpetrated using concealed weapons by those licensed to carry them? One would expect a lot if it was a problem.

          In recent years, more and more states have moved to "must/shall issue licensing" (usually, if you're not a convicted criminal, haven't been treated for mental illness recently, don't have a restraining order against you, and/or take an easy test, you must be issued a license without regard for who you know or why you want the license) or even "no license required" for concealed handgun carry. Currently about 75% of the states fall clearly into these categories -- not counting municipal jurisdictions which are "shall issue" within more states without such statewide laws. Surely, we should see crime waves and mass shootings by these CCW license holders if concealed carry of handguns represented a significant risk to public safety -- but we haven't. Reality based discussions are most effective when facts rather than emotions and speculation are in play.

          •  I am completely and entirely opposed to shall (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DefendOurConstitution, Smoh

            issue and will fight it actively and contribute to groups who do likewise.

            My state and county are both may issue, and my county is very strict. I want to keep it that way.

            No, I do not advocate open carry, either. Not loaded or unloaded and not long guns or hand guns.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:59:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  well i'm down here and i'm pissed off (4+ / 0-)

    Ain't no big deal 'bout me not taking my old faithful to church. We all good people over there and I can just leave it in my pickup.

    Billy Bob's? Hell, I still be totin' my piece when I knock down a coupla' Buds. We done always be shootin' bottles out back after the Braves game.

    Goll Darn Washington. Those damn pinkos be takin our rights away.

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:39:42 PM PST

  •  After Newtown, there will be no end of new cases (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001

    for the Supremes to weigh in on..

    Illinois is, once again, proposing stricter gun laws - in a state with some of the most restrictive gun regulations already on the books.

    I guess Illinois politicians need something to distract people from the fact that in Chicago alone, there were nearly 2500 shooting resulting in 500 deaths.. and those shootings and deaths would likely not be affected one iota by any of the new regulations in the near term.

  •  I wonder what would the ruling be... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IreGyre, DefendOurConstitution

    ...if guns were an integral part of the religious service.  God knows there are enough people in the US, and even some here, who worship their guns.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:52:09 PM PST

    •  Seems unlikely confiscation would be (0+ / 0-)

      required.

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:09:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They could have (0+ / 0-)

      a "midnight special" service like midnight mass. Bring your guns.

      •  does the churches insurance cover that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cany

        Insurance policies might go up... could be a real deal breaker for the whole idea.

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:23:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Insurance polices... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre, fuzzyguy

          ...generally have liability limits well below "worst case" scenarios.

          This is not dissimilar to the fact that most people carry well less than $10M of auto liability insurance in spite of the fact that would only scratch the surface of damages if their car hit another car injuring a single young person such that they require 7x24 skilled care but will likely live for many decades.

          So, the insurance company's liability would only be, say, $10M for a church (I'm picking that number out of the air). Therefore the insurance company is likely to be much more concerned about a string of pedophilia cases than the almost non-existent risk of a nut w/firearms causing injuries in the church. This is especially true since the church isn't necessarily responsible for the actions of a random nut with the firearms as they don't have a duty to protect you from all injuries caused by third parties (any more than a local mom-and-pop business does).

          •  good information... another question... (0+ / 0-)

            some policies can have extra clauses and limitations on cover... or increased or reduced premiums depending on compliance with certain things... (non smoker for fire insurance for instance...)... installation of smoke alarms etc.

            So IF the insurance companies saw a definite link to losses linked to gun policies then that could affect the way coverage worked and policies were written... but as you say pedophile priest problems with lawsuits cost a lot more than a few deaths...

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:09:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  We know a lot of people worship the idols of their (0+ / 0-)

      religion as instructed by the NRA apostles and their interpretation of the 27-Word Sacred Gospel.  Plenty of them around.

      Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

      by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:22:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  An entertaining read, as court decisions go (4+ / 0-)

    A nice little bit of WTF in legalese:

    We searched the Amended Complaint to no avail in an attempt to find factual allegations that could possibly be construed as alleging that the Carry Law imposes a constitutionally impermissible burden on one of Plaintiffs’ sincerely held religious beliefs.  
    Btw, I had always heard the expression as "dogs that didn't bark", but "the dogs that don't hunt" is a clever mashing of two old metaphors.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:56:08 PM PST

    •  Clever mashing of English fiction/US colloquialism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh

      I am going out on a limb, meaning without googling, and based on personal/cultural knowledge and ask for correction here.

      The dog that did not bark [in the night] is from Sherlock Holmes story, tiltle more of less about a stolen thoroughbred or other horse of quality and the point is the dog not barking meant that the horse stealer was known to him
      and dogs that don't hunt, I presume, from US colloquial idiom for bird hunting with dogs, because I learned the expression from friends from Texas....meaning quite the opposite....the argument that does not work....

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:05:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Noticed Big River. mixed metaphor an oxymoron? (0+ / 0-)

        So there are two of us for finding this a perfectly mixed metaphor. Now, is a perfectly mixed metaphor itself a contradiction in terms or an oxymoron?

        Need to commute without distractions. will return to higher realms of law and language when safely home.

        meanwhile dogs can hunt and not bark at will. or vice versa.

        "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

        by BlueStateRedhead on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:11:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Imagine that... "Reasonable Restrictions" n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany, DefendOurConstitution
  •  But government buildings aren't private, and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cany

    the day a court gives a right to carry guns in a courthouse is the day I eat my hat.

    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

    by Inland on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:00:26 PM PST

  •  Wait... (0+ / 0-)
    a private property owner’s exclusive right to be king of his own castle.
    I'm very curious to know just how well-established this right is, and whether the Supreme Court (especially the RATS) have upheld this right in the past. I thought that they denied the existence of any right that wasn't specifically called out in the Constitution, Ninth Amendment be damned.

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:02:38 PM PST

  •  Cert doesn't work that way (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ancblu

    "Again, it's the dogs that don't hunt bark which require some attention, and in this case it's an argument which the Supreme Court today decided not to hear, implicitly affirming that the Second Amendment allows for reasonable gun control measures. "

    SCOTUS has made it clear a bunch of times that declining to hear a case isn't a commentary on the merits.  It's equally possible they're just waiting for more time for a circuit conflict to develop.  

  •  All Gun Control is reasonable (5+ / 0-)

    They are potentially lethal instruments. And they only have one purpose, unlike other potentially lethal instruments which exist in our culture, like cars, knives, chainsaws, bowling balls etc...

    I suppose "unreasonable" gun control would involve police coming to people's homes and rounding up the guns for confiscation. But absent court authority, such an action is defended against in the Constitution anyway, so I'm having a hard time imagining what "unreasonable" gun control might look like. These things kill people. Yeah, some "responsible" hobbyists might be offended at the inconveniences, but that's nothing compared to what the family of a victim of gun violence goes through.

    •  Unreasonable gun control looks like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DefendOurConstitution

      tyranny. Following the slippery slope argument, any reasonable gun control is ipso facto a prelude to unreasonable gun control, confiscation, the repeal of the Second Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights, UN black helicopters, and FEMA concentration camps, probably not in that order. Depending on the flavor of paranoia involved, it means world government or putting Blacks/gays/Muslims/atheists/women in charge (or for all I know, worldwide Black Lesbian atheist Muslims), the end of civilization, possibly the reign of the Antichrist either before or after Armageddon, or worse.

      I'm not the one making this up. Well, only a teeny bit of it. ^_^

      America—We built that!

      by Mokurai on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:37:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't there a 1st Amendment issue, though? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't understand on what basis houses of worship can be given preferential protection. Has anyone challenged that?

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:33:21 PM PST

  •  Personally, I prefer to worship.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    ... at a church where they arn't trying to kill me.

    •  That's only the right wing churches. (0+ / 0-)

      They figure if you aint' one of them, then you're destined for hell and many of them will gladly 'help' you to your final destination.

      It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

      by JayFromPA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:03:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "nor is there protection for secular beliefs"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh

    Does anyone other than me find this phrase troubling?

    I don't know the history of federal jurisprudence concerning "secular beliefs," and I may not be doing my logic correctly, but by allowing me to voice secular beliefs that qualify as protected political speech, does not the First Amendment at least indirectly or implicitly protect those secular beliefs?

    And if, as many atheists argue, atheism is NOT (at least from a legal standpoint) the functional equivalent of a religious belief, does that mean that atheism is not protected by the First Amendment (perhaps with the consequence that issues of discrimination against atheism and/or atheists might be only Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issues)?

    What am I doing wrong here?

    YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

    by raincrow on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:12:50 PM PST

    •  I think I should have a unicorn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow

      But that doesn't make it a protected belief. I do not, in fact, have a right to have a unicorn (or a pony, or even a cookie...).

      Plaintiffs argued that they wanted to be safe in church, and that such an action was therefore protected under religious freedom; the court simply found that said desire was never shown to be religious in nature and hence secular and outside of the scope of religious protections.

      IOW, it's not a formal belief system - it's just someone's opinion.

      And yes, if you're an Atheist and have vowed to drop your case rather than letting the courts decide that your views are in fact religious, then you don't have the protections of the First Amendment to cover your Atheism. This is akin to EST trainees who refuse to use the word 'problem' after their training because it connotes something in a way they don't want to think. The formal definition of the words 'problem' and 'religion' don't change just because you don't like them.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:30:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Expression or "voicing" is protected (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raincrow, Smoh

      under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment, but the underlying belief is not.

      The religious clauses of the First Amendment apply to the content of the belief -- where Congress is prohibited from making any law that establishes a religion or the free exercise thereof.  And the separation of church and state doctrine purposefully constructed the secular nature of our political society.

      The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

      by ancblu on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:53:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, too, for clarifying this for me. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ancblu, Smoh

        YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

        by raincrow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:42:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In truth ... you've posed thorny questions (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Smoh, raincrow

          that we as a society are continually working to figure out what the answer was, is or should be.

          Thankfully we have a somewhat adaptable system of divided powers that allows us to keep at the task of forming "a more perfect union," to which PBO often refers, from these issues and principles scribed on parchment many years ago.

          But it's always fertile grounds for much public disagreement and employment for judges and lawyers.

          The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

          by ancblu on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:28:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm suspicious of appeals courts in conservative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ancblu

            parts of the country.

            Especially after Citizens United, when SCOTUS w/ 5 neocon activists/wackos turns down a case like this with no comment (and I acknowledge that none of the other 4 chose to comment either), I want to see the details of the ruling they've let stand because I worry it contains a deliberately placed, quiet nugget that will eventually help advance one or more tentacles of conservative legal theory.

            In this case, I'd never noticed (or thought about) a holding that the First Amend. does or doesn't provide "protection for secular beliefs."

            Because I'd never heard of such it -- and so far have found nothing like it upon casual inquiry --  I immediately suspected the 11th circuit handed gun control advocates a ruling that would be hailed as a victory -- a shiny, distracting object -- at the same time casually dropping in a "stealth holding" that can be used to deny certain kinds of atheist legal challenges, and perhaps eventually crowd "freedom FROM religion" out of the First Amendment (which I think would make the Scalias of the world very happy).

            My casual and ignorant research so far has turned up quite a bit on the tried-and-true "gov can't infringe without demonstrating a compelling interest," but nothing saying "the First Amendment provides no protection for secular beliefs." E.g., from http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/...

            The Court has apparently returned to a belief-conduct dichotomy under which religiously motivated conduct is not entitled to special protection. Laws may not single out religiously motivated conduct for adverse treatment ... but formally neutral laws of general applicability may regulate religious conduct (along with other conduct) regardless of the adverse or prohibitory effects on religious exercise.

            YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

            by raincrow on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:01:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It does seem a odd, I suppose, to "protect" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raincrow

              religious beliefs by restricting the range of governmental action to promote or inhibit any religion (a mandated neutrality, if you will), while at the same time providing no such explicit protection for "non-religious" (or secular) beliefs or principles.

              While not an expert in the field, it is certainly true that England's history of an Established Church and persecution of dissenting religious views played a central role in crafting our constitutional rule of strict governmental neutrality involving any and all religious beliefs -- including, perhaps, the belief that there is no God (as empirically non-testable as that there is).  

              Alternatively in secular matters, freedom of conscience would permit each person to form their own views from the marketplace of ideas in which freedom of speech (or expression) is the paramount and constitutionally protected interest.

              Cheers and thanks for the exchange of thoughts on this interesting subject.

              The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. H.L. Mencken

              by ancblu on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:15:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Original Intent: The Preamble (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution

    The goal of our Constitution was to guide us in the creation of laws that would "... form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." 
    Current interpretations of the Second Amendment work against the goals of our founding document. We must adjust the jurisprudence of weapons laws so that they support original intent.

    "The skeleton in the closet is coming home to roost!" Tom Stoppard

    by Apotropoxy on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:07:01 PM PST

    •  The same can... (0+ / 0-)

      ...be said for current interpretation of the 4th Amendment.

      If we eliminated the SCOTUS search related rulings over the past 60 years, it's a rational to believe we could have less crime and therefore more "justice", "domestic tranquility", and "general welfare".

      Every time evidence is thrown out due to the exclusionary rule (a rule invented by the court in recent times), a criminal is more likely to go free to again injure, kill, or steal from another innocent person - none of which are conducive to the goals in the preamble.

      Are you sure you want to go there?

  •  I think the gun folks are aiming at the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DefendOurConstitution, Smoh

    "strict construction" argument for guns. THAT seems to be what they are really after because, as I have read, they then believe the various arguments are increasingly downhill for them.

    I recently read another CC case where the court refused the strict construction argument.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:16:58 PM PST

    •  "Strict scrutiny" is probably the phrase (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cany, fuzzyguy

      you're looking for.

      And yes, that is the goal. What I think is likely is a hybrid scrutiny model, much like applies to the speech clause of the 1st Amendment, where speech that is part of the "core" of the right, IE, political speech, gets the most stringent protection, and speech that is further away, IE commercial speech, gets a slightly lower standard of review.

      The 7th Circuit's ruling in Ezell is pretty likely to be the model. Strict scrutiny for the fundamental right to keep and bear arms for self defense, intermediate scrutiny for other lawful purposes like hunting, no protection for unlawful uses.

      Rational basis and interest-balancing review are expliticly ruled out by Heller, and this is backed up by McDonald's  holding that the 2nd Amendment right is fundamental. There's a ton of precedent that says that laws impinging fundamental rights get enhanced scrutin from the Courts. Advocates for gun control laws will have to take that into account when evaluating the constitutionality of their preferred policies.

      --Shannon

      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:46:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about other types of property? (0+ / 0-)

    Private property, you have to approach the owner.

    What if the privately owned property is owned by a corporation? I'm thinking about those churches like St Luke's that incorporate subsidiaries that in turn hold property such as hospitals. Would the direct owner, the hospital corporate charter, be the entity to ask?

    What if the privately owned property is owned by a corporation where the property in question falls under the laws of public accommodation? I'm thinking about places like the convenience stores and gas stations owned by the private company Pilot Flying J.

    For that matter, what about stores in the "Sole Proprietorship" type of business? They are private property in that a living person is the direct owner but the building still has to follow equal access laws like wheelchair ramps etc.

    What about publicly traded storefronts? Apple stores are under public accommodation rules, and the owners are the shareholders. WTF there?

    And yeah, I am aware that the second amendment isn't a protected class of people. I'm just tossing the questions out there to seek out the morality behind the laws - such as how it became illegal to deny access to the wheelchair bound when they became protected but it was always wrong to do so.... Such as how the tinker case states kids don't lose 1A rights at the public schoolhouse door, so when a property owner invites the entire population to come shop does that owner have to accept the entire population in all their shapes / sizes / colors along with their inalienable rights?

    It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

    by JayFromPA on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:22:38 PM PST

    •  It's the gun owner's responsibility to figure that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DefendOurConstitution

      out.  If a person does not get explicit permission to bring their weapon onto other property, then they need to store it safely and respect the rights of the property owner.  DUH.  Why we need court decisions and laws to state something as obvious as this is beyond me.

      Also gun ownership can never be considered as a protected class such as ethnicity, physical impairment, etc.  Gun owners always have the option to store their gun safely (or not bring it in the first place), whereas people in protected classes cannot simply change their skin color or leave the wheelchair in the car.

      •  Imagine that, having to extend the courtesy to (0+ / 0-)

        someone whose home you enter of either not bringing a gun into their home or asking them if they are OK with it?  What's next? Nazi Germany?

        //snark

        Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

        by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:28:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That misses my point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow

        I have NO PROBLEM with someone saying no guns allowed on their Invitation Only Private Property.

        My point was that there are a number of OTHER types of private property that exist between the typical homestead and the public street.

        Let me give you a few examples of private property that is forced to allow access to people that the property owner might otherwise refuse entry.

        Private homesteads are not required to install wheelchair ramps.
        Public buildings are required to install wheelchair ramps.
        Private property that is purposed for public access is required to have wheelchair ramps.

        Private homesteads are not required to allow entry to black people.
        Public buildings are prohibited from discrimination on skin color.
        Private property that is purposed for public access is not allowed to turn away blacks.

        Private homesteads are not required to allow entry to people wearing red shirts.
        Public buildings may not discriminate on clothing color.
        Private property that is purposed for public access is not going to get far at all if they try to discriminate against people who happen to be wearing red shirts.

        Note that in each of those three examples, there is a private property owner stripped of the right to refuse entry to people.

        The crucial pivot point is that the private property is not a residence, it is purposed for commercial activity. And by CHOOSING to serve "The Public" the private property owner must serve "The Public" in all of their sizes and shapes and colors and in some cases the objects they carry. Objects can be a wheelchair, a cell phone, a pocket flashlight, keys, shoes, a cane, a walker, a canister of oxygen, or many other things.

        Another example. You may refuse entry to anyone with an animal, even if it is a service animal, if the private property is your home.
        You may NOT refuse entry to service animals, if the private property is your commercial store.

        The purpose of the private property has bearing on the legality of stripping a right from someone at the threshold. The government already strips some of the private property rights from the owner regarding commercial property. It is the spaghetti mess way of being able to create shell companies and subsidiaries and LPs and LLCs that should cause the issue to be examined very closely.

        If care isn't taken, then loopholes in what a private owner can do, when that owner is a piece of paper corporate charter, which is in turn owned by another piece of paper corporate charter, which may then be 'leased' by yet another piece of paper corporate charter.

        It is already law that the amendments protect against governmental infringement.  As more and more property is consolidated into fewer and fewer hands, it would be nice to know that the rights of the people are going to be enforced when on private property that is purposed for public use.

        It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

        by JayFromPA on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:01:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very interesting and concise (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayFromPA

          I had much of this rattling around in my head, but you've laid it out in an orderly and logical way. Thanks!

          YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

          by raincrow on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:01:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well here's more of it then.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raincrow

            This basically came from thoughts on right wing pharmacists refusing to dispense legal contraception. If they put in the effort to become pharmacists to the general public, licensed by the government, then they gotta serve that general public without discrimination against any members of the public just for being owners of a vagina. They signed on, then no discrimination.

            Which then, in my head, applied to people who put in the effort to become doctors to the public, licensed by the government, then they gotta serve that general public without discriminating against any members of the public just for being owners of a gun. They signed on, then no discrimination.

            Well, doctors and other medical places like hospitals typically incorporate. One incident that isn't really anyone's fault by one associate surgeon at a large hospital shouldn't mean the personal home of the head of the surgery department is vulnerable to seizure from a malpractice suit, right? Well, liability limitation through incorporation achieves that, and so the factor of "corporate personhood" becomes a very major factor. It's the corporation that is the owner of record for such places of public accommodation, but it's a flesh and blood person that writes the 'corporate policy'.

            So you can end up with a situation of asking the owner of record a gun question and never being given an answer, because you can't get through to the flesh and blood person who makes the policy.

            It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

            by JayFromPA on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:45:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  For real? (0+ / 0-)

              I thought the humans on the BoD are automatically the actual bio-persons on whom the responsibilities of communication, legal compliance, criminal penalties, etc., are placed...?

              YES WE DID -- AGAIN. FOUR MORE YEARS.

              by raincrow on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:53:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  NPR Planet money explored this recently. (0+ / 0-)

                With all the campaign news about shell corporations et cetera, they went and created a corporation in Belize.

                In the US, you can file a corp over the internet. I hear lots of commercials for bizfilings.com and mycorporation.com... You pay them, they file the paperwork and for a fee they continue to file all the periodic paperwork that keeps the corporate charter alive. Planet money googled a corporate filing service in belize and paid them to create "Unbelizeable". Pronounced like 'unbelievable'.

                The filing service also offers ghost ownership, in that Planet Money paid a small fee and the filing service provides people who will put their names on the paperwork as "Director" and such, keeping the Planet Money people from EVER being listed. It's a Belize corporation, with a Belize bank account and this Belize corporation can open a swiss bank account. And no US court has any jurisdiction over another country, so it would take pressure from the US State Dept on the national government of Belize to make the Belize government file some sort of subpoena in a Belize court to legally access the bank records of Unbelizeable... at which time they would learn about the swiss bank account.

                And THEN the US State Dept would have to pressure the swiss government for... and so on and so forth.

                As described in the podcast, some of these jurisdictions require a local attorney and some sort of bond to be deposited before the wheels of their legal system begin turning to seize the contents of these accounts - and if you only left a couple hundred in the accounts of the first couple-few layers then very quickly you have spent fifty grand on these legal proceedings in order to seize fifteen hundred bucks... And still haven't traced the money back to a US source nor have any idea how long the chain of shell corporations actually is.

                Thus, right there on the podcast we got to watch a US citizen show how to create foreign tax and liability havens that completely obscures their identity to any but the most tenacious US investigations, for just a few thousand dollars.

                So yeah, it's really fucking easy to end up with a mall owned by a mall corp... the mall corp pays rent to the land owner corp... the land owner corp is a subsidiary of a state real estate investment corp... the state real estate investment corp is owned by an international land investment corp... which has as it's sole shareholder some other random holdings corp... all of which bounce around Belize / Honduras / Nicaragua / Belgium / Caymans / Dominica / Barbados / Anguilla / British virgin isles / Bahamas.

                Good fucking luck getting your email about "What is the policy regarding whether a licensed and trained gun owner is permitted to carry their licensed and registered concealed carry pistol on the premises?"

                Yeah, the sun will go nova and collapse into a singularity long before your gun email will ever get a response.

                It's safe to trust a sane person with the keys to nuclear weapons, but it's not safe to trust an insane person with the cleaners under the kitchen sink.

                by JayFromPA on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:47:10 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting that the 1A & the 2A got conflated as (0+ / 0-)

    it has been clear to me recently that the 2A fundamentalists are clearly a religion that espouses articles of faith in defense of their sacred 2A Gospel and the idols that they worship.  Like in any other fundamentalist religion, there is no reason or logic allowed - only following the sacred tenets handed down.  We don't even have to travel very far to see some examples of the fundamentalism espoused by 2A worshipers.  The NRA has sure done a great job at creating the following, convincing them that they are under siege/oppressed/maligned (in spite of the fact that literally own the US Congress, they bought it with money and threats), and getting them out there defending their religion.  In the meantime the NRA writes/passes laws to weaken any existing regulations and vigorously attack and state laws that regulate their religion.

    In the end the true God is not really the idols, but the manufacturers and their profits, but as long as the coreligionists are out there defending the idols and the sacred text it's just fine that the faithful followers worship the idols instead.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:37:26 AM PST

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