NYT on the Heller decision

So how good was the Heller decision?  Well, let’s take a look at what that bastion of journalistic integrity, the New York Times, is saying about the decision.  Because, you know the NY Times will never lead you astray.  This article was forwarded to me by Bob Westover for your reading enjoyment. As we go through, I will poke them.  With a stick.  NYT will be in italics, which is how they actually talk anyway.


Lock and Load

CLEVER TITLE!  Already I’m impressed.  I’m willing to bet that the manicured fingers of this great journalist has never actually touched a gun, and doesn’t really know what the phrase even means, but man, it sounds ominous. 

Published: June 27, 2008
Thirty-thousand Americans are killed by guns every year — on the job, walking to school, at the shopping mall.


Or in suicides, or in criminal on criminal violence, which isn’t the fault of regular folks.  Or even better, many of those shootings are bad guys getting shot by the good guys, which I actually see as a net benefit for society, but hey, the article barely started.  I’m sure it gets better.


The Supreme Court on Thursday all but ensured that even more Americans will die senselessly with its wrongheaded and dangerous ruling striking down key parts of the District of Columbia’s gun-control law.

I love how we will die “senselessly” as opposed to “sensefully”.  Already this author has demonstrated that he does, in fact, own a thesaurus.  “BEHOLD MY GRAMMAR!”  Wrongheaded and dangerous?  Even better.  Why oh why are more of us going to die senselessly oh mighty journalist?  Please educate us!  Holy crap, we’re only in the header and I’m already terrified.

Landmark Ruling Enshrines Right to Own Guns (June 27, 2008)


(Unlike that whole Constitution thingy, and several hundred years of common law, but whatever)

In a radical break from 70 years of Supreme Court precedent,


Got to jump in on this one.  Most people have never read the Miller decision, and don’t know anything about it.  Don’t take my word for it, and God help you if you take the NYT’s word for it, but go look it up.  70 years ago the SCOTUS heard Miller, which didn’t even have a defense attorney, or a defendant, and they basically said that if a gun had a use in the militia, then it was okay.  And that was about it.  Liberals love to cite Miller, and they often cite it as having the exact opposite ruling of what it really had. 


Justice Antonin Scalia

, writing for the majority, declared that the Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to bear arms for nonmilitary uses, even though the amendment clearly links the right to service in a “militia.” The ruling will give gun-rights advocates a powerful new legal tool to try to strike down gun-control laws across the nation.


Clearly?  It is for militia use?  No kidding.  Guess what doofi (plural of doofus, because I’m addressing all of the NYT), we are the militia.  From that pesky Bill of Rights that you guys only know the first 10% of:

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.

As for giving us a powerful legal tool, thank goodness!  It is about friggin’ time!

This is a decision that will cost innocent lives, cause immeasurable pain and suffering and turn America into a more dangerous country. It will also diminish our standing in the world, sending yet another message that the United States values gun rights over human life.

What a crock of crap.  Let’s take Washington DC, where guns are banned, and Utah, where I can’t go anywhere without tripping over AK47s, and compare the two.  Which one has more “immeasurable pain and suffering” (attack of the Thesaurus Part II).

You want pain and suffering, talk to the family of the children who were massacred in Merced, California by a naked psychopath with a friggin’ pitchfork, because their father had his guns locked up in accordance with California law.  (there’s a law that is going to go swirling down the toilet after this ruling)    

As for our standing in the world, who gives a flying bag of monkey poo? Oh noes!  France doesn’t respect us as much!  NOOOOO!!!!!!

Hey, wait a second… Didn’t France, Italy, Germany, and a bunch of other Euro nations just elect more conservative leadership that doesn’t hate America?  Hmmm…

So we’re sending a message that the US values gun rights over human life?  Yep, I value my gun rights SIGNIFICANTLY more than I value your life.  Deal with it. 

There already is a national glut of firearms: estimates run between 193 million and 250 million guns. The harm they do is constantly on heartbreaking display. Thirty-three dead last year in the shootings at Virginia Tech. Six killed this year at Northern Illinois University.

Both were massacres in places where people were not allowed to have guns.  Thanks for proving my point, you assmuppet. 

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again.  We’ve tried your method.  We’ve tried it for most of this century.  Your way sucks.  It fails over and over and over again.  Time to try my way for a change, allow concealed carry of firearms in schools for responsible parties, and they are no longer just hunting preserves for whackadoos.

On Wednesday, as the court was getting ready to release its decision, a worker in a Kentucky plastics plant shot his supervisor, four co-workers and himself to death.

Bummer that none of those co-workers were armed.  I wonder if that plant had a no guns at work policy? 

Here’s my plan for dealing with workplace violence.  If you come into my workplace to massacre innocent people, I will end you.  But then again, I work at a place where if one of my employees shows up unarmed, we’ll make fun of them and take their lunch money.  See, because we are legally armed, we’ve got options other than hiding under our desks praying to God not to be the next one to die.

Cities and states have tried to stanch the killing with gun-control laws.

And it hasn’t worked.  It has never worked.  It never will work.  Bad guys don’t give a shit about your laws.  Bad guys spit on your laws.  They openly mock your laws. 

But like all liberals, if a bad idea doesn’t work, let’s make it more bad and then try again!  Yay!

The District of Columbia, which has one of the nation’s highest crime rates, banned the possession of nearly all handguns and required that other firearms be stored unloaded and disassembled, or bound with a trigger lock.

And they still have the nation’s highest crime rate, even after decades of their same idiotic policy.  Only they like to blame it on other places that don’t suck.  “Our crime is high!  It’s West Virginia’s fault!  WAAAHH!” 

Like bad guys give a damn about how guns have to be stored by the law abiding.  The only thing this does is ensure that the bad guys know that when they kick your door in to rape your family to death and take all your stuff, you won’t be able to defend yourself with anything other than harsh language.

Overturning that law, the court’s 5-to-4 decision says that individuals have a constitutional right to keep guns in their homes for self-defense. But that’s a sharp reversal for the court: as early as 1939, it made clear that the Second Amendment only protects the right of people to carry guns for military use in a militia.

See above, this jackass hasn’t read Miller, and wouldn’t know what a militia firearm was if it bit him in the face.  Sharp reversal?  Only if you live in liberal la-la land where the Constitution is a living document, that evolves to say whatever you feel like it says.

In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens was right when he said that the court has now established “a new constitutional right” that creates a “dramatic upheaval in the law.”

Do me a favor.  Go read the dissent.  Seriously.  Don’t take my word for it.  Don’t take anybody else’s word for it.  Read it, ponder it.  Use your own brain.  You’ll find that it is filled with mental gymnastics that will literally make your head hurt.  See, because just like you have the Individual Right to Assemble, you can’t do it by yourself, so that’s how the 2nd is a Collective Right, because you can’t be a militia by yourself. 

Even if there were a constitutional right to possess guns for nonmilitary uses, constitutional rights are not absolute.

Scalia never said it was.  There’s one that we happen to disagree on.  In fact, he mentions what good would mere guns do against a modern army with tanks and bombers.  I don’t know, let’s ask Al Queda and see what those nutjobs have been doing for the last few years.  You think Iraq’s tough, invade Texas.

 The First Amendment guarantees free speech, but that does not mean that laws cannot prohibit some spoken words, like threats to commit imminent violent acts. In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer argued soundly that whatever right gun owners have to unimpeded gun use is outweighed by the District of Columbia’s “compelling” public-safety interests.

He “soundly” argued.  Snort.  Go read it.  Seriously. 

Basically the idea here is that “Yeah, you got rights, until the government has a compelling interest in taking them away, then they can do whatever the hell they feel like.” 

So tell me, if you have a right, that you are not allowed to exercise at all (like DC) do you really have a right at all? 

Well, duh.

In this month’s case recognizing the habeas corpus rights of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Justice Scalia wrote in dissent that the decision “will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed.” Those words apply with far more force to his opinion in this District of Columbia case.

Yes, because springing known terrorists from prison, and giving them flights back to a war zone where they can get back to business is EXACTLY the same as letting regular people have guns in their homes to defend themselves from criminals.  The main thing to realize as you read this is that the NYT considers the lives of American soldiers serving in a war zone worth exactly the same as the crack-head climbing in your back window to stab your wife in the throat to steal her wedding ring.

The gun lobby will now trumpet this ruling as an end to virtually all gun restrictions, anywhere, at all times. That must not happen.

Bring it…

And today’s decision still provides strong basis for saying it should not.

If the ruling is held to apply to the states, and not just to the District of Columbia — which is not certain — there will still be considerable dispute about what it means for other less-sweeping gun laws. Judges may end up deciding these on a law-by-law basis.

Yep.  I’m really looking forward for many localities to be forced to do away with their bans.  I’m waiting for lawsuits about bans on certain types of guns.  I’m awaiting lawsuits against stupid rules about how guns have to be stored, or what kind of features they can have, or what kind of parts you can use, or that your ammo has to be stamped, or that you can only have so many parts, or your gun is too big, or too small, or too powerful, or too concealable, or too short, or shoots too fast, or has too many bullets.

Like I said, bring it.  The skies over America’s blue states are about to turn legal pad yellow.  Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of WAR!

Supporters of gun control must fight in court to ensure that registration requirements and background-check rules, and laws against bulk sales of handguns — a major source of guns used in crimes — are all upheld.

I had a gentleman come in here the other day, and buy 5 matching pistols, one for each of his adult children.  It was a thoughtful gift.  I had to fill out extra paperwork and fax it to the ATF, because this guy might be taking them from Utah to DC.  Yep, I just rolled my eyes so hard that I hurt myself. 

The court left room for gun-control advocates to fight back. It made clear that there were gun restrictions that it was not calling into question, including bans on gun possession by felons and the mentally ill, or in “sensitive places” like schools and government buildings.

Oh don’t worry.  We’ll get to those eventually.  My philosophy on felon’s with guns is that if you think they’re so damn dangerous to society, why the hell did you let them loose?  If they’re safe enough to let free, let them have their rights back.  I know people who got busted with drugs, and have had a clean record for over THIRTY YEARS who aren’t allowed to have a gun to defend themselves. 

But the stuff that the NYT won’t tell you, did you know that a misdemeanor domestic violence charge can make it so that you can’t have a gun?  Yep.  You don’t even have to actually have laid a hand on anyone.  In fact, if you’ve got a restraining order, and there’s never been a trial, only that somebody somewhere said you threatened them, you can’t get a gun. 

The only evidence of mental illness I’ve seen recently has been in arguing with Obama supporters.

As for “sensitive” places, Utah allows guns in schools, because apparently we’re better behaved than the rest of you, and we love our kids more.  Sensitive my ass.  Sensitive is a code word for target rich environment.  As for banning guns in government buildings, they’ve got their own guns, now let us have ours. 

That last part is the final indignity of the decision: when the justices go to work at the Supreme Court, guns will still be banned. When most Americans show up at their own jobs, they will not have that protection.

Boo friggin’ hoo.  Because I don’t know about you guys, if I’m planning on going on a killing spree rampage, and committing 60+ capital crimes, and then shooting myself in the brain when the cops show up, I’m not going to do it, because it is ILLEGAL to carry a gun to work.

And most companies don’t allow carry at work, which is absolute moral cowardice that disgusts me to the core of my being.  But then again, before I went into work for myself, I violated the hell out of company policy for most of my adult life.  Then again, I wasn’t supposed to surf the internet at work either. 

This audaciously harmful decision, which hands the far right a victory it has sought for decades, is a powerful reminder of why voters need to have the Supreme Court firmly in mind when they vote for the president this fall.

Audaciously.  Man, he is working that thesaurus now!  Yeah, you show those adjectives and adverbs who’s the boss!  Either that, or he gets paid by the word.

Senator John McCain has said he would appoint justices like Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito — both of whom supported this decision. If the court is allowed to tip even further to the far right, there will be even more damage done to the rights and the safety of Americans.

How much you want to bet that earlier this week when the SCOTUS said that it wasn’t okay to execute child rapists, the NYT thought that that was just peachy? 

I take the opposite view. This gives me one more reason why I’ll hold my nose and vote for McCain. I don’t want anymore Ginsbergs.  I love how the author talks about tipping to the FAR RIGHT. 

Sorry dude, you don’t know what Far Right is.  If I had written the majority decision, I would be picking up a new belt-fed Mk19 40mm grenade launcher from Sam’s Club at lunch.  Far Right in New York means that you voted for Michael Bloomberg.  New Yorkers consider Barack Obama, Jesus and Che Guevara a moderate Democrat.

Why would any sane American even bother to care what New York, Chicago, DC, LA, and other big city cesspools have to say about what is morally right and wrong?  Personally I found myself rooting for the monster in Cloverfield.

Educational moment, the FLDS are not Mormon
WE WIN. Heller decision announced

18 thoughts on “NYT on the Heller decision”

  1. “You think Iraq’s tough, invade Texas.”

    That’s right. We know how to aim. And, you haven’t seen IED until you’ve see one done up engineering students from Texas.

  2. “Here’s my plan for dealing with workplace violence. If you come into my workplace to massacre innocent people, I will end you. But then again, I work at a place where if one of my employees shows up unarmed, we’ll make fun of them and take their lunch money. See, because we are legally armed, we’ve got options other than hiding under our desks praying to God not to be the next one to die.”

    I’ll drink to that!

  3. I actually thought the Habeus Corpus decision was reasonable. Neither side of the political spectrum should be allowed to pick and choose which parts of the constitution to follow. That means to suspend the right to trial is just as craven as to claim RKBA is a collective right.

    Otherwise excellent as always.

    And stop with the NY bashing. North of Poughkeepsie we’re basically Occupied Vermont. The only reason we can’t secede from The Commie Island is NYC is too worried about the Hudson watershed rights and wants a bigger tax base, so they’ve screwed us into being the most under-represented part of the country.

  4. Vaarok,

    The problem with the Habeus decision is that these were folks captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan & Iraq, and not arrested in downtown Poughkeepsie. What next, we gotta mirandize them before calling in an airstrike?

  5. “As for “sensitive” places, Utah allows guns in schools, because apparently we’re better behaved than the rest of you, and we love our kids more. ”

    Oregon, too.
    Excellent rant, Larry.
    As an aside, are you planning a new run of Molon Labe hats anytime soon?


  6. Awesome post. Loved it, and would move to Utah in a heartbeat if A. it didn’t get so bloody cold in the winter and B. Texas wasn’t so friggin awesome;)

    I had to contain myself when I first read, “You think Iraq’s tough, invade Texas.” I had sleeping people in the house.

    Ditto on, “…we’ll make fun of them and take their lunch money.”

    While dangerously decided, I don’t find the Habeous Corpus thing nearly as unsettling. If we’re going to be the “Beacon of Freedom” before God and the entire world, we have to apply our terms liberally (NOT to be confused with being liberal!!!). While I staunchly agree that the Constitution was written for American citizens, I do not feel that even prisoners of war should be held indefinitely. Leave that to Vietnam and the like. However, if we got a solid case against a prisoner of war, then make the case, try him, convict him, and sentence him thusly.

    THAT is how we roll in the land of the free.


  7. Speakertweaker: I find the Habeus Corpus decision offensive for the same reason I find the Heller one so; it was only 5-4. Some things should really be so painfully obvious they go 9-0.

  8. Here’s the trick with some of the enemy combatants we’ve got in Guantanamo. They can’t be tried in civilian courts, in my opinion, because they didn’t break any US civil laws.

    Shooting at American soldiers in Afghanistan is not a crime in the United States, unless we presume to have jurisdiction all over the world, which obviously we don’t.

    So what are we going to try them for? If they’re American citizens, they can be charged with treason (making war on the United States).

    Normally, POWs are handled and held under long-standing international agreements and convention. However, Taliban terrorists and Iraqi insurgents aren’t members of the uniformed service of a nation. They have no government for us to negotiate with, and Al Qaeda certainly isn’t party to the Geneva Conventions. These people are certainly citizens of one country or another, but they’re not acting at the behest of their home governments.

    Under the traditionally accepted laws of land warfare, such non-uniformed combatants were often simply shot.


    From FM 27-10, Laws of Land Warfare

    “Persons, such as guerrillas and partisans, who take up arms and commit hostile acts without having complied with the conditions prescribed by the laws of war for recognition as belligerents (see GPW, art. 4; par. 61 herein), are, when captured by the injured party, not entitled to be treated as prisoners of war and may be tried and sentenced to execution or imprisonment.”

    So there’s a big murky grey area that we’re dealing with here. This is not to say they’re handling it in the best way possible, but…the people that are jumping up and down and screaming about prisoners in Guantanamo being held for too long are often the ones that don’t seem to mind the government taking over virtually every aspect of their own lives. As long as the *illusion* of freedom remains, they’re happy.

    Read the ACLU’s reation to the Heller decision, for example. “Commentator” Keith Olbermann described the United States Supreme Court as “fascist” for the Heller Decision. That’s right, kids. NOT outlawing and confiscating the arms of private citizens, NOT kicking in their doors with the goon squad to take back their guns, THAT right there is FASCISM.


  9. NC: I agree that the qualification of enemy combatants at Guantanamo is difficult, but we need to figure out a different way to deal with it. As it stands there, neither international nor US law applied to detainees. This does not work. If you want to declare them enemy combatants, try them under US law (either for murder or manslaughter, or for conspiracy to commit murder or manslaughter), give them a jury trial, and provide evidence and transparency, that would be fine. International law would be a bit more difficult, because of their disassociation with government. But we are supposed to be the guiding light of democracy for the rest of the world, and that doesn’t really work if we’re indefinitely detaining people with no charges, no evidence, no trial, and no rights.

  10. According to the Laws of Land Warfare, they can be tried by a MILITARY tribunal (wherin they WOULD receive lawyers and a far fairer trial than they’d ever get in their home countries).

    Yet they seem to be intent on stopping these military courts from taking place, in direct conflict with our own established doctrine.

    I don’t know if there’s any legal precedent for giving such people a jury trial in an American civilian court.

    So I’m just as confused as anyone, frankly. The established laws of land warfare, as agreed upon internationally by both tradition and formal covenant, give the solution for what we should do with these guys. Catch them, interrogate them, then either release them or put them in front of the perscribed military tribunal in accordance with doctrine. They’d have lawyers and everything.

    Yet we haven’t been giving them the trials, they tried to do the military tribunals but then, if I recall correctly, it got shot down, on and on. If the military tribunals are so offensive to everyone’s legal sensibilities, why on earth has it been our doctrine for so long? The military does have lawyers that review this stuff.

    (I suspect the answer is because now it can be used for political gain. That, and our government is run by a bunch of jackasses who don’t understand our own laws, and don’t care to.)

  11. I read the first three pages of Steven’s dissent it took three beers and a martini to make my head stop hurting. I figure it’ll take a trip to thee whisky store to make it through.

  12. The problem with the military tribunals is that testimony garnered through coercion is admissible, as is hearsay and secret evidence (which is not shown to the defense). The defense cannot subpoena witnesses or documents to build its case, and in fact the defense counsel can be removed from the proceedings. Appeals are heard only by the executive branch, not by the courts. I wouldn’t have a problem with military tribunals if they constituted a fair and speedy trial. But they don’t. I realize that these people are not US citizens, and for those who are actually guilty of what they are accused of doing I have no sympathy. But it is the duty of the government and the military administration to follow some kind of law, be it domestic, international, or military (which historically has been in accordance with US law and subject to review by civilian courts, including the Supreme Court). As it stands, they were making their own law, and that is not acceptable.

  13. “(I suspect the answer is because now it can be used for political gain. That, and our government is run by a bunch of jackasses who don’t understand our own laws, and don’t care to.)”
    There it is.
    As far as I’m concerned, if they want to be martyrs for allah I’ll be glad to help. Then when they suddenly discover that their pedophile prophet lied about his “glory”, and they fall into that dark, fiery pit to find the “Angel of Light who is fallen” is their “god”, I just wish we had a camera that worked like that.

  14. If fascism is flouting the Constitution every which way possible, something the Bush Administration is dangerously toying with, then I don’t know what the hell Olbermann is smoking.

  15. I live in Chicago and couldn’t be happier with the decision. Believe it or not, there are some rational gun owners who do live here and who want nothing more than to be able to be armed at the very least..in our homes. As it stands now, even almost a week since the ruling, there is still a mandatory handgun ban in Chicago. This isn’t an outright “you can’t own one” ban..it’s a, “you can own a handgun, but it must be registered, but we won’t grant registration to you, therefore it’s an unregistered handgun, which is illegal” ban. Keep in mind cops don’t have to register their service weapons, and can take them home with them. If this registration BS was all about tracking stolen guns..why are they exempt?

    The entire ban drips of totalitarianism. The whole Us Vs. Them mentality, where we are “them” and we can’t be trusted by the government that’s supposedly run by us. How backasswards. I hope the entire thing falls like shit down a chute.

    People are starting to wake up to the fact that a gun ban has been in effect for 26 years, and crime continues..but it doesn’t usually happen in neighborhoods that are “good”..it happens in ones that are “bad.” maybe if we examine what makes them a poor place to live in the first place, we can get to the root of why people shoot each other. Guns are just tools, and time has shown that people get what they want regardless of laws in place to prevent them from doing so. Why should I be disarmed?

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