I don't think I'll ever get over what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. This is domestic terrorism supported by the NRA and gun happy sociopathic conservatives (there's a lot of 'em), plain and simple. I tear up thinking of the horror those children must have felt in that classroom. The truth is, I can't control the amount of sadness and anger I feel now, and that scares me.
It was easy for conservatives to argue for the right of college students to carry weapons in school, but how does that work for kids? Some argued teachers should carry a fire arm, but what about all those teachers that don't? All of this talk is just a distraction from the real problem that will never be solved by adding more guns to the mix. More guns isn't working, is it?
Brad Blog posted this examination of the activist Roberts Court decision, District of Columbia vs Heller, which should open a few eyes, even the dead ones we often see staring at us when we're talking to conservatives:
The U.S. Supreme Court's hard right quintet's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller ("Heller") --- a 5-4 decision that ignored precedent, history and basic rules of constitutional interpretation. In his powerful dissent in Heller, Justice John Paul Stevens observed:
"The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature's authority to regulate private civilian uses."
The Second Amendment states [emphasis added]: "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."
What else can you say...?
Stevens excoriated the majority for treating the preamble of the Second Amendment relating to a "well regulated militia" as if it were mere surplusage. "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect." Marbury v. Madison (1803).
The first two clauses, "well regulated Militia" and "security of a free State" inform the meaning of the words "the people" in the third clause, Stevens proclaimed.
Stevens insisted that neither historical evidence nor the context of the language, taken as a whole, supports the conclusion that the Second Amendment was intended to secure to civilians the right to "keep and bear" arms for personal use. Indeed, he observed, quoting from the Oxford English dictionary, the words "bear arms" means "to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight."
Justice Stephen Breyer, in a separate dissent, added weight to the argument that the Second Amendment was never intended to prevent legislatures from passing gun control legislation "of great public importance, namely, saving lives, preventing injury, and reducing crime." He pointed out that, at the time the Second Amendment was passed, Boston, Philadelphia and New York had all placed restrictions on firing guns within city limits and had regulated "the storage of gunpowder, a necessary component of an operational fire arm."
For citizens, like those inside the crowded Aurora theater, there is a deadly difference between someone armed with an AR-15 assault rifle with a high-capacity, 100-round drum magazine capable of firing between 50-60 rounds/minute, even in semi-automatic mode, and what citizens in the 18th Century had to face in the form of a single-shot flintlock. If Holmes had been armed with an 18th Century flintlock, the unarmed but angry crowd could have subdued him long before he could load a second shot.
Democracy is achieved by ballots, not bullets. "The right to vote," MN Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson recently observed, "is an institutional way to peacefully revolt." That institutional form of revolt can be reinforced by peaceful, non-violent civil disobedience, even to the point of engaging in a general strike.