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Federal appeals court upholds Massachusetts ban on the sale of certain assault weapons

People are using large-capcity, semi-automatic weapons to commit mass murders, not protect themselves at home, a federal appeals court said yesterday, upholding the way Massachusetts bans the sale of certain assault weapons.

The decision, by the Court of Appeals for the First Circut in Boston, once again drives home the point that the Second Amendment does not grant an absolute right to own any sort of gun whatsoever. It comes just two days after a federal judge in Boston declined to overturn a man's gun conviction despite his arguments he had a Second Amendment right to own a gun without a state license - and the ruling upholds a federal judge's decision last year to uphold the Massachusetts list of weaponry that is banned for sale here.

In its opinion, the appeals court said the ban, which Healey moved to widen in 2016, is acceptable under the Supreme Court's Heller decision, which explicitly stated for the first time that Americans have the right to own guns, but which also said states could place reasonable restrictions on them:

The Court added that the Second Amendment does not confer "a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose."

At issue was state Attorney General Maura Healey's determination that the law let her extend the ban to weapons that were not explicitly mentioned in a state list of forbidden weapons but which her office had determined were basically copies of weapons on the list. When she announced that, she promptly got sued by a group of gun manufacturers and owners.

The appeals court concluded that in the Heller decision, the Supreme Court made personal self defense, especially in the home, one of its lodestones for determining whether a weapon was valid under the Second Amendment.

The appeals court noted, more than once, the state law does not ban all semiautomatic assault weapons and that the ones it does ban " do not share the features that make handguns well-suited to self-defense in the home," such as being easily accessible or even able to be used with one hand by a homeowner who is dialing the police with another. The court contrasted such heavy weaponry with lightweight stun guns, which Massachusetts also tried to ban but which the Supreme Court said were allowed by the Second Amendment.

The court said:

In fact, when asked directly, not one of the plaintiffs or their six experts could identify even a single example of the use of an assault weapon for home self-defense, nor could they identify even a single example of a self-defense episode in which ten or more shots were fired. Viewed as a whole, the record suggests that wielding the proscribed weapons for self-defense within the home is tantamount to using a sledgehammer to crack open the shell of a peanut. Thus, we conclude that the Act does not heavily burden the core Second Amendment right of self-defense within the home.

If that is the case, is there a compelling reason for the state to apply regulations to certain weapons? The court said there is:

We have said before, and today reaffirm, that "few interests are more central to a state government than protecting the safety and well-being of its citizens." Gould, 907 F.3d at 673. Since Massachusetts indubitably "has compelling governmental interests in both public safety and crime prevention," id., the only question that remains is whether the Act is substantially related to those interests. The answer to this question depends on whether the fit between those interests and the Act is reasonable.

The record contains ample evidence of the unique dangers posed by the proscribed weapons. Semiautomatic assault weapons permit a shooter to fire multiple rounds very quickly, allowing him to hit more victims in a shorter period of time. LCMs [large-capacity magazines] exacerbate this danger, allowing the shooter to fire more bullets without stopping to reload. Cf. Heller II, 670 F.3d at 1264 (noting that "the 2 or 3 second pause during which a criminal reloads his firearm can be of critical benefit to law enforcement" (internal quotation marks omitted)). It is, therefore, not surprising that AR-15s equipped with LCMs have been the weapons of choice in many of the deadliest mass shootings in recent history, including horrific events in Pittsburgh (2018), Parkland (2018), Las Vegas (2017), Sutherland Springs (2017), Orlando (2016), Newtown (2012), and Aurora (2012).

The court concluded:

Here, the Massachusetts legislature's conclusion that the Commonwealth's legitimate interests are best served by proscribing semiautomatic assault weapons and LCMs rests on substantial (although not incontrovertible) evidence regarding the inordinate dangers associated with the proscribed weapons. What is more, it strains credulity to argue that the fit between the Act and the asserted governmental interest is unreasonable. As we have said, the Act does not outlaw all semiautomatic firearms and magazines. Nor does it circumscribe in any way the fundamental right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to possess handguns in their homes for self-defense. Accordingly, we hold that although the Act may well "touch[] the right to keep and bear arms," Miller, 307 U.S. at 182, it does not impermissibly intrude upon that right because it withstands intermediate scrutiny. ...

This case concerns an issue of paramount importance. In the wake of increasingly frequent acts of mass violence committed with semiautomatic assault weapons and LCMs, the interests of state and local governments in regulating the possession and use of such weapons are entitled to great weight. Even so, we recognize that such interests must be balanced against the time-honored right of individuals to bear arms in self-defense — a right that is protected in varying degrees by the Second Amendment. Holding this delicate balance steady and true is difficult but necessary work. Here, we find that even if the Act implicates the core of the Second Amendment right, it (at most) minimally burdens that right. Consequently, we are obliged to cede some degree of deference to the decision of the Massachusetts legislature about how best to regulate the possession and use of the proscribed weapons.

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Comments

Expect this to be overturned by the SCOTUS.

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Voting closed 12

So the ruling claims that because the state has an overriding interest in preventing violence (agreed), AND proscribed assault weapons can be used to commit crimes (true, but with a big caveat), AND the plaintiffs could not name a single instance of AR-15 being used for home defense (read on), then it's OK to ban that subset of weapons.

Well, here's a problem.
1. Most crimes and homicides are committed with pistols. If the state were to try to ban pistols under the same reasoning, it would run afoul of the 'not used for self defense' smell test in this ruling.

2. In Sutherland Springs, Texas, the shooter was confronted by a dude who had his own AR. Technically that wasn't in the home, so the needle is very narrow indeed. If you expand the scope to beyond Massachusetts, you probably would find more instances of AR15s being used for self defense and home defense.

3. If you can come up with instances of self defense or home defense involving AR15s and/or more-than-ten-round magazines (like the ruling making it's way through west coast federal courts right now), then you've turned this ruling on its head. Judge Benitez in California specifically overturned California's magazine capacity limits citing specifically their use in home defense scenarios.

So this ruling may not age well.

Notwithstanding...how is Healey exactly getting away with interpreting a law where the standard for a banned weapon is its configuration and not the interchangeability of its parts with weapons in banned configurations?

This looks like a case of a judge looking for reasons to come to a preferred conclusion. Again...for the sake of the rule of law...this shouldn't age well. Or the state legislature can clarify what it means by 'copies or duplicates' and thread an even narrower needle since any semiautomatic rifle (of which there are many) can be modified to have enough banned features to be illegal under the two-feature test in the 1994 federal AWB and the 1998 Massachusetts AWB.

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Voting closed 11

I'm more worried about federal courts deciding that flimsy "intermediate scrutiny" is appropriate for a core natural right identified in the Bill of Rights rather than "strict scrutiny" which has traditionally been applied.

This is the kind of weaseling by courts that one saw in Jim Crow states to curb the Civil Rights of minorities up through the 1960s.

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Voting closed 16

I think the AR-15 used in most random shootings is used because of pure terror and violence, and that is what lawmakers want to stop. I'm guessing here, but most victims of handgun violence in this state are criminals themselves who wouldn't have been shot if they simply weren't criminals (empirical evidence only there). Then there are accidents, suicides, domestic violence incidents, robberies gone wrong, and innocent bystanders,

That may not have been their reasoning in writing, but I'm guessing that is what they are getting at.

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Voting closed 5

You, me, and everyone else who cares to study the issue, knows that one can do plenty of horrible things without a scary black rifle. And if the scary black rifle disappears, the crazies will move on to other things...like pressure cookers, ball bearings, and perfectly-legal-just-about-anywhere explosives purchased over time in small quantities.

Does it make it harder? Don't know. Rare events committed by rare people. Hard to say how many would be dissuaded, if any. If I'm crazy enough to try to kill people for no reason at all, and if I don't expect anyone to be shooting back, is there a reason for me to have second thoughts because all I've got is a Glock with a 10 round magazine? Or a Mini-14 that shoots the same bullet out of the same barrel as an AR, but is a little slower to reload? Virginia Tech was attacked by one man with one handgun and 50 rounds of ammo he bought that morning.

If this reasoning were backed by sound numbers, I might be more willing to concede the point that some people shouldn't have some guns. But then if you're too dangerous to be trusted with an AR...why would we trust you with a Mini 14, or a Glock, or a Beretta Storm, or for that matter...why the hell would we not lock you up for our own safety?

This is where I like Mass gun laws. You have to prove you're not dangerous, and then you get your "I am a responsible citizen" card that lets you buy...well it should let you buy anything, but it doesn't, and that's where I don't like Mass gun laws.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure our AWB is not even close to the only reason we haven't had a mass shooting around here that I can recall.

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Voting closed 9

You can kill people in a lot of ways. But it is pretty clear that most of the recent random shootings were done by a specific type of firearm. You probably know as well as I do how hard it can be to shoot a moving target (or even someone at close range) with a handgun. I believe that is part of the reason these killers don't use handguns (except for VA Tech). Most are done by people who are afraid to be outgunned and caught, so they use something (long gun) where they have complete control of a situation and can kill much easier.

And just the nature of a semi automatic long gun like an AR-15 will tell you that banning it would reduce the number of victims in these random killings. If the VA Tech guy had an AR-15 more people would have died, you can admit that.

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Voting closed 5

Just like more people would have died had he had a Mini-14, or a few extra 10-round mags for his pistol.

Interestingly, in Virginia you need a special kind of license of possess a scary black rifle. So while he could have just walked into a store and bought a pistol, he would have had more hoops to jump through to obtain an AR15. Not sure about any other kind of semiautomatic rifle.

My point: don't ban the guns. Ban idiots from getting guns.

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Voting closed 3

Roman, so you agree with regulation.

But will you accept personal responsibility when people who are not idiots acquire guns and use them to kill others?

By the way, how do you define idiot? Where law is concerned it matters to be precise.

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Voting closed 1

what I did say was that Massachusetts regulations are too onerous to the point of infringement.

I will accept responsibility for my own misbehavior. I will not accept responsibilities for other people's misbehavior. If I have no valid reason to suspect other people of having criminal intent, I will not accept responsibility for my interactions with those people.

How would I define an idiot? For the purpose of firearms licensing, the Massachusetts standard is a pretty good one: have two law-abiding citizens vouch for your good character, have no history of violent or threatening behavior, and demonstrate proficiency at safe handling and marksmanship.

Once you pass that smell test...it should all be wide open. But it isn't. And that's my objection.

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Voting closed 2

High-velocity weapons like the AR-15 does much, much more damage. Google "cavitation".

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Same round.

Same barrel.

Same potential for injury.

Same rule: don't point it at people.

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Why it's Roman moving the goalposts again!

Handguns vs. AR-15, Roman. Try to keep up.

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Or are we confused again?

Healey decided that anything with any part interchangeable with any AR-15 is illegal, but the Mini-14 isn't illegal. The actual standard in the law is the configuration of the weapon, not what parts it has in common with what. There is a reference to "copies or duplicates" that can be interpreted ambiguously, but taken in concert with Healey's own declaration that an M1 or a Mini-14 is legal despite them being available outside of Massachusetts in banned configuraitons, one can only conclude that under the same standard an AR-15 with a fixed stock and unthreaded barrel should also be legal.

The ruling we're discussing here ignores that argument (not sure which of the plaintiffs these are, and which arguments they made as there a couple of suits over this working their way through the courts), and says AR15 bad because lethality.

The Mini-14 is capable of inflicting the same damage by virtue of firing the same bullet through the same length barrel.

Yet Healey specifically said it's legal in her enforcement notice.

The M1 fires a bigger bullet through a longer barrel.

Yet Healey specifically said it's legal in her enforcement notice.

All of these things cannot all be true at once.

Where's the mental disconnect?

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Voting closed 1

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.

The Amendment clearly states that the right exists in the keeping and bearing Arms, within the context of a well regulated Militia, for the purpose of a secure free State. If the Amendment was to declare that owning guns is a right then it would have been written and ratified with those words.

There is no absolute right concerning weapons of death. Even Scalia, whose interpretation was biased by his own emotionally violent nature, could not completely stop from stating the truth and agreed that this so-called right was still subject to regulation.

Massachusetts chooses to regulate those death devices that can not be justified. While one or two examples where a weapon of mass destruction may have stopped a robbery, those few examples pale in comparison to the mass murders caused by high powered death devices.

It is hard to study the history of the Constitution. The idea of rights itself is relatively new in the history of human beings. The 1st Amendment declares that there are fundamental natural rights. If unregulated ownership of guns was a natural right then that would have been included in the 1st Amendment. The 2nd Amendment was put into the Constitution for the purpose of assuring that citizens could arm themselves for the purpose of protection from invaders. In other words when organized as a militia. While Congress passed a law a few decades ago defining a militia to include everyone that was a cowardly attempt to pervert and distort the meaning of the word.

Among natural rights there is a right of self-defense. But the ownership of guns was not equated to self-defense. Guns are a means of self-defense; simply owning them was never considered a right. In other words just as cars can be regulated so can guns. Both are devices that ostensibly serve purposes. Although there is NO justification for owing guns that can easily be used to commit mass murder.

Further, if the writers of the national Constitution wanted to express the idea that individuals have a right to owning guns, without qualification, they would have done so. Some states includes a direct expression of that idea. But the national Constitution clearly and specifically makes ownership of guns subordinate to a "well regulated Militia."

Given that the conservative makeup of the Supreme Court treats the Constitution and laws as an a la carte menu, which they pick and choose according to their sentiments and prejudices - without care for law, or the primary rights found in the 1st Amendment - their decisions are suspect. The fact that Supreme Court judges use poor reasoning and bigotry to base the decisions, and that some of them are men who practice sexual harassment of women, and who exempt themselves from basic laws, anything they declare has to be taken with a ton of salt.

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Voting closed 10

1. ANY firearm can be used to commit mass murder. So can any car or truck. It's the murdering that's illegal, not any tool that might facilitate the crime.

2. Read the Declaration. And the 10th Amendment. And the supremacy clause. And the 14th Amendment. Your rights are not circumscribed by the 1st Amendment or the 2nd or any of them. You have the right to self defense and to property by virtue of sucking down oxygen, not because those rights are enumerated in a list somewhere. And restrictions placed on government from infringing on your rights apply to all governments subordinate to the Constitution.

3. Again with the paranoia. Do you really believe Kavanaugh was hosting rape parties as a kid or are you just unconsciously repeating a meme?

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Voting closed 12

Read the history of human rights. In the span of human writings the idea of rights for the average person is new. The Declaration states the we each have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A plague of gun abuse cancels out life. Look at the attack of a synagogue today. Or a synagogue last year. Or a gay bar a few years ago.

In referencing the 10the you must agree that the Commonwealth has rights reserved to it. We can argue that the Commonwealth government has the right to protect its citizens when the federal government abandons protection of the citizenry.

Reread the 2nd Amendment. Read it again. Read it everyday. One day you may notice that the amendment begins by referring to a Militia. Learn about the history of human rights. It is accepted that self-defense is a right. If the writers of the Constitution believed that each person has an outright right to own guns they would have written that. They didn't. The fact that they actually addressed the issue of guns and made ownership subordinate to participation in a Militia proves that the 2nd Amendment is NOT an outright declaration of a right to own devices designed to kill.

There is a category of objects called burglarious tools. Possessing those tools support conviction of a burglary. Yet the tools are normally used in very legal activities. Cars and trucks exist primarily for the purpose of transportation.

Guns exist to maim and kill. No other reason. That makes them qualitatively different from hammers, screwdrivers, cars and trucks.

Kavanaugh showed up to his most important hearing drunk. He was belligerent and hostile. What was he hiding? Just as Trump is belligerent in order hide his crimes I believe Kavanaugh chose belligerence (helped by some liquid courage) to shut down the Kabuki play of a hearing. McConnell would have broken the legs of his confederates if enough were going to vote against Kavanaugh.

However, no one said that Kavanaugh was hosting rape parties.He was accused of sexual assault. Or do you have information indicating that he hosted a rape party?

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Voting closed 6

Constitution believed that each person has an outright right to own guns they would have written that.

They did write it.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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Voting closed 10

I guess I should add this.....

You can add a lot of things before "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Zebras make great guard pets, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Holding a 9mm sideways is retarded foolish, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Guns are icky, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

We founding fathers hate guns so very much and think they should all be thrown into some nerd pit forever like the Sarlac Pit or the Mordor volcano or something and everyone should have a picture of Don Knotts as Barney Fife in their house to remember how foolish gun possesion is, The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

And so on.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

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Voting closed 3

was "retarded "

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Voting closed 4

isn't always the wrong way to hold a firearm.

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Voting closed 2

The 2nd Amendment again,

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.

To play the game of word substitution is disingenuous to the point of lying. Yes I am saying that your statement is a lie. The writers of the Amendment wrote what we see. If you want to debate the first phrase then hop on a time machine and go back a couple of hundred years. Otherwise playing games with words just creates lies.

I think that you realize that the first phrase of the statement is, "A well regulated militia..." But because it is inconvenient to the ideology and emotional need of owing guns you pretend that it is irrelevant. Yet there are facts and not alternative facts. The words are there. If you don't like the words of the 2nd Amendment then petition for a new Constitution Amendment that specifically states that the words, "A well regulated militia...." are meaningless. The Constitution has been modified with an Amendment and then modified again to revoke that Amendment. So there is the precedent for using the United States Constitution to amend the United State Constitution.

If you don't the Constitution then, oh well, it is what we are stuck with.

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Voting closed 2

We "infringe" on that right every day. You can't own nuclear warheads, you have to get permits to bear arms, you have to have your background checked before you can keep arms, there are numerous modifications you can't make to your arms and so on and so on...

It's all about where we choose to set the limits as a society. Arms has a broad definition that's amenable to change over time. Keeping and bearing those arms is amenable to change over time. Whether your right is actually being infringed upon is amenable to change over time.

The Constitution is a set of definable guidelines, not a suicide pact.

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Voting closed 4

If most people who apply pass their background checks and most people who might want to apply for a permit are issued one, you have a strong case that nothing is infringed upon. Right now, zero private citizens who "apply for a permit for a new AR-15" in Massachusetts can get one. That's infringement.

Nukes?

Well, that's your trump card isn't it?

The smallest nuclear warhead that you can build that will still go boom weighs hundreds of pounds. If nothing else, those wouldn't be issued to a militiaman for reason of weight alone. And if we define arms in the context of militia, nukes aren't arms.

You can't hug your children with nuclear arms.

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Voting closed 1

No. It's not.

That's the point. Society has defined it as not being infringement in the same way that owning a fully automatic weapon isn't infringement.

We could write laws that say you have to pass numerous checks, store your weapon at a highly qualified gun range run by the state in a secured vault, only be able to purchase ammunition at that gun range and can't leave the grounds with it, and otherwise not own a gun.

That can be interpreted as not infringing. You can still buy, own, and use a gun. That could meet society's acceptable definition of keeping and bearing arms. It's not up to you, or me. It's up to all of us and what we're willing accept as to the point of our guidelines.

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Voting closed 1

If you wanted to do any of that, you would need to amend the Constitution to enable you to pass laws like that.

Rule of law does not mean rule by majority or rule by consensus in the moment; it means rule by majority and consensus over time. That time goes back to when the rules governing our society were laid down. And it means including the original meaning of those rules, not the fad interpretation of the moment.

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Voting closed 0

That's the dumbest interpretation of the Constitution I've ever heard. It's originalism to its maximal outcome. The authors of the Constitution couldn't even fathom electricity let alone what "arms" might entail these days. If you want to be that strict of an originalist, then the only thing we have to give you to meet the Second Amendment is a musket.

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Voting closed 1

Knives are designed to rip open flesh.

Sledge hammers are designed to pulverize whatever they hit.

Guns are designed to propel a small projectile at a high speed.

Gasoline, ethanol, kerosene are made to burn hot.

If you choose to direct any of these tools to the task of harming your fellow man, then you are thr one who has committed an offense. Not the person who made the instrument in question.

If you have a right to self defense but not the right to implements useful for self defense, you have no rights. If you have a right to speech and press, but no right to own a typewriter then you have no right. If you have a right to peaceable assembly but any assembly is ruled unpeaceacle since it has a small probability of breaking out into a riot, you have no right.

As for the rape parties: one Ms Julie Sweatnick was all over the air waves with that one. She was supposed to have also been "credible".

You're a little worked up an belligerent sounding yourself. Maybe you're drunk. Or maybe you're not. But I bet you'd be something other than a paragon of cool if youd just been accused of hosting rape parties when you were in high school.

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Voting closed 7

Knives are designed to rip open flesh.
Sledge hammers are designed to pulverize whatever they hit.
Guns are designed to propel a small projectile at a high speed.
Gasoline, ethanol, kerosene are made to burn hot.

There could be a valid argument in the rest of the post (e.g. "guns don't kill people, people kill people" etc), but this list seems somewhat intentionally obtuse. Knifes are designed to cut ... vegetables, wire, rope, etc. (you could argue a hunting or boning knife is designed to cut flesh but that's not what you wrote). Sledge hammers are also used to break up drywall, stones, etc. Gasoline etc can run camping stoves, cars, or rockets.

Guns may "propel a small projectile at a high speed" but I'd probably get arrested trying to play marbles with one. Few daily household or home remodeling projects go better with gun in the Massachusetts in 2019 (thank goodness), unless you count nail guns. (Talking about the design of nail guns or circular saws or other tools that can maim you might be interesting but probably really off-topic)

Now you could argue guns can be used for purposes other than to maim, e.g. to hunt, shoot skeet, and shoot targets; but the article is about the badly defined "assault weapon", which is generally understood to be designed for "assault". BUT, that said, "assault weapons" are poorly defined ... which is kind of the whole point of the court case, in a way.

Sorry for the semi-rant. I just get annoyed by the somewhat poor rephrasing of an argument that news "commentators" (and heck the fox in Zootopia, I suppose - "always respond with a question and then answer THAT question") often use.

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Voting closed 5

They fail because knives, fire, etc. are not objects or phenomena that exist with the intention of killing people. Hand guns were invented with the intention of killing people.

Conflating anything that can kill a person with an object designed to kill is disengenuous.

The attempt at analogy by tying Freedom of Speech to typewriters fails. Typewriters did not exist when the Constitution was written. The reference to Freedom of Speech as also a direct statement. It was not the painfully tortured 2nd Amendment which could have been written as a direct statement of a right - if that was the desire of the writers. But they didn't.

Hard to get around the obvious I realize.

Your defense of Kavanaugh's drunken and belligerent behavior fails. As a person considered for one of the highest positions of the land his character is what was examined in the hearing. Regardless of the accusation he had an obligation to act like a sober human being. He chose otherwise. Perhaps you are not familiar with the rules of judicial behavior. They are written down. Showing up drunk and acting with hostility and belligerence would get any judge slapped down if the Senate committee as a whole was voting on the basis of who is a good judge, not on the basis of what Mitch McConnell commanded his servants to vote.

By the way, ending your statement with an ad hominem attack doesn't enhance your credibility.

Nevertheless thank you for providing examples of how much supporters of the false interpretation of the 2nd Amendment will twist and turn to deny that the 2nd Amendment is not about a right for individuals to own guns JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT to own them. In other words, "A well regulated Militia...."

The sad thing is that I figure most folks would agree that having a fire arm in their home is okay when the intention is self-defense. But that would include mandatory training with a certification. That would include a variety of regulations to prevent the many accidental deaths due to fire arms. Today that might also include electronics that make use of a weapon dependent on entering a passcode.

Just as Trump, McConnell and Scalia are or were temporary intrusions of moral disease into the body politic so is the addiction to guns. Eventually most people will treat guns sanely and safely. Assault rifles will be banned. Greater restrictions will be placed upon gun ownership. Safety and protection will truly be put ahead of the pleasure and lust for owning devices that exist only to kill.

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Voting closed 7

.By the way, ending your statement with an ad hominem attack doesn't enhance your credibility.

...Couldn't agree with you more. Trouble is you don't seem to agree with yourself...

Just as Trump, McConnell and Scalia are or were temporary intrusions of moral disease into the body politic

As I've stated before, I'm all for universal mandatory firearms training. Ghetto marksmanship is responsible for a lot of dead kids walking to school. So is "I 'accidentally' shot my mother while cleaning my loaded gun."

As for electronic locks...that's science fiction. Safety is and always has between the ears.

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Voting closed 2

A gun can be easily equipped with electronics that prevent shooting it. Smart guns exist. They might be easy to overcome but at least they can prevent accidental maiming and deaths when children get hold a gun. Children getting hold of a gun? Yup.

Legislation banning all but smart guns could at least put an impediment between shooters and the use of guns.

Your ad hominem attack of me is quantitatively different from my references to Trump, McConnell and Scalia. Trump is obviously a man who believes that chaos, lies, disruption and pain for others is how he wants the world to spin. He is an emotional sadist; he is evil. If you like him then please say so. Anyone who likes Trump is either evil a fool or evil themself.

McConnell prevented the lawful nomination and consideration to the Supreme Court. He violated the spirit of the Constitution. In my opinion he violated the Constitution.

Scalia lied. He pretended that the first phrase of the 2nd Amendment was a throw away preface which had no meaning.

The writers of the Constitution weighed each word. Each word was weighed in the conflict between a north that was becoming industrial and south that was fundamentally agrarian. Each word was weighed against states that legalized the greatest sin and horror of human kind - slavery - against states where the people were realizing that slavery was and is a horror.

If they wanted the 2nd Amendment to mean that each person has a right to own firearms that is what they would have written.

Ghetto marksmanship? Thanks for the revelation. Do you mean Jewish ghettos of black ghettos? Ghetto as in neighborhoods that are not just poor, but are places where good white people avoid for fear of their death? I think that makes clear where you are coming from.

Scalia was not just a bigot (he hated Gays) but supported the ability to kill. Using the term ghetto - as it has come to mean today - indicates a belief that inhabitants of a ghetto are subhuman (that is what NAZIs and Italians believed concerning Jews). And "smart guns" are real. They are not science fiction.

What amazes me is that on a day when easy access to guns results in another attempt at mass murder in a religious location there is still support of easy gun ownership.

Each human being shifts between good and bad. Supporting gun ownership as though it is a natural right that existed from the first day that a human being woke up leans toward evil.

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Voting closed 2

I'm from Philadelphia. Ghetto marksmanship means little kids losing their lives to stray bullets because

1. People think nothing of trying to settle arguments with violence
2. They have bad aim

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Voting closed 2

If the Amendment was to declare that owning guns is a right then it would have been written and ratified with those words.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Not the militia. The people.

The right of the people.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms.

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Voting closed 1

This canard again.

Look. The militia is all citizens of fighting age. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, that meant, with some fiddling around the upper and lower bounds, all males between 16 and 60, Quakers and clergy excepted. Most states (e.g. MA) *required* the militia to own serviceable military weapons and ammunition, and to present themselves at regular intervals for training.

"Well-regulated" here means nothing more than orderly. The sort of order that comes from regular practice at arms, individually, and corporately, as citizens did at the time.

The first clause merely explains the reasoning for the second. Because a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. They must have those arms to drill regularly and achieve a high level of proficiency so that the militia will be "well-regulated" when called upon.

After watching a bunch of nobodies with AK-47s tie down the world's only superpower for decades in Vietnam and Afghanistan you would think that this would be totally beyond debate -- power flows from the barrel of a gun. The founders wanted the American people to have that power as a check on foreign aggression and domestic tyranny. I assure you that the founders had not forgotten Lexington and Concord -- where their revolution started when the British army came for their guns.

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Two points:

1)"a bunch of nobodies with AK-47s" only tied down the world's only superpower because said superpower didn't want to win the war on the terms that it was winnable. Don't extrapolate that to a fallacious belief in the inevitable victory of the citizen-soldier; this is real life, not a Heinlein novel.

2)This ain't "well-regulated" by any definition.

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istan and declared victory but I don't think anybody would have wanted to.

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Lowell's own General Curtis LeMay said of Vietnam, "Nuke 'em back to the stone age." Had he still been alive, he would probably have advocated the same for Afghanistan.

LeMay ran for Vice-President as George Wallace's running mate.

Also, in Dr. Strangelove:

The character of Gen. Buck Turgidson (George C. Scott) was patterned after the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Gen. Curtis LeMay, who was renowned for his extreme anti-Communist views and who once stated that he would not be afraid to start a nuclear war with the Soviet Union if he was elected president.

He loved those atomic bombs.

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1) And yet, here are three real-life examples not drawn from a Heinlein novel, two in living memory. There are many more in history.

I do not see where I claimed victory was inevitable for citizen soldiers. On the other hand, I think it's safe to say that the record for disarmed subjects is pretty grim.

2) I struggle to see what is not well-regulated about the group in that article. They drill regularly, and can apparently hit what they're aiming at. They seem to have officers, a code of conduct, and rules of engagement. You may not like them, or disagree with them about politics, but it doesn't mean they aren't well-regulated. Just like the rest of the constitution, the second amendment is also for citizens that you dislike.

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Now people will just go buy the same rifle with a fixed max, in the exact same capacity (10) until Healy decides she doesn't like that, and changes the rules yet again.

I wish Healey would place as much thought and coverage on the countless cases of repeat gun offenders being allowed to walk and re-offend.

Repeat illegal gun offenders and illegal pistols are the real issue, not "assault weapons'

Adam, why don't you research how many gun murders in MA or nationally are committed with "assault weapons" vs handguns.

And for all of the non-gun owners on here. The cap limit in MA is 10 for pistols / rifles - and has been. So Healy banning a certain rifle for the way it "looks" is rediculous, when other rifles and pistols hold the same amount of rounds.

People fighting he in court have every right to do so, and a good reason. Because what is to stop her from taking away the 10 round cap next, and so on.

Supreme Court needs to set this right.

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