Colorado gun battle has moved to court

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As Thursday’s editorial (“Colorado gun battle has moved to court”) implies, the core legal question presented by the County Sheriffs’ lawsuit is whether Colorado’s newly-effective “gun laws” in any way “infringe” on the Second Amendment.  If not, the lowest level of legal scrutiny requires only a “rational basis” for constitutionality.

In Heller, our Supreme Court held that denial of the individual right to “keep and bear” handguns for self-defense was unconstitutional, but reaffirmed that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited” and does not preclude prohibitions on the possession of “dangerous and unusual weapons”.

Moreover, while the Second Amendment protects at least some citizens’ right to “keep and bear” at least some kinds of firearms (at least for self defense), it is entirely silent as to both the acquisition and design of “arms” and as to quantities of ammunition – perhaps because our “Founders” had no knowledge of any firearms capable of discharging more than one round without cumbersome reloading. 

Therefore, because both background checks and bans on machine guns and “cop killer” bullets have already been deemed constitutional, our courts should conclude that neither expanded background checks nor a 15-round magazine capacity limit violates the Second Amendment.

Consequently, Colorado’s new “gun laws” need only further a “legitimate governmental interest” – even if only marginally ameliorating a legislatively-perceived threat to public safety and/or to law enforcement officers (as with machine guns and “cop killer” bullets)—and need not “have any substantial effect on preventing future mass-murder attacks”.

Indeed, such attacks may not be preventable at all – since most are perpetrated by clearly demented individuals arguably enabled by our culture of gun violence.  But each such attack refocuses lawmakers’ attention on the broader implications and effects of that pervasive “gun culture” and affords an opportune occasion to proactively counter them.

I have found that very best way to keep someone from shooting at you is to shoot back at them or let the thought of that possibility in their mind guide their actions.

Dear Virginia:

You have just exposed the Achilles Heel of the gun culture.  If you are a Black female in Florida who discharges a warning shot to scare off her abusive ex-husband, you get 20 years in prison.

Under “Stand Your Ground”, once you have deliberately established that you are “armed and dangerous”, anyone who “fears” you can shoot you first and ask questions later.

gun control means hitting the target three times in a row. Should you feel intimidated by that “choice”, you should find another way to defend yourself. The pestilence of being afraid of those that would pursue, invade, rob, or otherwise threaten you should have an easy time at your home. “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” I have a Vietnamese battle axe if you prefer?

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