Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama Individual Gun Right Bush-like?

All the media is talking about is how they observed Obama didn't "close" the nominee deal during the Democratic Debate.

Tim Russert: Looks into his ever-gushing with drama crystal ball - if Clinton wins Pennsylvania by 10 points, if Clinton wins PA big enough in a couple of states, if Clinton wins the popular vote from the remaining contests...

Say what? The numbers still don't add up for Hillary Clinton to overtake Obama in committed delegates, and in popular vote Obama remains 100,000 plus ahead. Hillary Clinton would have to take each remaining state by more than 50 percent to catch up to Obama almost in committed delegates.

It isn't that Hillary Clinton should drop out now, or if she wins by less than 10 percent in PA, or doesn't take even one more state from now til June. That isn't the point.

the point is the Democratic Party is looking more and more like it is willing to let the Clinton establishment, the Clinton political machine, destroy its own.

The longer Clinton continues despite the real numbers, the more the idea is floated she could pull the superdelegates necessary her way in some last minute revelation, the more fuel that gives to Clinton supporters and too-willing Republicans to raise the question: what does Hillary Clinton have on Barack Obama that we don't know about? What is Clinton keeping up her $1,000 silk jacket sleeve that she is with-holding now to play come June. Must be something, or why would she be so willing to destroy the Democratic Party?

Part 1 sub-topic

How long has the media known about Barack Obama's position or semi-position or interpretation on an individual right vs a collective right to bear arms expressed in the Second Amendment?

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Yet, where have all the questions been in the past 20 Democratic Presidential Debates, and follow-up questions during the Philadelphia debate about Obama's votes, pronouncements, and obviously flawed position.

The Second Amendment and all of the Bill of Rights presume "inherent" rights in those highlighted in the Bill of Rights. Identifying those for special notice was meant as a warning to government - do not intrude or infringe period. Yes, there are some qualifiers built-in, only in the way if one's right intrudes on another's right say the gun is used to maim or murder another individual, or one yell's fire in a theater when there is no fire... but the rights are ours, individually, period, end of sentence, no matter how "old-Englishy."

But at the heart of Obama's comment on the second amendment is the acknowledgement the Second Amendment guarantees an individual, not a collective, right.

It will be left to the US Supreme Court to interpret whether the individual right, should they acknowledge that exists, applies to self-protection (and hunting).

Will the Supreme Court recognize the individual right to self protection in one's home and in the public square? Will the Supreme Court exclude some form of firearms for self-protection and others for hunting, and semi-automatics as unnecessary for either?

Obama to Get the Dems 'Barack' into the Business of Gun Control
by Erich Pratt

Key votes Obama

President George W. Bush

Executive Branch Divided over Gun Rights
March 17, 2008
Stephen P. Halbrook

Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about whether the District of Columbia’s bans on possession of handguns, even in the home, and on having long guns functional for self-defense, violate the Constitution.

As the Court sees it in D.C. vs. Heller, the issue is whether those bans “violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes.”

The federal appeals court for D.C. held that it did.

After ignoring the Amendment since its ambiguous U.S. vs. Miller decision in 1939, the Court will decide whether the phrase “the right of the people” in the Second Amendment refers to the same “people” as in the First and Fourth Amendments, or only to government-selected militiamen.

It will also consider whether a “right” in the Bill of Rights refers to a real liberty, or is only rhetoric. Is the right to keep and bear arms on a par with the rights peaceably to assemble and against unreasonable search and seizure? Or is it void where prohibited by law?

Vice President Dick Cheney must have raised eyebrows in the Bush administration when, in his role as Senate President, he joined a record-breaking number of U.S. legislators in support of gun rights for residents of Washington, D.C.

This pivotal case has engendered scores of amicus briefs, including the brief I filed in favor of the respondent, D.C. resident Dick Heller. This brief brought together more members of Congress than has any other case in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Fifty-five senators and 250 members of the House of Representatives joined Cheney (who signed not as U.S. Vice President but as Senate President) in their conviction that the Second Amendment does protect individual handgun ownership.

President George W. Bush apparently disagrees with his executive branch partner. His administration’s Department of Justice filed their own amicus brief, but for the petitioner, District of Columbia. Appearing to sit on the fence, this brief does recognize that it’s an individual right to keep and bear arms that the Second Amendment was designed to protect, but it expresses this administration’s uncertainty as to whether the D.C. gun ban in particular violates that Amendment.

In stark contrast to the Bush administration’s ambivalence, for America’s Founders, the answer was obvious.

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