Be sure to vote, I am curious where most atheists stand on this issue.

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You're most welcome, Suzanne. Or as Latino friends say, de nada.

I find astounding your spirited interest in the issue. Do you have related responsibilities in your country?

I find it astounding that this is still being debated. What is the spirit of the law?

So many interpretations of the one sentence - the fact that it has to be debated in the Supreme Court, Mmmmm.....Militia - what is a militia - what is a militia in todays terms?

"Handguns are "Arms" and concluded that thus they may not be banned by the District of Columbia; however, they said that Second Amendment rights are subject to reasonable restrictions.

"The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" relates to the Militia of the States only. That the Second Amendment does not apply to the District, then, is, to me, an unavoidable conclusion.

The court rephrased the question to be decided as follows:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether the following provisions, D.C. Code §§ 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22–4504(a), and 7-2507.02, 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?

Then there is this -

The Stevens dissent seems to rest on four main points of disagreement: that the Founders would have made the individual right aspect of the Second Amendment express if that was what was intended; that the "militia" preamble and exact phrase "to keep and bear arms" demands the conclusion that the Second Amendment touches on state militia service only;

The Breyer dissent also objected to the "common use" distinction used by the majority to distinguish handguns from machineguns: "But what sense does this approach make? According to the majority’s reasoning, if Congress and the States lift restrictions on the possession and use of machineguns, and people buy machineguns to protect their homes, the Court will have to reverse course and find that the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect the individual self-defense-related right to possess a machine-gun...There is no basis for believing that the Framers intended such circular reasoning.

Court cases like this are always interesting, especially when the NRA are inolved -

Attorney Alan Gura, in a 2003 filing, used the term "sham litigation" to describe the NRA's attempts to have Parker (aka Heller) consolidated with its own case challenging the D.C. law. Gura also stated that "the NRA was adamant about not wanting the Supreme Court to hear the case.
The gun debate in America, generally goes around and around in circles - it is politically impossible to have any control of guns.

The NRA is involved, and will just keep on challenging any court decision. Does the NRA get contributions from the manufacturer's of guns? This is very big business, with so many people making a fortune out of gun sales, the fear they have instilled, the circular arguments in court, cannot be undone.

http://www.americansworking.com/guns.html

In the meantime people are scared, parents are scared, just in case a loony tune decides to shoot up some place. The schools, I get, kid bullied, so mows down teachers and students alike. I didn't understand the Movie Theatre shooting.

Americans also have to see it from an outsiders point of view. I am an Atheist, and I wanted to give my opinion. In Australia, the gun lobby is always pushing to change the laws, and also, keeps on going to court, but they lose.

My point is - American history is totally different to other countries of that era. Australia hasn't had a civil war, American against American - guns are prolific, and nobody is going to get rid of their guns - it is a mind frame that I personally don't want to see here.

@Tom - We, in lil' old Australia, get all the news, from politics, to gun control court cases, to gun shows. We have a shooters party here, who blackmailed the local government into giving them the rights to shoot feral animals in National Parks. The hikers, campers etc had no say. Blackmail works, and they also have a lot of money behind them. The blokes doing the shooting have no formal training, if they did, I wouldn't have a problem.

I know how easy it is for the average person in the street to lose control politically.
I also have an American Uncle, who moved his wife and three daughters to Canada, because of the amount of guns and random shootings that were going on, and he is a Republican. I also found the argument for guns is exactly the same as for theists. Ignore the statistics, be a tad sorry for the kids killed, maybe, but there you go, we must have our guns just in case of!!!!! Nothing will change, it is all too entrenched, just like theism.

But is has been fun - the insane thing, is that, America has such a huge influence on Australian children, they know more about America than they do their own country.

Australia is linked to America and England, if we like it or not.

I might get a gun, and shoot the next teenager I hear who says 'Like'. Aagghhh!

I also found the argument for guns is exactly the same as for theists. Ignore the statistics, be a tad sorry for the kids killed, maybe, but there you go, we must have our guns just in case of!!!!!

Ignore statistics? Please, Suzanne. These are Republicans. This is the NRA. When science makes your position look truly horrendous, simple ignorance won't do. It's time to break out the muzzles.

Before 1996 the US Centers for Disease Control kept statistics on public safety regarding everything from car crashes to chainsaws to firearms. But ever since 1996, thanks to the Republicans and NRA lobbyists, federal funding for scientific research on firearm safety and violence has virtually disappeared.

Study the impact of firearms on public safety at a population level in the United States? None of that. Stay Stupid, Stay Armed.

@Tom - You may be lucky and be in the four and not the one :)

@Unseen - Well, a disproportionat percentage of crimes are committed by blacks or hispanics, why not go ahead and draw similar sort of "safe" conclusion using the same sort of logic, namely that American blacks and Hispanics are among the most violent people on Earth?

Are not black Americans - Americans. Just for this discussion, I consider anybody who lives in America as American - I don't quantify of who is who, or who comes from where - all the same to me. You are the one who bought up colour or whatever, not me. I have no idea who or what colour commits what crime. Makes no difference to me. A dead person is a dead person, no matter what colour, wouldn't you say.

My point, which you seem at pains to miss, is that I can't base a sweeping generalization based on the behavior or attitudes of a minority. The same sort of flawed logic that allows one to draw the conclusion that "Americans are violent" can be used to conclude that "American racial minorities are violent." 

It's a kind of logic which is flawed and to be avoided. I offered my argument as a reductio ad absurdum

The Constitution is Prime Law and a living document (ie. it is changeable).

The 2nd Amendment is also Prime Law, it clearly establishes the "Right" of the "People" to own and carry weapons.  The 2nd Amendment does not require a standing militia only that the power to form a militia for the defense of their "State" resides with the "People" and their privately held arms.

Those of you don't like the consequences of a Free People having a Right to own and possess guns, then follow the correct path and change the Constitution  by enacting a new Amendment and having it properly ratified.

Otherwise your choice is to grin and bear it or move to Australia and hang out with Suzanne and her two dogs.

True, but in regards to a free people, property rights are paramount and as it is we don't even own the property in the US (except for parts of Texas) that the house we bought sits on. Hardly anyone has Allodial title on the land, either the "government" owns it outright or we rent it from them. Wish they would (as if they would) pass an amendment restoring allodial title rights to the common people. Hope you don't mind me changing the subject slightly.

Nah, I don't mind, change is good.

@Unseen - If I cheese somebody off with cancer say, or the flu, or diabetes, I know they are not going to kill me with said cancer, flu or diabetes.

@Gregg - Black markets will be a tad harder to find here, but it would be an interesting exercise. You would have to know where the crims hang out, then it shouldn't be too hard.

Just look for like minded people, who love their guns :)

I spent my youth walking shoulder to shoulder with those who kill the innocent, I can recognize them, they are to be feared.

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