Stunning: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens Doesn't Understand Difference between Machine Guns and Semi-automatic guns

This C-SPAN clip shows Justice Paul Stevens explaining that since the Supreme Court recognizes the right of the federal government to ban machine guns, it is possible for the "automatic weapons" used in mass shootings in the US.
Justice Stevens: "the 2nd Amendment provides no obstacle to regulations prohibiting the sort of automatic weapons used in the tragic multiple killings in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona in recent years."
The reference that Stevens is making at the beginning of the clip is to Justice Scalia's opinion in Heller stating:
That would be a startling reading of the opinion, since it would mean that the National Firearms Act’s restrictions on machineguns (not challenged in Miller) might be unconstitutional, machineguns being useful in warfare in 1939. We think that Miller’s “ordinary military equipment” language must be read in tandem with what comes after: “[O]rdinarily when called for [militia] service [able-bodied] men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. The traditional militia was formed from a pool of men bringing arms “in common use at the time” for lawful purposes like self-defense. . . .  We therefore read Miller to say only that the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns. . . . 
Obviously, this argument can't be made to semi-automatic weapons such as those used in the very attacks that Justice Stevens discusses for the very reason that semi-automatic weapons are indeed typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.

How could Stevens write an opinion in the Heller case without him having a clue about the types of weapons that he was writing about?

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Blogger Chas said...

The right to bear arms means that no one goes to prison, or even gets arrested, for bearing arms - because it’s a right, not a crime.
So, how does "gun possession" constitute a crime? It doesn't, but we've been conned by leftists with a communist control agenda that is at odds with the US Constitution. They've made endless rationalizations over the years to justify their long list of infringements, all of which are specifically prohibited by the Second Amendment‘s guarantee, “…shall not be infringed“. They have lied to us about our right to bear arms. We need to stand up to them.

10/30/2013 3:57 PM  
Blogger RS said...

Lawyers don't know everything.
They just think they do.

10/30/2013 4:11 PM  
Blogger Greg Tag said...

Simply because a jurist has been appointed to the Supreme Court does not make him an expert in a particular field. The absolute hubris that is evident in this circumstance is appalling.

Would he would be willing to rule on a case involving the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 without knowing the difference between arbitration and mediation?

The good Justice never even developed an understanding of the subject matter, yet proposed to tell the rest of us what the law was.

10/30/2013 5:53 PM  
Blogger Thomas O. Meehan said...

This highlights a wider phenomenon. The leadership class is very innocent of the world that affords them a living. How much could either Barack Obama or Katherine Sebeleius actually know about how a large organization actually works? The judges who mandate policies upon us never presided over anything larger than their old law practices. From the academy to the legal profession to high finance, no body in charge knows how things are actually done.

10/30/2013 9:01 PM  
Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Geez, it seems that U.S. v Miller once again rears it's ugly head.

In the Miller case, Miller himself was dead, and no attorneys were even present to argue Miller's side which involved the use of a short barelled shotgun.

Miller’s “ordinary military equipment", was all about the shotgun, and was completely wrong as the U.S. Army at the time the case was argued, had over 30,000 "Trench Shotguns" in the inventory. These were Winchester Model 12 short barreled shotguns that were modified to utilize the M1917 Enfield Bayonet. They also had barrel shrouds (heat protection) as well.

'Dumbing Down of the Courts' is such a polite way of putting it!

Congress has the authority to create law that ensures that judges have to follow the Constitution to a 'T' in conjunction with the Constitution's wording that clearly says that said constitution is the supreme law, and judges must follow it (Article 6, section 2).


11/01/2013 1:45 PM  

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