Shirley Ringo: A path to gun safety?

In today’s Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Former Dem. Idaho State Rep. Shirley Ringo imparts her wisdom about gun control: 

As individual justices on the U.S. Supreme Court change, along with the prevailing attitudes in the country, the nature of Court decisions varies. Some are revisited with different results. An example is Brown v. Board of Education, where the Court declared laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional. Hence the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson, allowing segregation in schools, was overturned.
It is now time for the Court to revisit the intent of the Second Amendment: “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.”

Does this say that the individual has a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, prohibiting regulation related to this individual right? Alternatively, did the framers of this amendment just intend to protect the states’ rights to self-defense? Legal scholars have debated the question of whether the framing of the Second Amendment was directed to the individual or to the collective right of the state.

In 1939, the Supreme Court supported the “collective rights” interpretation. That stood until 2008, when the Court ruled (5-4) in District of Columbia vs. Heller that the Second Amendment extends gun ownership rights to individuals. By a razor-thin margin the 2008 Court made an enormous change in the application of the Second Amendment.

The consequences of this unfortunate decision have been tragic. There are certain weapons intended for warfare – the states’ rights to self defense. An individual’s needs do not require such weapons, despite the NRA political leaders’ opinion that we would be safer if everyone carried an AK-47. I hope this matter once again comes before the Supreme Court. Until then, we must find a legislative path to gun safety. Too many lives have been lost.

Much is easily picked apart here. But let me start with the big ones: 

  • So, we’re to assume that the entire Bill of Rights are individual rights: expect for the 2nd Amendment? How convenient for the progressives. 
  • The 1939 Supreme Court Case “United States v. Miller” was considered a “win” by gun rights advocates. 

Gun rights advocates claim this case as a victory because they interpret it to state that ownership of weapons for efficiency or preservation of a well-regulated militia unit of the present day is specifically protected. Furthermore, such advocates frequently point out that short-barreled shotguns have been commonly used in warfare, and the statement made by the judges indicates that they were not made aware of this. Because the defense did not appear, there was arguably no way for judges to know otherwise. Two of the justices involved in the decision had prior military experience, Justice Black as a Captain in the field artillery during WWI and Justice Frankfurter as a Major in the Army legal service; however, there is no way to know if they were personally aware of the use of shotguns by American troops. During WWI, between 30,000 and 40,000 short-barreled pump-action shotguns were purchased by the US Ordnance Department and saw service in the trenches and for guarding German prisoners.

Via the Moscow-Pullman Daily News

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