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Aclu

Discussion in 'Legal' started by svtruth, Aug 12, 2005.

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  1. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    I've asked this on another forum, but the more the merrier.
    The ACLU bases their anti gun ownership stance (policy #47 on their site) on an old SCOTUS ruling that the second Amendment refers not to an individual's right, but a collective one.
    Didn't the Supremes recently rule the other way, tha 2A refers to an individual right?
    Hoping someone here is better informed than I, Thanks in advance.
     
  2. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    My Not So Humble Opinion...

    A SSinine
    C ommunist
    L iars
    U nion
     
  3. Taurus 66

    Taurus 66 Member

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    The ACLU hasn't A Clu!
     
  4. boofus

    boofus Guest

    Anti-American Communist Lawyer's Union

    They are nothing but bloody hypocrites. My boss listens to that America hating pacifika crap on the radio and I have to put up with ACLU rants and ravings.

    When they 'quote' the Bill of Rights anyone that knows the real text will notice they leave out the section of the 1st that says 'nor prohibit free exercise [of religion]' and they skip the 2nd amendment completely.

    They are nothing but communist revisionists looking to undermine everything this country stands for.
     
  5. javafiend

    javafiend member

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    That's not quite what they ruled. The US vs. Miller decision in 1939 was a very narrow ruling. See Supreme Court Cases.
     
  6. Nazirite

    Nazirite Member

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    The ACLU wants a socialistic utopia, this will never happen unless the population is disarmed. They can’t get their way through legislation so they depend on the courts. Personally, I put them right besides the terrorists when considering how dangerous they are to the country. Instead of bombs or airplanes they use lawyers.
     
  7. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    How can a 'right' belong only to a group, yet exclude the individuals of that group? What is the definition of a group? What is its composition? Must the group be 'officially' recognized and by whom? Government? That would mean that government is the grantor and rescinder of rights, which is the collectivist/statist mindset, and in agreement with ACLU philosophy.

    We're back to the prior argument, where some of you maintained that rights do not exist absent of government sanction (seemingly in agreement with the ACLU).

    The exercise of anything that requires permission is not a right, it is a privilege.
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    To address the question instead of ranting off on the whether the ACLU is a good thing or not, Sorry, no. Here's their position from their website -



    "Why doesn't the ACLU support an individual's
    unlimited right to keep and bear arms?"

    BACKGROUND
    The ACLU has often been criticized for "ignoring the Second Amendment" and refusing to fight for the individual's right to own a gun or other weapons. This issue, however, has not been ignored by the ACLU. The national board has in fact debated and discussed the civil liberties aspects of the Second Amendment many times.

    We believe that the constitutional right to bear arms is primarily a collective one, intended mainly to protect the right of the states to maintain militias to assure their own freedom and security against the central government. In today's world, that idea is somewhat anachronistic and in any case would require weapons much more powerful than handguns or hunting rifles. The ACLU therefore believes that the Second Amendment does not confer an unlimited right upon individuals to own guns or other weapons nor does it prohibit reasonable regulation of gun ownership, such as licensing and registration.

    IN BRIEF
    The national ACLU is neutral on the issue of gun control. We believe that the Constitution contains no barriers to reasonable regulations of gun ownership. If we can license and register cars, we can license and register guns.

    Most opponents of gun control concede that the Second Amendment certainly does not guarantee an individual's right to own bazookas, missiles or nuclear warheads. Yet these, like rifles, pistols and even submachine guns, are arms.

    The question therefore is not whether to restrict arms ownership, but how much to restrict it. If that is a question left open by the Constitution, then it is a question for Congress to decide.

    ACLU POLICY
    "The ACLU agrees with the Supreme Court's long-standing interpretation of the Second Amendment [as set forth in the 1939 case, U.S. v. Miller] that the individual's right to bear arms applies only to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia. Except for lawful police and military purposes, the possession of weapons by individuals is not constitutionally protected. Therefore, there is no constitutional impediment to the regulation of firearms." --Policy #47

    ARGUMENTS, FACTS, QUOTES

    "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."
    The Second Amendment to the Constitution

    "Since the Second Amendment. . . applies only to the right of the State to
    maintain a militia and not to the individual's right to bear arms, there
    can be no serious claim to any express constitutional right to possess a firearm."


    U.S. v. Warin (6th Circuit, 1976)

    Unless the Constitution protects the individual's right to own all kinds of arms, there is no principled way to oppose reasonable restrictions on handguns, Uzis or semi-automatic rifles.

    If indeed the Second Amendment provides an absolute, constitutional protection for the right to bear arms in order to preserve the power of the people to resist government tyranny, then it must allow individuals to possess bazookas, torpedoes, SCUD missiles and even nuclear warheads, for they, like handguns, rifles and M-16s, are arms. Moreover, it is hard to imagine any serious resistance to the military without such arms. Yet few, if any, would argue that the Second Amendment gives individuals the unlimited right to own any weapons they please. But as soon as we allow governmental regulation of any weapons, we have broken the dam of Constitutional protection. Once that dam is broken, we are not talking about whether the government can constitutionally restrict arms, but rather what constitutes a reasonable restriction.

    The 1939 case U.S. v. Miller is the only modern case in which the Supreme Court has addressed this issue. A unanimous Court ruled that the Second Amendment must be interpreted as intending to guarantee the states' rights to maintain and train a militia. "In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a shotgun having a barrel of less than 18 inches in length at this time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument," the Court said.

    In subsequent years, the Court has refused to address the issue. It routinely denies cert. to almost all Second Amendment cases. In 1983, for example, it let stand a 7th Circuit decision upholding an ordinance in Morton Grove, Illinois, which banned possession of handguns within its borders. The case, Quilici v. Morton Grove 695 F.2d 261 (7th Cir. 1982), cert. denied 464 U.S. 863 (1983), is considered by many to be the most important modern gun control case.

    In short - The SCOTUS has not recently ruled that the 2nd is an individual right and the ACLU works from the Miller decision which was a collective rights decision instead of an individual right decision. It would be marvelous if a case would come before them that was based on such a clear principal, but unlikely. As a result the ACLU still has the position that the 2nd is not an individual right.

    As an aside - It would be interesting to see the SCOTUS make a clear interpretation of the 2nd Ammendment to the Constitution of the United States and then see the ACLU defend the pro gun rights proponents, some of which would probably rather end up in prison than have the ACLU defend them.
     
  9. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    In short, no. You may be thinking of the recent statement out of the Attorney General's office asserting that RKBA is an individual, rather than a collective right, but that doesn't have the force of law or jurisprudence.
     
  10. boofus

    boofus Guest

    But S.397 DOES have the force of law once it is passed by the House and signed by W.

    SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds the following:

    (1) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    (2) The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the rights of individuals, including those who are not members of a militia or engaged in military service or training, to keep and bear arms.

    :D
     
  11. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    :what:

    I haven't felt this stupid in years. I had no idea that language was in S.397. This is what I get for only skimming the bill, I suppose. I was in support of it before because it just makes sense to not hold manufacturers liable for what people do with their legal products, I didn't realize it also took such a significant step forward for RKBA in this country.

    If this passes the House, it opens the door for a direct attack on both Miller and the closing of the machine gun registry (I don't think one could realistically succeed in arguing that the tax and registration are themselves infringements, but the closing of the registry is obviously such an infringement).
     
  12. Vang

    Vang Member

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    I am a little surprised that people here attack the ACLU so strongly. They are very useful for the defense of many of our liberties, they just have a ridiculous position on the 2nd. That said, they don't actively attack gun possession, they just don't do anything to defend it.

    Nazirite, how in the world do you think the ACLU wants a "socialist utopia?" That's just libel.
     
  13. Rebar

    Rebar member

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    The ACLU has an agenda, a hard-left agenda, and they only take cases that advance that agenda. Their stance on the 2nd amendment, their attacks on Christians, and their crusade to destroy the Boy Scouts, clearly shows this.
     
  14. Vang

    Vang Member

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    Their refusal to take 2nd amendment cases is the only objectionable item on that list.

    Attacks on state-religion blending (of any kind; the ACLU often attacks very small rights violations) will appear to be attacks on Christians. When's the last time you saw Muslim symbols in government?

    The only problem with the Boy Scouts is that they have federal funding. When one gets federal funds, one has obligations beyond what one would have if one was not.

    Other than cases involving the 2nd (which, while disappointing, is likely done to please their donors), what cases does the ACLU refuse to take because of their politics?
     
  15. boofus

    boofus Guest

    They refuse to acknowledge that free exercise of religion means exactly that. If 100 students want to pray and 1 person doesn't. Then 99 people should pray and 1 person twiddle their thumbs. Not have 100 people banned from prayer.

    Listen to some of their spokespeople talk on some of the commie radio stations and you will see their true agenda and hypocrisy. They routinely censor out sections of the Bill of Rights that they do not agree with.
     
  16. Vang

    Vang Member

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    On their website, they specifically list what rights violations they are concerned with. They dont' claim to protect all of our liberties. I'm fine with that, they protect many of my liberties, for which I am grateful.

    I think you have mis-construed some of their cases regarding pray in schools. School sponsorship of prayer, even student led prayer, is what they attack, not praying in general.
     
  17. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    They support Affirmative Action.

    That policy alone gives the lie to all the high-manded idealism they spout about equality and freedom and civil liberties.
     
  18. Telperion

    Telperion Member

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    Vang-

    They sat on their hands in the Kelo v. New London case. In fact, on the "Issues" column on their home page, I can't find an entry for "property rights". Certainly nothing there for "right to keep and bear arms".

    From their "About us" page, the ACLU bills itself as "our nation's guardian of liberty" and describes its mission as to "conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights". Yet it is clear there are some elements of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that they do not support.
     
  19. Mongo the Mutterer

    Mongo the Mutterer Member

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    I support Affirmative Action as well.

    My plan has five magazines.
     
  20. Vang

    Vang Member

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    I do not like Affirmative Action as a policy.

    I do agree with the former posters that the ACLU has a leftist agenda, but I do not take that as a negative, considering that protection of my right to speech is a leftist idea, among other things (as well as crap like Affirmative Action, unfortunately).

    That said, their position is that they are protecting liberties. I'm not quite sure we could say they are attempting to restrict my Constitional liberties with support of Affirmative Action.
    ---
    Telperion: Wow. I just checked their site. You're right, and that's very depressing. I was considering giving them money next year, and now I will not. Thanks for pointing that out.

    I'm much less inclined to defend them now that it's clear there are two issues they ignore. I'm not quite sure what that suggests about them, but it isn't good.

    Everything below the line was editen in after I saw Telperion's post, which I did not see when I wrote the original.
     
  21. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    This kind of torturous twisting of logic is exactly why I can’t co-exist with leftists. How does allowing someone the exercise of their constitutional right to prayer become ‘sponsorship’?

    And why don’t the Boy Scouts have the right to freedom of association?

    No. They do exactly the opposite. Impede individual liberties.
     
  22. Vang

    Vang Member

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    It's not twisted logic. Suppose the school makes time for a prayer at the beginning of a football game. Assume that a student leads a prayer at this time. The school is sponsoring the student's prayer by making a specific time for it.

    RileyMC: Read my edit. That said, I fail to see how their defense of many of the amendments (1st, 4th) is an impedement to individual rights.
     
  23. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Member

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    To the original point of this thread:

    My reaction to the ACLU's RKBA stance is that they apparently didn't want to deal with it, so they looked for an excuse to ignore it. When they found an argument that seemed to let them dismiss the RKBA and move onto other issues, they adopted it without much thought.

    Their position more of a mindless copout and less a legal interpretation ...

    ... much less.

    The ACLU's RKBA stance actually runs counter to their original tactics. The ACLU made their name attacking and bringing down supposedly "settled law." Yet, on the RKBA they wash their hands of it with the excuse that it's "settled law."
     
  24. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    From the ACLU's "about" page (with thanks to Telperion for the link):
    This is in direct contravention to their stance on Affirmative Action, which specifically demands that race and sex be regarded in employment decisions.
     
  25. Control Group

    Control Group Member

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    Given their ongoing activism against Tasers, I strongly suspect that the ACLU's position is based on being against RKBA more than it is on being uninvolved with it. I acknowledge the possibility that I'm simply taking my general distaste for the organization and generalizing it into unfounded assumptions. You could be right.

    Either way, of course, their stated rationalization is neither legally nor ethically sound, so I suppose their intent doesn't particularly matter.
     
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