Thursday, December 12, 2002

John sends this essay that summarizes and documents a number of inaccuracies in Judge Reinhardt's 9th Circuit anti-gun decision. The blogs have been piling on, and shown what a dishonest jerk Reinhardt is. The decision has blatant lies, and quotes that are snipped out of context so as to reverse the meaning of the quotes.

Predictably, the usual liberal newspapers have praised the decision.

The essay understates the case against Reinhardt. One little problem I have with the essay is that it says:
The problem with Judge Reinhardt's analysis is that the Miller Court's discussion clearly centered on whether a particular shotgun with specific dimensions (a sawed-off shotgun) had a relationship to the preservation of a well-regulated militia, with the answer being no. This is an exceedingly narrow ruling, ...

The ruling is actually narrower than that. The defendants did not show up, and did not present any arguments about usage of the gun in question. The court refused to take judicial notice on the matter, and remanded it to the lower court. Here is what the 1939 US v Miller decision says:
No appearance for appellees. ...
In the absence of any evidence ..., we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument. Certainly it is not within judicial notice ...
We are unable to accept the conclusion of the court below and the challenged judgment must be reversed. The cause will be remanded for further proceedings.

The idea here is that some people thought that a sawed-off shotgun is some sort of gangster gun that has no legitimate use. In reality, short-barrelled shotguns were used in World War I and the defendants might have presented such arguments, if they had bothered to show up. The court didn't know. (Most people don't know; even most gun enthusiasts don't know.) All the SC was saying was that the 2A does not protect guns that have no legitimate purpose. Charleton Heston and the NRA would agree.

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