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A river in Egypt

Paul Helmke on the Chicago Gun Case:

[It is] “unlikely to have much practical impact on most gun laws regardless of how the Court rules.”

Wishful thinking or denial? Why, it’s like how Heller had no effect, right? I mean, it’s not like you guys purged all the collective rights you’d been fabricating for the last few years from your website or anything like that, right?

11 Responses to “A river in Egypt”

  1. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    Paul Helmke was the dumbest man to ever enter Indiana politics.

    It is good that he left Indiana and now works for the Brady Bunch. Both Indiana and the Bradys have had their collective IQs raised.

  2. JJR Says:

    I heard him say this on NPR last night, and the whole tone of the NPR story was very dismissive and downplayed the significance of the Chicago case. They got the basic facts right, but they certainly didn’t interview anyone from the NRA, or Alan Gura, or David Koppel, et. al. Their basic summary was that however the Supreme Court decides, it probably wouldn’t have much impact on the country as a whole. They did state that places which have a total ban like Chicago might not pass constitutional muster, but that was the most they were willing to say.

  3. Chas Says:

    Unfortunately, Helmke is correct. Heller allows for “reasonable restrictions” which means that the right to keep and bear arms can continue to be infringed. You know “infringement”; it’s what the Second Amendment specifically prohibits.
    Heller didnít give the antiís what they wanted, but it did give the anti’s much of what they needed – an interpretation that allows for infringement.
    With Heller, the Second Amendment might as well say “shall be infringed” because infringement is what we’re going to get. Gun possession is likely to remain a crime and infringement the norm, as long as we have a Supreme Court that thinks it can do whatever it wants to do with the law. They looked at a prohibition against infringement and said that it allows infringement. That’s where we’re at. Helmke will likely be using his mailing list forever, for anti-gun rights fundraising to push through “reasonable restrictions”.
    Unfortunately, Helmke is not in denial, he’s merely being realistic about what he has to work with, and unfortunately, he still has far too much to work with. Heís not going to be wearing a paper hat and making French fries any time soon.

  4. Weer'd Beard Says:

    Somewhere Paul Helmke called to his secretary: “Fetch me my Brown Pants!”

    He’s just trying to look brave in the face of an unwinnable battle.

    He gets paid far too much to admit that his goose is cooked and his paychecks will soon stop, and he may have to get an honest job…like helping poorly dressed pimps launder prostitution money from an underage brothel.

  5. Sebastian Says:

    I had a comment typed out here, but decided to turn it into a post. I think all the pessimism is misplaced.

  6. Monty Says:

    I think there is a thread of truth in the notion that the case wont have much ‘practical impact’ on specific gun laws. But what it most likely will do is lay the foundation for later cases that will have direct impact on those laws.

    Heller recognized the individual right protected by the 2nd Amendment

    The Chicago case will incorporate against the states

    The cases following incorporation will chip away at unreasonably restrictive gun laws

    2nd Amendment activists are persuing a gradual and hopefully very effective strategy of incremental challanges, there isn’t going to be one decisive case, but a string of small victories.

  7. Loki7154 Says:

    “They looked at a prohibition against infringement and said that it allows infringement.”

    But this is the case with EVERY absolute prohibition in the constitution. Look at the first amendment–freedom of speech except for when it’s not (pornography, shouting “fire” in a crowded theater, etc). Fourth amendment. Fifth. Sixth. The reason is simple–it’s often the case that two absolutes in the constitution (or so-called natural rights) are in direct conflict with one-another. For example, sometimes someone’s right to speak might be at a place that makes it highly likely to cause violence or civil unrest. So the Court allows time, place, and manner restrictions on speech–but you can’t discriminate against the speech because of its content.

    In short, yes, there are going to be “infringements,” but with any luck they’ll be the type typically applied to the bill of rights. The history of the bill of rights protections is that their protections have been increasingly broadened. This is a Good Thing, folks. And a greater amount of case-law on the matter discussing what is and what isn’t a permissible restriction means that you’ll have more uniform and predictable laws from state to state, just as you do now with the first amendment. Don’t make a defeat out of a victory–Heller was good for the 2nd Amendment. As long as this case goes against Chicago, this case will be good for the 2nd Amendment.

  8. mariner Says:

    I hope Monty is right but I fear he won’t be.

    The Supreme Court is flatly unwilling to hold the Federal Government to its Constitutional boundaries, and that is not likely to change.

  9. RAH Says:

    Incorporation not only affects the states but localities also. Cities, towns, counties. parks etc. The ramification will be felt for years as gun rights push against numerous local restrictions.

    California will be effected big time. Guess what I could argue that ammo restrictions will be against the 2A and that will stick.

    Most states have the 2A in their constitutions but do allow local autonomy. This will change locals trying to restrict in their jurisdictions.

    I can see ranges uses Heller and incorporation to push back against range restrictions.

    The lack of imagination of what the Heller and Incorporation will lead to amazing.

  10. Kim du Toit Says:

    Looks like we much-derided Prags are actually getting somewhere, whereas the All-Or-Nothing Brigade are continuing to get… nothing.

    OF COURSE our Second rights are being infringed. The way to win is to chip away at the infringements (starting with the big ones and then moving on to the little ones), in the same way (but in reverse order) as they were implemented.

    The way NOT to win is to say, “Well, if it still allows for some infringement, we shouldn’t support it at all.”

    One day, most states will have Vermont-style carry laws — but it will be in the future, and after a lot of hard work (and the occasional setback). Final result will be a win — but we’ll probably never be able to buy AK-47s online from Amazon, and we’ll just have to live with that.

  11. Kim du Toit Says:

    One more thought: Alan Gura, in Heller, didn’t touch the issue of gun registration, and a lot of gun owners were soured by that. But I see the Massachusetts Supremes have agreed to look at MA’s registration laws, and there is a chance that the laws will be overturned or at least severely modified (from “may issue” to “must issue”, perhaps).

    We ARE going to win this battle, as long as we keep our eyes on the prize and are determined, and patient.

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