Breyer: Founding Fathers Would Have Allowed Restrictions on Guns

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by RunningOnMT, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    Justice Breyer needs to retire to a nice sunny clime where guns are not permitted. Cuba perhaps.


    Supreme Court
    Breyer: Founding Fathers Would Have Allowed Restrictions on Guns

    Published December 12, 2010
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    "If you look at the values and the historical record, you will see that the Founding Fathers never intended guns to go unregulated, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer contended Sunday".

    Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Breyer said history stands with the dissenters in the court's decision to overturn a Washington, D.C., handgun ban in the 2008 case "D.C. v. Heller."

    Breyer wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He said historians would side with him in the case because they have concluded that Founding Father James Madison was more worried that the Constitution may not be ratified than he was about granting individuals the right to bear arms.

    Madison "was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. 'That can't happen,' said Madison," said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison's priority as, "I've got to get this document ratified."

    Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.

    "If you're interested in history, and in this one history was important, then I think you do have to pay attention to the story," Breyer said. "If that was his motive historically, the dissenters were right. And I think more of the historians were with us."

    That being the case, and particularly since the Founding Fathers did not foresee how modern day would change individual behavior, government bodies can impose regulations on guns, Breyer concluded.

    In July 2008, the concurring opinion in "D.C. v. Heller" written by Justice Antonin Scalia and shared by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. found that the district's ban on handgun possession at home "violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense."

    The ruling raised concerns by dissenters like Breyer that gun laws nationwide would be thrown out. That has not happened yet.

    Breyer, who just published "Making Our Democracy Work," a book about the role of the court in American life, outlined his judicial philosophy as one in which the court must take a pragmatic approach in which it "should regard the Constitution as containing unwavering values that must be applied flexibly to ever-changing circumstances."

    Since the Founding Fathers could not foresee the impact of modern day communications and technology, the only option is to take the values of the Founding Fathers and apply them to today's challenges.

    "The difficult job in open cases where there is no clear answer is to take those values in this document, which all Americans hold, which do not change, and to apply them to a world that is ever changing," Breyer said. "It's not a matter of policy. It is a matter of what those framers intended."

    He suggested that those values and intentions mean that the Second Amendment allows for restrictions on the individual, including an all-out ban on handguns in the nation's capital.

    "We're acting as judges. If we're going to decide everything on the basis of history -- by the way, what is the scope of the right to keep and bear arms? Machine guns? Torpedoes? Handguns?" he asked. "Are you a sportsman? Do you like to shoot pistols at targets? Well, get on the subway and go to Maryland. There is no problem, I don't think, for anyone who really wants to have a gun."
  2. flintlock

    flintlock Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2007
    Upstate NY
    If the Judge were to retire at this time, just imagine who would be selected to replace him. One or the other Clinton? Or prehaps some other similarly unqualified political appointee.
    But I do agree with your sentiment on his retirement and it's location.

  3. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Breyer's is yet another iteration of the shift the paradigm argument the Left has been attempting for decades !! But the devils in the details, and Breyer completely ignores the #46 Federalist Papers where Madison explicity cited the boon of the private ownership of arms as separating America from the "kingdoms of Europe".......

    Methinks George Mason of the Commonwealth of Virginia would have Breyer at 'muzzle's end' in short order for his febrile accusations in an earlier era........

    Too many - and certainly the Left isn't going to note their mistake - think of the "Founding Fathers" those representatives the (former) colonies sent to Philadelphia to act in their behalf. What was exerted was the united will of a vast arrary of Americans ! And one of the key points in securing their support was inclusion of the second amendment because the representatives - and their constituencies - had a dread, (with plenty of examples extant in memory) of an overweaning centralized government telling them what to do... >MW
  4. swiftman

    swiftman Member

    Mar 6, 2006
    East Central Ill
    If Breyer's version of the second amendment had been in place back then , we would have no founding fathers, and there would not have been a revolution
  5. dge479

    dge479 New Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Haskell NJ
  6. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    I think the following pretty much addresses Justice Breyer's (mis)constructions of Constitutional Law.
    The Tenth Amendment:
    Breyer's statements are consistent with the concept our Consitution is a living document, by which is meant its amenable to multiple interpretations depending upon the exigencies of the moment ! No strict Constiutionalist will disagree its not a living document , hence our founders provision for means it may be altered to suit the will of the governed. Breyer and his philosophical ilk have not interest in the amendment process, as it doesn't serve their ends. Better, ITO, to have a pliable, amorphorous basis from which any form of tyranny can be imposed ! Control/abolition of the Second Amendment is just the first step ! >MW
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