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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Shooting At Paper Comment
    Gregory Morris, 8/10/07 8:43:59 am
    One of my best friends (a liberal lawyer) and I recently had a little game of back-and-forth email, where we were discussing the Second Amendment. She's pretty much in the "you have the right, but why would you want a gun?" camp.

    Anyway, I mentioned how fun shooting holes in paper was (also why semi-autos are a good thing), and this was her response:
    i don't doubt that shooting paper at the range is fun, and probably more with a semi than with whatever a non-automatic is called. but it's not protected by the constitution.


    That got me thinking. My response was:
    The constitution is only there to say explicitly what the government can and can't do. Since me shooting paper isn't mentioned, and it doesn't fall under the federal government's jurisdiction (interstate commerce? no?) to legislate shooting at paper, I would argue it is covered by the 9th Amendment. Granted, the government may say "you may not shoot at paper in a downtown parking lot", for exactly the same reasons they can say "you may not shout 'fire' in a crowded theater." There is clear precedent of reasonable limitation on rights... but the courts have always held that they must lean towards being less restrictive.


    I just wonder who is actually right. I mean, I think she's implying that because the constitution doesn't explicitly protect shooting holes in paper, that it cannot implicitly protect it. But there are numerous examples of the courts reading between the lines... take Roe v. Wade for example. Nothing in the constitution about abortion, but the court ruled it is protected. Then again, she's a lawyer... she's actually taken classes on constitutional law.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

    Re: Shooting At Paper
    thorn, 8/16/07 8:09:37 pm
    You're correct - almost.

    Shooting holes in paper isn't an explicit right mentioned in the Constitution, so one could argue that our right to shoot holes in paper is protected by the Constitution. Although the 9th clearly states that the enumeration is not meant to say that other rights don't exist, the 9th also does not say that the govt is forbidden from further deciding what citizens are and are not allowed to do.

    However, I submit that nearly everything was a right at some point - until a lawmaker decided it wasn't. People often compare firearms to cars, stating that guns are a "right"and driving is a "privilege". Thats quite true, but driving was indeed a right until a group of lawmakers turned it into a privilege.

    So she's right, in terms of believing the courts can deny you the ability to do certain activities... but you're correct as well - while the Constitution doesn't give you the specific right to eat food, you enjoy that right for the present.
    < "Stupid Hippy"
    "Not All Freds Are Awesome" >


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