Good News and Bad News

There’s good news and bad news in the major news stories of today. The good news includes the continuing thaw in relations with North Korea. They’ve delivered their report on their nuclear program; we’ve removed sanctions; China participated in the negotiations actively and constructively. We’ve been snookered by the North Koreans before but it’s hard for me to see a downside in this.

Domestically, I think that at the very least the clarification that the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller brought to the issue of gun ownership and that the Court rendered their decision in the general direction of individual rights is good news, too. The Court hasn’t eliminated the ability of states and municipalities to regulate handgun ownership but it has effectively eliminated outright bans. The best coverage of this, as always, is at SCOTUSBlog.

There’s plenty of bad news too. There’s been an uptick in violence in Iraq:

BAGHDAD — Two insurgent bomb blasts struck at pro-American Iraqi targets in Anbar province just west of Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul on Thursday, and the police said at least 30 people were killed and 80 wounded.

Iraqi police officials said three American marines were among the dead in the Anbar attack, which came just as the American military command was preparing to hand control of the province, once considered the hotbed of the insurgency, over to Iraqi forces.

The bombings extended a pattern of multiple-casualty attacks in recent days that are clearly intended to kill local Iraqi leaders, in particular those who are believed to have collaborated with American forces against insurgents.

This is a grim reminder that although there’s been progress there it will be a long, long time before we can confidently remove our forces from the country.

Domestically, the price of oil hitting $140 a barrel suggests that more increases in the price of gasoline at the pump are in our future. Bad news for most of us.

4 comments… add one
  • Hello Dave. I concur in your good and bad news, but comment just to let you know that Heller, as of today, only applies to the federal government and federal jurisdictions, which would include D.C. Scalia wrote that whether the Second Amendment limitations also apply to states is an open question as of yet, though he implied that it likely would. Certainly precedent supports such a holding, but the particular question of whether the Second Amenment applies to states was not raised in Heller, which only took on D.C. law. Not all of the Bill of Rights does apply to states. I wish the court had decided the question, because I fear that after Nov., a reconstituted and highly activist Court might answer that question in the negative.

  • Now, Dave. You know as well as I know that more guns equal more crime. I mean take Vermont, my own home state. The most lax gun laws in the nation (concealed carry permit:not required) and incredibly famous for it’s out of control violence, skyrocketing crime rate and maple syrup.

    The whole issue of gun control, beyond being unconstitutional, is simply counterintuitive. It’s a convenient political vehicle for left wing lawmakers to dodge the core issues behind decaying societies. A bit like a doctor admonishing that if you’d simply stop sneezing you wouldn’t have a cold.

  • PD Shaw Link

    GW: Incorparating federal rights (i.e., eroding state’s rights) has never been a particular bugaboo of the left end of the court. I predict it will happen with more support than this opinion had.

    The main issue is that Scalia’s opinion and analysis have probably legitimized most forms of regulation based upon analogies to colonial era rules that limited who could hold guns, what kind of guns, where guns could be carried and how carried.

  • PD Shaw Link

    The interesting issue to me, mentioned by Scotusblog, is the national security issue. It’s not clear why the Second Amendment applies to the District of Columbia. There are numerous SCOTUS cases that explain that the full panoply of Constitutional rights do not apply to U.S. administered territories, as well as the District of Columbia. This was argued in the lower court, but I still don’t sense that there is a clear answer.

    It’s not that I believe the SCOTUS will give military detainees the right to bear arms, but the manner in which rights are identified in federally administered territories would offer some clues as to what Constitutional protections detainees enjoy. That the issue was not mentioned, is interesting . . .

Leave a Comment