Multicolored Lemur

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Atheist / Agnostic
Nov 23, 2021
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Friday, June 14, 2024 —

“The Supreme Court on Friday invalidated a federal rule enacted during the Trump administration that outlawed bump stocks, devices that greatly increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons. . . ”

“ . . Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the opinion of the court, which split along ideological lines. Justice Sonia Sotomayor read her dissenting opinion from the bench.. . ”

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“ . . Thomas' majority opinion was highly technical, delving into the mechanics and components of a semi-automatic weapon. It included several graphics showing how the firearms operate.

“The court ultimately concluded that for a semi-automatic rifle outfitted with a bump stock, the trigger must be released and reengaged to fire each additional shot, actions that differentiate it from a machine gun, in which a shooter can fire continuously by engaging the trigger once.”

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In a dissenting opinion joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sotomayor stressed that a rifle equipped with a bump stock can fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute and wrote that the textual evidence presented shows that a bump-stock-outfitted weapon is a machine gun. . “

“‘The majority's reading flies in the face of this court's standard tools of statutory interpretation,’ Sotomayor wrote. ‘By casting aside the statute's ordinary meaning both at the time of its enactment and today, the majority eviscerates Congress's regulation of machine guns and enables gun users and manufacturers to circumvent federal law.’

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“ . . In a concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito also put the onus on Congress and said the tragedy in Las Vegas bolstered the case for amending the 1934 law, the National Firearms Act. . “

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Okay, alright, why didn’t the Supreme Court remand the case back to a lower court expressing so doubts, and thereby giving Congress a heads-up and a chance to amend that 1934 law?

Obviously, I like the Supreme Court. You can tell by the number of threads I do on them. But this decision takes a lot of the fun out of it.
 
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“The case did not involve the Second Amendment, but was one of several before the justices this term involving federal regulatory power.”

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So, it’s a fiddlesticks decision.

Toward the end of their yearly term, the Supreme Court is using their limited time diving into arcane, technical details? Yes, they are.

Maybe it’s peacock behavior in which they’re saying, Look at me, Look at me! Rolling back federal regulation is so important that we’re willing to risk a likely number of human fatalities.
 
I'm sort of a gun person and I have disagreed with people that have labelled semi-automatics (even those with bump stocks) as being automatic weapon or "machine guns". This especially happens after a mass shooting. They two categories of guns are not the same!

So naturally, I was curious about why or how the ATF defined guns with bump-stocks to be machine guns. Found this explanation on their site, ATF says,
On December 18, 2018, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker announced that the Department of Justice has amended the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), clarifying that bump stocks fall within the definition of “machinegun” under federal law, as such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.

The final rule clarifies that the definition of “machinegun” in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and National Firearms Act (NFA) includes
bump-stock-type devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.

Okay, alright, why didn’t the Supreme Court remand the case back to a lower court expressing so doubts, and thereby giving Congress a heads-up and a chance to amend that 1934 law?
Yes, agreed. Congress should've been in the picture from the beginning and that would've avoided this ban reversal.

I am more open on this though as I don't think these weapons should be banned, but rather they should be heavily restricted. Their use would have to be heavily restricted, as well, like being able to use it only during times of war or mass violent rioting, like on the scale we see on the movie The Purge.
 
Their use would have to be heavily restricted, as well, like being able to use it only during times of war or mass violent rioting, like on the scale we see on the movie The Purge.
You seem to like exceptions as much as I do! :p

A law professor write an article entitled something like— Why hard cases make bad law. And I think his point was, don’t try to hardwire in every decision. Just let a judge and/or jury be able to make exceptions.

In a similar way, there is the “necessity defense.” For example, if I steal a car to rush someone to the hospital, I’m not guilty of a criminal offense. Now, civilly, I still think I’m responsible for damages to the vehicle and probably the person’s scheduled day.
 
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You seem to like exceptions as much as I do!
With the exception of their being clear guidelines or rules for the exceptions.:)
That way it doesn't seem too selective, and it can serve as a guard against preferential treatment.
 
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