Article: San Jose Police Chief: Too Many Guns In U.S., Gun Control Needed

Stryker

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I always love these kind of lines:

One aspect that I find interesting is that the Second Amendment was adopted in the late 1700s. I wonder if today’s modern weaponry were available then, if that amendment would look the same. I suspect not.

I am sure he would be willing to give up his bulletproof vest, car, handguns, etc. so that his department was more in-line with 1700's policing
 

GM-GUY

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Once they get the 2nd re-interpreted to 1700's law - how long till the 1st, 4th and the rest get the same treatment? Kerry already wants the media to stop reporting terrorism. Cell phones weren't around in 1700 so the govt can snoop as they please.

You get the idea.
 

vicorjh

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"We feel our protocol of “Run, Hide, Defend (Fight)” is the best way to survive campus violence..." I'm guessing the "defend" portion of his protocol must refer to the use of sharpened no.2 pencils?
 
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With 5 million+ Civilian AR-style rifles in circulation it is America's rifle and EXACTLY the rifle that our forefathers would want us to have in the modern era.
 

calsdad

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Why is it that people ALWAYS miss the underlying point of the second amendment?

Both the people who are against it - and the people who are supposed to be for it?

The point of the second amendment is so that the PEOPLE can defend themselves from the GOVERNMENT. The type of firearms is NOT RELEVANT.

If the police and the Army are willing to go back to using muskets - then we can go back to using similar firearms. If the police want us to stop arming ourselves so heavily - maybe they ought to sit down with their masters (the government) - and ask themselves WHY?

And just for the record - when the British Redcoats were using muskets - many of the colonial militia had RIFLES. So they were in effect armed BETTER than the soldiers they were fighting.

The second amendment has NOTHING to do with the quality of the weaponary available to the common man.
 

Horrible

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One aspect that I find interesting is that the Second Amendment was adopted in the late 1700s. I wonder if today’s modern weaponry were available then, if that amendment would look the same. I suspect not.

I wonder if today's elected officials and police chiefs violated their oaths of office back then what the result would be?
 
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JCF, the argument of "1700's technology" is so obsurd that in it self warrants an equally absurd comment:
 
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Another "I agree with the right to bear arms" BUT argument. Then goes philosophical on 1700s weaponry? Zero credibility.
 
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With ghost gunner all these morons can shove their gun control up their a***es, poop it out and flush it down the toilet.
 
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I'm here. That's all you need to know...
I equally believe in the limitations that have been placed by our legislature
...at least get the branches correct...[rolleyes]


I would not object to having a dialogue regarding access to a weapon if all reasonable means have failed and death or serious injury was imminent on a school campus

Isn't "death or serious injury imminent" kinda the definition of a campus or mass shooting event?

what a maroon-
 
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I always love these kind of lines:


I am sure he would be willing to give up his bulletproof vest, car, handguns, etc. so that his department was more in-line with 1700's policing

Not to be a dick, but if he was facing 1700's criminals and weaponry, he probably would. Not an accurate comparison.
 
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his police department needs to to “acknowledge … [our] badge didn’t always stand for what it stands for today.”

Absolutely right. At one time the badge was worn by men who wanted to protect society and improve it. Now it is worn by uniformed tax collectors who extort and/or steal money from citizens at gun point.

He needs to think about the oath he took, which is quite likely like the following:

"On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve."

The key part that he seems to be missing is CONSTITUTION. He is advocating for laws that infringe upon the constitution, which is treason. If he chooses to not support the Constitution, he needs to step down and go to another country.
 

Rob Boudrie

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Yep, there are waaaaay too many guns. So let's start by having your PD giving up its guns.
I'd settle by having officers who are not assigned 24x7 undercover assignments leave their guns at the station at the end of their shift and not have any special off duty carry privs with their personal weapons.
 

dng

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This is what the US Federal Supreme Court decided on the issue of 1700' defense weapons being only ones protected:

Unanimous pro-Second-Amendment stun gun decision from the Supreme Court
By Eugene Volokh March 22

In Commonwealth v. Caetano, the Massachusetts high court upheld Massachusetts’ total ban on stun gun possession. Yesterday’s Caetano v. Massachusetts decision from the Supreme Court reversed that Massachusetts decision and sent the case back to the Massachusetts court for further review (presumably to consider, for instance, whether the ban may still be justified by some sufficiently important government interest):

The Court has held that “the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding,” and that this “Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.” In this case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld a Massachusetts law prohibiting the possession of stun guns after examining “whether a stun gun is the type of weapon contemplated by Congress in 1789 as being protected by the Second Amendment.”

The court offered three explanations to support its holding that the Second Amendment does not extend to stun guns. First, the court explained that stun guns are not protected because they “were not in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment.” This is inconsistent with D.C. v. Heller‘s clear statement that the Second Amendment “extends … to … arms … that were not in existence at the time of the founding.”

The court next asked whether stun guns are “dangerous per se at common law and unusual,” in an attempt to apply one “important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms,” Heller; see ibid. (referring to “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’”). In so doing, the court concluded that stun guns are “unusual” because they are “a thoroughly modern invention.” By equating “unusual” with “in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment,” the court’s second explanation is the same as the first; it is inconsistent with Heller for the same reason.

Finally, the court used “a contemporary lens” and found “nothing in the record to suggest that [stun guns] are readily adaptable to use in the military.” But Heller rejected the proposition “that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected.”

For these three reasons, the explanation the Massachusetts court offered for upholding the law contradicts this Court’s precedent. Consequently, the petition for a writ of certiorari and the motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis are granted. The judgment of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is vacated, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

A few thoughts (note that I co-filed an friend-of-the-court brief supporting review in this case):

1. This is a unanimous decision, unlike the court’s earlier Second Amendment cases — D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago — which were 5-4. I doubt that Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, who were in the dissent in McDonald, are reconciled to those cases; I suspect they would be willing to overrule them if they had five votes to do so. But in this case, they were willing to accept them as given.

2. It was also a decision handed down without oral argument and without full briefing on the merits. (The parties filed a petition for certiorari, a brief in opposition, and a reply brief, but those formally dealt just with the question whether the court should hear the case.) The court thus seemed to view this as a very easy case.

3. The summary reversal also helps explain why the justices reversed only the Massachusetts high court’s conclusion that stun guns were definitionally excluded from Second Amendment protection: Whether the stun gun ban may still be justified is a more complicated question, which many justices may hesitate to resolve without oral argument and full briefing; and those justices might have thought that there’s no need to devote such resources to the case now, since the matter might go away if the Massachusetts high court on remand holds in Caetano’s favor.

4. Caetano’s petition and our amicus brief argued that there was a split between the reasoning of this decision and the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision in State v. DeCiccio (which held that the Second Amendment protects dirks and police batons), as well as between this decision and the Michigan Court of Appeals’ decision in State v. Yanna, which struck down the Michigan stun gun ban. But the majority mentioned neither case, and Justice Samuel Alito’s concurrence in the judgment mentioned only Yanna, and that just in passing. The justices thus didn’t seem interested in the presence of this sort of disagreement among lower courts, though the presence of such a disagreement is often seen as a very important factor in the Supreme Court’s deciding whether to grant review. The justices just seemed to think the reasoning of the decision was plainly wrong, and that was reason enough to reverse — something the justices very rarely do (at least setting aside cases where a state government lost below).

5. Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas would have gone further and would have held outright that the Massachusetts ban was unconstitutional; their opinion was fairly long, but here’s an excerpt from the end:

The reasoning of the Massachusetts court poses a grave threat to the fundamental right of self-defense. The Supreme Judicial Court suggested that Caetano could have simply gotten a firearm to defend herself. But the right to bear other weapons is “no answer” to a ban on the possession of protected arms. Moreover, a weapon is an effective means of self-defense only if one is prepared to use it, and it is presumptuous to tell Caetano she should have been ready to shoot the father of her two young children if she wanted to protect herself. Courts should not be in the business of demanding that citizens use more force for self-defense than they are comfortable wielding.

Countless people may have reservations about using deadly force, whether for moral, religious, or emotional reasons — or simply out of fear of killing the wrong person. “Self-defense,” however, “is a basic right.” I am not prepared to say that a State may force an individual to choose between exercising that right and following her conscience, at least where both can be accommodated by a weapon already in widespread use across the Nation.

* * *

A State’s most basic responsibility is to keep its people safe. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was either unable or unwilling to do what was necessary to protect Jaime Caetano, so she was forced to protect herself. To make matters worse, the Commonwealth chose to deploy its prosecutorial resources to prosecute and convict her of a criminal offense for arming herself with a nonlethal weapon that may well have saved her life. The Supreme Judicial Court then affirmed her conviction on the flimsiest of grounds. This Court’s grudging per curiam now sends the case back to that same court. And the consequences for Caetano may prove more tragic still, as her conviction likely bars her from ever bearing arms for self-defense.

If the fundamental right of self-defense does not protect Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe.

I assume that Alito and Thomas are trying to (1) persuade lower courts, both the Massachusetts courts and other courts, that such bans are indeed unconstitutional and (2) to inform them that at least two justices are firmly against such stun gun bans — and the views of the six other justices are unknown, but might also ultimately align with Alito and Thomas, if the matter returns to the Court for full merits review.

6. Alito’s introductory paragraphs also struck me as quite rhetorically powerful — a fine example of the lawyer’s art:

After a “bad altercation” with an abusive boyfriend put her in the hospital, Jaime Caetano found herself homeless and “in fear for [her] life.” She obtained multiple restraining orders against her abuser, but they proved futile. So when a friend offered her a stun gun “for self-defense against [her] former boy friend,” Caetano accepted the weapon.

It is a good thing she did. One night after leaving work, Caetano found her ex-boyfriend “waiting for [her] outside.” He “started screaming” that she was “not gonna [expletive deleted] work at this place” any more because she “should be home with the kids” they had together. Caetano’s abuser towered over her by nearly a foot and outweighed her by close to 100 pounds. But she didn’t need physical strength to protect herself. She stood her ground, displayed the stun gun, and announced: “I’m not gonna take this anymore…. I don’t wanna have to [use the stun gun on] you, but if you don’t leave me alone, I’m gonna have to.” The gambit worked. The ex-boyfriend “got scared and he left [her] alone.”

It is settled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms that applies against both the Federal Government and the States. That right vindicates the “basic right” of “individual self-defense.” Caetano’s encounter with her violent ex-boyfriend illustrates the connection between those fundamental rights: By arming herself, Caetano was able to protect against a physical threat that restraining orders had proved useless to prevent. And, commendably, she did so by using a weapon that posed little, if any, danger of permanently harming either herself or the father of her children.

Under Massachusetts law, however, Caetano’s mere possession of the stun gun that may have saved her life made her a criminal. When police later discovered the weapon, she was arrested, tried, and convicted. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the conviction, holding that a stun gun “is not the type of weapon that is eligible for Second Amendment protection” because it was “not in common use at the time of [the Second Amendment’s] enactment.”

This reasoning defies our decision in Heller, which rejected as “bordering on the frivolous” the argument “that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment.” The decision below also does a grave disservice to vulnerable individuals like Caetano who must defend themselves because the State will not.

7. There’s a stun gun case being litigated now in D.C., and there are similar stun gun bans in New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island, as well as (as of 2009, when I wrote my “Nonlethal Self-Defense, (Almost Entirely) Nonlethal Weapons, and the Rights to Keep and Bear Arms and Defend Life,” article) the Virgin Islands, the Annapolis/Baltimore area counties, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Tacoma and several other cities. I expect there will be challenges to some of those laws as well. Connecticut, Illinois, Fargo, and Oklahoma City also ban carrying stun guns, though not possessing them at home; those laws might likewise be challenged. (Caetano herself was carrying a stun gun in public, but the Massachusetts ban nor the Massachusetts high court decision distinguished home possession of a stun gun from possession in public; and though the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated that “The conduct at issue in this case falls outside the ‘core’ of the Second Amendment, insofar as the defendant was not using the stun gun to defend herself in her home,” the court categorically said that “the Second Amendment right articulated by Heller” does not “cover stun guns,” without distinguish home possession from public possession. The Caetano Supreme Court opinion thus doesn’t decide whether the Second Amendment applies to possessing stun guns — or any other weapons — in public places.)

Thanks again to my student Ryan Azad, who worked on our amicus brief via the Scott & Cyan Banister Amicus Brief Clinic; to Michael Rosman and Michelle Scott of the Center for Individual Rights and Lisa Steele of Steele & Associates, who were also on the brief (which was filed on behalf of Arming Women Against Rape & Endangerment).
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Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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calsdad

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Not to be a dick, but if he was facing 1700's criminals and weaponry, he probably would. Not an accurate comparison.

The 2nd amendment has it's basis in English history and the rights of the common man. Many times over the ages - the English kings banned "commoners" from owning what was the peak of warfighting weaponry at the time. Commoners were banned from owning swords ( go watch Braveheart - there's a reason the swords were hidden in the thatch roofs of their homes). When the longbow became a feared weapon - the commoners were banned from owning those. As technology advanced and firearms came about - the commoners were once again banned from owning those.

Banning "commoners" from owning weaponry has NOTHING to do with the lethality of "modern day" weaponry as compared to the weaponry of old. It has EVERYTHING to do with the people who think they are in charge - not wanting their power challenged by people who are able to do so - because they own weapons appropriate for the age they live in.

Saying that the AR-15 is something that "could not have been envisioned by our founders" is exactly the same argument as saying that the Kentucky long rifle should not be able to be owned by commoners - because back when they originally came up with this right all they could get was swords.

It's ridiculous on it's face - and history clearly demonstrates this.

But good luck making a sane argument and have it stick with a pro-government stooge.
 
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Dadstoys

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It's far easier to blame something, anything for not being able to do your job.
Here's a crazy idea Chief, clean up your city of all the scumbags and gang bangers and watch violent crime drop .
Or just cruise on through till you get that nice fat pension by blaming everyone else for your failures.
 

northframingham

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ridleyman

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With 5 million+ Civilian AR-style rifles in circulation it is America's rifle and EXACTLY the rifle that our forefathers would want us to have in the modern era.

I've heard 10-12x10^6 AR rifles in private hands from many sources, and I agree with your point

- - - Updated - - -

after reading a few news articles he appears to be more of a politician than a police chief.

police chief=politician in most cases, and ass sucking liberal in most big city cases
 
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