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View Full Version : Constitutional rights, reasonable limitations vs infringement?



Wei Wu Wei
12-02-2011, 07:03 PM
I'm curious about how we make the distinction between reasonable limitations and infringement.

In another thread, I saw it argued that threatening a person because they are saying something you don't like isn't simply an issue of making threats, but is actually a suppression of free speech.

I've heard it argued many times that regulations on where you can carry your gun or how you go about obtaining a gun are violations of the 2nd amendment. Other people may argue that these are simply regulations, while a person still has a right to own a gun in their own home.


Suppose a given right is theoretically allowed, but in practice are severely restricted? For example, suppose you are allowed to own a gun, but you must keep the ammunition in a separate room of the house, and you are not allowed to take your gun off of your property unless it is in a locked box? In this case, you are still allowed own a gun, but you are limited to carrying it outside of your own property.

Every right comes with limitations, but when those limitations make it effectively impractical to exercise e those rights, do those limitations become an infringement?

Wei Wu Wei
12-02-2011, 07:05 PM
The free speech example is an interesting one. If you go to speak at an event, and people continue shouting you down and yelling over you, not allowing your message to be given at that venue, is that simply rude, or is a violation of free speech rights? They are private citizens, afterall.

Wei Wu Wei
12-02-2011, 07:12 PM
A good way to frame the question is this:

The government has a clear obligation to not violate the rights of the people in this country, but does it also have an obligation to protect those rights from private citizens or entities?

The freedom of speech / death threats example is a good one, the government is supposed to be prohibited from banning speech, but is it also obligated to ensure that people are able to express themselves? Is the government obligated to protect freedom of speech from private citizens? or to create a space where private citizens are not able to infringe on free speech?

Tipsycatlover
12-02-2011, 08:13 PM
There is a right to speech but no right to be heard.

The government might be obligated to protect you from harm while you are exercising your free speech rights. There is no obligation on the part of the government to make sure anyone listens to you.

Rockntractor
12-02-2011, 08:18 PM
There is no right to camp out for weeks on end at any property you see fit, there is also no right to break drug laws, rape woman and defecate on everything there. Speech comes from your mouth, not spraying from your ass all over everything.

Molon Labe
12-02-2011, 09:34 PM
Wei

You have to understand and accept the concept of property rights to be consistant with all civil rights (constitutional)

when you accept that principle the rest falls into place.

Molon Labe
12-02-2011, 09:40 PM
A good way to frame the question is this:

The government has a clear obligation to not violate the rights of the people in this country, but does it also have an obligation to protect those rights from private citizens or entities?

It's supposed to be that the government protects your rights.........but in REALITY...not so much.

Read up on case law and you find that the government has NO obligation to protect any of your rights.
There is case that I cannot find at this moment that specifically states the police have no obligation to protect you.


Another way to look at this is for someone to have the obligation to protect you they must also bear the liability of failing. .

Try to sue the government using that argument and see what happens.;)

Rockntractor
12-02-2011, 09:51 PM
There is case that I cannot find at this moment that specifically states the police have no obligation to protect you.




This brings up another question that has come to light with OWS, do police and local government have a legal responsibility to enforce the law? If so are they culpable for knowingly looking the other way when the law is broken?

marv
12-02-2011, 09:57 PM
Wee Wee, change every occurrence of "right" to "privilege" in your posts, and re-read them.

The 2nd Amendment grants me the right to own a gun. But that right stands only as long as the 2nd Amendment stands. The 2nd Amendment stands only by the wish of the people. Therefore, gun ownership is a right granted by the people, but only as long as the people want it to stand. So, isn't gun ownership really a privilege granted by the people? Aren't there circumstances when that privilege can be revoked?

Doesn't that apply to any discussion of rights?