Nunchaku, Sotomayor and Second Amendment Rights

Did you know that the state of New York has imposed a ban on possessing nunchucks for the last 34 years? 

This morning on NPR there was a segment on the issues being pumped up around the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme court–one of them being a speech she gave at UC Berkeley in 2001 in which she made a comment about race, and the other being a decision to join an unsigned judgment to uphold a NY state law that bans chukka sticks, a martial arts weapon made by connecting two sticks with a rope or chain–a.k.a. nunchucks.

The argument by some is that Sotomayor is in favor of squashing second amendment rights.  What do you think?  Sotomayor’s opinion is that the second amendment keeps the federal government from limiting weapon ownership, not state law’s like the NY law banning nunchucks.  I can think of many instances where the federal government has interfered with state laws, but I won’t go there right now.  Anyhow, the NPR segment was interesting, you can listen to it here.

My personal opinion is that no one supreme court judge could single-handedly deteriorate one of our country’s most treasured amendments.  I support the second amendment, but I’d also describe myself as more liberal than conservative on the political spectrum.  I live in California, perhaps the most stringent state when it comes to firearm laws.  At times I think that some of the restrictions are just downright ridiculous, but that’s coming from the mind of a rational person who is not interested in obtaining weapons to kill fellow humans.  All I have to do  is remind myself of some of the violence occurring in Richmond, Oakland and East Palo Alto and all of a sudden those restrictions don’t seem so bad.  Not like it matters because illegal weapons are easy to obtain…they’re everywhere…it’s a billion dollar business.

Learn about Jim Maloney and Maloney v. Rice:  The Nunchaku Case



Filed under Politics

2 responses to “Nunchaku, Sotomayor and Second Amendment Rights

  1. rick

    but the case was about nunchucks. it wasn’t about guns. the state DOES have the right to ban nunchucks, just as it has the right to ban the importation of pornography or so called “marital” aids.

    the right constantly claims two things are the same when they are not.

    it is also illegal to carry a box cutter in new york.

    it is also illegal in some places to carry a knife of more than a 3 inch blade. would you consider that a second amendment violation?

    sotomayor is smart as a tack.

  2. ksrogers

    Hi Rick, thanks for your comment!

    I listened to a portion of the confimration hearings yesterday and must say I wasn’t very impressed. It seems that these things are more demonstrations on how to articulately skirt issues than anything else.

    Anyhow, I live in one of those places where it’s illegal to carry a knife with a blade larger than the palm of your hand, and to some extent, I do think that’s a violation of my second amendment rights. The definition of “arms” is pretty broad and does encompass more than firearms in my opinion.

    One of the greatest things about our constitution is that it was written with sweeping generalizations and is thus open for interpretation in multiple ways. It’s just a matter of circumstance that when the second amendment is discussed most conversation defaults to the subject of firearms because of their controversial nature.

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