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The Second Amendment

Proof that the US remains a very different nation to the UK at the moment. I just caught this Supreme Court decision via Bloomberg.

80 comments to The Second Amendment

  • Quig

    And which nation would one rather have like the other?

  • JohnRS

    Shame there’s no-one here to press for similar freedoms for us all.

  • JohnB

    I see Sotomayor dissented. We just have to wait for Obama’s people to install more of their Justices and then I guess we can all be browbeaten together.
    But perhaps the good US citizens will do something about it before all the wheels come off on the basis that you can’t fool all the people all the time?
    But perhaps you can fool enough.

  • norris hall

    This is a BIG A victory for home grown terrorists all over the nation.
    The supreme court has made it even easier to home grown terrorists to kill Americans
    Now they can walk into a local gun shop in any city in our nation, purchase all the guns and ammunition they want, practice to their hearts content and be ready for the big day.
    Bombs are unpredictable. They can often fail. Just ask Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who tried to blow up an American airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear. Or ask Connecticut resident Faisal Shahzad whose crudely home made bombs failed to detonate in Times Square
    Handguns, on the other hand, are designed to work every time…even for someone with very little training in their use. Just ask Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood and wounded 30 using a semi automatic pistol he purchased legally at a civilian gun store. He was well known to be sympathic to terrorist causes but with the NRA protecting the rights of “suspected terrorists” like Hasan there’s nothing much you can do except ask him if you can show him other weapons he might like to buy.
    If you were a wanna be terrorist, which weapon would you choose…a crudely home made bomb or a factory tested semi automatic weapon that even a child can operate?

  • newrouter

    Organized terrorism like that perpetuated by Tillman and his cohorts proliferated in the absence of federal enforcement of constitutional rights. Militias such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Camellia, the White Brotherhood, the Pale Faces, and the ’76 Association spread terror among blacks and white Republicans by breaking up Republican meetings, threatening political leaders, and whipping black militiamen. Era of Reconstruction, 199–200; Curtis 156. These groups raped, murdered, lynched, and robbed as a means of intimidating, and instilling pervasive fear in, those whom they despised. A. Trelease, White Terror: The Ku Klux Klan Conspiracy and Southern Reconstruction 28–46 (1995).

    Although Congress enacted legislation to suppress these activities,23 Klan tactics remained a constant presence in the lives of Southern blacks for decades. Between 1882 and 1968, there were at least 3,446 reported lynchings of blacks in the South. Cottrol 351–352. They were tortured and killed for a wide array of alleged crimes, without even the slightest hint of due process. Emmit Till, for example, was killed in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. S. Whitfield, A Death in the Delta: The Story of Emmett Till 15–31 (1988). The fates of other targets of mob violence were equally depraved.

    Justice Thomas

  • The Kusabi

    @ norris ‘nutter’ hall

    Funny, I thought being guaranteed places where large numbers of unarmed people could be murdered without consequence would be an even bigger help to the terrorists that whatever your stupid gibbering was about.

  • Laird

    Isn’t it funny that all those “open carry” and “shall issue” states (where concealed carry permits are automatically issued unless you are under some sort of legal disability) have the lowest levels of armed crime in the nation? And that those places with the strictist gun regulations (D.C., Chicago, etc.) have the highest violent crime and murder rates? Just random, I guess; no causality there. Oh, and the fact that the greatest atrocities (Ft. Hood [since you mentioned it], Virginia Tech, etc.) occurred where the victims weren’t permitted arms to defend themselves, well, that’s just more bad luck, too, right?

    You gun control morons are so fixated on disarming the good people of this country that you refuse to face facts even when they’re shoved in your face. (Perhaps our mistake is in not shoving them up your a**, where the rest of your head is, so you could see them better.) Gun control creates victims, nothing more. But you’re too brainless, or too unwilling to examine your own prejudices, to even entertain the possibilty that not only is your sanctimonious bleating immoral, it is demonstrably wrong on purely pragmatic grounds. You disgust me.

  • Jaded Libertarian

    America gets more attractive every day.

    I am increasingly of the view that America is the only place I could truly be happy. Not because it is perfect, or that it is even a truly libertarian nation.

    However, in creating the US constitution, the founding fathers did something that has never since been repeated. The imposed libertarian principles at the highest levels of governance, including imposing it upon many people who did no want to be “free”. This act in and of itself was in fact most illiberal, but cut neatly through the fundamental problem that plagues libertarianism – the people will, when offered true personal liberty will blanch and beg for someone to take control – and politicians seeing these “sheeple” are usually only too happy to oblige.

    In that one shining moment in human history a group of men seized power, which perhaps was not theirs to seize, but then did something remarkable. Instead of enriching themselves and their cronies, they built the greatest democracy on earth.

    Even if all that is left is scraps, I would like to benefit from that bizarre and yet wonderful oxymoron of liberty.

    PS – Norris I can’t tell if you are trying to be ironic or not….

  • I don’t know specifically about Norris, but a lot of people actually hold his point of view (I used to be one of them only a few years ago). I wish some of the commenters used rational arguments instead of personal attacks and name-calling, but I understand that unfortunately it is not always possible. Oh well…

  • Laird

    Come on over while you can, Jaded Libertarian, I don’t think it’s going to last much longer.

  • Organized terrorism like that perpetuated by Tillman and his cohorts proliferated in the absence of federal enforcement of constitutional rights.

    Now just imagine if gun ownership was widespread among Southern blacks. Somehow I don’t think the ‘heroes’ of the KKK would’ve liked that outcome.

  • David Crawford

    John Darce,

    Actually, blacks in the south in the 1940′s, 50′,s and 60′s were very well armed. That is why so few of the civil rights activists of the time met a violent end. The most famous cases being anomolies.

    1. James Merideth was shot from long range by a sniper.

    2. The 3 civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi were northerners who chose not to carry guns. Now they might’ve still ended up dead when their car got stopped that night but they sure could’ve taken some of those scumbags with them.

    Condi Rice talks about her father, who was active in the civil rights struggle in Birmingham, Alabama, and how he always carried a gun. He kept a little .25 caliber “belly-gun” in his pocket. And, the south being the south, damn near every house — black or white — had a shotgun or two in it.

    Gun ownership by blacks was so widespread that various southern state legislatures tried to enact laws that banned gun ownership. Laws that would’ve been selectively enforced against blacks, of course. The NRA, to their neverending credit, fought to keep these laws from passing.

  • annk

    Come on over, Jaded Libertarian. Move to Texas, where you can cancel out one of the moonbat Californians who’s ruining our state.

  • wtfo

    Many non-U.S. citizens I’ve met seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about our Bill of Rights, in regards to the amendments recognizing rights, not granting them. (quite a few U.S. citizens also fail to grasp this point, but mainly due to apathy and poor education)

    Later governments can reinterpret the Bill of Rights into irrelevance all they like, but it doesn’t change the fact that the main force behind the 2nd – or 1st, 4th, etc., amendments – is “because we the people say so”. Brits in particular usually seem to think I’m pulling their leg.

    The 1st and 2nd serve to give that principle teeth. Those like Norris up there can bark at the moon all they like – the government simply does not have the means, nor the willpower, to attempt to disarm the population as a whole.

    These court arguments are nothing more than political theater until such time as the government feels the need to press the point and actually try it. Naturally this drives the various Norrises of our nation to hysteria, leading them to fall back on terrorist-as-value-judgement name-calling to defend their positions.

    We are not serfs, they are not our masters, and it drives them mad.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I will go indulge in some hobby guaranteed to piss Norris off.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes indeed the Southern Democrats did indeed try to de facto ban the ownership of firearms by blacks (or by whites – when they thought they were Republicans, i.e. “tools of big busines – out to drink the life blood of the common people”).

    They also violated freedom of the press as well – not just before the Civil War (not just during it) but long after it.

    Easy enough – just firebomb the newspaper HQ and have police who will not really look for who did it, and have courts that will not convict even if you (the newspaper owner) find the criminals yourself.

    So not supportive of either the Second Amendment (apart from firearms for their own supporters – sorry the representatives of the community), and not supporting of the First Amendment (when dealing with media that opposed their basic beliefs) either.

    So perhaps Ann Coulter is not totally wrong when she argues that the modern Progressive Democrats are not (deep down) that wildly different from the old Democrats.

    Of course President Wilson is the link – a deep racist (the most racist person to be President of the United States in the 20th century – and far more racist than any President in the late 19th century either) AND a Progressiv e academic full of empathy towards socialism (see his own writings such as “The State” and the writings of his “other self” E.M. House – such as “Philip Dru: Administrator”).

    Wilson would be filled with icy rage over the Supreme Court judgement.

    Treating the Constitution as if it has a fixed meaning – and does not just mean whatever the Progressive want it to mean?

    You reactionary pigs!

    You will be treating blacks as if they were human beings next. Whereas Progressive “science” has proved they are subhuman.

    Still…..

    Yes I know that it was only a five to four judgement.

    And yes I know that Barack Obama has just nominated another government worshipper (one of her more interesting opinions is that the government should be allowed to lock up citizens for ever – without trial).

    But a win is a win.

    No doubt the evil people in the Administration (from Obama on down) are plotting all sorts of wicked crimes – that is what they do.

    However, they are not feeling happy today.

    They LOST.

    And besides – the most corrupt Pork project spending Senator has just died.

    The ex Great Octopus in the West Virginia KKK (he never made it to Grand Dragon).

    By the way Robert Byrd endorced Barack Obama in 2008.

    It seems being a fellow wild spender trumps race.

    Robert Byrd big mistake was to not to call his endless corrupt projects “stimulus” measures.

  • Nuke Gray

    Sorry to get you off whatever you are smoking, Jaded Libertarian, but there are some contrary facts to consider- the Federal government was created as a new tier of politicians, having an overriding power in State’s affairs- didn’t GW Bush keep interfering in California’s attempts to decriminalize marijuana?
    Another spoiler- ‘Democracy’ and ‘Liberty’ don’t go together! Democracy is about majorities, whereas liberty is of concern to the individual. I would only think that a weak democracy could be a great democracy!

  • Midwesterner

    Since there was only one vote for PoI, a lot of people are blowing off that question as a non result. I strongly disagree and think this case marks a foot plant as the court finally changes course and begins the glacial process of overturning the Slaughterhouse precedent.

    My (vague) understanding is that a PoI based verdict would extend the decision over only citizens of the states whereas a Due Process verdict extends it to everyone regardless of citizenship status. If true, this would add yet another reason for the liberals on the court to dislike it. The other four of the majority chose to not address the PoI question since the D.P. verdict more than covered the specific question. I haven’t read the decision yet but I don’t think anybody specifically rejected PoI per se, they just said ‘we don’t need to go there this time’. I’ll know more after I read it but I am picking up a ‘but we will go there when the right case comes along‘ vibe from the court.

    OK, I had a quick skim through the decision and found this (Alito, with Roberts, Scalia and Kennedy concurring):

    (a) Petitioners argue that that the Second Amendment right is one of the “privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”There is no need to reconsider the Court’s interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause in the Slaughter-House Cases because, for many decades, the Court has analyzed the question whether particular rights are protected against state infringement under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

    Justice Thomas writes:

    The Court is correct in describing the Second Amendment right as “fundamental” to the American scheme of ordered liberty, Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U. S. 145, 149, and “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and traditions,” Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U. S. 702, 721. But the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which speaks only to “process,” cannot impose the type of substantive restraint on state legislation that the Court asserts. Rather, the right to keep and bear arms is enforceable against the States because it is a privilege of American citizenship recognized by §1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides, inter alia: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.” In interpreting this language, it is important to recall that constitutional provisions are “ ‘written to be understood by the voters.’ ” Heller, 554 U. S., at ___. The objective of this inquiry is to discern what “ordinary citizens” at the time of the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification would have understood that Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause to mean. Ibid. A survey of contemporary legal authorities plainly shows that, at that time, the ratifying public understood the Clause to protect constitutionally enumerated rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.

    It is interesting the excerpts that Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Kennedy chose when discussing the Slaughterhouse cases. From today’s decision.

    Four Justices dissented. Justice Field, joined by Chief Justice Chase and Justices Swayne and Bradley, criticized the majority for reducing the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause to “a vain and idle enactment, which accomplished nothing, and most unnecessarily excited Congress and the people on its passage.” Id., at 96; see also id., at 104. Justice Field opined that the Privileges or Immunities Clause protects rights that are “in their nature . . . fundamental,” including the right of every man to pursue his profession without the imposition of unequal or discriminatory restrictions. Id., at 96–97. Justice Bradley’s dissent observed that “we are not bound to resort to implication . . . to find an authoritative declaration of some of the most important privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States. It is in the Constitution itself.” Id., at
    118. Justice Bradley would have construed the Privileges or Immunities Clause to include those rights enumerated in the Constitution as well as some unenumerated rights. Id., at 119. Justice Swayne described the majority’s narrow reading of the Privileges or Immunities Clause as“turn[ing] . . . what was meant for bread into a stone.” Id., at 129 (dissenting opinion).

    I think the inclusion of this language by justices who turned down the PoI argument speaks toward what we may well see in the future from these four.

    In Steven’s dissent, he said re PoI:

    I agree with the plurality’s refusal to accept petitioners’ primary submission. Ante, at 10. Their briefs marshal an impressive amount of historical evidence for their argument that the Court interpreted the Privileges or Immunities Clause too narrowly in the Slaughter-House Cases, 16 Wall. 36 (1873). But the original meaning of the Clause isnot as clear as they suggest2—and not nearly as clear as it would need to be to dislodge 137 years of precedent. The burden is severe for those who seek radical change in such an established body of constitutional doctrine.

    And cites a far amount of what is probably revisionist airbrushing if we are to give any weight at all to the four dissenting SCOTUS justices at the time of the Slaughterhouse cases.

    Unless I missed it, Breyer, Ginsberg and Sotomayer had nothing to say on the matter except that “the Court today properly declines to revisit our interpretation of the Privileges or Immunities Clause.”

    My tally is one for overturning Slaughterhouse, four fence sitters leaning that way, one fence sitter leaning away, and three opposed. And maybe Stevens wouldn’t have leaned away had it not been about guns.

  • Laird

    Interesting post, Midwesterner. I haven’t read the decision yet, let alone the dissents (not sure when I’ll have time to get to it), but it strikes me that you’re looking for the Court to broadly adopt the concept of “substantive due process”. I have my doubts that they’re ready to take that step yet.

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  • wtfo,

    What you describe is actually the situation throughout the British common law world. We all have these rights and freedoms as a matter of course, all politicians can do is limit or remove them.

    Unfortunately, as you point out, the overwhelming majority of us have forgotten this, allowing politicians to preen themselves over having passed legislation supposedly granting us rights, when all they are really doing is imposing limitations on themselves as to the extent to which they may limit our preexisting freedoms.

  • John K

    This has been a long time coming, and I am only glad it has come before the Manchurian Candidate could pack the Supreme Court with enough Wise Latina Women to ensure a Communist majority. The idea that the Second Amendment only applies to the Federal Government, not the States, is absurd. What about the other Amendments? Do citizens of the various States only enjoy freedom of speech, of association, of religion etc etc when they are dealing with the Feds? It is nonsense to suppose that that could be so. What we will see now, of course, are scumbags like Mayor Richard the Turd attempt to subvert the law, and restore the victim disarmament laws which have made Chicago such a haven of tranquility. I imagine he will enable the serfs of Chicago to own handguns only after a huge amount of expense and bureaucratic bullshit, but at least the fight will go on.

  • David Crawford: that is a very useful piece of information – I had no idea. I would be very grateful if anyone could supply any online reference I could use to spread it further.

  • Jerry

    OK Alisa, let me try.

    Norris, I don’t know where you live or what you listen to or what you watch but I have a hot flash right off the presses for you -

    Terrorists DO NOT get their firearms by walking into the local gun store providing ID, going through a background check ( for pistols ) and then buying dozens of SEMI AUTOMATIC firearms. They also DO NOT casually pick up a few RPG’s, grenades and a flame-thrower or two.

    They get them in other countries where FULLY AUTOMATIC firearms along with explosives and almost anything else you could want are FAR CHEAPER and FAR MORE AVAILABLE. All is takes is money.

    Further, I’m always amazed at people who think that only the police and military should have firearms ( I suspect Norris feels this way ) and yet, when trouble calls, they expect SOMEONE ELSE to arrive put THEIR OWN life on the line to protect the coward ( that’s not name calling, that’s what they are ) who won’t take responsibility for protecting his own life.

  • No, Jaded Libertarian needs to move to Colorado, where Colorado State University just got a local spanking for trying to ban guns on campus.
    Getting a conceal/carry permit isn’t horribly difficult…the worst part being (so I hear from neighbors in my well-armed neighborhood) that you sometimes run into a snarky, Obama-loving officer who likes to be surly to people trying to exercise their constitutional right to make his job easy.

  • Laird

    Midwesterner, it appears that Randy Barnett agrees with your analysis. (Mr. Barnett is an eminent constitutional scholar and has written a number of excellent books, including this one which I highly recommend.)

  • Midwesterner

    No. Rather, I am looking for it to narrowly adopt the PoI clause. Substantive Due Process is nothing but judicial activism. It is an oxymoron. ‘Substantive process’? I think it has been used to circumvent not just Constitutional or legislative intent, but the intent of the SCOTUS majority in the Slaughter house cases. SDP is extremely sloppy way of doing this as it can be construed much more widely than can “privileges or immunities”. I don’t think it surprising that justices who reject SDP should look to the original intent of the PoI clause of the 14th for incorporation of the BoR.

    I think a friendly eye towards resuscitating PoI is a reaction against the relativism necessarily inherent in SDP. Not that PoI itself doesn’t have wide latitude, it was clearly announced at the time to be the incorporation of the Bill of Rights to the states. But SDP is clearly a judicial invention. Quoting a unanimous SCOTUS opinion “[W]e must always bear in mind that the substantive content of the [Due Process] Clause is suggested neither by its language nor by preconstitutional history; that content is nothing more than the accumulated product of judicial interpretation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”[30] Prior to the 14th (although not yet named) SDP was used to defeat the constitution’s protection of very wide autonomy of the states. I think the evidence is overwhelming that the PoI clause of the 14th was intended to incorporate the Bill of Rights onto the states. From Slaughter House on, SDP based judicial activism can be used to defend the original intent of the 14th. But being an imaginary thing, it can also do things not intended by the 14th. It is difficult to anticipate what PoI really can mean (to the legal system) what with the Slaughter house verdict smothering it in the crib.

    McDonald v. City of Chicago indicates a willingness by the majority of the court to revisit the matter with the right case. Even Stevens seems to be expressing a willingness to listen to argument but stipulating that “The burden is severe for those who seek radical change in such an established body of constitutional doctrine.”

  • Midwesterner

    Whoops. ‘No’ to your first reply, not your second. I haven’t had time to browse around yet this morning so I will read the Barnett article as soon as I can. I am a fan of his writings on Volokh.

  • Sunfish

    Terrorists DO NOT get their firearms by walking into the local gun store providing ID, going through a background check ( for pistols ) and then buying dozens of SEMI AUTOMATIC firearms. They also DO NOT casually pick up a few RPG’s, grenades and a flame-thrower or two.

    Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris used a straw purchaser who would have passed NICS had she not bought through a (at the time legal) private sale.

    Maj. Nidal Hassan did exactly what you say that terrorists don’t do: bought from a licensed dealer, passed NICS, and filled out the 4473.

    Although, firearms-related terror attacks in the US are rare. It’s a lot harder to shoot back at a truck bomb.

    Flamethrowers are basically unregulated in the US.

    Darth Laurel:

    Didn’t think you had that kind in your area. I always thought that Sheriff Alderden would be better than that. Anyway, CU is now trying to undo the spanking that CSU got.

    Don’t know what to predict but from a Mullarkey court I’ve learned to keep my expectations low and unfavorable.

  • Laird

    “Flamethrowers are basically unregulated in the US.”

    Well, now, that’s good to know. Can you recommend any good dealers?

  • Edward

    My only concern – and I speak as a complete layman, as well as a foreigner, when it comes to constitutional law – is that gun control laws will now come to be seen increasingly as a federal issue.

    In some ways, wouldn’t it have been better to let Chicago keep its stupid laws (given that no sane gun-owner would want to live there) in order to retain the principle that the state (or city) can determine its own laws, rather than ceding control to the feds?

    Could this ruling backfire in this way?

  • Laird

    Well, rulings can always backfire, I suppose, but I don’t think that’s a serious risk with this one.

    The purpose of our Constitution is to define and limit the powers of the federal government. It was created by the states, for certain limited purposes, and the states are supposed to have retained plenary authority over the areas not specifically delegated to the federal government. (That’s the theory, anyway; in practice the golem has escaped its creators and become the master. Nonetheless, the states do retain some vestige of their powers, and there is always much talk about “states rights” and the like.) Among the limitations on the federal government are the items specified in the Bill of Rights.

    The function of the 14th Amendment is to apply the Bill of Rights to the states (previously it had only applied to the federal government). Whether it is narrowly or broadly applied is a contentious issue (see Midwesterner’s discussion above about the “Privileges and Immunities” clause and the Slaughterhouse Cases), but however it is applied it serves to limit a state’s powers without simultaneously augmenting federal ones. In other words, it serves as a veto over state action, but does not authorize the federal government to act in that space either. It carves out a space where no governmental action is permitted, at any level. So I’m very happy with this decision.

    Make sense?

  • Kristopher

    Can you recommend any good dealers?

    Posted by Laird

    Once in a while a vintage flamethrower appears for sale here.(Link)

    Or you can make yer own.

  • Jerry

    ‘Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris used a straw purchaser who would have passed NICS had she not bought through a (at the time legal) private sale.’

    If you want to call two mentally screwed up kids ‘terrorists’ go ahead. I won’t. They’re just screwed up kids. We’ve ALWAYS had them and always will.
    And where I am private sales are still legal.

    ‘Maj. Nidal Hassan did exactly what you say that terrorists don’t do: bought from a licensed dealer, passed NICS, and filled out the 4473.’
    Of course he did. He was a military officer. He probably could have gotten what he wanted ( or far worse than what he used ) on base with enough bluff and bluster. Terrorist? Maybe. Fanatic? Definitely.

    Go back and read Norris’s original statement.
    It is a rewording of the same hand-wringing whine that comes from the left anytime a state decides to pass shall-issue concealed firearm permits.

    Oh God Oh God there’s going to be blood in the streets. ( people will be gunning each other down over parking spaces ). Terrorists will be buying out every gun store on every street corner in the country and slaughtering all of us !! Oh God Oh God this is terrible.

    That’s what I was commenting on. Not that a mental whack job wouldn’t do it nor ever had done it.

    If you want to purchase truly devastating firearms easily, this IS NOT the country to do it in.

    Flame throwers unregulated ?
    I wouldn’t want to get caught with a working one.
    The BATF/E can ruin your life.
    Read about Red’s Trading post for a primer.

  • Surely the point is that bad people will always be able to get guns, and any other weapons they want. The only point at issue is whether good people can do the same.

    Making it even easier for bad people to be armed is indeed slightly worse, but making it much easier for good people to be armed is massively better, and the good massively outweighs the bad. Good people who are armed can defend themselves, and they can turn the life expectancy of bad people who persist with their badness from same as good people to WW1 trenches or WW2 bomber crew. If bad people persist in preying, night after night, on good people, they’ll be dead in about a month.

    Huge improvement, and a most persuasive deterrent.

    It is not necessary for all good people to be armed. Just quite a few.

  • Another point, concerning how to convince people.

    I recommend consideration of the island of Jamaica. The reason being that Jamaica switched very suddenly (can’t remember when – sometime around 1970 is my guess) from very lax gun ownership law to very restrictive gun ownership law.

    And mayhem erupted. Jamaica has been run by gangsters ever since. Suddenly the bad guys had nothing to fear from the good guys. Same people, different rules, different outcome. The relevant graphs kinked together so abruptly that you just can’t dismiss it as coincidence.

    The problem with persuading people that gun control in Britain is bad is that it has extended itself so gradually that you can’t separate the gun control changes from all the other changes, like welfare, decline of mass employment industries, more stuff to nick, cars to get away in, motorways to drive on, television which empties the streets of law abiding citizens, etc. etc. etc. You’re left with just believing that it has done harm, as I do believe, because to me it just makes sense that it would have done harm. But I can’t prove it by looking only at Britain. Luckily I don’t have to.

  • I’ve dug up the Jamaica pamphlet I was thinking of, which is this:

    http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/persp/persp012.pdf

    Gun control was not imposed out of the blue, for no reason. Something a lot like a civil war had erupted, which the government tried to end with draconian gun control laws. Understandable. But, this just made the mayhem permanent. It didn’t disarm the bad guys. It did disarm the good guys.

  • Nick in VA

    I’ve always been mystified over why the 2nd Amendment had to go through the 14th Amendment in order to be applied against the States. Other articles of the Bill of Rights had the phrase “Congress shall make no law. . .”, so it is clear that they originally applied to only the Federal Government.

    The 2nd Amendment, however, has no such wording. Instead, it says “. . .the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It doesn’t say, specifically, who shall not be doing the infringing.

    Since other provisions of the Constitution have restrictions on the States, why shouldn’t this “shall not be infringed” be read to apply to BOTH the Federal Government and the States, even without the 14th Amendment? Can someone explain?

  • MattP

    Interesting read on Jamaica. It has always occurred to me that criminals and governmental officials have complimentary interests. Actually, that’s somewhat redundant, as Mark Twain observed long ago that the United States has no native criminal class other than Congress.

    As the lady points out in the article, police are under no obligation to protect any individual (other than someone actually in police custody). Politicians who advance victim disarmament schemes are perpetrating a fraud, particularly in the case of the United States. They are selling the idea that people don’t need weapons because “society” will protect them. When courts here have rejected that idea precisely because in the country we have the right to defend ourselves.

    It”s quite obvious that when nations like Jamaica implement such draconian restrictions the governments are doing so purely out of their own self interest. The violence is a threat to it’s stability. A lower level of violence that only threatens the lives and property of the newly disarmed is a tolerable situation for those in government.

    Not only is it tolerable, but it is advantageous. Now that people have no other recourse but to depend on the government for security, demand increases for more and more services.

    The criminals are happy. Government officials are happy. It’s only the people cought between these two forces who are miserable.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Feeling lazy, so I’m just going to quote my own Volokh Conspiracy comment:

    Matt: But you don’t need a gun for self defense; there are plenty of other perfectly useful alternative tools (such as mace or tasers, etc).

    Me: Yes, but where there’s gun control there’s almost always ‘mace, taser, etc’ control. And knife, rock, and club control, too. This is because gun control isn’t about guns, it’s about the average American being an irresponsible fool who’s harmless only when helpless, a position that’s hard to square with her also being a responsible voter and a member of the sovereign People.

    That’s why gun control is such an issue for Liberals: it’s the living embodiment of the contempt with which they view ordinary people.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Whoops! The “Matt” I responded to above definitely is not “MattP!”

  • Jerry

    Nick,

    Some background reading starting with the Federalists’ Papers will shed some light on your question.
    The framers didn’t want the right infringed on by ANY level of government. Not just Federal. They felt self protection/defense is a God given right and should not be regulated, infringed, etc.
    And that is how it’s worded.
    The Phrase that causes the confusion ( to some ) is;
    ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State….’
    which is NOT a sentence.
    The real ‘meat’ of the amendment is
    ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’
    which IS a stand alone sentence !
    No conditions, no qualifiers, just a simple statement.

    The ‘controllers’ and ‘wannabe controllers’ will always try to twist the meaning it into something that they can then ‘modify’ and start disarming we rabble !!

    To show some of the ‘dark side’s’ thought process,
    think about this –
    The 1st amendment in the Constitution has been used to justify everything from flag burning to child pornography BUT, somehow, the 2nd amendment is a ‘trick statement’ that must be continually interpreted for the unwashed masses who are too stupid to understand it !!!!!

  • Sunfish

    I’ve always been mystified over why the 2nd Amendment had to go through the 14th Amendment in order to be applied against the States. Other articles of the Bill of Rights had the phrase “Congress shall make no law. . .”, so it is clear that they originally applied to only the Federal Government.

    There was an 1830 case, Baltimore vs. Some Damn Person or Another (where’s llamas? He probably knows it from memory!) where SCOTUS specifically held that the Bill of Rights did not apply to city governments. And the First is the only one that specifically mentions Congress.

    Jerry:

    What does Red’s Trading Post have to do with flamethrowers? BATFE’s bitch with them was about paperwork errors, not flamethrowers.

    What does BATFE have to do with flamethrowers anyway? You might “not want to be caught with one” but that’s either a local law (if there is one) or your own issues.

    And while we’re at it, is there an important difference between someone who goes ballistic (pardon the pun) because he’s had an attack of Allah, vs. someone who goes ballistic because he’s (otherwise) wrong in the head? One that’s somehow relevant to this discussion?

    Lastly, what makes firearms not available here so much more “devastating” than those that are easily available here?

  • MattP

    Lastly, what makes firearms not available here so much more “devastating” than those that are easily available here?

    A variety of things. Bore size, the ability to fire projectiles with more than one ounce of explosive or incindiary material, etc.

    The above would fall into the “destructive devices” category of the National Firearms Act and are highly restricted. It’s possible to own them in some states, but not all, and there’s a lot of paperwork involved as well as fees.

  • Laird

    Nick in VA, go back to my post of June 29 at 08:25 PM. There is very little in the Constitution as originally written (even including the Bill of Rights) which applies to individuals. It was never intended to apply to individuals. Its function is to grant specified powers to the federal government and, in some limited circumstances, prohibit certain actions by the states. That’s it. Barron v. Baltimore (the case to which Sunfish refers) was not irrationally decided.

    That’s why the 14th Amendment is so important: it changed the Constitution in a fundamental way. It now provided that “no state may abridge the privileges or immunities” of individuals. Those “privileges or immunities” are (partially) spelled out in the Bill of Rights, and the 14th is the vehicle through which they are applied. Although the Slaughterhouse Cases greatly limited its application (foolishly, as Midwesterner has noted), it still was an important development.

    Jerry, that’s just wrong. You can’t extract an independent clause from the middle of a sentence and then claim that it’s a “stand alone sentence” without conditions or qualifiers. You have to read the whole sentence in its entirety. And in any event, take another look at the portion you quoted. Note the existence of a comma after the word “arms”? Neither clause in that fragment is a complete sentence, either. I don’t disagree that the 2nd Amendment properly applies to individuals, rather than only to state militias, but the contrary argument isn’t wholly irrational on its face.

  • Mike Lorrey

    What entertained me the most about the ruling was that the dissenting opinion had left wing liberals arguing the arguments of the racist Klansmen murderers in Cruikshank, showing that liberals would rather side with fascists than recognise the right to self defense of any person of any race.

  • Mike Lorrey

    Gah, how is it that I got smited but some pathetic spam got through?

  • Nuke Gray

    Because, Mike Lorrey, nothing stops all the spam, all the time!

  • Edward

    Laird, thanks for your reply – useful to know.

  • Kristopher

    Mattp:

    The paperwork for a “Destructive Device”, like my 20mm Lahti ATR, is exactly the same as the paperwork for a machinegun … $200 tax, a form, and a fingerprint card.

    If you have an LLC or a trust buy the firearm, you do not need a Sheriff’s signature.

    Jerry: Do a little research before posting. Flamethrowers are unregulated by the BATFE. Here in Oregon, the only statute regarding them requires you to get landowner permission before using one. I know one individual in Portland who owns one ( a chinese copy of a WWII Soviet model ), and participates in WWII re-enacting.

    He fills the fuel tank with bottled water … people who pay $thousands to put together an authentic Waffen-SS uniform get angry when you get diesel on them ….

  • Paul Marks

    I am waiting for the first “educated” person who comes out with the line (a favourate one of the Obama regime and their pals the msm and academia) that the Mexican criminal gangs either mostly use American weapons or get their weapons from the United States.

    Two points of information.

    The AK47 is not an American rifle (although this has never stopped the “mainstream” media before – for example pictures of Saddam’s troops with AK47s, and with T72 tanks and with Mig aircraft flying overhead, were always shown as the msm talked of “Western arms to Iraq”).

    And, no, most AK47s (etc) that are used by the “social bandits” (as they see themselves – for the criminal organizations use a lot of Marxist double talk to justify themselves) are not bought in the United States either.

    “But the American government says…..”

    The American government (at least the Executive and the Legislative branches of the government) is controlled by liars – they do not even bother to make their lies very hard to disprove.

    Have a hard look at (for example) the stats they give on the percentage of firearms in Mexico that are of American origin – they basically only look at firearms reported to the United States by Mexico (and the Mexicans do not tend to bother to send reports to the United States on firearms, the great majority, that are not of American origin).

    “So it is NOT a lie then” is the leftist response.

    Fine – then if I only include myself, I can say “all men are called Paul Marks”.

    And I am NOT lying – at least according to the “logic” of academia and the msm.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – some of those “poor people who just want to do jobs Americans will not do” comming over the Arizonia border, carry AK47s and wear paramilitary uniforms.

    Already large areas deep inside the United States have been ruled off limits for American citizens (due to the danger of attack from these groups).

    Help?

    The msm will not report anything that does not fit their agenda (which is bascially to encourage as much action against Arizonia, and any other conservative place, as possible) – and the Federal government is on the side of the “social bandits” (although I suppose Barack Obama would call them “community organizers”).

    As for Mexico with its “conservative” government – it grandstands against any law enforcement in the United States (making threats of law suits). But enforces VASTLY more harsh immigration regulations itself.

    Still at least the hypocrisy of the Mexican government is better than the extreme hatred that the Administration of Barack Obama has for the United States (indeed for the West in general).

    “But Barack has a valid reason to hate the West – his grandfather was tortured by the British”.

    Barack Obama would hate the West whatever may or may not have happened to his grandfather – his Marxism commits him to being an enemy.

    However, let us say his grandfather was indeed tortured.

    What matters is that Barack Obama is an enemy (not just of Arizonia – but of Britain,and Israel and ….. indeed all of the West), a foe of the United States and of Western civilization in general.

    The reasons WHY he is our enemy are of lesser importance.

  • Laird: good point. That said, I can see where Jerry is coming from: that whole sentence does not stand alone syntactically anyway – it’s just weird.

  • MattP

    The paperwork for a “Destructive Device”, like my 20mm Lahti ATR, is exactly the same as the paperwork for a machinegun … $200 tax, a form, and a fingerprint card.

    If you have an LLC or a trust buy the firearm, you do not need a Sheriff’s signature.

    What you’re saying is technically true. As far as Federal law goes. But it certainly appears to vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For instance, the only realistic way I could own a machine gun in California short of purchasing a manufacturer’s license (considerably more than the $200 transfer fee) would have been to get into the business of supplying firearms to movie sets.

    Now that I live in Texas, I apparently have a few more options.

  • dunderheid

    One thing strikes me with the argument that the best way to protect yourself from armed killers is to be armed and prepared to kill – i don’t want to kill anyone.

    I don’t want to be put in a situation where my perception(it doesn’t even have to be the reality) that I might be shot leaves me no choice but to kill someone else.

    In fact i’d much rather try and limit the availiability of deadly weapons to only a tiny minority (although whether top down gun control is the best way is something is another question) and sub-contract the handling and if required killing of them to professionals

    I might be a coward but personally I’m happy to admit to showing more reluctance to use lethal force than some of the other posters here

  • dunderheid: there is nothing wrong with your reluctance to use deadly force – it is perfectly understandable, and is probably shared by most people here and elsewhere. What is wrong is that in consequence you seem to be willing (please correct me if I misunderstood you) to deny other people the ability to possibly overcome any such reluctance in order to protect themselves and others.

  • dunderheid

    Alisa,

    I don’t want to deny anyone their rights or opportunities and in fact I am genuinely troubled by the gun control argument.

    However if you are given the right to protect yourself buy possessing guns then everyone has to be given that right. That would include people who wish to use those guns for nefarious purposes. Then in order not to be left behind in this miniature arms race I have to get a gun to protect me and my family. Suddenly I’m in the position that because of other peoples desire to exercise their right, my right “not to spend the rest of my life in a position where i might have to kill someone” is removed.

    And I want to clarify: I am not in anyway against killing somone who enters your house and threatens your you and your family. I just don’t want to do it and for me unrestricted gun access just increases the chances that I will have to

  • John K

    Alisa:

    That’s exactly what he’s saying.

  • Laird

    dunderheid, no one is requiring you to own a gun (at least, not unless you live in Kennesaw, GA), although that was commonly the rule in colonial America. Furthermore, even if you did own one no one is requiring that you ever use it, even in self-defense. But your less-squeamish neighbors certainly should (and do) have that right, for which you should be grateful. The fact that they do permits you to be a “free rider” and receive the benefits of their readiness for self-defense even though you offer them no reciprocal benefit. Unless you have a sign on your house saying “no guns in here”, burglars will be equally as reticent to enter your house as that of your neighbor, since they don’t know which of you is armed and which is not.

    The essential flaw in your statement is that when you try to “limit the availiability of deadly weapons to only a tiny minority”, that “tiny minority” is precisely those people whom you don’t want to have guns, namely, the criminal element. All you succeed in doing is disarming the “good guys”. It’s fundamentally irrational, the triumph of wishful thinking over logic. Which, of course, is the hallmark of the Left.

  • Kristopher

    MattP:

    Yep. Merely owning a single tracer round is a felony in CA … as well as breathing, apparently.

  • Kristopher

    Dunderhead:

    You are not a pacifist … you are merely squeamish.

    How do you expect the state to “limit availability” of firearms?

    Ask nicely?

    Nope … the state will use the threat of deadly force to remove those firearms from us peasants.

    Obey or die.

    Some peacenik you are, eh? Ready to have the state threaten to shoot us all in order to feed your hopolophobia.

  • Jerry

    ‘What does Red’s Trading Post have to do with flamethrowers?’
    Nothing per se. Just an example of how you much trouble you can get into for no REAL reason.
    I wish to hell I’d never mentions them in the original post in an attempt at exaggeration which seems to have confused some. Any of you people have a sense of humor ?

    Laird,
    The dependent clause is what is used by the left to say ‘if you aren’t in the militia, you shouldn’t have a gun’ and that was all I was trying to point out. The ‘militia’ aspect is always the ‘sticking point’ and most of the gun banners have no clue that if you are a citizen of this country between the ages of 18 and 45 you ARE IN the militia !!
    Oh, they LOVE the ‘regulated’ word as well because to them it means CONTROL and on ‘well equipped and trained’ as it did when it was written.l

    ‘If you have an LLC or a trust buy the firearm, you do not need a Sheriff’s signature.’
    This is another one. Go ahead and try it. I’ve already been told that by class III dealers, if you have a full auto ( or destructive device to you nitpickers ) don’t go into you own backyard without the paperwork. Is it legal to go into your own backyard without the paperwork ? Sure. That DOES NOT mean you’re not in for a possible load of grief – ie time consuming and possibly expensive.

    Some of you seem to believe that if it isn’t TECHNICALLY illegal then you have nothing to worry about.

    Let me try another example that maybe some here can assimilate.

    Talk with some of the people in New Orleans who are STILL trying to get their firearms back that were CONFISCATED ILLEGALLY during Katrina. They weren’t breaking any laws but they still haven’t gotten their property back and some have spent a fair amount in lawyer fees to no avail.
    So don’t tell me that Red’s is irrelavent. It’s just another case of what CAN happen regardless of all your extensive reading, knowledge and the ability to critique grammar.
    Those mean NOTHING in many situations which have happened and unfortunately will continue to happen.

    Lastly ( and I do mean lastly )

    ‘One thing strikes me with the argument that the best way to protect yourself from armed killers is to be armed and prepared to kill – i don’t want to kill anyone.’

    I don’t want to kill anyone either but I WILL to save my life or the life of someone else.

    ‘I don’t want to be put in a situation where my perception(it doesn’t even have to be the reality) that I might be shot leaves me no choice but to kill someone else.’

    I don’t wither but you don’t always have a choice of the situations you FIND YOURSELF in due to NOTHING you have or have not done !!

    ‘In fact i’d much rather try and limit the availiability of deadly weapons to only a tiny minority (although whether top down gun control is the best way is something is another question) and sub-contract the handling and if required killing of them to professionals’

    Been tried seven ways from Sunday. Simply not possible the way you state it. WHAT do you do when face with someone bent of killing or maiming you. Call 911 ( hold on a second while I get my cell phone and call for help !! ).

    ‘I might be a coward but personally I’m happy to admit to showing more reluctance to use lethal force than some of the other posters here’

    Maybe you are but from what you said earlier you have no problem with ‘professionals’ doing it just so long as you don’t have to dirty your hands. I feel sorry for you.

  • Nuke Gray

    Dear Dunderhead, why not just buy a gun, but don’t put any bullets in it? The appearance of being armed might well scare away any nasty mans that want to do you harm. If it comes to a real fight, you’d be toast, but you’ll leave a corpse that looks good, with no nasty powderburns to remove! Who could ask for more?

  • MattP

    However if you are given the right to protect yourself buy possessing guns then everyone has to be given that right. That would include people who wish to use those guns for nefarious purposes. Then in order not to be left behind in this miniature arms race I have to get a gun to protect me and my family. Suddenly I’m in the position that because of other peoples desire to exercise their right, my right “not to spend the rest of my life in a position where i might have to kill someone” is removed.
    And I want to clarify: I am not in anyway against killing somone who enters your house and threatens your you and your family. I just don’t want to do it and for me unrestricted gun access just increases the chances that I will have to

    Dunderheid, you are operating under some serious misconceptions. Essentially you’re operating under an illusion, and you want to the laws to reflect your desire to maintain that illusion.

    I hate to break the bad news to you, but right now and for the rest of your life you are in a position where you may have to kill someone. Or more accurately, you may find yourself in a situation the only choices are to either defend your life with deadly force or be killed.

    Your preference for restricting access to firearms to only the a tiny minority and outsoucing the necessary “killing” to the “professionals,” if implemented, does nothing to alter the equation.

    The same people who would use guns for nefarious purposes will still be around. The laws that wouldn’t stop them from robbing you or worse in the first place won’t stop them from acquiring the tools to do so in the second place.

    I also suggest that you read the link Brian Mikklethwait provided to the situation in Jamaica. As the article makes clear, the disarmament laws made the situation worse. I can also point you toward the situation south of our border. In theory, the Mexican constitution protects a right to keep and bear arms. In practice, guns are tightly restricted. And one thing that jumps out at me, which is very similar to the Jamaican situation, is that the police and military are a major source of weapons to the criminal gangs.

    I don’t recall the exact numbers, but it’s safe to say between the firearms “lost” by the police or simply taken along when Mexican soldiers decide to desert, 10s of thousands of guns are transferred to the criminals each year.

    Human ingenuity and curruption will undermine any disarmament scheme you can imagine. People intent on having guns for criminal purposes will get them. Whether by smuggling them from abroad, obtaining them from police or military armories, or making them themselves.

    Rights are inherent to the individual, and only concern the individual’s ability to act in one’s own best interest. You don’t have the “right” to expect anyone else to act on your behalf. Certainly we can pass laws that make harmful acts against others illegal, but then it is precisely that people are so prone to harming others out of their own misplaced self interest that such laws are necessary.

    The only right you have related to this is to take corrective action. Self-defense is a universal human right (one often trampled upon by governments). In this country at least it is your right to possess the proper tools to meaningfully exercise that right.

    As to your objection that we have to extend access to weapons to those who would use firearms for nefarious purposes, that’s not true. Rights can be restricted, but only through due process of law. Not by administrative fiat.

  • dunderheid

    “I don’t want to kill anyone either but I WILL to save my life or the life of someone else.”

    There is nothing in that statement I don’t agree with.

    However in a society where everyone has completely unfettered access to firearms, good or evil, trained or incompetent then the chances of the above scenario actually taking place are far higher.

    Also the argument that somehow criminals or the criminally insane work on some carefully calibrated risk vs reward scenario and crime will somehow stop because everyone has their own p***s size compensator…i mean gun…rings false to me also. If everyone is armed all it does is raise the stakes to lethal levels when the inevitable (and they are inevitable)confrontations take place.

  • the argument that somehow criminals or the criminally insane work on some carefully calibrated risk vs reward scenario and crime will somehow stop because everyone has their own

    No one here made any such argument. The only argument being made here is that criminals have and use guns under any scenario. Please try and respond to arguments actually made here, rather than those you may have heard being made somewhere else.

  • dunderheid

    “But your less-squeamish neighbors certainly should (and do) have that right, for which you should be grateful. The fact that they do permits you to be a “free rider” and receive the benefits of their readiness for self-defense even though you offer them no reciprocal benefit. Unless you have a sign on your house saying “no guns in here”, burglars will be equally as reticent to enter your house as that of your neighbor, since they don’t know which of you is armed and which is not.”

    “Good people who are armed can defend themselves, and they can turn the life expectancy of bad people who persist with their badness from same as good people to WW1 trenches or WW2 bomber crew. If bad people persist in preying, night after night, on good people, they’ll be dead in about a month.

    Huge improvement, and a most persuasive deterrent.”

    I responded to the previous arguments Alisa which is basically saying that because everyone is armed criminals will be deterred from crime.

    “Human ingenuity and curruption will undermine any disarmament scheme you can imagine. People intent on having guns for criminal purposes will get them. Whether by smuggling them from abroad, obtaining them from police or military armories, or making them themselves.”

    Again I completely agree with this statement but who is going to go the effort to do this…for the vast majority career criminals. And because it is their career and they will in most cases only use their weapons to kill when cornered (possibly by a gun toting amateur) or against other criminals

    Finally the argument based on the Jamaica experience is ridiculous and I am surprised that someone who claims she was raised in Jamaica (as the writers of Brian Micklethwaits article claims) so completely misunderstands its history. Gun crime became so prevalent in Jamaica because the two main competing political parties established power bases in ghettoes in Kingston and used gun men to rule these areas. When each party was deprived of power and the patronage faucet was turned off these enforcers turned to the drug trade. The police were and are still entirely complicit in this. The gun laws had no effect on the ensuing gun crime explosion and I will admit may even have exacerbated it but the Jamaica situation is radically different to that seen in USA and any comparison is meaningless.

  • dunderheid: none of the comments you quoted claim that crime ‘will stop’, as you put it. All they imply is that universal gun ownership will go towards better deterrence. It is unrealistic to expect a perfect society, but there is much room for realistic improvement in the existing one.

  • John K

    Also the argument that somehow criminals or the criminally insane work on some carefully calibrated risk vs reward scenario and crime will somehow stop because everyone has their own p***s size compensator…i mean gun…rings false to me also

    Anyone who comes out with the gun as penis substitute line qualifies as a troll in my opinion.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Actually, the penis-gun comparison isn’t unreasonable, but not for the reason cocktail-party Freudians claim. It’s very generally the case among primates that the deliberate display of an erect penis expresses hostility, so for some disturbed individuals guns – or any other protrusive weapon – may well be a substitute penis. But for most of us, no.

    (This may also explain why straight men react to gay ones so badly.)

    The main thing to keep in mind is that the Much Derided Object has not two functions, but three.

  • Sunfish

    ‘If you have an LLC or a trust buy the firearm, you do not need a Sheriff’s signature.’
    This is another one. Go ahead and try it. I’ve already been told that by class III dealers, if you have a full auto ( or destructive device to you nitpickers ) don’t go into you own backyard without the paperwork. Is it legal to go into your own backyard without the paperwork ? Sure. That DOES NOT mean you’re not in for a possible load of grief – ie time consuming and possibly expensive.

    Why are you such an evangelist for the cause of cowering in the corner for fear of what someone else MIGHT do? Has anybody ever ended up in FPMITA prison for going outside and leaving their Form 1 in the safe? And are you seriously suggesting that a reasonable response to NOPD’s illegal gun seizure is to not own guns in the first place?

    Dunderhead:

    Contracting defensive use of force out to ‘professionals’ is a recipe for problems.

    I’m one of those ‘professionals,’ western US version. I like to think that I’m no lazier nor less-competent than the average. And I still can’t be everywhere at once (and am too fat for you to carry under your jacket.)

    And when seconds count, I’m only minutes away.

    Paul:
    Some of the worst border incursions have been people armed with Heckler and Koch G-3 or G-36 rifles: the two models which have been issued to the Mexican Army in the last decade. And carried by people wearing Mexican army uniforms, and driving trucks painted in Mexican army patterrns.

    There was at least one raid on a gang’s weapons cache that resulted in a photo op. It was deliberately set up so that weapons not of US manufacture (a dozen or so AK-47′s, a few of the goofy looking FN bullpup rifles, and at least one Russian-made RPK crew-served machine gun) were not shown.

    There are a few very small scale US makers of Kalashnikov-pattern rifles. They tend to be expensive boutique items, not something likely to be exported from the US in any real quantity, not when the same thing can be bought from Romania for a tenth the price. But the narrative is that ‘loose’ US gun laws are all that stands between Mexico-as-it-is-today and Mexico-as-an-Edenic-paradise, and the average reporter probably doesn’t know the difference anyway.[1]

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin.’ I have my own misgivings about Arizona’s new law[2] but it was passed in response to a real problem.

    [1] journalistic SOP: if it can be fired one-handed, it’s a Glock. If it takes two hands, it’s an AK-47.

    [2] Not really germane to the thread

  • Mike Lorrey

    Dunderhead dunders,
    “Then in order not to be left behind in this miniature arms race I have to get a gun to protect me and my family. Suddenly I’m in the position that because of other peoples desire to exercise their right, my right “not to spend the rest of my life in a position where i might have to kill someone” is removed.”

    Not at all, dunderhead. The very fact that you and your neighbors have the freedom to get a gun and use it in self defense means that criminals have no expectation that you are NOT armed and thus are less likely to attempt to commit crimes against you and your neighbors. Lefties like yourself should understand this sort of “penumbra defense” concept.

    I live in New Hampshire, which is quite liberal in its firearms laws, or rather the lack thereof. I can carry a gun anywhere other than a courtroom, and am guaranteed a concealed weapons permit, and can own machine guns, silencers, etc. South of NH is Massachusetts, which is significantly more fascist in its gun laws and as a result has significantly higher crime rates since criminals there know that most people there are not armed.

    We occasionally get the random Massachusetts gang banger coming north of the border trying to start something, usually only to find out that most of us are armed and usually better armed than the typical gang banger, much to the gang bangers detriment. Most gang bangers are smart enough to stay south of the border where the prey is much easier to come by.

    An armed populace does more than deter crime, they exercise evolution in action. At some point you’ve weeded out 99.99% of the bad seeds and life is far more safe than living in an unarmed state.

  • mac

    I don’t want to deny anyone their rights or opportunities and in fact I am genuinely troubled by the gun control argument.

    However if you are given the right to protect yourself buy possessing guns then everyone has to be given that right. That would include people who wish to use those guns for nefarious purposes. Then in order not to be left behind in this miniature arms race I have to get a gun to protect me and my family. Suddenly I’m in the position that because of other peoples desire to exercise their right, my right “not to spend the rest of my life in a position where i might have to kill someone” is removed.

    What you’re saying is that you want to take away everyone’s rights because some people misuse them. In your infinite wisdom you’ll collectively punish everyone and make all other law-abiding citizens much more vulnerable. Your justification for this will be the misdeeds of criminals whose actions law-abiding citizens neither approved nor could control. The righteous will be forced to pay the same price as the criminals, the fact that the criminals won’t obey this law notwithstanding.

    Right. You’re completely and thoroughly understood. Let me make sure you get a completely unambiguous response as well:

    GO FUCK YOURSELF!

    You want my guns, you gutless, cowardly, aptly-tagged bastard, come get them.

  • dunderheid

    mac:

    Message taken and understood.

    Unfortunately your message has stirred up, what were until now undiagnosed, uncontrollable psychotic urges (perhaps my tag is aptly named if understated).

    However luckily I live in a state with particulary lax gun control laws so now I can work through these issues by taking you up on your kind offer and brutally murdering you and your family

    God Bless America

  • mac

    I’ve seen lots of your craven ilk before. Gutless, contemptibly cowardly lefty bastards like you haven’t got the balls to get out of their own way. You’re a wimpy wanking fool who thinks a gun would jump up and bite him if he got close enough.

    I’d be more worried about Pee Wee Herman, you whelp. Now go whimper in a corner somewhere because the big bad man insulted you.

  • dunderheid

    mac:

    Show me how big and brave you really are…

    Post your real name and address….

  • mac

    Awww… get the wee boy’s goat, did I? You’ve gone from defending your “right not to have to spend the rest of my life in a position where I might have to kill someone” to threatening brutal murder of a family. Quick shift there, wanker. Guess you don’t have the courage of your convictions, do you, wimp? Not that someone like you would know what courage of any type was in the first place. Nobody’s scared of anything you might threaten because you’re so clearly a wimp.

    Not only are you a gutless coward, you’re truly stupid as well. If you really want to die quickly, Second Amendment supporters are all around you, fool. Any one of them would be happy to blow your head off if you came to their home attempting to take their guns away. Try your “brutal murder” on any one of them, wanker. Save the travel expenses for your relatives to bury you with.

  • MattP

    However luckily I live in a state with particulary lax gun control laws so now I can work through these issues by taking you up on your kind offer and brutally murdering you and your family
    God Bless America

    Posted by dunderheid at July 5, 2010 10:28 AM

    mac:

    Show me how big and brave you really are…

    Post your real name and address….

    Posted by dunderheid at July 5, 2010 01:37 PM

    Can you believe this?

    Actually, it’s very believable. Your standard liberal gun grabber is very likely to be a sociopathic murderer.

    Take the Chicago gun law that the USSC overturned in the MacDonald case. It’s chief proponent was Fred Roti. He was an influential alderman. He was also the son of Bruno Roti and a made member of the Chicago mob.

    What are British friends may not be aware of is just how mobbed up Chicago is. It is run by the mafia. Or as it is locally known, the Outfit.

    Since 1970 the federal government has sent 27 Chicago aldermen to prison. They have actually charged 30 with crimes, but one died before trial and 2 await trial. Over 1,000 Illinois state or local officials have been imprisoned in that same time period.

    Including William Hanhardt. He was the corrupt chief of detectives installed in the Chicago police department by mobster/alderman Roti. And who pled guilty to racketeering in 1999.

    Got that? Not just convicted. Admitted to being guilty of racketeering.

    These are the people who advocate disarmament. Gangsters. Now these Cook County pols are in the White House, and run the DoJ. Oh, look! They just dismissed what Bartle Bull (JFK civil rights attorney) called the most blatant case of voter intimidation he’s ever witnessed.

    Unlike our criminal neighbors, I am an adherent to a civil society. So I moved to one. Texas.

    I was at a social function a few months back. The governor was speaking.

    There was no prescription against weapons. Anybody who was legally qualified to wear weapons could attend.

    And the governor was entirely safe. Because he was not outgunned, as we playfully joked with his Texas Ranger security detail. Every gun there, whether they voted for him or non, would have been on his side. Naturally, nothing happend.

    That’s what civilization is. You could trust a civilized man with a howitzer.

    It is an an admission of failure at that endeavour when you call for citizens to be disarmed. Or deliberate sabotage of the condition, as in the case of Chicago.

  • dunderheid

    mac:

    In my deranged sociopathic obsession I don’t just want any old gun nuts weapons…I want yours and yours alone.

    So I repeat…post your name and address.

    What have you got to be afraid of…the second amendment will protect you…

  • dunderheid

    mac:

    In my deranged sociopathic obsession I don’t just want any old gun nuts weapons…I want yours and yours alone.

    So I repeat…post your name and address.

    What have you got to be afraid of…the second amendment will protect you…

  • efh

    So getting back to some of the subtantive commentary, particularly on the 2nd amendment. While it is true that the wording cannot be separated into separate sentences, the application of the modifying clause regarding well-regulated militias is all to often misconstrued. The founders had recently overthrown a giovernment, and had a great fear of an all-powerful national army because of the potential to oppress. The 2nd amendment was their way of preserving the citizenry’s ability to defend itself by force of arms from its own government if necessary. Well-regulated militias did not mean a state controlled force such as the national guard. At that time, every able bodied male (ok they were still paternalistic) was in the militia and had a gun. Well-regulated meant well-trained and disciplined. It did NOT mean controlled by trhe government. Our right to bear arms was a right to defend ourselves not just from bad individuals, but from our government if it ever goes really bad. That’s why the Nh constitution even guarantees the right to revolution against the state and in it’s language ridicules the notion that individuals must be subservient to the state. Now practically speaking, handguns wouldn’t do muh against federal tanks, but if everyoen were armed, I doubt it would ever get to that because the world would be watching, so handguns and simialr personal weapons still would do the job if it ever came to that – which I hope it never, ever, ever does.