Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
9 years ago

David Codrea, discussing the firing of gun writer Dick Metcalf:

From a strictly human point of view, it’s a tragedy. Being a professional gun writer is a specialized craft, and opportunities to earn a living at it are few and far between. Devoting oneself to that as a career, getting it right most of the time and suddenly becoming not just unemployable, but widely excoriated, is a terrible outcome.

It’s fair to ask if some of the concerns raised by writer Bob Owens might soften demands for Metcalf’s head, and the uproar also raises inevitable comparisons to the way gun owners have reacted in the past to similar major foul-ups.

Bob Owens makes the following statement:

A modern well-regulated militia—one that is smoothly functioning and in proper working order as an irregular small unit militia force of the kind the John Mosby and Max Velocity train—requires blood, sweat, and tears. It’s hard work. It’s exhausting duty. It’s a promise to future generations that you ready, willing, and able to fight and live (any unprepared idiot can die) to preserve liberty for posterity.

On the other hand, “shall not be infringed,” taken without any responsibility, is a hedonist’s choice. It implies no responsibility, obligation, or duty. It is the cry of, “Why, we should have anything and everything, just because!”

Some of us are very selective in cherry-picking which parts of the Second Amendment we want to support, aren’t we?

I’ll speak to the subject of tactical training viz. Max Velocity and John Mosby later.  I don’t have that difficulty because of my methodological approach.  The Second Amendment circumscribes the power of the federal government, and its limitations are complete and comprehensive.  The Second Amendment doesn’t speak in the least to the power of the state, and we’ve discussed this before (please don’t slip in an argument over the fourteenth amendment at this point without reading the history of that subject here at this web site).

The State does indeed have the right to regulate firearms just like they have a right to regulate traffic laws, and this places both the authority to do so and the ability to remove those leaders from office who abuse that authority, right where it should be, near the people.  For example, the State has a right to expect that I will secure my weapons in such a manner that they will not become a danger to the neighborhood children should they come over to play (while at the same time no one has a right to illegal search or seizure to inspect my home “just because“).  The State also has a right to prohibit drunk driving.  I have never argued, nor will I ever argue, for anarchy or having everything I want just because.  God gives me rights, and the state recognizes those rights.  If it does not, I must hold the state accountable because God says I must.  All of life is a covenant, and the government is just as much in covenant with me as I am with it.  The wise founders left the centralized government out of this conversation as they should have.

As to the issue of gun owner reaction, to me this is simple.  Gun owners have the right to expect what they want in publications, and to refuse to purchase products if they don’t get what they expect.  Do consumers of other products not have that right as well?

Kurt Hofmann continues the conversation we engaged here concerning the closure of the last lead smelter plant in the U.S.

This could carry dire consequences with regard to availability and price of ammunition, prompting some to speculate that the anti-gun Obama administration’s EPA is motivated less by the claimed concern for “cleaner air” than by desire to squeeze private gun ownership from a new, less obvious angle.

Perhaps, perhaps not, but regardless, the squeeze is likely to be felt quite keenly by gun owners. All the more keenly because of longstanding federal law banning the use of many other materials in the construction of bullets used in “handgun ammunition.” If lead is unavailable/unaffordable (and now verboten, to California hunters), and if a great many other possible bullet materials are illegal, the remaining options are both few and of limited utility.

Yes, and that’s why this may be problematic as we discussed.  It isn’t as simple as substituting steel balls for lead, copper for brass, or steel for anything else like casings (which can tear up chambers).

Mike Vanderboegh reminds us yet again why it is an awful idea to talk to the police.  I know that some people have a hard time considering the exercise of their right to silence, but you need to watch all of this video again.  Please.  Watch it all.  And don’t ever talk to the police about anything.  They are an arm of the court, and exculpatory evidence discovered during questioning is inadmissible because it is hearsay.  Again, watch the entire video.  So have you watched the video, or just listened to me talk about it?


  1. On November 12, 2013 at 2:29 am, Dan said:

    The Second Amendment is clear, concise and easily understood.
    The first part….the part about a well regulated militia is the rationale,
    the reason, a purpose for the second half of the Amendment. The
    first half could as easily have stated “the right to hunt deer” or
    the “need for regular target practice” or any of a number of reasons
    that could justify the exercise of the right that is stated in the second half
    of the Second Amendment. The rationale however in no way affects,
    diminishes, alters or limits the actual right….and that actual right is this.

    “The right of the people to KEEP AND BEAR ARMS shall not be infringed”.

    What that means is amazingly, crystal, unassailably, inviolably clear.
    I and ANY other American may own, buy, sell, possess, carry and keep
    at hand ANY weapon of ANY type we choose. PERIOD. No exceptions.

    The only and I MEAN ONLY acceptable governmental actions related to
    weapons and arms of ANY type is totally separate from the right to keep
    and bear…..that being the methodology and intent of said weapons WHEN

    The government simply cannot legally tell me what gun I can or cannot own, carry or have….EVER.

    They CAN determine via the representative process of legislation that it
    is unsafe for me to target shoot in my backyard since the neighbors house is only 100 feet away.

    Laws prohibiting dangerous uses of a weapon are not proscribed by the
    Second Amendment. ANY and ALL laws, rules, regulations and controls
    that in ANY way limit my ability and right to acquire, possess, carry and
    own ANY weapon IS a direct, actionable and treasonous assault on my right.

  2. On November 12, 2013 at 9:52 am, Paul B said:

    What I find is that there was a modicum of common sense in the founders. They would not suffer fools gladly and, at the time, fools did not live long.

    We have legalized commonsense out of the common so we have made a world where the idiots can no longer off themselves. No wolves, of any kind, to thin the herd.

    I feel we are fast becoming a nation of fools.

  3. On November 12, 2013 at 10:09 am, Herschel Smith said:


    Yes, you are right, as it pertains to the federal government. The second amendment frames in the power of the federal government as I said. We misread it when we conflate it with orders from the federal government to the states. The founding fathers didn’t see it that way. As it pertains to the states, your feelings should be made known at that level (and the local level). You should not *EVER* refer to the second amendment as a basis for your rights.

    Your rights come from God, not the second amendment, and the federal government has no more right to tell the states what to do regarding firearms than they do regarding health care. Again, your rights concerning firearms comes from God, and is recognized in the various state constitutions.

    So what do the states have a right to do or not do? Turn to the state constitutions, not the federal government or any federal document, even the constitution or bill of rights. As I’ve said above, I do not hold that I have a right to do anything I want any time I want with anything I want. I do not believe that I have a right to brandish firearms (this isn’t the same thing as open carry) or endanger the children of my neighborhood any more than I have a right to drunk driving, because that affects the lives of other people. But as the state encroaches on my God given rights concerning firearms, I have the ability to change those who rule at the state level without having people from New York, or New Jersey, or Maine, or California, tell me what I can and can’t do. The State is the right place for law-making concerning firearms and most other things. The federal government exists for the common defense and a common currency.

    My point again, in case you haven’t gotten it before now, is that when you say the “government simply cannot legally tell me …” [fill in the blank], yes, regarding the federal government. Don’t turn to the feds to delineate your state or local rights any more than you allow the feds to infringe on them. The founding fathers limited the feds by the bill of rights. Don’t return that power to them by referring to the same document or the federal courts for interpretations of said rights.

    Now, I see that I never returned to the issue of tactical training. The state oftentimes required that all men own and learn to use weapons and be part of the militia in colonial times. They have a right to do that – they did then, they do now, whether we like it or not.

    They didn’t make tactical training with Dave Mosby or Max Velocity a prerequisite for said membership in the militia or ownership of weapons. Ownership of weapons was so ubiquitous in colonial times that they codified the requirement that men bring their weapons to church and practice with them.

    Ownership of weapons was a prerequisite for life, not just for militia membership. The notion that they would have prohibited ownership of weapons unless and until I received training from some trainer is absurd to the point of being worthy of ridicule.

    Paul, yes, the government has no right to protect me from myself. They do, however, have a right to protect others from me, the example of which was drunk driving.

  4. On November 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm, scott s. said:

    The problem I have is many states, such as mine, have state constitutions which contain the exact same provisions as the 2d amendment, but the courts here come to diametrically opposite opinion as to interpretation (i.e., “shall not be infringed” really means “can be infringed in any way the legislature wants”) I suppose we can say in a Federal system that is possible, but something seems inherently wrong when the same words can be given so different an interpretation.

  5. On November 12, 2013 at 4:11 pm, PeaceableGuy said:

    “Paul, yes, the government has no right to protect me from myself. They do, however, have a right to protect others from me, the example of which was drunk driving.”

    No, government has no right nor responsibility for your protection nor well-being, as recognized (not established) by the US Supreme Court.

    Warren vs D.C.
    Castle Rock vs Gonzales

    This is as it should be. Peer pressure and sudden death by justifiably frightened bystanders should clear out the fools in short order.

  6. On November 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    I was agreeing with Paul, and I think you are agreeing with me. If not, I fail to see the disagreement anywhere.

    Edit: On second read, if you’re saying that the states do not have a right to prohibit drunk driving, prove it Biblically and legally. You’re wrong and you can’t. And citing a court case that has to do with a lawsuit of the police for failing to enforce a restraining order as opposed to say, a state making a law against driving drunk, is ridiculous. And you’ve conflated a lawsuit (a duty) with a right by the state to ensure public safety as best as it can. A law against drunk driving isn’t there to protect me if I’m drunk. It’s there to protect my wife when you’re driving drunk so that you don’t kill her because you want to do whatever you want to do any time you want to do it regardless of how many people you harm. A law against drunk driving is the same thing as a law against going into a crowd and randomly discharging a gun around you because you just feel like it that day. They are both against the law and for very good reason.

  7. On November 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm, Dan said:

    A right is a right….or else it is a privilege.

    to say that the federal government is bound by the
    Bill of Rights but the states are not is quite simply
    Stupid….in fact it is stupid squared.

    If a right can be regulate, limited or infringed by
    ANY level of government then it is not a right.

    Itnisnhigh time we stopped fighting the hollow and
    Useless fights of where, when, by whom and in what
    fashion we negotiate and legislate infringements on
    what is a fjndamental fact…..a right is inviolable b
    ANYONE, any one who says anything to the contrary
    is the enemy. We are at war with the enemy’s of freedom
    and one of their main weapons is lies and deceit…
    of the chief lies being that ” rights are not absolute so you
    must accept limits on those rights”.

    These people are our enemies…..enemies need to be defeated and
    Imprisoned or killed.

  8. On November 14, 2013 at 12:07 am, Herschel Smith said:

    Dan, under your paradigm there is no need for state constitutions. There are, in fact, state constitutions. Ergo, there is a need to delineate rights at the state and local level.

    The federal constitution explains what the federal government CANNOT do. That’s its primary aim. That’s the way the founders wanted it. You give authority to the federal government the founders didn’t want it to have when to defer to the federal constitution for your rights.

    I’m a state’s rights advocate, and apparently you’re not. I suspect you would have been on another side from me in the War Between The States.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Guns and was published November 11th, 2013 by Herschel Smith.

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