Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

Essay Writing As A Requirement For Concealed Carry

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

News from Massachusetts:

Critics are blasting a Massachusetts city’s new law that they claim requires residents applying for a license to carry handguns to write “an essay” and pay upwards of $1,100 for training.

The new laws take effect this week in Lowell, a city of 110,000 that lies 35 miles north of Boston. Pushed by Police Superintendent William Taylor and passed by the City Council, they require applicants for unrestricted handgun licenses to state in writing why they should receive such a license. Taylor, who was unavailable for comment on Monday, has sole discretion for approving or denying the applications.

“It is absurd that people should have to write an essay to the town to explain why they should be able to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Jim Wallace, executive director of Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. “We already have a very strict set of gun laws in the state, but this is way over the top.”

State law sets guidelines and requirements, but gives local chiefs of police broad discretion in implementation. While other cities and towns in Massachusetts have tough licensing regulations, Lowell’s new requirements, which also include taking a gun safety course over and above one already required by the state, prompted complaints at a public hearing last week.

“I will never write an essay to get my rights as an American citizen,” resident Dan Gannon told the City Council.

The new policy was prompted in part by a year-old federal lawsuit brought by Commonwealth Second Amendment, a Bay State gun-rights group. Attorney David Jensen said the suit stems from Lowell’s history of denying qualified applicants permits to carry handguns without what the plaintiffs consider a legitimate rationale.

Lowell Police spokesman Capt. Timothy Crowley said characterizing the written requirement as an “essay” is not accurate.

“If you want a license to carry a firearm unrestricted wherever you want and whenever you want, the superintendent is just looking for some documentation as to why,” Crowley said. “That is not unreasonable to most people.”

Local attorney Richard Chambers, who often represents applicants who have been turned down, said calling the new requirement an “essay” is right on target.

“An essay when you’re in school is when you write something, you turn it in and they grade it,” Chambers said. “This is an essay. And it’s also just another layer of bureaucracy they’ve tacked on to block people from exercising their rights.”

Despite the criticism, the new rules were adopted unanimously and are set to take effect this week.

“We’re no longer taking a cookie-cutter approach to issuing firearms licenses …”

Here’s the top cop in Lowell who is in charge of reviewing your essay.


A cookie cutter approach, huh?  That’s what they call exercising a right.  A cookie cutter approach to allowing people to do something that we take to be axiomatic and righteous, i.e., the right to self defense.

I have a better idea.  Rather than applicants writing an essay to get their rights recognized, I want the top cop in Lowell to read the essay I’ve already written, and then write me an essay that explains why anyone has a right to force applicants to write an essay in order to engage in the free exercise of their rights.

If this seems to difficult for the top cop, we can start at a remedial level.  Write me an essay on the meaning of this phrase: ” … shall not be infringed.”

Pistol Caliber Carbines And Personal Defense Weapons

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

I’m still not convinced about the necessity of the PDW (I carry handguns for PDW), but as I’ve said before, I’m still interested (I haven’t taken the plunge and bought one yet) in a pistol caliber carbine.  But I am not a fan of the 9mm.  I shoot .45 ACP, .38 Special and .357 magnum (I also have a new FN Five-seveN which shoots 5.7x28mm).  But thus far I’m unhappy with the PDWs and pistol caliber carbines I see.  There are few in .45 ACP that I’ve been able to find.

This SHOT show has been big in these weapons.  SIG Sauer announced their new MPX 9, which looks very cool and very sleek.  It isn’t an SBR, it’s a carbine.


If the Kalashnikov is more your style, they have a new 9mm.


Not to be outdone, TNW Firearms has a new 10mm rifle in the AR style.



I’m not too big on 10mm either, but what do you know, they have a .45 ACP version that looks nice (it sells as a pistol rather than a carbine, with no stock).

You Need A Soul Check Before You Vote For Donald Trump

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

Regular readers know I like Ted Cruz.  It doesn’t matter.  He likely can’t be president because he can’t be the nominee.  He can’t be the nominee because he isn’t a blowhard, loud mouth, megalomaniac narcissist like Trump.  Another reason is that he’s principled.  When he declined to offer Iowans welfare for corn, while Mr. Trump gladly promised continued ethanol subsidies, he probably sealed his fate.

There are so many Ted Cruz hate articles I cannot list or link them all.  I wouldn’t anyway, because I think they’re all worthless except for reminding us of the total moral vacuum in which our politicians function, and the total lack of scruples that affects our rulers.  It’s good to know just how bad it really is, and those articles remind us of that.

Ted Cruz isn’t perfect, but he’s the best of the bunch in my estimation.  But listen to me closely when I say this to you, dear reader.  This post isn’t about me trying to persuade you to vote for Ted Cruz.  I don’t care who you vote for – that’s between you and God.  But that last statement is important.

I’ve often said to my close friends that being a parent isn’t about what happens to your children.  God handles your children the way He sees fit in His sovereignty and providence.  Being a parent is about what happens to you – the process of sanctification, the growing, the learning to trust the Lord in all things, the process of applying God’s principles to your daily life and giving the rest over to God.  He’s preparing us for heaven.

The same can be said, albeit in a lesser form, about many things.  A single vote may not redound to anything.  But God gave you that vote, and whether it effects changes in the nation or not, it shows your soul, and it effects change in you.  What happens inside the voting booth means something to God, just as much as how you spend your hard earned money.  Do you tithe?  Do you support missionaries?  How did you cast your vote?

Mr. Trump is well known for his support of Clinton’s assault weapons ban.  He is also well known for his pro-choice views.  He believes that TARP/bailout was a good idea, and he is in favor of a single payer health care system like Obamacare.  And listen closely to me on this, because I’ve been listening closely.  Mr. Trump hasn’t promised to stop or even slow immigration.  He has promised to build a wall, make everyone go home, and then open the gates wide for them to return under new work rules as long as we know who is here.

And just in the last few days because of a great interview by Field & Stream, we now know that his sons are Fudds and he wants to maintain federal control over BLM lands.

AL: I’d like to talk about public land. Seventy percent of hunters in the West hunt on public lands managed by the federal government. Right now, there’s a lot of discussion about the federal government transferring those lands to states and the divesting of that land. Is that something you would support as President?

DT: I don’t like the idea because I want to keep the lands great, and you don’t know what the state is going to do. I mean, are they going to sell if they get into a little bit of trouble? And I don’t think it’s something that should be sold. We have to be great stewards of this land. This is magnificent land. And we have to be great stewards of this land. And the hunters do such a great job—I mean, the hunters and the fishermen and all of the different people that use that land. So I’ve been hearing more and more about that. And it’s just like the erosion of the Second Amendment. I mean, every day you hear Hillary Clinton wants to essentially wipe out the Second Amendment. We have to protect the Second Amendment, and we have to protect our lands.

He goes on to preen over having a concealed handgun permit in New York, asking the interviewer if he knows how hard it is to get a permit in New York?  Not once did he rail against a New York system that makes it that hard to get a permit.  He just preened over his own, doubtless gotten because of the millions he can pay lawyers to lobby on his behalf.

Now we learn that Mr. Trump knows that he has cult-followers.

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” he said.

Of this, Mike Vanderboegh remarks this.

Donald Trump, as near as i can make out, is absolutely unprincipled and like all demagogues is saying what he believes he needs to say in order to achieve his ends. My concern is that he is obviously as much of an insecure personality as Obama and, like Obama, gets his “principles” in the mirror every morning when he wakes up. Taken together, their proclaimed fidelity to the limits of the Constitution are so much fart in the wind. Only when the mask slips as at Dordt College, do you get a sense of Trump’s inner demagogic voyage of discovery. To paraphrase George Corley Wallace, if you put Obama and Trump in a barrel and rolled them down the hill, there would always be an unprincipled son of Beelzebub on top.

Yes.  Unprincipled.  Demagogue.  And listen to me closely – if you believe that he will expand gun rights, if you believe that he will hold crony capitalists accountable, if you believe that he will close the border, he will disappoint you.  I promise.

And I won’t laugh at you because I know you care about these things.  But it’s absolutely going to be a bitch for you when he effectively signs amnesty into law and expects you to continue paying for the medical care for 30 million immigrants for the sake of the corporations.  It will be a bitch.

Concerning Islamic Migrants And Dance Of The Ass Clown Troupe In Finland

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

News from Germany:

In a searing indictment of the behaviour of some refugees, the woman said her idealism has been eroded and virtually destroyed.

At first she said was enthusiastic in her role of helping process tens of thousands of migrants arriving in Germany on a weekly basis.

Now, she says she is disillusioned, disheartened and on the verge of quitting due to demands and sexual harrassment (sic).

[ … ]

“Some from an Arab region recently yelled at a colleague of mine: ‘We decapitate you!’.

“Because of these and other things, the police were called to us several times a week.”

She said she has also been horrified by refugees attitudes towards women.

She said: “It is well known that it is mainly single men who come here – about 65 per cent, many less than 25-years-old.

“And some of them do not respect women at all. They accept that we’re there but they don’t take us seriously at all.

“If I tell them or give them a statement, as a woman they barely listen to me, dismiss it as irrelevant and just contact one of our male colleagues.

But beyond the disrespect, insults and decapitation threats, it gets worse.  This is life among the retarded barbarians.

A gang of migrant men sexually assaulted German women at a historic swimming bath, it has been claimed.  Other migrants were caught “emptying their bowels” in the children’s pool and masturbating in a hot tub, according to reports.

But in Finland, the dancing ass clowns know better than the rest of the world what fine men the North African Muslims are.

In the snowy streets of Finland’s cities, black-clad vigilantes are on patrol, to the alarm of the police and many residents. They say they’re there to keep Finnish people safe from what they say is a new and clear threat — the increasing numbers of asylum-seekers.

The rise of the Soldiers of Odin, which claims 500 members, has sparked both concern and ridicule in the Nordic country. Opponents dressed as clowns recently to accompany the ominous-looking men on their patrols.

[ … ]

The Soldiers of Odin say they are unarmed, though Ranta acknowledged he carries pepper spray, which is legal in Finland. They wear black jackets bearing their logo on the back — a mustachioed man wearing a Viking helmet and Finnish flag as a neckerchief.

National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen said the tenfold increase in asylum requests in 2015 has greatly increased the workload for police officers, including the need to fingerprint applicants, keep order at reception centers and protect them from arson attacks, mostly by drunk Finnish men — not always successfully.

“But we categorically don’t accept any street patrols that have been set up solely against immigrants or asylum-seekers. It’s the duty of the police to keep law and order,” he added.

Last week, a group calling itself the Sisters of Kyllikki, named after a mythological Finnish female figure, began street patrols of their own “to spread love and caring” in the southeastern town of Joensuu, where a week earlier the Soldiers of Odin held an anti-immigrant demonstration.

That group’s fame has spread on Facebook, with patrols planned in at least four other towns.

A troupe of clowns calling themselves the LOLdiers of Odin, in apparent reference to the text messaging abbreviation, LOL, for “laughing out loud,” has gone even further.

Dressed in crazy clothes, including Viking helmets, tin hats, and long flowing gowns, they taunted and mocked the vigilantes on one of their patrols last week in the southern city of Tampere. The clowns sang children’s songs, threw cartwheels and slid down piles of snow along the black-clad men’s route.

Oh dear.  This is pitiable, a sorry setup for disaster.  A few people know the threat, but they have their detractors – the gay dancing street troupe.  The police don’t accept anyone ensuring peace but them, but they will do the bidding of their masters in positions of power, which means they won’t do anything.

Meanwhile, the only ones who see the threat aren’t armed and apparently cannot be legally armed to defend themselves and their families.  All they have is OC spray.

It’s a good thing none of this could ever happen in the good old U.S. of A.  God bless the USA.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

David is in a throw-down with Gavin Newsom, who is a worm.  It might be interesting to watch this one play out.  I don’t do Facebook because I hate Mark Zuckerberg so much.  But for those of us who can stomach an account, I admit it can be used for good from time to time.

David Codrea:

Bottom line: Just because current or former members of the armed forces support “gun control,” it would be naive and dangerous to conclude that has made them weak or otherwise impaired their capabilities.

Oh, absolutely.  I pointed out that I doubted this Marines credentials, whether he was a grunt.  Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.  No grunt would misapply the phrase “military grade assault rifle” so badly.  But being a grunt and being a control freak don’t necessarily intersect.

Hognose disabuses you of the oft-repeated notion that a lone defender with a handgun cannot possibly be effective against terrorists.  Of course he can.

Via Uncle, this is a good idea.

If a Tennessee grocery store bans guns on its property and a black bear or wild hog kills or injures a person who otherwise would be carrying his or her gun, the gun owner would be allowed to sue the property owner if a newly introduced bill became law.  To accomplish that goal, the legislation allows any Tennessean with a valid gun permit to sue a property owner in the event of injury or death provided the incident occurred while in a gun-free zone.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, EOTech comes clean, or so we’re told.  But I’m still not sure what to do about mine.

Guns Tags:

My Worthless Politicians – Richard Burr And Robert Pittenger

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

I often criticize the politicians from other states.  North Carolina isn’t immune from worms that eat rotten flesh either.  Richard Burr is one such worm.

Earlier today it was widely reported that North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was not happy with Ted Cruz. That doesn’t make him a special snowflake. Most of the practitioners of crony capitalism and Failure Theater in the Senate are not happy with Ted Cruz. But Burr was not content to merely take a number and get in line. Burr had to make a point of how pissed he was at the idea of Ted Cruz winning the nomination. (Burr’s Heritage Action score is 45%, which is the same as arch-conservatives John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell.)

Cruz has become such a pariah that one of his colleagues, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, told supporters at a campaign fundraiser for his own re-election that he would vote for liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders for president before Cruz, according to one person who attended the event. Burr did not appear to be joking, said the person, who demanded anonymity to discuss the private gathering.

Robert Pittenger is another worm.

“We must continue to protect privacy,” said Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger of North Carolina, who wants to draft bi-partisan legislation to improve the flow of information. “But there should also be enough room for law enforcement to be alerted to specific concerns about those with mental illness and have the opportunity to investigate and determine if further action is necessary.”

He said an unintended consequence of federal privacy laws is that it’s “nearly impossible to share potentially life-saving patient information with law enforcement.”

Robert buys into the false religion of mental health professionals being able to be predictors of behavior, like a bad version of Minority Report.  But he should instead believe what commenter Menckenlite says.

Control freaks love psychiatry, a means of social control with no Due Process protections. It is a system of personal opinion masquerading as science. See, e.g., Boston University Psychology Professor Margaret Hagan’s book, Whores of the Court, to see how arbitrary psychiatric illnesses are. Peter Breggin, Fred Baughman and Thomas Szasz wrote extensively about abuses of psychiatry. Liberals blame guns for violence. Conservatives blame mental illness. Neither have any causal connection to violence. The issue is criminal conduct, crime. Suggesting that persons with legal disabilities are criminals shows the nonsensical argument of this politician and his fellow control freaks. Shame on them.

They’re worms, all of them.  Well, not all of them.  I have respect for Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, and Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina.  For the rest, I’m a gracious and kind man.  I say we give them their choice.  Hemp rope and lampposts, or tar and feathers.

Florida Sheriffs Fight Back Against Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

Tampa Bay Times:

Hoping to override legislation that would relax existing state law by allowing concealed-weapons permit holders to visibly carry their weapons in public, the Florida Sheriffs Association announced its own measure Wednesday.

The proposal would protect concealed-carry permit holders from arrest if they accidentally display a firearm in public.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri — the FSA’s legislative chairman — says the measure clarifies Florida laws and diminishes the call to legalize open carry.

“The way we crafted this proposal is airtight and provides a fix,” Gualtieri said. “It states that no law-abiding, concealed-carry holder will ever face any sanctions for inadvertently exposing their gun.”

Gualtieri said the proposal is presented as an alternative to open-carry legislation bills and would help solve the “gotcha law” problem if someone’s gun was accidentally visible.

The proposal would require a person to intentionally and deliberately — “in a clear and obvious manner,” Gualtieri said — violate concealed-carry laws before they can be arrested.

The proposal also enforces a requirement that lets people explain circumstances surrounding their guns being accidentally exposed. If for some reason a concealed-carry holder is arrested, and it’s later proved their gun was exposed accidentally, the proposal calls for immediate expunction of the incident from their record.

“We don’t think it’s necessary to go from where we are today to full open carry,” Gualtieri said.

“The purpose of this is to solidly protect concealed-carry holders — I fully support everyone’s right to (lawfully) concealed carry. … We’re offering a solution so that people with concealed-carry permits aren’t going to get in trouble for something they shouldn’t get in trouble for.”

First, law enforcement has absolutely no business advocating one law or criticizing another.  It isn’t any of their business, any more than it’s the business of, say, the local utility to weigh in on whether something like open carry should be legal.

Second, accidental exposure of a weapon isn’t the only problem associated with open carry.  In a hot state like Florida, there are other reasons for open carry, like sweating your weapon when you are carrying IWB, rubbing your flesh raw when walking with IWB carry, etc.

Third, as we’ve discussed many times before, as a [sometimes] open carrier who lives in a traditional open carry state, the problems law enforcement allege to exist with open carry simply do not obtain.  They’re misleading you.  It isn’t the big deal they say it is, and blood doesn’t run in the streets.

Fourth (and this is perhaps the saddest thing we learn from the report), accidental exposure of a weapon is indeed an issue, and the Florida Sheriff’s association knows it to be so.  That’s the only reason they have proposed this as substitute legislation.  They want to placate weapons carriers, and they know that wasting court time for a shirt lifting in the wind is silly.  Thus, they’ve been down this road before.  They know all about arresting people for silly accidents that have no affect on anyone.

And they waited this long to do anything about it, and only proposed this law in an attempt to deflate open carry rights.  How disgraceful.  How absolutely contemptible.

When Fudds Conspire To Attack Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

News and views from Maine:

Two accomplished and popular leaders of sportsmen have stepped up to support extension of background checks to all gun sales in Maine. Bucky Owen and Bill Vail, former Commissioners of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will lead a group of sportsmen who support the initiative.

At a Tuesday morning press conference, representatives of the group, Maine Moms Demand Action, stood in front of boxes filled with petitions bearing the signatures of 85,436 citizens from all 503 Maine cities and towns, an impressive effort. One third of the signatures came from Maine’s Second Congressional District.

Jackie Sartoris, a MMDA volunteer, reported their polling found that 80 percent of Maine voters support the initiative. At the press conference, Bucky Owen noted that he’s been a lifelong hunter, angler, and gun owner. “We have a proud heritage of responsible gun ownership,” said Owen, a resident of Orono. “I believe strongly in the Second Amendment,” he said, “and in keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people. This initiative includes safeguards for us and will not lead to gun registration,” he concluded.

The Act to Require Criminal Background Checks for Gun Sales requires background checks for all gun sales, with some notable exceptions. For those of us who are sportsmen, the most important exceptions are these. No background checks are required “while hunting or trapping if such activity is legal in all places where the transferee possesses the firearm and the transferee holds any license or permit required for such activity.”

This is important to me, because I loaned a firearm to two hunters in November, including the Portland Press Herald’s outdoor writer Deirdre Fleming, who were deer hunting for the first time. It would have been ridiculous to have to go through a background check in those circumstances. There is another exception for shooting ranges.

Probably the most important exception for sportsmen and gun owners is the one that exempts us from the background check if we are selling a gun to a family member defined as a husband, wife, domestic partner, parent by blood, parent by adoption, child by blood, child by adoption, sibling by blood, sibling by adoption, grandparent, grandchild, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, first cousin, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, or intimate partner.” A pretty comprehensive list!

I see.  So you can sell a gun to the local whore if you’ve been to bed with her, but you cannot sell a gun to that neighbor or church member whom you’ve known for thirty or forty years, who helped bury your parents, who came to all of your children’s activities, who helped you with your duties around the home, reciprocating the love you showed them?  You know, that neighbor or church member who is so trusted that he has keys to your home and visits and watches out for it while you’re away?  Yes, that’s right.  That one.

You can color me unimpressed, you two old collectivist Fudds.  I don’t care where you worked, I don’t care if you’ve hunted all of your life, and I don’t care what you think you can make the polls prove in Maine.  And as for that matter, you cannot honestly assert that universal background checks won’t lead to a gun registry.  You know you can’t, and you know that the temptation of totalitarians is always to accumulate more power and control.  So that makes you a liar.

Former Marine Calls For Gun Control

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago

David Codrea:

“While I am concerned that America’s current gun laws are too relaxed, this does not mean that I oppose gun ownership,” Hess continues digging himself into a hole. “I have always enjoyed shooting as a hobby.”

Good for you, Sarge. But I don’t think you want to go the “sporting purposes“ route, at least without figuring out where that evil concept originated.

[ … ]

Yeah, this guy’s a willing tool, meaning there’s really no need to fisk the rest of his propaganda screed, except to say that “law-abiding” is a relative term used to disqualify rights in “progressive” strongholds, and that trying to ban what he calls “military grade assault rifles” is an act of utter betrayal to the oath he swore. Evidently Hess is not ignorant of what that oath meant—he’s just contemptuous of it.

As I said before, I have my doubts he is a former Marine.  He’s welcome to prove it to me.  But if he is, he certainly isn’t a grunt.  No grunt would use the term “military-grade assault rifle” so inaccurately.  If he was a grunt, he knows that there are three requirements to meet the definition of assault rifle, and AR-15s miss on one of them.  As for the term “military grade,” he knows that the Marines took Remington 700 .308s into Iraq as sniper rifles.  The term means nothing.  Even the phrase Milspec doesn’t necessarily mean the best or most reliable.

But if he is a former Marine, David has responded as best as anyone can.  He is an oath breaker.  His word means nothing.  As for the appended note at the end of David’s column, sure there are former Marines.  My son is one.  What there isn’t is an ex-Marine.  Unless of course you’re an oath breaker.

Gun Discharges While Dry Firing

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 6 months ago


LIBERTY COUNTY –Investigators say a man “dry firing” a handgun resulted in the accidental shooting death of a Liberty County man.

The shooting happened on County Road 4893 in south Liberty County according to a sheriff’ office report. Deputies determined that Van Everett Wuhas, 21, of Liberty County, was “dry firing” a 9mm pistol  when it fired striking Justin Taylor Gonzales, 20, in the right upper chest area around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Lead Investigator Sgt. Billy Knox said it was determined that Justin Gonzales and Wuhas were very close friends to the point they call themselves “cousins”. According to Wuhas, his friend Gonzales was visiting at his home, alone when the shooting happened.  He said Gonzales had just stepped into the same room as Wuhas when the pistol discharged and the bullet struck Gonzales. Wuhas immediately called “911” and reported the shooting.

Gonzales was conscious but obviously in critical condition when medical staff arrived. Life Flight was called and Gonzales was air lifted but died while in flight to the Houston hospital.

So apparently he wasn’t really dry firing the gun, huh?  There go those gun safety rules, defenestrated straight out the window.

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