Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category

Supreme Court To Consider Assault Weapons Ban?

BY Herschel Smith
1 day, 19 hours ago

Hot Air:

While it’s not a done deal yet, there’s a good chance that we may finally be receiving a final decision from the Supreme Court on the question of so called “assault weapons” bans. Back in December, gun rights activists were largely disappointed when SCOTUS decided they would not hear an appeal to Illinois’ assault weapons ban, allowing a lower court ruling in favor of the law to stand. At the time, I speculated that they were waiting for more lower courts to weigh in on similar challenges around the country to see if there was some sort of consensus or if the states were divided and in need of clarification from above.

This week that question may have been answered. The 4th Circuit, hearing a Maryland case, went the other way, overturning a ban on AR-15 style rifles and expanded capacity magazines. (Baltimore Sun)

In a 2-1 decision applauded by gun rights advocates, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit concluded that the semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines banned by Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act “are in common use by law-abiding citizens.” As a result, they don’t fall under the exception to the right to bear arms that applies to “unusual” weapons such as machine guns and hand grenades, the court said.

This apparent contradiction between the 7th Circuit Court’s ruling in Friedman v. City of Highland Park and the 4th’s ruling in Maryland has likely provided enough contrast for the Supremes to take up the question.

If they take it up, I predict they will sustain the constitutionality of such a ban.  First of all, look at the makeup of the court.  It has five outright communists (including Kennedy), a collectivist in conservative dress (Roberts), two more fairly unreliable “conservatives” (Scalia and Alito), and only one true conservative (Clarence Thomas).

Second, they won’t even have to turn to their own proclivities to find their decision.  It’s embedded in Heller itself.

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts rou­tinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon , in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For exam­ ple, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws impos­ing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. 26 We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradi­tion of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.” See 4 Blackstone 148–149 (1769); 3 B. Wilson, Works of the Honourable James Wilson 79 (1804); J. Dunlap, The New-York Justice 8 (1815); C. Humphreys, A Compendium of the Common Law in Force in Kentucky 482 (1822); 1 W. Russell, A Treatise on Crimes and Indict­ able Misdemeanors 271–272 (1831); H. Stephen, Summary of the Criminal Law 48 (1840); E. Lewis, An Abridgment of the Criminal Law of the United States 64 (1847); F. Wharton, A Treatise on the Criminal Law of the United States 726 (1852). See also State v. Langford , 10 N. C. 381, 383–384 (1824); O’Neill v. State, 16 Ala. 65, 67 (1849); English v. State, 35 Tex. 473, 476 (1871); State v. Lanier, 71 N. C. 288, 289 (1874). It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause …

You can read the rest for yourself.  Scalia isn’t here arguing for the constitutionality of owning M-16s.  He is attempting to answer an objection before it is cast.  He is implicitly accepting the legitimacy of banning M-16s.

I’ve said it before.  While many in the gun community celebrated Heller, I say it was perhaps in the top two sinful abominations leaving the pens of the supreme court, second only to Roe v. Wade.

The seeds of acceptance of an “assault weapons” ban are right there in Heller.  They will support the legitimacy of said bans.  And of course, we won’t listen to them because they jettisoned their own legitimacy long ago.


Guns Are Not The Answer To Rape

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 3 hours ago

The Cavalier Daily:

Anti-rape activist and National President of One in Four John D. Foubert told Slate, “If you have a rape situation, usually it starts with some sort of consensual behavior, and by the time it switches to non-consensual, it would be nearly impossible to run for a gun.”

Or in other words, it’s the victim’s fault.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more prejudiced and bigoted comment in print.  From reddit/firearms, “You’re going to get raped, hopefully by an NRA member, just take it so we get better statistics.”

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

David Codrea:

And just to prove he’s willing to sell out freedom of expression and online conduct (the same way “Don’t be evil” Google has done), Facebook, in order to please domestic collectivists every bit as anti-gun as their Chinese counterparts, has implemented a ban on private account gun ads …

As if we needed any more reason to hate Mark Zuckerberg.  What a horrible, terrible man.  I knew this about him when he designed a business deal that ensured his partner would hold worthless shares, giving him sole ownership of the company.  If you have a Facebook account, then so be it.  I closed mine out.  I won’t judge you, but Mark Zuckerberg is a horrible man (did I say already say that?) and I won’t give him any more power.

From Mike Vanderboegh, here are plans and details of work weekend.  I am afraid that I won’t be able to make it due to family and other issues.  I had hoped to see Mike in person, but that will have to wait.  What I can do, and have done, is donate to assist him and Rosie.  You can too,  Oh, and don’t forget to pray for him.

The F-35 software is overrun with bugs.  Well, I’ve given you a solution before, and I’ll do it again.  Shit can the whole idea, this pathetic, overblown, one-size-fits-all super jet that can’t really do anything very well, refurbish the existing fleet of fighters, and buy A-10s.  Lots and lots of A-10s.

Where are all the German men?  They fell victim to The Alienork way.

Can China copy the U.S. Marine Corps?  Ha.  They won’t try.  They wouldn’t have women in their combat ranks.

Essay Writing As A Requirement For Concealed Carry

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks 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.”

When Fudds Conspire To Attack Gun Rights

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days 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.

I Never Got “The Gun Thing”

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Cara McDonough:

I ended my story by saying that I felt the only way to move forward in this debate was to talk to people who did get the gun thing. That I wanted to understand the other side because, truthfully, I’d never tried to before.

A handful of gun owners — individuals with political views very different from my own — apparently read all the way through. They got the sentiment and took me up on my request and wrote to me. Because I’d prompted the discussion, I realized I needed to follow through, so I wrote back. And we’ve been talking.

I’m not claiming that I’ve begun some sort of revolution. The back-and-forth is slow going, but we’re communicating. In some instances, the conversation has remained focused on gun policy, while other email threads have morphed into discussing personal life beyond the issue at hand.

Writing to gun owners humanized the issue for me. After feeling so hopeless, the emails made me feel better. They were the only thing that did. Talking to people who owned guns and were willing to discuss that with me in a reasonable and respectful way had some immediate, and surprising, results.

I began to get “the gun thing,” as I’d dismissively termed it. A few who wrote to me pointed out that when you live in a rural community and calling law enforcement does not necessarily result in a prompt response, owning a gun for personal safety seems prudent. I’m a product of East Coast city life and — naively, shortsightedly — had never considered this.

But here’s the thing, Cara.  You never really advocated or even intended to advocate disarming everyone.  You never really believed in gun control for everyone, because you didn’t advocate disarming cops.  That’s a problem.  That means that you believe in guns, just in what you consider “the right hands.”  You want the government to have a monopoly of force, and for others to be left defenseless against criminals and, yes, against their own government as well.

The example you cited about people in the countryside is shameful, and not only should you never have brought that up, your detractors should have kept their mouths shut because they don’t believe in gun rights either.  Gun rights are just that – rights.  They are no respecter of persons or location.  Urbanites need self defense just as much as rural folk.

As for the cops you assume would be there is you call them, you do understand that they are under no legal obligation to protect you, don’t you?  Not according to Warren v. D.C., Castle Rock v. Gonzales, and other decisions.  Legally, the police can wait until your neighbors smell your rotting corpse before sending in the medical examiner, while they go eat doughnuts.  Besides, given typical response times, the crimes are over by the time police respond.

On a larger scale, guns protect men and women from awful people like ISIS, who get off on beheading defenseless women and children, or the Taliban, who want to perpetrate female circumcision and destroy school books so that children can’t learn to read.  Guns enabled our own revolution against a tyrant in England, and guns ended Hitler’s reign of terror in Europe.

You see, you know that guns are a tool with magnificent utility, an equalizer of the evil and the innocent, of the  criminal and the righteous.  But you still want the innocent and the righteous to be defenseless, and that says something deeply troubling about your values.  I suggest a deep, quiet period of soul-searching before writing about this again.

And before you do write again, you should get up with someone like me, who can sit for several hours and show you how our side safely handles firearms, and how they can be safely deployed at the gun range.  It simply isn’t enough to write emails back and forth.  You aren’t really fully engaged in this issue yet.  You’re just nibbling around the edges.

ISIS And Gun Confiscation

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

The New Yorker:

ISIS was telling everyone, ‘We’re all brothers,’ ” Abu Malik said. “They let people smoke and drink. At the checkpoints, they distributed presents to the kids. They ate with people, drank tea with people. They were very nice—they didn’t bother anyone. Then, a week or so after they arrived, they started confiscating weapons. They told us it didn’t matter if we’d been with the Awakening or the Army or the police—if we gave up our weapons, we’d be forgiven. Ten days later, they started taking people. Everything changed. They took my cousin. My brothers dug holes in the fields and hid. I was at my house when they came for me. It was afternoon. I saw two Hyundai Santa Fes pull up outside, and I ran out the back and jumped over the wall. That was the last time I saw my family.”

Totalitarians of all stripes have one thing in common.  The ordinary folk cannot have weapons.  Weapons are a threat to the hierarchy of rule, a symbol of power and independence, an enabler of equality.

Whether European and American totalitarians or ISIS, guns have to go.  Fascists are all the same everywhere, always, throughout history.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

“We have received a preliminary copy of one of the most dangerous pieces of anti-gun legislation we have ever seen,” Oregon Firearms Federation alerted its members. “This bill eviscerates due process and turns Oregon into a Soviet style collection of secret snitches!

Remember what TCJ commenter menckenlite said?  “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.”

It’s just that in this particular law, the list of government snitches who can bypass due process protections has grown to mammoth proportions.

Nice job, jerk off!

A former Marine for gun control.  Oh, it’s not worth the time for me to formally respond.  I think he’s lying.  I don’t really think he is a former anything, most of all Marine.

Gun violence.  Because people decide that’s what they want to do, not because of guns.

One commenter thinks there will be civil war in Canada if the newly elected effete boy-ruler tries to confiscate weapons.  “The province of Quebec has been the worst – where the mafia practically owned Montreal during the 30s to the 60s and the cops often looked the other way . With the muslim immigrant threat in the 21st century , the mafia days will come across ,in another 10 years,sadly,as “the good old days”. The western provinces (basically politically conservative ) are so fed up with the garbage from the East (Ontario,Quebec and the Maritimes) and their support of Justin Trudeau that there is a growing movement for a call of separation from Canada. Vancouver (on the West or “Left” coast) is viewed as being quite brain dead to any reality. Canada, far from it’s image of being composed of nice little polite “Canuckies” living in little log cabins eating back bacon ,is on the verge of much internal strife and conflict in the coming years. If Trudeau tries to grab guns in Alberta and Saskatchewan there will be “civil war”. Tough times ahead for the whole world and Canada is not exempt from it.Not by a long shot.”

So If You Don’t Get Off On Guns, I Can’t Have Them Either?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Shooting a gun reaffirmed my belief in gun control:

I’ve never understood guns — why people love them so much, why they think it’s fun to shoot them, why they collect them. I was always simply terrified of guns — which was extra difficult, given that I grew up in the South, nearly surrounded by them. My mother claimed to have one tucked away somewhere in the house when I was growing up, but I never believed her, because I never saw it. My cousins used to shoot BB guns in the backyard on holidays while I would stand on the porch and watch. I went to parties in middle school and high school where we hung out in some basement next to someone’s ridiculous gun collection. As soon as anyone started to get the guns out to show them off, I hightailed it out of there. I hated being in the same room as a gun, and I didn’t want to know or understand how they worked. I didn’t think you needed to know how a gun worked, or what it felt like to use one, in order to know that they were dangerous.

[ … ]

They assured me that everything was safe, we made sure the area was clear, and I shot a gun at a target for the first time in my life. I didn’t feel a rush or a sudden sense of power. I felt nothing. I shot again. Nothing. I shot another gun, and I still felt nothing. There was no thrill here. This is what people were defending? I felt a disconnect. Sure, I’ve wielded weapons before. I taught archery for many years, I’ve chopped wood, and I’ve fenced. My entire family is military. I love so many aspects of Southern culture, and I am proud that our rights to personal property are protected in the United States.

But that moment confirmed that for me, the risks and the repercussions of owning guns greatly outweigh the fun, culture, and tradition associated with them.

Hey.  I see how this works.  If you don’t get orgasmic over guns, I can’t have them either.  Because you’re the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong and good and bad and pleasure and boredom.  Got it.

It’s Only You Who Can’t Have Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

They have their own security.


I don’t even know what the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards are.  I suspect it’s when famous people get together and present each other with some kind of awards.  Seriously.  I’ve never seen it.  But take note.  They’re anti-gun only when it comes to you.

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