Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category

Deconstructing The Anti-Gun Second Amendment “Musket Myth”

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 4 days ago

NRA Blog:

  • Circa 1650 – The Kalthoff Repeating Flintlock: As Mike Blessing explains, the Kalthoff Repeating Flintlock came into production in the 1650s, seeing combat in the Siege of Copenhagen in 1659 and later during the Scanian War of 1675 to 1679 — 132 and 116 years, respectively, before the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. While manufacturing and repair costs kept the Kalthoff out of mass production, it represents the reality that “high capacity” firearms are not a contemporary concept, as some models of the Kalthoff boasted magazines of up to 30 rounds – the same number of rounds in a true standard-capacity AR-15 magazine of today.
  • Circa 1750 – The Cookson Volitional Repeating Flintlock: A lever-action breech-loading repeater, is one of many similar designs to make an appearance on the world stage beginning in the 17th century. The revolutionary mechanism at the heart of the Cookson repeater dates from 1680 and was originally known in Europe as the Lorenzoni System, named for Italian gunsmith Michele Lorenzoni of Florence. Long arms utilizing this system were produced in other European nations and in the United States until about 1849. The Cookson rifle dates from 1750 and features a two-chamber horizontally mounted rotating drum. After firing the rifle, the cycling process could be repeated until the two magazines, with their seven-shot capacities, were empty. Although other breech loading rifles were introduced in later years, the Cookson-type long arms were unique in their ability to fire multiple shots without reloading.
  • 1777 – The Belton Repeating Flintlock: Philadelphian Joseph Belton’s repeating flintlock design reportedly boasted a 16-to-20 shot capacity, using the superposed load mechanism. Sources indicate there was correspondence between the inventor and the Continental Congress in 1777, as the he had reportedly been commissioned by the Congress to build 100 of his repeaters for the U.S. military, with the order being dismissed solely for cost purposes. This discussion presents strong evidence that the founding fathers were perfectly able to conceive of “high capacity” repeating firearms.
  • 1782-1804 – The Nock Volley Gun: The close quarters of Naval warfare demanded a powerful, yet compact firearm that could provide abundant firepower. The Nock Volley gun fired seven shots all at once from seven clustered bores. This powerful rifle was issued nine years before the dawn on the Second Amendment.

They left out the wonderful Girandoni air rifle.

This is a wonderful and interesting rundown of the semi-automatic firearms available prior to and immediately after the war of independence.  Go read the NRA Blog article for more detail, as well as the context.  But I’ve explained the second amendment properly interpreted before (at least in my own view).

The second amendment discusses the right to bear arms and be free of federal interference in the context of the states’ desire to keep that interference from happening.  That is the historical milieu in which it was written.  The founders only needed one excuse to prevent federal government interference with the states on firearms, and they chose the most likely and obvious choice, i.e., the militia.  The second amendment is not a treatise on the foundation of liberty.

It’s an illogical jump to cast that as the only reason for the right to own and bear arms.  If you had discussed regulation on the right to own and use a tool of their trade to protect their families, hunt, and ameliorate tyranny with a colonial man, he would have buried you under the remotest prison.  God gave us our rights based on man being created in His image and the expected duty to work and subdue the earth to His glory.  The militia was a convenient excuse for a certain clause in one part of the constitution.  Limiting our rights to our understanding of that clause is a mistake.

And there’s more.

We don’t “hide behind” the second amendment.  It doesn’t grant us the right to own weapons.  God does that Himself.  The constitution is a covenant between men for how they will live together.  Like all covenants, there are promises and curses.

Look folks, if our wise founders had wanted the citizenry armed with inferior weapons to the king, they would never have said the things they did, fomented a revolution, or hid behind trees and killed, only to melt into the woods and mountains to kill another day, fighting a war of insurgency like none which had gone before it.

The founders ensured a covenant that codified man’s rights to firearms for the purpose not only self defense (which is assumed but left unaddressed by the second amendment), but for the second amendment remedy against tyranny.  There is no other sensible way to see it.

An Advanced, Progressive, Socialist Nation

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

From Matt Bracken.


In The Hands Of Civilians, Guns Are Not Protection From Crime

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

According to Todd Hubbard:

GUNS are awesome machines.

Built with great precision, advanced over generations, they are powerful tools for their purpose. Practicing with them brings the pleasure and satisfaction that comes with honing difficult skills. The enforcers of our laws use them to stop the criminals who threaten our lives and property. Our military uses them to kill and contain the violent enemies of our nation. As with any fine machine, looking at a gun, possessing one or working with one is exciting and empowering.

This is what guns are not:

In the hands of civilians, they are not protection from crime. Unless you wear a uniform with a badge or a service patch on it, the gun you carry is more likely to kill you or someone you know or love than it is to kill anyone who threatens you or your loved ones. The “good guy with a gun” who will protect us, rather than threaten us, is the man or woman who has been screened, trained, authorized and empowered by us to do the job. Anyone else, no matter how well-intentioned, is an amateur at best and a hazard to the rest of us at worst. The past 40 years in the United States has been a massive experiment in the theory that a highly armed citizenry will make us safer, and the experiment has been an abysmal failure.

In the hands of civilians, guns are not a bulwark against tyranny. If you believe that guns are a remedy against an oppressive government, then you are on the side of the black man who perceived “his” people being abused by government agents and chose to strike back with a gun. You are on the side of the troubled white man who, 52 years earlier, wanted to bring down the elected government he viewed as corrupt. Dallas is what Second Amendment remedies look like in practice: dead police officers, a dead president.

Many of you, my friends and family, own firearms. I do not want you to surrender your guns. I do not want the government to confiscate them. But I do want you to help address the problem of so many deaths caused by these awesome machines. An informed, engaged electorate is what protects us from tyranny. Stop pretending this problem does not exist or that the only solution is more guns. Do not hide behind “originalist” arguments about the Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Oh good heavens.  So let’s cover this one more time for the dense or stolid listener.  Mr. Hubbard, who apparently is an attorney, is engaging in lying, and any considered assessment of his behavior would conclude that it approaches malfeasance because he knows better.

In the 1981 decision in Warren v. District of Columbia the D.C. Court of Appeals concluded that it is a “fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen.”  In Castle Rock v. Gonzales (2005), the Supreme Court declined to expand any requirements for protection and ruled that the police cannot be sued for failure to protect individuals, even when restraining orders were in place.

Mr. Hubbard knows these decisions, and also knows that even if it was commonly accepted that the police were required to protect individuals, it would be impossible.  They cannot be there all of the time, and they cannot even promise any particular timely response to your calls.  The police can literally eat popcorn and watch while a woman is raped, as long as they effect an arrest after the fact.  They may be fired for failure to follow a department procedure, but they will not be charged with a crime.  “To protect and serve” is a sweet campaign slogan for Sheriffs who are running for office, but it’s a lie – it’s always a lie – and Mr. Hubbard knows it.  The police are there for stability operations and security of the government.  Understand that.

You must be your own protection, and if you are a morally righteous man who cares about his own life and the lives of his loved ones, you will have means of effecting that self defense.  If you don’t you are negligent in your God-given duties.  By negligent, I mean more than that you simply don’t know better.  I mean you know better and willingly choose to neglect your duties.

We know that it’s claptrap to say that it’s impossible to effect this self defense, just like we all know that the rate of crime hasn’t gone up as a result of guns.  But we also suspect that Mr. Hubbard knows about fourth generation warfare, and that guns are indeed means of amelioration of tyranny, and that genocide is always preceded by gun confiscations.

We don’t “hide behind” the second amendment.  It doesn’t grant us the right to own weapons.  God does that Himself.  The constitution is a covenant between men for how they will live together.  Like all covenants, there are promises and curses.  Mr. Hubbard doesn’t want to endure the curses of failure to live according to the covenant to which we are all bound, including the second amendment.  Mr. Hubbard would do well to ponder that fact.

Woodburn Police Chief: “We Will Never Take Your Weapons”

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

WOODBURN, Ind. (WANE) — The chief of the Woodburn Police Department pledged to never take away city residents’ guns in the improbable event martial law would be declared.

In a Facebook post late Monday, Chief Randall Duhamell posted on the Woodburn Police Department’s Facebook page that his department has fielded requests for information about martial law.

“LET ME BE CLEAR….We Will NEVER take your weapons…no matter who tells us too!” Duhamell wrote in the post.

“All of our officers swore an oath to protect our community against all enemies. We may use those citizens that legally carry as helpers in times of emergency.”

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the post was shared more than 2,200 times.

[ … ]

“We will never come and take your guns from your house or your vehicles,” the chief told News 18’s sister station, WANE, in an interview. “That’s not what we’re about, and I just wanted to share that with the community and let them know that we support the Second Amendment.”

I want to state up front that I appreciate the sentiment, and I also appreciate Chief Duhamell’s stated commitment to the second amendment.  I also appreciate the fact that he came out and said something to the community when he knew it was a salient issue and needed to be addressed.  I don’t want to be a jerk in the things I’m about to say.

The second amendment doesn’t justify my right to own weapons.  It is a covenant by which men agree to live together under certain stipulations.  They presence or absence of bearing arms in that covenant doesn’t affect in its essence the real basis for my bearing of arms.

That comes from God alone.  Furthermore, the intended use of carriers for times of emergency by the Chief is affirming, but irrelevant.  If gun owners are never any use to anyone but themselves and their families, that doesn’t affect one iota the real justification for the bearing of arms.

Finally, while I note that the Chief was probably speaking about intent rather than action, I would rather he had said that he and his officers would never attempt to confiscate weapons because that would be immoral.  Or more to the point, no sir, you never will take my weapons, and you don’t get the last say-so in the matter.

I would have been more affirmed and much more approving if the Chief had said not only would his officers never attempt to confiscate weapons, he would expect justified resistance if his officers attempted to do so.

Idaho Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Boise Weekly:

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed SB 1389 into law in March, and on July 1, it officially became legal to carry concealed firearms without a permit in Idaho—but during at a July 1 rally on the Capitol Mall, Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett said there’s more work to be done.

Pruett told the crowd of 75-100 people the next step is lobbying lawmakers to remove the residency requirement from the permitless—or constitutional—carry law and strengthen Idaho’s “castle doctrine,” the law which defines homicide as justifiable if it is, among other things, “committed in defense of habitation or property.”

“When someone breaks into your house, that should be the end of it for them,” Pruett said. He went on to express disappointment at the years of work it took to enact the law and at the lack of credit given to ISAA for the rise of strong Second Amendment advocate candidates in the Republican Primary.

In his remarks to the crowd, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) praised the group for securing legislation in four years and suggested not to turn against lawmakers for a single vote.

“I don’t want you to leave disappointed because it took four years,” Labrador said. “You need to judge politicians based on their body of work.”

Pruett wasn’t having it.

“For us, you’re either all in or you’re not,” he said.

This is a strange article and I don’t understand it.  Perhaps an Idahoan can help interpret what we’re reading here.  First of all, it takes a very long time to work the collectivist system down to something more tolerable.  If the man named Labrador was saying that the entire system should be exonerated because they finally did something good, then I have to disagree.

But on the other hand, if Pruett is disparaging the very one who helped to secure that bit of legislation that makes the system more tolerable, then I have to wonder if the collectivists are our betters when it comes to strategy.  I’ve pointed out before that they are very good incrementalists and we’re not.  They will accept something that isn’t to their liking in order to work towards the end result that is to their liking.

Are we as strategically savvy as that?  I doubt it.

Former ATF Agent On Why The ‘Us Versus Them’ Mentality?

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

SSI posted a very interesting guest article from a former AFT agent on why the “Us versus them‘ mentality?  I have to confess that I’m in the camp that doesn’t see the constitutionality of federal gun laws or the ATF to begin with, but the former agent has an answer for that.  The comments are also very interesting.  I commend this article to your reading.

On a somewhat unrelated topic, SSI has a piece up remembering Mike Vanderboegh’s participation in a “we will not comply” rally.  It’s touching and also worth your time.

Dianne Feinstein’s Plans For Guns And The “Terrorist Watch List”

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Remember when we said this:

They will go after you by the terrorist watch list, the no-fly list, and any other assortment of executive powers and decisions and regulations and rulings.  They will never confiscate your guns.  They will prevent you from renewing your driver’s license, your hunting license, your fishing license, your professional license, your bank cards, your concealed handgun permits, and in short, all the framework you have built your entire life as a law abiding, peaceable citizen.  Then they will go after your wife and children and their ability to enroll in education.  They will go after what matters most to you.

Scott Shackford and Jacob Sullum reporting at Reason do some very good investigative work on this very subject.

Under Feinstein’s 2015 bill, the attorney general can stop the transfer of a firearm if he “1) determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources for terrorism” and “(2) has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism.” The amendment Feinstein introduced last Wednesday, by contrast, lets the attorney general block a sale if he “determines, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the transferee represents a threat to public safety based on a reasonable suspicion that the transferee is engaged, or has been engaged, in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources thereof.”

In the revised version, there is no additional requirement that the attorney general have reason to believe the weapon the suspect is trying to buy will be used in a terrorist attack. Hence an old lady who cut a check to a Hamas-affiliated charity (thereby “providing material support” to terrorism and arguably threatening public safety) could be stopped from buying a handgun for self-defense even if there was no evidence that she planned any sort of attack with it. Feinstein’s amendment also expands the dragnet beyond the FBI’s so-called Terrorist Watchlist, which is believed to include more than 1 million people, to cover anyone who was under investigation for “conduct related to a federal crime of terrorism” during the previous five years. The Justice Department would be notified of attempted gun purchases by people who fit that description, giving it a chance to block the sales.

Frankly I’m not concerned about the little old lady who wrote a check to a Hamas-affiliated charity.  What concerns me much more is that there is no due process, no chance for trial by jury.  The federal executive is the only sovereign, the singular potentate behind these decisions.

That means that if you’re an NRA member, or a patriot, or you believe in the second amendment and your God-given rights to own firearms, or believe that gun ownership is the best surety against tyranny, the executive might just label you a terrorist or low-level extremist, and prevent gun purchases.  He might also garnish your wages, prevent driver’s license renewal, prevent renewal of your professional license, or remove your children from the home and place them in the custody of DSS.

Do you get the impression that someone wants you to be disarmed and controlled?

Idaho Goes Constitutional Carry

BY Herschel Smith
7 months ago


Beginning July 1, Idaho residents age 21 or older will be allowed to carry a concealed firearm without a permit inside city limits.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed Senate Bill 1389 into law. It will relax the state’s gun policy and remove permitting requirements for concealed carry. Prior to SB 1389, residents age 18 or older could carry concealed firearms without a permit outside of city limits. Open carry is already legal within city limits.

Beginning July 1, Idaho residents age 21 or older will be allowed to carry a concealed firearm without a permit inside city limits.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has signed Senate Bill 1389 into law. It will relax the state’s gun policy and remove permitting requirements for concealed carry. Prior to SB 1389, residents age 18 or older could carry concealed firearms without a permit outside of city limits. Open carry is already legal within city limits.

“While S1389 is consistent with the U.S. Constitution, Idaho values and our commitment to upholding our constitutional protections from government overreach, I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry,” the Republican lawmaker wrote.

“Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well-regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.”

Trying to play both ends against the middle, huh Governor?  This is just rich.  He admits that the new law is consistent with the provisions of the second amendment, but then essentially says that he doesn’t think the second amendment goes far enough because of the need for education and training.

Then he switches back and reverses his position, saying that a requirement to get training and education is consistent with the notion of “well regulated.”

“Well regulated” has nothing to do with governmental control via regulations, it has to do with accurate and effective fire control.  Furthermore, I’ve warned about the dangers of seeing the second amendment as a political treatise on the foundation of liberty.

The governor is just frightened.  He’ll be better once this has time to soak in and become the standard.  It works in other constitutional carry states, and it’ll work in Idaho too.

Guns In The Work Place And In Parking Lots

BY Herschel Smith
8 months, 2 weeks ago

This issue has special interest for me, since my own employer prohibits the carrying of weapons in the work place, but also knows that it cannot prohibit the carry of weapons in the public parking lot adjacent to my place of work.

On a personal note, I’ve pressed this issue up the chain of command, to no avail.  They want to maintain, how do they say it, “a safe work place.”  So in order to effect this end, they prohibit self defense and show us those idiotic active shooter videos where they enact an active shooter event and show you what to do.

It’s embarrassing to watch it, and it’s even more embarrassing to work for a company where they show such juvenile rubbish.  So the recommendations?  Hide under desks and be very quiet.  If the shooter sees you, throw potted plants at him.  Run.  Run very fast.  Wait for law enforcement to show up 15 minutes later – after 100 people have already perished.  Then when the dust settles but people are still in mourning, the company gets to go to court or negotiate with lawyers over those 100 preventable deaths, and give away a billion dollar class action settlement.  That’s the way that would work out.  Only lawyers could dream up something so stupid.  All in the interest of a safe work place.  A jury will know what I’m talking about, because most of them have seen the same idiotic video.

So this case interests me.

A Universal Orlando worker who was fired after someone stole a gun from his car at work has sued his former employer.

Dean Kumanchik’s lawsuit was filed in Orange County Circuit Court on Thursday. According to a copy of the complaint sent by his attorney, Universal fired Kumanchik the day before Christmas. A ride technician who earned more than $30 an hour, Kumanchik had worked at Universal more than 20 years.

The lawsuit gives this account: A licensed concealed weapons holder, Kumanchik regularly took his gun to and from work and kept it locked in his vehicle. He parked in an area accessible to both employees and the public. In December, someone broke into his vehicle and stole the gun. He reported it to police. Upon learning what had happened, Universal immediately fired him.

Kumanchik’s lawsuit asserts that Universal violated an eight-year-old law allowing Floridians with concealed-weapons permits to keep firearms locked in their cars at work.

A Universal spokesman said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Orlando’s big theme parks have previously claimed they are exempt from the law, however.

After the law went into effect, Universal cited an exemption for school property as a justification for its ban. Orange County Public Schools runs an alternative education program called the Universal Education Center on the property.

Claiming that exemption is “nonsense,” Kumanchik’s attorney Richard Celler said. “In our opinion the school they claim is some little building way out of the way, nowhere near the premises or parking lot where he was performing work.”

After the law went into effect, Walt Disney World cited an exemption for property owned by an employer who has a permit for explosives. Disney has such a permit for the fireworks used in its theme parks.

The notion of a “school” on the property is an accidental feature of the decision to fire the employee, and not the reason Universal has a policy against guns.  They reflexively fired him because of discriminatory policies, and then the lawyers hunted for some justification for what they did in the law.  They landed on the fortuitous wording of a “school” on the property (in some cataloged training literature or procedures, or maps they give employees), which is likely nothing more than a training center, something all corporations have.  A jury will know what I’m talking about.  I can guarantee you that the legislature didn’t have corporate training centers in mind when they used the word “school.”  My own state prohibits weapons on school property and playgrounds as well.  Do you think “playgrounds” includes pick-up games of football after work in the nearest open field?

One commenter has this to say:

Florida is an at-will employment state without the Covenant of Good Faith Exemption. That means employers do not even have to pretend to be fair when they fire you. You can do everything right, follow orders to a T, excel in every way, and the boss can give you the axe with no justification at all. Sucks to be employed in Florida, but Universal is within its legal rights.

He thinks he’s smart, but this isn’t even nearly right.  I’m an at will employee too, but the company cannot discriminate against, for example, the elderly, or black workers, or women, and claim that something like that is justifiable due to at-will employment contracts.  That’s why corporations offer attractive separation packages to workers in their 60’s rather than firing them outright and claiming the existence of at-will contracts.  The jury will know exactly what I’m talking about.  Universal fired this worker because of discriminatory attitudes concerning self defense and the second amendment.  Counsel had better be ready for this strategy during trial.

Associated court documents.

Essay Writing As A Requirement For Concealed Carry

BY Herschel Smith
9 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.”

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