Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Is The Second Amendment Really Obsolete?

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

Via WRSA, MHN has a very interesting and riveting take on what forcible confiscation of guns would look like in America.  Actually, I think it would be much worse, and I’ve said so and described it before.

However, take this with a grain of salt.  This is what unrestricted warfare against American gun owners would look like.  As I’ve said many times before, this isn’t how it will go down.

It will be a gradual drip, drip, drip of increasing infringements, all codified and substantiated by the court system as legitimate, mind you, but all designed to target gun manufacturers and gun owners with increasing difficulty.  Consider this.

The Detroit City Council approved a “Bullet Bill” gun control resolution Wednesday with a unanimous vote.

The resolution limits ammunition amounts that can be bought while requiring a mental health background check on buyers of ammo in Wayne County. Commissioner Reggie Reg Davis of the 6th district spearheaded the resolution.

I recently covered this, and at least some readers guffawed.  But my prediction has been proven out.  Then consider this.

S9191 “requires a person applying for a license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver or a renewal of such license to consent to having his or her social media accounts and search engine history reviewed and investigated for certain posts and/or searches over a period of 1-3 years prior to the approval of such application or renewal,” the draft bill states.

If the bill passes, investigators would be able to look for posts or searches that contain threats to the health or safety of others; intentions to carry out an act of terrorism; or commonly known profane slurs or biased language describing the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person.

Then consider this.

Neither Dantos nor any other official at the hearing on Baatz’s petition to recover the pistol ever told Baatz, who represented himself, that he had to provide some sort of evidence of ownership, Lazarus observed.

Instead, she wrote, Dantos “abruptly” ended the hearing by telling Baatz, “There is no way I’m giving you that gun back. Not happening. Your petition is denied.”

You’d better have records, boys.  You’d better not ever have to use your firearm in self defense.  You’d better register your weapon with the state, and you’d better watch what you say and how you say at all times, even in private.

Gun manufacturers had better never issue public stock or their stockholders could shut them down.  The banks are another story, and gun manufacturers had better never take out a loan for expansion or building of any kind.

You get the point, I think.  From money, to driver’s licenses, to professional licenses, to statements made in the workplace or over the internet, FedGov is watching you (as is the local government, apparently).

The intent is to boil the frog, not go to war with him.  Do you understand?  Don’t be stolid.  Be thinking men and women.

Open Carry, Hoodies And Bandanas

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

David Codrea:

The walk commenced with troopers leading the way, crossing the street to enter the main campus. There, “counterprotestors” began converging, walking quickly, looking for all the world like stalking predators preparing to attack. I saw black hoodies and bandanas. The troopers picked up the pace.

Funny that.  When I’m openly carrying, no one has ever rushed up to me wearing a hoodie or bandana.  This would be the wrong place for that anyway.  This is not welcome terrain for such foolishness.  Something might go down that’s not to your liking.

David did a nice job of covering the event.

The National Rifle Association Has Marginalized Themselves

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Reuters:

When Missouri Senate Bill 656 was introduced in 2016, it was relatively modest legislation that proposed capping the amount county sheriffs could charge for a concealed handgun permit.

By the time it passed, with both houses of the state legislature overturning the governor’s veto, it had become one of the most expansive gun-rights laws in the country.

The gun lobby fought hard to pass the bill. The group some lawmakers credited with providing crucial momentum was not so much the National Rifle Association, the powerful national lobbying organization, but rather the Missouri Firearms Coalition, an aggressive grassroots operation founded in 2015.

With major gun-rights legislation stalled in Washington, much of the action has shifted to the states, where self-described “no compromise” groups such as the Missouri Firearms Coalition have mobilized activists in favor of pro-gun laws, according to Reuters interviews with gun-rights groups in more than a dozen states, lawmakers and NRA supporters.

These groups have become increasingly active in promoting a pro-gun agenda in many states, unafraid of alienating lawmakers who waver on gun rights. In many cases, they say they would rather lose a legislative fight on principle than compromise and support a watered-down bill.

At times, this can put local groups at odds with the NRA, which some see as too willing to give ground on the most aggressive pro-gun laws in state legislatures, said Greg Pruett, president of the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, which formed in 2012.

“It’s always kind of interesting when you see a lot of people in the gun control community talk about how radical the NRA is,” said Pruett, whose group organized an email and telephone campaign to pass a 2016 Idaho law allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit, also known as “constitutional carry.”

“There’s an entire movement on the other side of the NRA … We’re done compromising,” he said.

Missouri Firearms Coalition political advisor Aaron Dorr says the NRA fought against constitutional carry for years, considering it too much of a longshot, and only came on board once passage was certain. The Missouri law not only authorized constitutional carry, it made Missouri a “stand your ground” state, extending the right to lethal self-defense outside the home, even when retreating is an option.

“It was the Missouri Firearms Coalition that was on the ground first with this,” said Jered Taylor, a Missouri state representative. “Eventually the NRA came on board, but the Missouri Firearms Coalition was the one that pushed it.”The NRA contended that it supported Senate Bill 656 from start to finish. The NRA assesses legislation across the states and sometimes opts for incremental victories, spokesman Lars Dalseide said.

“While the all or nothing approach may sound noble, the fact is you usually end up with nothing,” Dalseide said. “The other groups may have called for the passage of these bills in the past but they are largely fundraising organizations … None of these legislative initiatives moved an inch until the NRA got involved.”

[ … ]

The most uncompromising among them say the NRA has become too timid and too willing to back measures such as removing firearms from people deemed dangerous.

“I call it pre-emptive concession,” said Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina, which has helped expand concealed carry rights and a “stand your ground” law.

That the NRA would trot out a spokesman who would say something like that, making them sound like crying little girls, says more than anything the spokesman could ever do or say to harm the NRA.

The NRA has harmed not only gun rights in America (with its support for the GCA, the NFA, the connection of mental health to crime, and the bump stock ban), but they have marginalized themselves in the process, becoming nothing more than a money grabbing organization.  It’s a shame, really, as it could have been different.

But it’s nice to see people waking to this reality and working at the state and local level.  As they do that, it can always be expected that the NRA will claim the credit for it.  As I’ve said before, I consider the NRA to be the largest, most well funded and well connected gun control organization on earth.

Gun Ownership Rights Aren’t As Safe As Many Think

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

ZeroHedge:

Through landmark Supreme Court decisions, gun controllers could have anti-gun judges re-interpret the Constitution in a way that disregards the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has a long history of re-interpreting the Constitution as a way of justifying government overreach in matters traditionally belonging to the states. This has been the case with the Supreme Court’s acceptance of New Deal legislation and its creation of a federal “right” to abortion.

It also does not help that the Second Amendment’s original decentralized militia model has been gutted, thus exposing several chinks in the Second Amendment’s armor. The militia’s original concept—locally-controlled military units designed to keep federal standing armies in check—has been effectively neutered.

Okay, this is a pregnant bit of prose and needs a little unpacking.  First of all, rights come from the Almighty and are always safe.  As we’ve discussed many times before, the second amendment is a covenant between men and before God, for blessings upon obedience and curses upon breakage.  Reinterpretation of the second amendment only means that men are preparing for war.  It has nothing to do with our rights.

Second, as we’ve also discussed many times before, the notion of the militia must be soft in the interpretation of the covenant of the second amendment.  The founders didn’t write the second amendment because of the militia, as if the sole reason for the second amendment was that a militia must function.

The proper function of the unorganized militia is only one of many reasons, and the founders only needed one.  That the many others aren’t specifically called out in the Bill of Rights doesn’t mean they weren’t taken as axiomatic during the time of confirmation of those rights.  As we’ve observed before:

… all the founders needed in order to object to federal control over such God-given rights is to find a single example of such an infringement that would be found unacceptable.  The militia served as this example.  That doesn’t mean that it is, would have been, or must have been, the only example or reason for the amendment.  The amendment clearly states what the FedGov shall not do, not what it can or may do or the sole reasons for its existence.

So a man has a right to the ownership of weapons if he is a paraplegic and unable to serve in the militia.  A people have the right to overthrow their government whether there is such a thing as a militia or not.  I can tell the militia (whatever that is in this context or any future context) to go pound sand and that I refuse to join, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with either [a] my God-given rights to keep and bear arms for self defense or the amelioration of tyranny, or [b] the fact that that right is recognized in the constitution, which is a covenant under which we have agreed to live.

My rights (and duties) flow from the Almighty, the very fountain of liberty.  The constitution is a mere covenant.  The Bolsheviks should tread carefully.  Breakage of that covenant means more than they think it means.

Finally, anyone who thinks that a civil war in America will go down with great armies lining up in fields of battle with tanks, aircraft and artillery, is foolish beyond belief.  4GW will be the order of the day, and few people in America are prepared for such a thing.  Neither is the FedGov.

Nothing and no one has been “neutered.”  Only the form has been changed.

Why We Can’t Ignore The “Militia” Clause Of The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

Mises Institute has an analysis up on why we can’t ignore the militia clause of the second amendment.  It’s interesting reading, and I recommend you turn your attention to it for a few minutes.  But I want to issue some warnings nonetheless.

As I’ve pointed out many times before, the context and theoretical framework for understanding the American revolution was and always will be continental Calvinism and covenant theology.  God manages His created order in terms of covenant.

We are all in covenants in every aspect of our lives, all of the time, from marriage, to church, to state and then economics.  If you choose to be unfaithful to your wife and violate the marriage vows, there are consequences and curses for that.   These consequences happen in time and space and also in eternity.

In time and space, your wife will divorce you.  If she doesn’t, the consequences befall her, in time and space.  She has decided to live with an unfaithful man, refusing to avail herself of the remedy God has given her.  In eternity, the unfaithful man will answer for what he did, and so will the woman if she refuses to avail herself of the remedy.

In economics, if you steal you will go to prison.  If a country refuses to avail itself of the remedy for theft, believing that it can rehabilitate criminals to make them better when God has said that is His responsibility, not yours, the country will suffer, as there are consequences in time and space.  Ultimately, the men who made the decisions on national policy will answer to a sovereign God for their recalcitrance.

So too with tyranny.  Tyrants will answer to their people for their tyranny, and if they don’t, the people will suffer in time and space for their recalcitrance, and both will answer to God in eternity.  God will not be mocked.

Turning to the foundations for the revolution, recall that I explained the Christian roots of covenant and its role in the theoretical framework for the war.

In terms of population alone, a high percentage of the pre-revolutionary colonies were of Puritan-Calvinist background.  There were about three million persons in the thirteen original colonies in 1776, and perhaps as many as two-thirds of these came from some kind of Calvinist or Puritan connection.

[ … ]

… by 1776, nine of the thirteen original colonies had an “established church” (generally congregational in New England, Anglican in New York, Virginia and South Carolina, “Protestant” in North Carolina, with religious freedom in Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Georgia) … While this did not necessarily mean that a majority of the inhabitants of these colonies were necessarily committed Christian believers, it does indicate the lingering influence of the Calvinist concept of a Christian-based civil polity as an example to a world in need of reform.

[ … ]

Their experience in Presbyterian polity – with its doctrine of the headship of Christ over the church, the two-powers doctrine giving the church and state equal standing (so that the church’s power is not seen as flowing from the state), and the consequent right of the people to civil resistance in accordance with higher divine law – was a major ingredient in the development of the American approach to church-state relations and the underlying questions of law, authority, order and rights.

[ … ]

It was largely from the congregation polity of these New England puritans that there came the American concept and practice of government by covenant – that is to say: constitutional structure, limited by divine law and based on the consent of the people, with a lasting right in the people to resist tyranny.

I say all of this to set the stage for a reiteration of my observation on the second amendment and the militia.

… all the founders needed in order to object to federal control over such God-given rights is to find a single example of such an infringement that would be found unacceptable.  The militia served as this example.  That doesn’t mean that it is, would have been, or must have been, the only example or reason for the amendment.  The amendment clearly states what the FedGov shall not do, not what it can or may do or the sole reasons for its existence.

So a man has a right to the ownership of weapons if he is a paraplegic and unable to serve in the militia.  A people have the right to overthrow their government whether there is such a thing as a militia or not.  I can tell the militia (whatever that is in this context or any future context) to go pound sand and that I refuse to join, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with either [a] my God-given rights to keep and bear arms for self defense or the amelioration of tyranny, or [b] the fact that that right is recognized in the constitution, which is a covenant under which we have agreed to live.

My rights (and duties) flow from the Almighty, the very fountain of liberty.  The constitution is a mere covenant.

This understanding in the antecedent to the constitution and the second amendment, not vice versa.  Never forget that.  The militia doesn’t justify the second amendment – among other things, the second amendment justifies the militia, both organized and unorganized.

And neither has anything whatsoever to do with the justification of the right of resistance to tyranny.  That flows from the Almighty.

The Truth About The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

I don’t often cite, link or quote Charles C.W. Cooke because he’s an atheist and often at odds with my world and life view.  It isn’t so much that I won’t link to someone who doesn’t agree with me in every aspect of life, so much as it causes a fundamental difference in the framework in which we operate and I end up having to qualify, caveat, and explain the subtle or not-so-subtle differences.

This is an exception.

Given the way the Second Amendment is written, it is perhaps unsurprising that the confusion came to pass. Indeed, in 1880, the great scholar Thomas Cooley all but anticipated it in what was likely the most widely read legal textbook of the era. “It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia,” Cooley noted in his General Principles of Constitutional Law. “But this,” he explained, “would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent.”

The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrolment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose.

[ … ]

Indeed, to be cognizant of the history is to arrive at one clear and unmistakable conclusion: that the “collective right” theory is just nuts. As a 1982 Senate report on the meaning of the Second Amendment concluded bluntly, it is “inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.”

That word, “inescapable,” is a good one, for it is simply impossible to review the post-Revolution era and come away with the impression that the Second Amendment protects some convoluted state-led right. Even if we ignore that the word “people” is used in the self-evidently individual protections that surround the Second Amendment — and even if we ignore that James Madison proposed to insert the “right to bear arms” next to the other individual rights listed in Article I, Section 9, and not next to the militia clause in Article I, Section 8, clause 16 — a brief audit of contemporary interpretations tells us all we need to know.

It may seem remarkable to modern sensibilities, but it was not at all unusual in the 19th century to read politicians and scholars openly worrying that the people might be left unable to remove their government should the course of human events run sour. In Letters from the Federal Farmer 53, Richard Henry Lee proposes that “to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” You will notice, I assume, that Lee’s purpose in hoping that “the whole body of people always possess arms” is “to preserve liberty” rather than, say, to “defend the country” or to “prevent domestic insurrection.” That matters a great deal, demonstrating as it does that we are talking here about something other than a proto–National Guard.

Lee’s view was neither outré nor limited to his particular anti-Federalist worldview. On the contrary: His assumptions were echoed across the political spectrum and throughout the century that followed. Explaining the unamended Constitution in the Pennsylvania Gazette in February 1788, the Federalist Tench Coxe celebrated that “the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” A year later, in the course of endorsing the proposed Bill of Rights, Coxe confirmed that the Second Amendment was designed not to protect the nation, the states, or the federal government, but to protect the people: “Whereas civil-rulers,” he wrote, “not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.” It would, of course, be preposterous to suggest that such a rebellion would be carried out under the auspices of a federal government that enjoyed plenary power over the militias

He begins with the usual focus on militia (usual for most commentators on the second amendment) and the utility and uses of peaceful carry.  But eventually he reaches the apex of his argument, and I am in total agreement with it.

We need to see the use of the term militia in the context of the time in which this was written.  The notions that a man had a right to weapons, or that he also had the right to overthrow his government if it was guilty of tyranny, were so widely accepted as to be pre-theoretical.  Thus, the notion that the right had to be codified in order for it to be understood or accepted is preposterous.

On the other hand, all the founders needed in order to object to federal control over such God-given rights is to find a single example of such an infringement that would be found unacceptable.  The militia served as this example.  That doesn’t mean that it is, would have been, or must have been, the only example or reason for the amendment.  The amendment clearly states what the FedGov shall not do, not what it can or may do or the sole reasons for its existence.

So a man has a right to the ownership of weapons if he is a paraplegic and unable to serve in the militia.  A people have the right to overthrow their government whether there is such a thing as a militia or not.  I can tell the militia (whatever that is in this context or any future context) to go pound sand and that I refuse to join, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with either [a] my God-given rights to keep and bear arms for self defense or the amelioration of tyranny, or [b] the fact that that right is recognized in the constitution, which is a covenant under which we have agreed to live.

My rights (and duties) flow from the Almighty, the very fountain of liberty.  The constitution is a mere covenant.  The Bolsheviks should tread carefully.  Breakage of that covenant means more than they think it means.  To them I say, be careful what you ask for.

Why Some Christians Don’t Believe In Gun Control: They Think God Handed Down The Second Amendment

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

The Washington Post, by three sociologists.

We’re now at a point when Americans are killed or injured in a mass shooting almost every month; by some definitions, almost every day. Despite this, resistance to stricter gun control in the United States remains fierce.

As researchers of religion, we know the power of religious identities and beliefs. And so we wondered: How does Christian nationalism influence Americans’ attitudes toward gun control?

In our newly published and freely available study, the connection between Christian nationalism and gun control attitudes proves stronger than we expected. It turns out that how intensely someone adheres to Christian nationalism is one of the strongest predictors of whether someone supports gun control. One’s political party, religiosity, gender, education or age doesn’t matter.

[ … ]

But what is Christian nationalism?

Christian nationalism is an ideology that argues for an inseparable bond between Christianity and American civil society. It goes beyond merely acknowledging some sincere religious commitments of the Founding Fathers.

Rather, Americans who subscribe to Christian nationalism believe that America has always been ― and should always be ― distinctively Christian in its national identity, sacred symbols and public policies. What’s more, for adherents to this ideology, America’s historic statements about human liberties (e.g., the First and Second Amendments) are imbued with sacred, literal and absolute meaning.

I happen to be trained in theology at the graduate level.  This may be the most stolid analysis I’ve ever read, and the lack of theological training of the academicians undermines and renders useless the study they have published.

There are a number of category errors in this commentary, and at the risk of sounding too much like Gordon Clark, I recommend that these folks retake their course work in logic, and specifically that they study Aristotle’s Logic and Metaphysics before tackling some more difficult texts in systematic theology like Hodge, Warfield, Calvin, Shedd and Turretin.

Seriously, this is a supremely dense run of prose and it’s almost impossible to know where to begin.  But let’s try anyway.

God is no respecter of persons or countries or tribes.  That’s over.  He is the creator of the universe and calls all men to account and all governments to His holy law.  It is equally wicked for America, Russia, China, South Africa or any other country to enact gun control schemes.  Indeed, all gun control is wicked.

The Bible does contain a few direct references to weapons control. There were many times throughout Israel’s history that it rebelled against God (in fact, it happened all the time). To mock His people back into submission to His Law, the Lord would often use wicked neighbors to punish Israel’s rebellion. Most notable were the Philistines and the Babylonians. 1 Samuel 13:19-22 relates the story: “Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!” So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes, and sickles sharpened…So on the day of battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in this hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon also removed all of the craftsmen from Israel during the Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:14). Both of these administrations were considered exceedingly wicked including their acts of weapons control.

Defense of home and hearth is not just a duly recognized right in the Holy Scriptures, it is a solemn duty, something the Almighty expects of men because men are made in His image.  The second amendment is not given from God.  God didn’t write the constitution, the constitution is a covenant between men.  It has blessings and curses for obedience and breakage, respectively, just like any covenant.  It is the agreement under which we have concurred to live together, and that agreement includes the right and duty not only of self defense and defense of family, but the amelioration of tyranny.  It was understood that way by the founders.

Jesus, who wasn’t the Bohemian hippie flower child pacifist he’s made out to be in contemporary culture, demanded that His followers find weapons themselves.  It’s important to remember that this command involved disobedience to the state.  Jesus’ command involved civil (and if necessary, violent) disobedience, thus forcing his followers to become criminals if they followed His command.

… for some evidence, see Digest 48.6.1: collecting weapons ‘beyond those customary for hunting or for a journey by land or sea’ is forbidden; 48.6.3.1 forbids a man ‘of full age’ appearing in public with a weapon (telum) (references and translation are from Mommsen 1985). See also Mommsen 1899: 564 n. 2; 657-58 n. 1; and Linderski 2007: 102-103 (though he cites only Mommsen). Other laws from the same context of the Digest sometimes cited in this regard are not as worthwhile for my purposes because they seem to be forbidding the possession of weapons with criminal intent. But for the outright forbidding of being armed while in public in Rome, see Cicero’s letter to his brother relating an incident in Rome in which a man, who is apparently falsely accused of plotting an assassination, is nonetheless arrested merely for having confessed to having been armed with a dagger while in the city: To Atticus, Letter 44 (II.24). See also Cicero, Philippics 5.6 (§17). Finally we may cite a letter that Synesius of Cyrene wrote to his brother, probably sometime around the year 400 ce. The brother had apparently questioned the legality of Synesius having his household produce weapons to defend themselves against marauding bands. Synesius points out that there are no Roman legions anywhere near for protection, but he seems reluctantly to admit that he is engaged in an illegal act (Letter 107; for English trans., see Fitzgerald 1926).

“Christian Nationalism,” whatever that does or doesn’t mean, has no more to do with this than my dog.  Moreover, if I were a betting man, I wager that God is quite unhappy with America at the moment.

Any nation whose leaders usurp the power and throne of the Almighty by rendering the family and church powerless, which murders more than 70 million babies, which robs from men and women by the power of a badge and gun to redistribute wealth (wealth that God ordains will be redistributed by families and churches), that exists solely based on usury and debt, and which seeks omniscience through spying on its own people, cannot and will not be long blessed by God.

The researchers are counseled to learn theology so that we can keep the length of this essay to a minimum rather than attempt to repair the fault lines in their theoretical framework.

No one I know, and likely no one you know, believes that God handed down the second amendment or anything else contained in the constitution.  This dumbing down of thoroughgoing and full-orbed world and life views into jingoistic nonsense and word salads is insulting and worthless.

There are reasons that Christians believe in the ownership of weapons, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with belief in Christian nationalism.  God may decide to demolish this country on a bed of rocks with a mere breath, and if He does, we’ll have to start over.  Either way, His holy law stands forever as immutable truth because it is based on his immutable character, and the degree to which He blesses any such new country will be a direct linear function of obedience to His holy law.

To the “researchers.”  Go back to school and learn something.

Codrea On Kavanaugh

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Ammoland:

His views could be critical if and when SCOTUS hears a case challenging state bans on what they pejoratively term “assault weapons.” It still doesn’t get us to a birthright “to keep and bear … ordinary military equipment … that … could contribute to the common defense,” but it’s a better starting place than a court with many of the previous “Republican” picks on the bench (case in point: John Paul Stevens).

David is relatively pleased, or at least, satisfied under the circumstances.  We could do a lot worse than Kavanaugh.  I grok the sentiment, even though I am troubled at his views on the Fourth Amendment.  Very troubled.

As commenter Michael observed, “[As] Far as I’m concerned, a “loss” on a fourth-amendment case is a loss for the second amendment as well.”

He is a mixed bag.  But at least it’s not William Pryor, or at least inasmuch as we can judge at the moment.  I may have more to say about William Pryor later.  His views could be summarized as “If someone knocks on the door, leave your guns in the drawer, lay down on the floor and beg for mercy from intruders because it could be a cop and they’re special and you’re not.  Their safety is paramount.”

William Pryor is a swine.  Let’s pray that Kavanaugh doesn’t turn out to be that as well.

It’s Always Nice To Meet A Fellow Patriot

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

It’s Justice Kavanaugh

BY Herschel Smith
5 months, 1 week ago

So tonight Trump made his selection known.  It’s Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  I’m sure there will be much more to come on this, but here are some initial thoughts.

Jacob Sullum at Reason did a very good expose on him, and finds that he is supportive of second amendment rights, but not so much for the fourth amendment.

Kavanaugh seems to take a narrower view of Fourth Amendment rights. In 2010 he dissented from the D.C. Circuit’s decision not to rehear a case in which a three-judge panel had ruled that police violated a suspected drug dealer’s Fourth Amendment rights when they tracked his movements for a month by attaching a GPS device to his car without a warrant. Kavanaugh rejected the idea that the tracking constituted a search because of the quality and quantity of information it collected, although he anticipated the argument that ultimately persuaded a majority of the Supreme Court: that the physical intrusion required to plant the tracking device amounted to a search.

That rationale would not support invoking the Fourth Amendment in cases where information is collected without trespassing on someone’s physical property, as when police use cellphone location records to figure out where a suspect was at particular times on particular dates. Last month the Supreme Court ruled that looking at such data is a search, meaning it generally requires a warrant.

Kavanaugh also dissented in a 2008 case involving a man named Paul Askew, who was stopped by D.C. police because his clothing was similar to an armed robber’s. The cops patted Askew down for weapons, as permitted under the 1968 Supreme Court ruling in Terry v. Ohio, but found nothing. Later they unzipped his coat, supposedly to facilitate an eyewitness identification, and found a gun.

The D.C. Circuit concluded that police went too far when they unzipped Askew’s coat and that the gun, which became the basis for a weapons charge, should not have been admitted as evidence against him because it was the product of an illegal search. Kavanaugh disagreed, saying unzipping the coat could be justified as “an objectively reasonable protective step to ensure officer safety” after Askew “actively resisted” the pat-down or because “police may reasonably maneuver a suspect’s outer clothing—such as unzipping a suspect’s outer jacket—when, as here, doing so could help facilitate a witness’s identification at a show-up during a Terry stop.”

So we shouldn’t expect him to side against a SWAT team, for instance, and in favor of a victim of home invasion by a SWAT team, as long as a judge signed a warrant and officer safety was paramount.

Frankly, it sounds as if he is in the same mold as Alito, who never saw a police action he didn’t approve.

Also, while this may sound odd, regardless of the second amendment cases currently percolating through the lower courts, I am hopeful that the SCOTUS doesn’t hear one until there is another reliable 2A Justice on the Supreme Court.  Raymond Kethledge is just such a judge (although it could certainly be the case that he never makes it on to the SCOTUS).

A bad decision by the SCOTUS on gun rights is worse than no decision, and I trust neither Roberts nor Alito.  As for the NFA (and class 3 weapons), the GCA and the Hughes Amendment, that will have to be handled legislatively.  Don’t look to the courts to undo that those abominations.

In the mean time, remember that the Supreme Court cannot confer or remove rights.  Only God can remove what God has granted, and in the case of RKBA, it is based on His immutable nature and will, inasmuch as it involves the protection of that which is made in His own image.  It will never change.

Always look to the fountain and spring of your rights, never to the vicissitudes of man’s feelings or the machinations of the state.

UPDATE: Dave Kopel has a very incisive and lengthy article on Kavanaugh up at Reason.  Here is his summary paragraph.

Judge Kavanaugh’s text, history, and tradition methodology for Second Amendment cases will not please people who believe that all gun control is impermissible, nor will it please advocates who want to make the Second Amendment a second-class right.

I believe that all gun control is constitutionally impermissible.  And this doesn’t make me happy.  On the other hand, he won’t make the gun controllers happy either.  If you ponder for a moment on the kind of judge Trump is likely to nominate, it would be someone just like this.  Trump believes that it is within the purview of the ATF to unilaterally ban bump stocks with no legislative action, as well as sundry other infringements.

Repeal of the NFA, GCA and Hughes Amendment will require legislative remedy.  The judiciary won’t do it.  Yet Kavanaugh won’t be a reliable gun control vote on the Supreme Court, so this is a partial victory in that he won’t be in the camp with Ginsburg and Breyer.

UPDATE #2: The thought occurs to me that if you believe in the so-called “war on drugs,” or a war on anything on American soil, you either [a] have never been to war and know nothing about what it’s like (my son has been to war) and are still willing to weigh in on something completely beyond your comprehension, or [b] you have been to war and are perfectly fine with this sort of thing being perpetrated on the American people.

In the first case, you’re an imbecile whose views are worthless.  In the second case, you are a sociopath.


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