Today’s Thoughts . . . Nov. 11, 2013

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By now you’ve probably read or heard about the cashiering of Guns & Ammo editor Dick Metcalf over his December 2013 “Let’s Talk” column in which he parsed “infringing” vs. “regulating” our right to keep and bear firearms. (Read the subsequent apologia here.)   gun pic lead

I’ve not yet read – or heard – Metcalf called to task for the real mistake he made in his column – which was not tub-thumping for infringing our rights but for being dishonest (or perhaps merely ignorant) when he discussed regulating them.

Metcalf did the usual thing and quoted the language of the Second Amendment, which reads, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

Italics added. gun cartoon

Where Metcalf erred – or perhaps deliberately hoped to mislead – was by not filtering the language of the late 18th century through a 21st century English translator. “Well-regulated” meant something rather different to the powdered wig set than it means to us, today. (Much in the same way that “gay” meant something rather different to the people of 1920s America than it means to the people of 2013 America.)

So, what did “well-regulated” mean circa 1787?

It meant, simply, kept in good order; well-trained and equipped.

The men who wrote and approved the Second Amendment desired that every yeoman farmer – every able-bodied man – know how to handle a gun for self-defense of himself, his family and his country. And more, they believed he had every right to do these things.

Period.

Don’t believe me? Look into it.       colonial pic

The idea that “well-regulated” meant restricted or controlled or supervised by the state – the meaning of “regulated” in today’s common English – is simply nonsense. An idea that only a historical illiterate could entertain. Else how to explain the fact that there were no regulations – none – restricting or controlling or supervising the possession of firearms by any adult male (or even boys) in the late 18th century – and for decades thereafter. Are we to believe that the founders really did mean to “regulate” (modern usage) the right to keep and bear arms, but just forgot to do so? What about all those statues of colonials bearing arms? What about all those actual colonials – virtually every man alive – who bore them? Who openly carried and kept them? Without a single “regulation” – in the modern sense?

Hmmm.

Metcalf, et al, continue to try to prop up their linguistic straw man. And of course, they do it because it works –  because most people are historical ignoramuses. gun final

You can agree or disagree with this – with the idea of people not having to beg permission from the state to keep/bear arms or only being allowed to keep and bear them under certain conditions. But to take the position that Metcalf did – that it was the intention of the Second Amendment to regulate (modern usage) the people’s right to keep and bear arms – is fundamentally dishonest or ignorant.

Or both.

Which is worse? I’ll leave that up to you.

PS: I posted a few days ago about the site’s financial situation. It is not good. Donations are way down. As of today (Nov. 11) we haven’t yet had enough come in to cover our server costs for the month – much less pay Dom (or me) a single shekel.

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151 COMMENTS

  1. I’m with Lysander Spooner in that I sure don’t recall signing the Constitution, so I don’t see it binds me in any contractual sense – implied or otherwise. So while the 2A sounds good and provides a figleaf for the libergubmintarians dabbling at the edge of the anarchist pond, I just say ‘come on in, the waters fine!’.

    • I agree, Thor –

      But as a practical matter, the Bill of Rights provides us with a handy stumbling block to impede Clovers such as Gil and Mike from Wichita, et al!

    • Dear thor,

      Absolutely!

      Speaking only for myself, the clarifications of the 2A I posted were merely to set the historical record straight.

      My own views closely approximate those expressed in this video.

      Larken Rose demolishes the Myth of Authority in four short minutes.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYbpICtfFwo
      Excerpted from “Larken Rose vs. Tom Willcutts (Anarchy vs. Authority)”

  2. Well, also note the language. It is the “militia” that is to be “well regulated”, not the weapons, not the ammo, not the individuals, but the “militia”. So no matter what, you can’t twist that into saying the government can ban guns, or create regulations about the guns, ammo, or individuals who buy, sell, own and operate them.

    • Dear ha,

      Right! Well said.

      Those who don’t understand or pretend not to understand need a remedial course in sentence diagramming!

    • Dear ha,

      As the article correctly noted, the grammatical structure of the 2A is identical to the following:

      “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.”

      This is not an endorsement of voting. After all, I am a market anarchist. It merely shows that the gun grabbers ignoring the real meaning of the amendment.

  3. My democrat friend says the gun toting crazies always forget to quote the full amendment, the part about militias, and that guns were only meant to be carried by government militias. Where did he get that idea?

    • Dear PR,

      Part of the problem is illiteracy. But a far more serious problem is disingenuousness. Many people are pretending not to know what it clearly says.

      This may be useful in clearing up the meaning.

      — Bevin

      The Unabridged Second Amendment
      by J. Neil Schulman

      If you wanted to know all about the Big Bang, you’d ring up Carl Sagan, right? And if you wanted to know about desert warfare, the man to call would be Norman Schwarzkopf, no question about it. But who would you call if you wanted the top expert on American usage, to tell you the meaning of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution?

      That was the question I asked A.C. Brocki, editorial coordinator of the Los Angeles Unified School District and formerly senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Publishers — who himself had been recommended to me as the foremost expert on English usage in the Los Angeles school system. Mr. Brocki told me to get in touch with Roy Copperud, a retired professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and the author of American Usage and Style: The Consensus.

      A little research lent support to Brocki’s opinion of Professor Copperud’s expertise.

      Roy Copperud was a newspaper writer on major dailies for over three decades before embarking on a a distinguished 17-year career teaching journalism at USC. Since 1952, Copperud has been writing a column dealing with the professional aspects of journalism for Editor and Publisher, a weekly magazine focusing on the journalism field.

      He’s on the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and Merriam Webster’s Usage Dictionary frequently cites him as an expert. Copperud’s fifth book on usage, American Usage and Style: The Consensus, has been in continuous print from Van Nostrand Reinhold since 1981, and is the winner of the Association of American Publisher’s Humanities Award.

      That sounds like an expert to me.

      After a brief telephone call to Professor Copperud in which I introduced myself but did not give him any indication of why I was interested, I sent the following letter:

      “I am writing you to ask you for your professional opinion as an expert in English usage, to analyze the text of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extract the intent from the text.

      “The text of the Second Amendment is, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

      “The debate over this amendment has been whether the first part of the sentence, ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State’, is a restrictive clause or a subordinate clause, with respect to the independent clause containing the subject of the sentence, ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’

      “I would request that your analysis of this sentence not take into consideration issues of political impact or public policy, but be restricted entirely to a linguistic analysis of its meaning and intent. Further, since your professional analysis will likely become part of litigation regarding the consequences of the Second Amendment, I ask that whatever analysis you make be a professional opinion that you would be willing to stand behind with your reputation, and even be willing to testify under oath to support, if necessary.”

      My letter framed several questions about the test of the Second Amendment, then concluded:

      “I realize that I am asking you to take on a major responsibility and task with this letter. I am doing so because, as a citizen, I believe it is vitally important to extract the actual meaning of the Second Amendment. While I ask that your analysis not be affected by the political importance of its results, I ask that you do this because of that importance.”

      After several more letters and phone calls, in which we discussed terms for his doing such an analysis, but in which we never discussed either of our opinions regarding the Second Amendment, gun control, or any other political subject, Professor Copperud sent me the follow analysis (into which I have inserted my questions for the sake of clarity):

      [Copperud:] “The words ‘A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,’ contrary to the interpretation cited in your letter of July 26, 1991, constitutes a present participle, rather than a clause. It is used as an adjective, modifying ‘militia,’ which is followed by the main clause of the sentence (subject ‘the right’, verb ‘shall’). The to keep and bear arms is asserted as an essential for maintaining a militia.

      “In reply to your numbered questions:

      [Schulman:] “(1) Can the sentence be interpreted to grant the right to keep and bear arms solely to ‘a well-regulated militia’?”

      [Copperud:] “(1) The sentence does not restrict the right to keep and bear arms, nor does it state or imply possession of the right elsewhere or by others than the people; it simply makes a positive statement with respect to a right of the people.”

      [Schulman:] “(2) Is ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms’ granted by the words of the Second Amendment, or does the Second Amendment assume a preexisting right of the people to keep and bear arms, and merely state that such right ‘shall not be infringed’?”

      [Copperud:] “(2) The right is not granted by the amendment; its existence is assumed. The thrust of the sentence is that the right shall be preserved inviolate for the sake of ensuring a militia.”

      [Schulman:] “(3) Is the right of the people to keep and bear arms conditioned upon whether or not a well regulated militia, is, in fact necessary to the security of a free State, and if that condition is not existing, is the statement ‘the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’ null and void?”

      [Copperud:] “(3) No such condition is expressed or implied. The right to keep and bear arms is not said by the amendment to depend on the existence of a militia. No condition is stated or implied as to the relation of the right to keep and bear arms and to the necessity of a well-regulated militia as a requisite to the security of a free state. The right to keep and bear arms is deemed unconditional by the entire sentence.”

      [Schulman:] “(4) Does the clause ‘A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,’ grant a right to the government to place conditions on the ‘right of the people to keep and bear arms,’ or is such right deemed unconditional by the meaning of the entire sentence?”

      [Copperud:] “(4) The right is assumed to exist and to be unconditional, as previously stated. It is invoked here specifically for the sake of the militia.”

      [Schulman:] “(5) Which of the following does the phrase ‘well-regulated militia’ mean: ‘well-equipped’, ‘well-organized,’ ‘well-drilled,’ ‘well-educated,’ or ‘subject to regulations of a superior authority’?”

      [Copperud:] “(5) The phrase means ‘subject to regulations of a superior authority;’ this accords with the desire of the writers for civilian control over the military.”

      [Schulman:] “(6) (If at all possible, I would ask you to take account the changed meanings of words, or usage, since that sentence was written 200 years ago, but not take into account historical interpretations of the intents of the authors, unless those issues can be clearly separated.”

      [Copperud:] “To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the meaning of words or in usage that would affect the meaning of the amendment. If it were written today, it might be put: “Since a well-regulated militia is necessary tot he security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged.’

      [Schulman:] “As a ‘scientific control’ on this analysis, I would also appreciate it if you could compare your analysis of the text of the Second Amendment to the following sentence,

      “A well-schooled electorate, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and read Books, shall not be infringed.’

      “My questions for the usage analysis of this sentence would be,

      “(1) Is the grammatical structure and usage of this sentence and the way the words modify each other, identical to the Second Amendment’s sentence?; and

      “(2) Could this sentence be interpreted to restrict ‘the right of the people to keep and read Books’ only to ‘a well-educated electorate’ — for example, registered voters with a high-school diploma?”

      [Copperud:] “(1) Your ‘scientific control’ sentence precisely parallels the amendment in grammatical structure.

      “(2) There is nothing in your sentence that either indicates or implies the possibility of a restricted interpretation.”

      Professor Copperud had only one additional comment, which he placed in his cover letter: “With well-known human curiosity, I made some speculative efforts to decide how the material might be used, but was unable to reach any conclusion.”

      So now we have been told by one of the top experts on American usage what many knew all along: the Constitution of the United States unconditionally protects the people’s right to keep and bear arms, forbidding all governments formed under the Constitution from abridging that right.

      As I write this, the attempted coup against constitutional government in the Soviet Union has failed, apparently because the will of the people in that part of the world to be free from capricious tyranny is stronger than the old guard’s desire to maintain a monopoly on dictatorial power.

      And here in the United States, elected lawmakers, judges, and appointed officials who are pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States ignore, marginalize, or prevaricate about the Second Amendment routinely. American citizens are put in American prisons for carrying arms, owning arms of forbidden sorts, or failing to satisfy bureaucratic requirements regarding the owning and carrying of firearms — all of which is an abridgement of the unconditional right of the people to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Constitution.

      And even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), staunch defender of the rest of the Bill of Rights, stands by and does nothing.

      It seems it is up to those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms to preserve that right. No one else will. No one else can. Will we beg our elected representatives not to take away our rights, and continue regarding them as representing us if they do? Will we continue obeying judges who decide that the Second Amendment doesn’t mean what it says it means but means whatever they say it means in their Orwellian doublespeak?

      Or will be simply keep and bear the arms of our choice, as the Constitution of the United States promises us we can, and pledge that we will defend that promise with our lives, our fortuned, and our sacred honor?

      (C) 1991 by The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation. Informational reproduction of the entire article is hereby authorized provided the author, The New Gun Week and Second Amendment Foundation are credited. All other rights reserved.
      About the Author

      J. Neil Schulman is the award-winning author of novels endorsed by Anthony Burgess and Nobel-economist Milton Friedman, and writer of the CBS Twilight Zone episode in which a time-traveling historian prevents the JFK assassination. He’s also the founder and president of SoftServ Publishing, the first publishing company to distribute “paperless books” via personal computers and modems.

      Most recently, Schulman has founded the Committee to Enforce the Second Amendment (CESA), through which he intends to see the individual’s right to keep and bear arms recognized as a constitutional protection equal to those afforded in the First, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Fourteenth amendments.

      http://www.constitution.org/2ll/schol/2amd_grammar.htm

    • @P.R. – Is your friend a white male between 18 and 45? If so as of 1792 his government mandates that HE SHALL have in his personal possession a rifle and the bullets to go with it. Ask him if HE is in compliance with the Militia Act he is referring to.

      The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.

      An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.

      Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act….
      …That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.

  4. While none of the States had any laws REQUIRING their men to be armed, most of the colonies, and many cities/counties prior to the War for Independence had laws REQUIRING heads of households, and all men of a certain age (varied slightly, typically 16 or 18) possess arms, and CARRY them as they escorted their families to church meetings on the Sabbath.

  5. The Constitution did not grant any “rights”. It delineates the powers/limits of the federal government.

    Rights are inalienable, unalienable, natural, fundamental, or God-given – not to be taken away by despots, politicians, would-be dictators or a “goddamned piece of paper”.

    If the Second Amendment could grant rights, another amendment could take them away.

  6. Apologies if this has been brought up before or if it sounds too simplistic but Penn & Teller (on their show “Bullshit”) do a fairly decent job of explaining the 2nd Amendment in a short, concise manner:

    cheers,

    • Penn makes the same mistake most people make: They presume to know what the words meant to the Aristocrats of the day, meaning the “FRAMERS”, Washington, Jefferson, Adams etc. The grandfather of all US conspiracies occurred thru the wording of the Constitution. The word “PEOPLE” referred only to the Framers not the populous or the people of today, or even the common folk of that day. I have long since not sought the source of my rights in the deceptiveness of the Constitution.

    • Spook,

      This guy speaks against the “Safe Act” (?A definite misnomer) which was passed almost immediately in the aftermath of the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary.

      I like his ending where he challenges the pols that voted for this legislation to be on the front line when it comes time to enforce their misguided law.

  7. I was researching the visit of Lafayette to America in 1825. Among the decorations at the reception held in New York City at the Battery were stacked weapons.

    Recently at a barbecue my neighbor, an Englishman and I began to talk about my apple trees and making hard cider. The conversation drifted to the second amendment, which he opined must have been written while colonists were drunk. I told that he should realize you could not control a country this large if farmers were not armed, even today, and that my rancher father would not be caught dead out in his remote spread without firearms. If you are only flying over, it makes sense to consider a kind of Prohibition for firearms. If you understand that sitting out in the countryside unarmed while hiring a series of people just passing through is a formula for disaster, then you realize that such a new Prohibition would be worse than the last one.

    But on another note – which I was too polite to bring up – I enjoy walking along the Battle Road from Lexington to Concord in the state where I live today. The presence of massive boulders behind which “the embattled farmers” picked off redcoats is always creepy and edifying at the same time. Imagine the attitude it took for that. Then at one of the inns along the way, there is often a demonstration of the use of the Brown Bess (sometimes a flock of turkeys wanders through, which probably tempts the ranger a bit).

    There is no advantage this country could gain by yielding to the European notion of being subjects who now are totally disarmed. As my brother’s Italian father-in-law told me: “America will never have a dictator because it is too violent and the powerful are afraid of the ordinary people.” Is it still true?

    • Recently at a barbecue my neighbor, an Englishman and I began to talk about my apple trees and making hard cider. The conversation drifted to the second amendment, which he opined must have been written while colonists were drunk.

      “Isn’t it funny how a bunch of drunken farmers managed to chase the world’s mightiest army out of an entire country?”

      • lib, Brits are fucking slaves by nature. Ever notice how their horror flicks always involve some asshole with a knife or an axe?

        Armed people aren’t so easily frightened as disarmed slaves are. Their gangsters are laughable as well, bunch of silly pissants who’d get their asses handed to them by the average corner Yo.

        • Even the last James Bond film shows how out of touch the Brits are. After emptying his PPK on the train, James looks at it with disgust and throws it away. Gun literacy, UK style 2012.

  8. Notable that two of the early, and substantial, legislative efforts of people who moved to New Hampshire for the Free State Project were to repeal the knife/sword law, and make homeschooling very easy.

    There is now no law restricting bladed weapons. None. Carry what you want, when and where you want.

    Homeschoolers have to take the standardized tests. That’s it.

    NH has always been open-carry legal, but the activists spent some 5 years being persecuted by police for doing so, until finally the police gave up on the harassment and now open carry is not just legal, it’s normal again.

    Yes, people MUST go on the offensive. Polypragmatoi will NEVER stop in their efforts, no matter how small, to restrict, restrain, and regulate (in the modern sense) everyone else’s lives.

    A fight cannot be won by just defending if your opponent will never give up. They must be opposed actively, and pushed back. Hard.

  9. G&A is a far cry from the glory days in the 60s and 70s and even the early 80s when they had writers that had been there and done that. Bill Jordan, Elmer Keith etc.

    Bob Peterson Publishing. He would never allowed that editorial to go to print. Now he was a man’s man. founded Guns and Ammo, Hunting, Car Craft, Motor Trend. He liked cars and guns, so he managed to make millions selling magazines about them.

  10. Those ready for more effective gun rights promotion than the NRA affords should check out Gun Owners of America. Or better yet, JPFO – Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership. Those folks learned the hard way in 1930’s Germany what gun control was about.

  11. Here’s the point that most people miss – the 2nd amendment isn’t about guns. It’s about Arms. As in anything that can be used to defend oneself. The government should never have the right (indeed, government has no rights) to arm itself in a manner that exceeds the common citizen. Now, I get a lot of push back when I articulate this to people. The 2nd amendment speaks to the unequivocal right to arm oneself. What does that mean? It means that if someone can afford an Abrams tank then they should be able to possess one. If someone can afford an F-15 then they should be able to purchase one. The problem is that people have been duped into believing that the government – federal, state, local – have a right to fully automated and advanced weapons because they 1) are highly trained and 2) have a monopoly on the use of force.

    When I talk about this people will say – “David, you can’t mean that you want just anyone to have fully automatic weapons or tanks or planes or bombs.” To which I say – “Government should have no right to do anything that I as a citizen can’t.” Period. This gets lost on most folks because they think government has a special role and is morally superior to the rest of us. I don’t buy it. “David” they say, “the 2nd amendment is about guns only.” Wrong! It talks about Arms. What was the SALT treaty all about? Strategic ARMS Limitation Talks. It wasn’t about Strategic BOMBS, it was about Strategic ARMS. Arms are anything used to defend oneself whether it’s a slingshot or cruise missile. Even 2nd amendment proponents don’t get it.

    • Yeah, even the NRA wimps out and says they are not against “reasonable” gun control legislation. If you think registration is no big deal, check this out – http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/nov/7/halbrook-the-key-to-this-german-pogrom-is-confisca/
      Then you sometimes hear the argument that the 2nd Amendment was referring to blunderbusses, relatively ineffective except at short range. Actually it was the Redcoats (and most likely the Hessians) that were limited to these weapons. As many as 1/2 of the Colonial troops provided their own “Kentucky” rifles, that had 2x the effective range. Combine that with the handy built in target of white straps crossing over the heart of a scarlet uniform jacket, and you see why the secessionists were so successful at picking off the officers and leaving the British troops (who had been trained NOT to think for themselves) in disarray.

      • You seem unaware that the NRA is the most successful gun control organization in the united States.

        Look at their power, look at their money! If gun-restrictions were repealed, their power would be lost.

        That’s why the NRA has never seen a Libertarian candidate they liked, that’s why they refused to endorse Ron Paul, because Libertarians and Ron Paul want to repeal those laws, and disarm the unconstitutional standing army.

        The NRA refused to assist in the effort to repeal the Assault Weapon ban in California, again because it would have cut into the wealth of new members that that law created for them.

        • What is your point? I couldn’t care less about the NRA and what they stand for. I’m not a collectivist in any way, shape or form. I don’t even really care what the constitution says because I’m a voluntaryist. 95% of the words in the constitution are devoted to what the government can and must do while only 5% are devoted to the individual and their rights. And those are highly conditioned. The right to self protection is a natural right and not given by a piece of parchment or group of people. The NRA is no more relevant to the conversation about self defense than you or me.

    • I agree. I work in courthouses, and some of them have the ridiculous check-point charlie security theatre entrances where you cannot even bring a pocket knife into the building. Makes me want to hang a huge flashing neon sign on the building, “Shooting range. Moving targets. Come test your skills.” Almost got arrested once because I pointed out to the canon fodder that they’d be the first to go down if anyone really wanted to shoot up a courthouse. For those courthouses, I tend to wear belts with big buckles, and have a lot of really skinny pens in my case.

      I’ve been known to go through the airport security theatre (back before I decided I wasn’t up for gate rape), with my solid apricot walking stick. And carry fountain pens.

      No one questions how many pens or pencils you have. Or why you’re wearing a belt with a really big buckle. A weapon is anything you can use to defend yourself.

  12. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate one of our biggest victories in decades, guys!

    I speak of our absolute incineration of the gun (people) control freaks this year.

    Never have they mounted such a concerted series of “special events” (false flags) to demonize us and our weapons.

    And never have they been burned so badly by their failed attempts. They couldn’t even get background checks through a democrap senate!

    Then this–a guy writes a mealy-mouthed essay, and they can his ass pronto! Buh-Bye, Mr. Metcalf.

    I went to a “team-building” exercise with the people at my current contract. Finest bunch of people I’ve worked with yet. Guess where we “built the team”? Yeah–at the local gun range! We had 13 people, 4 of them newbies. Everyone had an excellent time, but especially the 4 newbies–two of them girls, one of them already the proud new owner of a Glock, another an Indian guy who’s biggest problem is which guns to buy first.

    As we were walking out, there was a gaggle (six or more) of Korean girls at the AR-15 counter, checking out cute pink AR’s.

    Yeah. This is a battle we’re winning, HARD.

    And if we’re winning this one, we’ll win others.

    Molon Labe, motherfucking control freaks!

    • You are absolutely correct. This was the only actual “upside” to the o’bama being elected. O’bama’s “reasonable gun control” push galvanized gun owners like no other. There was NO WAY that any new federal anti-gun legislation would pass.
      If Romney had secured the presidency, you can bet that we would have had some “compromise” federal gun control laws passed. The Republicans would have “rolled over” and sold us out. . .
      Republicans do not have “the courage of their convictions” to “stand their ground” and OPPOSE illegal laws.
      The democrats are not afraid to state that they want (destructive) “change” and will do anything to get it.
      One must remember that with the communists (democrats) incremental ism is their “friend”. If they get 30% of what they want (compromise) they only have 70% more to go. . . before they destroy this country.
      Stay strong . . . Constitutionalists

  13. I am in complete agreement with your understanding of “well-regulated militia” and completely support the right to keep and bear arms.

    However, your statement that no “regulations” in the modern sense existed for “decades” after the 18th century requires clarification.

    Kentucky and Louisiana outlawed the carrying of concealed weapons in 1813. Other States followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859).

  14. Another enlightening article. Just for the record, I have begun an additional $10.00 per month contribution to your sight, since I couldn’t find anything on PayPal where I could amend the original contribution.

      • Patches, July 2007 to November 2009. I still have his little sister, Pookie (a Siamese manx, born August 1998) and two other cats, along with four dogs and a turtle. Fortunately, my husband stays home to take care of the menagerie.

        • Patchicat, is he known as the “crazy cat lady’ too? Sitting here with a full blown play among 10 kittens of various ages and one unca/daddy and one frustrated pit bull playing with BOUNCY BALL. Crazy cat lady.

        • Patchicat, sorry about Patches. I lost Tiny my tomcat, July 2008-August 2013. His best bud and bedmate, Cholley Jack the pit bull had a hard time adjusting as did his only peer, Wyne the “African wildcat” I call him.

        • Hi Patchicat,

          Sorry to hear about Patches; I know how tough that is. Last year, my wife’s ancient Siamese (he was 21; she had him for years before we even met) died after a few months of daily fluid infusion due to kidney failure.

          We have a lot of cats. Momma cat – and her two sons. The daddy, too. All were part of a feral colony we helped corral, get all their shots and get ’em fixed. Now those four live inside full-time, along with Snowbear (white kitten my wife found in the woods four years ago) and Beezelcat, a black tuxedo our vet found as a kitten riding on the bumper of some good ol’ boy’s truck. She brought him to her office, which is where we met her – and now she’s ours, too.

          Oh, and we also have a turtle. Scratch that. A tortoise. A Russian Tortoise. I found him. Walking around the cul-de-sac in our old neighborhood in Northern Va. ten years ago. He either got away or someone dumped him. Now he’s ours, too!

          Crazy Cat People – it’s a sign of mental health in a nutty world!

  15. I agree with Eric’s take on the meaning of ‘a well regulated militia’ as well trained and equipped.

    The Reality though of ‘well trained ‘ is something though that I would think purist libertarians would buck against. A well trained militia seems to me to require something along the lines of the Swiss system where Citizens have an obligation to train as a body and respond as a body when the community is threatened at least to the level of competence with military small arms upto at least the level of equipment NYC cops have access to from HS and small unit tactics to company level as a minimum. Six to nine months full time to learn basic skills and two weeks to a month refresher yearly until late middle age would seem quite the burden to many these days but that at least is what is required to do ‘well regulated militia’ properly.

    • Mike,

      “Well-trained,” and “proficient” does not imply formal requirements – that is, rules enforceable at gunpoint.

      The intention was that people – ordinary people – be encouraged to possess firearms, know how to use them – and be prepared to use them, if it became necessary.

    • Mike, the “well regulated militia” is a subordinate clause. It is presented as one reason that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not to be infringed.

      It is hardly the only reason, nor even the most important.

  16. Whenever there is a question of what a word or phrase meant during some event in the past, I like to refer to the Oxford English Dictionary. This dictionary is real cool in that it tells you what it meant through the ages, who used it and what they meant when they used it and, of course, when the word had that meaning. It just so happens that I have the single volume version (because I can’t afford the twenty volume set). The single volume edition comes with a magnifying glass. At any rate, back to the point of my post. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the multitude of meanings for the word “regulated” states:

    “a. Governed by rule, properly controlled or directed, adjusted to some standard, etc.”

    One example shown states: “1766 Compl. Farmer s.v. Surveying, Then you may measure all the whole chains by your regulated chain.”

    The dictionary also states:

    “b. Of troops: Properly disciplined.”

    Clearly, well disciplined (or in modern parlance, well trained) was the meaning of “regulated” as used in the 2nd amendment.

  17. Would it not be legal and constitutional for the individual states to have a present day militia such as the State Guard here in South Carolina? This Guard could be open to any and all legal citizens of a State age 18 and over (no age limit, but physical and mental aptness required). They would not have to wear uniforms or necessarily be military in any way, but each member would be allowed to own a certain number of weapons per the State Constitution and the Union Constitution.

    • In either “Send In The Waco Killers” or “The Ballad of Carl Drega” by Vin Sprynowicz, Vin spends a chapter detailing the rise, and destruction, of the Constitutional Militia movement of the 1990s.

      Both of those books are excellent reading, and it wasn’t all that long ago, but the entire period has been shoved down the memory hole very successfully.

    • ” each member would be allowed to own a certain number of weapons per the State Constitution and the Union Constitution.”

      I’m a Sandlapper, too, though I live in Va now. Here’s my view: the motherfuckers can allow or disallow whatever they like and they can all kiss my ass. Fuck anybody who wants to presume to “allow” me to own any thing. Fuck’em and feed ’em fish heads.

      My view of the State Guard is, and always has been: fuck ’em. Bunch of fucking pissants.

  18. Another take on the 18th century meaning of “regulated” is in the term of army “regulars” vs the colonial militiamen. The regulars were (I guess for the most part) better trained and equipped, to mean they were better “regulated” than the militia.

  19. $10 per month coming your way. What are your costs for hosting? I host my domains with Dreamhost and its not a big cost. Maybe you’d like to migrate?

    • Hi Thor,

      Thanks!

      On hosting: You can get a low-cost server for a typical personal web page. But to run a serious web site – meaning, one that has any real traffic – you need heavier duty stuff. Dedicated servers; monitoring and back-up. And a person (Dom) to keep the engines running.

  20. People didn’t just have a right to be armed in those days, they had an OBLIGATION. If you turned up to one of the annual militia musters with no gun you got FINED.

  21. CloverOh boo hoo! You keep believing that the new nation was somehow Libertarian when it had more government and taxes than the British Empire at the time. Yes, well-regulated meant the States choose the regulations and not self-regulated as Libertarians want to believe. After all, if you believe your tripe you should point out that nowhere are guns mentioned in the 2A so there should be restriction on what form of weaponry should be available to any one who can afford it. You know, grenade, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft missiles, etc.

    • No, Clover – you’re wrong (as usual).

      “Regulated” did not mean government controlled or supervised in the 18th century. It meant kept in good order. That is: Know how to handle and use your firearm.

      Poor ol’ Clover!

      • CloverNoooo, it never means any thing other than what the Libertarian thinks it meant. Never mind “gay” originally someone who enjoys that which it is morally dubious (including homosexuality ) before it meant “happy”.

        Then again the Libertarian also gets to decide what a “victimless crime” also is too.

        • This isn’t up for debate, Clover.

          You’re comments merely reveal your ignorance.

          “Regulated” in the modern usage – i.e., government controls, rules/restrictions – would have been unfathomable to 18th century people.

          And “gay” only came to mean “homosexual” in modern usage.

          Poor ol’ Clover…

        • PS:

          Clover, you’re either dumb – literally, unintelligent. Or you’re just dishonest. You state:

          “the Libertarian also gets to decide what a “victimless crime” also is too.”

          Preposterous – and you know it.

          I and others here have repeatedly stated – in clear, precise English – that a crime (properly speaking) requires a victim. That is, tangible harm done to an actual person(s) or property. And that absent tangible harm done, there is no victim – and hence, no crime.

          This standard neatly – and objectively – cleaves real crime from manufactured crimes; i.e., those without a victim.

          It is not an arbitrary, subjective standard – as you speciously claim.

          Poor ol’ Clover… .

          He continues to bring a dull knife to a gun fight.

          • What about when I see some dude with a good looking girl in the passenger seat of his sports car, and they pass me (going far above the speed limit) on the freeway and that makes me self reflect on my own life leading me to the conclusion that I’m not as cool as him? There should be a law against being happier than me, I am the victim here!

            :p

            • I don’t worry about the stuff anymore!

              To quote Wilfred Brimley: Do the best you can with what you’ve got.

              That’s enough for me!

        • dude, why the hell are you trolling an obviously libertarian-leaning site? Do you do this as a living or are you just unemployed and angry? You should get your hyper-liberal or perhaps neo-con buddies to get you a make-work job. Maybe in brainwash… er, education or building missiles.

          • Do you do this as a living or are you just unemployed and angry?

            In GilClover’s case, there’s no difference between these two conditions.

        • Dear Clover,

          You might want to ask someone who was in the army how they “regulate” their rifles to function reliably and adjust the sights so that it hits the target.

          Funny, the word “regulate” meaning to make something work well, not a restrictive law anywhere to be found.

    • Addendum:

      Notice the stereotypical Cloveritic statement:

      “After all, if you believe your tripe you should point out that nowhere are guns mentioned in the 2A so there should be restriction on what form of weaponry should be available to any one who can afford it. You know, grenade, rocket launchers, anti-aircraft missiles, etc.”

      It’s of a piece with Mike from Wichita’s insistence that I endorse “getting shitfaced and driving 100 MPH.”

      At least Mike’s hyperventilating emotional outburst was coherent. But, both statements are examples of childish straw man arguing.

      Got anything else, Clover?

      • Fully Updated Second Amendment:
        In acknowledging and affirming the Basic Human Right of Each And Every Human Being, the Individual Right Of Defense with Any And All Aircraft/Arms/Arrows/Biologicals/Blades/Boats/Cannons/Chemicals/Clubs/Firearms/Instruments/Lasers/Nuclear/Objects/Ships/Spacecraft/Spears/Submarines/Swords/Timbers/Tools/Vehicles/Etcetera SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

        Throw. It. In. The. Woods.

        .

      • Why? The military has long moved onto to newer and more deadly weapons so why should the average person be stuck with low-level weaponry? After the 2A never lists let alone ban any type of weapon. Tench Cowe certainly says the average person should have the right to change with the times. Imagine if those at Waco had an atomic bomb and threatened to detonate it if the government forces wouldn’t leave them alone? I’m sure Janet Reno & co. would have definitely rethought their strategy then.Clover

        • You’re quite right, Clover.

          No peaceful person ought to be subject to criminal assault for mere possession of any type of weapon.

          But your argument remains sad and child-like.

          You posit the absurd – that absent government control, crazy people will acquire and use atomic bombs – to inveigle against private ownership of firearms.

          Oh, and PS: It’s too bad the Davidians didn’t have the means to prevent their murder by federal thugs.

          • Actually, Clover/Gil begs his own question:
            Imagine if those at Waco had an atomic bomb and threatened to detonate it if the government forces wouldn’t leave them alone?

            Why yes, Clover, imagine the CITIZEN having overwhelming force to make the government LEAVE THEM THE FUCK ALONE.
            We couldn’t POSSIBLY have CITIZENS left alone, unchaperoned, unrestricted. Why, they might own a WMDN that they could use FOR DEFENSE in the postulated situation.
            FAR BETTER citizens be murdered in their own homes by the GOVERNMENT! Only the DIVINE GOVERNMENT should have the right to KILL ANYONE IT CHOOSES.

            Go drink some Prestone, you worthless sack of cockroach dung.

          • Eric, I think Gil misses the point entirely. The only time in recorded history that a nuclear weapon has been detonated resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians was by the United States government. Gil apparently doesn’t understand that although individuals can perpetrate heinous crimes, even when the civilian populace had ready asscess to potent explosives, their efforts always paled by comparison to the democide that has been undeniably wrought by government. He also fails to acknowledge that the people have every right to field artillery and at one time the cannon sitting on the courthouse lawn was more than a museum piece. Our Second Amendment was intended to instill fear in those that would seek to govern and was fully intended the one true check and balance against a dictatorship in this Constitutional Republic by the anti-federalists. When we see the military and particularly the militarized police enjoy an overwhelming postion of armed superiority, we see the ugly face of tyranny itself.

          • Eric, I think Gil misses the point entirely. The only time in recorded history that a nuclear weapon has been detonated resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians was by the United States government. Gil apparently doesn’t understand that although individuals can perpetrate heinous crimes, even when the civilian populace had ready access to potent explosives, their efforts always paled by comparison to the democide that has been undeniably wrought by government. He also fails to acknowledge that the people have every right to field artillery and at one time the cannon sitting on the courthouse lawn was more than a museum piece. Our Second Amendment was intended to instill fear in those that would seek to govern and was fully intended the one true check and balance against a dictatorship in this Constitutional Republic by the anti-federalists. When we see the military and particularly the militarized police enjoy an overwhelming postion of armed superiority, we see the ugly face of tyranny itself.

          • Dear Boothe,

            Exactly right.

            The CW routinely trotted out by both the PTB and by the sheeple, is that “The Government,” due to its special status as “Authoritay,” can be trusted with military grade weapons, whereas “Mere Mundanes” who lack “official status,” cannot.

            This of course is the tired Myth of Authority as applied to the issue of weapons ownership.

            That myth is a grotesque fallacy when applied to other areas of life, and it is a grotesque fallacy when applied to weapons ownership.

            The type of weapon is utterly irrelevant. The real question is “Is there a special category of human being that possesses rights that others do not?”

            The answer to that of course, is no. “All men are created equal.” Remember?

            As natural rights theory has reaffirmed repeatedly over the centuries, rights are possessed by all, or by none. There can be no such thing as rights for some but not for others. Rights, as philosophers have reaffirmed, must be “universalizable.”

          • The problem is not that crazy people will acquire atomic weapons. It’s that crazy people HAVE acquired atomic weapons, and they are all in one government or another.

          • “Eric, I think Gil misses the point entirely. ”

            That’s the least of it. I think Gil would crawl over his mother’s dead body to fuck his sister.

      • Well you should give him some credit, Eric–after all, he points out a blatant truth–“arms” doesn’t specify what arms.

        Private cannons used to be “allowed”. Full-auto? Sure, if you had 45 bucks to send to Sears for a Tommy-gun.

        And why not? The fatal underlying assumption of the hoplophobes is that ordinary citizens are somehow more criminal than government employees…a laughable proposition considering governments’ historical “achievements” in the field of mass murder!

        I’d like a debate on private ownership of everything.

        Let’s start with 50-caliber (50BMG) sniper rifles.
        Now let’s talk 20mm cannons.
        Grenades.
        Grenade launchers.
        Claymores.
        Tanks.

        Nukes.

        Discuss?

        • If you can afford it – & find a seller – you can buy it.

          About the same as now, I’d wager: How would we stop Warren Buffet from buying an ICBM?
          We wouldn’t even know…

        • Dear meth, eric,

          Frankly, I’m with meth on this one.

          The Conventional Wisdom, held by both the PTB and mainstream sheeple, is that private individuals should not be permitted to own military grade weapons.

          My question is, “not be permitted by whom?”

          Who has the right to forbid private individuals from owning anything, from “some drugs” to “some weapons?”

          Who is this special category of person that has the right to decide what others may or may not have in their possession?

          Notice I didn’t say use. I said own. Ownership of anything is not a crime. Only misuse of something is a crime. Ownership of a gun is not a crime. Murdering someone with it is. In fact murdering someone with a hammer or kitchen knife is a crime. But ownership of an RPG is not.

          If anything, the record shows that the PTB are infinitely less responsible about how they use military grade weapons than “ordinary civilians.”

          For example, Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama has murdered how many innocent human beings since his award, using state of the art drones?

          • Obummer has bag men left, right and center – and he sleeps very well at night.

            We, who will soon be forced to BE bag men – Well, for us, it’ll be more of the same. Not sleeping so well now regardless.

            (I blame the woman. And the dog. And the train two blocks away. And the trucks that come and go in the parking lot behind our place. And the firehouse with engines coming and going at all hours. And the police, co-located with the Fire house. Good god, it’s a symphony of noise every night! And earplugs don’t work. Next house should be in the wilds of Nevada or something, and no effing dog sleeping in the bed with us! 😛 😉 Hindsight is always 20/20. )

        • Government has no authority or rights that have not been delegated to it. If I have no right to an M1A1 Abrams tank, how can I delegate that right?
          Nukes, imho, are inherently evil because they kill indiscriminately. There is no way to use a WMD w/o collateral damage, which is not justified. Therefore no one, especially governments, should own them.

        • I’ve enjoyed it when some punk says that “arms” means “private arms of one person”. That anything that is “crewed” isn’t covered.

          One wonders then how merchant ships were armed, and crewed? After all, a ship is in no way a “one person” operation, and yet the Second Amendment covered it just fine.

          That is, until countries made arms illegal for private ownership, and merchant ships had to disarm in order to carry cargo into those ports. Those same ships are now prey to anyone with a shotgun and a speed-boat.

    • …you should point out that nowhere are guns mentioned in the 2A…

      Do you have a hard time understanding that the word “arms”, which DOES appear in the 2A (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms”), refers to firearms and to any other type of weapon? Here’s a dictionary reference, in case you require it:

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/arms

      You apparently also have trouble with the word “infringed”, found in the phrase “shall not be infringed.” Here’s a helpful definition:

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/infringe

      Any questions? We’re talking about plainly stated ideas using the English language here. Is English a second language for you? I could cut a little slack to someone who was brought up speaking, say, Russian, and was grappling with understanding the language of the Constitution. The meaning of the words “arms” and “infringed”, unlike “regulated”, has not changed significantly since the 18th Century.

    • Actually, you’re hung by your own words: At the time of the Constitution, it was not uncommon for private owners to have cannon, and powder and shot for same. No problems! Legal.
      And the first “navy” was Privateers: PRIVATE ships who would attack British vessels (and later others). The “navy” was comissioned because there weren’t ENOUGH Privateers capable of handling British warships. (Nor Spanish, nor later, IIRC, French as well.)
      From Wikipeida: The navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, which was established during the American Revolutionary War and was essentially disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter. (Good enough for gov’t work.)

      Further, looking up the Continental Navy article:
      The original intent was to intercept the supply of arms and provisions to British soldiers, who had placed Boston under martial law. George Washington had already informed Congress that he had assumed command of several ships for this purpose, and individual governments of various colonies had outfitted their own warships. The first formal movement for a navy came from Rhode Island, whose State Assembly passed on August 26, 1775, a resolution instructing its delegates to Congress to introduce legislation calling “for building at the Continental expense a fleet of sufficient force, for the protection of these colonies, and for employing them in such a manner and places as will most effectively annoy our enemies…” The measure in the Continental Congress was met with much derision, especially on the part of Maryland delegate Samuel Chase who exclaimed it to be “the maddest idea in the world.” John Adams later recalled, “The opposition…was very loud and vehement. It was…represented as the most wild, visionary, mad project that had ever been imagined. It was an infant taking a mad bull by his horns.”

      And, elsewhere in same article:
      With the war over and the Federal government in need of all available capital, the final vessel of the Continental Navy was auctioned off in 1785 to a private bidder.

      Lastly, let’s say someone wants an F-18, fully armed. How would you stop Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, even Donald Trump, from obtaining it? These people can afford to learn to fly, they can afford the weapons, the fuel, the crew to maintain it, and even get the parts (admittedly, not through “legal” channels, when it comes to classified stuff, but “cooking supplies” can go missing and no one blinks…)
      Might stop John Q Public, except – there are kit planes you can buy which are based on the F-18. It’s just a matter of MONEY.

      And in all fairness, if I want a Stinger, or an AMRAAM, or a Sidewinder, or a Maverick – if I have the money, who cares? Only matters if there are 5,000 or so of me, and you can’t find out who killed Congress – to pin a medal on them, of course. 😉
      For that matter, do you think that, if Warren Buffet were worried, he couldn’t muster the cash to buy a squadron for “personal protection”? Bear in mind, that same semi-auto ONLY AR-15 is being purchased in a select-fire M-16 variant by DHS – for “personal defense weapons.”

      Your strawman only holds when you take “gvoernment” as somehow better than you are.

      In your case, that’s probably true… 😛
      But so is the cockroach.

    • Gil, yes, you are right with respect to the nationalist camp. They wanted to be in control of their own crony capitalist mercantilist regime – but not the likes of Patrick Henry or Sam Adams.

    • Dear “Gil,”

      So “arms” does not include “firearms” because the synonym “guns” was not used?

      Are you for real?

      FYI:

      “A free people ought to be armed.”
      – George Washington

      “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”
      – Thomas Jefferson

      “The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
      – Thomas Jefferson (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria)

      “A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks.” – Thomas Jefferson

      “The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
      – Thomas Jefferson

      “Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
      – John Adams

      “To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
      – George Mason

      “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians.”
      – George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

      “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe.”
      – Noah Webster

      “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
      – Noah Webster

      “A government resting on the minority is an aristocracy, not a Republic, and could not be safe with a numerical and physical force against it, without a standing army, an enslaved press and a disarmed populace.”
      – James Madison

      “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
      – James Madison

      “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.”
      – James Madison

      “The ultimate authority resides in the people alone.”
      – James Madison

      “Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
      – William Pitt

      “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
      – Richard Henry Lee

      “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves … and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
      – Richard Henry Lee

      “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
      – Patrick Henry

      “… arms … discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…. Horrid mischief would ensue were (we) deprived the use of them.”
      – Thomas Paine

      “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.”
      – Samuel Adams

      • CloverNo, Bevin, the 2A doesn’t specific what arms are exactly thus any and every weapon is protected by the 2A. Doubly so if you supposedly think 2A gives you permission to fire upon government officials. The U.S. military has the latest modern weaponry so you have to have the same military hardware in kind. Hence Tench Cowe said that every terrible weapon of the soldier should be available to the common man. If you found someone who can sell you an atomic bomb from the old Soviet stockpile and the government finds out then you can just point to the 2A and Tench Cowe as your legal defence.

        • No Gil, your defense IS the atomic bomb, something you can’t see in your Gililly vision. Notice the US doesn’t fuck with atomic powers? That’s why they hate to see another country get THE BOMB. Shit, no more fucking with this bunch, guess we’ll have to find another bunch of muslims.

          • Gillyweed, it’s Tench Coxe not “Cowe” (probably a Freudian slip stemming from your love of livestock, you ol’ Bovinophile you!). That nasty embarrassing Second Amendment was insisted upon by anti-federalists specifically to instill fear of the governed in those who would govern. Men like Jefferson knew the biggest threat to our Liberty would come from within, under the guise of government officials “doing what’s best for the people” (i.e. doing what will profit themselves). Having a militia versus a standing army has worked very well for Switzerland. That was the model we were supposed to follow. It not only keeps the gun-vernment in awe of its citizens, but also prevents foreign entanglements and expeditionary warfare (you know like Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan).

            But that original plan has been subverted over the years by corrupt and ambitious men. Now sadly, the United Soviet States of Amerika has the standing army many of the framers dreaded as well as a “select militia” (National Guard and Reserves, which are merely mercenary extensions of the standing army) as well as plethoric militarized local, state and federal police agencies. That, Gil baby, is the very definition of tyranny and dictatorship. In many cases, you have more individual liberty in Russia nowadays than you do here in the USSA. The only thing standing between us and total tyranny is private firearms ownership. The PTB can’t be sure what the trigger event will be so they have to tread carefully yet. As much as you and your ilk like to goad, prod and taunt us, you’re real fear is the day that the sleeping giant is awakened. This is not the Ukraine. There will be no holodomor here because we are armed. You and your gun-vernment butt-buddies know that you must disarm the law abiding so you can run roughshod over them with impunity. Hence the blatant statistical denial of high gun ownership in low crime areas versus high violent crime in the most firearms restricted areas of this nation. Only a fool (or a fraud) can deny the truth of it: An armed society is a polite society.

            By the way, the Second Amendment doesn’t give anyone permission to do anything anymore than the other Amendments convey our other rights to us. Our rights are Creator endowed, innate, and inherent upon birth. They are unalienable, inalienable and permanent; only evil men design to infringe them, abridge them and deny them to us.

            Permission to repel an armed assault on our persons and property is as natural as breathing. Point a weapon at me when I’ve done nothing aggressive you and I don’t need permission to stop you with equal or superior force. The minute you infringe my rights, you implicitly waive your own. The robes or medallions of office you wear have no more bearing on any of that than do contrived statutory laws. Flags, uniforms, badges and medals are merely subterfuge to lead the masses to believe that they convey legitimacy to criminal actions performed by the wearers, nothing more. If you don’t understand the foregoing, at some point several of us here would like to perform a specific gravity test of the material your head is made of; it has to be denser than tungsten.

          • CloverWell Boothe it would refreshing for Libertarians to argue they own guns (grenades, land mines, etc.) in spite of the 2A and they would own illegal weapons given half the chance because the government tend to ban the weapons that do the most damage. E.g.: NFA weapons have been banned in the U.S. since 1934. Where’s the 2A on that one?

            • Clover,

              Really, are you just stupid?

              I’ve now several times stated that neither the 2A nor Libertarians generally support restrictions or controls on any form of weapon by the individual.

              You and yours seek to “control” everything – and everyone.

              Not us.

          • Gillyweed – the NFA and its restrictions on fully automatic firearms, destructive devices, short barrelled shotguns and rifles, sound suppressors and “any other weapon” were imposed as taxes, requiring the purchase of a tax stamp to own them. The Federales knew that they couldn’t impose any direct legal restrictions on these items because of the Second Amendment. So they set out to impose a backdoor registration scheme via onerous taxation. That $200 tax stamp in 1934 equates to $3490.28 in 2013 FRNs, calculation courtesy of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank (www.minneapolisfed.org). If you have the money for any of the arms in question, including grenades, armored vehicles with hard mounted weapons, aerial bombs, artillery and the like, you can pay the tax, undergo the registration process and legally own these things in Amerika still today. It did cut out all but the well-heeled; so much for equal protection under the law. But whether you like it or not, or even agree with me, is irrelevant because this tax and registration scheme is a very clear infringement of the right.

            You see, it’s not a question of whether you or I believe letting our neighbors have unfettered access to grenades, LAW rockets, Stinger missiles or fighter jets is a wise idea. No, the Second Amendment is very clear that the peoples’ right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. As the Supreme Court has duly noted, when “the people” is spelled out in the other amendments it denotes an individual right, not a collective right. Someone like you, if they had the mental acuity, might even try to make the case that if you can’t “bear” the arm (i.e. carry it yourself without assistance, either human or mechanical) that it could legitimately be restricted in spite of the Bill of Rights. But that still doesn’t rule out grenades, grenade launchers, 20mm (or larger) anti-tank rifles, M2 .50 machine guns, mortars or even suitcase nukes. These of course are all things that the government knows all too well make the common infantryman and by extension the Minuteman (i.e. militiaman) the equal of an APC crew, combat aircraft pilot or especially now, a UAV (i.e. “drone”). The real reason these things are restricted is to protect the politicians, the bureaucrats and their dogs of war, not the populace at large. We’ve seen enough democide in the 20th century alone to disprove any great love that government supposedly holds for its subjects. So “the people’s” safety is hardly a government concern these days.

            So as is always the case when those in charge wish to circumvent, undermine or otherwise convolute the supreme law of the land, they bring in lawyers who first ask “What do you want it to mean?” In this case they ran smack into the plain language of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Then they started the obfuscation process based on the interstate commerce clause, the power to tax and power of exclusive legislation in the confines of federal enclaves (under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution). All of their justification, legal ruminations and sophistry aside, the only real way to justify restrictions on which arms that we can bear would be through a Constitutional Convention and repeal of that nasty, embarrassing Second Amendment. Guess what gillyweed? That ain’t gonna happen anytime soon. And if we had honest politicians (Now ain’t that an oxymoron?!) they would acknowledge the plain language of the Supreme Law of the Land and leave it up to each individual state to decide was goes in their own confines. But we’ll have honest, law abiding politicians as well as intellectually honest clovers the same day I’m standing in line at Cabela’s watching Satan buy a parka.

          • @Boothe–
            “…same day I’m standing in line at Cabela’s watching Satan buy a parka.”

            Classic. Line. Thank you.

            And completely correct analysis; just like the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act of 1937 (date?), they still recognized the Constitution enough that they couldn’t just stomp on it…yet. So they used the power to destroy, tax.

            And just so with NFA items.

            Fer Yer Perrtekshun!

            Well, it may mean a more protracted battle than it otherwise might have; but judging from how the Afghans and Iraqis are embarrassing the Pentagon, the battle rifles and Barretts left in our domain should suffice.

          • Thanks Methyl – That point about the Afghanis and Iraqis is spot on. In order to occupy a country you have to put boots on the ground. One of my flagpole humping acquaintances related to me how his son’s comrades in arms had been shot specifically in the armpit area to get around their body armor. Where there’s a will there’s a way. If you have boots on the ground you have potential casualties. If you have an armed, pissed and desperate populace in the area you wish to occupy, you will have a lot of casualties. I believe that’s called blowback. If you have to resort to Lincolnian style total war to break the back of the popular resistance, the aftermath for the perpetrators (i.e. the occupying troops) will be alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence and suicide. Sound familiar?

          • Boothe, As a hunter and reloader I have learned a bit over the decades. Just think how the US might have responded had the (towel heads)used hunting ammo. Lots of guys with their guts scrambled would get their attention. War is intentionally hell. Rules are for losers.

        • You know what, Clover?

          You’d have nothing to fear from a Libertarian in possession of his own Fat Man. Unless, of course, you initiated force against him. Otherwise, he’d leave you alone and you’d never have to worry about it.

          Your problem is you can’t abide the idea of leaving anyone alone.

          • Maybe ti’s time to listen to Metallica:
            Fight fire with fire.

            What’s the f*cker’s IP address? I need a road trip before we put the bike away for winter…

      • CloverP.S. Your romantic quotes (like others who list such quotes) point to the well-regulated militias version of the 2A. In other countries such quotes basically mean either join the army or the army reserves.

          • CloverHow do you know “every colonial man” was armed in the sense he could become a militia member at a moment’s notice let alone have any military training? Or did you really mean every farmer had a farmer’s rifle and knew how to use it? After all, only 30% wanted to break away from the Empire and the new nation after the Revolution was no more Libertarian than the Libertarian Monarchy that preceded it.

            • Clover,

              I made that statement that firearms were commonly owned without permission or restriction or training requirements (or any requirements at all, for that matter) by ordinary citizens during the colonial era – which is pretty compelling evidence that the 2A in now way meant to restrict firearms possession to an organized army or any other such body, or “regulate” (in the modern sense) their possession.

              You favor restricting or eliminating the right of the average citizen to possess firearms. Fine. That’s your prerogative. But you’re simply wrong when you claim the Bill of Rights favored it.

        • “Those quotes” NEVER mean join the Army or the reserves.
          There were troops held in reserve, but no “RESERVES”, as in Army Reserve. There was currently on field, currently in reserve, and those at home. “In Reserve” meant troops free to be placed where they were eneded, to shore up the flank, say.

          Further, why would the Founders warn about stnading armies and specifically state there should BE NO STANDING ARMY, if they mean a military branch of the government, IE, Standing Army.

          Well-regulated, as has been pointed out, means they know which end of the gun is dangers.

          I’d guess you do, too: In your case, a burnt-out match is dangerous.

          FOAD.

  22. I think a lot of it comes from people spending their entire formative period drowning in authoritarianism. What do you actually learn in the government schools? That you need permission for everything. Is it any surprise that people grow up thinking it’s just a natural, proper thing to require permission to own a gun? It’s very difficult when you get to be an adult finally to realise that you have no superiors. None of those supposed “authorities” have any business giving or withholding permission!

    P.S.: Eric, I’m sorry to hear about the financial situation. I’ve sent ten bucks your way — it’s not much, but it’s what I can manage until my own finances improve a bit. Also I send my apologies for not donating earlier!

    • Dear Darien,

      Dead on.

      What are cops and traffic stops but hall monitors writ large?

      And what about all those ambitious demagogues in the making running for student government?

      What are they but budding authoritarian pols, well on their way to Mordor on the Potomac?

      • I was in student government all through high school and college. Probably a bit of residue from my juvenile desire to be “in charge” combined with a tendency to take on responsibilty just “because.” I remember being something like the junior Ron Paul in college; many many senate votes were 64-1 with only me dissenting. Memories!

      • You remind me of my senior year in HS. I was in student govt., another story, and a good friend and I devised a campaign for that year’s student body elections.

        We formed the Apathy Party, and got the school’s most likable and notorious burnout for our presidential candidate. We got covered in the school paper, which had this bit –

        Apathy Party Campaign Manager: “Basically, we feel that student government at xxxxx high has become misrepresentative, and we’d like to keep it that way.”
        Apathy Party Candidate: “We’re campaigning for the Earth, man.”

        Of all the banners we made, my fav was, “Vote Apathy Or Don’t Vote At All.”
        “A Vote For Apathy Is a Vote For Whatever.” was a close second.

        Our VP candidate came within a hair of winning, and the next year, was actually elected President, on a somewhat more conventional platform.

        Draw your own conclusions. 😉

        • Several years ago during the only “festival” my little town throws, one of our local characters positioned himself in the bed of a pickup and waved in the manner of a true politician. He followed the high school band in the parade. The sign on the tailgate of his old truck read: What this town needs is a do nothing mayor, and I’m just the guy for the job. Ah, if only!

  23. I’ve always wished the founders had better english skills, IMHO the second amendment should read: “the right of the people to keep and bears arms shall not be infringed.”. Period! short and to the point and not much room for “interpretation”. The nanny state of Massachusetts where I currently reside makes it quite difficult to obtain firearms, so I guess I’m supposed to be defenseless against anyone coming from a more permissive locale with the intent of doing me harm. What a crock!

      • Dear Jean,

        Blades are good in that one never runs out of ammo.

        But… you know the old saw about “bringing a knife to a gun fight.”

        Blades are a supplement, not a substitute.

        • Very true, Bevin.
          But they are also concealable, making them a great tool to answer the door at 2 AM.
          Also, they’re more lethal than guns at close range, as they do more damage. (I believe it’s self-evident I’m not talking about a 1″ push-dagger, but a Bowie knife, Arkansas toothpick, 6″ carving knife, etc.)

          Now, if it’s a sustained fight instead of a crazy or two… Might not matter. Autopistols aren’t allowed, and I ahven’t heard of a Semi-auto “Governor” style mutiple-load gun. I’d LOVE to see a semi-auto hand-shotgun, carrying at least 10 shots (+1). 12 guage sounds nice, though I’m willing to bet (no experience here) it would be impossible to aim (or, more precisely, HIT something you were aiming at.)

          Maybe a Deagle designed to fire a flechette round? Combination flechette/sabot? Lead flechettes with a steel-core Sabot? Flechettes take care of anything up close, the core makes its way through the vermin 500 feet out? Maybe a .50 LR design? Wonder if it would penetrate armor? THAT would be a nice plus…

          Anyway, back on topic: Knives are great for minor defense situations, but can get you screwed really badly: Daggers, double-bladed knives, are generally illegal. Knives longer than X” (usually 4″) are considered “weapons” regardless of blading.
          Nunchaku, staffs, scythes, sickles, sai, letter openers, even BASEBALL BATS in your CAR will be classed as weapons – because you’re not SUBJECT to the arbitrary whims of LAW ENFORCEMENT, IE, Criminals with a badge and state sanction – which are oh-so-different from criminals WITHOUT said badge and state sanction.

          Dead is dead. I believe in the golden rule: Do unto others as they would do unto you – but do it first, and better, and make sure you don’t have to do twice.

          Otherwsie, we surrender the field from the start – so why bother nit-picking what is or is not a weapon? We’re just supposed to be good sheep.

          I’d rather be a fat, ugly, out-of-shape wolf, without any debts or concerns for “the herd,” than a fat, ugly, out of shape SHEEP ready to be someone’s dinner.

          That very attitude is what makes US dangerous – ALL of us, mind. ANYONE who isn’t a collectivist Sheeple. Anyone not “on board” with “the Party’s” plans, the Party’s design for their Utopian society.

          Which of course, cannot happen: In ANY Utopia, there would be no law-breakers – and therefore, no need of government nor law enforcement.
          What WOULD all those parasites do?
          The ONLY thing they can possibly want, is a Utopian DYSTOPIA.
          It is up to US to disabuse them of their plans, in every age, at every turn. I’d suggest we do it with overwhelming force, so there’s never a question of the camel’s nose inside the tent.

          Knives work well for that; guns better in public, but a well-placed knife has saved a LOT more lives than all the guns ever made. Just insert it into the general’s heart, and the battle never happens. All the soldiers live a little longer, and most will curse you – but they’re alive.

          Sometimes, that’s got to be enough. Sometimes, good men must do evil – because the majority don’t know which is which.

          • Dear Jean,

            I know what you mean.

            The PTB make up the rules as they go along.

            That’s why the observation that “gun control” is really “people control” is dead on.

            It’s not really about guns per se. It’s about anything that can be used as a weapon.

            I’ve mentioned the issue of nunchucks several times. What are nunchucks anyway, except two sticks linked by a chain or rope? So one can have two sticks on one’s person, but one cannot connect them with a piece of rope?

            Totally arbitrary and absurd!

            Even without invoking the Myth of Authority.

          • Bevin,
            You can’t have two sticks that are un-connected, either – those are escrima sticks, and they are evil things that will jump up and hurt people, too.
            Those evil sticks will deprive some poor mugger of his livelihood, perhaps. Can’t have THAT! It would cripple the economy!
            It would allow the people to forget “…WHY THEY NEED US!” (V for Vendetta reference)

            I think we need to stop playing defense, but everyone here knows that already.
            Best defense is a good offense. 😀

    • Dear MIB,

      I know what you mean.

      The militia clause gave gun grabbers a phony but usable pretext to take away peoples’ guns.

      We know of course that “well regulated” meant “well disciplined” in 18th century English vernacular. But the gun grabbers pretend they don’t, then brainwash the sheeple into thinking it meant “gun regulation.”

      • The thing is, a militia isn’t regulated by government anyway. Not much of a point of having a militia that is under central government control.

        • Dear Brent,

          Exactly.

          A “militia” under central government control is not really a militia.

          It is a standing army.

          But the gun grabbers are only too happy to muddy the waters in order to further their agenda.

    • Agree, Mike.

      The Founders were fans of often-florid prose.

      I’d have preferred:

      The individual right to keep and bear arms is absolute and shall not be infringed.

      • Eric, that would be easier, but if you mull over the language of the second amendment, it’s actually well written and pretty specific.

        “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state” is simply there to eliminate the claim that modern military weapons cannot be legally possessed by the people. “,

        The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” is subtle and complex- first it specifies that the right belongs TO THE PEOPLE(which by the way means that background checks to disabuse ex prisoners of their rights cannot pass muster).

        The right belonging to the people pre-exists the government, and that right is not legitimately questionable or subject to conditions from something like a legislative body or supreme court.

        If a citizen breaks such a law it is of no consequence. Government breaking its charter is an unforgivable evil.

        Not everything has to fit on a bumper sticker, but “the second amendment IS the law” might qualify.

        The bad guys will still kill you though.

    • I’ve always wished the founders had better english skills, IMHO the second amendment should read: “the right of the people to keep and bears arms shall not be infringed.”. Period! short and to the point and not much room for “interpretation”.

      But the whole point of the Constitution was to create something vague and full of loopholes that could be reinterpreted endlessly (by the “right” people, of course) in such a manner as to constantly expand the power of the central state. Otherwise, there would have been no point in replacing the Articles of Confederation.

      • then read the Federalist Papers. THAT little exercise will disabuse you of that notion. The language was carefully chosen, agonised over, torn apart, rewritten, reconsidered, discussed, refined… then KNEW what was necessary, and how to phrase it.Remember, they’d just kicked the most powerful government on the planet right off the continent and back the other side the puddle… which government’s kid king and his runaway abusive parliament had heaped a “long train of abuses” upon then, tyranising them, taking their money, men, commerce, ilberty, ALL in direct contravention of all thirteen of the Charters granted by their King at the time. The main problem is, as Eric has so well established, is the changing of language over time, and deliberately for the express purpose of “ammending” that Constitution. Couldn’t do it by the process laid down in the document itself, so they have resorted to changing the meaning of terms. Either way, they’ve lied to us, and its just good work some of us are realising it, and kicking back against it.

        • Civic Belief #1: The Congress was given few specific powers. All else was left to the States and to the people under the 10th Amendment. Ample checks and balances protect the Republic from federal tyranny.

          Civic Belief #2: The Federal Government has become so powerful only because despotic officials have overstepped their strict, constitutional bounds.

          If #1 is true, then how did #2 happen?

          “The Constitution has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it”. Lysander Spooner, No Treason (1870)

          From Hologram of Liberty
          The Constitution’s Shocking Alliance with Big Government
          http://javelinpress.com/hologram_of_liberty.html

          Well researched, and well thought out argument that the “constitution” was deliberately set up to arrive, one day, at total government control of “the people.” And they’re still hard at work using it for exactly that.

  24. Excellent article.

    The only reason this “dead horse beating” that is the gun control argument keeps getting brought up is because those in power so desperately want to control the population, and there is no better way to control a population if the population cannot defend themselves. From the reading I’ve done (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), America is the last nation on the planet where people have the right to defend themselves with violence if they are confronted with violence. That said, America has some states that don’t allow it as much as others (states without “stand your ground” laws), and “we” have no one to thank for those laws except a sheepish public and a tyrannical government.

    It just blows my mind that there are people, especially some of whom are teachers themselves, that don’t think teachers should be allowed to carry guns to prevent more mass school shootings like Columbine and Sandy Hook.

  25. The words “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” are pretty clear. But parts of this whole debate is nothing new, as each state takes it’s view.

    From Bouvier’s Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition (considered among the first and best law dictionary’s of the day)

    ARMS. Any thing that a man wears for his defense, or takes in his hands, or uses in his anger, to cast at, or strike at another.

    MILITARY. That which belongs to or relates to the army.

    MILITIA. The military force of a nation, consisting of citizens called fourth to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasion.
    …In Kentucky, a statute “to prevent persons from wearing concealed arms,” has been declared to be unconstitutional; while in Indiana a similar statute has been holden valid and constitutional.


    But in 1792 men were fined for not having such items in their personal possession:

    The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.

    An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.

    I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia, by the Captain or Commanding Officer of the company, within whose bounds such citizen shall reside, and that within twelve months after the passing of this Act. And it shall at all time hereafter be the duty of every such Captain or Commanding Officer of a company, to enroll every such citizen as aforesaid, and also those who shall, from time to time, arrive at the age of 18 years, or being at the age of 18 years, and under the age of 45 years (except as before excepted) shall come to reside within his bounds; and shall without delay notify such citizen of the said enrollment, by the proper non-commissioned Officer of the company, by whom such notice may be proved. That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.

    • Garysco, I maintain the word “arms” has been misconstrued over time. Too many think it means guns but that was not true. Arms meant anything you could use against an enemy. Good strategists use misinformation and common enemies to defeat an enemy. The CIA has made an art form of that. The founding fathers used the term “arms” so as not define what specifically they meant for good reason, you never know what can be used. By extension it would mean any weapon of any sort including cyber attacks, nuclear bombs, F-16’s, drones, tanks, anything these days, even sonic weapons. War only has rules if you wish to extend it. I promise if Iraquis, Afghans, etc. has some good old hunting ammo things would be a great deal different. While the US uses every sort of WMD they can get away with via public opinion, their tactics would change, maybe their resolve to fight would change with just that small lethal difference. I won’t hunt with ball ammo because you might hit something with several rounds and not have it go down. OTH, odds are much greater of a kill with hollow points or the industry standard, soft point bullets.

  26. How ironic that the editor of Guns & Ammo is advocating gun control. Just like car magazine editors now advocate taking driving out of the driver’s hands. I don’t know much about G&A, but my guess is it’s just another corporate/fascist-owned brand, which means they will spout the propaganda that the overlords hand down. All the more reason why independent sites like yours are so important, Eric. I’m contributing $5 a month, which initially seemed like a lot, compared to an annual subscription to Motor Trend or Car & Driver. But then again, I’m not being bombarded with advertising here, and more important, I get independent views from a large community on this site, not polished Newspeak from corporate shills.

    • While there is a certain aspect of keeping one’s job and building one’s career as a publication passes in ownership to bigger and bigger corporate owners, that probably had nothing to do wrt “Guns and Ammo”. People are programmed, conditioned to believe that government control, government regulation is needed for those (bad) people over there. Not themselves. Just those troublesome, irresponsible, bad people over there.

      They think they’ll retain their freedom. That the government would never go after them. That they are immune by virtue of selective enforcement. They are good people. Look at the “speed kills” crowd. Look how they argue. Practically none of them of obey a 55mph interstate speed limit, some no limits at all. But they don’t get tickets. To them, the law is a social thing. It’s to give government the tools to go after and punish bad people, other people, not them.

      So far, it largely works that way. Things are changing though. Most people still haven’t noticed. Then one day they’ll find out they are the bad people.

      • I agree that there’s probably no nefarious plot, Brent. But I disagree that corporate ownership has nothing to do with it. I’ve seen the effect in big companies where I’ve worked: The people who are rewarded say and do the things that the owners say and do. And those are the people who move up the ranks and become editors, etc. Rarely are people published for being too PC. But it does happen, especially when it affects the bottom line. As was the case here, apparently:

        http://www.examiner.com/article/firing-of-guns-ammo-editor-highlights-inconsistent-gun-owner-reactions

        • I know it happens generally, I just wouldn’t think it to be the issue with regards to this particular “Guns and Ammo” case in point. It’s really not a good career move in that field to go in that direction. I don’t know who owns “Guns and Ammo” but I assumed it isn’t the typical traceroute of most mainstream media.

          • Guns and Ammo is owned by an outfit called InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, about which I know nothing except what’s on its Wikipedia entry: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterMedia_Outdoors

          • Dear Brent,

            G&A appears to have cleared its name pretty well by firing the jerk and by unequivocally reaffirming its support for gun rights, no ifs, ands or buts.

            I for one am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, based on their decisive response.

            Had G&A attempted to a Clintonian “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” number, I would have serious reservations.

            But it didn’t.

          • @Darien – G& A is owned by these guys –

            They are a secretive privately held high power NYC money media empire, whith secret financials and investors. The CEO (Until November 1999, Mr. Hindery was President and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Broadband, which was formed out of the March 1999 merger of Tele-Communications, Inc. (TCI) into AT&T. Mr. Hindery was elected President of TCI and all of its affiliated companies, then the world’s largest cable television system operator and programming entity, in February 1997). & board memebers are some very highly connected big money players in the communications and media industry. They very, very simple home made 4 page website.
            http://www.intermediaadvisors.com/main.cfm?actionId=globalShowStaticContent&screenKey=cmpAbout&s=interMedia

            About InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, LLC
            512 Seventh Avenue
            New York, New York 10018

            InterMedia Outdoors Holdings, LLC is a portfolio company of InterMedia Partners VII, L.P. and the parent company of InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. and The Sportsman Channel, Inc. InterMedia Outdoors, Inc. is a multimedia company serving outdoors enthusiasts in the United States, with the largest network of websites dedicated to the hunting, shooting and fishing category; a portfolio of 15 market-leading enthusiast magazines including Guns & Ammo, Petersen’s Hunting and In­Fisherman; a television production business producing original branded hunting, shooting and fishing themed programming including category-leading shows North American Whitetail, Guns & Ammo TV and In­Fisherman TV, with over 220 episodes produced annually in high definition; and a content library in excess of 16,000 hours of video content.

            The Sportsman Channel, Inc. is a national television network fully devoted to the more than 82 million sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the United States, delivering programming focused exclusively on hunting, shooting and fishing themed programming. The Sportsman Channel is available in both high definition and standard definition. Nielsen estimated that The Sportsman Channel had approximately 30.1 million cable, satellite and telco subscribers for November 2012.

            Founded in 1988 by Leo Hindery Jr., InterMedia Partners, LP is premised on the philosophy that by bringing extensive operating experience to media private equity, the fund could drive superior returns. Over the course of its seven funds, InterMedia has invested in cable television, broadcast television, print, programming, and broadband opportunities. InterMedia’s Senior Partners have over 50 years of operating experience and, by making control investments, they are able to bring that knowledge base to bear on the acquired assets.

            InterMedia’s process begins with the identification of the most opportune segments of the media industry at a given moment in the cycle. Once the target segment is identified, InterMedia’s partners use their extensive networks of relationships to identify assets in that segment which can be acquired. While InterMedia seeks to optimize financing structures, financial engineering is not a goal unto itself. The team focuses on what can be done at the company to improve the assets and grow the business. Working hand in hand with portfolio company managements, InterMedia’s partners use their operating backgrounds to bring added value and experience to each of the portfolio’s companies.

            Holdings:

            Aspire
            Spearheaded by Entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV, ASPIRE is dedicated to delivering enlightening, entertaining and positive programming to African- Americans families, including movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and faith and inspirational programs.

            BlackBook Media
            BlackBook Media celebrated its 15-year anniversary in 2011 as a leading publisher in the progressive nightlife, fashion, and culture arena, with over 500,000 monthly readers.

            Cinelatino
            Cine Latino is the leading Spanish-language cable movie channel in the U.S. offering the best movies to the Spanish speaking world.

            Control Room
            Control Room is the leading digital producer and distributor of live music performance content. Since inception, Control Room has produced and distributed more than 80 live music events distributing the content on broadband, mobile devices, and television in the U.S. and internationally. In addition Control Room was the producer of Live Earth and the opening ceremony/concert of the June 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

            InterMedia Outdoors
            InterMedia Outdoors (“IMO”) is the leading provider of content to outdoorsmen. IMO has 15 magazines targeted towards the outdoor enthusiast with readership in excess of 23 million. In addition to magazines, IMO has the leading hunting/fishing online network, top-rated TV series, syndicated radio, and related merchandising businesses.

            The Sportsman Channel
            Sportsman Channel is a 24 hour cable television network dedicated to hunting, fishing, and shooting programming. Sportsman Channel delivers the best in destination, how-to, and entertainment programming to the American Sportsman.

            Soul Train Holdings
            Soul Train Holdings owns the brand and all intellectual property associated with Soul Train including the entire Soul Train library. This totals more than 1,100 hours of R&B, soul, hip-hop, jazz, and gospel music artists.

            Universal Sports
            Universal Sports is the premier destination for fans of Olympic sports, delivering exclusive live and on demand coverage of world class competitions, interaction with top athletes and in depth access to sports news and information year round on both television and online.

            Plifting Entertainment
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      • Dear Brent,

        “Then one day they’ll find out they are the bad people.”

        Exactly.

        They’ll be bewildered and outraged. They’ll be sputtering “You’ve got the wrong guy! I’m a law-abiding citizen. I support my local police!” even as the thugs in blue costumes are fracturing his skull with their batons.

        Time once more for my favorite Thomas Paine quote:

        “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
        — Thomas Paine
        political philosopher (1737 – 1809)

  27. The same language strawmen come into play when dealing commerce, welfare, “…necessary and proper…” and “…supreme law of the land.” The progressives twisted the language of all these (and more) to imply something they were never intended or, if you have a level of logic, make no sense.
    Heck, it goes all the way back to Marbury vs. Madison when the Jay court decided for itself that it had the authority of judicial review of all Congressional law. It is nowhere defined or even inferred in the Constitution. They simply decided this is how it was.

    • John Jay resigned from the Supreme Court in 1795. The Marbury decision was handed down in 1803 by John Marshall, so this was certainly not “the Jay court.”

      The authority to determine upon the constitutionality of a given law in cases brought before the Supreme Court is certainly “inferred” in the Constitution:

      “. . . all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; . . .”

      In requiring this oath, Federal judges are COMMANDED to support the Constitution. Thus, if a justice is presented a Federal law that either exceeds the constitutionally delegated authority or–even worse–violates an express prohibition (i.e. like the Sedition Act, which did BOTH), the Federal judges HAVE NO CHOICE but to uphold the superior law–the Constitution–and refuse to implement the statute. This is plain logic and common sense.

      The debates in the Federal Convention repeatedly alluded to this responsibility on the part of judges. It is an inherent function of the judicial office itself.

      • Yes, all government officials (and military, who take a similar oath) are expected to uphold the Constitution and deny authority to any act in defiance thereof. But they (except maybe Hamilton) never expected the Supremes to be THE final authority. Jefferson and Madison, in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799 made it clear that that right rested in the States.

        • I agree with your position, but we have to cautious in making sweeping generalizations about what “they” wanted.

          You’re raising a point beyond what I was replying to. My comment only concerned whether the Federal courts can set aside unconstitutional Federal laws.

          As far as who is the final arbiter on conflicts between State and Federal authority, Madison did indeed place that authority in the Supreme Court. See Federalist #39. Then he flip-flopped and recognized the States as the parties to the Compact having a final negative. (The best statement is in his Virginia Report of 1799, defending the Virginia Resolution of the previous year.)

          Then late in life he flip-flopped again and declared the Supreme Court’s ruling as final in all such cases, and tried to deny that he had ever really meant otherwise. (He even tried to claim that Jefferson never used the word “nullification” in his draft of Kentucky’s resolution, until an early draft was produced at Monticello showing that he had.)

          The point is, you can find quotes for both positions in Madison’s writings. And most of the other States denounced the KY & VA Resolutions at the time, only to turn around several years later and embrace those concepts themselves.

          As far as the Federal Convention of 1787 is concerned, it certainly wasn’t just Hamilton. There were others. Take George Reed of Delaware–practically every time he opened his mouth he was calling for the outright abolition of the States. Rufus King tried to suggest that the Union wasn’t a Union of States at all, only of individuals! In fact, in the earliest proposals (when a bare quorum of States was present) they tried to scrap the whole Federal basis of the system entirely.

          But what some of them wanted and what they actually got are two different things. The States’ Rightists prevailed so far as to keep the system Federal. But so much damage has been done since then, that what we have now if pretty much the worst of all systems rolled into one big mess.

          • “Take George Reed of Delaware–practically every time he opened his mouth he was calling for the outright abolition of the States. ”

            To this day, Delaware is the asshole of the US. If the country was to get an enema, the nozzle would be insterted into Romney Square in Wilmington.

            Fucking Delaware, anyway.

            • Isn’t Delaware the state where a large number of huge corporations have their legal headquarters? Isn’t that because of some tax dodge?

              Mind, I am all for “dodging” taxes – where actual human beings are concerned.

              But I’ve come to the conclusion that corporations are fundamentally pernicious because unlike actual human beings, a corporation’s sole motive is the maximization of short-term profit at any cost. These organizations are bereft of the conscience that most actual human beings have – and to a great extent, liberated from any real moral hazard.

              They are, in brief, arguably sociopathic entities.

      • You sir, are full of crap, and you have no idea what you are talking about. The constitution at article II, section 2, says: “Before he [POTUS] enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

        Does this oath therefore “mandate” that the President of the U.S. also has the authority to determine what is and is not constitutional? By your misguided logic, it is “COMMANDED.”

        Fortunately, people like Thomas Jefferson were a whole lot smarter than rubes like you:

        “You seem … to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.

        The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. The Constitution, in keeping three departments distinct and independent, restrains the authority of the judges to judiciary organs, as it does the executive and legislative to executive and legislative organs.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Charles Jarvis, 28 September 1820.

        And you can take your notion of “inferred” authority, and “allusions to the responsibility of judges” and put them where the sun don’t shine:

        “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few AND DEFINED. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” ~ James Madison, federalist No. 45

        NOWHERE in the United States Constitution is the supreme court granted the authority to determine what is and is not constitutional. It ain’t there and it never was.

        • You have shown yourself capable of insults, and selective quotation, but little more.

          First, you are conflating two issues: (1) Whether the judiciary can set aside a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, and (2) Whether the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in all cases of controversy between the States and the Federal government.

          On point #2, I agree with others here that States do indeed have the right–and duty–to interpose a/o nullify unconstitutional Federal acts. However, Madison initially DID believe that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter in such cases.

          Federalist #39 — “[The proposed government] jurisdiction extends to certain enumerated objects only, and leaves to the several States a residuary and inviolable sovereignty over all other objects. It is true that in controversies relating to the boundary between the two jurisdictions, the tribunal which is ultimately to decide, is to be established under the general government.”

          Did you understand that last sentence? Now as I noted above, Madison flip-flopped on this, but that’s not the point. I agree with the position he articulated in 1798-99.

          Now, as to judicial review. It’s essentially the same function the courts must use when examining two conflicting statutes. The rule in that case is, that the most recent statute prevails. But what about a case in which a constitutional provision and a statute are in conflict? Chronology doesn’t matter, the law on higher tier wins. Don’t believe me?

          Would you believe Alexander Hamilton? (If not, I can find others, but here goes.) Let’s try Federalist #78, paying close attention especially to the last paragraph:

          “This exercise of judicial discretion, in determining between two contradictory laws, is exemplified in a familiar instance. It not uncommonly happens, that there are two statutes existing at one time, clashing in whole or in part with each other, and neither of them containing any repealing clause or expression. In such a case, it is the province of the courts to liquidate and fix their meaning and operation. So far as they can, by any fair construction, be reconciled to each other, reason and law conspire to dictate that this should be done; where this is impracticable, it becomes a matter of necessity to give effect to one, in exclusion of the other. The rule which has obtained in the courts for determining their relative validity is, that the last in order of time shall be preferred to the first. But this is a mere rule of construction, not derived from any positive law, but from the nature and reason of the thing. It is a rule not enjoined upon the courts by legislative provision, but adopted by themselves, as consonant to truth and propriety, for the direction of their conduct as interpreters of the law. They thought it reasonable, that between the interfering acts of an EQUAL authority, that which was the last indication of its will should have the preference.

          “But in regard to the interfering acts of a superior and subordinate authority, of an original and derivative power, the nature and reason of the thing indicate the converse of that rule as proper to be followed. They teach us that the prior act of a superior ought to be preferred to the subsequent act of an inferior and subordinate authority; and that accordingly, whenever a particular statute contravenes the Constitution, it will be the duty of the judicial tribunals to adhere to the latter and disregard the former.”

    • Gabe, Madison expected the courts to be “impenetrable bulwarks” against each and every legislative intrusion upon individual liberty. Put another way, in a free society, two wolves and a sheep do not get to decide what is for lunch.

      The founding generation did not favor democracy.

    • this same deliberate falsification in “translation” from that language to today’s is found in the wretched Filburn decision, about 1934, wherein the “regulation” of interstate commerce was held to be grounds for making and enforcing myriad rules, permits, requirements, restrictions, quotas, etc, on anything that could, had, might, or didn’t move in interstate commerce, citing the “commerce clause” in the Constitution… giving Congress the power to “regulate” interstate commerce. “Regulate” here means to make regular, make sure it happens freely, functions well. NOT to be micromanaged by Fedgov.

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