Archive for the ‘gun rights’ Category

Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.

I’ve found that lower receiver assemblies can be bought in all sorts of interesting designs. Or if you get a blank, you can have it custom engraved.

The reason I titled this what I did is that some non-full auto receivers are marked with an, inactive, full-auto choice.

Not sure I want to have that if I get stopped by the cops. Sure, it can be disproven, but still why risk it?

I almost bought an AR Part II!

Well, we are being treated to an even BIGGER turn out to protest. Toss in that there is a threat of explosions at least Philadelphia’s demonstrations.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

Anyway, the gun people should be laughing their asses off that the do-gooders are doing one of the best jobs to pump up gun sales. A few months back, it looked like there was a saturated market in Assault Rifles. Now demand for the suckers has driven up the price better than the executive order of 1989! Although Assault rifles and firearms tend to have a high rate of price fluctuation depending on the political climate.

That said, I did have a few options if I didn’t want to wait in a long line only to be disappointed at the slim pickings; even in the high end department.

Ghost or parts guns. Which is kind of a big category since you can have a parts gun from a upper receiver from one company and a lower from another. There are some SIG516 uppers out there which now are in the four figure range, after a period when Sig was practically giving them away (about US$450 range). Stick that on a lower receiver, Such as Palmetto State Armoury, which is a reasonable price. It has a serial number which means it isn’t a real “ghost gun”.

The other advantage is that putting together a complete upper from one company and a complete lower from another is still like putting together an assembled firearm. Unlike a ghost gun which is a bunch of parts and sound like way more work than I want to be bothered with. Toss in that I wouldn’t trust a gun I built from scratch since I’m not a trained gunsmith. Any “advantages” to a “ghost gun” are far outweighed by the possibility of it blowing up in my face.

Bottom line, I would buy an H&K MR556 or a SIG516 right now, but it is real hard to do.

Once again, the market place helps to control firearms.

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.

Reality versus gun rights

It’s really fun watching people defend the rioters and looters in the current situation. I’m going to use Pennsylvania law, but there is Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55: Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses, which means that the destruction and looting caused by the rioters is illegal.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Trashing stores and stealing the contents is not a political act, but a criminal one.

Let’s add in that not only is it a criminal act, but it is actual violence. As I said to one person being able to understand the rioters would also mean that you understand why people are protesting the Covid-19 lockdowns with guns. As they say, they may not agree with the method, but they understand the frustration.

Actually, I find the armed protesters less of a threat than I do an out of control mob who are actually engaged in violent acts. Arson is a major cause of loss of life and injury in commercial properties. Strangely, the people who somehow find that the rioting and looting are justified have an issue with people exercising their right to self-defence.

Rioting, looting, arson, and the other illegal acts mentioned in Title 18, the crimes code, and specifically Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55, are just that crimes and illegal. On the other hand someone does have the right to self-defence if they have a reasonable belief that are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Which happens to be a very real threat if you are in the sights of rioters.

One person said, “couldn’t you get out of their way, or leave town?” Is that a fair question if you get the lockdown order and AREN’T allowed to leave? Someone in that situation is pretty much stuck.

Which gets to the gun rights type’s question: “shouldn’t the person be allowed to defend themselves?” To which “Fuck, yeah!” seems to be the most sensible answer. And if the best weapon happens to be something semi-auto that can accept a large capacity magazine: then they should indeed be allowed to have such a weapon.

Which is why I titled this the way I did.

The person who somehow feels that the violence is “justified” or “understandable” should also be able to accept that people have a right to protect themselves. And the right which is lawful is the one of self-protection.

Not rioting.

Or as Donald Trump said: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

While I don’t like Trump or the underlying events which led to the protests, the movement to violence has changed the game to a no win situation. And the people who are going to be the big losers are the ones the protests were supposed to help.

Likewise, I have made it clear that I don’t support “gun rights” or believe it to be a real thing, but if people are going to condone violence, then they need to accept that the cycle of violence will continue.

And isn’t ending the violence what the protests were trying to do?

You can condemn the violence, yet still support the underlying cause. If anything, it makes far more sense to condemn the violence instead of allowing the cycle of violence to keep rolling on.

Gun Control Irony

Yeah, yeah. I try not to post this stuff on my blog, but this one is pretty important.  It was posted on Penigma, but I want my other post to get a few more views before this shows up again on that blog.

On the other hand, this needs to get out there.  That said:

It would be really ironic if instead of all the mass shootings the US has suffered (my condolences to the victims and their families of those), that the incident that caused people to realise the US needs gun control is an out of control suburban mother fighting over a notebook in a suburban Wal-Mart.

No, pulling a gun in this situation is not self-defence by any stretch of the imagination.  No one was fearing death or serious bodily injury which would justify even the threat of deadly force.

The woman pulling the gun is committing Felony Assault under Michigan law, Section 750.82.

The offense of Assault with a Deadly Weapon (ADW), is also known as Felonious Assault in Michigan. ADW is felony which is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. ADW is a crime which involves an assault with a deadly weapon (such as a gun or knife) or any other instrumentality which is fashioned or used as a weapon (car, club, bottle) which is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. A criminal charge or conviction does not require actual physical contact or an injury. The offense is considered complete upon placing another in fear of an assault by a person who possesses a deadly weapon

Michigan law requires that the defendant “must have honestly and reasonably believed that he or she was in danger of being killed, seriously injured or sexually assaulted” in order to use deadly force.  Additionally, the defendant “may only use as much force as he or she thinks is necessary at the time to protect himself or herself.”

While a person may believe he or she had acted in self-defense, the police, prosecutor, judge and jury may disagree.

No shots need to be fired for her to be found guilty.

I’m not sure how the “pro-gun” crowd can defend this action.  I know responsible gun owners don’t, but it’s time they stepped up to the plate and admitted this shit happens too often with the relaxing of concealed carry law for it to be condoned.

It’s time to give Presser v Illinois, 116 U.S. 252, 6 S.Ct. 580, 29 L.Ed. 615 (1886) yet another plug.

One of the many failings of the Heller-McDonald bullshit is that those cases were not cases of first impression, but that post is coming in the future.

See also:

What Does Brandishing Mean? And Why You Should Never Do It…

The Last Hand Gun On Earth

Take an old movie serial, add a new voice over by the Firesign Theatre and you have some very funny stuff.  In this case, the gun loon’s nightmare: Big Brother’s henchmen come for the last handgun on earth.

“To think people used to sleep with these things under their pillows.”

Less than a day since I did my last post…

And there is yet another mass shooting in the US.  ‘Seven killed’ in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting!

Maybe gun control won’t stop mass killings, but not having gun control definitely doesn’t stop them!  In fact, looking at the past 230 odd years of the US being an indepndent country, we have seen that it is a highly violent and blood thirsty country.

WhoWhatWhy has an interesting piece about mass shootings:

One of the most striking things about shooting incidents in America…is how common they are. Another striking thing is how often the media fails to note the previous point, or to explore what that means—or what might be done about it.

Late last night, a gunman walked into a movie theater in a Denver suburb, killed 12 and injured 50. Two days earlier a gunman opened fire outside a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in an incident in which at least 17 were hurt. These were not really so exceptional. Every year, about 100,000 Americans are victims of gun violence, and every week, people calmly enter our schools, our workplaces, our leisure gathering spots and open fire on innocent bystanders.

Whenever we tweet or post about these, often the only people we hear from are those who say we need more guns not less. “If I had been there with my gun….” The problem, of course, is the public at large is being asked to arm everyone and trust that, while the rest of us cower, “the right people” will quickly dispatch “the wrong people” in the modern equivalent of the Shootout at the OK Corral. No mention of whether the teacher is supposed to be armed…when a nut walks into a preschool and starts firing away.

Given that there have been 125 Mass Killings since Columbine, you think some serious solutions would be mentioned, yet it seems that there is the consistent response of inaction, or worse, the loosening of restrictions which make it easier for these incidents to happen.

Unfortunately, a realistic discussion of this aspect of US life never happens while the bodycount keeps rising.  Instead, we keep hearing that the US needs more guns, but that is the cause of the problem.

More on hoplophobia

It was made up by Jeff Cooper who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the combat mindset. So, is he saying that we shouldn’t be concerned if we see someone carrying a firearm? I think this goes to point of VPC’s study Unintended Consequences where Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-defence. In other words, the candid voices of pro-handgun experts and exposes through expert opinion the gun industry’s lies about the illusory benefits of handguns for self-defence.

First off, this “condition is not recognised in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (AKA DSM). It is probably unlikely to be recognised as a condition as well, despite the efforts of the people who like to use this terms efforts to get it in there. This would be due to the fact that most of the medical community is aware that the risk of harm from pistols and revolvers that is demonstrated year after year in America’s unparalleled handgun death and injury rates.

Irrational Fear? This term came from Jeff Cooper the person who gave us the four rules of gun safety and the colour coded combat mindset. The first two rules of gun safety are:

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)

Rule number 2 is the most important for this critique since it concedes that guns are destructive devices. Unfortunately, the fact that guns when used properly can cause serious injury or death is one of the things the folk who tend to use this term would prefer to neglect—in particular, the person who created the term.

Is he saying that we see someone we don’t know carrying a firearm and not see the possibility of a threat? Is he saying that guns don’t deserve at least a shred of respect for their capacity to cause injury or death?

Spot the inconsistency!

Before I leave this, I should say that no one has addressed Cooper’s inconsistencies in that he has his little colour coded combat mindset and points out that guns are indeed lethal, or at least destructive with his four rules of gun safety.

YET…

He would call people who are concerned about those who would carry firearm in a civilian setting hoplophobes.

Instead he wants people to walk around in condition white about someone who is carrying a deadly weapon:

 “Unaware and unprepared. If attacked in Condition White, the only thing that may save you is the inadequacy or ineptitude of your attacker. When confronted by something nasty, your reaction will probably be “Oh my God! This can’t be happening to me.”

But the ultimate absurdity is that Cooper taught COMBAT firearms use.  In fact, the colour coded mindset was expounded upon in a book called Principles of Personal Defense and refers to the states of awareness in combat, or the combat mindset

People who have served in the military, especially in combat arms and are quite used to the presence of weapons know the difference between war zones and civilian life. Being in the military is different from being in a civilian population. And that is a rational consideration, not mental illness. The civilian environment does not have life threatening danger around every corner. It is not a combat zone.

Civilian life is not combat. You would have thought a battle hardened marine like Cooper would have caught on to that fact. One usually does not encounter weapons in a Civil Society which is at peace.

So,which is it, are you tryiing to create a society where it is considered normal to be in a combat state of awareness?

Or do you live in a society where there is peace and laws?

Are you a hoplophobe?

I have to admit this is one of the most idiotic terms I have ever heard, yet it is repeatedly used to castigate those who support gun control.  I have devised this simple test to determine if you are a hoplophobe or not:

A madman is pointing a large firearm at you (e.g., 12 Bore riot-shotgun with 00 buckshot, Desert eagle .44 with hollow points and laser sighting device, or something else of your choice which would most likely seriously harm, if not kill,  you).  He is far enough away that any attempt to disarm this person would be futile.  Likewise, any attempt to pull a weapon would be met with his (or her) getting in at least a shot that would probably result in your being hurt, if not killed.

Are you:

  1. Afraid
  2. Not at all scared since you know full well that guns are not harmful in anyway, especially not in the hands of the insane or criminals, and you could not be hurt no matter how lethal the weapon or good the person’s holding its aim.

I am sure those gunloons out there will say that they have no fear and fit squarely into category 2.

Whereas anyone with a shred of sense would be afraid and say 1.

This is why the discussion of gun violence in the United States makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  “Gun rights” advocates place themselves and others in this situation through their policies, yet want to imply those who oppose them are in some way not sensible.

Stupid gun arguments

I have to admit that people on the “pro-gun” side tend to be fairly clueless and miss the obvious.

Yes, criminals not only DON’T register their firearms–THEY CAN’T. That’s the whole idea–the criminal is arrested and is charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. They aren’t able to register their gun and THEY GO TO JAIL!

Get the idea, or are you still too stupid?

Over at Commongunsense they are having the old drunks and cars debate. If someone is inebreated and is driving, they are breaking the law and they lose their licence to drive. They might even serve some time in jail!

A drunk on public transporation is annoying–a drunk driving a car is a danger to society.

Anyway, I like this article by Peter Wheeland from the 26 Aug 10 Montreal Gazette which I am copiously citing since pro-gun people are too stupid to spot citations. It concerns how idiotic their arguments are.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/register+your+guns/3444385/story.html

You register your car -why not guns?

By PETER WHEELAND, The Gazette August 26, 2010

There’s a very good chance that a private member’s bill will be adopted by Parliament within weeks that would abolish the registry of rifles and shotguns owned by Canadians.

Imagine, if you will, the average car owner trying to use the same arguments as gun owners for refusing to register their weapons, to fight storage regulations and to push for dismantling the gun registry.

The following arguments were lifted from numerous pro-gun blogs and websites about the long-gun registry and little was changed except weapons were transformed into vehicles, bullets into car keys.

– ¦ “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.”

– ¦ “Criminals won’t register their cars, they’ll just go out and steal them or smuggle them into the country.”

– ¦ “Forcing me to keep my car and car keys separate when I’m not using them is stupid. What if there’s a fox in my field and I have to run into the house to get my keys so I can go run the fox over? By the time I get my keys, he’ll be gone. Yet if I leave my keys in the car and some kid steals it and kills someone with it, they think I’m the one acting irresponsibly! That’s crazy!”

– ¦ “Ninety per cent of car crimes are committed with sports cars, not SUVs, so why should SUV owners by forced to register their vehicles?”

– ¦ “The car registry penalizes the majority of vehicle owners, who are law-abiding citizens, by imposing bureaucratic procedures and fees on them, as well as making them vulnerable to prosecution for failing to register their cars.”

– ¦ “If a lunatic decides to take a bunch of people out, it really won’t matter to him whether or not the car is registered.”

– ¦ “It’s not the fear of registering cars, it’s the cost for each car, plus the hassle you have to go through. Plus you have to take a driver safety course in order to get a permit to drive the car. I’ve been driving without a licence all my life, why should I have to take a safety course? My dad taught me everything I need to know.”

– ¦ “The original cost of implementing the registry was estimated at approximately $120 million, with most of the costs being covered by registration fees. Subsequent reviews, however, have shown the actual cost to be closer to $2 billion.”

Well, it’s hard to argue with that last point. Setting up the registry was enormously, ridiculously expensive. The only way to recoup that $2 billion is, obviously, to scrap the registry.

Yes, yes, that argument doesn’t make much sense, either.

But don’t forget that this is the same government that spend $1.1 billion on the G8 and G20 summits without worrying about what five days’ worth of talks would cost, nor were they worried that the expense (not to mention the criminal trials for 300 protesters) would produce nothing of benefit in its wake.

It’s the same government that wants to spend $9 billion to expand the prison system because of a rise in “unreported crime.”

The same government that wants to increase the cost of conducting the census by $30 million because of privacy complaints that, well, are so private that no one has heard of them.

The same government whose only other major privacy concern has been that Canadians not be allowed to obtain information about MPs’ expenses and that journalists making Access to Information requests get only documents with all of the nouns and adjectives blacked out.

It’s the same government that promotes a “law and order” agenda yet refuses to listen to the unanimous position of the Association of Police Chiefs on the usefulness of the long-gun registry,

Laws don’t kill democracy, politicians do.

Peter Wheeland is a Montreal writer, Gazette copy editor, and owner of a proudly registered car.
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette

read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/register+your+guns/3444385/story.html#ixzz17wTUYvBi

Interesting quote

“The rule of the gun is the greatest obstacle to everlasting peace and security in our country.”

Mr. Hamid Karzai, the Head of the interim government of Afghanistan.

That about says it all…

Or the “Gun control means hitting your target”.

Gun rights and pataphysics

Pataphysics is defined as “the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments” by its founder Alfred Jarry. It has been further ellaborated as ‘as resting “on the truth of contradictions and exceptions” by the French author Raymond Queneau. It’s relationship to the gun rights movement can best be illustrated by John Lott who has come up with the theory that more guns will result in less crime.

The fact that the United States is the only nation where one finds a concept of “gun rights”, that is the “right” to own an object which when properly used will result in death or serious bodily injury, has the highest amount of mass shootings and firearms injuries!

The answer to the gun problem is amazingly simple when one uses pataphysics: more guns!

The fact that it is admittedly easy for those who are listed as being legally disqualified to own firearms to acquire firearms leads to the truth that rather than making firearms laws more restrictive, one needs to make it easier for them to acquire firearms. We know that these people will get guns anyway, so why bother making it difficult for them to get guns?

That demonstrates the pataphysical truth of the gun rights movement. Gun control, which never has existed in any meaningful form in the US, does not work: therefore, we need to abolish gun control!

Gun rights is self evident when we realise the pataphysical truth of its propositions. That is it rests upon the truth of contradictions and exceptions. It is a science of imaginary solutions to a very real problem, but it is a solution which is not based upon proper logic.

It is based upon pataphysics and pataphysics proves gun control is nonsense! We don’t need to control guns, we need to make them even more out of control!

I’m sure that Alfred Jarry would approve!

next in this series: Pataphysics and US right wing politics

And the big Hunh? Award goes to…

The Cato Institute from coming out with this piece: Gun Control Advocates Should Applaud the Supreme Court with the words:

This ruling does not necessarily invalidate all gun control laws, but it will likely mean the demise of outright bans and restrict significantly the ability of states and cities to impose other kinds of controls.

The problem is that gun bans, especially those enacted by local legislatures, should be an option and in no way infringe upon the “Second Amendment right” which is to be free of a standing army rather than to own weapons outside the context of militia service.

Even weirder is the comment that:

The most significant negative of gun control is distracting attention from policies like drug prohibition that play a far larger role in generating crime. So long as policy generates a demand for crime, policy can do little to reduce crime.

Now how likely is it that the prohibition on drugs will ever be lifted, and even if it is lifted, that the black market in drugs will be eradicated? After all, there are still people who make moonshine liquor to avoid paying taxes. So, if we want to get into it, there will always be an economic incentive for a black market in drugs if they are regulated.

and the Cato folks look at things in terms of money (rather than how it affects people).

The real amusing point is that the people who talk about Liberty have engaged in what would be considered the ultimate act of tyranny by the founders (invalidating local Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good, by those who are neither elected nor citizens of that jurisdiction).

Anyway, the Cato Institute can act in the way that it does should show them for the disreputable weasels that they are.

And saying that “Gun Control Advocates Should Applaud the Supreme Court” is cause for those who believe that the Heller-McDonald cases vindicate their “rights” to be suspicious.

If they weren’t sheep.

Trying to explain things to complete dumbfucks…

This might help the clueless. Of course, the clueless can’t think. I am not sure why I am providing this because the person in question is as thick as pigshit.

In fact, the person in question shovels pigshit (or some other animal’s shit) for a living. Anyway.

Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S. 143 (1972)

1972, that means that the “collective right interpretation” of the Second Amendment existed prior to 1974, which thick as pigshit refuses to concede. Not that his opinions are worth much anyway. After all, this is is a fat, ignorant fuck who is proud to be a fat, ignorant fuck. He doesn’t see the inconsistencies in supporting “the Second Amendment, The Military, and Ted Nugent” is “pro-gun” while being “pro-life” and believes that global warming is a hoax.

verbum sapientum

Anyway, the facts of the case:

Acting on a tip supplied moments earlier by an informant known to him, a police officer asked respondent to open his car door. Respondent lowered the window, and the officer reached into the car and found a loaded handgun (which had not been visible from the outside) in respondent’s waistband, precisely where the informant said it would be. Respondent was arrested for unlawful possession of the handgun. A search incident to the arrest disclosed heroin on respondent’s person (as the informant had reported), as well as other contraband in the car. Respondent’s petition for federal habeas corpus relief was denied by the District Court. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the evidence that had been used in the trial resulting in respondent’s conviction had been obtained by an unlawful search.

Fourth Amendment search and seizure relating to a handgun

Justice William O. Douglas’s dissent in Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972)

MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS, with whom MR. JUSTICE MARSHALL concurs, dissenting.

My views have been stated in substance by Judge Friendly, dissenting, in the Court of Appeals. 436 F.2d 30, 35. Connecticut allows its citizens to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, at will, provided they have a permit. Conn. Gen. Stat. Rev. 29-35, 29-38. Connecticut law gives its police no authority to frisk a person for a permit. Yet the arrest was for illegal possession of a gun. The only basis for that arrest was the informer’s tip on the narcotics. Can it be said that a man in possession of narcotics will not have a permit for his gun? Is that why the arrest for possession of a gun in the free-and-easy State of Connecticut becomes constitutional?

The police problem is an acute one not because of the Fourth Amendment, but because of the ease with which anyone can acquire a pistol. A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by 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.”

There is under our decisions no reason why stiff state laws governing the purchase and possession of pistols may not be enacted. There is no reason why pistols may not be barred from anyone with a police record. There is no reason why a State may not require a purchaser of a pistol to pass a psychiatric test. There is no reason why all pistols should not be barred to everyone except the police.

The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”

“The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.

Critics say that proposals like this water down the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment, as noted, was designed to keep alive the militia. But if watering-down is the mood of the day, I would prefer to water down the Second rather than the Fourth Amendment. I share with Judge Friendly a concern that the easy extension of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, to “possessory offenses” is a serious intrusion on Fourth Amendment safeguards.

“If it is to be extended to the latter at all, this should be only where observation by the officer himself or well authenticated information shows `that criminal activity may be afoot.'” 436 F.2d, at 39, quoting Terry v. Ohio, supra, at 30.

Quick trivia question: What special characteristic about Justice Douglas might make him qualified to have special knowledge of the US v Miller decision?

You should know this if you’ve actually read US v Miller.

You have read US v Miller, haven’t you?

Anyway, as I like to point out Justice Stevens’ dissents in Heller and McDonald both keep the “collective right” alive, which David T. Hardy points out in the beginning of his Ducking the Bullet: District of Columbia v. Heller and the Stevens Dissent article (2010 Cardozo L. Rev. de novo 61):

District of Columbia v. Heller established that the Second Amendment’s right to arms existed as an individual right, with no requirement that the rights-holder be functioning as part of a well-regulated militia. While the majority opinion has been subjected to extensive review and commentary, the Steven dissent, joined by four members of the Court, has not. The dissent came within one vote of becoming the majority; it clearly merits close examination.

Had the dissent become law, the Court would have informed the American people, 70% of whom believed they had an individual right to arms, that their rights-consciousness was sadly mistaken.

I strongly disagree that Stevens’ dissents were based upon “based upon surprisingly thin reasoning and evidence.” If anything, Hardy demonstrates his ignorance of history, which I can bury him in proof. In fact, I am sure Hardy will use the usual half-quotations and misinterpretations that when read in their fullness show he is making a false assertion.

I’ll toss in this language from U.S. v. Tot, 131 F.2d 261 (3rd Cir. 1942) as proof that the “Collective right” interpretation was around well before 1974.

It is abundantly clear both from the discussions of this amendment contemporaneous with its proposal and adoption and those of learned writers since [footnote 13] that this amendment, unlike those providing for protection of free speech and freedom of religion, was not adopted with individual rights in mind, but as a protection for the States in the maintenance of their militia organizations against possible encroachments by the federal power. [footnote 14] The experiences in England under James II of an armed royal force quartered upon a defenseless citizenry [footnote 15] was fresh in the minds of the Colonists. They wanted no repetition of that experience in their newly formed government. The almost uniform course of decision in this country, [footnote 16] where provisions similar in language are found in many of the State Constitutions bears out this concept of the constitutional guarantee. A notable instance is the refusal to extend its application to weapons thought incapable of military use.

The contention of the appellant in this case could, we think, be denied without more under the authority of United States v. Miller, 1939, 307 U.S. 174, 59 S. Ct. 816, 83 L.Ed. 1206. This was a prosecution under the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the weapon, the possession of which had occasioned the prosecution of the accused, was a shotgun of less than 18 inch barrel. The Court said that in the absence of evidence tending to show that possession of such a gun at the time has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, it could not be said that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep such an instrument. The appellant here having failed to show such a relationship, the same thing may be said as applied to the pistol found in his possession. It is not material on this point that the 1934 statute was bottomed on the taxing power while the statute in question here was based on a regulation of interstate commerce.

But, further, the same result is definitely indicated on a broader ground and on this we should prefer to rest the matter. Weapon bearing was never treated as anything like an absolute right by the common law. It was regulated by statute as to time and place as far back as the Statute of Northampton in 1328 and on many occasions since. [footnote 17] The decisions under the State Constitutions show the upholding of regulations prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons, prohibiting persons from going armed in certain public places and other restrictions, in the nature of police regulations, but which do not go so far as substantially to interfere with the public interest protected by the constitutional mandates. [footnote 18] The Federal statute here involved is one of that general type. One could hardly argue seriously that a limitation upon the privilege of possessing weapons was unconstitutional when applied to a mental patient of the maniac type. The same would be true if the possessor were a child of immature years. In the situation at bar Congress has prohibited the receipt of weapons from interstate transactions by persons who have previously, by due process of law, been shown to be aggressors against society. [footnote 19] Such a classification is entirely reasonable and does not infringe upon the preservation of the well regulated militia protected by the Second Amendment.

Of course, the only people who really care about this issue are the “gun rights” crowd.

On the other hand, had Stevens’ opinions been majority opinions, there would have been a lot of explaining. The people doing the explaining would be the liars who have been fobbing off this bogus “individual right” interpretation of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, it doens’t take too much to play on the historic ignorance of the American public which takes myth for reality.

Fact is, the Heller-McDonald decisions created an “individual right” where one didn’t exist (please show me the language in the Second Amendment if it does) which is subject to strong regulation:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. See, e.g., Sheldon, in 5 Blume 346; Rawle 123; Pomeroy 152–153; Abbott 333. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues. See, e.g., State v. Chandler, 5 La. Ann., at 489–490; Nunn v. State, 1 Ga., at 251; see generally 2 Kent *340, n. 2; The American Students’ Blackstone 84, n. 11 (G. Chase ed. 1884). Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Heller at 54-5

Which has as a footnote (26):

We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.

Better yet:

But the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home. Heller at 64

From McDonald:

It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 54). We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Id., at ___–___ (slip op., at 54–55). We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms. McDonald at 39-40

Eventually, the word will get out: the Second Amendment right applies to the rights relating to well-regulated militias and the federal government’s powers under Article I, Section 8, clause 16:

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;