Justice Stevens and the Second Amendment

A few days ago, retired Justice John Paul Stevens published an op-ed over at WaPo promoting his new book coming out later this month. The hook for his piece was an explanation of how to fix the Second Amendment so that it will mean what he wishes it meant. I’ve been puzzling over how to comment on his essay, but a couple of other bloggers have beat me to the punch.

Clayton E. Cramer demolishes Stevens’s shoddy scholarship in a piece over at PJ Media.

Da Tech Guy points out that Stevens does conservatives a favor by reminding everyone that the Constitution means what it says and not what liberals wish it says.

Read ‘em both.

The Constitution State?

At least that’s what Connecticut was called when I was in school a half-century ago. Times change, I guess. This is from a press release from Connecticut Against Gun Violence.

A coalition of state Gun Rights Prevention Groups will be holding a press conference on Thursday, April 3, at 10:00 am at the State Capitol, 3rd Floor, Old Judiciary Room.

(H/T, Say Uncle) Kinda makes me wonder what other parts of the Bill of Rights these folks might view as expendable.

Don’t Know Much About History

Dan Haar of the Hartford Courant seems unhappy that an overwhelming percentage of gun owners have failed to register their “assault weapons” under Connecticut’s recently enacted law. He wants the law to be enforced.

Emerson wrote a poem about an attempted assault weapons ban and confiscation. It begins

By the rude bridge that arched the flood …

If the opinion leaders in New England 240 years ago had been like Mr. Haar, our national anthem would be God Save the Queen.

Elections Have Consequences

Emily Miller reports in the Washington Times that

Beretta has eliminated Virginia from its short list of states to move its company because anti-gun Democrat Terry McAuliffe was elected governor.

The firearms manufacturer made the decision to scratch Virginia off the list after the McAuliffe campaign fixated on restricting gun owners’ rights after receiving over $1 million in campaign donations from billionaire New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Beretta is leaving Maryland because of the state government’s anti-gun policies.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Some boneheaded local politician in Massachusetts wants to be able to send the local cops in to gun owners’ homes to “inspect” how their guns are stored. Perhaps this bozo hasn’t heard of the Fourth Amendment. You know, that bit in the Bill of Rights about a warrant being needed for a search.

The guy is a selectman in the town of Swampscott. I wonder how far that is from Lexington and Concord?

Assault Luddism

The Luddites destroyed machinery because of they were threatened by progress.assaultnonsense

So how advanced does the technology of a weapon have to be to enable a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute?

I have a muzzle-loading rifle, and, if I really hustle, I can get off two rounds per minute. However, there are muzzle-loading firearms that are capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver.Colt_Navy_Model_1851

It was probably the most common revolver used during the Civil War. It takes a long time to load the six-round cylinder, but the cylinder is easily removed and replaced. It was not uncommon for soldiers to carry spare loaded cylinders. It’s possible to fire three cylinders (18 rounds) in under a minute.

LongbowHowever, there are even older weapons capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the weapon shown at the left. Henry V was able to use massed fire from such weapons to devastate an attack by a force that greatly outnumbered his happy few, his band of brothers, at Agincourt.

There are other, even simpler, weapons that can deliver a high rate of fire. David only took five stones when he fought Goliath. He was a good shot and only needed one to kill the giant, but an expert with a sling can get off 10 shots in a minute.

A sling is a stone age weapon.

Another One Bites the Dust

Another member of Nanny Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns Illegal Mayors Against Guns has been convicted  and sentenced. Kwame Kilpatrick, former Detroit mayor and member of MAIG, received 28 years for corruption.

I wonder why all these corrupt politicians want to keep guns out of the hands of the citizens they are fleecing?

Shooting Lessons from a Governor

Texas Governor Rick Perry met with a group of bloggers at a shooting range, and Kathleen McKinley tells about her shooting lesson from him. The pistol used was the same Ruger LCP that Gov. Perry used to dispatch a coyote that attacked while he was walking his dog.

BTW, I concur with his choice of the LCP with a laser sight as a small carry gun.

Rick Perry isn’t the first politician to carry a .380 pistol for personal protection. President Theodore Roosevelt packed a Colt Model 1908. How many other current governors do you think carry for their own protection, and how many completely rely on bodyguards? I know which way I’d bet on Martin O’Malley, the Governor of Maryland.

Requiring a License to Exercise a Constitutional Right

Let’s say that you wanted to petition the legislature in your state and that when you delivered your petition you were told that it would be accepted until you were photographed and fingerprinted, took a training course, passed a background check, and paid a license fee. How would you react?

Let’s say that you wanted to buy a copy of the scriptures of your religious faith and when you went make your purchase the bookseller told you that you could not pick up your book until you were photographed and fingerprinted, took a training course, passed a background check, and paid a license fee. How would you react?

Let’s say that you wanted to register to vote and that when you went to do so you were told that you could not do so until you were photographed and fingerprinted, took a training course, passed a background check, and paid a license fee. How would you react?

Let’s say that you wanted to start a website to publish you ideas and that you went to an Internet service provider to set up an account and were told that you could not have web access until you were photographed and fingerprinted, took a training course, passed a background check, and paid a license fee. How would you react?

Beginning next Tuesday, if you wish to buy a handgun in Maryland you will be told that you cannot do so until you are photographed and fingerprinted, take a training course, pass a background check, and pay a license fee. How should a citizen react to that?

#BillSchmalfeldt, Abrams Tanks, and the Second Amendment

I was going spend the entire day ignoring Cabin Boy Bill Schmalfeldt, but someone sent me a link to his latest waste of bandwidth over at Digital Journal (No, I won’t link to it.). It’s called Op-Ed: If Abrams tanks are outlawed, only outlaws will have Abrams tanks. Schmalfeldt seems to believe that ownership of an Abrams tank by a U. S. citizen is (or should be) illegal.

Other than nuclear, biological, and most chemical weapons, citizen ownership of weapons is not generally prohibited under federal law. Some are restricted. Some are taxed. But few are prohibited. Some states are more restrictive than the feds.

I don’t know how one would go about buying one, but I’m not sure that there is any federal law that bans private ownership of an Abrams tank.

There would be a lot of paperwork and tax filings involved in owning an Abrams. The two 7.62 X 51 mm machine guns and the .50 M2 machine gun would need to have the appropriate ATF tax stamps (and the guns would need to have been made before the 1986 ban). The main gun (either the 105 mm for early M1 or the newer 120 mm) would also have to be registered with the ATF as a destructive device and the appropriate tax stamp purchased.

Here in Maryland, the three machine guns would have to be licensed by the State Police, and the owner would have to pay a $10/year fee for each. The MVA wouldn’t issue tags, so the owner would be restricted to off-road use.

If the owner kept live rounds for the main gun, the ATF would impose requirements on the storage magazine, and, here in Maryland, the State Fire Marshal would get involved.

So, yes, the Second Amendment does protect a citizen’s right to possess arms.GE

Even an Abrams tank with the right paperwork.

UPDATE—Stacy McCain has more about crazy folks with guns here.

Repeat After Me …

Gun control is a losing issue for Democrats. Just ask the two recalled in Colorado yesterday.

I could write a lot about it, but several others have beaten me to the punch. Check out what Charles C. W. Cooke has to say and then read how the NYT tries to spin the story.

UPDATE—Vodkapundit notes the following from his observation post in Colorado concerning the lack of mail-in ballots for the recall.

That put a real dent in the Democrats’ expected margin of cheating.

Dogs and Cats Living Together!

(H/T, Shall Not Be Questioned) Reuters is reporting that the NRA is filing an amicus brief in support of the ACLU’s suit against the Obama Administration concerning NSA surveillance. The ACLU is welcoming the NRA’s support.

The ACLU is asking the court to stop the NSA’s program of tracking telephone calls, to declare the program illegal, and to order the government to purge all its databases of the call records.  The NRA says in its brief

The mass surveillance program could allow identification of NRA members, supporters, potential members, and other persons with whom the NRA communicates, potentially chilling their willingness to communicate with the NRA.

The NRA has also notes that the Obama Administration’s interpretation of section 215 of the the Patriot act would have the effect of nullifying the statutory ban on the centralization of gun purchase and ownership records.

A Salt Weapon

Get ready to have fun getting those pesky flies! Get them all with the original salt gun, The Bug-A-Salt. Fill with salt, pump the handle, turn off the safety switch, aim and shoot. Kills fly’s [sic] within 3 feet with a mini shotgun effect. Only uses a pinch of salt. Virtually no mess. Effective way to rid fly’s from the home, yard or BBQ. Will not hurt glass windows or walls. High quality design and made to last. Use responsibly and have fun!bugasalt

Click here to buy it from Amazon.

UPDATE—What better way to enforce a “no fly” zone?

Bill Clinton on Voting Rights

Bill Clinton says that voting should be as easy as buying an “assault weapon.” I doubt that he means a real assault rifle. They are legally machine guns and require several months of paperwork, background checks by the ATF, a $250 tax stamp, and more. He probably just meant a run-of-the-mill modern sporting rifle such as an AR-15.

In Maryland, AR-15s are regulated weapons. Purchase requires presenting photo ID and passing a background check through the NICS. After that goes through, there’s more state paperwork and a State Police background check which typically take a couple of months. However, beginning in October, further purchases of AR-15s will be banned.

Somehow, I don’t think Mr. Clinton meant that currently registered Maryland voters could continue to vote if they presented photo ID and passed a background check at the polls, but that after 1 October no more voters would be registered.

But if you think he meant that Second Amendment rights should be as well protected as voting rights, you’ve been inhaling the stuff he says he didn’t.