I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Really?

My rifle chambered in .17 Remington fires a 25 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity just over 4,000 ft/s. Now, my AR-15 is chambered for 7.62x39mm (It’s a long story), but I doubt that it launches one of the 123 grain bullets in the Hornady ammo I use for deer hunting at 20,000 ft/s. That would result in a muzzle energy over 100,000 ft•lb. which about 8 X the muzzle energy of a round fired from a .50 cal. M2 machine gun. My AR doesn’t seem to kick that hard.

UPDATE—FWIW, the typical muzzle velocity of a bullet fired from an AR-15 chambered for common 5.56x45mm ammunition is about 3,150 ft/s. The only combination of firearms and ammunition that I can find in my gun safe and ammo locker that could produce a muzzle velocity as low as 625 ft/s (1/5 of 3,150) would be a short-barreled revolver loaded with .22 Shorts or a muzzle-loading rifle with a dangerously low powder charge.

No, Joe, They Won’t Need F-15s

Once again, Joe Xiden has threatened to use the regular forces of the U.S. military against citizens who might actively resist one or more of his unconstitutional or illegal acts. Speaking in Pennsylvania today, he called for a federal ban on so-called “assault weapons.” Of course, the Supreme Court has just reversed and remanded the appeals court decision upholding Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban, but that hasn’t dulled Xiden’s lust for unconstitutional federal legislation.

Xiden also said—

You can’t go out and buy an automatic weapon, you can’t go out and buy a cannon, and for those brave right wing Americans who say its all about keeping America independent and safe, if you want to fight against the country you need an F-15. You need something a little more than a gun.

There are so many false statements there. You can go out and buy and automatic weapon. It has to be one that’s in the current registry of such weapons (over 150,000 such weapons are registered), you have to pass a background check, and you have to pay for a $200 tax stamp, but you can buy one. It’s also legal to buy a cannon. The process is similar to buying a machine gun.

IIRC, the last time veteran’s took up arms against a government, it was a local government, and the trigger for that action was a stolen election. You can read about The Battle of Athens here.

And finally, Xiden might want to think about how ragtag group of peasants with small arms handled modern armies and air forces in Afghanistan during the last four decades.

Civil Rights Update

This has appeared on the docket of Bianchi v. Frosh, the Maryland “Assault Weapons” Ban case. The Fourth Circuit had previously upheld the ban; the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of the recent Bruen case.

The court directs supplemental briefing as follows:

Supplemental opening brief due: 08/22/2022
Supplemental response brief due: 09/12/2022
Supplemental reply brief permitted by: 09/22/2022

Stay tuned.

Massive Resistance Redux

The Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s decision upholding Hawaii’s restrictive carry permit regime in Young v. Hawaii and remanded the case for reconsideration in light of Bruen. Young filed a motion for summary reversal with the Ninth Circuit, and Hawaii has filed a motion seeking to delay the inevitable.

It looks as if the Democrats plan to engage in the same sort of massive resistance to the expansion of civil rights as they did in the ’60s.

The Futility of Gun Control

This is from NPR‘s report on the Abe assassination in Japan this morning—

Public television NHK aired a dramatic video of Abe giving a speech outside a train station in the western city of Nara. He is standing, dressed in a navy blue suit, raising his fist, when two gunshots are heard. The video then shows Abe collapsed on the street, with security guards running toward him. He holds his chest, his shirt smeared with blood.

In the next moment, security guards leap on top of a man in gray shirt who lies face down on the pavement. A double-barreled device that appeared to be a handmade gun is seen on the ground.

Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world.

A Civil Rights Update

Governor Larry Hogan has directed the Maryland State Police to suspend use of the “good and substantial reason” requirement for a “Wear and Carry” permit previously used to suppress most citizens’ ability to exercise Second Amendment rights outside of their homes. This is a good first step in bringing Maryland into compliance with the Second Amendment.

Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court has vacated that decision and sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit to be reconsidered in light of Bruen. The Fourth Circuit had previously upheld Maryland’s restrictions on standard capacity magazines, but last week, the Supreme Court overturned California’s and New Jersey’s bans which are more or less the same as Maryland’s

A challenge to Maryland’s Handgun Qualification License (essentially a permit to purchase) is also pending before the Fourth Circuit.

The next few months will bring some interesting decisions at the Fourth Circuit, and I suspect the next session of the Maryland Legislature will bring out campaign of massive resistance to Second Amendment rights from the Democrat majority.

We shall see.

Civil Rights Victories

This is from today’s Order List of the Supreme Court—

Bianchi v. Frosh is the challenge to Maryland’s “assault weapons” ban.

The Court also granted certiorari petitions on the New Jersey and California standard capacity magazine ban cases, vacated the lower courts’ judgments, and sent the cases back to the Third and Ninth Circuits, and the Court granted the certiorari petition the challenge to Hawaii’s carry permit system, vacated the Ninth Circuit’s judgment, returned that case to the circuit court.

Things are proceeding more quickly than I had foreseen.

Clarence Thomas Made My Day

We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for selfdefense.

NY State Rifle & Pistol Asso. v. Bruen, 20-843, Slip Op., 62, 63 (S. Ct.).

Defects in Red Flag Laws

The obvious objection to most red flag laws is based in the Second Amendment. IANAL, but it seems to me that they also infringe on rights secured by the Fourth Amendment (“The right of the People to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated …”) and the Fifth Amendment (“No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …”). Don’t firearms count as “effects” or “property”?

Quote of the Day

The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.

—Jeff Cooper

The Idea of Limited Government

Because we are human beings, we have human rights. Those rights exist regardless of the government we live under. Each of those rights has an associated duty. For example, your right to own property creates a duty for me not to steal it, and my right to life creates a duty for you not to kill me. No government can grant rights, but all governments have a tendency to constrain rights. That tendency to erode rights is why the Constitution takes some of our human rights and places them outside of the reach of government.

The idea of a “living” constitution that could given new meanings by experts was an attempt by Progressives such as Woodrow Wilson to find a workaround to the barriers to whatever scheme they wanted to impose on society for our own good. Most of the past century saw a steady erosion of human rights through legislation, executive action, and judicial decisions with no basis in the actual text of the Constitution, but especially since 2000, there has been increasing pushback.

We now have a couple of cases before the Supreme Court that may help restore the wall between the government (even if it represents a majority point of view) and the right to life. We’ve already seen a leaked draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson that suggests the court will put the question of abortion per se back outside of the Constitution where it lay for almost 200 years. This will allow those states that wish to protect the unborn child’s right to life to do so.

We should see a decision in NY Rifle & Pistol v. Bruen soon. The oral argument suggests that the court will continue in the direction of the Heller and McDonald, and rule that the Second Amendment really means what it says. That would remove the barriers some states have placed in the way their residents’ ability to defend their right to life.

I hope I am not disappointed.

Enforce the Gun Control Act First …

… and then—maybe—I’ll listen to your “common sense” proposals, Joe Biden.

And your first step to demonstrate good faith must be the prosecution of Hunter Biden for lying on an ATF Form 4473 when he purchased a .38 Special revolver on 12 October, 2018. Until then, you have no credibility with respect to the matter.

That’s About the Size of It

His Frauduency has announced that there is no rational reason to use a “high calibre” 9 mm bullet for self defense. He said—

The .22 caliber bullet will lodge in the lungs and we can get it out. A 9mm bullet blows the lung out of the body. The idea of a high caliber weapon, there is simply no rational basis for it in terms of self-protection, hunting.

FWIW, the nominal diameter of a 9 mm bullet is 0.356 in, while the nominal diameter of a .38 Special bullet is 0.357 in. Of course, semiautomatic pistols chambered in .38 Special are even more rare than 9 mm revolvers, so I suppose that cartridge isn’t as scary.

Oh, and the 5.56 mm NATO round commonly used in AR15 rifles uses .22 calibre bullets.

Don’t Know Much About History

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war:
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon, like a prison-bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend, through alley and street
Wanders and watches with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height,
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet:
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river-fog,
That rises when the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo forevermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hunting Deer with an AR-15?

I own a Colt AR-15 Sporter chambered in the unusual caliber (for an AR) of 7.62X39mm. I use it for hunting deer in wooded terrain. Because of the taper of the cartridge case, a magazine that would normally hold 20 rounds of 5.56mm NATO ammunition will only hold 5 rounds of 7.62x39mm. Other than being semi-automatic and having lower ammunition capacity, it’s the functional equivalent of a typical .30/30 lever action rifle.

ColtSporter-1When I first moved to Maryland in the early ’90s, I had hunting privileges in an overgrown orchard next to a 6,000 acre no-hunting environmental area and a 200 acre corn/soybean field. The woods were dense enough that the longest shot possible was less than 100 yards, so a .270 Win. or .30/06 was overkill. I used a .45/70 rifle for the first few years but decided that something like a .30/30 would make more sense. I went to a gun show looking for a deal on a Marlin 336 lever action rifle and stumbled on a dealer who had a Colt AR-15 in 7.62×39 mm that he wanted to sell cheap. The price was right, and I bought it. It’s been a nice woods gun, performing well with Winchester 123 gr. soft points. I’ve had even better results using the now-out-of-print Hornady Zombiemax and the Hornady 123 gr. Black ammo.

So, yes, you can hunt deer with an AR-15. I’ve been using mine for woodland hunting for almost 30 years.