Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge for directing me to the above video. Revealing the lack of knowledge about fire arms that has ever been the hallmark of gun grabbers, the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has been in their cross hairs since the Orlando shootings. Initially it was claimed that the AR-15 was used by Omar Mateen during his murderous rampage. Nope, he used a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle and a pistol.
Before that was revealed, Gersch Kuntzman of the New York Daily News ran this unintentionally hilarious post about his experience firing an AR-15:
The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. If illegally modified to fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.All it takes is the will to do it.Forty nine people can be gone in 60 seconds.
As a fellow member of the patriarchy, I worry about Mr. Kuntzman’s masculinity and self-image. I have, on numerous occasions, introduced females, including little girls no older than 10 and no more than 70 pounds, to the awe-inspiring power of the AR-15. Granted, they had to fire from a supported position, lacking the strength to support the 7-pound rifle for long otherwise, but after firing many rounds, their universal reaction was one of delight–they found the little rifle’s accuracy and ease of use pleasing–and not a bruise among them. The same is true of adult women, many no more than 110 pounds sopping wet.
(This post was originally published in 2010. Since the Democrats are making renewed attempts in the wake of the Orlando shootings to amend the Bill of Rights, I thought I would publish it again.)
Justice Stephen Breyer of the US Supreme Court has never been a fan of the Second Amendment. On Fox News on Sunday he made an historical claim that I would like to analyze in this post.
Madison “was worried about opponents who would think Congress would call up state militias and nationalize them. ‘That can’t happen,’ said Madison,” said Breyer, adding that historians characterize Madison’s priority as, “I’ve got to get this document ratified.”
I assume that the Justice is referring to Federalist 46 written by James Madison, and which may be read here. (I apologize in advance to our resident blog expert on the Federalist papers Paul Zummo. Paul, if you see any mistakes on my part in the following, please let me have it!)
The Justice is correct that many in the states were concerned that the proposed new federal government would have too much power, and Federalist 46 was written to help allay those concerns.
The only refuge left for those who prophesy the downfall of the State governments is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition.
Madison realized that this was a sensitive point. The American Revolution had only ended five years before, and the attempt by Great Britain to rule through military force was a raw memory for all of his readers. Madison tackles this fear head on by comparing the military force of a standing federal army to the militias of the states:
Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.
So far so good for Justice Breyer. However, he misses completely the import of other things that Madison says in Federalist 46.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Continue reading
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural
From Reason TV. Language advisory in regard to the above video. Of course I am sure that leftists watching the video think: “BS! All we need are a few more votes on the Supreme Court and we can wipe the Second Amendment out from the Constitution in one lawsuit.” And you know something, they are right. A Court which can create rights to abortion and gay marriage is obviously a Court that can read anything into, and anything out of, the Constitution. However if leftists ever did attempt this, and they are feckless enough to eventually attempt to do precisely that, I suspect that American Revolution II or Civil War II would be on.
The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.
Thomas Cooley, Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?
Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?
After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were out at night for no good purpose. And you could be sure ahead of time that you’d be cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria [Government limo] sitting out there on the street with one lonely chauffeur — what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked.
The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
–Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The GULAG Archipelago
Mark Shea has a habit of saying that unless people do x, x always being a policy he endorses, they really are not pro-life. This of course is simply an attempt, at least among pro-lifers, to stop debate on x and says nothing about the merits of x as a policy. His latest attempt to do so is on the issue of smart guns, technology that purports to prevent a firearm from being fired, unless the owner is the one pulling the trigger. Go here to read one of his posts on the subject. Blogger Rebecca Frech, at her blog Shoved to Them, relates an incident to describe why Shea is wrong as a practical matter:
The argument seems to center around smart gun technology. Shea reasons that if gun owners were truly pro-life then we would support all efforts to create guns which would only fire for their owners, and then the world would be a better place. People who don’t support such legislation and research, even if they support the protection of life from conception to natural death, are not truly pro-life because they participate in a culture which accepts the possibility of death by gun shot (Mark and his readers haven’t mentioned how they aim to prevent people from being bludgeoned with a rifle butt or pistol whipped with a handgun).
Greg Gutfeld unloads on Jim Carrey, an aging Canadian comedian whose career is currently in the process of tanking, over Carrey’s remakably unfunny “Hee-Haw” attack on the late Charlton Heston and anyone who supports the Second Amendment. Nothing is sadder than a professional funnyman who does not realize that his time in the limelight has passed him by. I have two words for Mr. Carrey: Jerry Lewis. Oh well, perhaps the French will hail him as a genius too.
I have had two prior posts on Democrat Colorado legislators, here and here, who apparently would prefer to see women raped then armed. Ace, at Ace of Spades, brings to the fore a third Democrat, Senator Evi Hudak.
You’re a dumb little girl and you don’t know what you’re talking about. Why don’t you stop talking, dumb little girl?
Katie Pavlich previously reported her story. I’m going to quote some of it, but you should probably read it all.
Amanda Collins is a young rape survivor. While in college in 2007, she was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office at the University of Nevada-Reno and was lucky to get out alive. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. He attacked her at gun point in a gun free zone. At the time of the attack, Collins was in possession of a concealed weapons permit but was not in possession of her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus. …
“I was legislated into being a victim,” Collins said.
Well, that’s a hell of a story, and a hell of an inconvenience for the Bullets-Don’t-Work-On-Criminals crowd. Fortunately, Democratic State Senator Evi Hudak was there to propagate this theory:
“Well, I just want to say statistics are not on your side, even if you had had a gun. You said that you were a martial arts student, I mean person, experience in taekwondo, and yet because this individual was so large and was able to overcome you even with your skills, and chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get than from you and possibly use it against you,” Hudak said.Collins responded by saying, “Respectfully Senator, you weren’t there…I was there, I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own, he didn’t need mine.”
Ms. Hudak probably doesn’t know what “semi-automatic” means, given that she seems unclear that a gun is a projectile weapon usable at range. She seems to not understand the rapist was interested in a live girl, not a dead body, and that Collins, however, would have been quite interested in a dead rapist. As rape must be conducted at touching distance, but shooting can occur at touching distance to hundreds of yards away, I’m a bit flabbergasted by this notion that a rapist would obviously just take a gun away from a woman.
Is he going to deflect bullets with his Sith hands, too? Continue reading
As long time readers of this blog know I have long been an admirer of the work of Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings, and I frequently go there to
steal borrow blog ideas. Dale turned his attention recently to the editorial at America, the Jesuit heterodox rag, which called for the repeal of the Second Amendement:
That their grief may not be compounded.
At long last, the editors of America endorse a constitutional buttress to the culture of life.
Supporting the Human Life Amendment? Surely you jest. Politics is strictly about the art of the possible when it comes to abortion.
No, no–one must be realistic about such things.
Instead, we need to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The reason: something must be done so that urban, left-leaning Jesuits can feel better about themselves:
The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.
For some reason, there are exceptions:
This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes.
As an aside, please, please, I beg you: stop pretending you give a rat’s fanny about hunting. Deep down, we know you hate it, but somehow you feel compelled to offer insincere boilerplate respect. You can stop now. Besides, hunting firearms are more devastating than ones that make you queasy. Just flop your cards on the table and admit you don’t approve of any significant private ownership of firearms. Dialogue requires openness, don’t you know?
Anyway, there’s a yawning logical inconsistency here: why should an off-duty approved firearm owner be allowed to keep it when he is off the clock? At the end of the day, such individuals should turn them in to a secure area until they punch back in. Even soldiers aren’t toting weapons around all the time outside of combat zones. As the editors note, original sin (!) ensures bad things will happen, and cops are quite capable of misusing firearms, as we have been recently reminded. Thus, in Americaworld, there is no reason for anyone to own a firearm off duty.
Go after violent media? Nah. That’s Legion of Decency, Catholic-ghetto stuff. Shudder.
Revisit our oft-idiotic drug war? Piffle. Nope. What it boils down to is that nobody at America owns a firearm or likes anyone who owns one. In policymaking, this is known as the It’s Time We All Start Making Sacrifices, Starting With You, Of Course! maneuver.
Did it ever occur to them to, you know, actually talk to an actual gun owner before promulgating this un-papal bull? Apparently not. Dialogue’s only for people the Catholic left respect, I guess. Nope–it’s time to tear an Amendment out of the Constitution and unchain Caesar to kick doors in to remove unapproved firearms from our midst. If you like the drug war, you’ll plotz over the gun war. Continue reading
The hits just keep on coming regarding guns and rape courtesy of Democrats in the Colorado legislature. Democrat Representative Paul Rosenthal opines in the above video that women do not need guns to protect themselves from rape; citing mace, taser, the buddy system and judo as gun substitutes. Rosenthal apparently is so afraid of pistol packing mamas that any other alternative is preferable. Gun “control” has always had a touch of the irrational about it, as the focus is placed on an inanimate object instead of the people who wield it either for good or for ill. To keep guns out of the hands of the general public, gun “control” advocates are quite willing to see people go without the single most effective response to a violent confrontation. If this isn’t a restriction on the individual liberty that most Americans prize, no restriction on liberty, in principle, can be opposed. This is government treating citizens like children who cannot be trusted to make their own decisions for their own good. Continue reading
At least that is what Joe Salazar, a Democrat State Representative in Colorado, apparently believes:
“It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop … pop around at somebody.” Continue reading
No, not that America. America the heterodox Jesuit rag.
Repealing the Second Amendment will not create a culture of life in one stroke. Stricter gun laws will not create a world free of violence, in which gun tragedies never occur. We cannot repeal original sin. Though we cannot create an absolutely safe world, we can create a safer world. This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes. Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.
The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment.
Go here to read the predictable rest. It is good to see the Jesuits at America suddenly in favor of a “culture of life”. Considering their editorials in support of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, I will take their “conversion” with a boulder of salt. Continue reading
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
The veterans of World War II are now old, and mostly frail. It is hard to remember them as most of them were during the War: young, tough and determined. After they got home, those who made it through the War, they would make many changes in our society, as they proved themselves to be one of the most consequential generations in American history. On August 1-2, 1946, veterans in Athens, Tennessee demonstrated just how consequential.
Athens is the county seat of McMinn County in Eastern Tennessee, between Knoxville and Chattanooga. Since the Civil War, up to the 1930s, McMinn County, like most of Eastern Tennessee, was largely Republican, reflecting the pro Union stance of their ancestors during the War. With the coming of the Great Depression, Democrat political machines began to take power in much of Eastern Tennessee. Many of these local machines were quite corrupt. Paul Cantrell was elected Sheriff as a Democrat in 1936. Cantrell came from a family of power and influence. Many locals suspected that his election was a fraud, with ballot boxes having been switched to give Cantrell the victory.
Cantrell after the election became virtual dictator of McMinn County. He and his deputies collected vast sums by shaking down citizens for petty offenses. Buses passing through the County would be stopped by deputies and the passengers subjected to on the spot fines for pretended misdemeanors. Cantrell fostered prostitution, gambling and bars throughout the County, carefully receiving his cut of the proceeds. After 1936 elections were farcial with ballot boxes confiscated from precincts by Cantrell’s deputies and the counting, supposed to be done in public under Tennessee law, conducted behind locked doors in the McMinn County jail. With the Tennessee Democrat governor a firm political friend of Cantrell, the citizens opposed to Cantrell and his de facto dictatorship were helpless. The Justice Department investigated the County on charges of vote fraud in 1940, 1942 and 1944, but without any prosecutions. Cantrell was elected to the State Senate in 1942 and 1944. His deputy Pat Mansfield was elected sheriff. Whatever office he held, everyone in McMinn County knew that Cantrell continued to call the tune.
However, change was coming. McMinn County had a military tradition. It had sided with the Union in the Civil War, and in 1898 it had declared war against Spain two weeks before Congress did! During World War II, some 3,526 of McMinn County’s young men went off to fight, representing some ten percent of the entire population of the Country. When those who survived the War came back they had changed, as Paul Cantrell was going to find out. Continue reading
Actor Danny Glover recently stepped outside of his role as an actor and assumed the roles of historian and constitutional scholar:
I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms,’ said Glover, well known for his roles in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ franchise. ‘The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans,’ he said.
Glover should stick to his day job. The main concern of the Founding Fathers in regard to the Second Amendment was to provide the citizenry the ability to resist a tyrannical government. As James Madison noted in Federalist 46:
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain, that with this aid alone they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments, and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion, that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.
Prior to the Civil War there were laws passed in many of the slave holding states attempting to restrict the right to keep and bear arms to whites. Challenges to these laws by free blacks almost always asserted the second amendment. A passage in the Dred Scott decision indicates what a preoccupation blacks carrying weapons was to slaveholders:
It would give to persons of the negro race, who were recognized as citizens in any one State of the Union, the right to enter every other State whenever they pleased, singly or in companies, without pass or passport, and without obstruction, to sojourn there as long as they pleased, to go where they pleased at every hour of the day or night without molestation, unless they committed some violation of law for which a white man would be punished; and it would give them the full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might speak; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to keep and carry arms wherever they went. And all of this would be done in the face of the subject race of the same color, both free and slaves, inevitably producing discontent and insubordination among them, and endangering the peace and safety of the State. Continue reading
My friend Dale Price writes insightful posts at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings. I stop by there regularly to
steal borrow blog ideas. Dale is always very good, but when he lets himself go he is magnificent. Herewith is his post on the scape goating anti-NRA hysteria that some on Saint Blogs have been participating in:
Being marginalized in the culture war.
You see, I’m an NRA member. I do not own a Bushmaster, or any other semi-automatic weapon. As is my wife. I–and Heather–collectively own several firearms. Including–as will be set forth below–a completely-legal, bona-fide military weapon currently used by our military right now. Unlike what [damnatio memoriae] used at Newtown.
Bravo to Sheriff Dave Clark of Milwaukee who tells the absolute truth in the video above. I have been involved in many orders of protection where the judge issuing the order admonishes the person seeking the order that it merely is a piece of paper and that they must take precautions for their own safety. The Law is a powerful tool, but it cannot provide protection from armed assailants night and day. Continue reading
Pro-abort Senator Diane Feinstein, (D.CA) at her press conference yesterday at which she displayed the guns she wants to ban, had it begin with a prayer by Episcopalian Canon Gary Hall, who runs the laughingly entitled Episcopalian “National Cathedral” in Washington, DC. Canon Hall made news for himself earlier in the week by announcing that same-sex “marriages” would be performed at the “National Cathedral”. I found it intriguing that a representative of a dying church would be tagged to baptize Feinstein’s gun grabbing efforts.
The Episcopal Church is clearly rotting away.
Self-reported statistics provided by the denomination this month show that the church has dropped from 2,006,343 members in 2009 to 1,951,907 in 2010, the most recent reporting year. The loss of 54,436 members increases the annual rate of decline from 2 percent to 3 percent, outpacing the most recently reported declines in most other mainline churches. The church’s 10-year change in active members has dropped 16 percent.
A branch of the otherwise fast-growing 80 million member worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest family of Christian churches globally, the Episcopal Church had also seen a steady decrease in the number of parishes, losing or closing over 100 in 2010, as well as a drop in attendance from 682,963 in 2009 to 657,831 in 2010, a 4 percent drop. Fifty-four percent of all U.S. Episcopal Churches suffered attendance loss over the prior year. Over the last decade, attendance was down 23 percent.
The denomination, which once claimed over 3.5 million members as recently as the mid-1960s, has lost over 40 percent of membership even while the U.S. population grew by over 50 percent.
Why this is occurring is easy to determine by reading an article on Canon Gary Hall at The American Spectator.
Unlike some of his predecessors, Hall is not content to host conversational forums with authors and poets or preside over high-profile funerals like those of Gerald Ford and Neil Armstrong. From calling in December for new firearms restrictions, to announcing last week that the massive gothic church is available for gay weddings, Hall embraces liberal causes as easily as he dismisses traditional Christianity.
Previous generations of liberal Episcopal clergy often spoke in layers of obfuscation; discovering the heretical teaching buried in their writing and preaching required hours of decoding. Hall represents a younger generation of liberal Episcopalians who resemble nothing so much as Unitarian Universalists decked out in stoles and surplices; they are quick to denounce those who advocate historic Christian teaching—especially moral teaching—as intolerant perpetrators of injustice who must be silenced.
In an October interview with the Detroit Free PressHall announced that he is, “not about trying to convert someone to Christianity. I don’t feel I’m supposed to convert Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists or Native Americans to Christianity so that they can be saved. That’s not an issue for me.”
Hall was also forthcoming about the fact that he finds common cause with those who do not profess a faith in Jesus Christ.
“I have much more in common with progressive Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists than I do with certain people in my own tradition, with fundamentalist Christians,” Hall declared. “The part of Christianity I stand with is the part in which we can live with ambiguity and with pluralism.” Continue reading
Few issues demonstrate better that liberal elites and the rest of us might as well live on different planets than the Second Amendment. Frequently living in gated communities, usually working in institutions that have armed guards, and sending their kids to elite schools that have elaborate security, liberal elites are quite good at proclaiming that other people should disarm and rely on the police for protection who, as most cops will readily admit, are minutes away when seconds count. James O’Keefe, the master of conservative undercover journalism, and his Project Veritas, expose liberal hypocrisy in the above video. Contemporary liberalism is all about implementing rules for the majority to live by, rules which liberal elites themselves, and their friends and colleagues, can freely ignore. Such a system, with one set of rules for the masses who live under the laws, and another set of rules for those who effectively live above the laws, is an essential component of a tyranny in the making. It makes a mockery of the words of Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “all men are created equal.” Let us recall these words of Abraham Lincoln: Continue reading