Guns and “All Men Are Created Equal”

Saturday, January 19, AD 2013

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:

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10 Responses to Guns and “All Men Are Created Equal”

  • 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.

    And of course when you do put cops seconds away–that is, put lots of cops where there is notoriously lots of crime, they start wetting themselves about profiling. Yesterday I saw this:

    A Canadian truck driver was shot and killed early Wednesday on the South Side of Chicago. Police said he was the victim of a robbery with multiple male perpetrators.

    And someone pertly replied:

    “Yeah, more of that ‘male’ crime we’re always hearing about.”

  • Don

    I know it is not common to reccomed comment by left leaning persons on this site but enjoy!
    “We Did It To Ourselves” by Joe Bethancourt

  • The point of this execrable exercise in faux fear and public health hysteria is, “Do as I say.”

    The common good is the common alibi of all tyrants.

    In America, you can have a pizza delivered quicker than you will see a policeman in an emercgency; unless they are breaking down your door at four AM to drag you off to the concentration camp.

    One is not equal or free if one cannot be similarly empowered as the police state.

    As to your excellent title: “God Created Men Sam Colt Made Them Equal.”

  • “Don I know it is not common to reccomed comment by left leaning persons on this site”

    Mr. Bethancourt may be left leaning Hank, but with songs like this he risks being labeled a dangerous right wing extremist by the Obama administation!

  • Tyranny in the making. I do wonder if coronation will become a synonym for inauguration.

  • For fairness’ sake, some gated communities are pretty basic “good fences make good neighbors” type planning, with cops allowed to go in. That’s the sort we lived for a few years, in an almost bad area just down the road from several more affordable rental communities that had a large number of young adult males hanging around everywhere at two on a Tuesday. (Worked pretty well, really, only minor break-ins– and they could background check before renting because of the on-site daycare.)

  • “Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights” from Thomas Aquinas through Jose Suarez(sp) If a person exists, his human rights may not be denied or altered for God (their Creator )is unchangeable. The human being comes into existence at conception when God creates and endows the human soul with free will, intellect and personhood. A person is a person is a person. The person is immutable. That is why when an atheist or tyrant denies the person’s soul, he forfeits his own soul. Only through free will can a person mute his soul and God will not and cannot contradict Hmself. God allows the atheist to deny his God-given soul to the atheist’s detriment. It is only in imposing his detriment on society that the tyrant comes into being. Truth is immutable. If it is not the TRUTH, then it is a lie. The simple explanation of the Pope’s infallibility. May God bless and keep you.

  • @Robert A. Rowland, I do believe that Obama is more leaning towards being emperor, but will have to settle for coronation as king, like Elizabeth II.

  • At least Elizabeth II has poise and dignity.

  • Secretaries are servants. Czars are overlords. Secretary of the Interior is now “czar”. Obama appoints “czars”, (32 at last count and more in the making). The constituents elected a president as a public servant. The public servant appoints czars to collect tribute from the people. It is not taxation without representation. It is tribute without recompense. It is not representative government. It is dynasty.
    Jesus Christ has a human, rational soul. Obama says He doesn’t.

A Guide to the 23 Edicts for the Perplexed

Thursday, January 17, AD 2013


We at The American Catholic, among our many other missions, aim to translate Governmentese into English with color commentary.  Herewith is an example of our service in regard to President Obama’s 23 executive orders on gun control, better termed edicts:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

Do what the agencies have been supposed to be doing all along.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

The maze of laws and regulations belched out by Congress and the Executive branch each year, and which I have overwhelmingly supported, have a deleterious impact on background checks, as they do with accomplishing anything in these United States.  Shazam!
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

Fall in line States or we will deprive you of Federal money.  Federalism, what’s that?

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13 Responses to A Guide to the 23 Edicts for the Perplexed

Piers Morgan on Domestic Thermonuclear War

Monday, January 14, AD 2013



Hattip to Jim Treacher.  CNN talking head Piers Morgan, desperately trying to hold on to any shreds of credibility after his shellacking by Ben Shapiro, emitted this email:

America has over 5000 nuclear warheads. Quite hard to defend against a ‘tyrannical U.S. government’ with that kind of firepower.


Where to begin?

First, it is unlikely that even the most mad US President would decide to use nukes to put down a rebellion in these United States.  Too many of his own supporters would be killed and the overall reaction would likely be for the rebellion to grow as a result of his action.

Second, a wide spread rebellion in the United States would likely have the sympathy of factions within the US military, if not their active support.  The order to nuke Americans might lead to an active revolt by the military.

Third, in the event of a widespread rebellion, the rebels would probably quickly have nukes of their own.  In the case of Obama, most ICBMs and tactical nukes are located on bases in Red states.

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22 Responses to Piers Morgan on Domestic Thermonuclear War

  • Seems like Morgan is pretty persuasive to me. I mean, when you look at situations in Iraq and Afghanistan where our military had significant problems with obstruction from insurgents using small arms and homemade explosives, we solved the problem by using nuclear weapons, right? And since using nuclear weapons on US soil would be even more popular than using them in the Middle East, it’s obvious that the government would not hesitate to use nukes against any domestic rebels in some imagined future scenario. Heck, the only reason why Russia hasn’t used nukes is Chechnya is that they’re way, way more soft hearted than the US is.

    Oh wait…

  • He’s become the Bill Donohue of gun control–only less measured and introspective.

  • Suppose you were an idiot. And, suppose you were Piers Morgan. But, I repeat myself. (See Mark Twain on members of Congress.)

  • Donald’s reply brings to mind a couple of points. In the case of Ruby Ridge and Waco, both factions were armed to the teeth, and yet the government was able to ‘subdue’ them (a less euphemistic term might well be more apt). However, it did so only after an aggressive PR/smear campaign that portrayed them as white supremacists and/or child molesters, thereby making a case to the wider populace that both groups were fringe elements beyond caring much about.

    Even so, there was a kind of military (or at least ex-military) blowback that Donald also mentions, in the sense that Ruby Ridge helped provoke homegrown terrorist Timothy McVeigh, though he was able to murder his victims without guns or nuclear devices.

  • When Morgan is the spokesman for your movement, you clearly have some serious problems.

  • America’s first (known) and most “prolific” serial killer did not use any high- magazine capacity clips, or an assault weapon.

    He ran up a “body count” of over 200.

    The most dangerous weapon known to man is man’s evil mind.

  • Mr. Shaw, the case of H. H. Holmes seems hardly relevant to the current discussion. No one’s for banning extended mags because they’re afraid of some psycho killing 200 hundred people one at a time over the course of several years.

  • “No one’s for banning extended mags because they’re afraid of some psycho killing 200 hundred people one at a time over the course of several years.”

    Considering that approximately 312 people out of a total population of 330,000,000 were killed by rifles of all type last year, I think there would be more logic in attempting to ban evil thoughts than in banning any sort of rifle. Twice as many homicides were committed by people using nothing but their bare hands. The vast majority of gun homicides are committed with pistols which no one is seeking to ban, although decades ago there was an attempt to ban cheap pistols known by their critics as “Saturday Night Specials”. Politics is the explanation rather than logic since multiple slayings and their aftermath is the only time when the lost gun control crusade has any traction.

  • JL:

    There you go again, bless your heart.

    Just the facts, man.

    Here are animate and inanimate objects that are far more dangerous to children and other living beings.

    3,900,0000 Americans died in 2010.

    1,500,000 were killed by abortions.

    600,000 died from eating Whoppers and twinkies (heart disease)

    198,000 killed in preventable medical mishaps

    54,000 Killed by cars

    26,000 Killed by gravity (falls)*

    17,000 killed by drunk drivers

    1,694 killed by knives

    726 killed by unarmed assailants

    496 killed with hammers/clubs

    323 killed by long-barreled weapons (assault rifles, shotguns).

    * In NYC there is an expanding outbreak of suicide jumpers, largely attributable to the horrid economy – thank you Obama and liberals!

    And, since NOvember 2008, free Americans purchased 68,000,000 firearms.

    In 18 days, NRA added 100,000 new paid members.

    You are better than the gullible imbeciles those evil people are “playing” with this umpty-umphth gun control PR stunt.

    You are too intelligent to let them distract you the gathering American tragedy.

    Anyhow, I’m praying for you.

  • “No one’s for banning extended mags because they’re afraid of some psycho killing 200 hundred people one at a time over the course of several years.”

    “1,694 killed by knives”

    Let’s ban knives too! Oh wait. They’re trying to do that.

  • Instapundit: Harry Reid: “Don’t expect an assault weapon ban.”

    “The Second Amendment is something that was adhered to by Hubert Humphrey, John Kennedy,” Reid said. “So I don’t think anyone wants to diminish the Second Amendment, but I think everyone should just take a deep breath and realize where we are and where we need to go.

    “We have too much violence in our society, and it’s not just from guns. It’s from a lot of stuff. and i think we should take a look at TV, movies, video games and weapons. And I hope that everyone will just be careful and cautious.”

    January 19 is Gun Appreciation Day. Make it a point to communicate with your politician that you unconditionally support the right to keep and bear arms, and if that pol does not, you unconditionally oppose him/her.

  • Harry Reid making sense? The apocalypse is truly upon us!

    As usual, our intellectual betters look for a technological quick-fix for what is at root a sociological problem.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY GOD & CAESAR EXTRA | Big Pulpit
  • Thanks for the prayers Mr. Shaw, but I think you again misunderstand me. I am in no way necessarily advocating for any type of new legislation with regards to firearms, ammo, etc. I mean simply what I said: H. H. Holmes seems hardly relevant to this discussion.

    On a more general note, to no one in particular, a quote from my new favorite book:

    “Sincere—that was the hell of it. From a distance, one’s adversaries seemed fiends, but with a closer view, one saw the sincerity and it was as great as one’s own. Perhaps Satan was the sincerest of the lot.”

    I think the temptation is to overemphasize the last sentence, but clearly that is merely a rhetorical flourish. We know the King of Lies is anything but sincere. Thus, the takeaway is this: your opponents on this issue are just as sincere and well-intentioned as you are. To think they are the height of evil and self-interest while simaltaneously holding that the NRA is some bastion of nobility and virtue strikes me as detached from reality. Quit vilifying your opponents as satan’s complicit minions. It’s uncharitable, absurd, and makes you sound deranged. People can be wrong and still be decent people. Yes, even re: gun control!

  • Thus, the takeaway is this: your opponents on this issue are just as sincere and well-intentioned as you are.

    Some yes, some no. You realize that this issue implicates matters of constitutional interpretation. Something Robert Bork said is relevant here: constitutional law has been destroyed as an authentic intellectual subdiscipline. Characters like Saul Cornell and Ronald Dworkin are many things. Sincere is not one of them.

  • The last time Americans had to use military weapons against their own government was not 1776…

    It was 1946…Battle of Athens Tennessee(returing veterns of WWII took up arms to get their votes counted correctly.

    Pulitzer prize winning writer Theodore White said “the F.B.I. didn’t investigate the local corruption because it went all the way up to the Speaker of the House of the U.S.” (paraphrase)
    check it out on wikipedia…The Battle of Athens (1946)

  • Fascinating David. I pride myself on my knowledge of American history but I had never heard of this incident before. I will make certain however that more people hear about it in the future.

  • @Art

    “Some yes, some no.”

    Well put. But the same applies for those on the other side of the issue.

  • Well put. But the same applies for those on the other side of the issue.

    Depends on the time period. The problem in starboard discourse today is more self-deception than the deception of others. Also, see Jonathan Heidt’s work. The left in this country in our time differs from the remainder of the spectrum in their ability to summarize the opposition’s viewpoint without caricaturing it. See also Robert Bork’s remarks on official Washington. He identifies a large culture shift in that social set occurring around 1981 (“liberals turned vicious”). I think you can identify another one around 2001 (just who are the starboard equivalents of Bradford deLong and Paul Krugman?). Look at our Presidential candidates over the period running from 1968 to 1988 and then look at the one’s since. There is a large change in the balance of integrity, agreeableness, and personal accomplishment between the two parties.

  • Piers Morgan was the editor of the left-wing tabloid the Daily Mirror who was sacked for publishing photographs allegedly showing British soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners but which turned out to have been faked in England. Unfortunately he was not down for long; indeed he keeps popping up to everyone’s annoyance. His recent television series saw him interviewing ‘celebrities’, asking prurient questions about their sex lives in order to titillate the less discriminating viewers. Well, he was a tabloid journalist, after all. I’m glad we’re getting a rest from him and it’s gratifying to see him making a fool of himself on the other side of the pond. Don’t deport him just yet.

    Forget the Second Amendment for a minute; the right to bear arms was part of English Common Law, which applied to the colonies, and later to the United States. It also applied to England; although firearms licences were introduced in the 1870s they were a revenue-raising exercise and were purchased at the post office for a few shillings. The first gun controls came in the 1920s; the government was worried about civil unrest, and a lot of weapons had been brought back from the Great War. In the 1950s there were a lot of unlicensed guns in circulation, but very little gun crime. Criminals tended not to carry them, since murderers who used firearms were unlikely to be reprieved, so the consequence of using them would be an 8 a.m. appointment with Albert Pierrepoint three weeks after conviction.

    The situation in Britain now is that the only people who are armed are black gangsters and crack-dealers on inner-city sink estates, and the police, who have taken to swaggering about looking like Robocop and usually end up shooting the wrong people.

  • We all need to remember these words of Kipling John before “too long” becomes “too late”.

    “Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw– Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law–

    Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing, Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the King.

    Till our fathers ‘stablished, after bloody years, How our King is one with us, first among his peers.

    So they bought us freedom–not at little cost– Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.”

  • JL:

    I pray for quite a few living, including several others on this page, and dead. At my age, I have many dear departed for whom I pray. Each loved me better than I loved him/her. I need to work each day on rectifying that deficiency.

    I am not as well read as you. I’m pretty sure your favorite book quote is not from Paradise Lost.

Laws Are For Our Enemies, Not Our Friends

Saturday, January 12, AD 2013

The District of Columbia, one of the worst governed jurisdictions in the United States, has a law on the books, placed there for political purposes by the uber liberals who run it, banning “high-capacity” ammo clips, of the type waved around by NBC unpaid Obama press flack reporter David Gregory in the above clip.  He did it in DC.  No intent is needed for the criminal prosecution.  It is a strict liability offense.  For the past few weeks the question has been whether Gregory would be prosecuted.  Not a chance I thought, and I was proved correct when Irvin Nathan, the attorney general for DC, released a pompous letter yesterday explaining why Gregory would not be prosecuted  The letter runs to three turgid pages, but I won’t inflict all of that on you.  Instead, here is the money quote:

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21 Responses to Laws Are For Our Enemies, Not Our Friends

  • I wonder if the A-G considered the alternative of offering the parties the alternative of an out-of-court Fiscal fine? If not, why not?

  • Sic semper tyrannis . . .

    Selective law enforcement is banana republic SOP.

    NYS is about to (the Senate now has a dum majority) outlaw “assault weapons” and impose confiscations.

    We will all be much safer. Criminals will turn in their weapons and It will become more likely that an escaped Bengal Tiger will eat you than you will get KIA by an assault weapon (now odds are 343:315,000,000).

    Either I will emigrate/seek refugee status in America (a red state) or I will become a NY felon.

    I will not give up my basic human (Second Amendment) right to bear arms that I have exercised for over 40 years.

  • I doubt that the administration had any feelings about it one way or the other. My guess is that it’s something worse than favoritism – liberal “compassion”. Gregory’s heart was in the right place, so it wouldn’t be right to punish him.

  • Pinky,

    What you said, plus that vile, lying scumbag, Gregory, is a prominent member of the ruling class. The 150 Americans persecuted for similar acts are faceless members of the ruled class.

    Ann Althouse: “If Gregory clearly violated the law, but there is no interest to be served in prosecuting him, doesn’t that prove that the law is not important? If the precise thing that he did — which is clearly what is defined as a crime — raises no interest in prosecution, how can we be satisfied by letting this one nice famous man go? Rewrite the law so that it only covers the activity that the government believes deserves prosecution, so there is equal justice under the law.”

  • Sure. And I think as a practical matter, “prosecute only bad people” can easily turn into “prosecute only your enemies”, because after all, who’s better than our friends? But I think in this case, it’s “prosecute only white trash”. This guy’s kids go to Sidwell Friends School. This is more a public school law.

  • The older I get the more it becomes clear to me that it is idiotic to try to reason with an idoit. This clip only confirms my instinct. It also makes me ask “Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him?” I mean, I’m no fan of Newt, but he certainly demonstrated how to handle David Gregory.

    Unfortunately, that sucking sound you hear is the sound of repulicans starting to cave on this issue. You have that congressman in GA. I don’t know his name off hand, but does it really matter anyway?, coming out for stricter gun control. You also have Chuck Grassley signaling openess on magazine capacity:

  • “Where’s Newt Gingrich when you need him?”

    Actually Newt has historically been wobbly on the second amendment.

    “Unfortunately, that sucking sound you hear is the sound of repulicans starting to cave on this issue.”

    Naw, it is the Democrats caving:

    The Democrats couldn’t get new gun control legislation out of the Senate let alone the House. I do hope that Obama gets his second term off to a bad start by a futile attempt to pass new gun control legislation.

  • Note that, not only did Gregory clearly and irrefutably violate the law, he knew he was breaking the law when he did it.

    In a sane world, that factor would make such prosecution more ‘in the public interest’, not grounds for getting a pass.

  • But the whole point of trying to ban large capacity magazines is totally whacko. The guy obviously has had very little experience of firearms. I have an old Lee Enfield Mk.IV .303 – the jungle carbine version – which I have modified to suit my own need – monte-carlo stock and pistol grip etc. and a 4 power scope. It has a 10 shot magazine. But I can have a clip of 10 more rounds which I can reload into the mag in about 1.5 seconds. Great weapon for hunting deer (and pigs – but you’re better off with dogs for pig hunting) even in dense bush, and I have shot deer with it over 400 yards. You don’t need an exotic “assault rifle” if you are a nut job wanting to kill people – anything that fires a bullet will kill a large number of unprepared, unsuspecting victims.
    And why do the libs always go for the NRA? those are the very responsible guys as far as I know. How many NRA members have gone on a killing spree?
    Here in NZ, hand guns are banned, as are semi-automatic military weapons – but otherwise, shotguns, rifles etc are available, and you simply need to get a license to procure, and demonstrate that you are sane, and not a nutter and know the basic rules of handling a gun – idetinfy target,check background, firing zone etc – just the common sense things – and you’re in business – for hunting, that is 🙂

  • Don,

    I have a 1917 Enfield (full size). It’s basically unaltered. I inherited it from my father. I haven’t been able to locate a bayonet.

    No, “it” cannot happen here.

    Plus, they want to circulate $trillion platinum coins!

    Ruger makes it extremely easy to contact your politician.

  • Donald:

    I wasn’t speaking do much to Newt’s position on the 2nd Amendment, but his more aggressive approach to the media, David Gregory in particular. Come to think of it, I think we ought to take a page out of Piers Morgan’s playbook and summon my best fake British accent and say “You really are an incredibly stupid man, aren’t you?” Yes, I think we need to start employing the “Act like one, get called one.” approach. Our side treats some of the most stupid inane questions and comments with seriousness. Although they respond with the right the substance, the style comes off as weak and come off looking like a bunch of pansies.

    No, the democrats are not caving. None of them are CONCEDING anything. Just because some democrat senators aren’t pushing for something they weren’t pushing for anyway doesn’t mean they are caving. Republicans on the other hand are giving up ground on something they had previously stood for. are caving/

    Now, I don’t think Sen. Di Fi thought her piece of unconstitutional crap was going to pass the house or senate in the near future. But she is operating under the minset that the left has effectively operated under for decades. And that is you keep hammering away and little by little and your agenda gets implemented. I thought you would be an asute enough observer of politics to understand that, but apparently not.

    In terms of screwing up the country, Obama’s second term is shaping up to be a rousing success. Not only can he advance the ball on the assault on the send amendment (which is already happening albeit in small measure), but he can use that as a smoke screen under which he’ll get his tag team attack on national security confirmed. a Irael hating anti-military defense secretary and Jack “teh Muslim Brotherhood is a secular organization” Brennaman in as CIA chief.

    It is painfull to the republican leadership get punked by a third rate Chicago street agitiator like Barack Obama. I mean it’s just embarrassing.

  • “I wasn’t speaking do much to Newt’s position on the 2nd Amendment, but his more aggressive approach to the media,”

    I liked his aggressive pose to the media during the election campaign too Greg. However, since the election he has been in collapse mode. That has always been the problem with Gingrich. He is undependable long term, especially when the going is tough.

    “No, the democrats are not caving.”

    I disagree. Red State Dems are in collapse mode on gun control, now that the initial furor for gun control after Newtown has subsided.

    “Republicans on the other hand are giving up ground on something they had previously stood for.”

    Nope. I can safely predict that no gun control legislation will pass this Congress.

    “And that is you keep hammering away and little by little and your agenda gets implemented.”

    It certainly hasn’t worked for them on gun control. They have lost a great deal of ground both in legislation on the state and federal level and in the courts over the past decade.

    “I thought you would be an asute enough observer of politics to understand that, but apparently not.”

    Certainly astute enough not to completely misread the situation as you have.

    “Obama’s second term is shaping up to be a rousing success.”

    Complete and total bunk. Gun control is going nowhere The Republicans have made the Bush tax cuts permanent and solved the problem of the Alternative Minimum Tax. They stopped Rice for State and by Obama picking Kerry he places in jeopardy that Senate seat. Hagel is drawing fire from both the Left and Right and may not get through the Senate. It has not been an auspicious start.

  • Obama’s 2nd term is proving to be a rousing success in stirring up even more people against him while he seems to consolidate the support of his adoring worshippers in the mains stream media. More and more people, however, are beginning to despise and loathe him for the gangster that he is. And I am hopeful that the political process in Washington will become paralyzed. One thing concerns me, however: can and will Obama use his power of Executive Order to infringe on 2nd Amendment rights? He already shows like the media no respect for the Constitution.

  • Yeah, Donald you also felt pretty safe in predicting Romney was going to win in an electoral blowout. Your understanding of safety makes one want to watch his back.

    Let’s see, you have the 1994 assault weapons ban. After Newtown, the pro-gun control crowd immediately took control of the terms of the debate. To be sure, gun sales have spiked sinced then, out of fear of federal efforts to enact further gun control measures. I don’t think the NRA and other gun advocacy groups share your optimism on this issue. The idea that the left hasn’t made inroads on the gun control issue is ridculous.

    The way things stand now. at the end of Obama’s second term, we will be between 20 and 25 Trilliion in debt, economy still in bad shape, the deliterious effects of Obamacare beginning to be felt, Obama thwarting the Constitution with impunity, the world a much more dangerous place, our military considerably weakened. In terms of screwing up the country, if that’s not a rousing sucess, what is? So, what am I misreading here?

  • “Obama’s 2nd term is proving to be a rousing success in stirring up even more people against him…”

    Umm, Paul, Obama has been doing that his entire first term and still get reelected.

  • As far as the whole Susan Rice thing goes, I don’t think Obama himself thought that was gonna go anywhere. But, instead we are gonna get John Kerry. He will probably get Hagel through, inconsequential pissing and moaning from conservatives notwithstanding. Plus, Jack Brennaman at CIA. In the Obama scheme of things, offering up Susan Rice is a small sacrifice.

  • “Yeah, Donald you also felt pretty safe in predicting Romney was going to win in an electoral blowout. Your understanding of safety makes one want to watch his back.”

    Me and gentlemen like Rasmussen and Barone, who know about far more about politics than either you or I. The Gallup numbers also indicated a Romney win. I was wrong but I was in good company in my error.

    “The idea that the left hasn’t made inroads on the gun control issue is ridculous.”

    No, the idea that their tactics have succeeded is ridiculous. We have no assault weapons ban currently and we are not going to have one. It looks like the Obama administration isn’t even going to ask for one. We also now have recent Supreme Court rulings declaring the Second Amendment as a personal right. The campaign of the Left against the Second Amendment has been a flat failure over the past ten years.

    “In terms of screwing up the country, if that’s not a rousing sucess, what is?”

    I do not believe that Obama wishes to screw up the country. His goal was to move the country permanently to the Left and establish a permanent Democrat majority. Instead in 2010 he lost the House to the Republicans and a host of state legislative seats, more than the Republicans have held since 1928. In 2012 the Republicans retained control of the House and almost all the legislative seats they gained in 2010 outside of New Hampshire. The Gop controls the state legislatures now in 26 states, compared to 18 for the Democrats. When Obama was elected in 2008 the Democrats controlled 27 legislatures to 17 for the Republicans. The Republicans have 30 governorships as opposed to 19 for the Democrats. When Obama was elected the Democrats controlled 29 state houses to 21 for the Republicans. The long term impact of the Obama presidency may be to establish the Republicans as the majority party in the nation.

  • “In 2012 the Republicans retained control of the House”

    Problem is they should have not only maintained control of the House, but taken control of the Senate as well take back the White House. But instead, we LOST seats in the House, although we retained control and lost seats in the Senate. In light of the economic situation, this was a major, major defeat of the GOP. This signals that the GOP is very bad shape nationally. Boehner and the GOP leadership are trying marginalize the Tea Party, the very people who are responsible for the GOP house majority and him being Speaker to begin with.

    This election indicates that one should not put too much trust in the experts. The fact that Barone (who I think is somewhat overrated) and other missed this is embarrassing to say the least.

    At the very least, Obama is indifferent at best to the effect of his policies. He knows this is bad for the country but pursues them anyway

  • Tragically, Romney allowed the worst POTUS in history to avoid answering for the two factors that are destroying the USA: the crashing economy and the skyrocketing debt.

    Gun hysteria is just another distraction from the real problems tearing at our national being.

    Peace and Justice! Green, liberal ethanol scam is driving up corn prices: a disaster for poor people, at home and abroad.

    Maybe the GOP has a bit of fight left.

    From Zero Hedge: “Citigroup floated idea that a temporary government shutdown in mid/late February is possible: first technical default of the US based on prioritization of US debt payments. Politico reports this idea is rapidly gaining support within the GOP, “more than half of GOP members are prepare to allow default unless Obama agrees to dramatic cuts he has repeatedly said he opposes.

    “‘Many more members, including some party leaders, are prepared to shut down the government to make their point. House Speaker John Boehner ‘may need a shutdown just to get it out of their system,” said a top GOP leadership adviser. ‘We might need to do that for member-management purposes — so they have an endgame and can show their constituents they’re fighting.””

    I’m not holding my breath.

  • PS: They need only to say that Obama was against raising the debt ceiling when he was in the Senate. And, that Senator Obama was right.

  • “In light of the economic situation, this was a major, major defeat of the GOP.”

    Retaining control of the House in the teeth of the type of get out the vote drive the Obama campaign put out was no mean achievement. The Senate was a disappointment, although mistakes by individual candidates were the cause of most of the losses. At the state level the part did almost as well as in 2010, its best election on the state level since 1928. I think this is a sign of strength for the GOP. In the House, tea party backed candidates were on both sides of the fiscal cliff deal, because it was a mixed deal with good and bad, but probably the best deal the Republicans could hope for under the circumstances. This year and next year with the Senate and the Presidency in Democrat hands, I think the House will be successful in preventing massive new spending programs and that is the best that can be accomplished for now.

    “The fact that Barone (who I think is somewhat overrated) and other missed this is embarrassing to say the least.”

    What it says is that most polling cannot be trusted for now, at least when a race is close, and that the GOP needs to emulate the Democrats when it comes to using fairly sophisticated data mining to locate GOP voters and make sure they get to the polls. Romney won independents nationally, and in a majority of the battle ground states. The problem for Romney is that he was unable to turn out the base of the Republican party in the numbers needed to win.

Molon Labe

Thursday, January 10, AD 2013



“While Leonidas was preparing to make his stand, a Persian envoy arrived. The envoy explained to Leonidas the futility of trying to resist the advance of the Great King’s army and demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and submit to the might of Persia. Leonidas laconically told Xerxes, “Come and get them.(Molon labe).”

                              Plutarch, Leonidas

Vice President Joe Biden revealed that President Barack Obama might use an executive order to deal with guns.

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

You know, if we have domestic unrest during the second term of this administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts from Joe Biden shooting off his mouth and giving us glaring insight into how Obama would proceed if he thought he could get away with it.  Obama has nothing but contempt for American liberties and Biden merely idiotically repeats what he has heard.

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9 Responses to Molon Labe

  • We know that the bloody history of 20th century leftism depended upon first disarming the population.

  • “Come and get them!”

    Damn straight!

  • From “Good news — it has become known that hidden deep within the massive 2800-page bill called Obamacare there is a Senate Amendment protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

    “It seems that in their haste to cram socialized medicine down the throats of the American people, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Barack Obama overlooked Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c.”

    I will not comply with any registration or confiscation order.

  • T Shaw,

    You found an obamarang…
    Kiwi might like that one.

  • Good one philip. 🙂

    You really need to have addressed that to any of our Australian brothers – are there any that lurk here?

    The opening words of our Maori haka challenging an oponent is probaby appropriate:

    Ka mate, ka mate – ka ora, ka ora!………
    “I live, I live – I die, I die.”

    Kia kaha . ( Stay strong)

  • G’day Don the Kiwi,

    Any chance I could immigtate into New Zealand? It’s something like that or “live free or die” the motto of the State of New Hampshire.

    Speaking of haka and diggers:

    Numbers Two and Three sons played college rugby.

    I got to see them play a lot of games. Mother didn’t appreciate it. She saw them both have their noses re-arranged.

    Guns and the man I sing.

    3,900,0000 Americans died in 2010.

    1,500,000 were unborn children killed by abortions.

    600,000 died from eating Whoppers and twinkies (heart disease)

    198,000 killed in preventable medical mishaps

    54,000 Killed by cars

    26,000 Killed by gravity (falls)

    17,000 killed by drunk drivers

    1,694 killed by knives

    726 killed by unarmed assailants (there are 51 ways, and counting, to kill with the empty hand.)

    496 killed with hammers/clubs.

    323 killed by long-barreled weapons (assault rifles, shotguns).


    In 18 days, NRA added 100,000 new, paid members. They’re aiming at 5,000,000 total membership.

  • Gidday T. Shaw

    I got to see them play a lot of games. Mother didn’t appreciate it. She saw them both have their noses re-arranged.

    That’s all part of character building, doncha reckon? 😉

    NZ is always looking for good migrants, particularly those who come with something to add – not ones that come from islamic countries as refugees, or bludge on our social welfare system, but get let in by the liberals. Trouble is at the moment, we’re inundated with liberals and progressives like the USA and much of western society, so many of our potential good migrants get turned away- like farmers from Zimbabwe, because they’re white, businessmen from South Africa because they can’t bring all their money with them etc. etc. You know the story.

Justice Breyer, the Second Amendment and Federalist 46

Tuesday, December 14, AD 2010

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.”

Therefore, Madison included the Second Amendment to appease the states, Breyer said.

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.

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11 Responses to Justice Breyer, the Second Amendment and Federalist 46

Supreme Court Holds That the Second Amendment Applies to the States

Monday, June 28, AD 2010

In the case of McDonald v. the City of Chicago, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the states.  Read the decision here.  The decision was 5-4 which is absolutely stunning since I think that there was no intellectually respectable argument to be made that the Second Amendment does not apply to the states.

The bill of rights applies to the States due to the Fourteenth Amendment.   In the opinions written by the majority justices, emphasis is given to the importance that the drafters of the Amendment placed upon the rights of freed slaves after the Civil War to keep and bear arms for their defense.  A good day for the Constitution at the Supreme Court.

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16 Responses to Supreme Court Holds That the Second Amendment Applies to the States

  • Apropos of our discussion a few weeks ago regarding Justice Scalia’s view that “tradition” should inform the Court’s “substantive due process” jurisprudence, note that this was key to the Court’s decision. (See also Justice Scalia’s concurrence, in which he masterfully dissects Justice Stevens’ dissent.)

    I think Justice Thomas’ privileges or immunities clause analyisis is the better argument from both an originalist and textualist standpoint. But, given that that ship has already sailed, and given the need to limit the Court’s “substantive due process” jurisprudence to those rights that actually have some grounding in the text of the Constitution and the history and tradition of our nation, I can’t say that I blame the majority for relying on the due process clause rather than privileges or immunities, and using this case as a vehicle for defining the limits of “substantive due process”.

  • One gets the feeling that, should a case that hinges upon the question “Does the Constitution require that there be a House and Senate?” make its way to the SCOTUS, the vote would come down five votes to four. Sadly, no one seems able to predict whether the five would be for or against.

    Those of you who think “we are a nation of laws” will find yourselves confounded by the caprice of five untouchables in black robes.

  • I agree. The vote should have been 9 – 0.

    One, “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.” Can the four dissenting read?

    Two, I bet “dollars to donuts” that the four dissenting (plus Kagan) will affirmatively vote (hallucinating) that the constitution gives a woman the RIGHT to have taxpayers pay a medico to exterminate her unborn babies.

  • Incorporation through the 14th has been piecemeal. The court had never adopted a blanket doctrine of incorporation. But I agree that if we’re going to incorporate at all, the 2nd amendment has to be included.

  • I’m with restrainedradical. The incorporation doctrine is hardly an obvious feature of our constitution, but there is no coherent basis for excluding the 2d amendment from its ambit once it has been applied to the other enumerated rights.

  • T. Shaw, I think the four dissenters are right in insisting that the clause you quote–“the right of the people to bear…”–is qualified, and rendered more precise in its intent, by the prior clause, establishing the need for militias. On an originalist reading of this text, the right to bear arms for, eg. the purposes of hunting or personal protection, simply does not exist.

  • WJ,

    That issue was decided and rejected in the Heller case. They had already lost on that. And don’t pretend that your argument is originalist. Calling it such doesn’t make it so.

  • wj:

    I think the four dissenters do not believe we the people should be free people. I doubt they believe in individual liberty.

    You may read the commentaries, minutes, and statements of the “state” conventions, and all the drafters/founders. At no time was the right of US citizens to individually keep and bear arms questioned until around the time the federal government instituted the income tax (they needed to amend the Constitution) and Federal Reserve System.

    But, you’re right. Once the Obama regime packs the court. [I’m ‘chanelling’ Thomas Jefferson here] We’re likely to devolve into slaves to the state.

  • wj:
    Your is a common argument. The problem is that it does not withstand the scrutiny:

    Van Alstyne is one of the leading con law scholars of our time. Although a liberal to the core, he is ruthlessly principled in his constitutional reasoning. for instance he is pro choice as a policy matter, but believes Roe was a terrible decision.

  • I’m aware of van alstyne and heller etc and disagree with the findings of both. You can disagree with heller precisely on originalist grounds; which is not to say you must–just that you can as a matter of interpretation. Both heller and van alstyne perform any number of impressive exegetical contortions to escape what to my mind is the clear intent of the sentence in question. But maybe you’re right that the four dissenters are motivated less by interpretive scruple and more by policy preference.

  • Fair enough, Wj. For what it is worth I have no great interest in gun regulation as a policy matter, and really don’t care if guns are outlawed. But I find Van Alstyne’s exegesis if the 2d Amendment air tight. Moreover, I have known Bill for almost 30 years; he is immune to exegetical contortion. I have no opinion on the motivations of the four dissenters. I just don’t think there exists a reasonable argument for sparing the 2d Amendment from the incorporation doctrine.

  • Way too much education wasted here on a rather simple issue. Where in the Constitution is any branch of the federal government given authority to disarm either the states or the people? The ninth amendment applies. The critical issue here, and the reason many oppposed incorporation of “the Bill”, is that the amendment did not create the right, though it is now treated as if it had; it only acknowledges the right. No one ever would have written the second amendment as it was written to make sure that states allowed their militia to keep arms at their homes (the point of mobilization). To say they would have is simply dishonest. So it comes down to this; you are either for, or against the Constitution. There are no nuances here that merit consideration.

  • I’ve heard estimates that 90,000,000 Americans own firearms.

    “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” Thomas Jefferson

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…such laws make things worse for the assaulted; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” Thomas Jefferson 1764

    “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson proposed Virginia constitution 1776

    “The Constitution preserves ‘the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation…(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.'” The Federalist #46

    “…arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property…Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived the use of them.” Thomas Paine Thoughts on Defensive War 1775 – proof positive in all the states that infringe the Second Amendment.

    “The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” Samuel Adams 1788: During Massachusetts’ Constitution ratification convention.

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.” Patrick Henry: during Virginia’s ratification convention (1788)

    “Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion…in private self-defense.” John Adams 1788

    “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms…To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people possess arms.” Richard Henry Lee Additional Letters From The Federal Farmer 53 (1788)

    “I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people…To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” George Mason: Virginia’s US Constitution ratification convention (1788)

    “To secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” US Constitution

    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force; like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” George Washington, Farewell Address

  • That Washington quote has to be the best. Seems our Presidents went downhill from there.

  • Kevin, nobody reads the 9th Amendment as you do because it would be ridiculous to do so. The 9th was intended merely to clarify that the Bill of Rights shouldn’t be interpreted to prohibit all other rights. It doesn’t ensure any rights. It only ensures that absent a law prohibiting it, you have the right to do it.

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Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 16

Tuesday, April 6, AD 2010

In light of the fascinating discussion of personal and social sin kicked off most recently by Darwin here (make sure and read the comments) and followed up by Joe here, I thought it would be worth posting article 16 of John Paul the Great’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, entitled “Personal and Social Sin”. It’s obviously very pertinent, yet unless I missed it, no one has referenced it yet. The actual text is below the break. As the reader will note, one point relevant to the discussion here is that sin properly speaking is an act on the part of an individual person. Yet while social sin is such only in an analogous sense, JPII makes clear that it does describe something real. Now, on to the text.

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6 Responses to Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 16

  • Great stuff. I would add the pertinent section of the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church:

    117. The mystery of sin is composed of a twofold wound, which the sinner opens in his own side and in the relationship with his neighbour. That is why we can speak of personal and social sin. Every sin is personal under a certain aspect; under another, every sin is social, insofar as and because it also has social consequences. In its true sense, sin is always an act of the person, because it is the free act of an individual person and not properly speaking of a group or community. The character of social sin can unquestionably be ascribed to every sin, taking into account the fact that “by virtue of human solidarity which is as mysterious and intangible as it is real and concrete, each individual’s sin in some way affects others”[226]. It is not, however, legitimate or acceptable to understand social sin in a way that, more or less consciously, leads to a weakening or the virtual cancellation of the personal component by admitting only social guilt and responsibility. At the bottom of every situation of sin there is always the individual who sins.

    118. Certain sins, moreover, constitute by their very object a direct assault on one’s neighbour. Such sins in particular are known as social sins. Social sin is every sin committed against the justice due in relations between individuals, between the individual and the community, and also between the community and the individual. Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person, starting with the right to life, including that of life in the womb, and every sin against the physical integrity of the individual; every sin against the freedom of others, especially against the supreme freedom to believe in God and worship him; and every sin against the dignity and honour of one’s neighbour. Every sin against the common good and its demands, in the whole broad area of rights and duties of citizens, is also social sin. In the end, social sin is that sin that “refers to the relationships between the various human communities. These relationships are not always in accordance with the plan of God, who intends that there be justice in the world and freedom and peace between individuals, groups and peoples”[227].

    119. The consequences of sin perpetuate the structures of sin. These are rooted in personal sin and, therefore, are always connected to concrete acts of the individuals who commit them, consolidate them and make it difficult to remove them. It is thus that they grow stronger, spread and become sources of other sins, conditioning human conduct[228]. These are obstacles and conditioning that go well beyond the actions and brief life span of the individual and interfere also in the process of the development of peoples, the delay and slow pace of which must be judged in this light[229]. The actions and attitudes opposed to the will of God and the good of neighbour, as well as the structures arising from such behaviour, appear to fall into two categories today: “on the one hand, the all-consuming desire for profit, and on the other, the thirst for power, with the intention of imposing one’s will upon others. In order to characterize better each of these attitudes, one can add the expression: ‘at any price”'[230].

  • I agree that this is good stuff. I would only want to point to a couple problematic or confusing parts, toward the end.

    The real responsibility, then, lies with individuals.

    I’d say persons rather than individuals. In other words, there is no “system” or “situation” apart from human persons.

    A situation-or likewise an institution, a structure, society itself-is not in itself the subject of moral acts. Hence a situation cannot in itself be good or bad.

    The last sentence undermines everything he said about the “culture of death.” Is a “situation” in which abortion is considered birth control NOT “bad”?

    At the heart of every situation of sin are always to be found sinful people. So true is this that even when such a situation can be changed in its structural and institutional aspects by the force of law or-as unfortunately more often happens by the law of force, the change in fact proves to be incomplete, of short duration and ultimately vain and ineffective-not to say counterproductive if the people directly or indirectly responsible for that situation are not converted.

    Notice all he aid was that systemic change does not complete the job. He did not say that the way to change structures of sin or sinful “situations” is merely to “change hearts,” which is the nonsense we hear from politically conservative Catholics.

  • (A complaint about the title “JP the Great” would be off-topic, and I don’t want to ruin the potential thread, but I hope I get the chance to rail against that some time.)

  • Thank you for the authoritative reference. I suspect Darwin agrees with all of what Pope John Paul II writes here. Sin is a personal act with individual and social consequences.

  • Thanks, Chris. What John Paul II says here clarifies things for me a lot, especially in regards to the correct use of the terminology of “social sin”.

    It sounds like in my original post what I was attempting to address was not a dichotomy of “social sin” versus “personal sin”, but rather an offshoot of what John Paul II says in his fourth paragraph from the last in regards to those who assign virtually all blame to structures of sin and none to the person acting. Further, I’d say what I was attempting to address was a side-issue of this tendency to place huge emphasis on structures of sin over personal will, which is the tendency to ridicule the important of focusing on avoiding ones own sins and instead place primary moral weight on whether one is correctly alligned on combating structures of sin in the wider society. Essentially, dismissing most sins one is capable of committing oneself as unimportant and instead chosing to focus almost exclusively on whether ones advocacy is in the right place.

    I think if I re-wrote the post I would drop the term “social sin” entirely and focus on the primary point of how advocacy and aligning oneself with large just causes can not be a substitute for pursuing virtue in one’s own life.

  • Darwin,

    I think that approach would be best! Our enemy here is fatalism, determinism, and any other theory that deprives man of free will and moral culpability.

    For all of the ranting and raving some people do here about our “Calvinism” (in addition to our “Americanism”, “individualism”, “liberalism” and the like), I sure see a lot of Protestant-sounding opposition to the concept of personal sin.

2 Responses to Just in case you wondered …

Another Day, Another Kmiec 180

Wednesday, January 7, AD 2009

Apparently Doug Kmiec’s change of heart last year was not limited to topics pro-life. As noted at the Volokh Conspiracy, he also reversed his position on the recent Heller decision, which overturned the DC handgun ban, in a span of about five months.

In February, Prof. Kmiec joined an amicus brief to the Court which argued “the [Second] Amendment secures to individuals a personal right to keep and bear arms and that the decision below correctly interpreted and applied the Amendment in this case.” When the Court affirmed the lower court decision overturning the ban as the amicus brief he joined suggested, Kmiec took to the pages of Slate to criticize the decision, arguing that the Heller majority misconstrued the Second Amendment, and their ruling had no basis in “Constitutional text, history, and precedent”. Here is Kmiec’s explanation for the switch as provided to the popular Volokh Conspiracy legal blog:

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