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More on gun registration, and guns at POTUS speeches:

Over at at the CBS News blog site, Declan McCullagh has a new article on the constitutionality of gun registration. He has input from Volokh, Kopel (we disagree), and many others.

Also in relation to a topic that I blogged about yesterday, my iVoices.org podcast on guns at presidential speeches is now on-line.

On the one hand, I think that the some folks in the MSM are being self-indulgently paranoid in mis-interpreting these legal displays as threats. And some media have been even worse, in trying to impose a racial narrative on the whole thing.

On the other hand, as I eleboate in the podcast, I think that this form of protest is probably harmful to the Second Amendment cause. It's sort of a Second Amendment version of the gay rights people chanting "We're here, we're queer. Get used to it." This kind of self-expressive demonstration can sometimes be helpful for a cause, and sometimes harmful, depending on the context. In the context of a presidental visit, I think it is harmful.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on gun registration, and guns at POTUS speeches:
  2. 7th Circuit Says Gun Registration is OK. Guns at Obama protests:
juris_imprudent (mail):
I'd say carrying a gun as a political statement is the RKBA equivalent of ACT-UP.
8.21.2009 9:13pm
Jt1L:
Making political statements is well and good, but communicating subtle threats in guise of political speech is not bad, either.
8.21.2009 11:35pm
RKM (mail):
There are those who don't like Americans owning guns at all, let alone carrying them about. They can be counted on to run about squawking like Chicken Little that the sky is falling - a calamity brought about by the presence of an armed citizen in public. We are warned that: "Somebody might grab the gun and do something bad! The armed citizen will intimidate others! Tempers will flare and blood will run in the streets!"

These are the same alarms that are sounded when any measure designed to facilitate citizens keeping and bearing arms is advanced. And the alarms are always false. One would think that consistently being wrong would be embarrassing, but one would be wrong about those who assume that common citizens are untrustworthy and dangerous.

Larry Pratt
August 20, 2009

"When actually they are trustworthy and dangerous!"

Added by Joe in Reno
August 21, 2009
8.21.2009 11:59pm
Larrya (mail) (www):
On the one hand, I think that the some folks in the MSM are being self-indulgently paranoid in mis-interpreting these legal displays as threats. And some media have been even worse, in trying to impose a racial narrative on the whole thing.
Nothing new there.
communicating subtle threats in guise of political speech is not bad, either.
Subtle?
8.22.2009 12:08am
Jeff Walden (www):
Bringing a handgun as a demonstration of open carry seemed fine to me, that being something people might normally do. The overlarge "assault rifle" seemed over the top to me -- the handgun more than made the point in my view. It seems to me the point should be to demonstrate practicality and the conviction of principles, and in that context the former seems rather lacking and the latter doesn't seem much more (if at all) evidenced with an oversize firearm than with a common, compact one.

The racial narrative imposition seemed way out of line in the one instance where I saw it (in which video of the man carrying the aforementioned oversized arm was chopped so that you couldn't tell he was black, accompanying the usual scare stories about white racists). Really, can we please get over reading the significance of race into any and every situation already? (If only...)
8.22.2009 12:26am
some dude:
There's already an amendment protecting the right to bear arms.
8.22.2009 12:45am
progressoverpeace (mail):
A car is a much more dangerous weapon than a gun, and no one thinks twice about people driving up to these events. You can take out more people, more easily driving than shooting. So anyone who sees a big, monstrous threat from a gun is just being emotional and silly, unless they also get all bent out of shape if there's a street, or cars, nearby.
8.22.2009 1:33am
_quodlibet_:

A car is a much more dangerous weapon than a gun, and no one thinks twice about people driving up to these events.

This is, in part, attributable to cars being more commonly seen in daily life than guns. If the sight of ordinary people openly carrying firearms were a common occurrence in daily life, then people would get less scared by the sight of a gun.
8.22.2009 7:42am
martinned (mail) (www):

This is, in part, attributable to cars being more commonly seen in daily life than guns.

Yes, I can see how you would highlight that essential aspect, instead of noting that cars provide a much greater benefit than guns to offset their respective potential destructive potential.
8.22.2009 9:15am
TyWebb:
The fellow with the hip-holstered sidearm in New Hampshire was carrying a sign that said "Time To Water The Tree Of Liberty." Knowing the remainder of the quote, obviously, it's clear that one waters the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants. It's not a very fantastical leap of logic to conclude that this fellow considered the chief executive a "tyrant," because otherwise, why would he carry that particular sign? How on earth is that, when coupled with his open carry (all legal and constitutional, I know, I know) not at the very least incitement, if not a direct threat? I'm utterly befuddled by that particular instance of this very odd phenomenon.
8.22.2009 9:55am
fishbane (mail):
So anyone who sees a big, monstrous threat from a gun is just being emotional and silly, unless they also get all bent out of shape if there's a street, or cars, nearby.

This is why I bring brass knuckles and a baseball bat to contract negotiations. Only emotional and silly people would get upset about that if they used public streets to get to the table.
8.22.2009 10:26am
Mikee (mail):
Fishbane,
Brass knuckles are illegal in most states, (if not all - I don't know). Brandishing a baseball bat as a weapon in order to threaten someone is definitely illegal in all states, unless done in self defense.

So your comparison of that political speech through the exercise of signage along with legally carrying a legal self-defense tool, as well as to cars used to kill people, is self-defeating.

Legal is legal. Protected rights are protected rights. Exercising rights legally and safely should normalize the right being exercised.

I think when people saw hundreds and hundreds of examples of ACT-UP demonstrators emphatically stating that they are queer, here and not going away, openly homosexual individuals became normalized into a society that previously ignored and marginalized them. Heck, when they stopped the shouting and just acted like everyone else, some even appreciated their normality.

The same holds true for carrying of firearms. Do it often enough, legally and safely, in the context of political speech, and people will see it as nothing to get upset over. Anti-gun bigots and others crying "WOLF!" again and again and again over the supposed dangers of citizens legally and safely carrying firearms has left most people with the understanding that those crying wolf are foolish or disingenuous.
8.22.2009 10:44am
fishbane (mail):
Brass knuckles are illegal in most states, (if not all - I don't know). Brandishing a baseball bat as a weapon in order to threaten someone is definitely illegal in all states, unless done in self defense.

Put aside the brass knuckles, that was for effect. Who said anything about "brandishing"? I simply said "bring".

Discussing a contract while legally carrying a legal sporting good is not materially different from discussing health care policy while legally carrying a legal self-defense tool.

Anti-gun bigots and others crying "WOLF!" again and again and again over the supposed dangers of citizens legally and safely carrying firearms has left most people with the understanding that those crying wolf are foolish or disingenuous.

Claiming that the abrupt fad of carrying weapons to policy discussions doesn't have an aspect of intimidation is transparently disingenuous.
8.22.2009 11:05am
AJK:

How on earth is that, when coupled with his open carry (all legal and constitutional, I know, I know) not at the very least incitement, if not a direct threat? I'm utterly befuddled by that particular instance of this very odd phenomenon.


The New Hampshire constitution also contains this clause:

Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

So the good citizen was advocating nothing more than a constitutionally protected (perhaps even mandated!) activity.
8.22.2009 12:14pm
Fact Checker:
The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression

So are you claiming that a legal, constitutional election somehow constitutes "arbitrary power, and oppression"?
8.22.2009 1:27pm
AJK:

So are you claiming that a legal, constitutional election somehow constitutes "arbitrary power, and oppression"?


It's certainly possible that a legally, constitutionally elected official could exercise "arbitrary power, and oppression".
8.22.2009 1:36pm
Fact Checker:
It's certainly possible that a legally, constitutionally elected official could exercise "arbitrary power, and oppression".

So now you are implying that an an unelected individual who decides that a legally elected official is exercising arbitrary power and oppression has not only the right, but the duty, to assassinate that official. Wasn't that John Wilkes Boothe's claim?

And you and Dave Kopel wonder why some people are nervous about people carrying guns at presidential speeches?
8.22.2009 1:55pm
Guesty (mail):
There are two things that make this whole analysis more complicated.

First, as TyWebb mentioned, the guy in NH was carrying a sign that called for executing tyrants. Thats not quite the same as peacefully carrying a gun to demonstrate your commitment to the second amendment.

Second, the guy in AZ who orchestrated bringing the AR to the event has close ties to a militia group whose members were convicted of trying to blow up a federal building in AZ.

These sound pretty much exactly like the people we don't want to have guns around the president.

Moreover, this whole resisting oppression thing is ridiculous. One guy who hates taxes doesn't get to decide whats constitutional or oppressive.
8.22.2009 2:12pm
zuch (mail) (www):
You can walk into a bank and say, "I'd like $20,000, please". If you do the same while brandishing a gun, not the same.

Cheers,
8.22.2009 2:32pm
AJK:

So now you are implying that an an unelected individual who decides that a legally elected official is exercising arbitrary power and oppression has not only the right, but the duty, to assassinate that official.


I am saying that the New Hampshire Constitution specifically calls upon the people to revolt against a tyrannical government. Am I misreading it?
8.22.2009 2:40pm
Putting Two and Two...:

It's sort of a Second Amendment version of the gay rights people chanting "We're here, we're queer. Get used to it."


This has got to be one of the silliest things I've ever seen from a Conspirator on here.
8.22.2009 2:42pm
Doc Merlin (mail):
I think its brilliant, it desensitizes people to guns being carried and normalizes the behavior. After the 50th time this happens without incident, no one will care anymore.

Its like the open carry movement that is happening in quite a few states, after the thousandth time they see a civilian with a gun, they won't give it a second thought.
8.22.2009 2:50pm
SuperSkeptic (mail):
I find myself frequently analogizing the 1st and 2nd, too.

From the article:

Volokh writes: "Even speakers may sometimes need to register or get licensed. Parade organizers may be required to get permits. Gatherers of initiative signatures may be required to register with the government, and so may fundraisers for charitable causes, though such fundraising is constitutionally protected." He adds that even the right to marry and the right to vote can require licenses or registration, and he believes gun rights are "more like the trackable rights, and that it is the untrackable rights that are the constitutional outlier."

It's equally appalling in the 1st Am. context as it is in the 2nd. The conclusion should be that both forms of registration are impermissible, not that because the 1st is okay, the 2nd is also acceptable. It's not.
8.22.2009 2:57pm
Kevin Forrester (mail) (www):
In his above-linked article, Mr. Declan McCullagh suggests that "[a]t the moment, a minority of states including New York, Maryland, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts require mandatory registration for handguns." The California Attorney General's web site, however, states:


"There is no firearm registration requirement in California except for assault weapon owners and personal handgun importers. However, you may submit a Firearm Ownership Record to the DOJ for any firearm you own. Having a Firearm Ownership Record on file with the DOJ may help in the return of your firearm if it is lost or stolen. With very few and specific exceptions, all firearm transactions must be conducted through a firearms dealer."


Mr. Declan McCullagh could have told us this, but chose not to.
8.22.2009 3:29pm
Mike Stollenwerk (mail) (www):
See my comments and link to new Christian Science Monitor article on the re-normalization of gun carry in the United States at http://tinyurl.com/mrd46b - the open carry movement has generally worked like drano so far, though I do agree that open carry for expressive conduct in non-gun rights settings risks garbling the message and confusing the issue. - Mike Stollenwerk, co-founder, OpenCarry.org
8.22.2009 4:30pm
zuch (mail) (www):
RKM [quoting Larry Pratt]:
We are warned that: "Somebody might grab the gun and do something bad!"
I'm a bit more worried about the guy carrying the weapon -- that thinks he needs to display his ... ummm, gun ... in public -- getting a bit crazy and doing something bad. You know, like the nutcases that brandish their firearms at their spouses and threaten to kill them if they 'misbehave' or otherwise displease the gun brandisher ... before -- on occasion -- actually using said gun to kill their miscreant spouses....

More Pratt:
These are the same alarms that are sounded when any measure designed to facilitate citizens keeping and bearing arms is advanced. And the alarms are always false.
Quite right. No such gun wielder or brandisher has ever actually used such weapon except to slay a couple muggers on the walk home from the rally ... or a spouse or two that hasn't meet the wielder's full approbation.

Someone that needs to wear a gun to prevail in a "discussion" doesn't have a very large ... intellect.

Cheers,
8.22.2009 4:32pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Mikee:
Brandishing a baseball bat as a weapon in order to threaten someone is definitely illegal in all states...
Which is why brandishing a firearm under similar circumstances ought to be illegal. That is, unless you're willing to lock up Manny Ramirez and Derek Jeter.

So, the question then becomes, "what substantive act were the brandishers here trying to complete?"

Cheers,
8.22.2009 4:38pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Put another way, Mikee:

You have a right (arguably) to carry a gun to defend yourself from physical violence. You don't have a right to carry a gun to convince others of the correctness of your views.

Cheers,
8.22.2009 4:42pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Mikee:
The same holds true for carrying of firearms. Do it often enough, legally and safely, in the context of political speech, and people will see it as nothing to get upset over.
Ahhhh. So we should look forward to the day when all political "speech" takes place in what looks like a meet-up of rival weekend militias at neighbouring retreats.

Cheers,
8.22.2009 4:48pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Fact Checker:
So are you claiming that a legal, constitutional election somehow constitutes "arbitrary power, and oppression"?
I don't know about AJK, but one of the brandishers sure thought so:
"We will forcefully resist people imposing their will on us through the strength of the majority with a vote."
Cheers,
8.22.2009 4:56pm
RKM (mail):
Zuch-

From what I've seen of the Town Halls and the "demonstrations", none of the armed participants brandished firearms. They "beared" them as in RKBA.

From M-W:
Main Entry: 1bran•dish
Pronunciation: \'bran-dish\
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English braundisshen, from Anglo-French brandiss-, stem of brandir, from brant, braund sword, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English brand
Date: 14th century
1 : to shake or wave (as a weapon) menacingly
2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner
synonyms: see swing

I did see SEIU thugs "working" the crowd though. Maybe there is a lesson here.

"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life."
Robert A. Heinlein

Cheers back at c'ya.
8.22.2009 5:31pm
zuch (mail) (www):
RKM:

Perhaps you'd like to explain why they were carrying them, then? Kind of like the baseball bat and brass knuckles to the contract negotiations? (Particularly when combined with the express words of one on the subject and the signage carried by another)

From your definition: "2 : to exhibit in an ostentatious or aggressive manner"

Can we please get real here? Thanks in advance.

Cheers,
8.22.2009 5:39pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
Kevin Forrester,

There is no firearm registration requirement in California except for assault weapon owners and personal handgun importers.

Yes, if you move into California, you must REGISTER your handguns with the state. After that, any transaction you conduct, buying or selling a handgun, will create a registration record with the state via the DROS system. True, you don't have to personally do anything special to register, but your handgun IS registered to you.

As for AWs, you cannot bring them into the state (and register them) even if they are legal in every other state, nor can you buy one from a dealer. The "registration" is for the existing guns under their current owners. No transfers are permitted.

Do you not understand that, or are you claiming the CADoJ doesn't?
8.22.2009 5:56pm
RKBA:
As far as I know, all of the "brandishing" took place outside and not in the townhall meetings themselves.
8.22.2009 6:02pm
zuch (mail) (www):
RKBA:
As far as I know, all of the "brandishing" took place outside and not in the townhall meetings themselves.
This is true, but how is it relevant? As for "brandishing" inside, I can see why that wouldn't have happened regardless of the intent of the brandishers. The Secret Service might have had something to say about that. ;-) When dangerous T-shirts are banned, how well do you think RKB[randish]A will stand up in court?

Cheers,
8.22.2009 8:36pm
RKBA:
Aside from the President's town halls, the Secret Service would have nothing to say about it. I would have like to see an assertion of Second Amendment rights within the town halls themselves, as long as local laws made it legal to bring firearms within the venue (and assuming police wouldn't make up laws on the spot to prohibit legally possessed firearms within the venue.)
8.22.2009 10:00pm
MMJMAC (mail):
I'm not a hunter and I do not own a gun for self-defense. I have no problem with people owning firearms for hunting or self-defense purposes, so long as they obey all applicable laws and have appropriate training in their use. However, for the life of me I cannot see any valid reason for people to own or use assault rifles or other military-grade weapons that are unsuited to hunting or personal self-defense. Why are NRA types and other second amendment advocates so hell-bent on protecting the right of people to own such weapons? What legitimate purpose do they serve? What is so scary that people would feel the need to possess such weapons? And why in the world do people feel the need to strut around packing heat at public events? Just curious.
8.23.2009 12:59am
Kevin Forrester (mail) (www):
juris_imprudent,

Mr. McCullagh states that California requires "mandatory registration for handguns". This statement is different from what the DOJ and you (accurately) say about registration, and that is my only point. If you've lived in California for decades and own handguns, there is no legal requirement that you march down to the DOJ and register them. Perhaps you moved into the State before the law requiring registration, for example. There is more than one way for California citizens to legally possess "unregistered" handguns, and this is at odds with both the statement that California requires mandatory registration for handguns, and the title of Mr. McCullagh's article: "Sorry, Mandatory Gun Registration Is Constitutional." The constitutionality of mandatory gun registration is an unanswered question, which I believe was Mr. Kopel's point.
8.23.2009 3:25am
Lou Gots (mail):
McCullagh is out-and-out wrong about Pennsylvania law. "Firearms," as defined by the state Uniform Firearms Act to mean primarily handguns, but also certain rifles and shotguns under certain lengths, are very much registered with the State Police. In fact, even private transfers of UFA "firearms", except to immediate family members, must be processed by a licensed dealer for the purpose of perfencting just that registeration. It is non-UFA rifles and shotguns which may be transferred by non-dealers without registration.

The author just doen't know what he is writing about. If he got that much wrong, what else did he get wrong?
8.23.2009 8:07am
juris_imprudent (mail):
MMJMAC: What is so scary that people would feel the need to possess such weapons?

What is so scary about the weapon that you would capriciously deny me owning one? Since you appear to be unfamiliar with firearms in general, could it be ignorance and fear that inform your opinion?
8.23.2009 2:43pm
juris_imprudent (mail):
There is more than one way for California citizens to legally possess "unregistered" handguns

Actually, the only way is if you lived here and owned handguns prior to the implementation of the DROS system (and closure of the "importation loophole"). That's a fairly small exception to the rule - which is that handguns ARE registered in California.

Remember that California voters turned down an initiative that would've banned handguns. Gun control advocates turned then to the incremental approach - registration of all transfers and reduction in the models available (the ridiculous "safe handgun list").

And we aren't even discussing what registration of AWs means, now are we?
8.23.2009 2:54pm
RKM (mail):
Here is one layman's response direct to Declan McCullagh concerning the subject article. Figured I'd share.

Date: 8/22/2009 2:27:47 P.M. Central Daylight Time
From: GeorgeMason1776
To: declan@cbsnews.com

re: Your column "Sorry, Mandatory Gun Registration Is Constitutional"

Dear Declan,

There are things in life that you can do.

There are things in life that you shouldn't do.

For example, you CAN urinate on an electric fence, but it will undoubtedly be a far more religious experience than you had bargained for. Likewise it is with mandatory gun registration.

All this pointy-hatted constitutional "scholar" stuff is good for the sort of parlor chat that some folks favor, I suppose, but in the real world there is for the academician kibitzer and citizen disarmament advocate legal beagle this unfortunate (depending upon how you look at it) set of historical and political truths:

One, universal gun registration is the precursor to gun confiscation, always has been, always will be.

Two, gun confiscation is the absolute precursor to tyranny and genocide.

Three, there are enough armed citizenry in this country who have internalized these lessons to make it suicidal for any would-be tyrant to try, "constitutional" or not. (The Founders would say "not," but why waste time debating the point?)

Ergo, as my Michigan farmer grandfather once told me about arguing with Grandma: "Son, you don't poke a wolverine with a sharp stick unless you want your balls ripped off."

Oh, by the way, WE are the wolverine.

Are we done here? I think we are.

Mike Vanderboegh
Pinson, AL
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters
sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com
8.23.2009 2:56pm
More Importantly . . .:
I see there are a fair number of persons here who cannot grasp the legal distinction between "brandishing" (hint-it's an illegal act in all 50 states) and "bearing" (hint-it involves a sling, scabbard, or holster) a firearm.

Rule of thumb for those of you who are entirely unfamiliar with one of mankind's most ubiquitous pieces of technology: if it's in your hands, you're brandishing; if it's attached to your body and not in your hands, you're carrying it legally (assuming local laws permit such carrying).
8.23.2009 3:23pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Since you appear to be unfamiliar with firearms in general, could it be ignorance and fear that inform your opinion?

Is there any way that someone could not own guns and still be allowed an opinion?
8.23.2009 4:30pm
MMJMAC (mail):
juris_imprudent
My question was not directed toward hunting rifles or handguns. What I want to know is what is so scary out there that people would feel the need to possess the types of assault rifles and other weapons that are only suitable for use in warfare or for killing people? What other possible uses could such weapons have? Are you preparing for the revolution? The coming race war? What do people feel they need weapons like that for? And why? Please enlighten me.
8.23.2009 10:57pm
RKM (mail):
MMJMAC-

Please watch the embedded video in the link below. It is an hour long. Hopefully, it answer your questions and be worth your time.

Boston T. Party
8.23.2009 11:41pm
Matthew Carberry (mail):
MMJMAC,

So-called "assault rifles" are widely used in hunting, formal target shooting, plinking and a variety of other recreational shooting sports. They are also quite useful for self-defense.

They are functionally identical to, and no more powerful nor less accurate than, any semi-automatic hunting-designed rifle or shotgun you may be familiar with.

If you care to educate yourself on the facts, you'll find that your opinion, while yours to have, is utterly, objectively, invalid. You are reacting emotionally to appearances, personal misconceptions and a concerted smear and fear campaign by the same people who are on record as wishing, in the end, to regulate out of existence even those firearms you currently find "acceptable".

In general (not specifically to MMJMAC),

I have no problem with people lawfully carrying handguns to political events because I assume they, like I and hundreds of thousands if not millions of other people in this country, lawfully carry them everywhere else all the time. The gun therefore is no more a "political statement" than is their pants, purse or hat.

However, specifically bringing a rifle, which most people don't usually carry with them everywhere, is presumably an overtly political statement and I'm not convinced it does their larger position a lot of good.

But, as long as any weapon is merely slung or worn, it is explicitly NOT "brandishing" in every state that allows carry of which I'm familiar and thus is a legal act and a valid form of political speech. If ignorant people have irrational fears about such legal, inherently peaceable, acts, that is as much their problem as is any problem a homophobe may have with a man wearing a thong and buttless chaps to a political event.
8.24.2009 3:14am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Matthew Carberry: I was with you up to the point where you described the carrying of a rifle "inherently peacable". You can take your enthusiasm too far...
8.24.2009 5:36am
Matthew Carberry (mail):
I suppose the perceived "peaceability" of an action hinges on whether a person feels it should be determined by the motive of the actor or the feelings of the observer.

Given where I live (Anchorage, AK) I may come from an outlier perspective, but I don't really take people carrying slung rifles around, even in town, as anything more than uncommon.

If you are going to carry a rifle, and who am I to question why you feel you need to, you have to do it somehow and slung is a lot less open to misunderstanding than, say, jogging at port arms. It's slung, not pointing at anyone, so long as the 4 safety rules are being observed why should I view it as anything but peaceable?

Again, I think it's over the top and probably counter-productive to do so merely to make a political statement, especially since there are a lot of folks out there for whom "unusual" can equal "dangerous" or "threatening", but over-the-top and counter-productive don't necessarily, objectively, rise to the level of inherent non-peaceability.
8.24.2009 4:46pm
MMJMAC (mail):
I come from Sacramento, California and you can be assured that a group of people walking down the street in this town with assault rifles slung over their shoulders would certainly not be viewed as a common occurrence or an "inherently peaceful" activity even if they were Alaskan hunters just passing through town on their way to hunt in the mountains. Would you feel the same way if a group of Black Panthers walked down the streets of Anchorage with assault rifles slung over their shoulders in the exact same manner for the exact same reason? I'm assuming that to be logically consistent you'd say that was an "inherently peaceable" situation as well and that you wouldn't be concerned about it. If not, what makes it different?
8.24.2009 10:45pm
Melancton Smith:
martinned wrote:

Is there any way that someone could not own guns and still be allowed an opinion?


Sure, do a little research into what the actual differences are between so-called "assault weapons" that some commenters are wetting their pants about and the 'allowable' (in their opinion) hunting and self-defense firearms. When one does that, one tends to laugh at such folks.
8.25.2009 10:03am
Buck Turgidson (mail):
Can one of you, brilliant constitutionalists, explain to me why carrying a gun is any more protected than carrying brass knuckles, billy clubs, nunchucks, crossbows, butterfly knives or switchblades? Does the Second Amendment say anything about firearms? (Yes, I know--some states' constitutions actually specify firearms, but that's irrelevant in the larger context.)
8.25.2009 1:12pm
Matthew Carberry (mail):
MMJMAC,

Really? Now you're pulling the "imply the guy who likes guns must be a racist" card in an attempt to challenge my consistency of principle? Kinda bush league play don't you think?

For the record, if it is legal under state and Federal law to carry any kind of firearm (as above, please do a little research on the "assault rifle" nomenclature idiocy) in any given place, then doing so with no intent to actually harm or directly threaten any other particular individual with said weapon is "peaceable" in my eyes, regardless of the sex, race, color, creed, sexual orientation, political affiliation or shoe choice of the bearer.

See, I'm what you might call a "rational adult", not afraid of inanimate objects based solely on what they look like or who happens to own them.

Buck,

The (hopefully) coming "nunchuck" case in the 2nd Circuit (not yet granted certiorari by SCOTUS) addresses that exact issue. I and most firearms enthusiasts generally find any distinction in type of arms to be regulated to be contrived and proof of abject ignorence of the realities of violence and the reactionary legal history of such laws. At least when it comes down to arms bearable/usable by one person.

People who commit violent acts should be sanctioned for those actions. Attempting to "prevent violence" through laws banning or regulating particular objects is not only futile (any object can be a weapon) but actively stupid, as, in the end, a knife is knife, a bludgeon a bludgeon, a gun a gun. It is (or should be) the actual crime that matters, not the object used.

But that's in a rational world.
8.26.2009 12:44am
juris_imprudent (mail):
MMJMAC,

I'm sure you can't define "assault weapon" further than one that really, really scares you. I'll even bet you think that the full autos are covered by this. When you can explain the difference between a Ruger Ranch Rifle (not an AW) and an AR-15 (evil AW) in functional terms and not pejoratives about the person possessing it, I might be inclined to give your opinion some consideration. Otherwise I'll just lump you in with the ignorant and fearful.
8.26.2009 1:40am

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