What is the mainstream, exactly?
|There's a fairly good article on Alito's nomination up at townhall.com. It examines the logical consequences of the left's claims that Alito's judicial rulings are out of the mainstream.|
|From the Barrel of a Gun|
|Random Nuclear Strikes|
|Only Guns and Money|
|The View From North Central Idaho|
|Armed and Dangerous|
|Hell in a Handbasket|
|View From The Porch|
|Guns, Cars, and Tech|
|Irons in the Fire|
|Snowflakes in Hell|
|Shot in the Dark|
|The Smallest Minority|
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|3 boxes of BS|
|Of Arms and the Law|
|Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives|
|Monster Hunter Nation|
|Right to be Armed|
|The 1968 Gun Control Act|
|Rocketry Hobbyists versus the BATFE|
|Third Circuit rules New Jersey can continue to confiscate firearms from travelers|
|Government is just a term for things we do together|
|Protestors oppose guns for upcoming ESPN Games|
|Senate GOP willing to meet with Obama's Supreme Court pick|
|2016: Why I'm not voting for Bernie Sanders the Socialist|
|2016: Why I'm not voting for Hillary|
|Obama administration officials who maintained private email accounts|
|2016: The Republican Field|
|The Dark Side of Data Retention Policies|
|Major media is paid by government agencies for specific content|
|Senate ethics complaints filed against 10 Senators|
|300 days of IRS abuse|
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|Boomershoot 2009: Media Day|
|Building a Boomershooter|
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|There's a fairly good article on Alito's nomination up at townhall.com. It examines the logical consequences of the left's claims that Alito's judicial rulings are out of the mainstream.|
|The legislature of Wisconsin has voted to allow concealed-carry. The governor has vetoed the bill. On Tuesday, January 31st, a veto override vote is scheduled. More information is available from Packing.org -- and if you live in Wisconsin, you might want to call your critters.|
John Gilmore, a libertarian activist and one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, has has a lawsuit working its way through the courts challenging the TSA's security regulations as unconstitutional because they are secret. One of the government's representatives said this in response to an appellate ruling dismissing the case:
Justice Department lawyer Joshua Waldman argued that demanding identification "promotes the right to travel by protecting everyone's safety."How much more Orwellian can you get? Protecting a right by restricting it?
Judge Kozinski, one of the reliable anchors keeping the 9th Circuit tied down to reality (and that's no easy task), has once again struck a blow for sanity. He ruled that a prior California conviction for assault rifle possession is not a crime of violence for purposes of sentence enhancements.
While the scope of the ruling is small, since most people aspire to go through their lives without ever seeing the business end of a criminal court, that the question was even asked provides just a hint of the legal mire that awaits when objects can become crimes without any malicious intent from their owner.
I got it from David Hardy, who got it from Volokh.
|... if it gets to court, anyway. It seems that the Violence Policy Center stole footage from Scott at the subguns discussion board, and he's considering legal action. This could be fun. I got the tip from SaysUncle.|
I've been nominated in the Gunnies for Best Legal Coverage.
I have to say that it's an honor just to be nominated; I'm just doing the best I can as a layman in my spare time with a bone to pick and a niche to fill. There are much better gun lawyer blogs out there by now, and one other layman with more cojones than I've got. I won't ask you to vote for me when there are far better candidates, but I do appreciate it.
Congratulations to everyone else who got nominated, in this category and the others. It's hard, often thankless work to keep setting the story straight on guns.
In other self-congratulatory news, according to The Truth Laid Bear's Ecosystem, I am in the top 1500 blogs. (#1274, to be precise). I remember when I was way down in the 3000s. Am I getting better or are the top blogs getting worse? I just report the news... all the news that's fit to rant about, anyway.
|Seems like Barret has something special in mind for California. Like Jed, I wish I could afford one of his rifles. (Someday, I suspect, I shall get one whether I can afford it or not).|
Reliable sources inform me that the Supreme Court denied the certiorari petition from the Seegars case, even though the docket hasn't been updated yet. In plain language, they won't be hearing that case. The usual weasel words: Denial of a certiorari petition should in no way be construed as an opinion on the merits of the case. But I think we can all read between the lines here: the present court is not ready to hear a 2nd Amendment case.
Alito may change that. Then again, he may not. The way I see it, the Court has one more chance to get it right on this one: Parker. For all I know, they may be waiting for that case with baited breath.
UPDATE: The decision is in today's order list.
UPDATE: Suitably chastized for not linking to background on my own stuff. Here's the skinny on Seegars.
UPDATE: SCOTUSBLOG has a little more information.
Among the cases denied review were Seegars v. Gonzales (05-365), an attempt by five Washington, D.C., residents seeking to revive their challenge to D.C.'s strong anti-gun law... Chief Justice Roberts was recused in the D.C. case because he was on the D.C. Circuit when it denied en banc review of the denial of standing to the gun fanciers.I had forgotten about the Roberts recusal. Remember, Roberts is on the court replacing Rehnquist, most likely a solid pro-gun vote. If he had to recuse himself from Seegars, the results could have been a disaster for gun rights. The vote-counting is down to the wire as it is, without any recusal issues from our side. Note that Alito will not have recusal issues for Parker, but Roberts may, since both cases were before the DC Circuit around the same time. I don't recall Roberts voting on anything related to Parker, or serving on any of its panels, but memory is a whatchamacallit.
(The Seegars plaintiffs requested an en banc hearing to appeal an unfavorable decision by the panel, which put the question of whether or not to hear the case before the whole circuit, including Roberts; the Parker case has not yet done that).
UPDATE: The docket has been updated now.
|I confess that I love this movie, even as hideously bad as it is in some ways. The television series has much better swordwork, which makes complete sense when you understand that Adrian Paul (aka Duncan McLeod) is a martial artist with a 7-year series to learn the sword, while Christopher Lambert (aka Conner McLeod) had a few months and is reportedly blind as a bat without glasses.|
Supposedly, Texas has a law preventing eminent domain abuse. It doesn't seem to have stopped a Texas judge from seizing 105 acres of land, valued by an independent commission at $1.9 million, for the sum of $1 instead -- and ordering the owner to pay back the original $1.9 million to the government, with interest. That is not a typo. I did not leave out the word "million" from the second figure.
This is obscene.
It cannot stand.
David Codrea is pessimistic about the outcome of a Supreme Court firearms case, even if it is technically an individual-rights decision; SaysUncle questions how the Supreme Court could avoid ruling certain outright bans unconstitutional while issuing such a ruling; and Denise of The Ten Ring imagines how it might play out. Those are all good points. Here's what I think the likely outcome is.
We're likely to see one of the two cases in the DC circuit at present before the Supreme Court. That will likely result in a ruling that proclaims an individual right. The question is how strong the decision would be; there's little question that a correct legal reading of the Constitution forbids the DC laws, though there's always the question of whether the Justices will vote in accordance with the obvious.
If the Parker case is the one that the Supreme Court choses to take, they will likely proclaim a protected federal right and remain silent on whether the States can regulate where the Federals cannot. If, instead, the Court hears Seegars, some of the claims in Seegars invite 14th-amendment analysis and the ruling will
My concern is that an incorporated 2nd Amendment is more threatening than one that is an admitted individual right but may or may not be applicable against state laws. If the Justices are forced to admit that the 2nd Amendment binds the states as well, they will likely be more open to carving exceptions for "reasonable regulation" into the law. Split into two cases separated by a few years, justices may be more open to expanding a strong, but narrow (federal only) ruling into an incorporated ruling. I don't want a watered-down version of the 2nd to apply in case law, I want the whole thing.
There will be ample opportunities to address incorporation -- consider San Francisco, Chicago, New York...
UPDATE: There are some questions in the comments that are worth discussing. First, how can the SCOTUS dismiss "shall not be infringed"? It's not easy to do, and that's probably why they haven't. They usually just don't take the cases. As for what can be done to force them to address it, the answer is very little. We can (and have been trying to) put justices on the court willing to interpret the Constitution honestly. That's about it. If Congress wanted to force the issue, they could pass legislation expanding or restricting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (eg, "The Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in all cases involving the 2nd Amendment"), but I suspect that would be counterproductive. A court willing to rule favorably on the 2nd Amendment would probably not duck the issue the way it has.
The state of Virginia is considering legislation requiring 30 days prior police notice for "gun shows", defined to include any "gathering or exhibition" of two or more persons, in which one of the purposes is to exchange, sell, or trade firearms; the same bill also includes a requirement to provide the police a list of vendors and exhibitors in the show.
I find myself wondering if the author of the legislation intended to include any private sale in the definition of "gun show", and am forced to conclude that, probably, the answer is yes.
Those of you in Virginia should probably be calling your legislators about now.
Those of us watching from the sidelines, however, can ponder this extra amusing piece of gristle in the legislative sausage:
The provisions of this section shall not apply to firearms shows held in any town with a population of not less than 1,995 and not more than 2,010, according to the 1990 United States census.That has GOT to have been written to exclude a specific town from the bill. Probably the legislator's hometown or some such favoritism, written to avoid being technically "favoritism" because it applies to all towns of the right size... and just happens to define the "right size" narrowly enough to exclude all but one.
UPDATE: Reader Standard Mischief has identified the legislator responsible for this particular bit of gristle, and is trying to identify it specifically. Check the comments for more.
"The town's primary claim to fame is its Hillsville Flea Market (more properly known as the VFW Flea Market & Gun Show), which has been called the largest American flea market to the east of the Mississippi River. It is held twice a year; in 2004, the Labor Day show attracted 650,000 visitors, and the Memorial Day show attracted 250,000 visitors. Vendors and customers have arrived from as far away as Germany, Africa, and South Korea."Well isn't that interesting. "Let's regulate all the gun shows -- except this one."
|David Hardy writes about the unintended consequences of search and seizure to an innocent man. Personally, I'd argue that a police search and seizure comes with an automatic bill to repair or replace anything damaged or destroyed in the search, assuming the person targeted is later found innocent or not charged. That should be automatic, rather than requiring the target to initiate a lawsuit to recover damages. Police are far too eager to destroy things when they are "searching", and the search itself becomes a form of punishment. To me, that's unreasonable, never mind the warrant.|
... because the ATFE is up to something.
UPDATE: More details at Of Arms and the Law.
I don't quite know what to say.
But I am impressed.
|I wish I wasn't serious.|
There has been some minor activity in the Konie v LA case; that's the one wherein Patricia Konie, little old lady, is suing numerous jackbooted thugs for breaking down her door, harming her person, and violating her civil rights by confiscating her firearm.
It's just the preliminaries. On 12/16/05, the summons was served upon the State of Louisiana, through its representative Kathleen Blanco, through her representative Terri Ricks. This is basically notifying the recipient that there is a lawsuit pending, and it demands a response within 20 days or a default judgement will be entered against the defendent. This didn't get entered into the docket until 1/9, so it's clear there's a substantial delay operating.
The defendents (Louisiana and California) missed the deadline to respond. It was not until January 11th, 2006 that they finally filed their response, which itself was a motion for extension of time to plead, requesting an extension of 20 days to respond. The only interesting point to note is that the response, filed on behalf of both the LA and California, claims that their police departments were erroneously sued as separate entities. It's one of those legal details that I can't nitpick much about for lack of expert knowledge. I don't expect it to become a serious issue in the case, in any event, though (if the states are correct) it may reflect a bit poorly on Konie's advocate. We'll see.
Aside from the fact that the response was filed 6 days after the deadline, there's no reason to refuse it, and in fact the court granted the motion within two days, which makes the new deadline the 23rd of January, 2006.
|I'm not much of one for popularity contests; I figure I should stick to battles I can win. (nyuk, nyuk). But I'm sure every gunblogger nominated will understand his nomination as a mark of distinction, and every vote in support of his blog as a compliment from the heart -- or the magazine, at least.|
My single word? Sue. Just as Konie v LA is perhaps the ideal jackbooted-thugs lawsuit, this situation makes a perfect vehicle for overturning the felon-in-possession law. The fact is, it's remarkably easy to run afoul of our nation's gun laws without any ill intent; the people who do should not lose their right to self-defense because they aren't legal experts or made a non-violent mistake. Criminals can always arm themselves; mostly law abiding citizens shouldn't be left helpless.
UPDATE: FishOrMan gets it.
The Washington Post has decided to do the time warp again, stepping into their echo chamber to proclaim their support for a nationwide ban on all handguns in an editorial entitled Killing Made Easy. They have lots of biased and misleading statistics to throw at the debate and see what sticks, although they have been reduced to citing their own prior articles for some of the weaker examples.
While it may be true that only 160 of 12,000 homicides by firearm each year are ruled justified, the vast majority of defensive gun uses each year do not involve firing the gun, much less killing someone; the absolute lowest reliable estimate puts the number of defensive gun uses at around 80,000 a year (National Crime Victimization Survey, requiring a police report to count), and most estimates range between 1-3 million.
But I'm not going to waste time pointing out statistical flaws in their argument this time around. I've done that before, I'll doubtless do it again, but there's a bigger point their editorial strikingly fails to grasp.
The easier it is to kill, the better off humanity as a whole will be.
That's a strong statement, I know. Bear with me.
To understand my argument, consider our history. At the dawn of human history, we were little better than animals, gathering plants and harvesting arnimals for our sustenance. Killing animals for their food was a significant effort, consuming the time and energy (and sometimes, the lives) of approximately half the population. Whatever native intelligence or artistic impulse early humans possessed had little opportunity for outlet or expression, and even when opportunity was available it still revolved around the endless quest for food.
Suppose an early human invented a tool -- say, a bow and arrow. This tool makes killing easier. That means it makes hunting easier, requiring less time, less energy, and fewer people. If enough people take up bowhunting, the surplus from their efforts can support human specialists, who spend their time pursuing something other than game: other sources of food, cultivation of crops, written language, or art. More efficient killing machines allow for the possibility of humans whose lives do not revolve around killing, humans who otherwise would be unable to support their non-violent activities.
Consider next the middle ages. The development of agriculture has allowed for a broad spectrum of human specialists to arise and form a civilization recognizably similar to ours in many ways. Humankind has become the dominant predator on earth; though animals may rival individual humans, as a species there is nothing deadlier. But as a result, more and more people live their lives insulated from violence.
In fact, violence itself has become a specialized occupation. Killing animals is easy, and killing humans is easy, but killing human warriors, specialized killers, is very difficult. The most prominent positions among humanity are oriented around the best killers of other humans -- knights, the nobles who lead them, the kings who lead nations. But the existance of those specialized roles allows for people who live entirely peaceful lives: monks and merchants. Killing has become so much more efficient that large fractions of the population need not be involved in it at all.
But it is still difficult enough that it requires a specialist to do it well, and those specialists can rule the rest of humanity with an iron fist, unchallenged. Not because they are better; because killing a specialized human warrior has become difficult, even for another human being. The result is inevitably oppression.
The invention of firearms changes that equation. Suddenly, killing is easy again. Suddenly, untrained farmers can defeat professional soldiers. And do.
Think about that.
We owe the existance of our nation to tools that make killing easier.
Every single specialized worker whose profession is not warfare owes his life and his freedom to tools that make it possible for him to kill an attacker easily, without needing extensive training, strength, or funding.
Women owe their independence from men to firearms. A woman with a handgun can protect herself; she does not require a knight in shining armor to stand between her and brutal rape.
Journalists, who in modern times decry that the pen is mightier than the sword, owe their ability to "speak truth to power" to farmers who outfought professional soldiers on behalf of their forefathers. They are able to do so because the gun is mightier than both.
We owe our very civilization to those same tools. Not merely the origin of our civilization but its continuance. Take away firearms, and see how long civilization survives. The safe bet would be not very long.
The Washington Post says that handguns make killing easier. They're right. And I say Thank god for that.
... and moreover, they are blaming legal gun owners for the problems:
Illegal civilian possession of small arms usually starts with weapons that were brought and produced in a legal way, until they become part of the illicit market after being lost, robed or transferred in any way from the legal owner to another person that couldn?t get them through the legal way. One of the sources of the illegal market are the legal owners, there is an evident need for the enactment and enforcement of civilian possession regulations, with a view to preventing such flows from taking place.Yeah, I know, no surprise. What is surprising is what they said next:
It is important to underscore that the discussions on regulation and control of civilian possession of SALW do not necessarily presuppose support for outright prohibitions, bans or comprehensive restrictions. While in some societies such measures may have yielded positive results, in others the possession of firearms as means of self-defence is regarded as a legitimate individual right. The lack of unequivocal empirical evidence in support of either approach suggests that the decision to impose bans or comprehensive restrictions on the possession of SALW by civilians is a matter best left for each State to decide, in light of its domestic circumstances and in accordance with its constitutional principles.Interesting. Admittedly, as the government of a sovereign state, Mexico is not likely to favor reducing its own authority in favor of UN regulation. But it's still interesting that they went from blaming legal gun owners for the problem of gun crime to a paragraph suggesting that the UN not regulate the issue closely. The next paragraph can be effectively paraphrased as "Let's outlaw theft and smuggling again, since it didn't work the first time."
Anyways, whatever credit they get for that paragraph is quickly tossed as they move on to talking about the "Program of Action", which apparantly used to have a lot of gun control in it, most of which was dropped before the final document, but which left a few interesting references that call for, among other things, restrictions on "unmarked" small arms, and to ensure that "comprehensive and accurate records are kept for as long as possible on the manufacture, holding, and transfer of small arms".
Registration is the first step to confiscation. Governments want to know who has guns, because people who have guns are a threat to the government monopoly on force. Or, in other words, people with firearms are difficult to intimidate and need not beg for protection from a government unable, or unwilling, to provide it.
Here are the regulations Mexico is proposing:
1. The property, possession and carrying of weapons should be authorized through the expedition of licenses that should consider the following criteria:This is exactly what gun banners want: legislation that transfer the right of self-defense into a limited, licensed privilege requiring substantial effort to comply with, and which can be narrowed further and further by beaurocratic fiat and finally eliminated completely. To allow this to be implemented is to surrender control of force to the government.
Some people believe that is a good thing.
I do not.
Any entity which obtains a monopoly on force becomes, inevitably, oppressive; it cannot be effectively resisted, and therefore there can be no check on the wishes of that entity. It is only a matter of time, and in the United States, it has already begun.
2. Limit the sale of ammunitions to those who posses a valid license of property, possession and/or carrying of weapons, and will only be sell ammunitions to the type of weapon mentioned in the license and in a reasonable number of them.Yet more government control, seeking to ensure that everyone in possession of a firearm must come begging back to the govermment every time they want to shoot it. From a practical perspective, as well, many people do not understand how much ammunition an active shooter can go through; a thousand rounds in each caliber is not unusual. It's just another way to make it inconvenient and expensive for individuals to possess firearms and practice shooting them.
3. Licenses should have an expiration date and be subject to a periodical re-expedition after being proved that the person has no criminal records, besides any other requirement.... and, of course, providing further inconvenience and annoyance to gun owners, requiring them to re-establish their "fitness" on a regular basis. Wouldn't it be simpler to lock up people who can't be trusted with firearms when they demonstrate that they can't be trusted?
4. It should be forbidden for civilians to posses weapons designed for military use, not suitable for legitimate self-defense purposes (i.e. automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, machine guns and light weapons in general)?Because, god forbid, a government of governments would never want to risk one of its members being overthrown and replaced with a democracy.
5. All weapons possessors should ensure a safe storage and keep separate storages for the weapon and the ammunitions.... and there goes the 4th Amendment. Governments really have no respect for basic rights, and the UN insists on repeatedly demonstrating this.
6. establish measures that allow authorities to seize the weapon when the licenses are revoked or when it can be proved that the owners, in events that take place after the license issuance, do not have the capacity of using them in a safe way.So, if you manage to get a license in the first place, the government is permitted to take your firearms away from you if you "do not have the capacity of using them safely", in addition to periodic license renewals and criminal background checks. Those words are a goldmine for beaurocrats. They'll be able to justify almost any seizure under that clause, because apparantly self-defense is not a legitimate use. It's not "safe". Someone -- the criminal -- might get hurt.
7. Have trustworthy records that contain information about the license of the salesman, the buyer, the type of weapon and the type of ammunition (brand, caliber and serial number), besides from having certificates for the final user.So how will these records be used? I can see no legitimate purpose.
8. Establish criminal or administrative sanctions when the dispositions on possession are violated.heh. Yes, breaking the law should have punishment attached.
9. Have amnesties to promote the hand out of legal weapons and the ones that are not being used in exchange of money or food. These programs should have gender perspective. In order to prevent their resale or diversion to the illicit market, weapons collected through these initiatives should be destroyed as soon as possible, where appropriate and in accordance with national legislation.What the hell does "gender perspective" have to do with anything? For that matter, once the weapons are in the hands of government, what exactly is the reason we should be trying to prevent their legal resale? But I must admit, I have no objection to the hand out of legal weapons... though I somehow doubt that the true intent of that provision survived translation.
10. States should cooperate in the exchange of information, mobilization of resources for training and exploration of alternatives for national legislation harmonization.... and we can all sing Kumbaya together, while applying as much international pressure on the US to ban those nasty guns, because the people of the United States should be "harmonized" with international gun laws whether they like it or not.
11. Involve international organizations and civil society in assisting States for the effective implementation of these principles.I think this means that the UN should support non-governmental organizations in the United States lobbying our government to regulate firearms in express violation of our Constitution. I find that offensive, particularly in light of the paragraph at the beginning explicitly saying that the regulation of firearms is a matter for an individual state.
Their submission is available in PDF format; as are the others.
It seems that Alito's a shooter.
"He's a great marksman -- he can do double clays," she says, meaning he can hit two clay pigeon targets thrown simultaneously into the air before either hits the ground.While this is of course no guaranty of his views on the 2nd Amendment, it's a big hint that he's NOT an anti-gun bigot. Put together his judicial philosophy -- a strict constructionist -- together with a skilled shooter, and the Rybar case, and we're likely to end up at a strongly positive view of firearms.
It's possible that Alito is a gun owner in the same vein as Kerry -- that is, an elitist who treats trap shooting like a less peaceful version of golf. But I don't think that's likely.
Hat tip to Of Arms and the Law.
... that the modern Democratic party is sufficiently insane to be on the edge of violence concerning President Bush, yet continue to perceive no understanding of the dangers posed by an intrusive government determined to track its citizens.
Councilor Rob Consalvo wants to put a tracking device into newly manufactured guns and have legal gun owners retrofit their firearms so owners and police can locate and retrieve stolen guns the same way police use a computer chip to locate stolen cars.Let's hope Smith and Wesson learned from their mistake in signing the Clinton deal.
Bear in mind, too, that we already know how Maryland treats gun owners. During the DC sniper incident, the police chief decided it would be worthwhile to investigate all "registered" Maryland gun owners who had purchased a .223 semiautomatic rifle, including "requesting" that their firearms be turned over to the police for "testing".
I do not want to live in a nation where individuals and their possessions are tracked by the everpresent State.
Hat tip to Ravenwood for this story.
I can't believe that these people don't have anything better to do with their time than protest symbolic "art" objects on behalf of dinner. I'm not much of a fan of KFC; in fact I've eaten their food exactly twice in 6 years. One of those times was just last weekend, on an absurd impulse which I now consider almost precognitive. Unlike Alphecca, however, I'm not going to oppose Pamela Anderson's protest by eating more chicken; I've already made a recent meal decision demonstrating the reverance I hold for our fine feathered food. I will, however, offer a link to People Eating Tasty Animals.
|In responding to a question on Roe v Wade, Alito laid out his philosophy of Constitutional interpertation as (paraphrased) finding the meaning of the text, as it was understood at the time. That's not news, but it is nice to hear.|
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