Sometimes, you don't have to use it
And you know what? It applies to governments, too.
Snowflakes In Hell gets the hat tip for this one.
When he applied for a permit in late February, a representative for Zoning Administrator Matthew Le Grant notified him his business could not operate in the District and that the agency would send him an official explanation shortly.If the DC government can keep any gun stores from opening in the District, they can keep their handgun ban, at least until someone brings a lawsuit over it. I suppose one way around that would be to register a firearm already owned; it would have to have been purchased while living in a different jurisdiction. That would keep the numbers down, especially if the city can think up some creative legal roadblocks for that process too.
He visited Le Grant's office in April and has contacted Mayor Adrian Fenty's office and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. So far, he's received no details in writing about the rejection.
"I think there is a political motivation to this," he says.
"Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly," McCain said.You mean like the First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly that your McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" act violated?
The Court did not much address the issue of machine guns, but the "common use" test that it prescribes will be problematic. However, I think The Court has set itself up for an intellectual bind. Machine guns are not in common use, but that's entirely because of the 1986 prohibition on new registrations preceded by 18 years of heavy regulations inder GCA 68, and decades of regulation prior to that under the National Firearms Act. In short, machine guns fail the common use test because government regulations and prohibitions make them uncommon. I think this is an argument that could be raised later that could possibly ease restrictions.I agree here. We're going to have to bring a separate case for this at some point. That case is going to rest on whether "in common use at the time" means that the government can ban something that's not in common use because it has been banned for 70 years. I can't imagine an honest court letting that stand, but we only got 5 votes for a much less scary ruling today. So let's not bring that case until we've added some precedents and case law and friendly judges, mmmkay?
I think there?s ample language in the opinion to argue that the second amendment is incorporated against the states, and that will be the next step. Chicago, New York, and I think, even Massachusetts and New Jersey?s licensing restrictions can be construed to meet the standard of ?arbitrary and capricious.? In fact, I would view this somewhat similar to ?seperate but equal? In that the Civil Rights movement was later able to argue that seperate can never be equal. I think one could perhaps argue that licensing, or having to get the government?s permission, can always be subject to arbitrary and capricious standards.Good thoughts. The NRA has already announced that it intends to challenge the Chicago gun ban - that's an incorporation case and is the obvious next step. Pity they weren't so willing to help out with Heller at first.
There's nothing that really hints at that in the syllabus, so I'll have to read the whole decision before deciding whether I agree or not. But it's a better take on the result than I got.
On the ?bearing? of arms, I think The Court leaves open the possibility, and perhaps even suggests the possibility that the state must allow some form of carrying arms for self-defense. This would presumably mean openly carrying of arms being legal everywhere, with states still free to regulate wearing of weapons. But I would argue that perhaps the states can regulate concealed firearms, they may not outright prohibit them, since, given changes in society since the 19th century, that amounts to the destruction of the right.
District of Columbia law bans handgun possession by making it a crime to carry an unregistered firearm and prohibiting the registration of handguns; provides separately that no person may carry an unlicensed handgun, but authorizes the police chief to issue 1-year licenses; and requires residents to keep lawfully owned firearms unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device. Respondent Heller, a D. C. special policeman, applied to register a handgun he wished to keep at home, but the District refused. He filed this suit seeking, on Second Amendment grounds, to enjoin the city from enforcing the bar on handgun registration, the licensing requirement insofar as it prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home, and the trigger-lock requirement insofar as it prohibits the use of functional firearms in the home. The District Court dismissed the suit, but the D. C. Circuit reversed, holding that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess firearms and that the city's total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right.Not much to say here. It's an accurate summary. Next, the holdings:
1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.This is the core win for us. An individual right, unconnected to service in a militia, that protects not just hunting but also self-defense and other traditionally-lawful purposes.
(a) The Amendment's prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause's text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.Again, part of our core victory here. The "militia clause" does not limit the right that is protected, although it may explain its purpose.
(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court's interpretation of the operative clause. The "militia" comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens' militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens' militia would be preserved.Again a necessary part of our victory. Scalia's decision is basically blessing the "Standard Model" of the 2nd Amendment.
(c) The Court's interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment.No surprise here -- other state Constitutions agree with this interpertation, often in language less easily confused. Enforcement of those state Constitutional provisions has not always been ideal, though, or we'd have fewer gun control laws. However, the example of Vermont, which has permitless concealed carry due to some court rulings to that effect, is instructive.
(d) The Second Amendment's drafting history, while of dubious interpretive worth, reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms.It's of dubious worth because, after all, the drafters picked one final version. However, the fact that many of the versions they began with included clearer individual rights language can be suggestive of how they thought about the proposed right.
(e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars, courtsand legislators, from immediately after its ratification through thelate 19th century also supports the Court's conclusion.No surprise here. The "collective rights" fiction is a 20th century invention designed to provide a convenient non-answer to Constitutional challenges to the National Firearms Act of 1934.
(f) None of the Court's precedents forecloses the Court's interpretation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264 265, refutes the individual rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes.This vindicates something I have been saying about Miller for a long time -- that the ruling was based on the militia status and type of the weapon, not the militia status of the person possessing it. However, it also hints (not surprisingly, but disappointingly) that Scalia will be backing away from Miller's implied protection of military weapons. The result of applying Miller faithfully to modern laws would be... exciting. So Scalia is preemptively backing away here. We'll have to read this section of the actual decision to understand exactly where he's going. More on the other cases later. Next the syllabus has a laundry list of what we lost. On the one hand, it's disconcertingly large and includes a lot of things I wish would rather not be there. We'll have to read these parts of the decision closely to find out exactly how bad these concessions are, but it basically looks like most (if not all) existing federal laws regarding gun ownership will be preserved.
2. Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court?s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller?s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those ?in common use at the time? finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.Well, the result isn't unexpected, but we'll have to read it closely to understand the reasoning. The only positive thing I can say about this part is that most of it will be dicta -- not necessary in order to reach the core ruling striking down the District's handgun ban. Will that matter? Probably not to lower courts, which will use this language to avoid striking down any federal laws that resemble those listed. For future Supreme Court decisions, though, there may be some room. Notably absent from Scalia's list of permitted infringements is the Lautenberg domestic-violence prohibition -- and the court is hearing a case next term on exactly that. Interesting. Also missing is any reference to an assault weapons ban.
3. The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. The District's total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of "arms" that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights, this prohibition -- in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self, family, and property is most acute -- would fail constitutional muster. Similarly, the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. C. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously, the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights, the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.And this is the most disappointing part, even though it's the part that affirms the lower court and delivers us the actual win. The court avoids setting a standard of review for firearms laws. It explicitly validates licensing and registration requirements for simple possession. The only bright spot is that it does so because Heller conceded those points in his argument -- later challenges to licensing and registration laws could conceivably have a different outcome.
The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.And we seem to still have a Republic, too. I'll be reading the decision today and posting any details that seem relevant over the next few days. It's 157 pages.
What could that mean for the decision in Heller? As I'll explain, I think a Scalia-authored opinion would be great news for those who are mainly concerned with the Second Amendment as a limit on federal gun control, but somewhat ambiguous news -- at least in the short term -- for those who hope for the incorporation of the Second Amendment as a check on state and municipal governments.Read the whole thing.
What they conveniently forget to mention is that a large percentage of the traced guns have nothing whatsoever to do with criminal activity, but they are given the label "crime gun" nevertheless, because of a BATFE database requirement that all traced firearms must first be given a descriptive code before they can be entered into the system, and the only available codes happen to carry the designation "crime" in their name, regardless of whether the traced firearms were actually involved in crime.I'll keep that in mind the next time someone is ranting about BATFE trace data on "crime guns". I already knew about this particular tactic for demonizing traced guns, but I didn't know the specific details that explain the designation. Sometimes, knowing a detail like that can be more convincing than the bald assertion of fact alone.
Have you ever been shot, or shot at, with a firearm? If so, provide details :Of course, the answers as reported do not preclude criminals shooting at criminals. In fact, all but one of the reported responses were cases that could easily be characterized as criminal-on-criminal activity -- the responses quoted had a definite tendency to initiate or escalate a confrontation, even while some could reasonably be considered defensive. There's really no way to characterize most of the responses as being solidly self-defense or solidly criminal, it's all in the context that's missing from the responses.
Thirty-one inmates answered "Yes," and only three of them said the shots had been fired by law enforcement officers.
But some students did seem to back some gun control measures, with 42 of the 50 in favor of licensing (for any and all guns), waiting periods and pre-purchase mental competency tests.So, criminals want to institute strict gun controls, yet obviously they have had no difficulty obtaining their own guns despite the mere possession of a firearm being a felony for probably everyone who participated. (The odds are that everyone surveyed was either a prior felon or addicted to drugs, given the rough details we have about the participants in the survey -- currently incarcerated, 84% for drug crimes).
Thank you for your inquiry and request, but because my surveying will continue (following the Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller), and because of Dept. of Correction protocols and policies, and because of a book prospect, I must decline.I will leave the reader to judge whether that's a reasonable response or not. While, obviously, he would be in something of a bind if the data he used has conditions attached to it, I'm not sure I buy that; how would any research on questions like this be peer-reviewed if the data cannot be shared due to a firm policy? I wouldn't mind waiting until after Heller v DC to get a complete dataset, but if that's holding him up, why publish articles about it in the newspaper?
As any gun enthusiast knows, the Assault Weapons Ban has nothing to do with fully-automatic weapons. That's exactly the confusion that the Violence Policy Center knowingly created and spread to encourage public support. They guessed that the public would see a weapon that looked like a fully-automatic weapon, assume it actually was such a weapon, and support banning it. Never mind the facts.
For years, marksmen have used a technique called bump firing: shooting a semiautomatic rifle from the hip and allowing the weapon's recoil to pull the trigger.
With the assault-weapons ban keeping most fully automatic weapons out of their hands, it was one of the few ways for enthusiasts to enjoy the thrill of firing a machine gun.
That was until the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives banned the Accelerator - two years after approving it - forcing Akins to the brink of bankruptcy.Good luck to Mr Akins.
He has filed a pair of lawsuits against the ATF - in U.S. District Court in Tampa and in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington - challenging the agency's ruling and asking to be compensated for more than $1 million in financial losses.
It does look exceptionally likely that Justice Scalia is writing the principal opinion for the Court in Heller ? the D.C. guns case. That is the only opinion remaining from the sitting and he is the only member of the Court not to have written a majority opinion from the sitting. There is no indication that he lost a majority from March. His only dissent from the sitting is for two Justices in Indiana v. Edwards. So, that?s a good sign for advocates of a strong individual rights conception of the Second Amendment and a bad sign for D.C.Their reasoning makes sense to me, but of course it's still reading tea leaves until the decision is announced.
As Mayor David Miller and provincial leaders urge Ottawa to outlaw handguns, Americans are waiting to see if the United States Supreme Court will shoot down one of that country's strictest gun control laws.Reading that makes me wonder if there's really a risk of this author's readership believing that a US Supreme Court ruling would have any force in Canada?
Whatever the U. S. Supreme Court decides, legal academics north of the border say the ruling is unlikely to have much of an impact on Canada's legal landscape because our Constitution is so different, even through politicians in both countries are struggling over gun violence.I guess there IS that risk. The article's not bad otherwise and surprisingly balanced. I just did a double-take every time the author had to explain why it really wouldn't matter to Canadians what the US Supreme Court rules in the case.
Here's a picture of Joe at Boomershoot trying to set off the fireball to start the festivities.
Believe it or not, that's supposedly a fizzle compared to what was supposed to happen.
Fizzle or not, it sure produced a lot of smoke. Smoke in general was a pretty common result of the activities... did I mention there was a bit of wind?
I've finally gotten the boomershoot pictures extracted from the camera used to take them, so I'll be posting the pictures I took during the event over the next few days. Here's a preview... these two pictures were taken on the drive up to the boomershoot site from where my plane landed. Yes, there was some forewarning that there would be snow, despite the whole April thing.
Victory is imminent; we expect a 9-0 decision in favor of D.C. Paul Helmke may pay lip service to the possibility of losing the case, but, in reality, he is quite confident of the outcome. Our forces are metaphorically preparing to cross the Rubicon and smash the NRA."Metaphorically" prepared? It better be a metaphor, seeing as actual preparation to "cross the Rubicon" with "forces" to "smash the NRA" would involve... guns. Which I think the NRA has more of.