The Paranoid Center
Under the 1958 federal Switchblade Act, switchblade knives are not importable into the United States, and may not be shipped across state lines. On May 21, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) proposed the revocation of four previous Ruling Letters; the effect would be a drastic expansion of the definition of non-importable knives. The organization KnifeRights warns that revocations would outlaw approximately 80 percent of the current market in knives.The 2nd Amendment doesn't say firearms... it just says arms. To me, that means knives are included. So far we have been lucky in that attempts at regulation have mostly been aimed at firearms, but if this rule change slips through the back door, that will no longer be true.
Opponents of concealed carry say there are relatively few students who are behind the movement. "What we're hearing is that they do not want guns on campus," said Chad Ramsey, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, a gun control advocate in Washington. "There is a smattering of Second Amendment activists out there. But I don't think there is a major grassroots effort among students -- I think most students have been advocating the other side of the fence."Yes, that's a Brady Campaign spokesman referring to gun rights advocates as "Second Amendment activists" rather than "NRA shills" or "gun nuts" or "right-wing extremists."
The day after Petitioners filed their complaint, the National Rifle Association (?NRA?) and various individuals brought a separate challenge to the Chicago handgun ban, albeit not to the other provisions challenged by Petitioners. NRA also led a lawsuit challenging a similar handgun ban implemented by the Village of Oak Park, Illinois. It does not appear that the challenged provisions had been enforced against the NRA plaintiffs. This case, and the two NRA cases, were related in the District Court.Normally, I'm all in favor of what the NRA does on the political side. They are a powerful force in politics. However, Gura's legal work seems much more thorough and carefully thought out, at least with regard to picking plaintiffs. I don't know why that is -- other than it's obviously very difficult to convince people to put themselves in legal jeopardy or draw official attention to challenge laws with significant criminal penalties.
It wasn't surprising, considering the panel's comments at oral argument. Of course this decision is completely wrong. The Seventh Circuit should have conducted a modern selective incorporation analysis and held the Second Amendment incorporated. The dicta suggesting that the right to self-defense may be abrogated by statute, and that the exercise of fundamental individual rights can be curtailed at the state level as a nod to federalism, is particularly troubling.I basically second all of that. This was an awful ruling, particularly where it suggests that the state could abrogate entirely the right of self-defense. Yes, it's true that the basic decision (holding that the 7th Circuit is bound by ancient Supreme Court precedent, willingly or not) is not entirely unreasonable; nonetheless, insofar as the ruling does say something of its own, what it says is horrifying.
"We're doing this just like we were having a church picnic," said Pastor Ken Pagano of New Bethel Church, describing what he calls, an "open carry celebration."It's an interesting way to promote awareness of the "gun culture" among those who may not realize that it exists. When I went to Boomershoot this year, I took along a new shooter with me -- someone who had shot before, occasionally, but not in a long time and not for fun. One of the things they expressed to me about the process of getting a rifle set up for Boomershoot was that, once you started talking about guns, it was as if everyone around you suddenly clicked a box in their head that said "It's ok to talk about guns around this person", and suddenly there are a lot of people showing interest.
"We believe in the right to bear arms and we're promoting responsible gun ownership and safety with gun handling," he said. "You can bring your firearm, but it has to be unloaded and in a safe secure receptacle."
The Senate's surveillance camera proposal promises taxpayer funds to the same private companies that operate photo radar and red light camera systems threatened by the House bill. License plate readers use the same basic technology as automated ticketing machines. Instead of tracking, for example, only those who exceed a certain speed threshold, the plate readers will store a video image of the front passenger compartment and rear license plate of every single passing vehicle. Optical character recognition software identifies the registered vehicle owner and allows for easy indexing of the time and location of travel for each person identified using the highway.No longer are your personal travels private without the police dedicating a 24-hour surveillance team. Soon, where you've been and when you were there can be found with a simple database query.
Indeed, in virtually all cases where someone tries to link support for the rights of gun ownership to unlawful behavior, the facts paint a much different picture. The truth is, the vast majority of gun crimes are committed with guns that were obtained illegally. While the issues are often lightning rods for attack, fewer than 2 percent of all gun crimes involve guns purchased at gun shows, and concealed-carry permit holders commit so few crimes that the statistics can't even be tracked. When faced with these facts, anti-gun enthusiasts are left with only one option: attack on personal and/or cultural grounds. This is why we've become inundated with stories and depictions of gun nuts and violent extremists. Apparently, opponents of the right to bear arms believe that, if they can paint all supporters of gun rights with the same big brush, they don't have to come up with any real arguments.I was reading an anti-gun editorial just before I read Orrin's piece. Here are some selected quotes from the other article:
deep-pocketed influence peddling with political campaigns... people can see if their daycare worker or dentist is armed... "The NRA is asking gunmen to refrain from mass shootings while key gun bills are before legislators," says a newscaster in a recent editorial cartoon... the NRA realized its wet dream last year... recoiled at its paranoid secessionist/military weapon wing...The only argument the anti-gun side has left is cultural bigotry and guilt by association. They want to blame gun rights supporters for criminals who use guns illegally, and ignore the fact that every day, millions of gun owners did not use their guns to hurt anyone. In fact, if you believe the National Crime Victimization Survey, approximate 220 people use a firearm to defend themselves each day. (That's the low-end estimate, by the way).