Archive for June, 2008

June 30, 2008

Train with the gun bloggers

Your last day to vote in Para USA’s gun blogger contest. You’re voting to send your favorite gun blogger there and for a chance to win a spot yourself.

And if you vote for Joe, you may get to see Todd Jarrett blow up a car by shooting at it.

DC Unveils Registration Pamphlet

After Heller, comes this.

Highlights received via email:

Official Washington DC firearm registration pamphlet issued
Interesting highlights:

1. Only shotguns*/**, rifles**, and revolvers can be registered.
*Shotguns with a barrel length less than 20″ aren’t legal.
**Any semi-automatic firearm that can fire or could be made/restored to fire more than 12 rounds without being manually reloaded is illegal.

2. NFA and semi-automatic handguns are illegal.

3. You must be 21 or older to register ANY firearm.

4. Anyone found guilty of any prostitution-related offense is disqualified from registering a firearm. (Never heard of this restriction in any other state before..!)

5. Cost is $13 per firearm plus a $35 fingerprinting fee and it can take up to 14 days to get the registration through.


Pass a test?

I’m one to talk but they could have sprung the $$ for a proof reader.

I think that semi-auto handgun thing is going to get DC into more trouble. If It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon, then the fact a semi-auto handgun is the most popular, well, you know.


Must not suffer from a physical defect which would make it unsafe for you to possess and use a firearm safely and responsibly.


More: Safe storage (i.e., useless storage) has gone from required to strongly encouraged.

$48 in fees.

But of course: Hours of operation at inconvenient times for working folks.

14 days is a long time to wait, if someone is trying to kill you.



What’s most striking about Heller is that absolutely everybody — majority and dissents — says the Second Amendment protects an individual right.


It’s true that the dissenters’ view of that right is somewhere between “minimalist” (to be charitable) and “incoherent” (to be accurate).

Unclear on the concept of defeat

Mike has an interesting observation:

Now we are in the Post-Heller United States (feels kind of nice to say that) the “reasonable gun control folk” are offering compromises. Funny thing is, their compromises now are pretty much the same as their compromises then

Update: See.

Gun Porn


Where’s Waldo err the right to arms?

Kopel can’t find the right that Stevens says exists.


GOP Plans to keep guns in spotlight this election.

But let’s remind them that a few gun banners had Rs after their names (ahem, Helmke & Blooberg).

Quote of the day

From the Netherlands of all places:

Gun Control Lost; What Happened

It’s really quite simple: gun control legislation did not reduce violence. Secondly, people started actually reading the text of the second amendment of the United States Constitution. Thirdly, ‘laws allowing concealed weapons proliferated – with no ill effects.’

Via Bane.

Why we win

Heller: on track to be the most widely read Supreme Court opinions by the general public of all-time.

To kill a predator

I’ve been critical of in the past – after all, when they go from reporting news to making it, it can’t be good

It happened. I thought it’d go the other way. See, I thought those idiots at NBC’s To Catch A Predator would one day find themselves in a room with a nutjob who was armed. And carnage would ensue. Instead, they filmed a show and the would be predator decided to introduce his brains to the light of day.

His family sued. NBC settled.

Gun Porn

That’s a lot of AKs

One snuck through

Wow! A piece on Heller at the HuffPo that features no PSH?

Post Heller: a case of teh st00pid

First, an Illinois City manager says if you support gun rights then you supprt gangbangers.

The NYT on Heller comes pre-fisked.

Remember, thinking that police will come confiscate your guns means you’re part of the lunatic fringe (and probably also bitter).

Blaming Heller for a judge advising someone to arm themselves?


Gamo now makes an air shotgun. Sweet.

Rule 2, dammit!

Keep your booger-hook off the bang-switch!

Some Heller Celebration

Joe blows stuff up, namely an appropriately named beer.

Carteach breaks out the Mosin. Nice looking rifle. I should have picked one of those up at the last gun show.

I thought the same thing

These moratoriums on local gun bans are an effort to avoid challenges to them. They should be challenged anyway.

Calm down, you dumb cousin-humping rednecks

That seems to be the gist of the Heller spin for Obama. Articles keep popping up with that theme, like this one:

Did Obama Dodge a Bullet on Gun Control?

What were the candidates’ reactions to yesterday’s landmark decision on gun rights by the Supreme Court? John McCain supported it, and Barack Obama … kind of supported it. There’s a paper trail suggesting Obama was for the D.C. ban, but yesterday he claimed to have “always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms” — while also seeing the need for “common-sense, effective safety measures” to protect “crime-ravaged communities.”

No. He did not. See, he thought that his alleged belief in an individual right to arms was perfectly consistent with banning handguns in DC. He supports and has supported all manner of gun control. This spin that the issue is now off the table is ridiculous on its face to anyone paying attention.

This just in: People like rights

Supreme court viewed more favorably since Heller ruling.

what the Heller?

Dave Kopel looks at Heller and its effect on New York’s gun laws.

June 29, 2008

We are all Hussein now

In the latest move elevating Barack Shamalamadingding Obama to minor deity status, his supporters are taking his middle name. I shit you not:

With her decision, she joined a growing band of supporters of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, who are expressing solidarity with him by informally adopting his middle name.

Really? And I show how dumb the middle name thing is by making fun of it.

Story and middle name via Breda.

June 28, 2008

When life hands you crap, make crap-ade!

Paul Helmke, trying to save his job, writes of Heller:

Because of this Court decision, proposals such as Brady background checks on all gun sales, limiting bulk sales of handguns, restricting access to military-style assault weapons, and strengthening the power of law enforcement to shut down corrupt gun dealers can now be debated on their merits without them being seen as a “first step on the road to gun confiscation.”

Generally, you lose based on the merits too.

And another

Morton Grove suspends gun ban.

June 27, 2008

You ain’t fat. You ain’t nuthin

It’s already working

Holy crap: Wilmette has suspended enforcement of its 19-year-old ordinance banning handgun possession in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that appears to invalidate such bans.

Update: The cynic in me says we’ll see more of this to avoid challenges that lead to incorporation. After all, Brady tried to talk Fenty out of his appeal.

Update: Ouch: Do the Brady’s still want to keep calling this a victory?


I haven’t really said too much on the Heller ruling to this point, in large part because gun rights and gun control aren’t the hot button issue for me that they are for most here (like Uncle). I will say that I think that the right decision was reached here, although I worry about the reasoning used to get there, and I worry even more about the growing tendency of Supreme Court justices — from both wings — to go on historical fishing expeditions to find legal justification for the outcomes they personally prefer. (Really, when was the last time you saw a SCOTUS justice — liberal, conservative, or otherwise — rule that “I hate this outcome, but this is what the law says,” or something along those lines?) On this note, I think Sandy Levinson hits it pretty squarely on the head:

Then there are the “internal” features of the opinions. I confess that I am equally dismayed by the Scalia and Stevens opinions (though, if absolutely forced to choose, I’d go with the Scalia opinion). One of the most remarkable features of Justice Scalia’s majority opinion (joined, of course, by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito) and Justice Stevens’s dissent (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Souter) is the view that the Second Amendment means only what it meant at the time of its proposal and ratification in 1789-91. Justice Scalia, of course, has long been identified with “originalism,” even though some of his critics, both liberal and conservative, note that he has been a most inconsistent one. But Justice Stevens has certainly not embraced originalism. Yet they spend a total of 110 pages debating arcane aspects of the purported original meaning of the Amendment.

If one had any reason to believe that either Scalia or Stevens was a competent historian, then perhaps it would be worth reading the pages they write. But they are not. Both opinions exhibit the worst kind of “law-office history,” in which each side engages in shamelessly (and shamefully) selective readings of the historical record in order to support what one strongly suspects are pre-determined positions. And both Scalia and Stevens treat each other—and, presumably, their colleagues who signed each of the opinions—with basic contempt, unable to accept the proposition, second nature to professional historians, that the historical record is complicated and, indeed, often contradictory. Justice Stevens, for example, writes that anyone who reads the text of the Second Amendment and its history, plus a murky 1939 decision of the Court, will find “a clear answer” to the question of whether the Second Amendment supports a “right to possess and use guns for nonmilitary purposes.” This is simply foolish. Justice Stevens pays no real attention to a plethora of first-rate historical work written over the past decade that challenges this kind of foolish self-confidence, as is true also of Justice Scalia. There is no serious discussion, for example, of Saul Cornell’s fine book A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control, but many other examples could be offered, from various sides of the ideological spectrum.

Both Scalia and Stevens manifest what is worst about Supreme Court rhetoric, which is precisely the tone of sublime confidence when addressing even the most complex of issues. The late Victoria Geng once wrote a marvelous parody of Supreme Court decisions in which, among other things, the Court announced that “nature is more important than nurture.” We wouldn’t take such a declaration seriously. It is not clear why we should take much more seriously the kinds of over-confident declarations as to historical meaning that both Scalia and Stevens indulge in.

What is especially ironic is that the strongest support for Scalia’s position comes from acknowledging that the Second Amendment, like the rest of the Bill of Rights, has been “dynamically” interpreted and has taken on some quite different meanings from those it originally had. Whatever might have been the case in 1787 with regard the linkage of guns to service in militias—and the historical record is far more mixed on this point than either Scalia or Stevens is willing to acknowledge—there can be almost no doubt that by the mid-19th century, an individual right to bear arms was widely accepted as a basic attribute of American citizenship. One of the reasons that the Court in Dred Scott denied that blacks could be citizens was precisely that Chief Justice Taney recognized that citizens could carry guns, and it was basically unthinkable that blacks could do so. Thus, in effect, they could not be citizens. Charles Sumner, who, unlike Taney is quoted by Scalia, strongly endorsed the rights of anti-slavery settlers in Kansas to have guns to protect themselves against their pro-slavery opponents. If one reads only Scalia and Stevens, one would believe that there is no dynamism to the Constitution, which is both stupid as a theory of interpretation and, more to the point, completely misleading as a way of understanding the American constitutional tradition.

With an E

So, everyone is posting their ATF celebration photos on the internets after Heller. Here’s mine:

Note that I have an E. The powdered sugar isn’t just for mint juleps, ya know. I was out of coffee creamer. I can’t decide on the bourbon or scotch. However, the cigar for the evening will be a Rocky Patel.

Update: for those wondering, it was bourbon.

NRA Suits

Suits filed in San Fran with SAF and Calif State Rifle and Pistol; then in Chicago, Morton Grove, Oak Park and Evanston, IL.

Update: Presser here.

Holy Crap

American Manifesto notes that Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Ownership said:

Right to carry states are 48 of the 50 states right now…If there are clear restrictions on people [felons and the mentally ill] and to make sure that they know what they’re doing with the gun, that they pass the background checks, that the local police have signed off on it, that’s something that doesn’t cause that many problems

Note, even when he quotes our statistics, he gets them wrong. But still. How’d I miss that?

Anti-gunners change the language

Post Heller: banning becomes regulating.