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March 19, 2008

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Our Supreme Moment

This week the Supreme decides whether we can have guns or not. For the first time since 1934, the Highest Court is going to rule on whether Article II of the Bill of Rights allows individuals to keep and bear arms, or whether only well-regulated militias can keep and bear them, or whether only Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) can keep and bear them.

The case itself is a challenge to Washington D.C.'s draconian gun control law, which can best be described as a raging failure. Congresspersons, high-level government functionaries, Supreme Court Justices, and ranking media figures do not get held up or murdered an awful lot. Ordinary people in D.C., however, have good reason to fear.

The D.C. law is being challenged as unconstitutional. If the Supremes find it so, we are told, we can all rush out and buy MP-5s. If they find for the District of Columbia, we are warned that assorted jackbooted thugs will immediately begin kicking in doors, frightening old people into heart attacks, stomping on kittens and puppies, and taking every gun they can lay their hands on, legal or not.

Except, that we are talking about THE LAW here, and nothing about THE LAW is ever clear, simple, and unambiguous. However it finds, the Supreme Court will then have to delineate some kind of guidelines on how far the individual's right extends, and on how far the government may go in enforcing controls on guns. This is where the real nut-cutting will take place.

If our side wins (whatever a "win" is), that does not mean we can assume that the long nightmare is over. Sarah Brady, et al, will never quit and never go away.

But if the DC law prevails, I would not rush out in the dark of night to bury my firearms. The Feds have equipment that can overfly a chunk of real estate and find a hairpin buried 50 feet deep. Or so I am told.

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Comments

B. Cameron

Dave, I've been doing a lot of digging into this mess over the past few days.

Here's my latest tidbit:

I did some more digging into the Militia Act of 1792 and so forth.

It was replaced by the "Dick Act" of 1903, which established the National Guard and defined, in 10 US Code A:I:13:§311 what the militia is.


(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.
(b) The classes of the militia are—
(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

Now, you may make the argument that the unorganized militia no longer exists because we no longer have a draft. Then riddle me this: Why do we still have Selective Service??

Answer: the Selective Service is in place in order to effect a draft if the need arises. By saying that a draft is still possible, albeit unlikely, according to the Dick Act, ALL able-bodied males between 17 and 45 are members of the national militia.

Referring back to the Militia Act of 1792, all members of the militia were *required* to purchase at least one rifle or musket, and accoutrements. There is/was no clause for surrendering an arm at the end of service.

My take on this, therefore, is that all males over the age of 17 have the right to keep and bear arms... and since women are obviously serving in combat roles, they can damn well register with Selective Service (OT: there is a male/female checkbox on the SSS registration form!), and therefore they also have the right to keep and bear arms.

I'm not a lawyer. Fine. Any thoughts from lawyers out there?

Chuck in Kansas

I believe when today's regulated milita assemble they do not bring their hunting rifles, etc., but are issued firearms provided by the various services. Significantly different than in 1776. Remember a totally different tax structure and Defense Budget! As for taking up arms to deal with the existing politians, I believe that is defined as rebellion (ie.Shay's, etc). The forefathers did provide for a way for citizens to deal with overthrowing the current establishment. It is called a constitutional convention. In itself a scary process!
Glad to see comments are more middle of the road. Nice dialogue.

B. Cameron

Chuck: I'll quote you, "As for taking up arms to deal with the existing politians, I believe that is defined as rebellion[.]"

And answer with a quote of my own,
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government[.]" (Declaration of Independence)

chuck

this case highlights the importance of having a president that will appoint reasonable justices to the supreme court. can you imagine the decision the court would make if it was stacked with nominees appointed by hillary or obama? the decision could easily be different based on one or two different justices. think about that come november.

Clay Cooper

Eyeball
Have you ever worked with law enforcement with several states and understand the mechanics of dispatching? I have and man you just proved my case and point!

Clay Cooper

Walt Smith
Back in 91 at 29 Palms Marine I was at shooting an Service Rifle High Power Match, all the Marines knew that Slick Willy during his tour of the oral office, asked a Marine General if he would support such a door to door search as you described.

eyeball

If you call the cops and tell them your life is in peril, they will dispatch a unit.

BS!

sarg

In my openion, the 2ndAdm. was instilled to protect the people from the gov. not so much as each other, that is just a by-product of such an act... as the colonists came out from under the British rule they inacted the 2nd. adm. to prevent this from recurring.

Michael

Do you suppose the illegal immigrant criminals (which this country is being overrun with thanks to idiotic govt. decisions)dope dealers, rap artists, etc. will be the first to turn their guns in? I think not.

Michael

Any law enforcement officer worth his badge (and a modicum of honesty) will tell you the only people at the scene of a crime are the perpetrators and the victims. The law arrives after the fact. In the small rural town I live in, 3 assaults and robberies of elderly women have occurred in a two week period. The perps were caught, (all illegal immigrants) & they will post bond and be back on the street. Does this help the victim who was beaten, robbed, and raped? Or the one who has a fractured skull? If the govt. allows the country to be flooded with illegals, most of whom engage in criminal activites, and takes away the right to defend ourselves, then we will lose all other rights under the Constitution. By the way, what the hell does the INS do to earn their paychecks?

Chev Jim

As regards the law defining the militia: "(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and . . . under 45 years of age . . . ," etc., etc., here's something the Supremes need to remember--when the fertilizer hits the fan, as in a terrorist nuclear attack on US soil, the "militia" is going to return to prominence with a vengeance. What's more, we'll take 15- and 16-year-olds, and people in their 80s and 90s. The militia, in effect, will be EVERYBODY who is not an "enemy," foreign or domestic. The "militia" will be used to restore and keep order, and believe me, there's going to be a LOT of disorder to quell. When four or five major US cities go up in a mushroom cloud, there will be looting and vigilantes looking for anyone who even remotely resembles an Arab or Muslim. If you think Katrina was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. In case you're wondering where the weapons will come from, just think about this: 90 percent of Pakistan's nuclear scientists are sympathetic to al Qaida.

Mark-1

Chev Jim:

Don't forget the old Soviet Republics. They got warheads. Need Cash.

Also, US Gov't is a macroism of the Town Meeting. All the tools are there. ...Just gotta pick them up.

Put a bunch of Americans on a deserted island and within an hour there will be ten committees.

Mark-(A)

I suppose Gov't won't be happy until the headlines read: "Dozens hacked to death by machette wielding thugs". Like in African and third world countries. I thought Gov't's sophisticated reasoning and democratic values were supposed to separate us from the rest. Instead, it's a race to the bottom. It's all about $$$$$$$$$ and votes. i.e. putting the wolf on trial. Third world, here we come!

jack

The military advertises an "Army of One" to promote enlistment.

Should the SCOTUS rule unfavorably on the Heller/DC case, then I propose the formation of a "Militia of One".

I already consider myself well regulated. Seems there are no other conditions...

crm3006

I do not depend on 911 for my personal safety, however, I do put a lot of trust in 1911.

Zermoid

Well if the 2nd amendment is held as an individual right and the DC gun ban is struck down as un-Constitutional wouldn't it follow that you should have the right to bear arms in Federal Buildings as well?
Shouldn't a decision that the second amendment is a individual right also strike down ALL Gun Laws?
As it says "shall not be infringed" not may be reasonably regulated?
This is really big and I hope to God it goes our way, if for any reason the Court decides against our individual right to bear arms we are doomed, as individuals and as a nation.
Pray to your God that this goes our way folks.

shootreadyaim

A couple of things:

1)Congress can, and has in the past stepped in and made decisions with it's DC Control Board to overrule bad decisions by the DC gov't. This was done when Marion Barry was mayor, and widespread corruption was the rule (I can tell you many first-hand accounts of this).
But they probably won't get involved if DC trys the "chessgame" approach to gun control.

2)It's easy to go shooting near DC and absentmindedly drive across the District Line with your guns in the trunk, I know this, don't ask how. There is no sign telling you "2A is suspended beyond this point" I don't know if anyone ever got in trouble for this type of mistake though.

3)The antiDCgun argument that "they're shooting in the streets now, just imagine if we legalize gun ownership" peaves me most of all. It always leaves out that these conditions were created under the gun prohibition now in place.

4) I went out and bought an SKS to add to my collection. It's not my favorite rifle, but I fear they may not be available or at least as cheap, a year or so from now.

WA Mtnhunter

Response to 3) above:

"they're shooting in the streets now, just imagine if we legalize gun ownership"

Well, I tell you if there is an armed law-abiding citizenry in close proximity to the thugs doing the shooting, there won't be as many repeat offenders.

WA Mtnhunter

crm3006

I hear you. That old Model 28 wheelgun will get 'er done, too.

In God we trust, for all others we rely on Smith & Wesson.

shootreadyaim

"Can you imagine the look on the faces of the workers of a goverment agency if told they had to go door to door and disarm the people of the united states of their firearms??"
-------------

Can you imagine what their faces would look like after they tried?

But there are much more insidious ways to disarm folks than knocking on every gunowner's door:
Ban gun sales, require a prohibitively expensive tax stamp, make a speeding or parking ticket a felony, charge a prohibitive amount for ammo, take our cleaning rods and patches away while selling only corrosive primered rounds("death of a thousand pits") etc.
There is a way to get around every rule, and also to deny every right.
Kind of makes me worried about when the terrorists hack into the predator drones' computers, and turn our entire automated air force against us - yes, I said when, not if. Can't do that with real pilots.

Thomas

Instead of strewing hair pins all over the place. I would hide it in plain sight. Or at least where there is a lot of metal around. Example taped to steel I-beam that holds your house up. Or hide the ammo in a can of pennies. Or if you fish hide the projectiles with the lead sinkers and lead wheel weights for those who cast their own sinkers and cannon balls. Al thou the smell of the propellants is a little hard to disguise from the machines. But not to worry if you live in a state where fireworks aren't illegal. If all else fails resort to making your own firearms and flash powder. On the internet you can find all sorts of informative information. One of the scariest ones I seen was a home made shotgun. And it was not one of the ones that uses a Co2 cartridge. Ah well, to quote Jeff Goldblum from Jurasic Park "Life finds a way." Look at what prisoners in maximum security have done and the weapons they have made.

Tom

Thomas

Dr. Ralph,
Camera's on the light poles are easy to disable. Nothing like a good old rock and a rubber band. My old paperboy used to leave two or three rubber bands from bundling up his papers every day. After they replace the lens on the camera two or three times they stop coming out to repair them if at all. Just approach from in back of the camera or from underneath it pull back take aim and release. It is amazing how much damage a 1 ounce stone can do when launched at 300-500 fps.

Tom

Peter

Personally I think they should let guns on planes... think what would happen next time a terrorist tried to use a razor blade. O Osama...look behind you...BOOM! lol even if he had a gun...same effect.

Peter

This country couldn't enforce a gun ban anyways. India has one in effect. And people still walk around with guns. I know someone there. ( he didn't say he did...he jst said the law didn't work as a whole ) Commom how many people, would really pay attention to a gun ban. they would just buy illegal guns. Then they would buy..a o...lookee here an RPG, Always wanted a 50 cal full auto. . . etc.. I also think that there would be a war on this countries hands. A civil war. And I don't think the military would back it up. Or the cops to be honest. (whistlin Dixie)

Peter

I dont think THe military or cops (for the most part) would back the gun ban that is. Just in case there was confusion as to what I meant.




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