The Gun Control Hoax: Perverting The Meaning Of The Second Amendment

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Is anyone else tired of navel-gazing pieces on firearms written by people who know nothing about them? If you’re not, you’re in luck! Slate added another to the trash heap:

Sunday night, when my son asked me why we shoot each other dead almost every day in America, I got to tell him that it’s because we are “free.” We are free to get a .223 caliber AR-15–style semi-automatic rifle and a 9mm handgun. And we are free to sell those weapons to someone who might shoot and kill 49 people in a nightclub because of whom they choose to love. We are free to arm ourselves against any potentially tyrannical federal government and also free to watch our children bleed to death in our schools, and churches, and clubs.

Lady, if you’re teaching your kid that he’s “free” to sell guns to prohibited possessors or murder people in a nightclub, you’re parenting wrong.

Lithwick also sloppily misinterprets Scalia. Read here, my emphasis:

Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose… For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues… Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should 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.

We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.”… We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”


It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment ’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right.

The firearms that anti-Second Amendment advocates talk of banning (and justify doing so by either ignorantly or purposefully butchering Heller) are all common use. See Scalia’s discussion of colonial-era affrighting:

“What limitations upon the right to bear arms are permissible? Some undoubtedly are, because there were some that were acknowledged at the time. For example, there was a tort called affrighting, which if you carried around a really horrible weapon just to scare people, like a head ax or something, that was I believe a misdemeanor. So yes, there are some limitations that can be imposed.”—Justice Antonin Scalia

Affrighting is inapplicable to the commonly-held firearms gun control advocates today want to ban, thus a ridiculously illogical claim. Brandishing suggests intimidation, a felony in most states, and that’s applicable to common-use firearms.

And yes, they actually are coming for our guns. I discussed in depth here how the admin wants to create a registry by making every gun owner a de facto FFL.

Gun control advocates, not “the NRA” are the ones zealously perverting the meaning of the Second Amendment.



Thursday: Dueling Speeches, #Caring

On deck today: Romney and Obama face off in Ohio with two very different speeches on the economy. We’ll also talk Mayor Bloomberg’s interest in milk and popcorn; J Christian Adams joins me to talk the DOJ’s attack on Florida and voter integrity. Kurt Schlichter joins to talk his new book: I Am a Conservative: Uncensored, Undiluted and Absolutely Un-PC.

Happy Birthday, US Army

Today marks two important occasions: the birthdate of the United States Army and Flag Day.

From the Miami Herald:

There will be no fireworks and no time off from work. In fact, there may not be any celebration at all. But the calendar shows that Thursday is the designated holiday to honor the stars and stripes: Flag Day.

Officially recognized for nearly a century — President Woodrow Wilson first established June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 — but long overlooked in terms of significance to most Americans, Flag Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. flag in 1777.

Bill James, manager of the American Legion post in Palmetto Bay, said he believes the holiday provides an opportunity to honor the nation’s most recognizable symbol.

“The flag is a symbol of our country and our history,” said James, 67, a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam.

“It’s what soldiers die for — protecting the country, the owner of our flag. It’s to be respected, cared for and honored. The flag is a symbol of who we are.”

Indeed. One part of our nation’s brave military force protecting this symbol is the US Army. Happy birthday, soldiers.

Guess Who Gets To Go Through Airport Security Again Tomorrow?

This girl! (Backstory)

I plan on asking every cab driver in whose cab I ride whether they did any of these things in the backseat:

– Changed a diaper
– Used hand lotion/body cream/anti-fungal cream
– Sat in the back after playing golf
– Got mud in their floorboards
– Ate bacon/hot dog/cured meat
Drank water

See, “nitrates” in all these things will trigger the TSA’s Official Terrorist Alarm whilst I undergo their security screening and I don’t want to be held responsible for some terrorist cab driver’s water-swilling, hand-lotioning ways. I once accidentally took a bullet in my carry-on for a cross-country trip but look out, hand lotion.

This guy got a finger wagging from the TSA for showing the insipid weakness of their Backscatter machines. I thought the machines were perfect? To hear the TSA explain it, they don’t douse your body with a questionable amount of radiation, they pelt your body with cupcakes and sugar. Who doesn’t love cupcakes and sugar? Terrorists, that’s who. I kid you not, in Dallas I had a TSA agent shout at me that “radio waves aren’t radiation.”

Scientists spoke out against the Backscatters, but luckily the CEO knows the President well enough to fly around with him. I’m sure that helps in bypassing pesky health certifications.

“But, but you’re already exposed to radiation while flying!” Well then by all means, SIGN ME UP FOR MORE. Why stop at body scanners? Do you have any uranium I can handle?

I forgot to tell you the reason for the fun: I’m headed to Las Vegas to speak at Right Online. I’m looking forward to the event and it will mark the second time I’ve heard Sarah Palin speak in person.

The Missouri GOP Primary Senatorial Debate

Last night I was on the question panel for the Missouri GOP Primary Senatorial Debate between Congressman Todd Akin, John Brunner, and Sarah Steelman. It’s a hotly contested primary for what will become a brutal general election against Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill. You can watch a re-webcast of the debate here.

Questions from the panel seemed to focus most on Obamacare; some of mine in particular focused on foreign policy and border issues, such as Fast and Furious.

I asked the candidates what the United States’s response should be to the uprising and massacres in Syria; both Akin and Brunner wanted to keep out of Syrian affairs whereas Steelman seemed to suggest military action. Akin quoted the Founders; Brunner employed his military background and explained that any military action must involve a clear vision of victory as well as well-defined objectives to minimize the term of engagement and amount of resources.

On Fast and Furious — arguably the biggest scandal of the Obama administration — I asked the candidates whether they would have supported this program under a Republican president (it began as a gun walking program under Bush and was expanded and its oversight eroded under Obama) and what they would do to bring justice to the families of the slain border agents in the tragedy. All three echoed that they would push to bring Holder up on charges; Akin declared he would push for Holder to take the stand, highlighting the fissure between Boehner and others in the House and giving more weight to claims that Boehner is the obstacle to getting Holder on the stand. Brunner said he would not have supported any such program under any president regardless the party affiliation, as did Steelman.

I asked the candidates about the Politico piece which reported that certain members of the House GOP were planning their move after the Supreme Court ruled on the health care law. Depending on whether the high court was to throw out the law in total or partial, some GOP members were considering leaving in place “popular and consumer friendly” portions of the law. I asked the candidates, if presented with this legislation in the Senate, would they stand with grassroots and the majority of Americans who opposed this law when it was forced upon us or would they stand with House and/or Senate leadership? All three said the entire law must go, no exceptions. I noted to a colleague afterwards that it was a slightly different answer than I expected from Rep. Akin, who I asked on my show about the Politico piece they day it ran. He was cautious with his answer then and said that there may be certain pieces that some might consider keeping. I was glad to hear his resounding “no” last night.

Photo by Robert Brenner

Having been part of a number of presidential debates, I used the same judgment evaluating this debate as I have those: ignoring the candidates’s records or any past statements and specifically judging them on their answers and delivery at the debate. The ability to articulate conservatism well is supremely important in our sound bite era. It’s a reason why Chris Christie is so popular: he’s a moderate east coast Republican who, if running in the southern states, would be eaten alive with his record on energy, but his ability to speak to what angers us about government (coupled with New Jersey reforms) has helped propel him to the national stage.

I thought Todd Akin won last night’s debate based on his answers and delivery, with John Brunner second and Sarah Steelman third. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Akin aggressive. It’s one of the complaints I hear about him most often, that lack of fire in the belly needed to carry one through November. Steelman got the most jabs in, mostly directed at Akin, and at one point from my vantage onstage, Brunner looked visibly agitated at Steelman’s answer and no doubt wished he had longer than a 30 seconds for a response.

I’ll be playing soundbites from the debate on today’s show, beginning 12 central. Akin was scheduled for today’s show not to discuss the campaign or debate, but because he’s one of the major players in bringing the possibility of contempt charges against Eric Holder next week, a story which broke yesterday.