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The 2nd Amendment: A Primer

Ignorance, willful or not, for a contextual understanding of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution and the governing principles of our constitutional republic, will be relieved by this examination. This essay is a response to the understandable hysteria of those who want to use the horrific and wanton slaughter of women and children by a mentally deranged man in Newtown, Connecticut, to end private ownership of all semi-automatic firearms. This examination will attempt to provide a constitutional grounding for all solutions that government, in its want to prevent further such acts of terror and murder, will propose in the coming days and weeks.

An unpopular position that I take with trepidation, yet I believe must be put in print so that we may have a properly grounded, civil discussion. First, I will address some arguments put forth by some Talkabout bloggers who believe: that the “world has changed, technology has changed, and what secures freedom has changed”; that the United States is a “liberal democracy”; and that the 2nd Amendment is “famously unclear, [a] failure, and a logical oddity ”. Second, I will address some issues that must be thoroughly explored - prior to my support for legislation aimed at prevention - which are also being given short shrift by the national media. Third, I will demonstrate that a vigorous and jealous defense of the 2nd Amendment is as crucial as to the liberty we enjoy as Americans; as is the vigorous and defense of free speech, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and the rights of property. Let’s get to it, shall we?

A description of democracy - of which we are not, yet are on the fast track to become – that I am particularly fond of which accentuates its failings:

“A government of the majority. Authority derived through mass meeting or any form of direct expression. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequence. Attitude towards property is socialistic. Results in mobocracy, negation of property rights, demagoguism, license, agitation, and discontent.”

A fine example of the ‘rule of man’ that we can put up against the ‘rule of law’, whereby the minority and majority have equal Rights under a government in a constitutional republic.

John Adams, 1763:

“Unbridled passions produce the same effects, whether in a king, nobility, or a mob. The experience of mankind has proved the prevalence of a disposition to use power wantonly. It is therefore as necessary to defend an individual against the majority [as in democracy], as against the king in a monarchy.”

For those who believe that antiquity of principles has no basis in “[today’s] changing world”, or that “technology” has improved the insidious nature of usurpation, or that human nature has been magically transformed by the 21st century; some more John Adams on the guarantee of pre-existing Rights:

“Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would.”

From there we can look to Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist #28, as one example, for the purpose of the 2nd Amendment and reinforcement of the individual right to bear arms:

“…if the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then not recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense….[the] people, without exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!”

Tomorrow, we will show that a reliance upon syntax and punctuation for the grounds of an argument that the 2nd Amendment is “famously unclear, [a] failure, and a logical oddity”; is one that fails to review period dictionary’s and thousands of pages of historical writings.

As we close for the evening, ponder this little diddy:

In a democracy, might makes right. In a republic, right makes might. In a democracy, the law restricts the people. In a republic, the law restricts the government.

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Comments

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

The NRA's (JD the Federalist) interpretation of the Second Amendment....

"one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word 'fraud', on the American public."

Former Chief Justice Burger

a collective militia for the common defense of our country. Zero to do with the rights of individuals.

In Sanity

Frank J


Agreed. Insanity. And quite selfish. JD has quite the history on talkabout of staunchly protecting himself while ignoring what is right for others. I guess much of that is more or less just ideology.


Thanks for the refreshing post, JD.


The Federalist papers and the Constitution were written over 200 years ago when times were different and the technologies that dominate the world today had not yet been developed. Guns could not produce rapidly repeated fire, bullets rarely killed on impact. Death soliloquies were not just theatrical conventions they were commonplace realities. Alexander Hamilton did not die instantly from his gunshot wound delivered by Aaron Burr; his death took hours with painful goodbyes and surely regrets.

It is possible to thoughtfully admire the founding fathers without blindly accepting every argument they put forth without question or reference to the circumstances of their daily lives. These men had an uncommon knowledge of history and a great deal of skill in practical politics and we certainly owe our federal democratic republican form of government to them.

The core value of our unique variant of democracy that protecting minority rights must be balanced with the will of the majority is the basis for our unique rule of law. We are not the first nation to ponder this paradox, the British have been grappling with it for much longer than we have, but we arrived at a more ideal, more perfect compromise and practice of democracy before they did. Our form of a rule of law within a democratic government is the model for the world today.

The founders also recognized that their view of these issues was tainted by the times in which they lived; that is why they insisted that the Constitution be amendable. Time’s change and our circumstances with them. It is now time to amend the Constitution and replace the 2nd Amendment with something more suitable to current times. Slavery is no longer permitted in America, women have the right to vote, and the Federal government has the right to impose an income tax on all of us. None of these liberty effecting rules of law were in the original Constitution.

Boris Yeltsin blocking the progress of a tank by merely standing in its way is ample proof that times have changed. What protects liberty today is not guns in the hands of patriots. Yeltsin’s view of freedom, although it certainly gained a great deal of freedom for people who had been denied it, was far from perfect or ideal. That complaint can be made against John Adams who signed the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 or Thomas Jefferson who opposed it and signed its repeal. Any student of history will find that although Jefferson and Madison strongly opposed these restrictions on liberty, Jefferson nonetheless after pardoning those prosecuted under these Acts by the Federalists turned right around and used them against his own political enemies.

Thoughtfully admiring the founders does not require us to be blind to or uncritical of their many failings and sins against personal liberty. They were far from perfect men.

The revolutions in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and now Syria were not enabled by anything even remotely similar to our 2nd Amendment. India did not have to battle the British to become free of British dominance. Information not guns protects liberty in the world today. An informed citizenry will not tolerate injustice or needless threats to real personal liberty that is why we are now finally reexamining the 2nd Amendment and its relevance to life and liberty today.

A citizenry demanding liberty today does not require a constitutional guarantee of access to guns. The failure to recognize this fact is a central issue that we should debate. Technology has changed the world and now we must change our ideas regarding how to secure freedom in the modern age. Invasions of personal privacy are a greater threat to liberty today than restricted access to guns. Gun violence has become a threat to all of us in terms of everyday safety and the guarantee to live our lives without the threat of random lethal violence by someone we know or by a mentally ill stranger.

Gun violence in America is at epidemic levels. Every week in America more than 500 people die from gunshots and thousands are wounded. We have more gun-enabled massacres perpetrated by mentally ill individuals than the rest of the world combined. No other industrial nation is experiencing this carnage and waste of human life because they all restrict access to handguns and rifles. We need to do the same.

Now is the time to recognize that the 2nd Amendment has outlived its usefulness. The world has changed. The US is on the wrong side of history by having allowed our culture to become the most gun-violent nation in the information age.


The US is on the wrong side of history by having allowed our culture to become the most gun-violent nation in the information age.

We not the most gun violent nation. Syria, Mexico, Columbia, and many other nations have far more violence than America does.

Now is the time to recognize that the 2nd Amendment has outlived its usefulness.

No, it has not. Some people say the same ignorant thing about the First Amendment.

JD, one question.

Is it unconstitutional for the government to infringe on my right to build and own and ICBM? Can the government constitutionally infringe on my right to own a Rail Gun?

On one side you have people who say the Second Amendment is an anachronism. On the other side you have people who contend that any weapons control is nothing short of a violation of our right to bear arms.

Then there are the rest of us who don't get why we should be allowed to buy 60 round clips and weapons that were designed for combat but love hunting and want to have a weapon available for self defense.

Is there a middle ground? Or are the only two options to either allow unfettered access to anything that can be considered an arm or the repeal of the 2nd amendment?

Is there a non fundamentalist position one can adopt that would not be contrary to your interpretation of what the founding fathers intended?

Barnus, JD, HB, I know the ICBM example is far fetched but the idea of being able to waltz out of a gun show with an assault rifle that can be made full automatic with a rubber band and is equipped with a sixty round clip, is far fetched.

What limits on weapons ownership would you find acceptable?

For example, would any of your accept restrictions on the rate a semi auto can fire or 5 round max clips or preemptive removal of guns from homes where it has been judged mentally unstable people live?

I second the 2nd. But as Abe Lincoln and Barnus have said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. What limits, if any, would you guys support on the types of arms one can bear?


There is a civil war going on in Syria and Mexico and Columbia are dealing with the drug and gun cartels both of which are traceable to US policy. There are many policies in the US today that require fixing. Our role in the world should not be ignored when considering what is going on in other nations.


Thanks for returning to Talkabout, JD.

I am a huge fan. Working my way through the Federalist papers now due to your influence.


Are you a fundamentalist Professor Larimer? Are you proposing that all guns be confiscated or do you support the right to bear arms as long as it is well regulated?

Would you take my Citori? Why would you want it? It is an over under shot gun. Not very useful for mass murder but pretty much all one needs for hunting and home defense.

PS to the bad guys. Citori is locked up in a gun safe back in Minnesota. Do not come looking for it lest my dog bite your cowardly balls off.


My view of how guns should be regulated are spelled out here: Web Link.


"Barnus, JD, HB, I know the ICBM example is far fetched but the idea of being able to waltz out of a gun show with an assault rifle that can be made full automatic with a rubber band and is equipped with a sixty round clip, is far fetched." - - - - - That can't happen in California, John Charles, gun sales at gun shows must proced through a dealer and are subject to all of the same restrictions as any other gun sale - including a waiting period while a background check is made. That is not true, however in all states. Perhaps it should be -I think it is a good rule.

"For example, would any of you accept restrictions on the rate a semi auto can fire" Maybe not but I would need to know more - I would certainly consider it. "Or 5 round max clips" - - - - - Not on .22s. "Or preemptive removal of guns from homes where it has been judged mentally unstable people live?" - - - - - Probably. But i would like to know more about who is to do the judging and how and what standards would be put in place.

-


^^^ The Federalist papers and the Constitution were written over 200 years ago when times were different and the technologies that dominate the world today had not yet been developed. ^^^

The US Constitution is a restraint on those we empower to govern us. Those restraints are just as applicable today as they were in 1787.

Judging by the mob hysterics of the gun-grabbers, we need to respect that document now more than ever.


>>Gun violence in America is at EPIDEMIC levels

My god, the most factually incorrect statement I've seen in awhile. Mr Larimer please don't bastardize this term, and ruin it's effectiveness.


I don't have a "dog in the fight" on guns... but it's quite laughable seeing all the rhetoric for the President/Congress/Local/et al to have stricter gun control...

Those buffoons in the current adminstration couldn't keep track of the guns they handed out for the purposes of tracking. What makes you think they'll be able to handle regulation on privte ownership. Just throw more money at it.


>>But i would like to know more about who is to do the judging and how and what standards would be put in place.

Thusly the need for a nice-phat-lazy-beauracratic-alwaysgrowing agency to oversee the whole thing. Like the EPA, ... hmmmm (hang on, have an idea)


Mr. Frank J.,

Warren Burger's declaratorious statement can be found in his essay published by 'Parade' magazine (1-14-90); which was rather handily rebutted by a Mr. David Kopel....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


HB & Mr. West,

Your welcome. Wish I had more time to expend....I view this the same as stepping into the ring or onto the mat....me against my opponent, nice to have my back side covered......time is of the essence, I have 3 wives: my wife of 13 years, my mortgage payment of 12 years, and duty of a lifetime.......

My wife: I will die before dishonoring my committment to her.

My mortgage payment: I'd walk away from this harlot in a New York minute.

Duty: she's just a b*tch!

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Ullom,

Dear God in Heaven man, may I at least set the table before we sit down to eat? I feel the need that a rebuttal of Mr. Larimer is more appropriate with my line of thought at the moment, but I will offer a teaser versus a full discourse in order to appease your earnestness.

Loosely, as a rifleman - whether that be a Whig, a soldier, or a Marine - whatever tools of the trade that you carry on your person which you need to do your job; could be considered protected under the 2nd Amendment. This interpretation is a minefield that is beyond the scope of my argument, nor am I interested in pursuing such.

Let us now boil this down to what was expected of the rifleman of the 18th century when he reported for duty at his militia's armory. There were other requirements I believe, but essentially it was his firearm, his powder horn (must keep the powder dry), powder & ball.

Today's rifleman has the same equipment, except for the fact that "modern technology" has made it much more efficient......Hope this temporarily satisfies your queries as to what is protected under the 2nd.

And now for something completely different, I would request of you and your friend Google, a search for a corelation between SSRI's and mass shootings. My pitiful attempts at such result in obscure websites or blogs. Cannot find news reporting from the major media outlets for this subject.....much appreciated

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


hmmm David Kopel

an Attorney and Constitutional Law Professor-kinda like the hated/evil/Muslim POTUS. Far more balanced a point of view than a Chief Justice of our highest court.

Federalist logic. Gotta love it!


SSRI's? Are you talking psychotropic pharmaceuticals?

If that is the case, I can tell you exactly what the correlation is. People who use or should be using psychotropic pharmaceuticals are prone to suicide and other bad actions because they have an illness that requires psychotropic pharmaceuticals.

Like all that is medicine, psychotropic pharmaceuticals, even when prescribed by a professional, are not magic. They often work but not always. Sometimes, the cure is worse than the disease.

If that is your question, I'll dance with my friend Google for you. But here is how I look at it the question.

I can show you that people who hang at Bars are involved in more accidents. If I were to advocate that you pay to prove that, you, I hope, would say, "Hell NO! Why would anybody be surprised that folks who hang at Bars are involved in more accidents?"

Just saying.


Mr. Frank J.,

Read both essays prior to presenting an argument merely upon the pedigree of their authors.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. J.D.

You have such a big head. What makes you so certain I have not read these essays?

You guys are all soooo righteous. Take a breath. Folks like Larimer, folks you disagree with, they read stuff too.

"Handily rebutted" by whose standards? Yours? Rush Limbaugh? O' Reilly? HoneyBadger?


Mr. Ullom,

Yes sir I am. I read a book by a Dr. Tracy, god knows when, that touched upon this subject:

Of the mass shootings over the last 2 decades, 80 or 90 percent of the shooters were on either, SSRI's or SSNI's....I believe there is a media blackout of this factual data, or the factual data is myth....much abliged

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


But JD. I think you will find that there is a strong correlation between using alcohol and gun violence.

I use a psychotropic pharmaceutical. Are you going to infringe on my right to bear arms because I use Effexor XR?

Rush Limbaugh uses Xanax. Would you infringe on his right to bear arms based simply on his use of of it?

Good question still. I'll give it a go after the Fire Board meeting.


Well J.D., here is Granny going off subject a little......There is some hint that one of the shooters at Columbine may have been on Luvox.....

A good article to read might be, "Forget Stocks or Bonds Invest in A Lobbyist"....$1.00 investment will return $220.00 in tax benefits.....Are you saying NRA and Pharmaceuticals make strange bedfellows?


Ms. Granny,

Not off subject at all. This is one of the issues I would like honestly explored in the public arena so that we can arrive at a solution that passes constitutional muster and does not further erode the 2nd Amendment.

My point, all I can find are statistics from non-media sources which leads one down the conspiratorial road the government, media, Big Pharma, AMA, and the psychiatric profession all in cahoots. The silence almost makes one deaf.

If one listens to media, the guns are the causal factor for this heinous crime. They are tiptoeing around violent video games, medication that has serious psychological side effects whether one be on or off the meds, the over diagnosis of hyperactive disorders and the resulting medication, and as per Christina Hoff Summers, "The War Against Boys".

As for the NRA sleeping with Big Pharma, doesn't serve their interest if one takes their mission statement verbatim. You never know, I trust the NRA like I do SCOTUS (can you say John Roberts?) to defend my rights....which would be never.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Ullom,

Not going after you or Rush. The government may. The only thing we know for sure, the government wants to disarm the people. If we do not properly identify the problem, i.e.- the causal factors for these wanton acts of violence; there will be sweeping 'comprehensive' gun control legislation. A whole bunch of people will be caught in that dragnet, even you and Rush.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


If one listens to media, the guns are the causal factor for this heinous crime.

Weird thing about The Media is that it promotes second amendment remedies more and better than the NRA ever could.

Shoot 'em Up Video Games, Make My Day Movies, Gangsta Rap, and such have put billions into the pockets of the The Media.

Go through any inner city neighborhood. Scope out the signage promoting Hollywood movies. Half feature weapons, often pointing directly at the viewer, often depicted in a sexually suggestive manner, on the bus shelters.

I'll do that search tomorrow. It is an interesting angle. Per the trend to blame stuff like this on mental health issues and the scary notion of preemptive state imposed restrictions on somebodies freedom based on somebody profiling who is a potential psycho, I am intrigued.


Mr. Larimer,

Have you overlooked the Anti-Federalists, or the essays and letters of our Founders thoughout our revolutionary period, or worse yet, the Declaration of Independence for your contortion, "federal democratic republican form of government"?

If so, you may have missed the context of which the states agreed to form a compact with a limited national government. Hint, sovereignty. Do you know why we are unique amongst the world's governments? We are the only nation on the planet to have codified the inalienable rights of individuals and to entrust the same with arms.

Why did we achieve thus? Because some imperfect, but honorable men fought tyranny on the battlefield and in the press. Your guarantee to rant at will on this board is the rifle in your neighbor's closet. You may eloquate and equivocate otherwise, to your heart's desire, there is one thing that 3 century's have not changed, human nature.

Is the following sentiment expressed in a letter to Edward Carrington from Thomas Jefferson in 1788 any less apropos for the 21st century?......"The natural progress of things is for Liberty to yield, and government to gain ground."

In closing, I most respectfully refuse to yield to your demagoguery and your disdain of my rights as a sovereign.

Oh, one more thing or two. Amendments XIII, XV, and XIX expanded liberty, they did not restrict liberty. Funny thing about Amendment XVI, it was passed by Congress on the promise that it was only going to "tax the rich" (sound familiar?). Funny thing tyranny, it looks the same in the 20th century as it does in the 21st century........

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Ullom,

Thanks. Yep, this picture is much bigger than your neighbor's gun collection.......metaphorically and who knows, literally......another reason to be polite.....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Hey Ullom,

One more thing.....I'll buy the first beer Benito House, Christmas Eve, 1700 hrs.....We'll have George buy the next 6 rounds...heh, heh

Yours in Libery,

JD the Federalist


^^^ "Handily rebutted" by whose standards? Yours? Rush Limbaugh? O' Reilly? HoneyBadger? ^^^

Comment on the subject at hand and leave me out of it.


The Federalist blogger, or is it anti-Federalist, has misrepresented the Connecticut Compromise; it was about slavery and proportional representation. We fought a bloody Civil War over the anti-federalist view of state’s rights. The Federal government won that war and settled the issue proving that state governments are subservient to the Federal government.

The idea that a gun in my neighbor’s closet protects my liberty is preposterous today. It flies in the face of 30,000 gun violence deaths in the US every year. Discovering this evident truth may have been the last lesson Nancy Lanza learned last Friday before dying with the help of one of those “in my neighbor’s closet” weapons. In this case it was her closet. This is the modern world lesson that the pro-gun faction blinded by dogma cannot understand.


"The idea that a gun in my neighbor’s closet protects my liberty is preposterous today."

Symbolism, Jim. Look to the symbolism.

Your rights are represented by the gun in the neighbor's closet. His rights, your rights, our rights. They are all wrapped up together. You cannot parse them as you wish. You do not have that right.


When a gun is in my neighbor's closet, the potential for another tragedy like the one last week in Newtown, Connecticut lurks there with it. Death not liberty is in that closet.

That the pro-gun lobby continues to defend their invalid belief that personal ownership of guns protects liberty, when it so evidently does not, is the political issue we face today as a nation. Evidence not blindly held theory should inform our policies.


"Your rights are represented by the gun in the neighbor's closet. His rights, your rights, our rights. They are all wrapped up together."

Here is some data on guns that were once "in the neighbor's closet"

"Stolen “street guns” were the weapons of choice for the person or persons who killed 7,600 of the estimated* 8,600 gun related murders during 2011."

Web Link


Get 'em while they are hot: -- Web Link


One of these for the your little student: -- Web Link

Maybe not: -- Web Link


"...invalid belief that personal ownership of guns protects liberty,"

Again, you are looking at it all wrong.

Liberty includes the personal ownership of guns. You cannot take them away. II protects our right to own guns (if we so choose...I do not...).

C'mon, Jim. I know you are more intelligent than that.


Good afternoon foes and fans alike:

"You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." – Charles A. Beard (Historian 1874-1948)

Those who have not read, at the least, a compilation of the ‘Federalist & Anti-Federalists Papers’ (Library of America publisher has an acceptable edition) will not understand the context of the limited nature of our national government. In those papers, one will find that of two of the powers delegated to the federal government - taxation and standing armies - generated some of the most heated debate. Stay with me on this as I walk you further from ignorance.

The unpopular argument that I am laying before you all - that the arms of a rifleman are the final check against tyranny - would seem to be extreme if we were to ignore the prescience of our Founders; the actions of our 3 branches of government today; and the reticence of the national media to properly report and discuss the effect that violent video games and movies have on our youngsters, the over diagnosis of hyperactive disorders and the propensity of the psychiatric profession to prescribe drugs with dangerous psychological side effects to treat such, and the lack of a societal will to honestly deal with mental illness. I am of the belief that the psychiatric professions are too quick to prescribe medication.

Let us now look to Mr. William Pitt in the House of Commons in 1783, for an observation of human nature that “modern times” cannot refute:

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves."

The pleas of necessity before us – to disarm the People – would be reasonable if the causal factors of the Newtown, Connecticut’s massacre were properly addressed in the public arena and if all legislation arising from such passed constitutional muster. Some prescience from a non-Founder, Justice Brandeis in a 20th century decision, Olmstead v. US, 1928:

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent . . . the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."

A man of zeal, a Mr. Larimer, amongst others on Talkabout, are arguing for the abolishment of an amendment that ensures liberty, and for replacement with one that pares liberty. Mr. Larimer then goes on to contort an individuals’ Right to be ‘equal under the law’, into the majoritarian premise that: “protecting minority rights must be balanced with the will of the majority is the basis for our unique rule of law”. The “will of the majority” is not a protection of an individuals’ Right to be ‘equal under the law’. A rebuttal of the above by a Mr. Tench Coxe as published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1788:

"Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

Following up on Mr. Coxe’s healthy mistrust of federal power; if we look to the behavior of our federal government today - Justice Robert’s unconstitutional affirmation of ObamaCare, the property rights negation of Kelo, and the Patriot Act, to name but a few transgressions- we see a massive intrusion into and the insidious abrogation of the police power of the States by fiat, and by no small means, the piecemeal eradication of the sovereignty of the individual. To take this even further, for those of you who believe that the ‘standing armies’, if you will, of the BATF, DEA, and the FBI are the trusted agents of your Rights; let us look to Mr. Hamilton’s ‘Federalist #25’ of 1788 for some more prescience:

"...for it is a truth, which the experience of all ages has attested, that the people are commonly most in danger when the means of ensuring their rights are in the possession of those of whom they entertain the least suspicion."

Lastly, Mr. Larimer, and others on Talkabout, will also have the effectiveness of the citizen rifleman’s rifle reduced to the point of obsolescence by legislation that reduces magazine capacity, restricts the internal ballistics of bullets one can own, and restrict bullet caliber. All of which turns burden of proof on its head – the onus of proof now on the accused – and creates criminals out of thin air just for the fact of ownership of said items. Charles Krauthammer saw this bit of chicanery for what is when he wrote the following in the Washington Post, 1996:

“In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea . . . . Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.”

In closing I will leave you with this quotation from Noah Webster’s, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787:

"…Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword because the whole body of people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States..."

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Sensible gun controls work in every nation accept ours because we don't have any sensible controls on guns.

People are not less free in Britain, Canada, or Japan than we are here in America. Japan has 1/1,000th the number of gun deaths per capita we have. And the rest of the industrial world is not far behind Japan in experiencing very little gun violence.

The meaning of liberty for anyone with two cents worth of common sense, something profoundly lacking from Mr Federalist-Anti-Federalist, is that no one should have to worry about some lunatic with a gun killing them at a movie theater or that their children will be massacred while at school.

My advice to anyone who wants to understand history is don't purchase your Cliff Notes equivalent from a right wing libertarian bookstore.


"People are not less free in Britain, Canada, or Japan than we are here in America." - - - - - Yes they are. Of course they are. You make stuff up.


Mr. Larimer,

After you emmigrate to the foreign countries that you would have us emulate, by legislative fiat, no less; and prior to looking in the rear view mirror to see what you have left behind, your inalienable Rights; you may want to peruse the following "Cliff Notes" since you would deride "The Federalist & Anti-Federalists Papers":

For a percursor of this republic: Francis Parkman's 2 volume, "France and England in North America", Library of America, 1983.

For what happens when the people subvert the principles of limited government: "Democracy in America", Alexis de Tocqueville, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1972 (published 1840 - too close to the founding?)

For a proper grounding of this constitutional republic: "The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson", David N. Mayer, University Press of Virginia, 1994 (really close to the founding)

For an objective look at American History: any book by William Manchester - my favorite, "The Glory and the Dream"

For political philosophy premised upon vengeance and envy: "Culture and Imperialism", Edward W. Said, Vintage Books, 1993; and "Who will tell the People - The Betrayal of American Democracy", William Greider, Simon & Schuster, 1992 (hopefully these will disabuse you of your contorted view of republican government - if not, then I have enabled your addiction to despotism)

For relaxation and a good laugh at yourself: any book by P. J. O'Rourke.

I may be being abit harsh with you; but, it is men like you who gain the coercive reins of governmental power, or live vicariously through those with the same despotic philosophy that have seized the reins, coupled with the hubristic intent that they know what is best for everyone; that our Founders warned of.

In closing I'll leave you with something from my favorite Founder as a civics refresher - Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright in 1824:

"...We established however some, although not all its [self-government] important principles . The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, (as in electing their functionaries executive and legislative, and deciding by a jury of themselves, in all judiciary cases in which any fact is involved,) or they may act by representatives, freely and equally chosen; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed..."

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


It is interesting that JD would quote from Jefferson's letter to John Cartwright, as I have much fondness for this letter written when TJ was 80 something. The quote that I like and feel appropriate for this discussion of the 2nd amendment is;

"But can they be made unchangeable ? Can one generation bind another, and all others, in succession forever ? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not the dead. Rights and powers can only belong to persons, not to things, not to mere matter, unendowed with will. The dead are not even things. The particles of matter which composed their bodies, make part now of the bodies of other animals, vegetables, or minerals, of a thousand forms. To what then are attached the rights and powers they held while in the form of men? A generation may bind itself as long as its majority continues in life; when that has disappeared, another majority is in place, holds all the rights and powers their predecessors once held, and may change their laws and institutions to suit themselves. Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man."

Web Link

Another comment in that letter by TJ on the US being a christian nation is a favorite of mine:

"I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction, at length, of the judiciary usurpation of legislative powers; for such the judges have usurped in their repeated decisions, that Christianity is a part of the common law. The proof of the contrary, which you have adduced, is incontrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet Pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed."


Mr. Bills,

I would like to thank you again, for providing me the opportunity to rectify another oversight of yours which in your haste to Google "'research' [that] float[s] on the surface [without context]" (as per Mr. Kissinger); has missed the point you were so cleverly attempting. Namely, that constitutions can be changed, but the first principles guiding construction do not. Look to the last line you excerpted:

"Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and unalienable rights of man."

Need I remind you that the Rights of Man are embodied in the Bill of Rights? Would you like a refresher of 'unalienable'?

How 'bout this for a short lesson? As a student of Algernon Sidney and his 'Discourses Concerning Government', Mr. Jefferson copied to his Commonplace Book a direct quote, "All human constitutions are subject to corruption and must perish unless they are timely renewed and reduced to their first principles."

At this juncture, to avoid interruption of this thread, why don't we shift this conversation to another of my Topics:

"Thomas Jefferson & Karl Marx: An Examination",

....so that we can properly explore your need to remove all mention of God from the public square and have a discussion of Locke and Sidney in the proper context? As your friend O'Reilly would say, what say you?

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


To those who claim that the placement of commas in the second amendment makes it apply only to organized formal militias, it is necessary to note that the way that they wrote back then used a lot more commas than are used today. Read other parts of the Constitution. This comment was triggered by starting to read the June 5, 1824 Jefferson to Cartwright letter at the link above from Boney Bills. With all the extra, by today's standards, commas, it's almost painful, to read, that letter. It seems clear to me that commas back then didn't create the same meaning that they do today. With those differences in mind, I offer that that Second Amendment is to be interpreted in 21st Century English as if it were written without some of the commas, as follows:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Before anyone starts to argue against my point about excess-by-today's-usage commas in 18th Century documents, just to try to make sense of the third amendment with its excessive commas:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

That's just painful to read unless you throw away most of the commas. Written today to the same intent, there would only be one comma, after "Owner".

Indeed, in this Web Link wikipedia article previously linked to by someone in one of these threads, there is the following:

The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.

I've picked two easy ones here, but there are a very large number of examples of how they used many more commas back then than we would use today.

There you have it: the interpretation by those more familiar with the language of the day is consistent what today's gun-owner-rights advocates state.

That said, as has been mentioned, the Constitution is a living document. However, it doesn't live by those who don't like something just ignoring it and/or using warped interpretations, it lives by going through the prescribed amendment process. I have no problem with amending the second amendment in any manner that can make it through the amendment process. I have a huge problem with ignoring it or re-interpreting it to suit one's desires.


Thank you, watchdog, for your illuminating post. The presence of the first comma in the 2nd Amendment has always puzzled me. I was never concerned enough to research it. I guessed that it was as you describe - simply a construction convention of a bygone day - or simply a typo. The meaning that you deduce always seemed to me to be the only sensible meaning that that could be attributed to the language. I read the letter cited by Boney, and found, as you say, that it is painful to read by reason of all of the seemingly misplaced commas – that is if I pay attention to the commas. It turns out that my eye, trained in latter conventions, tends to simply read the text as if the extra commas were not there. I suppose I should be more careful about that.

Spurred by your post, I set out to do a minimum of research on the subject – I consulted Wikipedia – admittedly not a comprehensive or authoritative source. Wiki notes that there were more than one version of the language in the handwritten copies of the Bill at the time, and had this to say:

“As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State: A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed - - - - - The original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights, approved by the House and Senate, was prepared by scribe William Lambert and resides in the National Archives.”

Interestingly, the ratified language is that which you point out is the proper modern interpretation.

I know that it is far fetched, but it is too good to ignore - perhaps one of Clay’s forebears is responsible for the confusion.


Good evening foes and fans alike,

Watchdog and Barnus get high marks for their deducement and research. If they were so inclined, they could visit "US v. Emerson" and review the 'Yassky' brief which argued against 'individual' right by way of punctuation, and the 'Lund' brief which counters this fallacy.

The hysteria of the media to 'blame the gun versus the psychopath' has ramped up to new levels of subjective reporting, even by their standards, by reporting any or all crimes with a gun so that the public will come to believe that there is an epidemic, yet fail to report the federal governments sale of guns to criminals (Fast & Furious) with the same enthusiasm. In addition, we now have newspapers publishing the addresses of gun owners.

Setting aside these attempts at marginalization of gun owners, let us proceed to our Birthright as Americans to defend our property and life. Here, I must also thank Honeybadger for the excellent link to Larry Correia's (firearm instructor) essay on gun control (in the topic, 'Elusive Effectiveness of Gun Control') which carries weight and credibility that only can be denied by those who want to disarm American citizens with specious, unconstitutional legislation.

For those who would reduce an individual's right of self defense and the 'check on tyranny' embodied in the 2nd Amendment with restrictions of types of guns owned and magazine capacity restrictions; we can look to William Rawle in his, "A View on the Constitution of the United States of America (1829):

"The prohibition is general. No clause in the constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both."

Some 20th Century jurispudence in 'US v. Emerson' (1999), which bolsters the argument that the citizen's rifle must not be reduced to obsolescence, most especially, during times of civil unrest as per the LA riots:

"...The plain language of the amendment, without attenuate inferences therefrom, shows that the function of the subordinate clause was not to qualify the right, but instead to show why it must be protected. The right exists independent of the existence of the militia. If this right were not protected, the existence of the militia, and consequently the security of the state, would be jeopardized."

In closing, I will leave you, again, with Charles Krauthamer's 1996 judgement of those who clamor for elimination of the rights embodied in the 2nd Amendment:

"...In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea . . . . Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.".........Stay Tuned

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Flagitious - a new one to me. What a wonderful word.


The second amendment was authored in 1789 and ratified in 1791. In that era no one could imagine a gun capable of firing as rapidly as anyone could pull the trigger or that the capacity of the gun’s magazine could as high as one hundred rounds of ammunition. Consider that machine guns did not exist in 1789, nor did tanks, airplanes, and atomic bombs let alone missiles, satellite surveillance and drone aircraft capable of not only tracking an opponent but killing them as well. Warfare has changed dramatically over these 200 plus years separating the authors of the second amendment from today. Securing a free state is no longer dependent upon citizens keeping guns in their closets.

The amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment does not infer the right to arm yourself to defend your property against any intruder, or accidental, as JD the Federalist believes - or anti-Federalist when that position is more aligned with his state’s rights political views. By the way the limits to state’s rights were decided by the Civil War. Lets not fight it again.

The claim that this amendment grants gun owners a “ . . . Birthright as Americans to defend our property and life . . .” is just more of the nonsense promoted by the pro-gun faction to justify their love affair with lethal force. The literal words of this amendment do not give you the right to shoot someone who visits your property without your permission. That is not a small inference, it more like a leap into the abyss.

Charles Krauthamer may have once believed that restricting guns, regulating them sensibly, does not reduce gun violence, but that claim is based entirely upon wishful thinking; it is not based on evidence. The evidence could not be more one-sided and clear that this idea is wrong. Every nation that has sensible gun laws that restrict access to guns to people who have legitimate needs for them and additionally outlaws assault weapons has lower levels of gun violence than here in the US. Many nations our outlawing handguns and in every case this leads to lowering gun deaths and incidents.

Ignoring data, evidence, is something the pro-gun faction has become expert at doing. To make the data even less available they have added legislation to government funding bills to prevent the ATF from reporting statistics on gun violence. The NRA and the pro-gun faction is hiding behind the Tiahrt Act. This legislation originally introduced by Congressman Todd Tiahrt purposely makes reporting the data on gun violence illegal. The reason for this Act is that the data is so horrible and appalling that NRA is affraid that it will become public. That is freedom NRA style.


So Jim, you're still insisting that all the court opinions and all the other expert analyst opinions from the first 50 years of the country as indicated in an earlier citation which stated that the Second Amendment does give gun ownership rights to individuals are wrong?

I thought that we had progress with you accepting that the appropriate path is to amend the Constitution to update the Second Amendment as needed for today's world. Apparently I was wrong, and you've reverted back to your incorrect interpretation so that you can get laws passed in violation of the Constitution.

It's ok to amend. It's not ok to ignore. Why is this concept so difficult to understand? I guess because some zealots, and I'm not using that as an insult here, may fear that they can't get such an amendment approved. If we can't, then maybe we actually learned something from Prohibition, which is simply that the government can't control something by making it completely illegal.

Oh, one more thing. Could someone explain why a revolver wouldn't be considered a semi-automatic weapon? I guess that anything other than a muzzle-loader or a shotgun is "semi-automatic"?


There was an episode of Mythbusters where they built a fully-automatic gun which fired arrows rapidly.

Do I need to stockpile sharp knives and pointy scissors now?

Note that the nutcase who shot the firemen a few days ago wasn't allowed to have guns, yet he had them.

What are the stats on non-suicide gun deaths vs DUI deaths? Why don't we focus on the nutcases who are likely to be dangerous whether it be with guns, bombs, chainsaws, knives, or something that I wouldn't think of but they would, and on DUIs? Check the Coastside police blotters. Week in, week out, eliminate DUI, there's seldom much left on the blotters. DUI is illegal. How's that working out? I'm more afraid of getting hit by a drunk driver than of getting shot with a gun, and I'd speculate that the former is more likely since I pretty much avoid gang-infested areas.


Is the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment correct?

The Congress interprets the Constitution when it creates laws and rules. The Courts exercising their authority of Judicial Review can review the laws and rules created by the Congress and determine that any law is inconsistent or consistent with the Constitution. And the President has the power to veto or sign any new law passed by the Congress and can be executive order decide how a law or rule must be implemented.

These abilities of the three branches of government, to make laws in the case of the Congress, and to review laws either allowing them to stand or negating them in the case of the Executive and the Courts is referred to as the separation of powers by political theorists.

Any rule or law imposed by government that is being applied at any moment in our national history must stand these challenges to be considered correct. This is the reality of our social contract with our government, a unique form of government created by the American Revolution. What the Constitution means at any point in time is fluid; what the Constitution implies is not indisputable. Indeed, it is these very disputes over time that defines what it means.

If the Constitution as written and ratified in 1791 is considered to be the defining document of our social contract, then slavery would still exist, women would not be able to vote, and the federal income tax would not exist. All of these changes have occurred, so obviously the Constitution of 1791 is not the same one that applies in 2012.

The Constitution can be amended to suit our changing times and there will always be some who oppose its change. But this is not the only way that Constitutional interpretations can change.

Each branch of government interprets the Constitution and these interpretations have changed over time. A notable example of change that has not required an amendment to the Constitution to elicit agreement between the separate powers is the Dred Scott decision by Chief Justice Taney’s 1857 Supreme Court ruling that blacks cannot become citizens. This was an inference of the Court’s based not upon any explicit wording in the Constitution. It is no longer considered a valid interpretation.

Does the 2nd Amendment mean what the current balance of separate powers says it means today? Is some other interpretation possible? Will changing the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment require an amendment to the Constitution?

These are questions that will be answered in the future as we live under the social contract we each have with our government. How the Constitution should be interpreted at any point in time changes with time. This is the lesson of history and it will apply to the 2nd Amendment as it has to every other aspect of our government and its practices.


The president does not have the power to implement a rule or law in a manner that violates the Constitution. You appear to be suggesting that he can and should do so. That is interesting.

The Executive Branch may have the ability to negate laws passed by Congress, but not within the law. You do not appear to think or care much about the law. You appear to want the law upheld when you like it, and ignored when you do not. That is interesting.

What the Constitution means at any time is NOT fluid. The Constitution is amendable, but unless and until it is – it means what it says. You seem to be saying that it means what some folk would like it to mean at a given time. That is wrong – and interesting.

Prior to the 13th Amendment, slavery was abolished in most states and territories by law. It didn’t require a Constitutional Amendment to out law slavery where there was a will to do so. The 13th Amendment finally prohibited slavery all over the U.S. An Amendment duly passed and adopted – not fiat by judicial or executive order.

Similarly, Universal suffrage and the right of the government to tax income also became Constitutional by way of Amendments to the Constitution duly passed and ratified by the states --- not by judicial or executive fiat. Not by pretending that the Constitution means something other than what it clearly says.

Of course the 2nd Amendment does not mean what the current balance of separate powers says it means today. It means what it says. It is interesting that you suggest that its plain meaning could and should be ignored in favor of the current wishes of a few.

Finally, the “Social Contract” that you appear to believe allows government to do ANYTHING it wishes to do if an executive or judge would like to do it is a myth. There is not and never has been a social contract. The social contract is no more than the ramblings of philosophers.


The 13th Amendment finally prohibited slavery all over the U.S. An Amendment duly passed and adopted – not fiat by judicial or executive order. -- Web Link


Barnus does not understand the meaning of the Dred Scott ruling and how it relates to what the words of the Constitution mean in the practice of history. He clearly does not understand how Bush was able to essentially ignore environmental law simply by not enforcing it. Servitude was presumably ended in 1865 but in 1965 there were still many black Americans who lived under conditions hardly different from slavery. Barnus does not understand why there was a Civil Rights movement and why it was needed to make the literal words of the Constitution a reality for all Americans. He does not understand history.

The notion that there is an absolute truth is an idea that is usually associated with Plato and it is called Platonic realism. It is not the only view of knowledge that is possible and philosophy is full of alternatives. Mistaking philosophy for politics is a common confusion especially among those who favor authoritarian governments.

What the Constitution means is what “we” say it means at any point in time. The “we” refers to the balance of powers between our three branches of government as enabled by the people we elect to office. That is the verdict of history; it is not a matter of opinion.

Right now the 2nd Amendment is claimed to give anyone the right to own assault weapons and to acquire arsenals capable of mass murder. Whether that view will continue to prevail with or without amending the Constitution will be determined by the unfolding events of history despite what Barnus and his like minded friends want to believe.


What the Constitution means is what “we” say it means at any point in time.

followed by:

...it is not a matter of opinion.

Sounds to me that if is in fact a matter the opinion of “we”.

Which of course is true. That which was right becomes wrong and wrong that becomes right, has always been a matter of collective opinion, mass hysteria, group think, and PR. The law is always behind the curve. Which is also a good thing as it slows the rush to judgment. The masses are both wise in the long term and stupid in the short.

There is no way to know exactly what a bunch of guys intended when they composed. We have to interpret. And interpretations are at best informed opinions.


"There is no way to know exactly what a bunch of guys intended when they composed." - - - - - where did you ever get that idea? Of course there is. There is a plethora of contemporary writing. More important, while some wording may be ambiguous, wording that is clear and unambiguous tells us quite nicely what the the framers intended. It speaks for itself.

The Constitution does NOT mean what we say it it means at any point in time. To say that is to say that the Constitution is meaningless. The Constitution means what it says.

Jim, shame on you for repeating your rants in assorted threads without lip service to the fact that your rant was not challanged elsewhere. Just another bit of attempted deception.


Barnus,

Here is another take on that "wonderful word".....and to think that the frailty of human nature have evolved for the better in the 21st century from the time of our Founding:

Flagitate: v.t.- to demand imperiously (rare), Webster's Unabridged 2nd edition 1958.....examples abound in this topic....

May perhaps Mr. Larimer is conflating "social contract" with the 'compact' of the States with the federal government which would be the US Constitution & Bill of Rights, of which, limit the powers of the national government.......I'll get to him in abit......I concur with your "interesting" findings......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Watchdog,

Semi-automatic firearms are self loading by way of recoil or the expanded gas of the cartridge whether they be a shotgun, a pistol, or a rifle. Single action revolvers require a cocking of the hammer to load the next cartridge (the bullet is the projectile leaving the barrel of the firearm). Double action revolvers require a pull of the trigger to load the next cartridge......visit the Johnny Appleseed website for all kinds of gun lore....

Your query, "Why don't we focus on the nutcases who are likely to be dangerous...?"; is one that I would like to see explored in the media and Congress, and more specifically, the nutcases on SSRI's and SSNI's. At this point, it is all about guns......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Fortunately, courts, even the U.S. Supreme Court, are loath to reverse their own previous decisions. This makes for a stable legal system. "Precedent" means a lot to honorable judges. Judges, or I guess their law clerks, spend a lot of time looking for prior law to cite when making a ruling.


Mr. Ullom,

Now and then I will applaud your obsession with Google, this is one of those times (Emancipation Proclamation. Although I'm reluctant to engage this sidebar of Mr. Larimer's, it is an excellent example of a president pushing the limits of executive power with no malice aforethought. Mr. Lincoln's proclamation set the table for the XIII Amendment, not unlike Mr. Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase which set the table for a more secure union. As for Mr. Larimer's ridiculous premise that the States are subordinate to the federal government because of the Civil War, well, that silliness would require another topic to fully debunk.

And now for a correction in your thinking. I cannot allow you to reduce a thorough examination of historical documents for constitutional interpretations to a 'reductio ad absurdum', with your conclusion that "interpretations are at best informed opinions". It also belays and waylays the fact that our Founders were well aware of the dictum, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts completely" (a paraphrase of Lord Acton I believe).

And it is not that the "law is always behind the curve", it would be closer to the truth that the "[people] are always behind the curve" due to the overreach of legislatures and executives who then punt the ball to the judiciary, knowing full well that by the time the overreach gets adjudicated, the damage is wrought and the courts will be hesitant to deny. That there is the "slow rush to judgement"......which is why we must be very jealous of our Rights embodied in the 2nd Amendment.......that wasn't so bad now, was it?...........

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


It might be necessary to first determine whether SSRIs make people nuts or nuts are put on SSRIs. I.e., which is cause and which is effect. I wasn't aware there is even a correlation -- I thought that SSRIs are used to treat depression. Although... it seems that a recurring theme is that the nutcases are depressed and figure they have nothing to lose, so they try to kills lots of people and then themselves.

Banning guns isn't going to stop those nutcases. As can be observed in a number of other countries these days, guns aren't necessary for mass murders.


Watchdog,

Your observation of "precedent" sparked a memory of a law review study I read 10 years or so ago which then led me to buy a cumbersome book on the subject. I do not recommend purchase unless you have Black's Law Dictionary on hand and a lawyer friend willing to spend time with you.

The title of the law review study: "Can the Simple Cite be Trusted? Lower Court Interpretations of 'United States V. Miller' and the Second Amendment", by Brannon P. Denning, 1996 Cumberland Law Review.

The book: "Common Law Tradition - Deciding Appeals", by Karl N. Llewellyn, Little Brown and Company, 1960.

Mr. Dennings treatise "take[s] on Second Amendment critics where they feel unassailable: the case law", particularly, "'US v. Miller', the only Supreme Court decision directly on the Second Amendment in the [20th] century" and "argue[s] that the lower courts have strayed so far from the Court's original holding to the point of being intellectually dishonest".

For Dennings "illustra[tion] of both the depth and breadth of the lower courts' dishonesty, [he] will draw upon Karl Llewellyn's studies of appellate court decisionmaking."

Why did he undertake this task? A Mr. Edward E. Kallgren (Chairman of the American Bar Association's Coordinating Committee on Gun Violence) testified before the House SubCommittee on Crime in 1993:

.....that there is "considerable confusion and misunderstanding about the meaning of the Second Amendment and....the power of the federal government to enact laws regulating firearms in private hands." He then goes on to declare that there is "no confusion in the law itself [because] federal and state court decisions in this century have been uniform in the view that the Second Amendment permits the exercise of broad power to limit private access to firearms by all levels of government".

Sounds like Mr. Larimer's argument, does it not? He is recycling a 20 year old argument based upon dishonest premises, which as we are 'shewing', it is just as foolishly dishonest in 2012 as it was in 1993.......

Mr. Llewellyn's wrote his book in 1960 because he felt that the courts were "[f]eeling less and less constrained by precedent and that the 'Formal Style' deference to precedent was eroding". An entire chapter on the appellate decisionmaking process was devoted to categorizing legitimate and illegitimate techniques that courts use to escape the gravitational pull of precedent. Drawing upon Llewellyn's work, Mr. Denning handily refutes Kallgren's premise.

If I go on it will get more pointy-headed than it is otherwise, therefore in sum, I can assure you that the dishonest citations that Kallgren and Larimer's arguments rely upon for their position, are on poor, if untenable ground; as is being borne out by the courts in the 21st century who are relying upon the Founders themselves, period dictionaries and law commentaries at the Founding.........

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Watchdog,

Missed your post while penning the dandy above.......

Your excellent query, "it might be necessary to first determine whether SSRIs make people nuts or nuts are put on SSRIs. I.e., which is cause and which is effect?", addresses my premise that:

......way too many males are diagnosed with hyper-active disorders who are then proscribed SSRI's which either creates a benign mental illness, or a manifestion of a dangerous homicidal side effect. There is a strong coorelation with these drugs and mass shootings over the last 15-20 or so years (80-90% of the shooters were on these drugs).......the media and the research centers of the government are quiet on this issue, that I do know.......if you are a Googler, a little help would be much appreciated....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good evening foes and fans alike,

Mr. Larimer’s fascination with Dred Scott and the Civil War is puzzling, considering the fact that the North were arming black men. If he would look a little closer at the US Constitution & Bill of Rights, he would find Justice Taney’s “inference” in Article I -section 2: “three-fifths of all other Persons”.

Mr. Larimer should also pick up a copy of John Locke’s, “Second Treatise on Government” for a better understanding of the social ‘compact’ between a man and his government.

Prior to assisting Mr. Larimer with his untenable argument to disarm the people and his convolution posed as a query – “Does the 2nd Amendment mean what the current balance of separate powers says it means today?”; let us have a look see at a letter from Albert Gallatin to Alexander Addison on Oct. 7th 1789:

“The whole of that Bill [of Rights] is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals....[I]t establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.”

The government and Mr. Larimer would have us believe that the 2nd Amendment must be interpreted through the lens of a ‘sophisticated collective rights model’ that recognizes some limited species of individual right, however, this supposedly ‘individual’ right to bear arms can only be exercised by members of a functioning, organized state militia who bear the arms while and as a part of actively participating in the organized militia's activities, i.e. - the National Guard; which then “permits the exercise of broad power to limit private access to firearms by all levels of government", as per Edward E. Kallgren of the American Bar Association.

This "modern day" construction was put to rest in ‘US v. Emerson, 2001’, yet lives on the Ninth Circuits’ 2002, ‘Silveira v. Lockyer’ decision by quoting the Founders out of context, misinterpreting Madison's Federalist #46, and ignoring the writings of legal commentators of the Founding period with their upholding of a dishonest construction that the 2nd’s purpose is the preservation and continuance of the militia.

Today's courts have strayed from the truth unlike in Justice Joseph Story’s day (Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833):

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.”

As have they ignored the Rights of Man as per Sir William Blackstone (Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765):

“….right of the [citizens] of having arms for their defense,” which flowed from “the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”

Today, just as in Jefferson’s day, the inalienable Rights codified in the Bill of Rights, are just as important to liberty, maybe even more so, considering the behemoth that the federal government has become. Let us look to a letter Mr. Jefferson wrote to Mr. Madison on Mar. 15, 1789 for the proper context of its importance and the proper context of the subordinate nature of the States:

“…The jealousy of the subordinate governments are precious reliance. But observe that those governments are only agents. They must have principles furnished them whereon to found their opposition. The [Bill of Rights] will be the text whereby they will try all the acts of the federal government. In this view it is necessary to the federal government also: as by the same text they may try the opposition of the subordinate governments....A brace the more will often keep up the building which would have fallen with that brace the less.....The inconveniences of the Declaration (Bill of Rights) are that it may cramp government in it’s useful exertions. But the evil of this is shortlived, moderate, and reparable. The inconveniences of the want of a Declaration are permanent, afflicting and irreparable: they are in constant progression from bad to worse.”

In closing, I would highlight, again, that the fervor displayed by Mr. Larimer and others, to pare liberty to their world view, whilst ignoring the first principles of governance that our Founders bequeathed us as Americans; clearly ‘shews’ that human nature has not changed for the better, despite our “modern” civilization.

And as a friendly reminder:

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?” - Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, 1801

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


WOW!


“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?”

Can such men be trusted with Bushmasters?


Mr. Ullom,

You have matured some from the days of SugarPop and x1x2, and I have had a shift in consciousness due to a temporary health setback. I have to come like your Talkabout persona instead of despising it. The exuberance you display is refreshing and sometimes your contrarian nature has you exhibit some thoughtful queries and rejoinders, however, like my Red-baiting habit, it can also be tiresome.

With that on the table, it is my belief that since my return I have not attacked you on a personal level, but I have and will continue to attack your arguments and philosophy (whatever the heck that may be) with vigor, and vehemence if need be, because I take this Talkabout thingeebob seriously. As seriously as if we were step in the ring or on the mat. This does not mean that we cannot have some fun, as all the men who have ever set foot on my jobs will attest to, we work hard and have fun doing it.

Some would ask why I bother, and I would answer thus: if this were a sandlot pickup game, I'd want you on my team instead of the other's. Not so much as, 'keep your enemies closer', but as, I think that you are closer to Thomas Jefferson's republicanism than your persona would have you be.

This post, my friend, is an olive branch that you could park a D8 Caterpillar upon with which I would ask of you take this topic (2nd Amendment) as seriously as I do. So, put the "Bushmaster" away where it belongs, in the trash heap of non-sequiturs.......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good evening foes & fans alike,

Some of you are tiring of my quotes and context from men and words, as per my antagonist Mr. Larimer, "[who lived and] were written over 200 years ago when times were different and the technologies that dominate the world today had not yet been developed." Let us change the pace a bit.

A short jaunt into the not so distant past - the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's - so that we may examine Mr. Larimer's statement: "in 1965 there were still many black Americans who lived under conditions hardly different from slavery", in the more favorable light of the 2nd Amendment.

Let us just say, that progress towards equal rights was accelerated and changed for the better, thanks to a small band of working class black men who armed themselves in Jonesboro, Louisiana. They are known as the 'Deacons for Defense and Justice'.

Mr. Larimer would have these brave men who stood up to the police, the government, and the KKK; armed with weapons from an "era [when] no one could imagine a gun capable of firing as rapidly as anyone could pull the trigger".

The police, the KKK, and the local, state, and federal governments realized that these men needed to be accorded the respect that they deserved as human beings for the sole fact that they were armed.

Social unrest, usurpation, and self defense are why governments/police should never be the only ones with effective firearms that any days "technology" would supply.

I'm for all Americans being armed, whether they be black, brown, yellow, or white. Nothing but mutual respect all

around....politeness to boot.

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


The civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. was the force behind the change in America in the 1960’s and not an armed stand off between the KKK and the Deacons for Defense. This view of history is best suited for a skit planned for the revival of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV show; it is not a reasonable characterization of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s.


Mr. Larimer,

As per the Talkabout rating system I've seen bandied about, I'll give you a:

+.7

for exhibiting a sense of humor and creativity. Well done.

With that goodwill between us, I will beg to differ with your statement that the story of the 'Deacons' "is not a reasonable characterization of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s." I would also like to preface the argument I am about to lay before you refuting such. This essay does not in any way, shape, or form, condone 'armed resistance' for any such whim of an alleged wrong. Brandishing arms whether one be a government agent or one who is against the government, must be on firm constitutional ground. Period.

Awhile back, sometime in the late 1980's, I hired two black men, cement finishers, to help me and my brother finish two foundations in Daly City (monolithic pours) because at the time it was beyond our skillset. During the course of the job, as ex-military, they expressed the wish that our society was more like the military because the racism at that time in the military was dealt with in a timely and sometimes harsh manner. You followed orders or went to the brig.

An interesting theme, that one, which I came across over the years in various books I have read and when pursued in a more enthusiastic manner, I came across an interesting book, of another theme, a couple of years before President Obama was elected, which I have since then, re-read:

"The Deacons for Defense - Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement", Lance Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

I believe there is also a movie.

Growing up in HMB was idyllic in the sense that the worst racism I encountered, and still do for that matter in HMB, was between the Italians and Portuguese. Or worse yet, the duels between our town soccer coaches, one, a scotch drinkin' Scotsman who taught us how to take the other guy out without fouling out; and two, the wine drinkin' (that nasty home brew in the basement) Portuguese who tried to undo the damage by the Scotsman. The Scotsman won out and judging by results ..... we never lost that I remember.

That there is the backdrop for my appreciation of Mr. Hill's book which shows that: "segregation yielded to force as much as it did to moral suasion", and that to do that, "[the black man] had to overcome white terror, [forewhich he] had to gain respect through fear". He goes on to say: "the Deacon's greatest accomplishment [was] that their willingness to retaliate against Klan violence ultimately forced the federal government to enforce the Civil Rights Act and the Bill of Rights, assert federal supremacy, and destroy two major pillars of white supremacy - local police repression and Klan terror."

Mr. Hill does not dismiss Martin Luther King, JR.'s incredible work that brought to the forefront of America's conscience, the terrible plight of the black man in America. Quite the contrary, his is an attempt at a correction of the historical record, with a credible claim of dismissal for the myth that the passage of the '1964 Civil Rights Act' and the progress that we have accomplished as a country, legally and societally, towards de-segregation was due only to King's philosophy of 'non-violence'.

If you would continue with your claim that Mr. Hill is "[un]reasonable", or if you are still insisting that the men in the Deacon's shoes should only be armed with weapons from an "era [when] no one could imagine a gun capable of firing as rapidly as anyone could pull the trigger", while at the same time you would have the police and military have the benefit of weapons made with "today's technology"; you are in the camp of ignorant tyrants and are not welcome any where near the reins of governmental power.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

Before I go on to other matters, I feel the need to offer some more context from Chapter 3 of Mr. Hill's book, "The Deacons for Defense", which further substantiates our Founders intent of the 2nd Amendment. Shall we?

Below, Mr. Hill illustrates the context understood by a Mr. Harvey Johnson (a Deacon founder) as he stood before the Jonesboro Town Council being admonished for brandishing firearms, when he stated, "It's just like if someone is going to come over and run us out of our house. We are not going to put up with that.":

"... [That] by asserting their natural right to self-defense, the Deacons seized their rights by force rather than have them conferred by a beneficent elite. Rights conferred from above - as if a reward for good behavior - are fragile liberties. More a priviledge than a right, they depend on the continuing goodwill of the dominant group."

We'll stop here for a bit so that we can reflect on your need to dictate the extent of our 'Rights' to bear arms, seeing as you believe that you are in the "dominant group" with the pretense of being in the 'moral majority'..... Mr. Hill goes further:

"In contrast, inalienable and natural rights, seized from below by force, are as strong as the subordinate group's will to defend them. Non-violence [standing in front of tanks] had made blacks dependent on the sympathy of a fickle white conscience in the North. Civil rights were awarded on the condition that blacks complied with white expectations of appropriate behavior: that is, refrain from using the same methods of force that whites had employed to gain their own rights. If black behavior ceased to meet with white approbation, then whites could withdraw the right.."

The Deacons "[were not going to wait no more]" for a "mythical guardian angel to descend from Washington [DC] [to] vanquish their tormentors".

And for some more perspective on the arms of a rifleman, examine the photographs from this period of unrest and take notice of the firearms that the police and government agents had in their hands. You will find that they were brandishing the latest 'assault weapons' that the 1960's "technology" offered. The M-1 Garand (.30-06 caliber), the M-14 (.308 caliber), and the M-1 Carbine (.30 caliber).

After your examination of these photograghs; please go on to explain to our fellow Talkabouters why these brave men - who risked their lives and put their families at risk to stand up to the police and the KKK - should not have the same firearms with the same magazine capacity.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


editing button:

this was supplied without the proper context "[standing in front of tanks]", which should have been posted thusly:

[standing in front of tanks - as Mr. Larimer would have them]


The notion that armed citizens, a romanticized view of the American west, is the reason for a successful republic in America today is at easily disputable. Claiming that arming everyone is the way to achieve liberty today is right wing nonsense. By this logic the people in the nations that comprise western and northern Europe must all be living without liberty since they have strong restrictions against gun ownership.


Mr. Larimer,

You have lost your sense of humor and have reverted to old self of making conclusory statements devoid of substance, but for persistence, a score of:

+.1

for an aggregate total of +.8

Now that we have a lesser established bit of goodwill between us, how 'bout we look through the lens of your inference, "a romanticized view of the American west", for another aspect of the 2nd Amendment that you would soft-pedal, shall we?

Defense of property and life. If we were to jaunt forward in time to the LA riots, we would find an excellent example of some Koreans defending their property with firearms that you would have banned from civilian ownership. A reasonable person would ask, where was the police protection? I would answer: there are not enough policemen for situtations such as these (800,000 nationwide), or maybe, as I heard from people who lived through this experience, the mayor sent the cops home to take care of their own.

A dire situation that would be made all the more direful if you, Feinstein, and Obama have your way with the 2nd Amendment. Of course, if that were New Orleans during the aftermath of Katrina, you and your kind would have had the police conducting house to house confiscations of guns from the law abiding instead of rounding up the looters and criminals. Oh, but that does not happen in the "modern day times" of this "successful republic", does it? Yes it does.

Furthermore, you do not get to hide behind the mantle of the 'moral majority' in your want to pare liberty, because now we clearly see the disdain for the US Constitution & Bill of Rights that President Obama and you have for the rule of law with these edicts from on high, executive orders that subvert the 2nd Amendment. Can't say that I am sorry laddy buck, but we are not Europe, our Rights are inalienable.......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Anyone with common sense can understand that 30,000 annual gun deaths in America and matched only by nations in the middle of civil wars or without stable governments is hardly a recommendation for how to secure liberty. JD’s idea of liberty comes from cowboy novels and has nothing to do with real freedom. It is sophomoric, it ignores the annual gun death carnage, it is wrong.

Freedom from the fear that some gun-toting moron will randomly visit gun-violence on innocent people is the norm in the rest of the industrial world, but not in the USA. On the average day in America 82 people die from a gunshots, many of them suicides. Since December 23, 2012, the day of the massacre in Newtown, CN, an additional 1,390 people have died from guns.

Reasonable people understand that licensing guns, gun users, limiting the sale of ammunition, and banding automatic weapons is not a restriction on liberty. Sensible gun laws will not threaten liberty, they will insure it.

There is nothing remotely humorous in 30,000 preventable gun-violence deaths every year. Sensible people understand that guns do not protect liberty. The time to enact sensible gun laws is now.


Mr. Larimer,

There you go again with your statistics of gun violence in your quest to subvert the 2nd Amendment with legislation and/or presidential decrees that only focus on the gun without a want or a care to address the greater societal problems created by our schools, our government, the media, the medical and psychiatric associations, and our entertainment industries; which de facto, create the environment that breeds the psychopaths that go on these murderous rampages.

Unlike ObamaCare, you and Obama are not going to 'ramrod' this one down the throats of the American people.....We are not Europe, Australia, Canada, nor Japan.....our Rights are inalienable for a reason......the zeal that you display here for the disdain of the rule of law.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


This Wikipedia article Web Link indicates 32,367 deaths in 2011 in the U.S. from motor vehicles. Motor vehicle operators are licensed and theoretically the incompetent ones are weeded out, and yet, 32,367 deaths. Scroll up and note that this is 9% more than the number of "preventable" gun deaths cited by Mr. Larimer.

I guess the next proposal is going to be banning private ownership of motor vehicles. Or else just the ones with more than a certain size gas tank or more than a certain horsepower. Or maybe limit them to going 25 MPH.


"Sensible people understand that guns do not protect liberty."

Hmmm. Generally mistaken for a sensible person, who even wears sensible shoes, I find myself questioning the sensible-ness of the quote above. Rather, I would recommend eschewing overstatement by agreeing that guns have, do and likely will protect liberty, but that doesn't stop us from having reasonable regulations governing their ownership and use.

Overstatement in argument tends to shoot oneself in the foot, rhetorically speaking of course.


The context of this blog is civil life, not war between nation states or even civil war within a nation state. The context in which any statement is made is just as important in understanding the intended meaning as the literal words and their meanings.

Laws restricting private ownership of military weapons did not prevent India from freeing itself from British colonial rule, the fall of the Soviet Union, or more recently the Arab Spring. Unlimited access to guns and the unrestricted private ownership of guns in the US are not protecting our liberty.


"Arab Spring?" Bah. The "Arab Spring" fairy tale was put to rest with Obama's Bengazi scandal. What a joke. If Obama hadn't been so fixated on pretending everything was peachy-keen in the middle east before the election then we would have a few more people alive at the US Embassy today. And it was all for nothing since people were still so (insert unkind comment) as to ignore his coverups and vote for him anyway.

But back to your point: "30,000 preventable gun-violence deaths every year."

You're acting as though preventing citizens from owning weapons will prevent gun crime. It has been shown time after time that denying guns INCREASES crime. Look at Chicago and Washington, D.C. Then look at the stats of Florida after citizens got the carry permit. A drastic reduction in crime. In fact, foreign tourists were advised to wear NRA caps to appear armed instead of a mugger's dream.

About keeping weapons for national security of the citizens-- I'll trust my neighbors to defend us better than any brownshirts Obama and his ilk will set against us.


I think the gun grabbing frenzy after the Sandy Hook shooting says a lot about what's wrong with the concept of gun ownership in this country today. First off the shelves were the assault weapons, which have no valid need in today's society outside one of the military branches.

I have to wonder that if these high tech weapons and this country's history of mass massacres, along with well funded and organized military groups, were the order of the day back then, would the 2nd amendment have been so written. I suspect not. Today we have well established military units at the state and national level. There is no valid use for these weapons in the private sector, other than to feed hormone driven bragging rights. As long as hormones continue to drive policy, this discussion will never end, and excuses will continue unabated.

And children will continue to be at risk, along with their families and others. Excuses don't save lives and bodies; they damage them irreparably.


"The context of this blog is civil life..."

Actually, the context – as the title of the thread indicates – is the 2nd Amendment, whose asserted premise is that guns (aka 'arms,' the stuff 'well regulated Militias' use) can and do protect liberty (the 'free State').

It would serve your argument much better to simply admit that the statement I have questioned is mistaken, an overstatement, and then circumspectly retreat into a more defensible and attractive political position. This would also ably exercise the dormant virtue of moderation.

BTW, this is technically not a blog; rather it is important to recognize that it is a discussion forum sponsored by a local newspaper. The Review deserves a lot of credit for offering such a rare online venue, as it is one of the very few media websites that allows anyone to freely post their own threads, without prior Review editing, for all to read and comment upon. Bravo.


If Don Bacon is joining the chorus of anti-regulation, pro-proliferation gun advocates he should say so directly.

Guns in general and military grade weaponry specifically do not protect liberty in the US today. What they do enable is a senseless carnage that on the average day ends the lives of 80 Americans. No other industrial nation suffers this tragedy. Licensing guns, gun users, limiting the sale of ammunition, and banding automatic and military weapons does not threaten liberty in the US.

Most of these needless deaths are suicides, family quarrels that have turned lethal, mistaken intruders who also often family members, and accidents. With increasing frequency this steady stream of avoidable death is punctuated by massacres where the criminally insane go on rampages killing tens of innocent people and children.

The US is not the only nation where people cherish and experience liberty, but it is the only industrial nation that tolerates this senseless tragedy and justifies the carnage produced by the proliferation of guns as necessary to protect our liberty. An armed citizenry is not necessary to protect liberty; the evidence for that fact can be found in virtually every other industrial nation in the world today.

Here is a dictionary definition of blog: "a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis."


"I have to wonder that if these high tech weapons and this country's history of mass massacres, along with well funded and organized military groups, were the order of the day back then, would the 2nd amendment have been so written. "

Of course it would have. Remember that the government was badly oppressing the people. To rid itself of that government and start afresh the people had to muster up arms to match the force the government's army, knowing that if they had not been able to we'd have suffered even worse under its control.

What you're asking us to do now is give up the last shred whatsoever of any ability to stand up to the government in whatever form it eventually takes. We don't like what this administration is doing and we don't like where we're headed.

A government that wants to strip the people of its defenses is exactly the government that needs to be stood up to.

When you see signs of it the obvious natural response is distrust of the government and that we don't make ourselves defenseless. It's why millions of people are rushing out to buy weapons. Can they all be wrong? Not likely.

If you can see into the future and guarantee that in 25, 50, 100 years we'll still be at least as free as we are today then that would be the only reason to not buy arms. I may not want to go buy one personally but will stand up for our rights to do so.

Oh, and I do not imagine for a moment that some psychotic shootings back in the day would have prompted the Founders to say, "Nevermind, let's lay down our arms and let the Brits keep abusing us indefinately."

Do you?


The American Revolution was in response to taxation without representation not to oppression.


"If Don Bacon is joining the chorus of anti-regulation, pro-proliferation gun advocates he should say so directly."

I would join the "reasonable regulation, let's not pretend an unarmed citizenry isn't a sitting duck for tyranny" chorus.

As has been pointed to you many times on Talkabout, falsely ascribing ludicrous positions ("pro-proliferation"??) to others, i.e., setting up 'straw men,' is a sign of intellectual weakness. An inability to face your counterpart's real arguments.

"Here is a dictionary definition of blog: 'a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis.'"

Precisely. This is not a personal website; it is run by a century-old newspaper. If you start theworldaccordingtojim.com, that's a personal website, and you'd be blogging.


"The American Revolution was in response to taxation without representation not to oppression."

Either Jim's statement is preposterous, or the Declaration of Independence was a tissue of lies.

My copy of the Declaration copiously describes British oppression of the American colonies. I believe the description was accurate, and the oppression very real.


Where is the evidence that an armed citizenry protects liberty today or that an unarmed citizenry has prevented citizens from removing tyrannical governments today? There isn't any evidence for either of these claims.

Tunisia, Libya, Egypt have all managed to overthrow tyrannical governments and gun access was restricted in each of these countries by the governments that were overthrown.

The American Revolution was a couple of hundred years ago and the world and weapon technology has changed radically over these two centuries. The authors of the Constitution made it amendable because they understood that a changing world also requires changing the Constitution. This can be done by interpreting the Constitution within the context of a changing world or by amending it. American history is full of examples of both strategies and both strategies were employed within the first two decades of ratifying the Constitution.

Before the Declaration of Independence Ben Franklin went to England as a representative of the Colonies to argue for more self-determination in the governance of the Colonies. The goal that Franklin was sent to England to pursue was not to separate the Colonies from the Crown, but to make force the Crown to treat the Colonies as it treated English citizens in England.

Bacon is again ignoring context: the context in which comments are made and the context in which events current or historical occur.


"The authors of the Constitution made it amendable because they understood that a changing world also requires changing the Constitution."

I totally agree.

"This can be done by interpreting the Constitution within the context of a changing world or by amending it."

Wow. In part of a paragraph Jim goes from an excellent and accurate statement down into a rathole.

The Federal government is out of control specifically because Congress has decided to and has gotten away with interpreting the Tenth Amendment to be meaningless.

If people don't like what the Second Amendment says, then amend it according to the defined procedure which has been successfully utilized dozens of times. It's a very slippery slope to just "reinterpret" part of the Constitution to mean what one wishes it means today.


How the Constitution should be interpreted or what it means has never been simple or consistent. Consider for example the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798; the Congress that passed it did not see a conflict with this law and the 1st Amendment. The Jim Crow laws that enabled racism to flourish after the Civil War ended slavery provides plenty of examples of unique interpretations of the Constitution that seem unjustified today. The most recent Acts of our government to protect us from terrorism surely raise issues with the 5th Amendment and rights to privacy.

What the Constitution means and how it should be interpreted has never been obvious or simple. American history has plenty of examples of how interpretations have changed over time. Ignoring this is ignoring history.


The fact that the Constitution has been interpreted in different ways over time doesn't make it right. Legally, only the Supreme Court has the authority to decide ("interpret") what it means, and as I wrote before, fortunately judges generally feel bound by previous rulings of their court.

If support for a different take on firearm ownership has such broad support it shouldn't be that difficult to get a Constitutional amendment passed to revise the Second Amendment. Go for it. Then your position will be inarguable. But don't simply say "the founders couldn't have anticipated automatic weapons so we need to claim that the Second Amendment doesn't apply to such."

At the end of the day, I'm much more irritated at Congress ignoring the Tenth Amendment. There's about zero chance of changing the Tenth Amendment, so Congress simply ignores it by grossly abusing the ICC by interpreting it to mean that the ICC says that Congress can regulate whatever they claim could be interstate commerce without any sane connection to actual interstate commerce. That's just not right.


Mr./Ms. Pae,

In your "wonder[ment]" of the "well funded and organized military group" of the British Army (yesterday's "well established military units at the state and local levels"), have you ever "suspect[ed]" that they would seek to disarm their subjects?

In your "wonder[ment]" of "this country's history of mass massacres", have you ever "suspect[ed]" the governments role for the creation of the environment that breeds the psychopaths who perpetrate these murderous rampages?

In your "wonder[ment]" of the 20th & 21st centuries' technology, have you ever "suspect[ed]" that the wanton use of the coercive power of the government has been conquered?

If so, please explain why you would prolong the humilation and debasement experienced by the black people in the Deep South at the hands of the "hormone driven" police and the KKK because "there is no valid use for these weapons in the private sector".

If so, please explain why the politicization of the BATF did not lead to "hormone driven" policies which then escalate situations to the point of death for women and children as in the case of Randy Weaver, Waco, and Fast & Furious.

If so, please explain why the militarization of the 800,000 member nationwide police forces to combat the 800,000 members of gangs is not due to the federal government's policy to criminalize marijuana use in its War on Drugs.

So, in the end, you are right; "this discussion will never end", "as long as [the] hormones [of those who] drive policy", never look at the causal factors for these senseless slayings. I also "suspect" that your "excuses" for this denial "will continue unabated" due to your willful ignorance of history and the limits place upon government in this constitutional republic.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

Your grasp of history and context is breathtaking...... breathtakingly ignorant in its willfullness. Not to worry, I am here to relieve this malady, an attempt anyways, with some context for the confusion you display thusly: "what the Constitution means and how it should be interpreted has never been obvious or simple or [consistent]", by a man who was there for its construction.

Alexander Hamilton as 'Publius' Federalist LXXVIII, May 28, 1788:

Speaking of the power of the judiciary to keep in check the limitations placed on the legislative branch: "Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of the courts of justice; whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void."

Now, seeing as you are fond of Mr. Webster (that dictionary guy), lookup "manifest tenor" in your search to "simpl[fly]" and make "obvious" proper interpretations of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights. May want to pay more attention to the men that were there for its construction, just sayin'.

And while you are in this mode of research, you may want to discern the difference twixt unconstitutional acts of the legislature and the executive and constitutional acts of such afore you conflate these into an "interpretation", just sayin'.

And for an example, you may want to look at the Jim Crow laws more in the light of states flouting the XIII & XIV Amendments, just sayin'.

And afore we retire for the evening, you may want review the history of the 'Deacons for Justice' one more time prior to staking out the territory that "there isn't any evidence" for an "armed citizenry protect[ing] liberty today"; and I would offer another friendly reminder, the Arabs in the Middle East would not know an inalianable Right if it hit them in their Sharia Law spouting mouth....... Just sayin'

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

One more thing, a simple query or three that I would have you address when you are not blaming an inanimate object or wishing America it is something it is not, e.g.- Europe or the Arab world:

"Why are 15% of our school children on some type of psychotropic drug? Within this 15% are 90% of the school shooters. Why are we not talking about that? From whence do these diagnosies stem for this artificially created epidemic, the schools, the government, or the psychiatry profession?....... Just curious

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Watchdog,

Nice analogy the one with the automobile. Well done. We'll have to be on our toes because like the ObamaCare debate, an analogy will be drawn of automobile and driver licensing with guns; however, unlike driving, the 'keeping and bearing of arms' is a Right, whereas driving is a privilege. Major difference as to how the law treats such.

I would like to expand on your insightful observation: "Congress ignoring the Tenth Amendment", to which I would also include 'the Courts'. We can make a very credible argument expounding this thesis, but, in the interest of adhering to the theme of this topic, let us also concern ourselves with the 2nd. I would hope that this brief sidebar will also illustrate why and how we have such 'confusion' from the Courts in their interpretations.

Earlier, a few posts above, I briefly touched on Karl Llewellen’s book, “The Common Law Tradition - Deciding Appeals”; who had "an entire chapter on the appellate decision making process [which] was devoted to categorizing legitimate and illegitimate techniques that courts use to escape the gravitational pull of precedent."

With this in mind, we look to Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist’ #78 (1788) for a glimpse into the misfeasance of modern day’s jurisprudence, whose roots stem from the progressive era of Hoover & Roosevelt, which identifies the problems of ‘confusion’ we are experiencing with our appellate court system and its opinions:

Hamilton notes that the courts have only: “Judgment [as opposed to] Force [or] Will [and that] the Courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should exercise Will instead of Judgment, the correspondence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure for that of the legislative body”.

It is no secret that FDR and the progressives of his era, had the same disdain for the US Constitution & Bill of Rights as our friend above, Mr. Larimer; as is ably demonstrated by FDR’s court packing scheme with men who shared the same world view, i.e.- generally, one that favors consolidation of powers in the federal government - when it suits their whim. Today we have appellate courts packed with progressives who resent the US Constitution & Bill of Rights for its impediment (which strengthens our republic rather than weakens) towards fulfillment of their world views.

If I may refer back to the principle of precedence, it is there that we will find most of the abrogations of the 10th and the 2nd; of which can be traced to what I will comfortably say, have been erroneous citings of 'Marbury v. Madison'-1803, whereby Chief Justice Marshall's opinion has been improperly construed that, 'judicial review' is solely within SCOTUS's province and/or that SCOTUS's judgment was superior to that of the other branches of government.

That right there, in conjunction with the illegitimate use of precedence, is the big back door that justifies constructions which expand the ‘general welfare’ well beyond the powers delegated to government in this constitutional republic. Congress is also packed full with these internationalists/progressives making the ‘confusions’ of interpretations ever the more great.

But, it gets worse, for we must not also forget the political tactics of these same people who: legislate by exigency; or who vote with a reliance upon an executive veto; or legislate bad law knowing full well that by the time the overreach gets adjudicated, the damage is wrought and the courts will be hesitant to deny.

Hope this helps and thanks for weighing in.......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Bacon,

Enjoyed your brief foray with Mr. Larimer and though I would agree that your shoes are sensible, I cannot say the same for your tie selection as they point more to the ridiculous..... that could be inferred as a personal attack or as just having some fun at your expense..... heh, heh

With the bonding of familiarity put aside for the moment, I would ask of you, at your convenience, to review a book I purchased about a week ago:

"Living with Guns - A Liberal's Case for the Second Amendment", Craig R. Whitney, Public Affairs, 2012.

I ask this of you because you are much better at achievement of consensus than me and my tendency for obstinacy in my pursual of having the truth honored. I bought the book so that I could review gun controls as proposed by a mainstream liberal editor of the New York Times, and put them up against the 2nd Amendment.

Also, the Cato Institute recently held a forum (same title as book) hosting Craig Whitney (author cited above), Alan Gura, Ilya Shapiro, Alan Morrison to discuss the 2nd Amendment and the Sandy Hook massacre. You can watch the 90 minute video on its website.

Viewing the forum above prior to perusal of Mr. Whitney's book will not endanger any conclusions you will reach. If you indulge my me this favor, I would offer this brief critique below:

Underlying the general conclusion of his book - 'to keep and bear arms' is an individual right - is a railing against the NRA and the Tea Party. How he arrives at his conclusion, an individual right, is a superb lesson in equivocacy that only a lifetime journalist of the New York Times could attempt with a straight face. Simply, he un-hitches the right of an individual to arms from the militia, and then re-hitches it to 'civic duty', which then sets up what he believes is reasonable and sensible gun control legislation and/or enforcement. He also makes the same mistakes as the judges of the Ninth Circuit's "Silveira v. Lockyer-2002" decision; quoting the Founders out of context and selective citings of judicial decisions that reflect his thesis.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


JD, thanks for the book recommendation and Cato forum headsup. And for this thread. Rich stuff, and timely too. I stopped in for a moment some days ago to shine a light on some locally-grown professorial bombast. I left after learning that the Americans weren't rebelling against British oppression after all [?].

Not that I'm burning all my sensible ties to this thread...


Mr. Bacon,

I'm fit to be tied.....with no cents to re-sole my shoes.....

Yeah, that submit button of Talkabout takes no prisoners, I couldn't believe my eyes, masterfully done. Which brings to the reality before us, 23 presidential decrees from: "a Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of Free people"..... Ya think our friend will figure out where that bit of 18th century prose hails from?

After the dust settles and I get a chance to read the full text of these decrees, in addition to some review of legal interpretations, we'll have to sit down here and jaw this one to death.

Some thoughts of my own as to the constitutionality for such that may or may not bear fruit:

Most generally, I see problems with separation of powers. Leaving the executive to define "dangerous person" is worrisome. The government is going to run into serious obstacles restricting magazine capacity, types of firearms, bullet ballistics, and cartridge purchases for the sole fact that the police have the same firearms (as to why is for another day).

Registration and licensing are up against a Right versus priviledge.

Background checks not an issue, however, in light of the fact that the government's definition of mental illness is quite broad and subjective and the fact that the federal government refuses to secure our borders; this is most worrisome. We must demand a microscopic examination by Congress. The whole ADHD/psychiatric drug issue is being swept under the rug of bureaucracy in the haste to do 'something'.

The bottom line, the executive has no business here other than the fact that his powers can limit importation within the liberally determined limits established by the courts. I pray to God we do not have to depend on the Courts, Roberts & Scalia seem to be cowering from the originalist thinking that put them there.

Now, if I were a drinkin' man, I'd go tie one on....... 'til then

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Legislate (or decree) in haste, repent at leisure...


Reading this blog requires reminding yourself that Don Bacon believes he has wisdom to suggest a sweeping revision of the Constitution more in line with his ideas than the current one. He calls it a reconstitution. That requires a great deal of chutzpah.

JD the Federalist, one of many anonymous bloggers here, has his own ersatz version of history. With his apparent belief in his infallibility in interpreting the Constitution he elevates himself to a level he shares only with the Pope. The Pope evokes his infallibility sparingly.

The self-congratulatory back and forth between these two is evident in their dialog. Both appear to be operating from the premise that our government in its 200 plus year history has never made a mistake and has never unjustly infringed on anyone’s liberty. That is not true nor is it unpatriotic to point it out.

The perfection of our Constitution as a document similar to the Ten Commandments, directly transcribed by Moses from the words of God, is not a view shared by the original authors of the Constitution. Had the framers believed this they would not have made the Constitution amendable. Making the Constitution subject to amendment was their way of proclaiming that it is a living document, something to be modified as times change and the needs of the people change.

Criticizing our government is not the same as opposing it. Patriotism does not require anyone to believe with blindly certain conviction that nothing is better than the current version of the Constitution. This is a position that Bacon must also ascribe to given his contributions on this blog site suggesting his version of a new Constitution, his reconstitution.

The gun-violence apologist JD may believe that his views on the rights conferred by the 2nd Amendment are necessary and cannot be changed, but the deaths of 30,000 innocent Americans who die every year for gun violence challenge that view. America is the only advanced industrial nation on the globe today that tolerates this pointless random slaughter of its citizens by allowing a proliferation and easy access to guns.


Jim, your first entry on this thread states:

"It is now time to amend the Constitution and replace the 2nd Amendment with something more suitable to current times."

Do you have draft replacement language to propose?


Mr. Larimer,

I'm not very anonymous, think back a few years during the heyday of the non profit 'Californians for Property Rights'. I have been going by "JD" for, oh, 40+ years now......not there yet? Remember the short guy with the body of Adonis and the good looks of Tom Cruise?..... John Donovan

Now that familiarity has been re-established, if you would like to be part of the bon-homie twixt Mr. Bacon and myself, we could review a book together:

"American Homicide", Randolph Roth, 2009, President and Fellow of Harvard College

From which we could breakdown your gun violence statistics with an eye towards the causal factors for America's rate of homicide. For instance, we could start by looking at suicides, gang membership, and the age-old 'fit of anger'; for a better place to begin a dialogue than one that starts and ends with the gun and you calling me names.......

And who knows, maybe we'll even get to the federalized criminalization of marijuana use and its useless escalation of violence due to the feds 'War on Drugs'.

The ball is in your court...... Then again, maybe you just don't like me.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


JD may believe that everyone who reads this blog knows that he is John Donovan but his fame has spread less widely than he understands. I do not recall meeting him and given his opinions have no desire to meet him. The gun statistics that matter are the number of gun deaths per capita in the US compared to the rest of the industrial world, they are more than an order of magnitude greater in the US than anywhere else in the industrial world today.

Mr. Donovan sites books on history and politics to buttress his claims. He should consider learning about the history of the theory of phlogiston. Phlogiston was an early explanation of the components of matter and their relationship to fire. It was wrong. The empirical evidence disproving it was available decades before the theory finally passed into the dustbin of incorrect scientific theories because some of the scientists of that era, the 1600’s, refused to believe the clear evidence that it was wrong.

Another historic example of the persistence of wrong ideas was the miasma theory of disease. In the 1800’s, not that long ago, it was believed that plagues like cholera were caused by the foul odors produced from cesspools. The scientist physician John Snow gathered clear evidence that this theory was wrong during the cholera epidemic in London of 1857. Nonetheless it was more than a decade before the theory of miasma began to be seriously challenged in the scientific arena. The City of London embarked on the project to build the sewer system that ended these outbreaks ten years after Snow made this recommendation because they did not believe him. Snow was right, it was sewage infiltrating into the water supply that caused the cholera outbreaks.

Often the clear evidence for change, that an idea is wrong, is ignored. The 1960’s saw the beginnings of the terrible consequences that guns produce in the America today. We lost three prominent Americans all assassinated by gunshots. The rise of daily gun violence also began to accelerate in these years. Now 40 years later it has reached plague proportions. Thirty thousand Americans lose their lives yearly because of the easy access to guns in America today.

Don Bacon asks what change to the Constitution is required today? The 2nd Amendment surely has no useful value in the modern world, so why not remove it? Amend the Constitution by voiding the 2nd Amendment; it is no longer useful or needed. It does not protect liberty in the modern age.

Short of voiding the 2nd Amendment it ought to be interpreted as it is stated in the Constitution; “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” A well regulated militia is a “military force that is raised from the civil population” according to the dictionary and to common sense. Today our military and the National Guards are all volunteer military forces raised from the civilian population. Every person in the country does not need a gun to be ready to join the militia.

Historically the thirteen Colonies needed an armed rebellion to free themselves from British rule, but Canada, South Africa, Australia, and India all became independent without an armed rebellion. The recent upheavals in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and now Syria have all taken place in countries that had laws preventing citizens access to guns, yet this did not prevent the overthrow of dictatorial governments. The idea that an armed citizenry protects liberty is not true in the modern world. These examples from history and current events are clear evidence that change in the modern world. Allowing citizens to own guns DOES NOT PROTECT LIBERTY. An armed citizenry is no longer required to obtain liberty or to overthrow a dictator!

The claim the Donovan makes that the 2nd Amendment was meant to arm everyone to protect themselves is wrong. The recent rulings of the current Supreme Court majority to the contrary, there is no evidence that the intent of the authors of the 2nd Amendment was to allow anyone to become a vigilante as Donovan states. Even if you believe that was the intent, it makes no sense today. Arming everyone will only lead to shootouts in shopping centers, gun battles in parking lots, on our highways, and throughout the land.

Today in America we are ten times more likely to die from gun violence than if we lived in any other industrial nation. That is unacceptable. There is no reason to allow 30,000 people to die annually because of a proliferation of guns and the violence they create.

There are all kinds of violence, but gun violence is lethal, violent computer games are not. Donovan claims that violent games on computers are the cause of these deaths, but that claim is baseless. People in every other industrial nation play the same computer games people play here in America and they do not experience the kind of yearly slaughter from guns that we have here in America.

Gun violence is different from fistfights. Maybe a professional boxer can kill someone with their hands, but most of us are not skilled enough in boxing to kill anyone. The argument that people kill and guns do not is wrong and it is pointless. Guns make killing someone easy.

The NRA and its pro-gun-violence, pro-gun-proliferation political agenda is thinly disguised marketing campaign for the gun industry. They have attempted to wrap themselves in the flag proclaiming their defense of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – that is BALONY! More than half the money that pays for the NRA staff and their pro-gun-violence propaganda comes from the gun industry. The NRA should be identified by their real mission; it is to guarantee profits for the merchants of death, the gun industry.

Demanding responsible regulation of guns to end the senseless slaughter of 30,000 Americans who die annually due to the easy access to guns is not a threat to liberty, democracy or individual freedom. Anyone who does not want to be labeled as a pro-gun-violence extremist should consider their own views and their statements. If you defend the policies of the NRA then you are a pro-gun-proliferation, pro-gun-violence extremist!


"The 2nd Amendment surely has no useful value in the modern world, so why not remove it? Amend the Constitution by voiding the 2nd Amendment; it is no longer useful or needed. It does not protect liberty in the modern age."

Clear enough: Jim proposes to simply eliminate the Second Amendment, with no substitute language. Therefore no implicit or explicit guarantee of a right for anyone to keep or own a firearm. Under Jim's proposal private gun ownership could be outlawed in whole or part under his amended Constitution.

Under my Re-Constitution, the Second Amendment's central guarantees are recast, primarily for the sake of clarity, to make them less ambiguous and more explicit, but also to generalize the guarantees under the notion of protecting oneself and others. The guarantee is in Article III, titled Enumeration of Civil Rights and Liberties, Section 5, titled Right of Self-Protection:

"Right of self-protection, to defend one’s own and others’ safety from bodily harm, to keep arms for personal protection in one’s domicile, and to bear arms in defense of the United States against tyranny, insurrection or invasion."


Don Bacon proposes a new 2nd Amendment that allows guns for self protection. Self protection was never the intent of the 2nd Amendment, so why create any Amendment that sanctions that now?

In Austriala there is no constitutional right to own a gun, yet plenty of Austrialian sportsmen and hunters have guns and use them daily. In Austriala, unlike the US, there has not been a massacre comparable to our recent Aurora, CO or Newtown, CN massacres in over a decade and the yearly loss of life from guns has been drastically reduced.

We do not need any Constitutional mandates to enact reasonable controls and regulations for guns. The current minority on the Supreme Court additionally believes that many more restrictions on the use of guns can be enacted and not violate even the current version of the 2nd Amendment.


Mr. Larimer,

Looks like the idea of bon-homie is out, huh? I am saddened that you do not remember such a good-lookin' lad such as myself, who also exhibits the intellectual clarity of say, an FA Hayek.......So, I guess you really don't like me.... Alrighty then, from here on out you will be treated as a hostile witness in JD's Court of Liberty.....subpoenas will follow.....'til then, another query or two:

Would you please elaborate on your excellent interpretation of the 2nd Amendment which you state thusly:

"Self protection was never the intent of the 2nd Amendment"

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr Donovan, I have read Hayek and I believe his views are just as wrong and appalling as yours.

The point of the 2nd Amendment was to allow citizen soldiers to bring their guns with them when called to arms. Surely a student of history like yourself should know that.


Mr. Larimer,

Perhaps a refresher is in order from the men that were actually present during the formation of this constitutional republic. Shall we?

We'll begin with a reference to Locke's 'compact':

"Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would." - John Adams, 1763

Tench Coxe on the Second Amendment, 1789:

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

During the Massachusetts ratifying convention in 1788, a Mr. Theodore Sedwick on the 'fears of standing armies' queried thusly:

".... if raised, whether they could subdue a nation of freemen, who know how to prize liberty, and who have arms in their hands?"

Patrick Henry at the Virginia state ratifying convention, 1788 - with a bit of sarcasm I might add:

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined ..... O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone ... Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation ... inflicted by those who had no power at all?"

And our closer for this evenings historical refresher from a St. George Tucker, 1803:

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree, as is the case in the British government." - St. George Tucker, 1803

That should help relieve some of the ignorance you continue to display. If these do not relieve this malady of ignorance, perhaps you should read the 'Federalist & Anti-Federalists Papers' for yourself..... a good place to start as any.....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


The Second Amendment assumes one's right to use arms to protect oneself. It was too absurd to question, and too obvious to bother to state. Politicians of all stripes from that era would have found the idea that one did not have the right to keep arms, and defend oneself and others against intruders or attackers, to be perfectly ridiculous. In order for us to fully understand that the right to self-protection was assumed as a fact of life by the framers, we'll need to delve into our history a bit...

The first thing to understand is that all the colonial governments, and the new state governments formed from the colonies, not only permitted but required that all able-bodied men keep arms in their possession. It was against the law to not be equipped with and keep arms, and the minimum required type of arms were often spelled out in detail, as well as the fines and punishments for those who failed to comply. In other words, the entire male population was in effect deputized to protect themselves, the community and the state, and were synonymous with the militia. That is why the Second Amendment in its dependent clause refers to the "Militia," and in its independent clause "the People." Women, children and slaves aside, the "People" and the "Militia" refer to the same thing.

So that's the first crucial understanding in performing exegesis on the Second Amendment: participation in the local and state militia was not optional, and having the arms at home, ready for action, was not optional. Interestingly, when James Madison drafted the Second Amendment in 1789, he proposed two sentences. The first was the amendment we now have. The second proposed sentence excused members of clergy and others with religious objections from the legal obligation to keep arms, and bear them in service when mustered. That second sentence was eliminated by the House of Representatives. They didn't agree with offering exceptions to the requirement to keep arms, and serve in the local militia when necessary.

This point is reinforced by consulting the only book Thomas Jefferson ever wrote (in 1781, years before the Constitution was written), "Notes on the State of Virginia." Here is his description of that state's militia: "Every able-bodied freeman, between the ages of 16 and 50, is enrolled in the militia...The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with the arms usual in the regular service." He then goes on to complain that many men kept inferior arms at home, more suited to shooting varmints than properly protecting themselves and their community. And when he wrote that men were "enrolled" in the militia, that's what he meant: there was a roll, with each and every man's name on it.

The second crucial point to absorb is that Madison borrowed the language for the Second Amendment from bills of rights in a variety of state constitutions. In fact, the first eight amendments are derived in almost their current form from the Virginia Constitution of 1776. However, some of the formulations of rights within the state constitutions were clearer, more thorough, and more explicit than the Bill of Rights we now have.

That is especially true for the Second Amendment. In late 1787, when Pennsylvania was about to have its final vote on ratifying the Constitution, Robert Whitehill insisted that a bill of rights be added to the new Constitution. Here was the amendment he proposed on keeping and bearing arms, language derived almost verbatim from existing state constitutions:

"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals...." Notice the prominent "for the defence of themselves" phrase.

This notion is directly derived from the original English Bill of Rights of 1689, which was the inspiration and launching pad for much of the new American ideology of liberty. The English Bill of Rights accuses the deposed King James II of "causing severall good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when both Papists were both armed and imployed contrary to law [i.e., killing Protestants]." As remedy the Bill declares "That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence...."

The pre-eminent legal theorist of the era, William Blackstone, revered by the American framers, explained that the right of an English subject to keep arms for his self-defense "is a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanction of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression."

The right of self-defense ("under due restrictions"), enshrined for over three centuries by the English and American bills of rights, is as important a right today as it ever was.


The 2nd Amendment reads; “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The requirement to maintain a militia is the antecedent condition; the right to bear arms is conditioned on this necessary precondition, i.e., “to maintain a militia”, and is a consequence of it.

Bacon has reversed this logic; his parsing of the sentence infers a meaning that has been debated for decades. Parsing the sentence naturally with the first phrase as the antecedent leads to a different conclusion regarding what the 2nd Amendment means. This natural interpretation is also more consistent with our history and what words assembled in sentences mean.

In the 1700’s all guns were made one at a time by craftsmen. Guns were rare and expensive. Those individuals who had guns could use them for hunting and protecting farm animals. When they men were called to arms to join the militia they brought their guns with them. Not everyone had a gun as Bacon claims.

The colonies did not have the kind of police force within their communities we have today. In the frontier regions of the colonies there were many dangers: a disregard for the law, and Indians who were not always inclined to recognize property rights or to appreciate colonists invading what had previously been their lands.

Washington’s revolutionary army was poorly supplied as history as amply documented. Soldiers were often without food, adequate clothing, ammunition, and weapons. During the Valley Forge winter, for example, many soldiers died or deserted because of these conditions.

In response to the inadequate armaments available during the revolution a clear intent of the 2nd Amendment was to remedy this problem by encouraging citizen soldiers to own their own weapons and to bring them with them when they responded to a call to arms. Two hundred years ago to rapidly form a militia, on short notice, the citizen soldiers had to bring their own weapons. As we learned in the War of 1812 this organizational structure for an army has many defects, even then.

Then as now not every citizen joined the militia and not every citizen of soldiering age joined militias. The 2nd Amendment had very pragmatic origins focused on the need to defend the nation. Bacon’s view of what motivated the law and those who voted for it is just one interpretation of many. Lawmakers have often voted together to pass legislation or to ratify a Constitutional Amendment for very different reasons based on very different interpretations of the meaning of the language in the law. The current Supreme Court and Courts prior to this one are split on what the 2nd Amendment means and what motivated it.

Nothing today is more evident than the fact that technology and society has changed drastically since those times 220 years ago. Today modern police forces everywhere maintain law and order. Soldiers armed only with handmade weapons no longer fight wars.

Australia, for example, restricts access to guns and has nothing comparable to a bill of rights in its government charter. A right to defend yourself in a threatening circumstance is not restricted in Australia or any other modern industrial nation. There is no law in Australia prohibiting gun owners from defending themselves should that be necessary and appropriate. Australia certainly shares the same legal heritage with Great Britian that we do, so how it it that they see this issue so differently yet based upon the very same heritage?

Self-protection when threatened is a universal right in every nation. Conflating it with the 2nd Amendment is not necessary. This is an argument used by the gun industry and those who support it. It is a political opinion. It is a marketing ploy. It is not a semantic necessity.


Mr. Larimer,

I apologize for letting you languish in your lament that the "2nd Amendment is not necessary [for] self-protection" and that because guns were "made one at a time by craftsmen", today's citizen rifleman is prohibited possession of such made with today's "technology". Prioritizing my limited time on Talkabout had me address some 'political pettiness' exhibited by your allies in this cause of disarmament.

I see that you are still clinging to this notion that an individuals' Right to 'keep and bear arms' is predicated upon membership in a militia based upon your declaratorial dismissal of the context provided by the men that were actually there for the construction and ratification of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights. Creative repetition does not make for a credible argument, but in honor of this persistence we will pursue, once again, the lamentations above at a later date because it is time to look at your homicide statistics.

When the cowardly act of a psychopath in Newtown, Connecticut wrenched the heart-strings of America; you were one of first out of the gate to proclaim your compassion and grief for such a wanton act of selfishness in your hope to claim the moral high ground in the debate as to what to do about the recent rash of school/mass shootings. Your solution thus far, is to disarm the law abiding.

Enjoined with the media: you have ridiculed any or all attempts to identify government or school policies that create the fertile hunting grounds for these psychopaths; you have railed against the NRA with the intent to characterize all gun owners as having no compassion; and last but not in the least, you would have the US Constitution bent to the fancies of the day without due process.

Political opportunism at its worst, for its willful desire to create yet more tragedies like Sandy Hook, by not addressing the societal and governmental causal factors that carry with them tragic consequences. Time for a review of the death statistics and rates from the 'FastStats' of the CDC for 2010:

Suicide-38,364 (19,392 by firearm); Homicide-16,259 (11,078 by firearm); Events Undetermined Intent (252 by firearm); Accidents Unintentional-120,859 (Motor Vehicle-35,332 - Falls-26,009 - Poisoning and Exposure to Noxious Substances-33,041 – Accidental Discharge Firearm-606).

Injury by Firearm Total – 31,672 (includes suicide, homicide, accidents, and undetermined intent); Drug Induced – 40,393; Alcohol Induced – 25,692.

The following dissection of these numbers and a presentment of solutions that will have immediately measurable results; will not be allowed to be portrayed as a seemingly callous and casual attempt to skirt the grave issue of gun violence, and more generally, violence as homicide. I was alarmed at the number of suicides, a societal issue of itself; and though of a different nature, I was also quite alarmed with the deaths by poisoning, auto accidents, drug induced, and falls.

Historically, in 1960 our murder rate (all homicides) was 4.8 per 100,000 with a population of under 200 million and 100 million guns; in 2010 our murder rate was 4.8 per 100,000 with a population of 330 million and 300 million guns. Historically, our murder rate is near our all-time low since World War I and well within the fluctuations of this period that range from 3 – 10 per 100,000.

At this point we must recognize 2 facts: that suicide is roughly 60% of deaths by firearm (@ the rate of 6.3 per) and that our murder rate is the same as 40 years ago (4.8 per) despite an almost doubling of people and guns. Recognization of these facts is not the sole substantiating factor for my argument that the problem of school shootings is greater than the gun; it merely highlights the need to look elsewhere for the causal factors with the same zeal that you, Mr. Larimer, and the others so enjoined, are exhibiting for the disarmament of the law abiding. Thus far, there is only cursory acknowledgement of these facts by you and the media.

Of the remaining 40% (@ the rate of 3.6 per), for the most part, we have 2 major categories of subdivision: homicide by family; and homicide by friends, acquaintances, and strangers. About 10% of the 40% - I believe it is closer to 8% and on a downward trend – is death by spouse or family member, That leaves roughly 30% of the remaining homicides committed by friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Of this remaining 30%, anywheres from 30 – 80% are gang-related. This is hard to pin down because it is a county by county tally done by the respective county sheriff departments.

Gang violence, in general, is ticking back up; and despite the relative stability shown by the downward trend of homicide in general, we should be looking at the societal and governmental policies that may or may not be contributing factors for this escalation of gang violence. We can begin by looking at the War on Drugs with a more skeptical eye, whereby, we examine which drugs are responsible for the ‘induced deaths’ of 40,000+; and examine another factor of this war with direct correlation, the fact that our borders are as secure as a sieve, which of itself, lends to the ease of smuggling drugs, guns, and convicts.

Earlier, I mentioned a book by Randolph Roth, “American Homicide”. I bring this to our attention at this place because he has a very credible thesis as to the correlative factors for our homicide rate that he has applied to 400 years of our history which is based on a society’s perception of the following:

1.- The belief that government is stable and that its legal and judicial institutions are unbiased and will redress wrongs and protect lives and property. 2.- A feeling of trust in government and the officials who run it, and a belief in their legitimacy. 3.- Patriotism, empathy, and fellow feeling arising from racial, religious, or political solidarity. 4.- The belief that the social hierarchy is legitimate, that one’s position in society is or can be satisfactory and that one can command the respect of others without resorting to violence.

We will examine Mr. Roth’s thesis in more detail at a later date because, like Mr. Larimer I am persistent, I need to ask again: is this debate about preventing future Sandy Hooks? If so, we know where to look.

There are 15 million children (18 and under) on some form of psychiatric drug, and within this population are 90% of the school shooters. Why are we not pursuing this with a vengeance? Website below:

ssristories.com/index/school-shootings (Index to SSRI Stories)

For those of who failed to see these in another topic, I end this essay with some more repetition of my own. I offer solutions that will have immediately measurable results, despite the commentary of derision and ridicule designed to marginalize as ‘right wing’:

1.- Secure our borders. 2.- CCW programs for teachers/administrators. 3.- Localized volunteer programs, and/or paid positions, that utilize existing CCW permitees who are ex-military/police, though not limited to such if the individual is vetted by police and community; which would benefit schools, mall owners, and theater owners alike. 4.- Education programs launched locally which could mirror or improve upon the NRA’s Eddie Eagle gun safety program. These are but a few suggestions that could be utilized, if the populace could become more dependent on themselves versus always passing the buck to the undermanned police forces.

And for you Mr. Larimer, a direct query or two from a Mr. David K. Sutton of the website, ‘The Left Call’:

“Is the common wisdom that things are getting worse based on facts and evidence? Or, do we all need a collective perception adjustment?”

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

On another point not addressed immediately above, I notice that you are saying that my support for the 'Deacons for Defense' and their subsequent use of firearms to coerce the government to enforce the law - Civil Rights Act of 1964 - as one being characterized as the acts of a vigilante.

I am fascinated by your use of this term, vigilante, for the fact that its use became popular in the North before, during, and after the Civil War; to describe the members of the 'vigilance committees' who banded together under the banners of the KKK, to subjugate the black people of the South to their will. I find that rather insensitive, if not bordering on support for the racist white policies that kept the black people 'in their place'.

And now, onto your claim that was only briefly addressed immediately above: "that an individuals' Right to 'keep and bear arms' is predicated upon membership in a militia". In the interest of a speedy recovery for this malady of ignorance that you continue to demonstrate, a query or two:

Would this position of yours' - the right to arms predicated upon militia membership - be a personal deducement after a careful study of the words by the men that were there for the construction and ratification of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights, or, does it stem from the works of Garry Wills, Michael Bellesiles, and/or a Saul Cornell?

If the former, a review of all postings above by Mr. Bacon or myself would be in order; and if the latter, I will gladly show you the errors of their conclusions. Doctor Liberty is on call 24/7.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Web Link


Scientists use theory to explain observations and when the theory and observations are no longer in agreement, they reject the theory and not the data. Right wing apologists for the violence created by our lax and foolish lack of regulation of lethal weapons, guns, are unable to understand that when the data and the theory diverge it is time to rethink the theory. Instead they favor ignoring or challenging the data.

John Donovan, who fancies himself a defender of the Constitution, is a good example of this idiotic belief system. Donovan has lots of supporters in the right wing press many of whom he cites in support of his position favoring lack gun regulations that promote a proliferation of guns and the gun violence that takes 30,000 lives annually.

Comparing the rate of gun violence in any other modern democratic industrial nation to the rate of gun violence here in America you will find that we Americans are ten times more likely to die from a gun shot than in any other nation and one thousand times more likely to die from gun shots than someone living in Japan. Countries with a similar heritage to ours, for example, Canada or Australia, have all implemented sensible gun regulation and no rational observer can claim that citizens there have lost their liberty.

What is evident is that data, the day-to-day facts on the ground, mean nothing to these right wing ideologues. Whether it is global warming, evolution, social justice, or sensible gun laws they would rather look to the distant past and rely upon ideas that no longer apply to modern life than face the evidence that times have changed.


Mr. Ullom,

The weblink you supplied has furthered my interest in the Black Panthers and Malcom X, which was piqued by the author cited above, Lance Hill, in his book, "The Deacons for Defense - Armed Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement". I have a feeling that I will support their cause as enthusiastically as I do the Deacons', once I learn more about them.

The argument put forth by the author of weblink, Mr. Love, is on the same untenable ground as Mr. Larimer's above us, for his want to subvert the 2nd Amendment, as is illustrated by this paragraph from his essay:

"The ambiguous reading of the Second Amendment notwithstanding, gun control is as old as the Republic, and the amendment was not interpreted as an absolute in the early days of the United States. There was a balance between individual rights and public safety."

Furthermore, Mr. Karl Frederick's admission that he had "not given it [whether the 2nd Amendment imposed any restrictions on gun control] any study from that point of view”; clearly shows that his opinion - that he did "not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns [and that he thought] it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses" - is not based upon our historical record, nor upon an understanding of the inalienable Rights of an individual that are codified into law by the US Constitution & Bill of Rights.

And then we have Mr. Franklin Orth, who said that although certain aspects of the law - Gun Control Act of 1968 - "appear unduly restrictive and unjustified in their application to law-abiding citizens, the measure as a whole appears to be one that the sportsmen of America can live with". The strawman of Mr. Orth's, 'sportsmen', is no more credible today than yesterday.

I am not a member of the NRA, nor a vociferous supporter, but Mr. Love's attempt at discrediting today's position of the NRA, is nothing short of marginalization and lacks constitutional perspective, other than the conclusory statement quoted above.

My argument does not need the likes of Reagan, Orth, Frederick, nor the NRA; I have Mr. Madison & Co. standing behind me.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

Let us put to the test your theory of scientific theory, shall we?

Specifically, your pet theory of man-made global warming (you are supposed to label it 'climate change' by the way) has been shown on the theory side and the data side to have been skewed or biased to favor the outcome desired by governments and scientists alike. If we apply your theory - "when the theory and observations are no longer in agreement, they reject the theory and not the data" - to this hoax, how come the theory and the data have not been "rejected"? Afore you sidetrack the argument before us with this nonsense, I will happily engage you on this subject in another of my topics, "Carbon Dioxide & Your Liberty".

Let us now apply your 'theory of scientific theory' to your argument (theory) of disarming the law-abiding as the solution to prevent future tradedies as the likes of Sandy Hook. When confronted with the "data" (historical references of the law) refuting 'Larimers interpretation of the 2nd' from which your theory attempts to treat a Right as a priviledge; you superficially "reject" the "data" out of hand. Ass-backwards comes to mind.

It gets worse for your 'theory of scientific theory'. When an attempt is made to analyze the "data" that you yourself present as fact - 31,672 deaths by firearm (includes suicide, homicide, accidents, and undetermined intent) - in order to facilitate a dialogue that would properly direct the energy of government towards the causal factors that breed the psychopaths committing these wanton acts of violence; you not only "reject" the "data", you also dismiss the argument (theory) to pursue solutions that would have immediate and measurable results; and you do so with the same disdain and superficialty, hence, the name calling. Double ass-backwards comes to mind.

What can we surmise from this logic? That you do not like "the day-to-day facts on the ground":

Suicide is roughly 60% of deaths by firearm (@ the rate of 6.3 per) and that our murder rate is the same as 40 years ago (4.8 per) despite an almost doubling of people and guns.

Of the remaining 40% of deaths by firearm (@ the rate of 3.6 per), for the most part, about 10% of the 40% - I believe it is closer to 8% and on a downward trend – is death by spouse or family member. That leaves roughly 30% of the remaining homicides committed by friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Of this remaining 30%, anywheres from 30 – 80% are gang-related.

Therefore, if you were truly serious about preventing future Sandy Hooks versus disarming the law-abiding, we would be vigorously examining this gene pool (to be generous, the 60% of the remaining 30%) once the gang related homicides are removed from the "data" base.

And to take this further, I contend that we must be microscopically examining this gene pool of drug-addled children (18 and under) where 90% of the school shooters reside. And to take this even further, an examination of 19 - 25 year old males on these psychotropics.

ssristories.com/index/school-shootings (Index to SSRI Stories)

At this point, we are up against the US Constitution & Bill of Rights, again. These individuals so identified, enjoy all the protections therein, notwithstanding the 2nd. A complex problem with simple solutions that must not be carried out with haste, nor without great deliberation.

So, are you going to "rely upon ideas" concocted "from modern life [as Jim would have it]", "rather than face the evidence that times have changed", but human nature has not?.

And, if you want to transform America into what it is not - Europe, Australia, Japan, etc. - Article V. of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Can one assert that an AK-47 is something that no citizen should own without one's intent being characterized as wanting to disarm you and me?

To be fair, before a response is offered: -- "I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.'' ---Ronald Reagan

And to take this further, I contend that we must be microscopically examining this gene pool of drug-addled children (18 and under) where 90% of the school shooters reside. And to take this even further, an examination of 19 - 25 year old males on these psychotropics. -- JD

Hmmm. How about profiling young white males who are known to like guns?

Young Black Males shoot each other for revenge, economic reasons, then some more revenge. Same with Hispanics. I suppose one of the reasons they don't do it in the classroom is that they know the other kids are armed.

That is why it is so safe to be a Young Black Male in Oakland and a Young Hispanic Male in San Jose. They don't no stinking law telling them it is OK to pack ones Second Amendment Remedy.

But Young White Males and Korean ones are the ones that need to be focused on.

I am with President Reagan. Restricting my right to own weapons of certain capabilities is OK per the 2nd in my arrogant opinion. Does that make me a gun grabber?


Mr. Ullom,

Are interested in a dialogue or more of the same Talkabout one-up-manship?

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


If you are going to use absolutist rhetoric, such as accusing folks of wanting to disarm Americans because they advocate a subset of capabilities be restricted, I don't see much room for dialog.

If you are going to use terms like genetics when discussing gun violence, I feel my assertions to be consistent with the conversation I thought you were trying to provoke.

I tried to look up data on Psychotropics and Mass Murder but like you, found a dearth. But I did find out why and confirmed your suspicions of some sort of info blackout. Gun Profit Fundamentalists actually were able to impose restrictions of the collection of such data per their fear that some would misuse it.

I shared that with you but you did not care to discuss that tangent of your white boys gone crazy due to the use of drugs meant to keep them from acting crazy theory.

I have asked more than a few times if one can have a point of view such as President Reagan's when it comes to infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. The closest you have come to replying is to assert that Larimer, by virtue of his position on a subset of weapons, wants to disarm Americans.

I pointed out that Scalia has been accused of being a traitor for musing that there might be limits on the right to keep and bear. For example, there are those who contend that Scalia's contention that one has to be able to carry the weapon for it to be kosher is wrong because that leaves out the right to keep a tank. I linked to stories that supported my contention that there are guns rights fundamentalists who are just flat out nuts. No dialogue from you.

I have given you and others who are Pro Gun ample opportunity to chime in on what would be acceptable, per the 18th Century world view of some inspired White, property and slave owning, Males when it comes to regulating the Milita and infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Other than Barnus, nobody who is Pro Gun around here has even been able to acknowledge that there is or is not a Second Amendment Copacetic way restrict weapons ownership. Other than we all seem to agree that one can't own a Nuke.

So, either you just won't dialogue about your views of what is Constitutionally Cool to own or you are of the persuasion that there are no Constitutionally Cool restriction on what can be borne and kept. Unless I am wrong about my view of you views, there is no room for dialoge between such as you and I.

Which leaves us with this.

JD, you ignorant slut: -- Web Link


If you are going to use absolutist rhetoric, such as accusing folks of wanting to disarm Americans because they advocate a subset of capabilities be restricted, I don't see much room for dialog.

If you are going to use terms like genetics when discussing gun violence, I feel my assertions to be consistent with the conversation I thought you were trying to provoke.

I tried to look up data on Psychotropics and Mass Murder but like you, found a dearth. But I did find out why and confirmed your suspicions of some sort of info blackout. Gun Profit Fundamentalists actually were able to impose restrictions of the collection of such data per their fear that some would misuse it.

I shared that with you but you did not care to discuss that tangent of your white boys gone crazy due to the use of drugs meant to keep them from acting crazy theory.

I have asked more than a few times if one can have a point of view such as President Reagan's when it comes to infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. The closest you have come to replying is to assert that Larimer, by virtue of his position on a subset of weapons, wants to disarm Americans.

I pointed out that Scalia has been accused of being a traitor for musing that there might be limits on the right to keep and bear. For example, there are those who contend that Scalia's contention that one has to be able to carry the weapon for it to be kosher is wrong because that leaves out the right to keep a tank. I linked to stories that supported my contention that there are guns rights fundamentalists who are just flat out nuts. No dialogue from you.

I have given you and others who are Pro Gun ample opportunity to chime in on what would be acceptable, per the 18th Century world view of some inspired White, property and slave owning, Males when it comes to regulating the Milita and infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Other than Barnus, nobody who is Pro Gun around here has even been able to acknowledge that there is or is not a Second Amendment Copacetic way restrict weapons ownership. Other than we all seem to agree that one can't own a Nuke.

So, either you just won't dialogue about your views of what is Constitutionally Cool to own or you are of the persuasion that there are no Constitutionally Cool restriction on what can be borne and kept. Unless I am wrong about my view of you views, there is no room for dialoge between such as you and I.

Which leaves us with this.

JD, you ignorant slut: -- Web Link


John Donovan, aka JD the Federalist, is confused on many points, his misunderstandings include global climate change. This is not surprising.

Donovan like many ideologues is incapable of separating their politics from the available observations of daily life and our changing times. The US is the only industrial nation suffering on average 80 deaths every day due to gun violence. The connection of this datum to our lax gun policies is evident to anyone with any commonsense focused on this issue.

Global warming does not hinge on my personal opinion, as Donovan appears to believe. Climate science is not a new field. The understanding of the chemistry and physics of climate changes has greatly advanced in the last 60 years. The evidence that our global climate is changing more rapidly today than in the past 500 years is a consensus opinion of the scientific community and most importantly of those scientists who specialize in atmospheric sciences.

The evidence is mounting that climate change has been impacted and accelerated by man’s use of fossil fuels that have changed the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. Resistance to empirical evidence that has financial consequences on large profitable industries is not a new phenomenon in American politics. It is not surprising that the opposition comes primarily from the political right who fancy themselves as the true friends of industry - another self-proclaimed delusion.

The cigarette industry spent millions of dollars in their efforts to hide the harmful effects of smoking. The gun industry, having learned from this example, provides more than half the support to the NRA. The NRA is the vocal advocate for gun proliferation and lax gun regulation. The NRA is a wellspring providing all of the stilted and wacko claims and arguments that people like Donovan swallow hook line and sinker.

The carnage from gun violence, just as the carnage from smoking, is simply too big to ignore. Eventually a majority of Americans will recognize that regulating guns is needed and that regulating guns poses no threat whatsoever to our liberty within a value system that values human life.


Larimer, why do you say dumb things like "regulating guns" poses no threat what so ever.

Are you really trying to get us to infer that there are NO regulations guns?

It is not surprising that the opposition comes primarily from the political right who fancy themselves as the true friends of industry - another self-proclaimed delusion.

You mean opposition from Harry Reed and me?

Let us now apply your 'theory of scientific theory' to your argument (theory) of disarming the law-abiding as the solution to prevent future tradedies as the likes of Sandy Hook. When confronted with the "data" (historical references of the law) refuting 'Larimers interpretation of the 2nd' from which your theory attempts to treat a Right as a priviledge; you superficially "reject" the "data" out of hand. Ass-backwards comes to mind.

I don't even know what to do with such a pompous paragraph. Babble meant to insult those that disagree and impress those that do with pretty language. Why not just go to the point and accuse Larimer of being a gun confiscating Marxists and dispense with the bombastic attempt to sound informed.

Fundamentalist on both sides dominate this discussion.

We have one side that likes to pretend that there are no regulations that pertain to guns.

We have one side that likes to assert that any attempt to modify those regulations is an attempt to disarm all Americans.

Then we have the rest of us who just shake our heads in disgust at Pro and Anti Jihadis who insist that any discussion on the subject that does not concur exactly with their points of view is indication of some sort of dislike for America or of being confused.

Gentleman, You two are the very illustrative of the problem in America. We are becoming a nation of absolutists. We have some who accuse Bush of orchestrating 911. We have some accusing Obama of being a gun grabbing traitor.

And those that make those assertions blame the other side for a lack of civility in the debate.

Jim and JD are exactly the kind of absolutists that our founding fathers wee scared to death of. That is why they separated powers. That is why state imposed religion is forbidden.

Both JIm and JD are exactly the same. They know what is right. They know why you think the way you do. They know what is really in your heart. And they will accuse you of being confused, mislead, unpatriotic, and worse if you don't see it their way.

Here is the truth Gentleman. We have the right to keep and bear arms. That is clear and it is a good thing. Just as true is that we will be faced with ever more powerful weaponry that can be purchased at Walmart. Rail guns are coming. So are laser weapons. So are personal drones. This is a fact. The Constitution, as been noted several times, is not a suicide pact. More than anything, it was meant to protect us against true believers like Jim and JD.

What happens though when one finds themselves in a nation of true believers? See the old world for dozens of examples. It an't pretty.

Let us hope and if you are inclined, prey, the such as JD and Jim never get their way.

I leave you all with this:

...regulating guns poses no threat whatsoever to our liberty within a value system that values human life.

Our value system results in millions of aborted babies every year and demands that we fight preemptive wars over there. Are you still counting on our valuation of life?

So, are you going to "rely upon ideas" concocted "from modern life [as Jim would have it]", "rather than face the evidence that times have changed", but human nature has not?.

Shall rely upon idea that were concocted from 18th Century life when ignoring the fact that Times Have Change? The question sounds profound but upon examination is babble.

Now shall we debate what is appropriate and Constitutional per the times we live in or shall we accuse each other of wanting to nullify the Second and of wanting a gun in every pocket?

For the 80% of us who are cool with both weapons ownership and regulation, check out Ronald Reagan,s observations on guns. Very reasonable and in concurrence with what I believe is the opinion of most Americans.

JD and Jim can have at each other with insults. They deserve each other.


Mr. Ullom,

A simple question taken as a personal insult indicates a sensitivity for which my skepticism of your sincerity is justly warranted, and is borne out by the vitriol of demagogue who attempts to lay claim to territories of a different nature under the guise of reasonableness; of which your prose shows otherwise, and punctuated with name calling. Another fine example of Talkabout’s political pettiness and a poor example of a parrot.

Also, before we proceed, we need to clean up another misunderstanding on your part – your alleged research for my claim that “90% of school shooters are on some form of psychotropic drug”. Either you are not the Google search king that you proclaim yourself to be, or you fibbed a bit. See below:

ssristories.com/index/school-shootings (Index to SSRI Stories)

cchrint.org/tag/school-shootings (Citizens Commission on Human Rights International)

cegant.com/commentary/school-shootings/psychiatricdrugs (School Shootings and Psychiatric Drugs Update)

After reviewing these websites and their contents, and you would like to continue with your falsehood that: “Gun Profit Fundamentalists actually were able to impose restrictions of the collection of such data”; I will be more than happy to show you how wrong you are to rely upon the Dickey and Tiahart amendments for such a claim. Furthermore, any or all reluctance by the government or the universities to pursue these grave statistics, are up against the so identified individuals IV & V Amendment protections, e.g.- warrants and subpoenas issued by courts of the proper jurisdiction. This reluctance, mind you, is setting the stage, yet again, for another Sandy Hook.

I’ll repeat myself: “A complex problem with simple solutions that must not be carried out with haste, nor without great deliberation.”

Now that we have that bit of unpleasantness out of the way, we can get to the heart of your argument: "I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home''; of which you are attributing to Ronald Reagan. God bless him and may he rest in peace, he is wrong. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Mr. Webster, unabridged Second Edition, 1958:

“Disarm: to deprive of arms; to take the arms or weapons from, usually by force or authority.”

You begin and end these most recent postings with what may essentially be labeled disarmament of the law-abiding. An honest assessment of such may also be essentially labeled naked political opportunism at its worst, for its outright dismissal to not look at the segment of people most likely to commit atrocities like Sandy Hook, and for its conflation of the problems of suicide and the escalation of gang violence under the umbrella of gun violence as an epidemic.

So, here we are again, with what constitutes the arms of a rifleman. With Scalia put aside, some more repetition is in order:

In Colonial times "arms" usually meant weapons that could be carried. This included knives, swords, rifles and pistols. Dictionaries of the time had a separate definition for "ordinance" (as it was spelled then) meaning cannon. Any hand held, non-ordnance type weapons, are theoretically constitutionally protected. Like I have emphatically stated above, “this interpretation (all hand-held) is a minefield that is beyond the scope of my argument, nor am I interested in pursuing such.

“State v. Buzzard”, an 1842 Arkansas case:

“… the term “arms,” in its most comprehensive signification, probably includes every description of weapon or thing which may be used offensively or defensively, and in the most restricted sense, includes guns or firearms of every description, as well as powder, lead and flints, and such other things as are necessarily used in loading and discharging them, so as to render them effective as instruments of offense or defense, and without which their efficiency for these purposes would be greatly diminished, if not destroyed.”

Take careful note of: “without which their efficiency for these purposes would be greatly diminished, if not destroyed”; when you are banning firearms and restricting magazine capacity.

And finally, a Mr. Tench Coxe as published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1788:

“Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American... The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”

A review of the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968 is in order at this point so that we may see the advantages the police and government already have over the arms of a citizen rifleman:

Fully automatic firearms (a select fire switch with 3 or 4 positions) – defined as a machine gun or pistol; rifle and shotgun barrels shorter than 18”; crew-served weapons – tanks, artillery, mortars; rotary and fixed wing aircraft; anti-personnel devices – claymores, grenades, C4, etc.; are but a few of the weapons available to government forces.

If you are for registration and licensing of firearms and their owners, you are up against Right versus a privilege, a barrier of no small magnitude; and if you are for banning firearms, magazines, and ammunition; one may credibly argue that such actions are effectively a disarmament of the law-abiding, therefore, a thorough and honest dialogue is required before the government takes such action.

Which brings us to Mr. Reagan’s false premise that he knows what is best for defense and hunting, with the twofer of characterizing an AK47 as a machine gun. Neither he, nor the government gets to decide what tool (rifle, pistol, shotgun) is best for any given extraordinary situation considering the fact that this government and its leaders have no integrity, nor an inclination of transparency. Which lends itself to trust in government which, of late, has not been earned.

One example is the parliamentary tricks used by the Democrats to pass a bill that they “did not read” (ObamaCare). As another example, is the fact that every time the Democrats get their hands on the BATF and the Attorney General’s office, they politicize these enforcement agencies to the point where the death of women and children become a regular occurrence (Randy Weaver, Waco, Fast & Furious); who then exhibit an unbound hubris in their attempt at whitewash.

And no small mention is the politicization and whitewash of the death of 4 State Department employees (Benghazi) for what was most likely another botched attempt at selling weapons to the enemy versus the negligent sale of guns to the drug cartels of Mexico. That is the government in place at the moment who is also leading the charge to disarm the law-abiding and who would also allow the publication of gun owners’ addresses in newspapers and on the internet.

Therefore, as you rant & rail against me and my antagonist, Mr. Larimer; keep in mind that although he and I are at loggerheads, we are having an open and sincere dialogue, unlike your want to shout down and overwhelm with nonsense all views contrary to yours, whatever they may be.

As we close for the evening, let us ponder this little diddy one more time while you are dancing to the tune of the tyranny of the majority:

"In a democracy, might makes right. In a republic, right makes might. In a democracy, the law restricts the people. In a republic, the law restricts the government."

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Right JD. You go with that. You are obviously a weapons rights fundamentalist. Any regulation of weapons is an attempt to disarm the people.

Other than agree with you, what is there to talk about JD? No regulation is Constitutional in your world view. There is nothing to discuss when it comes to regulating weapons. Even though I own guns, use guns, like guns, and am OK with most guns, you still think I want to disarm you because I am not cool with all guns. There you have it JD. Either I am with you, 100%, or I am an Obamanation. Nice dialoguing with ya.

Either you are not the Google search king that you proclaim yourself to be, or you fibbed a bit. See below:

One, I have never claimed to be either the best or 100% when it comes to Google. What I have claimed is that I look first.

Two, you sir are the one who asked me to look per your contention that you could not find anything. Now you tell us that you have found three links and that either exposes me a Google Fraud or a fibster.

Were you fibbing JD when you asked me to look? How is that you could not find info then but now find it so easy?

Waco started under President Bush the H. Look it up.

Ruby Ridge happend totally during the the administration of Bush the H and the investigation started under the Reagan Administration. Look it up.

The practice called Gun Walking has been used by both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Look it up.

Yeah you go with that too JD. Just like Larimer will rail against Republicans about their adherence to the NRA line without acknowledging Harry Reed or Gabby Giffords, you use the same tactic and blame Democrats for Ruby Ridge and Waco even though blame for the latter is shared and the former is squarely in the laps of Republicans.

And go with the ObamaCare rammed down the throats in the middle of the night too. Don't bother to confirm that Bush the W did the exact same thing with Elder Care Entitlement Enhancements, in the middle of the night, with accusations of shoving down throats and lies. But you just stay on topic and point out how ObamaCare and the way it went down says something unique about Democrats and is germain to the topic of gun control.

...and who would also allow the publication of gun owners’ addresses in newspapers and on the internet.

JD. I agree that was wrong and bad form and vindictive but do you even know what or think about what you are saying?

One, those records are public records. They are available to anybody.

Two, how could the Obama Administration suppress their publication without running up against the First Amendment?

Do you now get it you two? Fundamentalism is bad. You both make assertions that can easily disproven and you do so our your commitment to your fundamentalist notion of what the truth is. Not because either of you is purposefully lying. I think it is sadder than that. I think it is because you both are true believers and are both mystified that folks don't see what is so fundamentally obvious to you.

We have the right to keep and bear arms. It is an important right. It does give the government pause. Both Republican and Democrat.

And there are weapons that the Government can Constitutionally and should regulate.

Where those lines are drawn, is a discussion that vast majority of Americans are ready to discuss.

But for such as JD and Larimar, there is nothing to discuss. JD thinks the last word on this was uttered by some 18th Century, Landed, Slave Owning, White guys. Larmier pretends that there is no gun regulation and that nobody needs one because he doesn't see the need.

It is our job to make sure neither gets 100% of what they want.


Mr.Ullom,

I began this topic (2nd Amendment: A Primer) with a clearly defined purpose and the motive to fully explore solutions that could prevent future massacres like Sandy Hook with the US Constitution & Bill of Rights as the measuring stick. To date, the majority of topics and comments on Talkabout about this horrific tragedy, scoff at any historical references to this document that is the basis for all law that we the People agree to abide to under our Lockeian ‘compact’ with our local, state, and federal governments.

I’ll begin with a ceding. George HW Bush is solely culpable for the death of Mr. Weaver’s wife and son. However, it does not lessen my point that the politicization of the BATF by Democrats leads to the death of women and children, nor does it lessen the culpability of Clinton/Reno and Obama/Holder for the same wanton use of deadly force and their subsequent iniquitous attempt at whitewash. With no integrity in view, no trust earned for the government in place today, nor yesteryear’s for that matter. More on this below.

Another correction is order for your willful refusal to honor the truth about a request I made: “[with] you and your friend Google, a search for a correlation between SSRI's and mass shootings. My pitiful attempts at such result in obscure websites or blogs. Cannot find news reporting from the major media outlets for this subject”; from which, no subterfuge, nor fibbing can be realized. I had already admitted to finding websites, therefore, now that you admit that you are not the ‘Google search king’, we are still left with 2 possibilities: one: you did not like what you found; two: your claim that, “Gun Profit Fundamentalists actually were able to impose restrictions of the collection of such data”, is a fib.

Which dovetails nicely with Dr. Miguel A. Faria’s assessment of the Tiahrt & Dickey amendments - denying funds and access to public health researchers of ‘guns and violence’ on the grounds that they displayed a reliance upon ideology, emotionalism, political expediency, and/or funding pressures - with which you seem to rely on for your fib of “Gun Profit Fundamentalists” (or, perhaps this reliance is on a Mark Rosenberg). Mr. Faria is a neurosurgeon and a former member of CDC’s Injury Research Grant Review Committee (2002 -2005), whose pioneering testimony before Congress, lends credible justification for enactment of these appropriation amendments. If Mr. Faria fails to convince you of your error, you may want to research the Tiahrt amendment at the Congressional Research Service for what it does and does not allow.

With that in mind, these amendments are but a small attempt to thwart the behavior and demagoguery of gun-control zealots who laud the publishing of names and addresses of gun owners in newspapers and on the internet. This behavior fits nicely with their need to paint a ‘Scarlet Letter’ on the chest of every gun owner, for which the government can step in to prevent, because there is a big difference between access to public records versus doing whatever one wants with knowledge gained from public records. Hope that helps with your mis-understanding.

Immediately above, we also have a portrayal of yourself as Talkabout’s ‘mediator of consensus’ with your tactic of assuming both sides of an argument whereby, you then label both sides as “fundamentali[sts]” in your delusion that you have staked out the moral high ground with your position that restrictions of types of semi-automatic firearms one may own and magazine restrictions are reasonable because you are in the alleged moral majority. All this with nary a concern for due process and the US Constitution & Bill of Rights based upon your well thought out and reasoned argument - that the US Constitution was written by “18th Century, Landed, Slave Owning, White guys”.

So, here we are again, with you and those so enjoined, diverting all attention from the psychopaths who commit these atrocious acts of cowardice, doing an end around the suicide problem, and soft-pedaling the escalation of gang violence, and in its stead; cursory acknowledgement of the former and greater displays of the demagoguery of the gun.

Leaving us at the place where no faith in government, nor our media is deserved; the question then becomes:

“From where and who is trust deserved, if those asking of trust, cannot find in themselves to honestly pursue solutions that meet the test of the constitution while in concordance with the public’s concern of safety and security?”

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


we are still left with 2 possibilities: one: you did not like what you found; two: your claim that, “Gun Profit Fundamentalists actually were able to impose restrictions of the collection of such data”, is a fib.

The latter does not follow the former. Either my assertions about research restrictions is a lie or it is not. The truthfulness of the statement is not impacted by my opinion of what I found. Babble meant to impress but your statement is nonsensical.

I did look for studies. I did not find any. I found out the reason I consider to be why. You don't like my opinions so either I am a truth coward or I am a fibber. And you accuse other of demagoguery.

...portrayal of yourself as Talkabout’s ‘mediator of consensus’ with your tactic of assuming both sides of an argument...

You are either trying to be funny and failing or you are just using more pompous babble.

I never strive for consensus. That is not what I find enjoyable here. And there are more than two sides to every argument JD. If you want a spokesmodels point of view, head over to NRA.com. I do my own thinking thank you and the only people that provoke thinking disagree with me. I don't need you or anybody else to confirm, conform, or agree. In fact, I won't trust you if you do.

Leaving us at the place where no faith in government, nor our media is deserved; the

question then becomes:

That has always been the question. I have never had faith in any media or any government since the 4th grade. Faith is for children.

So, here we are again, with you and those so enjoined, diverting all attention from the psychopaths who commit these atrocious acts of cowardice, doing an end around the suicide problem, and soft-pedaling the escalation of gang violence, and in its stead; cursory acknowledgement of the former and greater displays of the demagoguery of the gun.

Yes JD. That is what people do who disagree with you do. I demagogue. I soft pedal this and escalate that. Name one person here who disagrees with you JD, other than Larimer who's style is OK per you, who isn't a gun grabbing coward who buries the head in the sand when anybody says other wise.

And then piss and moan about the lack of dialogue.

Yes JD. The way you and Larimer do it is superior.

And I make all of it up.

You just can't help coming off like an obnoxious and pompous know it all and in fact you do. And so does Mr Larimer. You name drop like I am supposed to be impressed. Here is a clue JD. I am not. Your long list of obscure and not so obscure 18th century thinkers does not lend to your credibility. It sounds like puffery. It sounds like a guy who doesn't have self confidence so he spouts names in order to cover. It makes you sound like a blow hard.

I ams who I ams JD. You want to hear amen? Go to the church that uses a version a holy text you know to be truth. Join the choir. Condem all others to hell. You'll be amongst the like minded.

I make up my own mind and I am a hypocrite when it comes to my fundamental and absolute fear of fundamentalism and absolutism. God forbid should a true believer such as you or Larimer end up in charge.

I concede one more point. You are correct that you and Larimer argue using the same tactics which are so much more superior to mine.

Have at it.


Web Link


Mr. Ullom,

I live in the dictionary when and while I’m devouring books, which are literally, really long essays with source material indiced as endnotes and footnotes. Some simple offerings from Mr. Webster:

Faith: a trust in the honesty and truth of another.

Demagogue: a person who tries to stir up the people by appeal to emotion, prejudice, etc.; or a popular or factious orator.

Absolute: unlimited by extraneous power or control as in a government or monarch.

Absolutism: the doctrine or system of absolute government.

Fundamental: a primary or essential principle, rule, law, or article which serves as the groundwork or basis.

Fundamentalist: a person who believes in fundamentalism – orthodox religious beliefs based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

With these helpers in place, can you show me where I am advocating ‘absolutism’? Quite the contrary, I stand in and advocate for a constitutional republic with limited government and individual sovereignty.

Furthermore, if you are going to insist on pejoratives with which to label me, I would ask that you at least be more descriptive, such as originalist or textualist versus this label of ‘fundamentalist’. An originalist or textualist looks at the written words of the US Constitution & Bill of Rights and then to period dictionaries and the writings of the men that were actually present during its construction and ratification if ambiguity rears its head.

I’ll back off a bit with this nit-picking, justifiable if I may so, and offer you this:

"A bill of Rights may be considered, not only as intended to give law, and assign limits to a government about to be established, but as giving information to the people. By reducing speculative truths to fundamental laws, every man of the meanest capacity and understanding, may learn his own Rights, and know when they are violated..."

If this simple, hillbilly of a carpenter who only claims to be “a second-hand dealer of ideas” - as per FA Hayek - were to proudly pronounce that he penned the above offering, I would be fibbing. Those would be the words of St. George Tucker in 1803 from his work titled, “View of the Constitution of the United States”.

My primary purpose with this topic (the 2nd Amendment: A Primer) is to put in print the very foundation for the freedoms that you and I enjoy as Americans, not as Europeans, Australians, nor even as the Japanese. This document (US Constitution) is not a ‘living thing’ to be changed for whatever the fancy of the day may be, and the spirit with which our Founders provided the means for adaptation (Article V), was not meant to pare liberty, but to eliminate its flaws. If you do not see it in that spirit, you and I will part with an agreement to disagree because for some reason – compassion? - I really do not want to continue my negative use of you as a foil... although if provoked thoroughly enough....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr./Ms. Pae,

No diatribe about male hormones this time, huh? In its stead, we have a freak posing as a gun owner, Stephen King, with a mea culpa, and in his beneficence, some dictates what weapons are best for any given extraordinary situation (except semi-auto rifles), whether that be home invasion; psychopaths on the loose in malls, theaters, and schools; car-jacking; rape; robbery; social unrest due to incitement or natural disaster – mobs pillaging at will; or God forbid, oppression. But all this was probably a secondary motive due to your need to characterize the NRA and gun owners as thoughtless, self-centered people.

All the while ignoring the facts that there are not enough police officers; that these rampaging psychopaths are on some form of psychotropic drug; that there is an escalation of gang violence due to the War on Drugs and a wide-open border; that prescriptive medication abuse is now greater than illicit drug abuse, and a suicide problem that could be considered epidemic.

Yep, we must put that aside and focus instead on Bloomberg’s assertion - a paraphrase utilizing King’s direct quote - “the guns are already out there and the great majority of them are being bought, sold and carried illegally”, which is based on a decades old survey of 251 gun owners and carries with it that law-abiding gun owners are implicit for illegal sales to criminals.

Then we see two displays of arrogance from King that shine above the rest: “If you can’t kill a burglar with 10 shots, you need to go back to the shooting range”; and, “the assertion that Americans love violence and bathe in it daily is a self-serving lie”; shows us that he does not talk to many cops, nor considers situations with more than one perpetrator, and he, most apparently, does not know many 25 year old and younger males.

But we can rest easy, because King has off-handedly dismissed violent movies, video games, and the new-age norm for painting men as savages because he has feet in both camps – Red & Blue states - and with beneficent hubris he proclaims that he is “not threaten[ing] hunters or sports shooters, yet, in almost the same breath, casually attaches zealotry to those who honor the 2nd Amendment.

A perfect portrait of an equivocal argument that only a new convert to compassion could attempt with a straight face. His equivocation does not end there, as shown by his emphatic statement that: “he does not believe in repeal or modification (interesting word choice considering the wordsmith he is) of the 2nd” because he is not “after your shotguns, hunting rifles, and pistols that only have 10 round capacity magazines”. Spoken with the forked tongue of a third world dictator.

Lastly, we cannot let slide his euphemism of “going postal” versus acknowledging these rampaging psychopaths for what they are; who then go hunting in the gun-free preserves created by the same people who are most public in their grief, yet, are also shameless in their need to not let a terrible tragedy go to waste in order to further a political agenda much grander than the gun, nullification of the Bill of Rights by legislative or executive fiat.

If this is your idea of an honest appraisal for the problem of mass shootings, you may want to re-program your Google button, and ask Mr. King why he is selling the full version of this essay on Amazon for this glaringly self-serving and mealy-mouthed promotion of his new-found conversion to compassion.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


..If this simple, hillbilly of a carpenter who only claims to be “a second-hand dealer of ideas”

Jesus Christ JD! I sincerely doubt the the Nazarene will be packing when he come back to kick ass and take name.

Fundamentalist: a person who believes in fundamentalism – orthodox religious beliefs based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

There are many documents to fundamentally interpet JD. Koran, Bill Of Rights, NFL Rule book, and others. You have decided to let Madison and company do your thinking for you. The way they saw the world, per your interpretation of what they said and wrote, is good enough for you. Not me.

I really bought into those , though shalt not kill, turn the other cheek, love thy neighbor, let he that is without sin toss the first stone, liberal symbolism over substance propaganda I was taught in Sunday School. Really, I know none of it is applicable to the real world but I was put in the carer if well trained true believers who used images of hell and paradise to indoctrinate my little head full of mush. Look at where such foolish notions have brought me.

I was rescued by Sunday Morning Pee Wee Hockey but even after 40 years, the indoctrination still colors my world view.

When your side resorts to Second Amendment Remedies to deal with the 47% who you all just know think like the Kenyan in the White House, even though I who have not seen it your way, do me a favor and get me in the back of the head. I really don't want to see it coming and I'll be unarmed. Please JD. I don't want to hanged after a fair trial and I doubt I would acquit myself well in front of a firing squad.


...who then go hunting in the gun-free preserves created by the same people who are most public in their grief, yet, are also shameless in their need to not let a terrible tragedy go to waste in order to further a political agenda much grander than the gun, nullification of the Bill of Rights by legislative or executive fiat.

You are such a myopic fundamentalist: -- Web Link

You really want to make this a discussion about medication don't you? -- Web Link

Really are so fundamentally in love with packing that you choose to pretend the drugs are the only issue: -- Web Link

You really believe that well armed people are safer by default: -- Web Link

And that your pet little peeve about medications adresses even a tiny bit of gun violence: --- Web Link

You really don't see the ugliness do you JD? It ain't the weapons, or even the love for them, it is the vilification those as being less than you are when they don't see it your way. Just like the Professor. Those who think there is a limit that can be Constitutionally imposed on what types and capacities of weapon can be owned.

That makes me the bad guy. That makes me a distruster of America. That makes me un-Patriotic. It doesn't matter that I hunt. Doesn't matter that I have dozens of friends who are more into weapons than I will ever understand. Doesn't matter that I support the reasons for the Second. What matters, to you, is that I think there is a middle ground. And that makes me them in your world.

There is nothing to discuss with you on this one JD. Any limitation proposed is framed with absolutists rhetoric by you and fundamentalist quotes you find from a few 18th and 19th types who toe you line or whose line you toe.

Remember, when your guys see no other option, I'll be easy to take out. Please show mercy.


Mr. Ullom

To perfect your argument; add some more Wiki-pet links and exclamation points and italics and bold print and words that are all capital letters. More name calling per post will put you over the top.

Yours in Liberty;

JD the Federalist


Mr. Ullom;

One more bit of advice. Playing the victim card is excellent ground for the fine argument that you have set before us.

Yours in Liberty;

JD the Federalist


OK


More proof that having a gun at the ready means not too much: -- Web Link


No, all that proves is that it's very difficult to protect yourself against a surprise attack from someone you trust, regardless of their attack weapon (gun, knife, baseball bat, fist) and regardless of your potential defense mechanism. If I'm 5' away from you holding a baseball bat, and you trust me, and I suddenly go nuts and take a swing at you, you're going to be seriously hurt. Period.

Ultimately, guns simply make it possible to do damage from longer distances while leveling the playing field regarding relative physical strength. If I'm a 100 lb weakling I'm not going to win a knife fight or a fistfight with a 200 lb attacker. Guns completely change that equation.

Here's a question: Do the background checks for gun purchases screen out vets with PTSD? (Do they screen out those on the psychotropic drugs that JD is always railing against?) Plus, not to gloss over that very sad incident, but why in the world would they take a vet "struggling with PTSD" to a shooting range and then on top of that not stay hyper vigilant watching him?


I wonder if a study has been done on any links between military service and violence: -- Web Link


Watchdog,

Appreciate the weigh-in now and then ... we get a bit closer to prevention of future tragedies like Sandy Hook. Below you will find the relevant law for prohibited buyers which you can find on the ATF's website.

As you will see, it is rather narrow in its construction, hence, the key words: "adjudicated" and "committed". Which is why is why I have spent so much time on the US Constitution & Bill of Rights prior to discussion of solutions that could prevent families and community members from having to experience the horrible consequences of these cowardly acts committed by psychopaths, drug-addled or otherwise.

The difficulties for finding these drug-addled psychopaths that I "rail against" prior to perpetration of these heinous crimes are based upon the protections the Bill of Rights affords these animals. As distasteful as it is in this circumstance, we are ruled by law, not men. Therefore, it bears repeating: "A complex problem with simple solutions that must not be carried out with haste, nor without great deliberation.”

18 USC 922(d): "who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution".

If we are serious about preventing future Sandy Hooks, this law above must be broadened to allow proper identification of individual's who have no business owning firearms. That statement right there = no business - is as subjective as hell, hence, the need for this to be thoroughly and honestly debated by the legislature. The executive has no constitutional authority to broaden the language of this law.

We already have the Secretary of Homeland Security, Napolitano, painting with the broad brush of instability, all combat veterans without so much as a whisper of outrage from members of Congress. With the help of our major media outlets, I might add.

Anyhows, I would hope that as we continue to hear the politicians and their sycophants blame the gun versus the psychopath; more and more people will wake up and take to heart this bit of wisdom from yesteryear, before our great Republic is nit-picked to death by "pleas of necessity" under the ephemeral banner of 'security & safety':

"A bill of Rights may be considered, not only as intended to give law, and assign limits to a government about to be established, but as giving information to the people. By reducing speculative truths to fundamental laws, every man of the meanest capacity and understanding, may learn his own Rights, and know when they are violated..." - 1803, St. George Tucker

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Afternoon Fans & Foes alike,

Culture - an important aspect, if not the primary aspect, of any proposed solution to address America’s homicide problem, in particular, homicide by firearm; and even more specifically, mass murder with firearms. The subtext here is our unique compact as sovereigns of a sovereign state with the federal government, as codified by the US Constitution & Bill of Rights, from which our American culture is rooted. A culture, for the most part, with an ethos of individual sovereignty which is not dependent on the beneficence of government - unlike any other culture on the planet - due to the inalienable nature of the individual’s rights.

Gun ownership has always been part of this American ethos, whether or not it has been prominent in our collective consciousness throughout the years. Within this ethos, there was always a respect for guns and a familiarity with guns that was instilled very early on in an individual’s life, which of late – say the last 40 years or so - has been eroded by two pestiferous brokers of societal influence, Hollywood and the major news media outlets. On one hand, we have Hollywood’s glorification of the gun in tandem with their utter disregard for the sanctity of human life; and on the other hand, we have the media’s persistent drumbeat of propaganda that guns are bad.

The result of which, is borne out by the escalation of gang violence and the proliferation of psychopathic mass murderers, drug-addled or otherwise. Two groups of people for which immediate legislative and executive action can be taken - within the restraints of the US Constitution - in order to lower the incidence of homicide. Drugs, illicit and prescriptive, play an important role for the individuals in these two groups of law-breakers. An unsecure border further compounds our drug abuse, drug selling, and drug smuggling problem.

So, for those who are hell-bent on disarming the law-abiding – which, de facto, is limiting the tools available an individual for any extraordinary situation - some serious and measurable actions must be taken in the areas immediately outlined above, before a credible argument can be made, and before any actions be taken which would reduce an individuals’ 2nd Amendment rights. Even then - short of an Article V process - the banning, licensing, and registration of firearms must be put to the test of the entirety of the Bill of Rights. Thus far, the federal government - more specifically, the BATF and the Attorney General - has shown an incompetence and a lack of integrity in their enforcement of policies on guns, drugs, and the border.

Now, lest we get bogged down with the minutiae of specifics, let me place before us, again, Mr. Randolph Roth’s book, “American Homicide”; so that we may broaden the grounds of this argument in order to explore a rational examination of the five W’s of murder.

Mr. Roth’s thesis, if I may be so bold, is an excellent cultural study with a focus on homicide (murder) that shows how the health of a society may be measured by the following simple correlative factors:

1.- The belief that government is stable and that its legal and judicial institutions are unbiased and will redress wrongs and protect lives and property.

2.- A feeling of trust in government and the officials who run it, and a belief in their legitimacy.

3.- Patriotism, empathy, and fellow feeling arising from racial, religious, or political solidarity.

4.- The belief that the social hierarchy is legitimate, that one’s position in society is or can be satisfactory and that one can command the respect of others without resorting to violence.

The beauty of this hypothesis is that we do not get distracted by specific government policies that address poverty, unemployment, and lack of education - to name but a few - because we are after the root causes of our high homicide rate. Important considerations’ in and of themselves, however, they do not reflect the perception that people as a whole, or as sub groups, have towards government and their place in society.

To quote Mr. Roth: "These feelings and beliefs are closely related [and] they also have a synergistic relationship with the homicide rate". As you can see, this premise will take some time to fully explore and apply to the problem before us: homicide perpetrated by family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. With the added benefit that the causal factors for our suicide rate may be identified. This exploration will also lead to a narrowing of the field, so to speak, so that we can properly identify the individuals most prone to use a gun in a criminal manner. Hence, going after the law-breakers versus the law-abiding.

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Larimer,

Round and round you go….the gun. People kill people, not the gun. No matter how many times you go round this merry-a-go-round of the gun, people are the problem. Months after the terrible tragedy of Sandy Hook, and here you are, still wanting to disarm and criminalize law-abiding gun owners. No mention of the law-breakers, the people who commit these selfish acts of cowardice.

In your delusional utopia of what America should be, you would have us all believe this legerdemain that guns are not part of American culture, and that our culture is no different than Europe or other industrialized nations.

Unlike the ObamaCare debate, you are not going to be allowed the free range of a chicken to use culture when it suits your fancy – in this case, ignore cultural differences - nor are you going to be allowed to transform a Right into a privilege, of which in the obverse of ObamaCare, you and President Obama transformed an expectation of health care into a Right that must be paid for by another, which, de facto, will be enforced by the guns of the government. A subterfuge, masking y’alls’ want of single-payer.

Hyperbole, I think not. Write the IRS a letter firmly stating that you are not going to pay the fine, nor participate in this federalization of your body. See where that gets you.

Some inconvenient “day to day facts on the ground”: suicide deaths by firearm - 19,392; homicide by firearm perpetrated by family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers - 11,078.

Above, I have winnowed the population so that the deadly force of government can be properly directed at those who are most likely to commit these horrific acts. If you were not so blatant with your desire to further this political agenda to disarm the law-abiders, I might be able to attach some integrity to this roundabout logic that you so ably demonstrate.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Afternoon Foes and Fans,

Mauro's piano.

If only we could see the same enthusiastic and thorough investigative reporting for this wonderfully artistic endeavor - as exhibited from those who label themselves journalists - be demonstrated from this same bunch and their righteous reporting of solutions that could prevent future Sandy Hook type of massacres. Do not hold your breath. Months later, the Fourth Estate in their self annoited role as the sole purveyors of objectivity, are still focused on the gun.

Not an enlightening, nor a profound observation until we see 'Dorner the Cop Killer' elevated to the status of folk hero by this same group with nary a mention of the guns used by this worm of a man. Me oh my, but we do see a lauding of the intelligence of his manifesto that proclaims the rampant racism and corruption of the LAPD.

What can we take away from this hypocrisy? That guns kill people, or that people kill people? That selective objectivity is OK if your motives fall on the grounds of the righteousness of majoritarian thought? That the 21st century's technology and Freudian analysis has overcome the baseness of human nature?

Yeah, and I am the "ideologue" here, as per Mr. Larimer.....

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


JD, usually you quote wacko, right wing nut jobs for your data sources but here you are, again and again, citing Randolph Roth--a legitimate scholar--as an authority on guns, homicide, and gun control. Are changing your ways?

Here are a few links from a recent speech by Roth I'm sure you'll find interesting:

"Gun owners are cowards" (Web Link)

"AR-15s facilitate mass murder" (Web Link)

"OSU Professor Randy Roth wants to 'uninvent modern firearms'" (Web Link)

But I'm not worried about you, JD. You're the kind of guy who changes his facts to fit his conclusions, not his conclusions to fit his facts. Guess you won't be quoting Roth so much anymore!

--Darin


Batten down the hatches! Prepare to be boarded!

It is rumored that "JD the not-so-anonymous Federalist" and the assumed-to-be "don bacon" were allegedly seen plotting with other conspiracy minded property rights types in a back room of a not-to-be-mentioned south coast establishment that may have been at one time tied to Eighteenth Ammendment violations and to this day serves blatant "right to bear arms" types on a daily basis.


Mr. Boville,

The smarmy sarcasm with which you attempt to further your argument – to disarm the law-abiding – fails to convince, yet clearly shows what I suspect is an elitism that only an Ivy League education can spawn. Pedigree and fallacious reasoning seem to be the stumbling blocks in your want to present a cogent rebuttal to my argument that: "fully explore[s] solutions that could prevent future massacres like Sandy Hook with the US Constitution & Bill of Rights as the measuring stick".

Afore we show our fellow Talkabouters the shortcomings of your prose and the weakness of reason therein, let us look at what you would have the legislature and executive treat as irrelevant – criminal use of firearms by criminals and the segments of the population most likely to commit mass murder with a firearm - in your enjoyment of your very own amusement park ride on the merry-a-go-round of the gun. Shall we?

For starters, you could explain why an unsecure border enhances the ‘safety and security’ of our republic, most especially, who and what cross our borders with impunity. Next, you could explain why the ‘War on Drugs’ does not escalate the incidence of gang violence, most especially, the federalized criminalization of marijuana use. And then, you could explain why the media and government refuse to honestly address the use of psychotropic drugs by these psychopaths who murder innocent women and children. Lastly, but by no means an end to your list of inconsequential irrelevancies, perhaps you could explain why the breakdown of the statistics of death by firearm "changes" the application of Mr. Roth’s thesis to my "conclusion" that "people kill people".

If you take the time to read the opening paragraphs at the top of this topic, you will see that I was attracted to Mr. Roth’s thesis because of its simple eloquence and the ease with which it may be applied to the matter at hand: homicide in America, or more specifically, homicide by firearm.

I believe that I can safely assume that you have not read Mr. Roth’s book, otherwise it would be most obvious to you why your weblinks of Mr. Roth are not germane to the application of Mr. Roth’s thesis to a subset of my argument, i.e.- to properly identify individuals who have no business owning a firearm; or quite frankly, my argument in its entirety. With the end result of having the coercive and deadly force of government properly directed towards the law-breakers versus the law-abiding.

Unlike you Mr. Boville, I do not care a whit for pedigree - unless context demands - nor whether or not one parades about on an elephant or a jackass; when I look to sources that bolster adherence to the law of the land, rather, I look for sound logic rooted in a fundamental understanding of the law. Therefore, I can say with great confidence that I will be quoting Mr. Roth quite readily so that we can see the weakness of your position which you so confidently stake out with the sarcasm of the smarmy – blaming the gun versus the psychopath.

In closing I will offer some prosaical advice. If you are going to parrot Mr. Larimer’s “theory of scientific theory” in your want of rhetorical devices with which to cogently rebut - and in the interest of pedigree with which you are so obsessed - go out and find yourself a copy of a textbook that I rescued from the trash belonging to one of my sisters (graduates of Columbia and USC) titled: “Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric – The Use of Reason in Everday Life”. A primer for sure, but then you can identify for yourself, your uses of fallacious reasoning and your impediments to cogent reasoning so that you can spare yourself some embarrassment in the future. Unless of course, you are not desirous for the elimination of the straw men of your questionable premises in your want to demagogue this issue.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr./Ms. Lewis,

Scuttlebutt aside, sounds like this group was spreading the wealth willingly and exercising freedom of association. With the blessings of the alleged proprietor, I might add...... and for those who thrive on gossip and wish they were the fly on the wall:

"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." - Robert Frost

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


The smarmy sarcasm with which you attempt to further your argument – to disarm the law-abiding – fails to convince, yet clearly shows what I suspect is an elitism that only an Ivy League education can spawn.

Then:

A primer for sure, but then you can identify for yourself, your uses of fallacious reasoning and your impediments to cogent reasoning so that you can spare yourself some embarrassment in the future. Unless of course, you are not desirous for the elimination of the straw men of your questionable premises in your want to demagogue this issue.

I just love it when folks who preach against class warfare attack rich and connected kids who obtained educations in the same schools where most of the rich and powerful send their kids.

But that isn't hillbilly snobbery, white trash elitism, left coast second banana-ism, or anything like that. It is just hypocrisy.

As usual, any argument that is not agreed with is met with accusations of gun grabbing thuggery.

But of course, a rich spoiled kid like Darrin who probably got D's during his 7 years at his Daddy's alma mata has no use for the Constitution as he can buy citizenship in nations more conducive to his want to grab ahold of JD's pistol.

I can see Darrin at an Ivy League school.*

*Smarmy Sarcasm To The Max


Mr. Ullom,

Snide. Ad hominem. Non-sequitur. Tokenism.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Evening foes and fans alike,

Prior to purchasing Mr. Roth’s book, I skipped ahead to his conclusion (a cheat sheet as to worthy of purchase). I saw right away that we were diametrically opposed politically, yet I remained intrigued by the simple eloquence of his premise and for the fact that motives for murder stem from people, not from whatever weapon is hand. Therefore, in order to lessen the likelihood of future tragedies like Sandy Hook, an examination of societal conditions that may, or may not, influence the incidence of homicide is a logical and reasonable place to begin for legislative and executive solutions aimed at prevention.

From his introduction: the first 3 of his correlates (government stability, confidence in government and its officials, and a sense of patriotism or kinship with countrymen respectively) of homicide "rise and fall in lockstep" with the rate of homicide. The 4th correlate (a legitimate social hierarchy) "follows its own path [and] it can amplify or dampen their effects, especially with regard to nonpolitical homicides".

Skipping ahead again to his conclusion, we find the aspect of his premise that led me to purchase his book:

"Political leadership may be the area in which there is the greatest potential for improvement. Political leaders bear the greatest responsibility for the nation’s political life and for the homicide problem it has caused. But given the polarization of politics in the United States today and the divisiveness of the issues that American’s face; it will be difficult for leaders of either party to unify the nation and to rebuild faith in government, especially in the eyes of the poor, who are at most risk of committing murder and of being murdered".

And as he goes on to demonstrate between his introduction and conclusion:

"The statistics make it clear that in the 20th century, homicide rates have fallen during terms of presidents who have inspired the poor or have governed from the center with a popular mandate; and they have risen during the terms of presidents who presided over political and economic crises, abused their power, or engaged in unpopular wars".

And then we get to a bit of a caveat that is explored throughout his book:

"The most disastrous increase occurred while Richard Nixon was in office. The most substantial decreases occurred under Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Clinton. But it is not always clear whether the decreases were related to specific policies or whether they were due to the appearance of legitimacy that a particular administration achieved in the eyes of the poor".

As you can see for yourselves, an intriguing thesis - this one of collective perception - for which I will firmly state, that the national media outlets are solely culpable for America’s political and societal divisiveness because as Mr. Roth points out, “sometimes the greatest of leaders can do very little to deter homicide”.

Stick around and I’ll put some meat on this table…… ’til then

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Evening foes & fans alike;

The "balanced approach" of President Obama and our major media outlets - disarm the law-abiders. Round and round they go, on the merry-a-go-round of the gun.

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


I believe the 2nd Amendment no longer serves a useful purpose and should be changed or even eliminated, but regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with this view it is still possible to regulate guns and gun users without challenging the 2nd Amendment.

The Congressional ban on assault weapons that was allowed to expire by a radical Congress had been tested repeatedly in the courts for its Constitutionality. Every challenge was denied in every Federal Court in which the issue was heard.

It is possible to regulate guns without violating the 2nd Amendment. That has already been established in US Federal Courts. The extreme interpretations of this Amendment, similar to the repeated claims of John Donovan on this blog, have been challenged in the court and repeatedly found to be invalid.

The repeated characterization of these lawsby Mr. Donovan as punishing the law abiding is utterly without foundation in history, fact or reason.


Mr. Larimer,

Your obsession to disarm and criminalize the law-abiding does nothing to lessen the incidence of mass shootings and now you would have Congress pass legislation that would subvert the 2nd Amendment with a reliance on the Courts for constitutional muster. The tactic of demagogues and dictators.

If we put the above aside for the moment, a proposal: how 'bout we work together on your extra-constitutional proposition to: "regulate guns and gun users without challenging the 2nd Amendment"?

We can start anew in our rather antagonistic relationship with you providing us the list of these court decisions that would reduce the arms of the citizen rifleman to one of obsolescence, unless of course, you are merely relying upon non-substantive conclusory statements.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


The Constitutionality of laws restricting assault weapons was the subject of the recent Senate hearings chaired by Senator Feinstein. Anyone seriously interested in learning the opposing views can read the Congressional Record of testimony provided at this hearing. The now expired federal law restricting access to assault weapons was tested in court several times and always found to be consistent with the Constitution. This law expired because Congress put an expiration date in it and not because it was found to be un-Constitutional.

Donovan’s views of the 2nd Amendment are not sustained by any of the court rulings. Donovan’s assertion that the judicial review of any law passed by Congress is “extra-constitutional” misunderstands American history. That issue was resolved long ago when Chief Justice Marshall sat on the Court.

There is plenty of room within the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment to limit access to guns. Given the ambiguity of the intent of the 2nd Amendment a Constitutional Amendment to clarify what it means today is needed.

Our republic 200 years after the 2nd Amendment was written has changed and so has the world around us. The authors of the Constitution were wise when they made the Constitution a dynamic amendable contract. As circumstances change and as the meaning of words and phrases change the Constitution needs to be modified to clarify ambiguities and to address circumstances that produce unwanted and undesirable consequences.

Gun violence in America today is one of those unanticipated consequences. It would be foolish to allow an argument over what was intended two centuries ago from preventing us from addressing this problem today, but that is essentially the argument that Donovan and other defenders of the status quo are making. The river of blood, the grief created in so many American households today as family members kill themselves and their acquaintances enabled by the lethal force of guns, deserves our attention and our willingness to change.


Mr. Larimer,

Recycling your untenable argument of "ambiguity" does not strengthen your argument to emasculate an enumerated inalienable Right to one of inefficaciousness; nor does a reliance on the testimony of senators hell-bent to expand the coercive and deadly force of the government well beyond the limits established by the US Constitution & Bill of Rights.

From which are you going to rely upon for this argument of "ambiguity", Congress or the Courts?

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Afternoon fans & foes alike,

We now see that Senator Feinstein has joined Mr. Larimer and his fellow travelers for a spin or two on the merry-a-go-round of the gun. The hubris displayed by Senator Feinstein in the senate chambers of late, for this paraphrasing – "I am allowing 2000 guns to be owned by the people"; can best be summarized by a quote from a Mr. Lance Hill further above:

"…[Rights] conferred by a beneficent elite [or] Rights conferred from above - as if a reward for good behavior - are fragile liberties. More a privilege than a right, they depend on the continuing goodwill of the dominant group."

We will explore the chicanery of Feinstein’s disarmament of the law-abiding in detail at a later date because I would like to expose the culpability of the Fourth Estate for its role in America’s high incidence of homicide, and more specifically, homicide by firearm; by utilizing Mr. Roth’s wonderful thesis.

As Mr. Roth noted in his conclusion: "…for leaders of either party to unify the nation and to rebuild faith in government”, and as “difficult as it is to deter intimate violence, it will be much harder to reduce the homicide rate among unrelated adults. That rate is also dependent upon forces that are hard to engineer: political stability, the legitimacy of government, the degree of unity and fellow feeling in the nation, and men’s prospects for achieving a satisfactory place in society."

With these correlates in mind, let us examine the following claim by Roth:

"Since the early 1990’s (a significant measurable decline in the homicide rate), most Democrats and Republicans have said the right things about building people’s faith in capitalism and creating an ownership society. But given the surge in economic equality since the 1970’s and the loss of secure jobs and of health and retirement benefits – often caused by circumstances beyond the government’s control – the ownership society may never become a reality for many Americans."

For those of you who want to jump on the economic bandwagon, stop right there. We are not here to discuss specifics of economic theory, we are here to examine the American people’s perception of government and the role of the media for this perception as it pertains to the 2nd Amendment and homicide by firearm.

For the most part, the majority of the gun violence is committed by gangs (the urban poor); and that a majority of the scum that shoot up schools, malls, and theatres, are suburban middle class. Two classes of people that, most generally, share the same perception of government and feelings of hopelessness, which has been foisted upon them by the media and Hollywood.

Namely, the media’s propensity to foster hatred of the rich, big oil, big business, banks, capitalism, white males, and/or name your ephemeral hobgoblin. Never do the media shine the spotlight of truth on the government’s role for a decline of mobility for a particular segment of people negatively affected by government policies. Recent examples of such include, but are not exclusively limited to: Obamacare, Sorbane/Oxley, Community Reinvestment Act, the Bailouts, and the Stimulus’s.

By all measurements of electoral behavior, President Obama should not have been re-elected if we had had a realistic portrayal of the economic condition of this nation. Instead, we had this perception foisted upon us by the media that Obama has been the leader in this fight against the ephemeral hobgoblins listed above. Despite all the political divisiveness and inflammatory rhetoric that we see and hear on an hourly basis, we are still enjoying a low incidence of homicide – as per our culture and ethos.

This perception of utopia that the media and Hollywood impose on our society, can only lead to an increase of our homicide rate if we do not honestly address the 5 W’s of homicide. The chickens will come home to roost.

So, as we close for this afternoon, remember that America is a relatively new country with a unique system of government which was borne from a cultural ethos of individual sovereignty.

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


JD, based on stuff you have said in your posts on TA, I worry about your well being. You were gone for awhile.

I all OK? You are the only poster on TA that might be more clever than I am. I would seriously be distressed if you weren't around to make me think.

Before I go off on a rant and prove you are as usual wrong, ;>), I want to know that you are going to be around for a few more years.

Seriously JD, is all OK? We all rip on each other here and often go too far. I still think I would enjoy knocking back a few brewskies while hanging out in somebodies garage, that you of course will pay for, while we debated how many angles can dance on the tip of a hollow point.


Mr. Ullom,

Thank you for your concern of my health and well-being. My prognosis is improving on an almost daily basis - I'll be around a long time, God willing, to continue this relationship of animus/amusement. However, as life's responsibilities and committment to loved ones are wont to do, my time here on Talkabout will diminish accordingly.

I'll make you a deal, if we ever get together and knock back a few, let's have George buy 'em ...... heh, heh

Thanks again for your concern, and just remember that in the future, my vitriol is never personal.

Sincerely and In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


As is never mine. Sorry I got all whiney about the perceived insult to my love for America. I don't even remember what was said that caused me so much consternation.

I'll save my vitriol for anther day. Glad you'll be making the bastards heads ache for a few more years.

As for George buying the beers, that does sort of have an Obama inviting two hotheads over for some Tuskers: -- Web Link


Mr. Ullom,

How 'bout that, a truce betwixt two gentlemen.... wait a minute, there you go bringing up the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate/country of allegiance.... oh, maybe I'm being a bit too sensitive.... one problem with choice of brewskies, in honor of the spending clause, we'll have to drink what George buys.... truce back on.... 'til violated by either party....

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


That is why I like you JB, you get subtle jokes!

To Liberty!

JCU


Mr. Ullom;

Keep that smile as we dissect Feinstein's abrogation of the 2nd. A reliance on Heller is weak at best..... We've been bit once, now we are twice shy..... 'til then

Yours in Liberty;

JD the Federalist


Come on JD. Don't put me in a position where I feel compelled to find something with which to Defend Feinstein.

She voted for and pushed the Patriot Act. She voted for the war in Iraq. She supports the war against drugs. She votes for wars that her husband cashes in on. She supports Israel in war that we have no business supporting anybody in. And she can't make a coherent argument when it comes to guns.

She talks of categorizing weapons. That would be such a stupid way of going at it.

Here is how I would do it.

I'll trade you prohibition on guns with exchangeable clips for guns with say for starters, 19 rounds in an embedded clip, being allowed.

I'll trade you Universal Background Checks for a phased end to waiting periods as the system gets up to speed.

I'll trade you limits on kinetic energy of ammo for no limits on ammo purchases.

I'll trade you bio metric locks in exchange for open carry and toss in a life time subscription to everything either Rand or Ron Paul write.

Please JD, don't choose Ms Feinstein as my champion. She represents so much of what I find despicable in politicians of all stripes


Mr. Ullom;

If this reasonableness before us is an example of things to come, George will be buying a whole Bud truck of beer!

Yours in Liberty;

JD the Federalist


Bud? No way. That is a Union Man's Brew.

I prefer Mom and Pop suds: -- Web Link


Mr. Ullom,

If we are to enjoy this non-union beer - on George's tab - and if we are to talk compromise and/or solutions; we need to agree on the end result desired.

This topic was a direct response to the understandable hysteria displayed on Talkabout by those who want to criminalize ownership of semi-automatic rifles after the senseless slaughter of innocents by a psychopathic scumbag - Sandy Hook.

With this re-kindled sense of civility, are we after solutions to prevent/minimalize the probability for another Sandy Hook-style massacre?

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Mr. Federalist,

As you know. I have often mocked the notion of weapons ownership being useful or even required when it comes to restraining The Federalies.

My thinking has evolved a bit. I have one word for you.

Cyprus.

As for the beer, we might have to settle for a few in somebody's garage. I am not sure many of the local bars or their patrons would have my business. And as all I get by on is my handsom face and winning smile, hanging around locals that are intoxicated is not conducive to my plan of marrying a rich, former super model, thirty something, CEO.


Mr. Ullom,

..... or sittin' on George's couch watchin' his big screen while he is serving us brews and munchies.....

Glad to hear of your evolvement. A few more words to foster some more healthy skepticism of big government:

Obamacare, Fed Fund Rate, Sorbane/Oxley, Amnesty, Open Borders, $5.00 gas, QE1-4, Deficit Spending, War on Drugs, 1.5 Billion Bullet Purchase, Unfunded Liabilities......

Paranoic? Nope, reality.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


This -JD the Federalist- is a refreshing breath of fresh air from the recycled hot air prevelant on this board, though somewhat too polite for my taste. I see that he has handled the same bunch over there on all recall topics with ease. This merry-a-go-round-of-the-gun sums up the gun grab, a catchy turn of phrase.

I would be careful be-friending this -John Charles Ullom- he seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth.

Tootles!


JD, this trolltracker thinks I am an intellectual danger to your Founding Father inspired 18th Century world view.

Amusing. There are about three people on this planet I would not want to go toe to toe in a battle of wits over something that mattered. Even though JD is fundamentally flat out wrong on every single issue where he doesn't see it my way*, JD is one of those people.

From what I can figure, JD is fighting a far more formidable foe than kibitzing with such as me. I sure hope that there are still three people who I would not want to go brain to brain with if the outcome mattered to me.

*Except when JD makes me ponder. Something which this trolltracker has yet and is unlikely to achieve.


This -tolltracker- will soften his treatment on this day of worship of this -Ullom- because over here on this topic where logic and reason are prevelant, he seems to be coming around. Proof of prayer in action.

Tootles!


Even Scalia admits that restrictions on ownership and possession of some firearms are constitutional. So, there's that.


Mr. Ullom,

Now that you nutbags seem to be done filling up Talkabout with the recall silliness, we can get back to pointing you in the right direction....... heh, heh

You should know better than to think that flattery will improve my severe treatment of your political philosophy, whatever that may be. Take it easy on trolltracker, he/she cannot be all that bad, he/she likes me. Although I am a bit puzzled why I am considered polite.

And so you can get started out on the wrong foot, why don't you begin this new era of civility between us by defending President Obama's latest assinine statement - "we need to quit playing politics and make it a little bit harder to shoot up our school children" (paraphrase).

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Brak2,

Prior to engagement, I need to know if you are referencing Scalia while he wears his black robe or on a TV show in plain clothes.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Well, here's some good news...

Arizona passed a law requiring cities & counties to sell turned-in guns, not destroy them. Friggin' fantastic! Really helps. Lets' see, Illegal Immigrants & gun control "0", Arizona "2". Sheesh, what a load of B.S.!

Web Link

BTW: just to eliminate any ambiguity, I AM AGAINST ANYTHING THAT THE ARIZONA GOVERNMENT DOES (that I am aware of).


Mr. Bills,

Unlike the passage of ObamaCare, the specifics of SB 649 were well known by the senators that defeated this bill. No more of Pelosi's "we'll have to pass it to know what 's in it" chicanery.

Like ObamaCare, orwellian titles belie the nasty truth within. Show us otherwise.

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Good Evening Fans & Foes Alike,

My wife is out of the house for a few hours so I thought I'd sneak upstairs and use her computer to check out Talkabout (my computer is nigh on 16 years old and cannot go anywhere near the internet). Just so's y'all knows, she thinks I become obsessive when I start posting on TA..... judging by results, she may have a point..... and like some smart old guys I know say, "if you are doing something wrong, don't get caught".

Which dovetails nicely with all the news of late with President Obama getting caught with his hands in multiple cookie jars. Good to see - it has taken the Democrats' eyes off our guns and 2nd Amendment rights. Obama may surpass the Clinton's for attempts at whitewash.

Feinstein and Schumer aside for the moment, I must comment on my surprise that Mr. Ullom took himself out of the Talkabout game...... there is hope yet for this republic..... maybe some of my right-thinking has penetrated his self-made barrier of contrarian progressive nonsense. God Bless Him.

Heck, even Mr. Larimer has been quiet of late. With or without him I may take him to task one more time for this beauty way back in the beginning:

"A citizenry demanding liberty today does not require a constitutional guarantee of access to guns."

Anyhows, the Feds want our guns, they have invaded the relationship with our doctors and insurance companies, and they use the IRS to punish or silence those of us who only want a return to a constitutional republic where the rule of law is sacrosanct.

Back to trust, are we not?

In Liberty,

JD the Federalist


Where for art thou, -Mr. Federalist-?

TalkAbout could sure use more like you......

Excellent topic and well done lad...... and your wife is a very lucky woman....... come on back please.

Tootles!


Mr. Ullom,

I am not sure where we are at in this national debate (been busy with matters personal), but I would like to continue this argument if you are of the same mind......

Yours in Liberty,

JD the Federalist


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