Saturday, September 12, 2009

Michael Littlejohn's Flintlock

The New York Daily News reports on the fascinating case of an antique flintlock owner in Brooklyn who had an encounter with the police.


A Brooklyn Revolutionary War buff can keep his antique rifle and his good name.

Turns out it was legal all along - just as 50-year-old Michael Littlejohn told cops who knocked on his Sheepshead Bay door to tell him he needed a permit.

Cops wanted Littlejohn to surrender the historic flintlock rifle, complete with ramrod, when they confronted him.

But like the first Patriots did to the Red Coats, Littlejohn stood his ground.


Does anyone else find that comparison a bit dramatic? Do gun enthusiasts really think in those terms, picturing themselves like the 18th century colonists who fought the British?

To the police, Mr. Littlejohn, insisted he didn't need to register his rifle, because its design is so outdated it's considered an antique. In fact, City law is on his side. Antique firearms, defined as rifles that require the bullet and gunpowder to be loaded separately, are exempt.

I was very curious as to how the police came to knock on his door. A partial answer is found in David Codrea's article in the Examiner.


We learn the cops found out about Littlejohn's purchase when he left a receipt at a Staples copy center. Wouldn't it be nice to find out who the enuretic authority-worshiping snitch is, if for no other reason than to put the same public spotlight on them that they felt justified to anonymously put on a fellow citizen?

I'm all for reporting serious crimes to the police, but I must admit this sounds more like some busy-body butting in where they don't belong. I could understand if the receipts left at Staples referred to those evil AK-47s or something like that, but any reference to a flintlock should have seemed more like a collector's item.

David Codrea put forth an interesting idea.


One last item: When you go to the Daily News article I used as the source for this column, be sure and take the poll. You just have to shake your head in wonder at the slave mentality that voted "No. Since he does not have a license, the police have a right to take it away."

Do you agree with that? Is it "slave mentality" that accounts for the majority of folks in New York favoring gun control laws? Don't those people deserve a little more credit than that? Aren't they entitled to have this opinion without having been enslaved or brainwashed by the government?

What's your opinion? Why should these weapons be excluded from the ones covered by various laws? Aren't some black powder weapons quite functional and as deadly as your average semi-automatic?

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

11 comments:

  1. "Is it "slave mentality" that accounts for the majority of folks in New York favoring gun control laws?"

    Yes. A slave mentality of the worst kind. They are the kind of people had they been a slave on a plantation, they'd snitch on the slaves who were learning to read.

    "What's your opinion? Why should these weapons be excluded from the ones covered by various laws? Aren't some black powder weapons quite functional and as deadly as your average semi-automatic?"

    There aren't many crimes committed with black powder guns. There is no logical reason to include them.

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  2. Does anyone else find that comparison a bit dramatic? Do gun enthusiasts really think in those terms, picturing themselves like the 18th century colonists who fought the British?

    No gun enthusiast I know does. However, it appears that the reporter who wrote those words does. (It's called literary license, no conspiracy, no calls for the overthrow of the government, simply using a historic parallel since the firearm in question is from that era).

    I'm all for reporting serious crimes to the police, but I must admit this sounds more like some busy-body butting in where they don't belong
    Good, we agree on something.

    referred to those evil AK-47s or something like Maybe I spoke too soon with my last comment. Yeah, we only allow righteous guns. Care to elaborate on what those are?

    Why should these weapons be excluded from the ones covered by various laws?
    You're serious? OK, lets do a cost benefit analysis. There are a couple of states (and countries) that register all of their modern firearms. So far these registries have been used to solve 0 crimes, primarily because a) no gun was recovered so nothing to trace, or b) the gun was recovered with the person who committed the crime so no reason to trace or c) the gun was stolen and the last legal owner was not the person who committed the crime. So, millions of dollars spent on their registry and 0 crimes solved. Sounds like a waste of money. Now, lets take it a step further. Lets register/license what have you all weapons that could be used to kill/maim/hurt someone: guns, knives, baseball bats, cars, poison, cleaning supplies, etc. Your license/registry scheme would be an absolute nightmare to manage, cost more than most industrialized countries GDP, and lead to 0 solved crimes. Even the staunchest gun controllers will recognize that at some point you have to draw the line and say that the a new law is ridiculous.

    There aren't many crimes committed with black powder guns. There is no logical reason to include them. Yeah, flintlock crimes rank right up there with .50 BMG crimes and machine gun crimes. More people are probably injured from pianos falling from buildings than crimes committed with all three of these combined.

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  3. "But like the first Patriots did to the Red Coats, Littlejohn stood his ground.
    Does anyone else find that comparison a bit dramatic?"

    Dramatic? Maybe, but definitely a warranted comparison. Anyone that can read can tell you that NYC law does not require a flintlock rifle to be registered. It is not ambiguous, the licensing law specifically precludes them.

    Yet the cops, acting on direct orders from that tool Bloomberg insisted anyway, hoping to squash the man under a weight of legal fees defending himself. They knew that the law was not with them and they did it anyway in spite of the legislature. That is the same type of abuse of power that our founding fathers considered tyrannical so the analogy is accurate.

    Let's also not forget that the American Revolution began with gun control. The first shots were not fired because the British marched to collect tea or taxes. 70 patriots stood against 700 of the world's best trained and routed them.

    The comparison of a single man of little means standing against the weight of the Nation's largest city to those patriots may be a bit dramatic but is not without merit.

    We all celebrate Littlejohn's victory against Tory Bloomberg.

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  4. Mike, you yourself are a prime example of the "Slave Mentality". You follow the Joyce Foundation in lockstep, and never dare give a word of criticism, and are further asking for more power to be given to the government and police you admit you don't trust.

    If that isn't a slave, I don't know what is.

    Why not cast off your chains and help us undo the damage you've done?

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  5. What do you think Littlejohn should have done? The law is clear here, the gun does not have to be registered. Should he submit to the authorities anyhow?

    Should we let ourselves or our homes be searched without a warrant, if we have nothing to hide? Give DNA samples?

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  6. I'm a little puzzled, Mikeb. First, we have:

    I could understand if the receipts left at Staples referred to those evil AK-47s [Ha! I love satire] or something like that, but any reference to a flintlock should have seemed more like a collector's item.

    Then you say:

    Why should these weapons be excluded from the ones covered by various laws? Aren't some black powder weapons quite functional and as deadly as your average semi-automatic?

    Are you arguing with yourself, or do you just have an unusual capacity for comfort with the simultaneous advocacy of two diametrically opposed positions?

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  7. Beowulf, You're right I'm all over the place in that post. That's because I don't know how I feel about the question of muzzle-loaded weapons. When that's the case I ask questions and with the feedback I sometimes can clarify how I feel about it. Many of you guys are experts, and believe it or not, I value your opinions.

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  8. Mike, have you ever seen a muzzle-loader? There are several reasons they used them in big lines of cannon-fodder infantry:

    1) They take 30-60 seconds to load and fire (the British could do it faster, but it took years of training). If a shooter tried to do that in a mall, what do you think would happen? A grandma could walk up and beat him with a stick...

    2) They have an effective range of about 25-50 meters. That's opposed to 300-600 meters for 'modern semi-automatic weapons.' Hunting versions have better accuracy, but take even longer to reload.

    3) If the tops get wet, they don't work. A rainy day is sufficient to put one of these evil death-machines out of commission.

    I'd like you to admit that your question has been answered indisputably.

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  9. The "question has been answered indisputably."

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  10. Michael LittlejohnMay 28, 2012 at 4:22 AM

    Michael Littlejohn here, THE Michael Littlejohn in question, and I can only add that NYC is place where we live under an abreviated version of the United States Constitution. My gun was clearly described as exempt from liscencing requirements, yet I had two visits from the NYPD Firearms Investigation Unit who tried bluff and bluster to get into my apartment, but failed on both occasions. I had anonymous midnight callers who engaged me and hung up and I suspect that was also NYPD attempting to determine if I was home and so available for a visit. The gunsmith who created the gun in Tennessee was interviewed by a detective of that unit and although he did nothing illegal, I do not doubt that he will hesitate to fill any more orders going to NYC. I complied 150% with their request for information and sent them detailed images of the gun, which was unmistakably a closed breech flintlock muzzleloader patterned after a pre-1998 design firearm and clearly did not used "fixed ammunition." Two weeks after securing very experienced legal representation, a Captain in the NYPD heirarchy called me to tell me it was "--all a misunderstanding and you never were under investigation at any time." He additionally blamed it on NYPD's lawyers "--who took alot of time to decide whether or not the gun was a violation." (Yet I thought I was not under investigation so why is my file going to your lawyers?) Mayor Bloomberg is known for wasting the NYC taxpayer's money in unproductive antigun litigation and "sideshow" events which do not benefit the People he has sworn to serve. For a man who dislikes guns as much as Mayor Bloomberg claims, he certainly surrounds himself with enough machine gun-toting NYPD personnel. He aparrently thinks guns do provide a legitimate service and do protect one's life (his, not yours.) The grossest falacy of living in NYC is that even if you do pony up gun application fees ($800 to 1200) and pass the NYPD gun background investigation, you still can not keep your ammunition with your firearm. Not much good that gun with no ammunition. You might as well use harsh language and chutspa when the bad guys come calling. I wish with recent Supreme Court decisions in Washington DC that some entity with the resources would take Mr. Bloomberg and the City of New York to task and overturn these archaic and un-Consttutional gun laws ( before he leaves office would be nice.) I began by saying that NYC-ers live under an abreviated version of the US Constituion. Search and siezure protections are also flaunted by the NYPD with a wink and nod from the mayor (started by Mayor Guilliani). Stops, detentions and searches without probable cause are a scandal here, the NYPD and NYC govt. has fought tooth and nail requests for transparency on the issue, only recently has the ACLU begun to get any traction toward its investigation of this. New York City residents consider themselves, well, more enlightened than the average bear, but there definitely is a lot of bending over where Bloomberg and the NYPD are concerned. I will be leaving the city for good in a matter of months, I no longer want to live in a place where the US Constitution is summarily ignored . My conclusion, Big City Mayors are the greatest enemy and threat to the US Constitution.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael. It's good to hear your side of it.

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