Monday, August 13, 2012

Sorry, but you don't have a right to machineguns under the Second Amendment.

It's going to be fun to see the reaction from the gunloons once they realise that Heller-McDonald may have been more of a Pyrrhic victory than they realise.  Mostly because they ignored this bit from the oral argument:
MR. GURA: Well, my response is that the government can ban arms that are not appropriate for civilian use. There is no question of that.
JUSTICE KENNEDY: That are not appropriate to –
MR. GURA: That are not appropriate to civilian use.
MR. GURA: For example, I think machine guns: It’s difficult to imagine a construction of Miller, or a construction of the lower court’s opinion, that would sanction machine guns or the plastic, undetectable handguns that the Solicitor General spoke of.
And neglect that Scalia said:
Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
It's been my contention that these decisions were intended as a way of slowly breaking the bad news that even though it's an "individual right" that term is pretty meaningless when it comes down to the ownership and possession of deadly weapons.

The Wall Street Journal brings the bad news that:

The U.S. courts of appeals for the Third, Sixth and Eighth circuits have all said, in so many words, no right exists to have a machine gun. You can add the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to the list.

In affirming the conviction of Alaskan Matthew Wayne Henry for possessing a homemade machine gun Thursday, the Ninth Circuit held:
We agree with the reasoning of our sister circuits that machine guns are “dangerous and unusual weapons” that are not protected by the Second Amendment. An object is “dangerous” when it is “likely to cause serious bodily harm.” Black’s Law Dictionary 451 (9th ed. 2009). Congress defines “machinegun” as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b). The machine gun was first widely used during World War I, where it “demonstrated its murderously effective firepower over and over again.” William Rosenau, Book Note, The Origins of the First Modern Weapon, TECH. REV., Jan. 1987, at 74, (reviewing John Ellis, The Social History of the Machine Gun (1986). A modern machine gun can fire more than 1,000 rounds per minute, allowing a shooter to kill dozens of people within a matter of seconds. See George C. Wilson, Visible Violence, 12 NAT’L J. 886, 887 (2003). Short of bombs, missiles, and biochemical agents, we can conceive of few weapons that are more dangerous than machine guns.
Oh dear. What could be worse?  Perhaps the head of the UK's National Rifle Association saying that US Gun Loons are crazy:

Unfortunately, most people see the picture of the US NRA as an organisation for lunatics, criminals, and just plain whackjobs. Too bad the gunloons don't get that's how they are perceived.


  1. UK's National Rifle Association, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha........

    That's the funniest thing I have heard so far year......

    Thanks for the laugh Laci.....

  2. Laci, you're laboring under the false impression that the Constitution grants us rights that we wouldn't otherwise have. The truth is that the Constitution recognizes some rights as worthy of mention because the Founders knew what governments at the time were likely to try to take away.

    You cite Miller again, but you really should try to let that one go. It's a bad ruling. It was based on the lie that a shotgun has no military purpose, and the defense in that case wasn't present.

    More than that, you seem to think that Heller and McDonald require restrictions. They allow some restrictions, but none are required. The legislatures must choose what restrictions to pass, but legislatures around the country, state and Federal, are loosing the laws, not tightening them. That too is acceptable in Heller and McDonald.

    Finally, I couldn't care less what the British NRA thinks of American gun owners and the American NRA. Each country has made its choices. What the Brits can't get their heads around is that we revolted from their control, set up an independent nation, saved their butts twice, and are still doing well--all without doing things their way. The horror!

    1. You want to quibble about whether Justice Scalia meant restrictions are required or allowed. Is there really a big difference?

      There will be restrictions. The right is already infringed upon. We're just haggling about the extent.

    2. You're trying to haggle because you're losing. We're through bargaining with your side.

    3. "There will be restrictions. The right is already infringed upon. We're just haggling about the extent.

      There are already restrictions, the right is already infringed upon, and we are fighting to relax the extent.

  3. Let's also observe that the National Firearms Act of 1934 is an example of the government passing laws to assuage its desperation at becoming irrelevant. When Prohibition ended, the Treasury Department didn't need so many agents, but that goes against the rule of government spending that once the budget has been raised to deal with an emergency, it must never go down when the crisis is over.

    Banning machine guns has nothing to do with safety. It has nothing to do with stopping crime. It's the old Puritan terror that Mencken labelled "the haunting fear that someone somewhere is having a good time."

  4. Does the lion care how the gnat perceives it?

  5. Anyone, that does not have a criminal record and passes the ATF background check, wants to jump thru all the federal paperwork, pay the one time tax stamp and can actually afford a full auto firearm, SBS, SBR and others CAN own one.

    So yes, the constitutional right is still there but just heavily regulated. And a LOT of individuals have them as well. Full auto firearms and any firearm over .50 cal are considered destructive device and the reason to be regulated. But you are not required to show reason to own, just that you are legally allowed to own, just like any other firearm.

    Full auto firearms are extremely hard to control, the reason for the added regulation. So are the larger than .50 cal arms. Also, there is no such thing as an assault weapon. That is a term coined by gun grabber politicians. Anything can be an assault weapon IF you assault someone with it, a bat, a pipe, a hammer and so on. The proper firearm terms are single action, bolt action, pump action, double action, semi-auto, select fire and full auto. Also handgun, pistol, rifle and shotgun. No reference to assault.

    The Constitution says "The individual right to keep and bear ARMS" does not have a limiting definination as to what type or what purpose.

  6. "Sorry, but you don't have a right to machineguns under the Second Amendment."

    but I still have one, and it's not against the law to own one, you just have to pay the $200 tax. Same with short barreled rifles and you have to pay a $5 tax for 'any other weapon'(as defined by the NFA) which includes very short shotguns.

    I suspect that we'll see some of the NFA items removed from the NFA soon.

    1. Especially since handguns are sold widely these days that can fire shot shells.

    2. Greg, yep, and those short barreled shotguns that aren't really a shotgun, (and not NFA regulated) but shoot shotgun shells. Like the Circuit Judge. I just got one and it's fun to shoot. It's like a .410 revolver with a 16" barrel. Those evil gun manufacturers; making firearms in compliance with the law.

  7. "Unfortunately, most people see the picture of the US NRA as an organisation for lunatics, criminals, and just plain whackjobs."


    Regardless, people who don't have the courage to defend themselves, who think government agents will stop a criminal while attacking them, who think government agents always have been and always will be "good guys" ... are lunatics in my book.

    History and everyday experience clearly demonstrates the shortcomings of the defenseless mentality as well as the propensity for government agents to fail and/or harm citizens.

  8. Sorta puts a damper on the pro-gun extremist interpretation of "anything goes" with the 2A. All rights have limitations. That's because the primary role of the government is to safeguard the welfare of its people. Everyone from the framers of the Constitution to Justice Scalia acknowledged this. We don't want people running around with rocket launchers and grenades, so obviously you have to draw the line at some rational point or we become a war zone (we are already there!).

    It's also interesting to note that you can restore many legally-sold semi-auto assault rifles back to full-auto relatively easily. There are guides to do so, sold at many (if not all) gun shows. Given that, as you quoted above, outlawed machine guns are defined by Congress as guns that can be "readily restored" to full auto, doesn't that make those semi-auto assault rifles also illegal?

    1. Baldr, wrong again...M16's and A15's have completely different internal mechanisms and can't be "easily restored to full auto"...The bolt is different and the trigger group are totally different. And considering that is already illegal once a person crosses that line they are a criminal.

      Also, I *really* take offense to you claiming to be in a war zone...Sign your name on the dotted line and pick up a rifle and you'll see a war zone.

    2. " That's because the primary role of the government is to safeguard the welfare of its people."

      Wrong. The role of the U.S. and State governments is to secure liberty for the people. Unfortunately that often takes a back seat to the welfare notion because welfare initiatives attract a lot of votes.

    3. Jake, you know what's funny? Sometimes you guys tell us how easy it is to build guns in your basement, that if they were banned you'd just make your own. Now you tell us how impossible it is to convert a sime-auto to a fully auto.

      It sounds like you say anything that pops into your head in order to disagree.

    4. In order to convert an Ar-15 to an M-16 you would first have to be able to obtain the parts, which aren't readily available, so if the parts aren't available, it's not 'easily restored' to full auto.

    5. Baldr, if it were so easy you'd think Ceasefire Oregon or some other similarly useless group would have done an expose by now showing how easy it is for the common criminal to get a hold of full auto weapons.

      The fact of the matter is that you are talking out of your ass. You've probably never been to a gun show. You've only heard that such materials are readily available. And you've got zero machining skills.

    6. Oregonian, what happens when we decide that your right to express yourself must be limited? How about we conclude that idiotic statements pollute our precious bodily fluids? Unless rights are sacred, they can be taken away at a whim.

    7. Mikeb, building a gun in a machine shop would be easy for someone with the skill. Taking an already manufactured weapon and altering it to function in a way that is different from its original design is another level of skill. Making quality weapons is a separate skill. But as the post about 3-D printers showed, soon enough, we'll all be able to build our own.

      Spreading knowledge and technology tears down the power of tyrants.

    8. Mike, *I've* never said anything about building a weapon in my basement...Honestly, I wouldn't know where to begin...My guess is that relatively few people have the skill needed to make a safe and effective firearm from scratch..

      And since machine guns are heavily regulated I won't be making any when I get my own 3d printer.

    9. Making a single shot firearm is exceedingly easy and requires almost no machining skills nor tools whatsoever.

      As far as materials go, all you need is some galvanized steel water pipe, a couple fittings, a piece of wood for the stock, a nail for the firing pin, and a piece of steel for the "hammer". Oh, and some rubber bands to make the hammer slam forward and some string to fasten the pipe to the wood stock.

      As far as tools go, you would need a simple wood saw, a drill (could be a hand drill), a file, and a screwdriver.

      Just go to YouTube and search for "zip guns" ... you'll be amazed.

      Making semi-auto or fully auto guns is more difficult but not ridiculous. Again, a little research will yield various plans for the do-it-yourself types.

  9. "Unfortunately, a handful of whining, anti-freedom nuts see the picture of the US NRA as an organisation for lunatics, criminals, and just plain whackjobs."

    There, fixed it for you.

  10. If Oregonian is going to make silly claims, I invite him to put up or shut up. Show us the sites that explain how to convert weapons to full-auto capability. Show us where we can buy the parts. It's safe to say that our side knows more about how weapons function. Give us the chance to evaluate the designs and parts.

    1. +1..but since he just comments and leaves he'll never see this.