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Read Second Amendment Literally: Ban Making and Selling Guns

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 fully contextual reading of the Second Amendment tells us that the Founding Fathers protected the right to bear arms for the sole purpose of supporting a well-regulated militia to keep America free and secure. But various gun cranks and judges have dismissed that prefatory clause and read all sorts of non-original intent into the right to bear arms—self-defense, shooting government officials we don’t like, yadda yadda.

So let’s ignore the preface and focus strictly and literally on the operative clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. (I’m also going to ignore that erroneous comma—a comma should never separate a subject and a predicate unless there is some intervening descriptive phrase or dependent clause.)

The Second Amendment says we may have guns. It says we may carry guns.

The Second Amendment does not say we may make guns.

It does not say we may sell guns.

It does not say that we may box up a gun and mail it across state lines.

We could shut down every gun factory and store and dealer in America today and not violate the Second Amendment. We already have 393 million firearms, more than enough to allow every living American to carry a gun. If you have a gun, you can keep it. You just can’t buy any more or sell the ones you have.

Ah, but what if your gun breaks and you want another one? Or what if you grow up in a household that chooses not to bear arms but then decide when you grow up, you want to be a hero like Kyle Rittenhouse? You can’t exercise your Second Amendment right if you can’t get your hands on a gun? To keep and bear an arm, don’t you have to be able to buy a gun or build your own from bamboo, charcoal, sulfur, and diamonds?

Well, if governments are instituted among men to secure our rights, then the government can secure our Second Amendment right by producing arms—just contract Sig Sauer to crank out a few million more M17s and M18s—and distributing them at local police stations or Army recruiting offices to every citizen willing and able to carry one.  No right is absolute, of course: the government can and should decline to hand free guns to people who are drunk, crazy, angry, or elsewise identifiably dangerous. But if the government ensures that every able-bodied and responsible American who desires to keep and bear an arm can get an arm, then there is no need for private, extra-constitutional gun-running.

The Second Amendment has been perverted by profit-seekers. The Second Amendment does not protect gun commerce. End gun commerce, and we’ll defuse the fear– and machismo-stoking marketing that drives our destructive gun culture.

248 Comments

  1. Tom 2022-12-30

    I’ll give up my gun when you you pry it from the cold fingers of my dead two-year-old…

  2. Richard Schriever 2022-12-30

    A variation on the Swiss approach. Everyone serves. Everyone has a weapon issued. every weapon has ammunition. They are available at the armory.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-12-30

    Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise. Congress should enact compulsory military service or police training might indeed be one way to slow gun violence. Enlistment could look like the Swiss model where soon after high school eighteen year olds would join for two years then re-up or enroll in the college or vocational training of ones choosing.

  4. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    Cory, Cory, Cory. In general terms, what is not prohibited is permitted.
    Gosh, this lawyer game is fun.

  5. bearcreekbat 2022-12-30

    Edwin, the concept of “what is not prohibited is permitted” generally refers to the power granted to the government. For example, the States have plenary power and can pass any laws the State desires unless doing so is prohibited by the US or State Constitution. The federal government, however, must rely on a grant of power to restrict the States or individuals.

    Under the plain language of the 2nd Amendment, this concept means that a State may outlaw the sale of guns, the manufacture of guns, the transporting of guns etc, and restrict distribution of guns to “local police stations or Army recruiting offices to every citizen willing and able to carry one,” just as Cory suggests.

    But you are right in the sense that if the State is unwilling to take these steps to protect our children, then there is no prohibition against a potential child killer from possessing a gun until after he or she starts murdering children.

  6. leslie 2022-12-30

    Ghost guns are:
    Designed to avoid all gun laws
    Untraceable and unserialized
    Available to buy without a background check

    Ghost guns are constructed by individuals using unfinished frames or receivers, the piece of the firearm that contains the operating parts of the firing mechanism, and which are the part of the gun regulated under federal law. However, when a frame or receiver is “unfinished” by a small fraction, it is unregulated. Ghost gun kits include all of the necessary component parts to turn the unfinished frame or receiver into a fully functioning gun, which once assembled looks, feels, and functions like a traditional gun, whether a handgun or assault weapon, and is just as deadly and dangerous in the wrong hands.

    There are no federal restrictions on who can buy ghost gun kits or parts;
    There are no federal limitations on how many ghost gun kits or parts someone can buy;
    Ghost gun kits and parts are relatively cheap; and
    Ghost gun kits and parts are intentionally marketed as unregulated and untraceable to appeal to those who want to avoid background checks and/or are gun traffickers. https://www.bradyunited.org/fact-sheets/what-are-ghost-guns

    One of these was used in the most recent Colorado Springs anti-LGBTQ MASS shooting. Denver outlawed them.

    You go Arndt, eh?

  7. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    As always, I acknowledge reality.

    In broad terms, incest would be prohibited under the sixth commandment:
    Thou shall not commit adultery.

  8. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    BCB, your understanding of the plain language of the second amendment would have
    a lot of adherents. But if a state would pass a law that prohibited the manufacture and
    sale of firearms, that law could then be construed as interfering with the constitutional right to bear
    arms as interpreted by the supreme court. Legal arguments can be interesting.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2022-12-30

    Those of us who don’t have big money, can still have big, and numerous guns. Does that even things out???

  10. All Mammal 2022-12-30

    If the targeted victims of a good portion of the gun violence in America had any say at the big boy table, we might respectfully ask men to simply consider and study the audacious and very feasible endowment of gun ownership exclusively to women who are willing and able to assume the heavy responsibility.

    The skewed balance of reality as we know it would be drastically leveled out. Women would have the opportunity to fully realize freedom. I project after a short period of time, violence against women and children would be a thing of the past. As would, but not limited to, mass shootings, armed robbery, police violence, gang violence, child suicide, home break-ins, accidental shootings, less killings in general, less threats to life, less fear, less rape, less intimidation, zero bought and paid for politicians by NRA, less say in congress by gun makers, more say in congress by citizens, less division, less police and judicial and penal spending, repopulation of large predator populations and other keystone species, more mutual respect, less organized crime, better brain development in adolescents, heartier educational institutions, more competitive thinkers in the global arena, proliferation of peace and harmony, a more robust and equal democracy, a more just and secure society, the list goes on.

    What could it hurt? Train women who want to defend her body and children and home and country. Women are meant to be the keepers of honor. Restoration of the country’s honor can be one drastic leap of faith away. I cannot imagine a policy like this failing. It can’t get much worse than where we’re at, anyways. Think about it as if a man proposed the idea, not some crazy broad.

  11. P. Aitch 2022-12-30

    Excellent proposals, All Mammal

  12. bearcreekbat 2022-12-30

    Edwin, I think you are correct in observing that “if a state would pass a law that prohibited the manufacture and
    sale of firearms, that law could then be construed as interfering with the constitutional right to bear arms” as interpreted by the activist SCOTUS after the Heller decision. And I don’t see any realistic possibility that a majority of the current members of the SCOTUS would be inclined to overrule that decision in the near future. Yet, Cory’s vision would be entirely possible if the SCOTUS strictly interpreted the 2d Amendment by giving all the language in that Amendment effect rather that simply ignoring a substantial part of that language.

  13. DaveFN 2022-12-30

    Edwin Arndt

    Last time I checked, adultery referred to voluntary sexual intercourse. Involuntary goes by other terms.

    By your definition, involuntary incest would be permissible since not explicitly prohibited under the 6th commandment.

    The Levites sought to fix that:

    Leviticus 18:6-26

    6 None of you is to come near anyone who is his close relatives to uncover their nakedness. I am Adonai.
    7 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your father or your mother. She is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness.
    8 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife, for it is your father’s nakedness.
    9 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home or elsewhere.
    10 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter, or of your daughter’s daughter, for theirs is your own nakedness.
    11 You are not to uncover the nakedness of the daughter of your father’s wife, conceived by your father, since she is your sister.
    12 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister, for she is your father’s direct relative.
    13 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister, for she is your mother’s direct relative.
    14 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother by approaching his wife, for she is your aunt.
    15 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law, for she is your son’s wife. You are not to uncover her nakedness.
    16 You are not to uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife, because that is your brother’s nakedness.
    17 You are not to uncover the nakedness of both a woman and her daughter. You are not to take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover
    her nakedness, for they are direct relatives. That is wickedness.
    18 You are not to marry your wife’s sister, to be a rival, uncovering her nakedness, while her sister is still alive.

    Did they not go far enough or too far?

  14. Edwin Arndt 2022-12-30

    My understanding of adultery is this: a married person having sex with someone
    not their spouse. I see nothing that I disagree with that the Levites say on this
    particular subject. Suppertime.

  15. Mark Anderson 2022-12-30

    You know, it’s really fun to laugh at the fools who stock up on guns, dozens off them, at those who are also preppers, or just magas. I mean the leaving of any kind of reality based thinking. They always reveal their pure stupidity with bumper stickers, hats, t shirts, you name it. Advertising their ignorance is the way they go. They are currently avoiding their shots so they die in greater numbers than liberals. It’s fascinating really, you think DeSantis has his shots. Damn bet you he does. Transparency dies there. If you want to profit off these fools Sturm, Ruger & Company isn’t a bad choice, nice name too.

  16. grudznick 2022-12-30

    This Leviticus fellow says “while the sister is still alive?”
    That just seems to be begging for mischief.

  17. sx123 2022-12-31

    Ban alcohol and cars too while you’re at it. They make a deadly combo.

    Motor vehicle and gun related death counts in 2020 were similar, around 40,000 from the data I found. 4.8 million vehicle related injuries.

    Most gun related deaths are suicide, afaik.

    I’d argue that cars are more vital to the economy than guns, so allowing cars is a risk worth taking, but alcohol certainly is not vital, so…

    Outlaw barley; it doesn’t contain enough gluten to make decent bread anyhow.

  18. larry kurtz 2022-12-31

    Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

  19. jim smith 2022-12-31

    Re: “well-regulated militia”

    In the 1700’s when the Second Amendment was written, well regulated didn’t mean government control – it meant “to make regular” or “be in good working order” which in today’s military parlance is often referred to as maintaining good order and discipline.

    Also, according to current US law, 10 USC 246 there are 2 types of militias – organized and unorganized. The National Guard is part of the organized militia and everyone who is not in the organized militia is in the unorganized militia. However this is really irrelevant as the SCOTUS Heller decision ruled gun ownership is an individual right independent of membership in a militia.

  20. jim smith 2022-12-31

    Re: “read all sorts of non-original intent into the right to bear arms”

    There is no need to “read all sorts of non-original intent”. The purpose and “intent” of the Second Amendment is clearly written into the Constitution in the Preamble to the Bill of Rights where it says “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added”. Note that when the Second Amendment was written, every weapon was a weapon of war, there were no restrictions on the private ownership of weapons by law abiding, private citizens and the militia was equally matched with the Continental Army. After all, if they weren’t equally matched, it would be pretty hard to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers – so in reality, the citizen militia of today should have the same firearms as the current US military. Unfortunately we are no longer equally matched because we have let our gun rights be eroded by buying into this notion if we just compromise to accommodate the people who – for whatever reason – don’t like guns they will quit trying to take away our gun rights. History has shown that no matter how much we compromise, it’s never enough so we need to stop compromising.

  21. jim smith 2022-12-31

    Re: ” We already have 393 million firearms, more than enough to allow every living American to carry a gun”

    Yes – And with an estimated 109 million gun owners with 393 million guns and billions or trillions of rounds of ammunition – if legal gun owners were a problem, you would know it and there would be a lot more than ~15-20000 firearm homicides each year

  22. jim smith 2022-12-31

    Re: “End gun commerce, and we’ll defuse the fear– and machismo-stoking marketing that drives our destructive gun culture”

    Not likely. The problem you have is that in 2016 (for example) there were 667300 violent criminals in state prisons and 20900 in federal prisons. This works out to a total of 688200 or about 0.214% of the US population which means that about 1 out of every 466 people in the US that have been caught have no qualms about ignoring whatever laws you pass and killing or injuring someone and the gun is often their tool of choice. So the bottom line is (1) The human race in the US produces a few bad individuals prone to violence who just refuse to play by whatever rules you promulgate and until you find some way to identify these individuals and the courage to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) Because of these bad individuals, bad things happen every day to people who through no fault of their own were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Criminals will always have guns if they want them. If worst comes to worst they will be smuggled into the US from Mexico inside a bale of marijuana or shipment of fentanyl and sold on the black market.

  23. jim smith 2022-12-31

    Re: “The Second Amendment has been perverted by profit-seekers”

    So what? They produce a product people want and are willing to pay for.

  24. Vernon Weiss 2022-12-31

    Obviously the writer of this story has not read any of the founding fathers writings on this and related subjects. By his line of reasoning the people should ask the government for permission to say something on the radio, TV or the internet. None of these existed at the time and we certainly have more than enough newspapers that people can exersice their First Amendment right through. Government certainly should establish certified churches that are safe to worship at while they are at it! I can’t believe the ignorance of the writer!
    While we are on the subject; Everyone who wants one can have one gun?!!! This only reveals a total lack of knowledge of guns. I have 8 or 9 hammers: all serve different tasks. Pistol, rifle, shotgun? They all serve different functions. Even in rifles there is a big difference between a .22 caliber for very small game and a 30-06 for large game. Many of his ideas and the support for them fall apart if applied to any other parts of the Bill of Rights or to commonly possessed items.

  25. Miles Fortis 2022-12-31

    The Second amendment IS NOT a permission to allow The People to do anything.
    The People already have the right not just to keep and bear arms, but to also make them, right along with the accoutrements and ammunition necessary for their use.. Even this latest ‘ghost gun’ regulation by the BATFE does nothing to stop a person from making their own guns.

    The Second amendment is, as clearly stated by the Bill Of Rights own preamble (which I’ll post, along with a link to the National Archives) is a restriction ON GOVERNMENT POWER not ON THE PEOPLE.

    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights

    The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
    Preamble to the Bill of Rights

    The author’s mindless idea is that of the ignoramus who was never taught, or slept through their course in, U.S. Civics. That also goes for many of the people commenting here. Either that, or they have an ulterior motive, a disarmament agenda for their political enemies, because unless they disarm them, they can’t deal with them the way all tyrants want to.

  26. Klamath Falls Herald and News: Sunday, October 22, 2017/Letters To The Editor

    ‘Gun violence’ a term that means nothing

    With total contempt I read Daniel Hernandez’s Oct. 8 elitist anti-gun
    “LBJ/KGB” style commentary: “For gun reform, thoughts and prayers
    don’t work-laws do.” The distorted term “gun violence” was
    pontificated six times! Comrade V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky would have
    called this writer a “useful idiot.” With the recent horrific Oct. 1
    massacre of 59 innocent bystanders in Las Vegas, by a deranged and
    depraved sociopath, the anti-gun elite in both house of Congress in
    Washington, D.C. (mostly deluded Democrats, but including too a
    remnant of RINOs (Republican In Name Only) have already predictably
    pontificated the parroted term “gun violence.” They love dancing in
    the blood of the dead murder victims, and thus are exploiting this
    horror to advance their “class warfare” political agenda.

    There is no such thing as “gun violence.” This is a focus-group-driven
    buzzword and socialist anti-gun cliché talking point to create an
    imaginary demonic villain as the main anti-Second Amendment propaganda
    tool. While there exist evil, godless, depraved individuals who
    perpetrate lawless criminal violence with guns, there are numerous
    others who perpetrate the same without them. And, since the morally
    and intellectually dishonest parroted term “gun violence” is a
    catchword/cliché, the title suggests an unattainable goal.

    People have been robbing and killing other people, using the weapons
    of the day, since the dawn of history, which identifies the real
    issue: controlling criminal impulses in humans, not the otherwise
    legal instruments they use to commit crimes. Anyone who doesn’t
    realize and/or acknowledge this isn’t thinking, and are into a denial
    syndrome. Our liberty cannot depend upon what anybody “feels.”

    Without going on further I endorse reading the online commentary: “The
    Last Civil Rights Struggle? Discrimination and prejudice are still
    encouraged, gun owners have taken it long enough,” by Alan Korwin.

    James A. Farmer
     Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County  
    Long Live The State of Jefferson!  
    On the Net: JPFO, Inc. at http://www.jpfo.org. JPFO, Inc. is “America’s Aggressive Civil Rights Organization” and is non NRA affiliated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  27. P. Aitch 2022-12-31

    @Jimbo “Jimmy” Farmer – That’s satire, right? Heh heh Ho

  28. e platypus onion 2022-12-31

    Far cry from clubbing another Troglodyte to steal his fire or woman to using weapons of mass destruction, designed to efficiently kill dozens of people with one magazine, to slaughter innocent civilians. Gun violence is real and perfectly suited to mass murder events. you can’t say victims are having the time of their lives being wasted, unless you are one of those unfeeling ammosexuals who rabidly believe their rights to WMDs trump someone’s right to live

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-01

    “They produce a product people want and are willing to pay for”

    1. This comment does nor respond to the core argument that there is no constitutional right to sell guns.

    2. Jim, do you support legalizing prostitution, child porn, and meth for the same reason?

  30. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ Cory Allen Heidelberger

    Re: ” So what? They produce a product people want and are willing to pay for….
    This comment does nor respond to the core argument that there is no constitutional right to sell guns”

    That was a response to the author’s comment ” The Second Amendment has been perverted by profit-seekers”.

    But to your point,

    Re: “Jim, do you support legalizing prostitution, child porn, and meth for the same reason?”

    None of those things are listed in the Constitution and your question “does not respond to the core argument that there is no constitutional right to sell guns”

  31. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @e platypus onion

    Re: ” Gun violence is real and perfectly suited to mass murder events”

    According to the CDC in 2019 there were about 14414 people murdered with firearms in the US which works out to about 39 people per day. These are the “word doctored” figures the news media and anti-gun folks like to publicize because people relate to the magnitude of those numbers and it sounds like a lot of people until you realize this is out of a population of 326 million Americans. In that context, it works out to about 1 person out of every 23,000 people being murdered by a firearm and about 1 person out of every 923,000 (FBI data) being murdered with a rifle which includes so called “assault rifles”. Dwell on the magnitude of your individual significance next time you are in a stadium with 23,000 or 923,000 people and you will realize these events are rare. It is also estimated there are about 109 million gun owners and 20 million “assault style” weapon owners in the US which means on any given day 108,999,961 gun owners didn’t murder anyone nor did 19,999,961 “assault style” weapon owners – yet because the news media magnifies these relatively isolated and infrequent events to the level of an epidemic, the anti-gun folks answer is to restrict or take the guns away from people who harmed no one. The number of homicides with a firearm will never be zero – so if you think 1 person out of 23,000 or 923,000 is unacceptable then given the fact that deranged individuals and murderers are an intrinsic part of the human race and we currently live in a free society, what number of illegal firearm homicides would ever be acceptable to you to the point you would say “we don’t need any more restrictions on the private ownership of firearms”?

  32. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @e platypus onion

    Re: “using weapons of mass destruction, designed to efficiently kill dozens of people with one magazine”

    You can’t blame today’s problem of mass murders on so called “assault weapons”. The first semi-automatic handgun was invented in the late 1800’s and the most popular version went into production in 1911. It is also noted the so-called evil “assault rifles” with standard capacity 30 round magazines are not new technology. The original version was invented by the Germans near the end of WWII and the current versions were invented in the late 1940’s and have always been available to the public (note the “47” in AK-47 stands for 1947, the year the firearm went into production). As a matter of fact fully automatic versions (i.e. machine guns), which are true military grade rifles, were readily available to the general public until 1986 and background checks on firearm transfers weren’t required until 1994 – yet nobody talks about mass shootings with any version (semi-automatic or automatic) of these guns during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s so it’s a relatively new phenomenon and logic would indicate it’s being caused by something else.

  33. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @e platypus onion

    Re: “who rabidly believe their rights to WMDs”

    “WMD’s” are outlawed by treaties. However civilians can and do own other military grade weapons under the provisions of the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) and you don’t hear about any of them being used to commit a crime. However in some cases the owners have to comply with federal, state, and local ordinances regarding the transportation and storage of explosives. The only things I am aware of that are specifically outlawed are machine guns manufactured after 1986 and that law was passed by Democrats using unethical means and the SCOTUS has never ruled on its Constitutionality. Nevertheless, according to the BATF there are currently 175977 fully automatic, legal, pre-1986 machine guns in civilian hands and I can find only one that was used in a crime since 1934 and that was by a police officer using his personal MAC-11 submachine gun to murder a suspected drug dealer in an unauthorized drug raid on September 15, 1988 in Dayton, OH

  34. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    It’s becoming increasingly apparent that Republicans are suffering from mass clinical depression comorbid with suicide ideation. Gun carrying people are saying they are being responsible (but won’t be held liable) for our safety if the rest of us don’t, or refuse to, carry. Stand your ground has become vigilante justice because the courts are overwhelmed with suspects in the war on drugs, our communities are becoming armed camps and we’re barricaded in our homes afraid to let our kids go to school. A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it’s spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.

  35. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    That “kill ‘‘em all and let god sort ‘’em out” construct that the far white wing spouts? They’re the same louts who pound the concept of “free will.”

    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that reproduces in cat species, whether domestic, feral or wild. Infected mice lose the fear of cat urine and are more likely to be preyed upon spreading the parasite even more. Toxoplasmosis has been linked to depressed mood, feelings of guilt and even suicide in humans.

  36. e platypus onion 2023-01-01

    @ jim smith… bump stocks, auto sears that turn semi auto handguns full automatic and this little jewel that turns wmds (assault rifles) into mini gatling guns. https://youtu.be/jif4Wo0LDX8

    With the exception of bump stocks?, these other devices appear to be legal and lethal and don”t attempt to claim the weapons are fully automatic by definition. They serve the exact same purpose.

  37. e platypus onion 2023-01-01

    Here’s a thug who has been arrested numerous times for crimes including attempted murder and always bonds out. Notice the extremely rapid rate of fire from his handgun.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHJsBFaCqDQ

  38. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Indeed. Until the Vietnam War school shootings were rare and scattered but after commercial teevee brought the carnage into every American living room something changed. School shootings spiked to seventeen in the 1960s. There were thirty school shootings in the 1970s, 39 in the 1980s, 62 in the 1990s, 64 in the 2000s and over 150 in the 2010s but off the charts now.

  39. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @e platypus onion

    Re: “mini gatling guns”

    Hand cranked “gatling” type guns are legal and seldom, if ever, used in a crime

    Re: ” auto sears that turn semi auto handguns full automatic… don”t attempt to claim the weapons are fully automatic by definition ”

    “Claim” or not – as near as I can tell the latest round of “auto sears” either home made or imported from China and being used by Criminals to modify Glocks are illegal

    Re: “Here’s a thug who has been arrested numerous times for crimes”

    And if you want to fix this problem, you could start by getting the government to enforce the laws already on the books and insist empathetic judges and DAs quit allowing people who use or possess a gun illegally to plea bargain away the illegal firearms offense. The feds are one of the worst offenders when it comes to enforcing laws. Straw purchases and lying on the 4473 form you have to fill out for a background check to purchase a firearm is a felony punishable by 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine – yet in 2010 76142 people failed the background check, 4732 were deemed worthy of prosecution and only 62 were referred for prosecution. Another thing you could do since most of the gun homicides are caused by gangs or repeat offenders is to advocate for a law that would impose a mandatory death sentence on any recidivist with a violent criminal history that uses a firearm to commit a crime regardless of childhood upbringing, economic impoverishment, mental health, age, IQ, ethnicity, $ex or gender identity.

  40. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @larry kurtz

    Re: “school shootings were rare”

    True. These current problems with school shootings didn’t seem to exist in the 50’s and 60’s when firearms were less regulated and more prolific – so what changed? One change was prior to the late 1960’s parents, and to a lesser extent teachers, were free to discipline their kids pretty much any way they wanted. It was not unusual for the school assistant principal to spank misbehaving kids with a paddle or have disruptive kids openly embarrassed and reprimanded in class or have them stand in a corner by themselves in the classroom or in a hallway facing a wall in view of their peers. On the home front, punishments, which could be more severe, lead to the rise of interventions by social services. Once kids realized they could bring the wrath of the government down upon anyone (parents or school) who disciplined them, efforts to punish bad behavior degenerated into cajoling and kids acknowledgement of and respect for authority vanished. Positive reinforcement over the years has now allowed this situation to morph into where even differences of opinion are considered excessive punishments to the point kids demand (and get) “safe spaces”. I don’t pretend to know if this is the only cause of today’s problems – but it does address the heart of the problem, which is lack of tolerance and respect for other people and authority.

    Another change was JFK’s Community Mental Health Act of 1963 that set up government grants for community mental health facilities across the US that encouraged the treatment of mental health patients outside of institutions, which led to the closure of several expensive, state run mental health institutions. A final blow was the ACLU”s effective lawsuit against mental health hospitals in 1972 that mandated expensive reforms that eventually forced several to close down. Maybe the reforms were justified but the end result was an increased reliance on psychotropic drugs to be self medicated by potential patients who were turned loose on the streets

    Note also that the worst mass killing in a US school occurred on May 18, 1927 in the Bath schoolhouse in Michigan where the killer used dynamite. And rather than immediately rush in an emotional tizzy to pass new laws to restrict the sale of dynamite, cooler heads prevailed and it took 43 years until October 15, 1970 when the law was changed. Up until that date anyone over 21 could walk into a hardware store or farm coop and buy dynamite and blasting caps

  41. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise. Congress should enact compulsory military service or police training might indeed be one way to slow gun violence. Enlistment could look like the Swiss model where soon after high school eighteen year olds would join for two years then re-up or enroll in the college or vocational training of ones choosing.

    Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

  42. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Still believe the Second Amendment is absolute?

    Think again.

    But, until Congress legalizes on the federal level you still can’t buy a gun if you admit being addicted to cannabis so the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) will make sure you lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to an addiction to cannabis, therapeutic or otherwise. “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, [cannabis] or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

    There are some 43,000 patients registered in Minnesota’s therapeutic cannabis program including State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) who has multiple sclerosis. He can’t renew his permit to carry or even fire a gun legally so he wants to change Minnesota’s laws to remove the herb from his state’s schedule that places it on the same level as heroin and LSD.

  43. P. Aitch 2023-01-01

    Gun huggers are a dwindling minority in USA. Most Americans support strong gun regulations!

    – Policies with the strongest support include more funding for mental health screening and treatment, mandatory background checks and licensing for gun purchases, and passage of a national “red-flag” law, which would give a judge authority to order the removal of guns from a person who poses a risk to themselves or others.

    *You’re losing Jim Smith and Jim Farmer.

  44. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz

    Re: “Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21”

    US citizens decided with the passage of the 26th Amendment that 18 year olds are adult and mature enough to vote so they should also be “adult and mature enough” to operate and own firearms. Note that voting can be more deadly than firearms when you recall when the German people elected a dictator like Hitler, they enabled him to kill more people than individuals ever could with privately owned firearms.

    Re: “100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons”

    Why? We don’t tax people for the Constitutional right to vote?

    Re: “then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion”

    It wouldn’t be nearly enough revenue. We have a real example of how US government controlled health care could work. It’s called the Veterans Administration. They have 9.6 million patients (out of a possible 19.2 million veterans) and a 300 billion budget. 300 billion divided by 9.6 million works out to about $31250 per patient per year and note they still have problems with cost control and wait times and don’t have to worry about customer satisfaction because no one is ever fired. Multiply $31250 by 330 million Americans and you get 10.3 trillion dollars per year, which is 44% of the US GDP. And the idea that your neighbor is going to pay $31250 for your health care through taxes when they also have to pay it for their own healthcare is ludicrous. The sad fact is healthcare is a need like food, water and shelter except unlike the latter, which the government can’t possibly provide for everyone, it is not required everyday but eventually almost everyone needs it and the government can’t provide something everyone needs because it’s only source of money is to take it from everyone that has it.

    And note no one in this country is going to die because of lack of medical care. All hospitals that take Medicare – which is most of them except the VA and some children’s hospitals – are required by law to provide life saving emergency care to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions, immigration status or ability to pay. The only issues are it may not apply to elective medical treatments and you may be responsible for eventually paying for it if you don’t have your own funds or insurance.

    Note also many doctors today refuse to take Medicaid and even Medicare without a supplemental plan because of the reimbursement rates and payment delays and additional staffing requirements to deal with the paperwork and government bureaucracy. Some of the more bold doctors operate on a strictly cash basis and have found it’s more economical to not take Medicare, Medicaid or insurance payments directly.

    Re: “the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth”

    I would argue big tech run by progressive billionaires, mainstream media and liberal colleges have a more “devastating effect” “on American youth”

  45. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @larry kurtz

    Re: “Still believe the Second Amendment is absolute?

    Nope. If you misuse a firearm or kill someone illegally you can be denied your right to own any firearms and be incarcerated or executed.

    Re: “But, until Congress legalizes on the federal level you still can’t buy a gun if you admit being addicted to cannabis…”

    It’s an interesting Constitutional argument. I read some place where someone is claiming convicted felons who have completed their sentence should be able to own firearms if they are also allowed to vote. It may be up to the SCOTUS to ultimately decide

  46. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “Most Americans support strong gun regulations”

    In 1934, 1938, 1968, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2007, 2018 and 2022 I suspect similar arguments were made for ” strong gun regulations” when more restrictive federal gun laws were passed. Since all of the regulations derived from these laws are apparently not enough, maybe you can understand the reluctance of gun owners to entertain the idea of sitting quietly and accepting a new barrage. The problem is the real agenda of the people who are leading the charge for more gun control is to ban all guns except for the government and governments (unlike individuals) hold the world record for killing people that don’t agree with them. The reality is implementing expanded background checks or banning semi-automatic rifles (like the AR) or standard capacity magazines has nothing to do with keeping the people safe – it’s about using a horrific crimes like mass shootings to whip lawmakers into an emotional frenzy to goad them into quickly advancing the agenda of gun control irrespective of any facts in more incremental “progressive” steps in order to set a new baseline and move the goal posts to the point where an unscrupulous government would have the option to do what ever they please.

  47. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “funding for mental health screening and treatment”

    There are 2 problems with this. First, mental health issues aren’t necessarily present at the time of an evaluation and lots of mentally ill people “present well” – i.e. they are good at hiding their true personality unless it is inadvertently revealed in a psychotic break or crisis situation. The second problem is there are no objective criteria for a mental health evaluation. As is evidenced in court trials, you often have “experts” who disagree and reach completely different conclusions. When this ambiguity is married to regulations written by unaccountable bureaucrats and used by people who are trying to ban all guns from private citizens it would make it extremely difficult if not impossible for a law abiding citizen to own a firearm.

  48. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “licensing for gun purchases”

    This law would only apply to law abiding citizens. The SCOTUS decision on Haynes vs US in 1968 would exempt any felons or criminals from “licensing”

  49. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry, a socialized internet, socialized gas well remediation and now a socialized water system are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

    There is a growing movement among Democrats and others to fund Medicare for all but I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Health Administration together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax.

  50. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “mandatory background checks”

    Currently, there are only 2 ways to legally sell a gun in the US to a private citizen. One is a private sale between individuals (typically like between family and friends) or by a gun dealer licensed with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the federal BATF. Only individuals with an FFL can run a background check through the government NICS database of prohibited persons. Private citizens cannot. Note that a person can purchase a firearm online, but the physical transfer of the firearm still must go through an FFL at the seller or an FFL local to the buyer. So anyone wanting to improve the process should encourage the federal government to give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. The NICS database is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the national $ex offender registry or the FAA’s pilot and mechanic license query system where the latter provides more detailed information on presumably law-abiding citizens. Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or transfer a firearm to anyone and don’t retain evidence that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer or transferee, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the BATF follows their current procedure of using the serial number of the firearm to contact the manufacturer and ultimately the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s contact information from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the evidence from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

    The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (client, neighbor, employee, potential date, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was erroneous information or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and – by the way – according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they may be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious acquaintance with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.

    Other specific public safety issues where it would be useful are:

     >Allow potential victims to vet known stalkers or acquaintances under a restraining order
     >Allow gun clubs to vet potential members
     >Allow shooting ranges to vet suspicious customers
     >Allow proprietors of “build your own firearm” gun shops to vet customers
     >Help prevent straw purchases by allowing FFL’s to vet all individuals involved with the purchase of a firearm as a gift
     >Allow mental health workers to vet troubled individuals like the Aurora Colorado theater killer
     >Allow resource officers and school officials to vet suspicious students like the Arapahoe High School killer in Colorado
     >Allow the family of the mentally troubled Lafayette, LA killer to verify he couldn’t purchase a firearm
     >Allow neighbors of the Odessa, TX shooter to notify police he was shooting a gun near his house when the NICS system said he couldn’t have a gun
     >Allow police officers to vet anyone they contact – (note the routine background checks performed by police often do not include information about firearms eligibility because they don’t directly access the NICS database

  51. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “passage of a national “red-flag” law”

    Red flag laws really aren’t necessary. All states have laws (~Baker Act) that allow the police or mental health authorities to evaluate anyone and confine them to a mental health facility away from their firearms for 72 hours without any due process if they believe the individual is a danger to themselves or others. After 72 hours, the individual is either released if they are no longer considered to be a danger to themselves or others or they are offered the choice of remaining in the facility either voluntarily or under a court order if a judge agrees to issue one. No sane gun owner is going to choose the court order option because it will automatically adjudicate the individual as being mentally defective and under current US law (see BATF form 4473 question 11f) that will disqualify the individual from possessing any firearms now or in the future.

    So why don’t these laws work? The problem is in most cases the mental health facility will not accept a person unless they are medically cleared – especially if drugs or alcohol are involved. This typically requires the individual to be taken first to a hospital emergency room (ER) for a stay that can last hours or even days – and because ER facilities are not lockdown facilities and no one funds a 24/7 guard to watch them, they often slip out of the ER unnoticed.

    Current law allows the US government to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to treat anyone regardless of immigration status or ability to pay so if the federal government wants to fix something, they should use the same legal arguments to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to provide at least one ER examining room that can be locked down to securely detain any person who is on a mental health hold until they can be transferred to a mental health facility for evaluation

    It is also noted these laws are partially about “danger to self” and according to the CDC in 2016, 22018 people killed themselves with firearms and 22175 did it by other means and the proposed red flag laws that only confiscate firearms would not prevent an individual from employing “other means” – but confinement to a mental health facility would.

  52. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    James Madison intended the Second Amendment to enable citizens to protect themselves from tyranny. Thomas Jefferson wrote that a standing army would lead to military adventurism, would ultimately turn on its own citizens and that has happened ala the Kent State Massacre.

    False flags, disaster capitalism, endless war: anyone who believes America is safer because of a military filled with mercenaries is delusional. Now, we’ve become the Hamiltonian Empire Thomas Jefferson warned us about. Jefferson would be horrified to learn that the US is operating with a 230 year old manual and would say we are long overdue for a Constitutional Convention.

  53. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    “To date, there are no effective drugs against T. gondii bradyzoites. In addition, drug-resistant T. gondii strains have been reported by researchers [4].”

    If you’ve lived with a cat litter box in your house you are probably already infected with toxoplasma gondii. Virtually all hogs in confinement are infected and so are at least a third of Americans.

    The effects on the gene pool are catastrophic often leading to neuropsychiatric diseases including paranoia, especially in men.

    Toxoplasmosis is linked to Gender Identity Disorder.

    “Nevertheless, recent evidence has shown that Toxoplasma gondii infection can change host testosterone levels and influence the development of some psychiatric disorders.”

  54. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-01

    I’m reluctant to blame cats for gun nuts.

  55. P. Aitch 2023-01-01

    @ Jim Smith: Jim sez, “Maybe you can understand the reluctance of gun owners to entertain the idea of sitting quietly and accepting a new barrage?” – After reading this first question, the rest that you posted is TL; DR. (Too lengthy; didn’t read)

    PH sez, “Maybe you can understand that you and those who think like you and a dwindling minority? I care about your right to think whatever you want. Do you care to live in a country where the majority rules?”

    – In short, Jimmy. Type away, brother. The vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less if you sit quietly or what you choose to accept. We the majority make the firearm and ammunition regulations. You’ve lost your credibility long ago.

  56. All Mammal 2023-01-01

    It wouldn’t be accurate to say guns aren’t American. For most of my life, I actually felt proud of America’s enthusiastic gun culture. I’d maybe even brag to Wyomingites that South Dakotans have more guns, and much bigger guns. We’d have more firearms in the ride than people. Heck, more guns than hands.
    I feel differently now. I have developed empathy for the mothers in Chicago and Cleveland and Uvalde. I have guilt for how the police must feel walking up to a vehicle or being called to a school. I have apprehension to go places if I can’t pack because I feel scared knowing every Hairy, Dick and Peter is also armed to the teeth. I fear my family living in big cities. I fear my people getting shot by the cops.
    It has devolved from our Second Amendment rights woo hoo. We need smart reform for basic, pan-American Second Amendment standards. Like selling assault rifles to young, angry, crybaby, losers. America shouldn’t be about that insane level of greed.
    This video is the best argument for how we can only learn once what happens without our doomsday provision in our Constitution. By then, its too late…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=buNSCAqB7EA&noapp=1

    But, Samuel Colt did envision a wiser world where all women are armed. Making allowances for his inherent greed in that lecture, he still makes a good point.

  57. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ P. Aitch

    Re: “Maybe you can understand that you and those who think like you and a dwindling minority” … The vast majority of Americans couldn’t care less if you sit quietly or what you choose to accept… We the majority make the firearm and ammunition regulations. You’ve lost your credibility long ago”

    Nice try on the Saul Alinsky Rule number 5 tactic

    Re: “I care about your right to think whatever you want”

    Thank you

    Re: “Do you care to live in a country where the majority rules?”

    No. I live in a Constitutional Republic where the Constitution rules and I’m assuming you do also

  58. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults say they personally own a gun, while a larger percentage, 44%, report living in a gun household. So, if a third of those who possess firearms are infected with toxoplasmosis how is America safe?

  59. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    A mental health screening to own firearms can be as simple as starting with a test for a toxoplasma gondii infection.

  60. P. Aitch 2023-01-01

    @Jim Smith: The constitution is a flexible, living document. The Constitution has been amended 27 times. That’s the power of the majority. The Constitution does not rule. We The People rule and you lose.
    PS … Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your ass, Jimbo? lol

  61. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    It’s that or legalize automatic weapons, end restrictions on the sale and possession of rocket propelled grenade launchers, let the carnage begin and get it over with.

  62. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz

    Re: ” So, if a third of those who possess firearms are infected with toxoplasmosis how is America safe?”

    America has all kinds of hazards that preclude it from being totally “safe”. But it’s estimated there are 109 million gun owners so 1/3 of them would be about 36 million and we only have about 15-20000 illegal homicides each year instead of 36 million so it would appear toxoplasmosis is not a problem or cause when it comes to illegal firearm use.

  63. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz

    Re: ” A mental health screening to own firearms can be as simple as starting with a test for a toxoplasma gondii infection”

    Okay. And let’s also do that when a person registers to vote along with producing a government issued ID and passing a background check to verify eligibility to vote

  64. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @larry kurtz

    Re: “legalize automatic weapons, end restrictions on the sale and possession of rocket propelled grenade launchers”

    Under the provisions of the 1934 National Firearms Act civilians can and do own those types of weapons

    Re: “let the carnage begin and get it over with”

    The capability to “let the carnage begin” has been in existence since 1791 and with the exception of WMD’s prohibited by treaties and machine guns manufactured after 1986, it hasn’t happened yet.

  65. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ P. Aitch
    Re: “The constitution is a flexible, living document. The Constitution has been amended 27 times… That’s the power of the majority ”

    Yes. And it requires 2/3 of each house of Congress or 2/3 of the states to propose an amendment and ratification by 3/4 of the states to enact it. That is way beyond a “majority” of the people consisting of 50%

    Re: “The Constitution does not rule. We The People rule”

    If that were true the Supreme Court would be replaced with a national referendum

    Re: “Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your ass, Jimbo? lol”

    Personal attacks appear to be your strongest point when you run out of facts

  66. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    The research on toxoplasmosis reveals how some men become criminals.

    Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock, Anders Breivik, Nickolas Cruz, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Payton Gendron and Salvadore Ramos now Ammon Bundy, David DePape, Stewart Rhodes and Anderson Lee Aldrich all are or were christians and misogynists.

    All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism. All had histories of extensive teevee usage, many to video game exposure and easy access to firearms. Distrust of government and race hatred factored in most, if not all of the episodes for which they are infamous.

  67. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Since the alleged jihadist attacks on September 11, 2001 homegrown terrorists have killed nearly twice as many people in the United States than foreign-influenced militants have. 60% of guns recovered in crimes in Chicago come from outside the state.

    Is this how Americans really want to live? Carry rifles and sidearms into every bar, church, and arena? A gun is like a lawyer: you carry one around long enough and sooner or later you’re going to use it.

    The hypocrisy of Republicans wanting to arm teachers while systematically ending funding for public education is simply barefaced drunkenness.

  68. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Suffering from pounding headaches induced by post-traumatic stress disease Marine-trained sniper Charlie Whitman climbed to the observation deck of the 27-story clock tower at the University of Texas then killed thirteen people and wounded thirty others on 1 August, 1966. Until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007 it was the deadliest shooting on a US college campus.

    Inspired by Whitman and what he saw on teevee Richard Speck broke into a townhouse serving as a National Maritime Union dormitory and murdered several young student nurses.

    On 12 November, 1966 18-year-old Bob Smith took seven people hostage at Rose-Mar College of Beauty and shot each in the head. Smith reportedly admired Richard Speck and Charles Whitman.

    During protests of the Vietnam War on 4 May, 1970 a string of shootings at Kent State University began with the death of four and the wounding of nine by Ohio National Guard soldiers.

    While protesting the US military presence in Cambodia two students were killed and twelve others injured when police opened fire at Jackson State on 15 May, 1966.

    Several studies and reports have made me come full circle. Israel and Switzerland have evolved on reducing gun violence by compelling military service. Sweden, France, Brazil, others compel service and gun violence is a tiny fraction of the US. Israel should be a county in Utah or Nevada but the Israeli model of compelling military service and universal gun tolerance should be the future for the United States, too.

    Restore the draft and it will reduce military adventurism, too.

  69. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings, subscribed to right-wing American publications that espouse white supremacy and government conspiracy theories.

    Bombs, wildfires, and mass shootings are just some of the tools of terror. It’s likely that the FBI is stretched too thin to get ahead of the curve and it is hiding the scope of its findings to mask the extent of the hatred.

    The sovereigns are overwhelmingly white christians using a maladapted interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment to rationalize its commitment to a pending race war using links to the federal storming of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas and culminating in the Oklahoma City bombing. Many are either convicted felons no longer able to vote or have been marginalized by those who believe that the democratic process is ineffective especially since a person of color is President of the United States.

    The American Left poses no violent threat to the United States while the hate-filled right wing of the Republican Party always will.

  70. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Class struggle was the root of the Spanish Civil War fought between 1936 and 1939 but at that time Republicans were part of the academic and social justice wing fighting for democracy while the Nationalists were religious conservatives and Falangists led by a military junta with Generalissimo Francisco Franco serving as field marshal. Translated as the Spanish Phalanx of the Councils of the National Syndicalist Offensive, the Falangists represented mostly Roman Catholics associated with Spain’s religious identity and many consider the conflict a prelude to World War II.

    Buoyed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and General Michael Flynn are modern Falangists financed by the John Birch Society. Many catholic schools are in the Hillsdale bubble because the curriculum ignores the church’s role in the Native American Genocide.

  71. P. Aitch 2023-01-01

    @Jim Smith: I’ve far from run out of ammunition. Not only has the Constitution been amended 27 times, but it’s also been interpreted tens of thousands of times. Most interpretations created a distinct change in the political direction of America.
    – This proves the Constitution is a flexible and living document.
    – Our Supreme Court absolutely is an extension of the rule of we citizens. A national referendum has nothing to do with this subject.
    – At this point you’re stepping all over yourself and your ill-conceived logic.
    – So, in conclusion, gun huggers are a dwindling minority in USA. Most Americans support strong gun regulations! Like it or lump it, Jim Smith.

  72. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ P. Aitch

    Re: “This proves the Constitution is a flexible and living document”

    I never said it wasn’t and I described the process that makes it “a flexible and living document”

    Re: “Our Supreme Court absolutely is an extension of the rule of we citizens… A national referendum has nothing to do with this subject ”

    Indirectly an “extension” as the justices are appointed in accordance with the Constitution of a Constitutional Republic by the President and approved by the Senate. They are not elected by citizens in a “national referendum” by the majority of “we citizens” nor can they be voted out by a majority of “we citizens”

    Re: “At this point you’re stepping all over yourself and your ill-conceived logic So, in conclusion, gun huggers are a dwindling minority in USA. Most Americans support strong gun regulations! Like it or lump it, Jim Smith”

    Lacking facts, I see your still trying to make headway with the Saul Alinsky tactics

  73. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @larry kurtz
    Re: ” The research on toxoplasmosis reveals how some men become criminals”

    And yet some (like ~36 million?) of gun owners supposedly with toxoplasmosis don’t become criminals. So how is a test for toxoplasmosis going to identify those that do – or is your proposal to punish the innocent (i.e. deny gun rights) for the potential misdeeds of the few?

    Re: “Charles Whitman, Richard Speck… all are or were christians and misogynists. ..All these men were victims of bullying, isolation and ostracism”

    citations?

  74. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” 60% of guns recovered in crimes in Chicago come from outside the state”

    Yes – most come from Indiana and if the availability of firearms was the driver, Indiana would see homicides at a level proportional to Illinois.

    Re: “Republicans wanting to arm teachers”

    Arming school personnel is the only near term solution that makes sense. Schools have many entrances and lots of activities and they can’t all be monitored continuously at a reasonable cost – especially when there are over 100000 schools in the US – so access control is not feasible and even if it is, it does not guarantee security. Also school shootings are rare so there is a danger of boredom and complacency with dedicated guards. Teachers, administrators and support personnel have another main job to combat boredom and know the layout of the school and the students – especially those students likely to cause trouble. They will also be the first on the scene and the only people on the scene with that knowledge. As far as them getting shot by the police, those issues can be worked out with de-escalation codewords and in many cases the incident will probably be over before the police or SWAT teams are on site. The key here is these “volunteers” need to be willing, discrete, trained, carry concealed firearms on their person and their identity has to be unknown – like federal marshals on airplanes. Once their identity is exposed they are like school resource officers. Potential killers know who they are and if the killer(s) are a student at the school, they probably know where they are and they will either be avoided during an incident or be the first person shot and their firearm will be taken. Also, even if the schools don’t have armed, undercover teachers or other support personnel, potential killers don’t know that and while it may not stop them, it will certainly factor into their intentions.

  75. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” Sweden, France, Brazil, others compel service and gun violence is a tiny fraction of the US”

    Interesting that you mention Brazil. Their illegal homicide rate is higher than the US. The US currently ranks about 18th worldwide.

    Re: “Restore the draft and it will reduce military adventurism”

    In the past that might be true – unfortunately today’s military has become a social justice experiment like the rest of society.

  76. jim smith 2023-01-01

    Re: ” John Paul Stevens wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling on Congress to repeal of the Second Amendment”

    He apparently ignored or never read the Preamble to the Bill of Rights that stated the founders included the Amendments (including the Second) to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. Interesting observation since he was at one time part of the government that the founders perceived as a potential threat.

  77. jim smith 2023-01-01

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” The American Left poses no violent threat to the United States”

    Seriously? Antifa and BLM are hardly Republican organizations and they rioted in several cities for months, killed some people and caused billions in property damage. And few, if any, Democrats condemned the activities and some like VP Harris encouraged people to provide bail for those arrested. And then there is Democrat Rep Maxine Waters that told supporters to harass Trump’s cabinet members wherever they see them in public places. And note conservatives are often threatened, attacked or shouted down when they are invited to college campuses to speak and I can’t recall that ever happening to a liberal or progressive. And then there is Democrat Sen Chuck Schumer telling supporters outside the Supreme Court that “we are coming for you Gorsuch”..”we are coming for you Kavanaugh” and what does that mean since SCOTUS justices are not elected officials and appointed for life? A recent “Left violent threat” was by people protesting outside SCOTUS justice’s houses (a clear violation of the law) with one person who was there to murder Kavanaugh. But the most glaring example was an insurrectionist Bernie Sanders Supporter who tried to murder several Republican members of Congress at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia on June 14, 2017 that nearly killed Republican Rep Scalise.

    Re: while the hate-filled right wing of the Republican Party always will”

    The only thing I’ve seen that Democrats can point to is Jan 6 where the only person assassinated was a diminutive female shot halfway through a broken window while a couple of security people stood against a wall a few feet from her within grabbing distance. And since the Democrats won’t release the 10000-14000 hours of surveillance video, it’s not clear how “violent” the activity really was and if there were other people involved besides Republican Trump supporters.

  78. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Republicans: cops on horseback whipping refugees are heroes.

    Also Republicans: cops who defended the Capitol during Donald Trump’s attempted coup are traitors.

    In a video posted at his Faceberg account Couy Griffin invoked now dead domestic terrorist Lavoy Finicum who helped vandalize the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

    Republican leadership is an oxymoron. The faster all the deplorables taser themselves in the testicles until their myocardias infarct the better.

  79. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    The Ridiculous Right brands Black Lives Matter protesters as unemployed slackers but a horde of Huns that takes over a federal facility to wait out the End Days are called patriots.

  80. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    In 2014 among 382 law enforcement agencies 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdictions, according to the New York Times.

    Let’s review:

    Dylann Storm Roof was 21. Adam Lanza was 20, James Holmes was 25, Anders Breivik was 32, Timothy McVeigh was 27, Eric Robert Rudolph was 30, Jared Loughner, 22. Wade Michael Page, 40. Eric Frein was 31: his right wing views led him to assassinate a state trooper and the attempted murder of another.

    Just say it: radical christianic terrorism.

  81. larry kurtz 2023-01-01

    Doom scrolling,
    Zoom trolling,
    Gloom polling:
    This is why we can never have nuthin’ nice.

    In the early twentieth century after President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House white supremacists began erecting statuary commemorating and celebrating treason in the United States.

    After a 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas asked the NM Legislature for funding to form a “special investigative unit to guard against hate crimes and terrorism.” Balderas’ office has also been investigating predator priests. Empowered by spiteful, vindictive bombast from Donald Trump the hate group New Mexico Civil Guard has abandoned lawful protest and started shooting protesters.

  82. P. Aitch 2023-01-01

    This Smith thinks he’s the real victim in today’s world. You’re no victim, Smith. You’re just a lowly bully. Stand up and fight like a man, little boy!

  83. All Mammal 2023-01-02

    I strongly urge everyone to watch Henson Ong’s speech. He about sums it all up.
    “…Forgive me, English is not my first language. My name is Henson Ong and I am a legal immigrant and I am American- by choice…” The man is an American’s American.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=buNSCAqB7EA
    The video is not current, however, his testimony has always been relevant. His words are worth bending an ear to for five minutes.

  84. bearcreekbat 2023-01-02

    Jim Smith’s reading of the so-called Preamble to the Bill of Rights deserves some further exploration. Jim writes:

    the Preamble to the Bill of Rights that stated the founders included the Amendments (including the Second) to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers.

    Here is a link with the entire preamble which includes flollowing language that Jim seems to be refering to:

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    https://drexel.edu/ogcr/resources/constitution/amendments/preamble/

    If I understand Jim’s interpretation of this paragraph correctly, he seems to be saying that it shows the 2nd Amendment was added to enable each individual person (unless Jim disagrees with Heller and agrees with Justice Stevens’ limiting interpretation due to the militia language) to keep arms so they could apparently threaten and even kill any government official if such non-government individual decided that a government official abused his power.

    The first obvious difficulty with that interpretation is that there simply is no specific mention of the 2nd Amendment anywhere in the preamble,

    A second difficulty is that Jim’s theory seems to be premised on the idea that the government officials responsible for drafting the Preamble, or responsible for implementing the Constitution itself, would intentionally adopt a suicidal amendment designed to put a target on these government officials’ head by encouraging any private individual to kill that government official whenever the individual felt that the offical was abusing official power. Such a suicidal motive seems particularly odd, especially since the founders most likely understand that there would be ongoing disagreements among reasonable, honest people about the extent of government power.

    Another difficulty with the argument that the 2nd Amendment is necessary so disgruntled individuals can start killing unpopular government officials that allegedly abuse their power is the idea that killing government officials somehow would be a legally protected activity under the 2nd Amendment. It is hard to imagine how dead government officials could provide legal protection to anyone. Indeeed, it would seem that no one purporting to be a government official would be safe as any individual at any time might decide another execution is justified.

    An odd theory indeed.

  85. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    Agree BCB – This Jim Smith is a cut and paste bully.

  86. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    When somebody on a blog claims to know more than a retired Supreme Court Justice does how is that not disqualifying?

  87. Randall Nix 2023-01-02

    You really need to read the highly suppressed 1982 Senate report on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. I have a paper copy, here is an on line version.

    https://guncite.com/journals/senrpt/senrpt.html

    “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.”

    19th century cases
    16. * Wilson v. State, 33 Ark. 557, at 560, 34 Am. Rep. 52, at 54 (1878).

    “If cowardly and dishonorable men sometimes shoot unarmed men with army pistols or guns, the evil must be prevented by the (p.17)penitentiary and gallows, and not by a general deprivation of constitutional privilege.”

    17. * Jennings v. State, 5 Tex. Crim. App. 298, at 300-01 (1878).

    “We believe that portion of the act which provides that, in case of conviction, the defendant shall forfeit to the county the weapon or weapons so found on or about his person is not within the scope of legislative authority. * * * One of his most sacred rights is that of having arms for his own defence and that of the State. This right is one of the surest safeguards of liberty and self-preservation.”

    18. * Andrews v. State, 50 Tenn. 165, 8 Am. Rep. 8, at 17 (1871).

    “The passage from Story (Joseph Story: Comments on the Constitution) shows clearly that this right was intended, as we have maintained in this opinion, and was guaranteed to and to be exercised and enjoyed by the citizen as such, and not by him as a soldier, or in defense solely of his political rights.”

    19. * Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846).

    “‘The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State.”

    And the SCOTUS case that led to the Civil War..

    Are Negros citizens…Dred Scott
    “It would give to persons of the negro race, who are recognized as citizens in any one state of the Union, the right to enter every other state, whenever they pleased…. and it would give them full liberty of speech in public and in private upon all subjects upon which its own citizens might meet; to hold public meetings upon political affairs, and to KEEP AND CARRY ARMS wherever they went.”

  88. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    This weekend a heavily armed man caused panic in an Atlanta supermarket, but Georgia’s permissive gun laws make prosecuting his behavior difficult. Strong central government is needed.

  89. All Mammal 2023-01-02

    P. Aitch- Rapid City had at least five shootings in the last five days. A sister shot her brother between the eyes. That didn’t make the news yet.

    My good buddy just showed me a video on his phone from his security camera. He didn’t warn me before I watched a straight up murder that had happened the day before, across the street from his house. That made me angry because I can’t unsee that effed up, hateful, ugly, ugly act. It is so sad. Seeing that man walk right up to another human being and just pop pop pop point blank is so mean. I hate it. I have protected myself with my Sig a couple of years ago in my bedroom. It sucked. In that split second when it didn’t scare him away and he just kept coming, I thought just do what he says. But then I thought about my mom looking for my body, or putting her child in the ground and did what I had to to prevent her heart being stolen. So I get women protecting themselves, but I hate gun violence more now. I don’t want men to possess guns in public. Just women if she feels she needs it.

    That same friend’s nephew was stabbed to death on that same street in August 2019. Unsolved, no leads. My sister also lives on that street. So sad. What the hell are we doing, guys?

  90. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: “Republicans: cops on horseback whipping refugees are heroes”

    They were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. The “whips” were standard practice and used to control the horses. And the “refugees” were breaking the law by attempting to enter the country illegally

    Re: “cops who defended the Capitol during Donald Trump’s attempted coup are traitors”

    Yeah – some rioters also said they wanted to hang Mike Pence and kill Pelosi. But it’s not clear if that vitriolic rhetoric was in earnest or braggadocio.

    And like I said – a January 6th issue. It was a pretty lame “coup” since Congress was able to reconvene to certify the electoral vote. – Certainly not anything like the attempted “coup” by a Bernie Sanders supporter that tried to murder Republican Congressmen and change the balance of power or the attempted “coup” in the Capitol on March 1, 1954 when Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire in the House gallery and wounded 5 members of Congress.

    And note Democrats tried to use the same “coup” tactic after the 2000, 2004 and 2016 presidential elections. The only difference was no one stormed the Capitol

    Re: ” Lavoy Finicum who helped vandalize the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016″

    “Vandalize” is not a term I would use, as it was an issue about grazing rights on federal government owned BLM land. It’s a legitimate question considering ranchers are typically not “vandals” and good stewards of the land they use in order to make a living and the federal government (as opposed to the state governments or private citizens) claims ownership of 27% of all the land in the US where most of it is west of the Rocky Mountains.

    Re: “The faster all the deplorables taser themselves in the testicles until their myocardias infarct the better”

    Seems like a lot of hatred there and with some people that can lead to violence. Hopefully toxoplasmosis is not a factor

  91. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: “The Ridiculous Right brands Black Lives Matter protesters as unemployed slackers but a horde of Huns that takes over a federal facility to wait out the End Days are called patriots”

    Not sure what the “horde of huns” refers to. If it’s Jan 6th, the effort lasted less than a day and if it’s the Bundy or Finicum incidents they were basically peaceful protests even though guns were involved and only Finicum got shot

    On the other hand BLM and antifa riots went on for months and in at least one incident in Seattle took over city blocks for weeks. They also involved guns where people were killed or injured and people and pilots were blinded with high energy lasers and buildings and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed.

  92. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” In 2014 among 382 law enforcement agencies 74 percent reported anti-government extremism as one of the top three terrorist threats”

    It depends on how you define “anti-government extremism”. The devil is in the details because in some people’s eyes that would include conservatives that want a smaller federal government

  93. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: “Dylann Storm Roof was 21, Adam Lanza was 20…”

    All are bad people and some with anti-government or racist views. There are also examples of bad people with other views (Fort Hood Shooter, San Bernardino shooter, Pulse Nightclub shooter, JFK shooter, etc) and some with no apparent political views at all (Columbine shooters, Happy Land fire, Las Vegas shooter, etc). And unlike some of the activities from the left that I mentioned, these people (other than McVeigh) while involved in horrific, isolated incidents, did not have the goal or scope to change the course of government based on their personal ideology.

  94. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” white supremacists began erecting statuary commemorating and celebrating treason in the United States”

    And note in those days the party of white supremacy and slavery was the Democrat party

  95. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “This Smith thinks he’s the real victim in today’s world”

    I don’t feel that way. Why do you believe I think I’m a “victim”

    Re: “You’re just a lowly bully. Stand up and fight like a man, little boy!”

    I see you’re still lacking any facts and hence only left with personal attacks

  96. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @P. Aitch
    “This Jim Smith is a cut and paste bully’

    It’s only “cut and paste” in the sense that I have written most of my responses in the past and continue to “cut and paste” them because anti-gun people keep making the same anti-gun arguments. But all the words I post are mine.

  97. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: “When somebody on a blog claims to know more than a retired Supreme Court Justice does how is that not disqualifying?”

    Maybe in a left leaning, progressive world where differences of opinion are attacked as “disqualifying”.

    And I noticed no other SCOTUS justice jumped on the bandwagon with Stevens whose oped was mostly about lambasting the NRA’ s legal lobbying efforts and complaining they stifle efforts to pass restrictive gun laws. The fact is people don’t buy guns or lobby their Congresspeople because of the NRA – they lobby their Congresspeople and buy guns because they want them.

  98. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ bearcreekbat

    Re: ” so they could apparently threaten and even kill any government official if such non-government individual decided that a government official abused his power”

    I didn’t read it as a right for a government official to be individually targeted. I am assuming the founders viewed it like in their recently won American Revolution where enough people felt the existing government (i.e. Britain) had “misconstructed or abused” its powers and they formed a citizen militia to “prevent” the activity from continuing after exercising all the other options (analogous to our other current Amendments) failed to derail the trend. Forming a viable unorganized militia to achieve that goal then, like today, would require the individual militia members to have the same “arms” as the current government military.

  99. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @P. Aitch
    Re: ” but Georgia’s permissive gun laws make prosecuting his behavior difficult”

    Then the feds should look at. There are lots for federal gun laws on the books that prohibit gun possession and/or use under various circumstances.

  100. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Yes, it never ceases to amuse how Republicans paint Democrats as the party of slavery then praise the slaveowners who penned not just the Bill of Rights but the Declaration of Independence, too. Confederate flags routinely fly in Rapid City showing support for racism in like-minded states, South Carolina and Mississippi. Many more come out during the Sturgis Rally as bikers flaunting their racist bents fly the flag of slavery.

  101. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    North Dakota scholar Clay Jenkinson describes himself as an historian who initially thought Jefferson was quirky, mired in the Enlightenment and sided with Justice Marshall in Marbury v. Madison establishing the principle of judicial review in the United States. Marbury affirmed that courts have the power to strike down laws, statutes, and some government actions that contravene the U.S. Constitution.

  102. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz @P. Aitch

    I had a couple of other responses but for some reason they got sent to “cory” at moderator purgatory so I’m not sure you’ll ever see them

    I hope you folks aren’t too disappointed

    jim (or as some prefer – jimbo)

  103. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Justice Clarence Thomas is the least favorite member of the Supreme Court of the United States even among African-Americans.

  104. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    The Catholic Justices on the Court shoul recused themselves from any decision since the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers control such a monstrous portion of health care in the US, especially in light of more Vatican wrongdoing.

    Right to life, indeed.

  105. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Debt, disease, depression, dejection, despair and desperation: do white men have nothing to lose by acting out?

    Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast President Barack Obama counseled Americans to remember that Christians are disproportionately guilty of genocidal atrocities.

  106. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    1. The Army of God

    2. Eastern Lightning, a.k.a. the Church of the Almighty God

    3. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

    4. The National Liberation Front of Tripura

    5. The Phineas Priesthood

    6. The Concerned Christians

    7. Proud Boys

    Domestic terrorism is rhe realm of white christianic misogyny.

  107. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    Here’s Jim Smith claiming to be a victim of Democrats. Oooooooooooo … poor liddle fella. We Dems are picking on the bullies and they can give it out but they can’t take it. Whaaaaaaambulance is on the way, Jimbo.
    – Seriously? Antifa and BLM are hardly Republican organizations and they rioted in several cities for months, killed some people and caused billions in property damage. And few, if any, Democrats condemned the activities and some like VP Harris encouraged people to provide bail for those arrested. And then there is Democrat Rep Maxine Waters that told supporters to harass Trump’s cabinet members wherever they see them in public places. And note conservatives are often threatened, attacked or shouted down when they are invited to college campuses to speak and I can’t recall that ever happening to a liberal or progressive. And then there is Democrat Sen Chuck Schumer telling supporters outside the Supreme Court that “we are coming for you Gorsuch”..”we are coming for you Kavanaugh” and what does that mean since SCOTUS justices are not elected officials and appointed for life? A recent “Left violent threat” was by people protesting outside SCOTUS justice’s houses (a clear violation of the law) with one person who was there to murder Kavanaugh. But the most glaring example was an insurrectionist Bernie Sanders Supporter who tried to murder several Republican members of Congress at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia on June 14, 2017 that nearly killed Republican Rep Scalise.

  108. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    A Republican Supreme Court of the United States has succeeded in distracting Americans from an attempted takeover of the United States.

    Cult member Ginni Thomas, the Council for National Policy and others in the extreme white wing of the Republican Party have successfully engineered a scheme to use the packed Court to undo constitutional rights. More recently she urged 29 Arizona lawmakers to use their plenary powers to overturn the will of voters in that state.

    Dominion theology proposes that [C]hristians must control the seven “mountains:” government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and business in order to establish a global [C]hristian theocracy and prepare the world for Jesus’ return.

    Republican former Vice President Mike Pence is a member of the CNP as is Ohio Representative Jim Jordan (NAZI-OH) so was the late Foster Friess who gave $500,000 to a gaggle of religionist organizations in South Dakota just before he croaked. Robert Mercer, the blow-it-all-up Cambridge Analytica guy with billions stashed in South Dakota and ties to Faceberg and Maria Butina is a major donor to CNP.

  109. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    And, had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would be president today. Her campaign knew that if Hillary won the rabid Republican House would have impeached her, the Senate would have removed her before the 2018 midterms and Trump would be on the sidelines egging them on. Somebody (Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica) promised Paul Ryan the presidency had Clinton been removed and Tim Kaine met an unfortunate end but that all crashed when Trump was installed. There’s no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Kaine the time to choose a Veep.

    The Speaker of the House doesn’t need to be an incumbent member of Congress so if the Republicans regain the House of Representatives they could elect Trump as Speaker then assassinate POTUS Biden and VPOTUS Harris and Trump would become Chief Executive.

  110. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    If I believed the oligarchs wouldn’t hijack a Convention of States a rewrite of the Second Amendment would be at the top of my list.

    Anyway, thank you again, Nino Scalia, for reminding us why Democrats need to control not just the federal bench but every court in every jurisdiction.

  111. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: “praise the slaveowners who penned not just the Bill of Rights but the Declaration of Independence”

    Slavery was accepted as a norm at the time – and not just in the US. Republicans with Lincoln got over it but Democrats continued to be miffed about it for a long period after the civil war with traces of overt racism extending into the 1950’s in the some of the Democrat controlled southern states

    Re: ” Confederate flags routinely fly in Rapid City showing support for racism in like-minded states”

    How do you know they fly them “to support racism”? Have you asked all of them? It could also be they fly them to support states rights over a large, central government.

    Re: ” bikers flaunting their racist bents fly the flag of slavery”

    Have you asked them if they support “slavery”?

    Re: ” Marbury affirmed that courts have the power to strike down laws, statutes, and some government actions that contravene the U.S. Constitution”

    Well we’ll see if the SCOTUS agrees

    Re: ” Justice Clarence Thomas is the least favorite member of the Supreme Court of the United States even among African-Americans”

    So what? His job is to interpret the Constitution as it was written – not favor a certain race or legislate from the bench or be a social justice warrior. If someone doesn’t like his interpretations, they should exercise Article V and amend the Constitution or get Congress to pass laws rather then try to legislate through the courts

    Re: ” The Catholic Justices on the Court should recuse themselves from any decision”

    So you don’t believe a Catholic justice can separate their religious beliefs from their jurisprudence as it relates to the Constitution? Sounds like a sinister projection of what you would do if you were in their position.

  112. jim smith 2023-01-02

    P. Aitch
    Re: “Here’s Jim Smith claiming to be a victim of Democrats”

    “Victim” is your word, not mine. I merely pointed out what some Democrats and left leaning individuals have done. What did I state that is factually inaccurate?

  113. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    The United States Constitution is the finest legal instrument ever created by the human hand but when it was written the Federalists argued for a strong central government with co-equal branches. Today neo-Federalists advocate for a weaker central government with a strong unitary executive. Tribes are bound by the Supremacy Clause just like individual states are.

    [The US Constitution is on] par with the Magna Carta and believed by many to have been divinely inspired. Holding a new constitutional convention today, as some are suggesting, could end up being a disaster. Again, on Dec. 8, 2015, Justice Scalia repeated his warning against a new convention when he warned the Federalist Society that “A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a constitution.” An organization calling themselves the Convention of States (COS) has been promoting the idea that the answer to all our nation’s problems can be solved by having 34 states apply to Congress under Article V to convene a Constitutional Convention (Con–Con). An Article V Convention cannot be limited. James Madison, father of the Constitution, warned in 1788 that a second convention “would no doubt contain individuals with insidious views seeking to alter the very foundation and fabric of the constitution.” [Guest column: An Article V Constitutional Convention would be very risky]

  114. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Blurring one line between church and state America’s founders extolled the virtue of education as local schools were run both by christian sects and by local municipalities under the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

    But it was not until 1867 and Reconstruction made public education a federal prerogative when President Andrew Johnson created a Department of Education as a proxy for race politics. Missionaries were hired then dispatched to the Deep South to provide schooling for whites and Negroes alike and Roman Catholics were enabled in the American West to assimilate Indigenous youth. Congress was incensed then demoted the Education Department after a year making it part of the Interior Department yet abuses continued.

    In the 1930s an American oligarch named Fred Koch became a close ally of the Soviet Union, trained Bolshevik engineers and helped the regime set up fifteen modern oil refineries then Stalin butchered Koch’s proteges so Fred helped found the anti-communist John Birch Society.

    Fast-forward to the Red Scare, Brown vs. Board of Education, President Eisenhower then to the 1960s when the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed to relieve some of the effects of poverty and segregation despite Section 604 which forbade federal control of education.

    President Jimmy Carter created the modern Department of Education amidst the howls from Republicans who renounce the decision to integrate schools to the present day. Ronald Reagan moved to kill the Department of Education and when Republican Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House he was all about getting rid of DoE, too. Then came No Child Left Behind and a DoE budget that exceeds $70 billion annually.

    Now, police unions get the cash and teachers’ unions get the shaft.

    Recall Republican former South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds won election to the US Senate for advocating the dissolution of the US Department of Education and in 2015 the state’s legislature passed a resolution to abolish it.

  115. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    #JimSmith – You’re backstroking like Missie Franklin in the Summer Olympics.
    Whining like a weaning calf is claiming false victimhood in anyone’s book.
    You’re losing Smitty. “It’s so powerful. Why run?”
    PS: The majority of Americans favor strong gun regulations. – Policies with the strongest support include more funding for mental health screening and treatment, mandatory background checks and licensing for gun purchases, and passage of a national “red-flag” law, which would give a judge authority to order the removal of guns from a person who poses a risk to themselves or others.

  116. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-02

    I’m just trying to explore your thinking, Jim, and see where the logic leads.

  117. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Republicans who live in what once the Louisiana Purchase have apparently forgotten that the ground they live on was seized from aboriginal cultures by liberal democrat, President Thomas Jefferson through an executive order that even he believed was unconstitutional.

  118. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” And, had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would be president today… could elect Trump as Speaker then assassinate POTUS Biden and VPOTUS Harris”

    And I thought radical right wingers had some wild conspiracy theories – but nothing I’ve seen compares to this

    Re: ” the Senate would have removed her before the 2018 midterms”

    Not likely. The Republicans never controlled 2/3 of the votes in the Senate (it was 52/48 in 2016) so they would need the support of some Democrats – and if it’s one thing the Democrats do well (unlike Republicans) it’s stick together when it comes time to vote

    Re: More recently she urged 29 Arizona lawmakers to use their plenary powers to overturn the will of voters in that state”

    So what? She’s entitled to her opinion and apparently they didn’t go along with her. It would appear you believe Justice Thomas lacks integrity to reach his own legal conclusions and instead relies on his wife. Do you have any evidence of that? Is that what you would do if you were a judge?

    Re: “Dominion theology proposes that Christians must control the seven “mountains”

    Since religion is declining in the US – especially among young people – I don’t see this as a serious threat

  119. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    Jim isn’t thinking, Cory. He’s inventing an illusory reality to satisfy a gun hugging premise.

  120. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    We are all children of Africa but the United States was founded on the backs of slaves as systematic genocide became a way of life for white christians quoting scripture as they slaughtered their fellow humans. Here’s another horrific story that was swept under the rug of American history in the name of manifest destiny.

    Well, it’s amazing, Diane, that on the bicentennial of the revolt, you know, so few people have heard about this. And the reason is, those newspaper accounts and letters from William Claiborne describe an insignificant insurrection led by slave criminals. So let me tell you about the strategy they used to suppress the news and cover up what happened. The first thing they did was to kill as many of the slaves as they could identify who participated in the revolt. They beheaded about 100 of them, put their heads on poles, dangled their dismembered corpses from the gates of New Orleans. And then in newspaper accounts and letters, they wrote about these brigands. They described them as guilty as criminals. Charles Deslondes, they chase into the swamps, they capture him, they shoot him in both thighs, chop off his limbs and then burn him alive.

    https://dianerehm.org/shows/2011-01-13/daniel-rasmussen-american-uprising

  121. bearcreekbat 2023-01-02

    Jim Smith, Then it now appears that your theory is that rather than aurhorizing a single individual to use guns to kill a single government official, the 2nd Amendment was designed and intended by the founderts to authorize groups of “enough people” to possess guns so these guns can be used to kill not a single government official, but multiple government officials if those groups have decided that the government officials are abusing their power, but have found no the remedy than killing those government officials that they disagree with.

    That sounds a bit like the groups like the Proud Boys et al that stormed the Capitol on January 6. The abuse the Proud Boys alleged was failing to declare their candidate Trump the President because of the abuses of power that election officials engaged in across the country by faking Biden’s victory in the popular vote and in the electoral college vote. The Proud Boys et al knew that about 60 different courts disagreed with theory claims, and that many Republican officials like V.P. Pence also disagreed with their claims of abuse of power. So I take it under your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment these groups could use “arms” within the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to attack, harm and even kill members of Congress, VP Pence, and the law enforcement officials defending them, as well as the mote than 60 federal and state judges that abused their power by disagreeing with the claim of election fraud, that had they used guns instead of clubs and whatever other weapons they actually used, that behavior was something the founders of the Country intended to protect by the adoption of the 2nd Amendment?

    You also mention the American Revolution. To the best of my knowledge there was no law or constitutional provision in either English law or Colony law that allowed colonists to retain guns or other arms so they could kill British government officials and British soldiers, yet the colonists apparently concluded there was no legal impediment to doing so. If the colonists and founders that participated in the revolution didn’t need a law or constitutional authorization to revolt, why would they think such a provision would be necessary in the US Constitution before a similar revolt against the American government for abuse of power could take place?

    And if the 2nd Amendment acually authorized violent revolution, then why were confederate soldiers and leaders found to be traitors after the civil war? Wouldn’t the 2nd Amendment have provided an ironclad defense?

  122. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    We all know Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Lynn Arnold Noem (KLAN) is a racist so now she is exploiting ethnic cleansing to advance her national aspirations. Because of her toxic narcissism and desire to hoe in the cash by the boxful Noem would ban authors like Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Erdrich whose images of the Native American Genocide are burned into her work.

  123. jim smith 2023-01-02

    P. Aitch
    Re: ” mandatory background checks”

    These polls where large numbers of people support background checks ask questions like “Do you favor or oppose a federal law requiring background checks on all potential gunbuyers “? That is not the same question that is relevant with regard to the laws that are actually proposed like the federal gun legislation that failed to pass the US Senate in 2013. The relevant poll question in that case would have been “do you support or oppose US Senate Bill 649 or any of its amendments”? Read the bill (SB-649) and the amendments. The title of the bill is word doctored to be innocuous but the devil is in the details and what was being proposed as part of the background check process was a litany of vague, abstruse and onerous restrictions on friends and family members that could trip them up and subject them to intimidation and entrapment by overzealous and unscrupulous authorities who are aligned with an anti-gun agenda. In addition, the bill was worded in such a way that existing gun laws that currently protect gun owners (like a prohibiting a registry) could be circumvented by the President simply having the BATF report to DHS instead of the Attorney General
    If the totality of what is really desired is universal background checks on all gun transfers, the answer is simple and easy – give anyone free, anonymous, public access to the federal NICS background check database of persons prohibited from owning firearms and then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain something that documents you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. There is no reason to get the government involved any further in the process unless you have other goals in mind like a federal registry of all firearms

  124. jim smith 2023-01-02

    Re: “The majority of Americans favor strong gun regulations”

    At least until they what hear is in the bills that are actually proposed. And then that pesky Second Amendment limits what the federal government can do

    Re: ” licensing for gun purchases”

    Licensing would only apply to law-abiding citizens. Criminals would be exempt because of the Haynes v US SCOTUS decision in 1968

    Re: “Policies with the strongest support…”

    I’ve addressed all of these somewhere in this thread including the “red flag” law, which the moderator for some reason refuses to publish

    Re: ” You’re losing Smitty. “It’s so powerful. Why run?”

    Nice try on the Saul Alinsky tactics. He would be proud

  125. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Gee bat, you really believe logic and the body of law can convince the unconvinced?

  126. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @P. Aitch

    Re: ” passage of a national “red-flag” law”

    Red flag laws really aren’t necessary. All states have laws (~Baker Act) that allow the police or mental health authorities to evaluate anyone and confine them to a mental health facility away from their firearms for 72 hours without any due process if they believe the individual is a danger to themselves or others. After 72 hours, the individual is either released if they are no longer considered to be a danger to themselves or others or they are offered the choice of remaining in the facility either voluntarily or under a court order if a judge agrees to issue one. No sane gun owner is going to choose the court order option because it will automatically adjudicate the individual as being mentally defective and under current US law (see BATF form 4473 question 11f) that will disqualify the individual from possessing any firearms now or in the future.

    So why don’t these laws work? The problem is in most cases the mental health facility will not accept a person unless they are medically cleared – especially if drugs or alcohol are involved. This typically requires the individual to be taken first to a hospital emergency room (ER) for a stay that can last hours or even days – and because ER facilities are not lockdown facilities and no one funds a 24/7 guard to watch them, they often slip out of the ER unnoticed.

    Current law allows the US government to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to treat anyone regardless of immigration status or ability to pay so if the federal government wants to fix something, they should use the same legal arguments to require all hospitals that accept Medicare to provide at least one ER examining room that can be locked down to securely detain any person who is on a mental health hold until they can be transferred to a mental health facility for evaluation

    It is also noted these laws are partially about “danger to self” and according to the CDC in 2016, 22018 people killed themselves with firearms and 22175 did it by other means and the proposed red flag laws that only confiscate firearms would not prevent an individual from employing “other means” – but confinement to a mental health facility would.

  127. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-02

    [By the way, this post is drawing a lot of first-time readers and commenters. Thank you for joining us, and welcome to the show.

    First-time commenters may wonder why their comments are not posting immediately. Permit me to review the Dakota Free Press comment policy:

    I prefer that commenters use their real names. I always do, in all online fora. Using our real names helps us remember that we are speaking to real people, fellow human beings. Using our real names also shows we are willing to own our words. “Nymity”, as I call it, promotes better civic discourse… and I contend that if we are going to speak on matters of public interest, we have an obligation to stand visibly in the public forum.

    I do not require that commenters use their real names as handles, as evidenced by a quick review of the nicknames here. However, I do require that commenters provide a real, functional email address and reply to one email from me. When a first-time commenter hits “Post Comment”, the comment goes to moderation. I send an email to the email address the commenter submitted asking the commenter to confirm real name and email address. If the commenter replies accordingly, I post the comment, and that commenter may post more comments freely, without waiting for me to approve them. If the commenter does not reply, I do not post the comment. If the commenter replies but refuses to share a real name, I do not post the comment. If the email address bounces back as invalid, I do not post the comment, and I mark the email as spam so any future attempts to comment using that bogus email are ignored.

    The idea is simple: if you want to converse with me, you have to trust me enough to tell me your name, just as I tell you my name on every post I publish. If you don’t trust me, I can’t trust you, and there’s no reason for us to talk.

    I use this system to filter out bots, Russian disinformation agents, drive-by insult artists, and others who aren’t interested in engaging in real civic discourse. The system isn’t perfect; someone who wants to cheat the system can do so with relative ease. But the system results in better discourse, and I’m sticking with it.

    Note that this system assumes commenters use the same name and email throughout their tenure in the DFP comment section. I don’t want sockpuppets (an individual pretending to be multiple users to create the false sense of lots of people on the individual’s side). But this means that, after happily submitting dozens (or, in the case of some loyal readers, thousands!) of comments, if you mistype your name or email, your comment will go to moderation. It’s nothing personal; you just need to check your typing. Sometimes your browser will save that typo and autofill your name and email with that error, sending all of your comments to moderation. If you’ve had comments approved before but now your comments aren’t showing up right away, check your name and email first. Consider clearing your browser cache and entering a new comment with your carefully checked name and email.

    This is my blog policy, not law or Scripture. Joining any online conversation hosted by a private citizen or corporation is a privilege, not a right. I generally simply ignore comments that don’t enlighten, inspire, entertain, or otherwise add value to the discussion of the topics at hand. But I may delete comments that are vulgar, nasty, off-topic, or otherwise objectionable at any time. If I get really sick of a commenter’s crap, I’ll block that commenter.

    Thank you for your attention and for following my rules. If you’ve just commented for the first time and don’t see your comment, check your inbox.]

  128. jim smith 2023-01-02

    @Cory Allen Heidelberger
    Re: “I’m just trying to explore your thinking, Jim, and see where the logic leads”

    Thanks Cory. Got your email and re-submitted the comment and it posted.

  129. P. Aitch 2023-01-02

    Jim Smith and the radicalized ultra conservative groups like Gun Owners of America, South Dakota Gun Owners, and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners are about two steps from indictment for insurection.
    Beware Their Ulterior Motives!
    – We patriotic liberal gun owners have better choices. Here are six gun groups that fight racism and promote healthy gun ownership.
    https://www.salon.com/2017/09/03/6-gun-groups-that-arent-for-white-right-wingers_partner/

  130. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    A eukaryotic cell may be the most common thing in the cosmos. “Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate, intracellular eukaryotic apicomplexan protozoan parasite that can cause fetal damage and abortion in both animals and humans.”

  131. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    Logic infers that among Charles Whitman, Richard Speck, Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Dylann Roof, Adam Lanza, Robert Dear, James Holmes, Eric Rudolph, Jared Loughner, Wade Michael Page, Eric Frein, Stephen Paddock, Anders Breivik, Nickolas Cruz, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, Payton Gendron and Salvadore Ramos now Ammon Bundy, David DePape, Stewart Rhodes and Anderson Lee Aldrich all, or at least a third, are or were infected with toxoplasmosis.

  132. larry kurtz 2023-01-02

    It’s important to remember theories are arguably provable while hypotheses are often mostly informed hunches so conspiracy theories are not theories at all — at best they’re conjecture and at worst they’re malicious prevarications, even slander or libel.

  133. jim smith 2023-01-03

    @bearcreekbat
    Re: “rather than aurhorizing a single individual to use guns to kill a single government official”

    I don’t think “authorizing” is the word I would use. A government that “abuses or misconstructs” its powers is unlikely to “authorize” the release of its power. My interpretation is the Second Amendment along with the Preamble just ensures the “people” have the capability to “prevent” what they perceive as a “misconstruction or abuse” of a government’s powers if they want to try to prevent it at the risk of failing in their preventative efforts

    Re: “So I take it under your interpretation of the 2nd Amendment these groups could use “arms” within the meaning…”

    They have the right to bear arms if they want to try but without more support from the “people” they are likely to fail and be punished. In essence anyone that tries to “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers is declaring war on the sitting government and in order to be successful they are going to need a lot of support from a lot of like people in a lot of places – similar to what existed in the Revolutionary War and Civil War. And for that to happen the sitting government would have to do something really bad.

    Re: “To the best of my knowledge there was no law…that allowed colonists to retain guns…so they could kill British government officials”

    True. But most people in those days had guns (the same or better guns than the British) in order to hunt which is not true today so a “law that allowed colonists to retain guns” that “could kill British government officials” was not required

    Re: ” why would they think such a provision would be necessary in the US Constitution”

    I wasn’t there when they wrote the Bill of Rights but I would speculate it was because the Revolutionary War started when the British tried to disarm the colonists at Concord, MA in 1775 and a person without a gun can easily become a slave or subject because as Mao Zedung correctly said “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun

  134. jim smith 2023-01-03

    @ larry kurtz
    Re: ” We all know Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Lynn Arnold Noem (KLAN) is a racist”

    How do you “all know” that? Have you met her or talked with her?

  135. jim smith 2023-01-03

    @ P. Aitch
    Re: ” Jim Smith and the radicalized ultra conservative groups…are about two steps from indictment for insurection”

    All these so-called “ultra conservative groups” do is encourage their members to write their Congressional representatives about preserving their gun rights and file lawsuits about gun laws they believe are illegal or unconstitutional. How does that rise to the level of an “insurrection”?

    Re: ” Beware Their Ulterior Motives!”

    Like what ” Ulterior Motives”?

    Re: ” fight racism”

    I’m not aware of any indications of “racism” in the organizations you mentioned. If you are aware of indications of racism associated with them, please enlighten me.

  136. P. Aitch 2023-01-03

    Smith says,”All these so-called “ultra conservative groups” do is encourage their members to write their Congressional representatives about preserving their gun rights and file lawsuits about gun laws they believe are illegal or unconstitutional.”
    I know you’re aware of what goes on at these groups so I’m going to call you a liar.
    – Here’s a quote from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners website, next to a guy holding an AR-15 like he’s holding a loved one.
    “In Colorado, where most elected Republicans are nearly indistinguishable from elected Democrats, local conservative activists have no choice but to take matters into their own hands if they want to repeal bad laws passed by inept politicians; this is our current goal at RMGO: do the work Establishment Republicans refuse to do.”
    “Taking things into their own hands” is dog whistle for insurrection.
    And, this is what they publish that even law enforcement can see. What they don’t publish must be much more radicalized.

  137. larry kurtz 2023-01-03

    Porter, let it go. Earth haters are impenetrable.

  138. P. Aitch 2023-01-03

    @InterestedParty – This Smith is far from impenetrable. He’s a Swiss cheese sailor with lies for paddles.

  139. jim smith 2023-01-03

    P. Aitch

    Re: “I’m going to call you a liar”…”Here’s a quote from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners website…“Taking things into their own hands” is dog whistle for insurrection”

    Like a lot of liberals with an agenda would do, you didn’t quote the rest of the article

    https://rmgo.org/from-the-desk-of-taylor-d-rhodes/when-republicans-wont-fight-rmgo-will/

    It doesn’t mentioned anything about an “insurrection” but does mention they apparently “took matters into their own hands” and filed 5 lawsuits.

    Re: “And, this is what they publish that even law enforcement can see. What they don’t publish must be much more radicalized”

    That’s paranoid speculation

    But thanks for bring this up. After reading the article I sent them a donation to help fund their efforts

    Re: “This Smith is far from impenetrable. He’s a Swiss cheese sailor with lies for paddles”

    Still no facts but more personal attacks – Facts are stubborn things but ignoring them can bring solace

  140. Dicta 2023-01-03

    Guy with gun in his hands: “We’ll take things into our own hands.”
    Jim: oh come on, how could you read into that.

    Friggin LARPers, man. If you want to fight, join the damn service, you pansies.

  141. bearcreekbat 2023-01-03

    Jim Smith, that is an interesting observation about Concord and the British attempt in 1775 to seize a cache of weapons. It appears, however, that the actions of the British were preceded by several events that lead the British to believe that an armed revolt was coming. For example, the 1770 Boston Massacre followed by the 1773 Boston Tea Party, led to Britain’s ramped up the military presence there and a shut down of Boston harbors due to the rebellion against the Stamp Act. Even the British Parliament declared that Massachusetts was in open rebellion prior to the Concord weapon event.

    https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/battles-of-lexington-and-concord

    Thus there was apparently no threat or attempt by the British government to disarm the colonists until 1775 when it appeared to the British government that some colonists were stockpiling weapons for war against Britian.

    That raises a couple interesting considerations. First, it appears that the 2nd Amendment has exceptions for people that threaten violence against others, including government officials. Indeed, it is a federal felony offense to threaten a government official. In such a case where an indiividual or a group of individuals act to threaten government officials with revolt, it seems illogical to speculate that the founders would have objected to disarming those making the threat. And certainly if the founders had become aware of a disgruntled group stockiling weapons to attack the US government it sedems doubtful that would have stood by and done nothing, while waiting to be shot ot killed, because they intended the 2nd Amendment to insulate potential rebels.

    Second, assuming the US government actually exceeded the powers and limitations of the Constitution, why would the founders expect that government to obey the restrictions of a 2nd Amendment and refrian from seizing the weapons to be used against that very government and government officials?

    And, of course under Heller an individual now has been held to have a 2nd Amendment right to possess a gun, but I recall nothing in that opinion of the SCOTUS or any other SCOTUS opinion that indicates the 2nd Amendment protects any group of individuals’ right to possess a gun for the purpose of attacking whatever US government officials the individual or group might believe to have abused their power. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, no such argument seems to have helped the people that were prosecuted for storming the Capital on January 6, and for any of those people that were convicted of a felony, they no longer have any right to possess a gun under the 2nd Amendment. These convictions could not have taken place at all if the 2nd Amendment had been adopted to enable attacks of a government for alleged abuse of powers.

    Finally, why would the founders desire that a 2nd Amendment so that groups that believed the US government was abusing its authority to take up arms against that government in the face of existing laws making such trerason a capital offense? I know of no legal defense to a treason charge based on the belief that the government was abusing its powers. Has there ever been such case that you are aware of where that type of 2nd Amendment defense was even permitted?

    When one thinks about it there just doesn’t seem to be any valid logic behind the argument that the founders would adopt what would appear to be a suicidal Constitutional Amendment intending it to permit people to take up arms against the government.

  142. P. Aitch 2023-01-03

    It’s odd that Kurt Evans disappears, and Jim Smith shows up with the exact same writing format and the exact same sentence composition.

  143. jim smith 2023-01-04

    @bearcreekbat
    Re: “It appears, however, that the actions of the British were preceded by several events that lead the British to believe that an armed revolt was coming”

    Yes – and the British trying to seize their firearms was the last straw where the “people” decided they were willing to risk their lives and property to start a no holds barred war with the British Empire to be free from their government oppression and policies.

    Re: “when it appeared to the British government that some colonists were stockpiling weapons for war against Britian”

    Yes. My interpretation is the “people” came to the conclusion that the British government had “misconstructed or abused its powers” and they were preparing to do something about it

    Re: ” it appears that the 2nd Amendment has exceptions for people that threaten violence against others”

    Yes. If you possess or use a firearm illegally you can be incarcerated or executed.

    Re: “it seems doubtful that would have stood by and done nothing ”

    Of course they wouldn’t “stand by and do nothing”. Governments – especially corrupt ones never seem to want to give up their power. And that may be the reason when Scalia said there are limits to the Second Amendment he seemed to carefully avoid saying the government had the right to ban any firearms they don’t like

    Re: “why would the founders expect that government to obey the restrictions of a 2nd Amendment and refrian from seizing the weapons to be used against that very government?”

    They probably wouldn’t. That’s may be why the Bill of Rights places restrictions on the government (and not the people) to ensure the people are in charge of the government (i.e. government by the people) and always armed. And it is a warning sign to the people that if the government attempts to confiscate weapons that 1) the government has evolved to the point that they don’t trust the people and 2) worst things are likely to be forthcoming

    Re: “nothing…indicates the 2nd Amendment protects any group of individuals’ right to possess a gun for the purpose of attacking…US government officials”

    My interpretation is it doesn’t protect the “group” or sanction the action but guarantees them (the people) the capability to initiate the action if enough “people” feel the government has “misconstruced or abused its powers”. In essence such an action would be a war and in a war there are no rules or “2nd Amendment protections” or Constitutional guidelines and whoever loses the war is likely to be killed or executed.

    Re: “no such argument seems to have helped the people that were prosecuted for storming the Capital on January 6”

    As far as I know none of the rioters that entered the Capitol on Jan 6th was armed and I assume we would have heard about it daily if they were.

    Re: “These convictions could not have taken place at all if the 2nd Amendment had been adopted to enable attacks of a government for alleged abuse of powers”

    My interpretation is the 2nd Amendment protects your right to “enable the attack” but it doesn’t protect you if you initiate it and fail

    Re: “why would the founders desire that a 2nd Amendment… and make…treason a capital offense?”

    I view it as the 2nd Amendment protects the “people’s” right to keep and bear arms and nothing more. If the “people” decide to use those “arms” against the government because they feel the government has “misconstructed or abused” it’s powers and lose, the government would view that action as “treason” and the “people” involved would face the consequences.

    Re: “doesn’t seem to be any valid logic behind…to what would appear to be a … Constitutional Amendment…to permit people to take up arms against the government”

    I believe the “valid logic” behind it is that is exactly what the colonists did to gain freedom from the British Empire and I suspect the founders realized with that incident fresh in their mind that when it came to what governments tend to do with power is not something that was necessarily unique to the British government – especially since the Colonists were British descendents. Hence I think it is reasonable to assume they realized with their heritage that any government they formed could eventually evolve to do the same types of things the British government did when it came to “misconstructing or abusing” its powers and they wanted to have safeguards to prevent it.

  144. jim smith 2023-01-04

    @P. Aitch
    Re: “It’s odd that Kurt Evans disappears, and Jim Smith shows up with the exact same writing format and the exact same sentence composition”

    Well I’ve been “cutting and pasting” most of these same answers to the same questions and comments on blogs as Jim Smith since about 2011 – so maybe “Kurt” saw them somewhere and is copying my stuff – which is okay with me.

  145. P. Aitch 2023-01-04

    @Jim Smith
    RE: I’ve been “cutting and pasting” most of these same answers to the same questions and comments on blogs as Jim Smith since about 2011

    That explains your non persuasive pitch.
    I could teach you how to sell an idea but I’m not available.

    Enough … LWIY (last word is yours)

  146. jim smith 2023-01-04

    P. Aitch
    Re: “That explains your non persuasive pitch”

    Or another explanation is that a lot of people want simple answers to complex issues and prefer to make decisions based on feelings and emotions rather than facts and evidence

  147. Dicta 2023-01-04

    Like election deniers, Jim?

  148. bearcreekbat 2023-01-05

    Jim Smith, In my view you have raised the stongest points I have seen to date to support the proposition you have posed about the meaning of the 2nd Amendment that we have been exploring. Yet, the devil remains in the details and the details seem to conclusively undermine even those points. I want to be sure that we are on the same page, however, and that I have not in any way misunderstood your position. Here is the substantive proposition that I believe we are exploring, although perhaps you would phrase it differently. Please clarify if I am mistaken.

    The founders adopted the 2nd Amendment to assure that the people could retain weapons to attack the government if and when the people decided the government was abusing its powers.

    But if this is correct, these still seem to be the problems in that proposition:

    1. One problem with this premise flows from the language of the SCOTUS inHeller, which explained

    “we do not read, the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation, just as we do not read the First Amendment to protect the right of citizens to speak for any purpose.”

    The Court citing the earlier decision in Cruikshank. further explained that

    < “the right protected by the Second Amendment [is] “‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose’”

    This language seems to undermine the idea of protecting a right to possess guns or weapons for the unlawful purpose to enable attacking government officials. To the best of my knowledge such behavior has never been a lawful purpose, rather, it has always been classified as a serious crime in the U.S., no more of a lawful purpose than robbing a bank or murdering someone. And if a person has no right to possess a gun or weapon under the 2nd Amendment so that if they deem it appropriate they can rob a bank or murder someone, then they would likewise have no right to possess a gun or weapon in case they decide to attack the government for abusing power. Indeed, under U.S. the only lawful means to challenge an alleged abuse of government power is through the U.S. courts. Thus, Heller directly contradicts the idea that guns are protected by the 2nd Amendment so that they can later be used against the government to stop the abuse of power, since that would be an “unlawful purpose.”

    2. In a similar vein, the idea that the 2nd Amendment

    guarantees them (the people) the capability to initiate the action if enough “people” feel the government has “misconstrued or abused its powers”

    shares the same problem in that it means the people can either ignore our constitutional judicial system or directly violate court orders that uphold the actions of the government if the people still deem them an “abuse of power.” Again, such an interpretation would mean the 2nd Amendment was designed to give people the ability to violate their own Constitution and laws adopted under the Constitution. This seems to directly and openly contradict Heller.

    3. The idea that

    the 2nd Amendment protects your right to “enable the attack”

    would mean that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to accumulate and posses guns for an illegal purpose. But so called “red-flag” laws that seek to identify individuals likely to commit a crime so that their guns can be confiscated to prevent use for an illegal purpose, such as any crime including shooting government officials, are valid restrictions under Heller

    . . . nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

    4. Indeed, Heller’s explicit confirmation that “ nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms . . . in sensitive places such . . . government buildings” also seem to make it clear that the 2nd Amendment was not intended to permit or enable acquistion of guns or weapons in case the owner decides to attack of the government for an abuse of power since the place of such attacks normally would be in those very government buildings where Heller says the the 2nd Amendment authorizes the government to forbid possession of guns.

    As for the attackers of the capitol on January 6, this statement overlooks the scope of the 2nd Amendment:

    As far as I know none of the rioters that entered the Capitol on Jan 6th was armed and I assume we would have heard about it daily if they were.

    This idea seems to based on the theory that the 2nd Amendment of “arms” only includes guns. Heller, however, uses the term “weapons” over 100 times in its opinion when discussing the scope of the 2nd Amendment. Federal and state courts have broadly construed the term “deadly weapon” and similar terms to include virtually any item that can be used to inflict death or serious bodily injury.

    After Heller courts have examined the type of items that can constitute “arms” protected by the 2nd Amendment. For example, see: Conn. v. Deciccio, 2014, and numerous citations of other cases within the opinion.

    https://jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR315/315CR113.pdf

    In a lengthy opinion relying primarily on Heller as the controlling precedent, the Deciccio court looked at a type of dagger and a club, holding that these are indeed “arms” protected by the 2nd Amendment.

    . . . [Heller ]held that [the 2nd Amendment] does protect the possession of ‘‘weapons . . . typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes’’. . .

    . . . persuasive authority supports the conclusion that dirk knives constitute ‘‘arms,’’ as the court in Heller explicated that term. . .

    ‘‘after Heller, it appears indisputable that the ‘arms’ protected by the [s]econd [a]mendment include common defensive weapons other than firearms, such as knives and pepper spray’’). . . ‘‘Heller concluded that handguns are not sufficiently dangerous to be banned. Tasers and stun guns, while plainly dangerous, are substantially less dangerous than handguns.’’

    .

    That Court also held:

    . . . that police batons are ‘‘[a]rms’’ within the meaning of the second amendment because they are weapons with traditional military utility that are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, and they are neither especially dangerous nor unusual. . . .

    [An Oregon] court held that . . . possession of billy clubs in his apartment was constitutionally protected. . . . After observing that ‘‘[t]he club is considered the first personal weapon fashioned by humans’’; . . . .; and ‘‘is still used today as a personal weapon, commonly carried by the police.’’ . . . ; the court concluded that the drafters of the Oregon constitution ‘‘intended ‘arms’ to include the hand-carried weapons commonly used by individuals for personal defense. . . .

    The attackers of the Capitol were seen using various types of clubs and a variety of other objects to break windows, smash doors, beat policemen, etc. All of these objects could be used in self defense under different circumstances and none are likely considered more dangerous than firearms, falling squarely within the above quoted language of Heller as items that “that are typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, and they are neither especially dangerous nor unusual. . . .” If the attack on the capitol was lawful because the attackers had a good faith belief that V.P. Pence and the various members of Congress were abusing government power by certifying election results, then one would think the 2nd Amendment would have provided some measure of defense for this behavior. It did not.

    Bottom line is that the “people” do not need the 2nd Amendment to compile weapons in case they want to break the law by attacking the government. The colonists accomplish that attack on the Briitish government without legal authority. There are many reasons for the adoption of the 2nd Amendment, but to enable the stockpiling of weapons for an attack on the government just doesn’t make sense.

  149. bearcreekbat 2023-01-05

    The last two paragraphs are not part of the quote from the Deciccio court, Whoops, sorry about that.

  150. Dicta 2023-01-05

    How BCB manages to find the time to type all that analysis out as a practicing attorney, I will never know.

  151. leslie 2023-01-05

    The true Batman!

  152. e platypus onion 2023-01-07

    Jim Smith is likely chortling with rabid glee now the 5th circuit court of drumpf appointees voted 13-3 to overturn ban on bump stocks.
    May all kill lists be massive and endless.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-appeals-court-strikes-down-ban-bump-stocks-2023-01-07/

    6 year old Virginia elementary school attendee shot a teacher and it sounds like it was deliberate. No bump stock for him. He jumped the gfun (pun intended.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/richneck-elementary-school-shooting-newport-news-virginia/

  153. jim smith 2023-01-07

    @bearcreekbat

    Re: “The founders adopted the 2nd Amendment to assure that the people could retain weapons to attack the government if and when the people decided the government was abusing its powers”

    That’s the way I read it. I wasn’t there but the thinking could also have been it would act as a deterrent to discourage the government from ever considering “misconstructing or abusing its powers” if it was going to rile up enough “people” that had the same or better “arms” than the government military

    Re: “we do not read, the Second Amendment to protect the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation”

    Which makes perfect sense because any attack on the government would be deemed to be illegal by the government since that action is not sanctioned by the Constitution. But to deny “people” the right to keep and bear arms because they think they may attack would amount to prior restraint for something they may not do. And any “people” who are going to attack the government would be foolish to advertise it before they overtly started the effort. Keep in mind this would ultimately be a treasonous war under current laws and wars once they start are not bound by Constitutions, court rulings, government laws or by being fair.

    Re: “would mean that the 2nd Amendment protects the right to accumulate and posses guns for an illegal purpose”

    It doesn’t. It only allows the accumulation of “arms”. But the government doesn’t know why the “people” are accumulating “arms” unless the “people” admit it is for nefarious purposes. And an admission by a person that they acquiring them “for an illegal purpose” like to attack the government would be an act of treason. The 2nd Amendment says the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed – it doesn’t place any restrictions on why the “people” are accumulating them.

    Re: ‘nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms…”

    Yes and it doesn’t say the government can ban any firearms the government doesn’t like or confiscate them without due process

    Re: “the only lawful means to challenge an alleged abuse of government power is through the U.S. courts”

    Not necessarily. The “people” have freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the right to assemble and the right to petition the government and when all of those 1st Amendment efforts fail to stop the “misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers, the “people” have “arms” because of the 2nd Amendment to be used as a last resort.

    Re: “But so called “red-flag” laws that seek to identify individuals likely to commit a crime”

    It’s a small point but these “red flag” laws are also sold as a way to prevent injury to self when the fact is about the same number of suicides are committed by means other than firearms. It also follows due process in a way I’m not sure has been adjudicated as being legal in some of the versions of this law. I talked about this somewhere else in this thread.

    Re: “Jan 6 … This idea seems to be based on the theory that the 2nd Amendment of “arms” only includes guns”

    I assumed that was what you were talking about since this thread is about guns. I should have said “not armed with firearms”. And if you want to characterize Jan 6th as an insurrection, the people involved had a right to accumulate “weapons” but once they tried to use them in an insurrection and failed they can be tried for treason or some other crime.

    Re: “The colonists accomplish that attack on the Briitish government without legal authority”

    Yes and unlike today, firearms and other weapons in the 1700’s were unrestricted and commonplace because they were used for personal defense and hunting. In other words it wasn’t unusual for almost everyone in the 1700’s to have a firearm or access to one that was just as capable or superior to those used by the (British) government military. That is not true today.

    Re: “Bottom line is that the “people” do not need the 2nd Amendment to compile weapons in case they want to break the law by attacking the government”

    Sure they do. Because history has shown that governments that are entering the realm of “misconstructing or abusing” their powers first try to register firearms and then confiscate them before enough firearms can be accumulated by enough people to become a threat. The 2nd Amendment prevents that unless the people acknowledge they are accumulating firearms for treasonous or other illegal purposes. And even then it’s iffy unless it goes beyond hearsay and they actually break some law.

    Re: ” from the language of the SCOTUS in Heller..”.

    I don’t give a lot of credence to SCOTUS rulings on the 2nd Amendment especially when you have a former SCOTUS justice saying the 2nd Amendment should be repealed and an indication by some that believe life experiences, ethnicity, etc should be relevant when interpreting the Constitution. I think they have gotten it wrong with “arms” since the 1934 National Firearms Act and because they appear to have succumbed to politics and in some cases the idea of a living document without the passage of amendments and have refused to rule on several controversial gun laws over the years, gun laws have been allowed evolve in a direction I don’t believe was ever intended by the founders. Heller, McDonald and Bruen rulings are starting to move the laws in the right direction but they have a long way to go

    And what’s interesting about the SCOTUS inaction on the 2nd Amendment is it is the only right in the Constitution I’ve seen where it explicitly states it “shall not be infringed” and yet it is the only right that is infringed upon by thousands of regulations derived from state and federal laws. People often say that’s not true because under the 1st Amendment you can’t yell “fire!” in a crowded theater if there is no fire and that is not true. The “can’t” only refers to the ramifications of that action. If these 1st Amendment acts of free speech were treated like the proposals for gun control, people would be gagged or have their tongues removed before entering the theater.

    We tend to view this 2nd Amendment issue through the lens of a US government that has been relatively stable for ~230 years. But note the founders had just fought a brutal war against people they were related to or descended from and are now forming a new government from scratch with people drawn from the same culture and have no idea if the new government will evolve to be any better than the government they just defeated. And note also that not all the colonists were on board with declaring war against the British. By one estimate half the colonists didn’t care which government was in control and the other 50% was split with 25% supporting the British and 25% supporting the colonists with only 3-10% of the people doing the actual fighting where some colonists actually fought for the British. So in that environment I don’t believe the colonists forming a new government would have any reservations about the “people” being able to take up arms against the new government if they felt history was going to repeat itself. I can see where such an idea is repulsive in our current society where the government has evolved to be relatively stable and firearms are most often reported to be used for illegal activities which has resulted in many people developing anxiety disorders about firearms.

    So I don’t know what the thought process was in the 1700’s when the Bill of Rights was written but I can see what they might have been thinking. Based on the Bill of Rights Preamble the founders were concerned about a newly formed government evolving to the point of the just defeated British government where they could “misconstruct or abuse” their powers and they wanted to do something to keep that from happening again with the newly formed government. They could have written the 2nd Amendment to explicitly state that the “people” could keep and bear arms to attack a rogue government that violated the Constitution but then as you have pointed out that could create all sorts problems with things like one or more disgruntled individuals legally attacking some government officials just because they didn’t like them or disagreed with them. On the other hand if the people don’t have access to “arms” there is no way they could ever deter or prevent a rogue government from “misconstructing or abusing” its powers. So one way to achieve their goal would be to guarantee the right of the people to “ensure the security of a free state” by keeping and bearing arms but not explicitly say it is so they can attack a rogue government. This puts it in the realm of it being illegal for the government to confiscate firearms and illegal for the people to attack the government. It becomes a stalemate where the only way an attack could happen is with an illegal war by a lot of people where many people on both sides are likely to be killed.

    Re: “There are many reasons for the adoption of the 2nd Amendment”

    Like what? And what other stated “reasons” are there?

  154. jim smith 2023-01-07

    @e platypus onion

    Re: “Jim Smith is likely chortling with rabid glee now the 5th circuit court of drumpf appointees voted 13-3 to overturn ban on bump stocks”

    I am happy with the ruling but not because I’m a fan of bumpstocks. There are several ways to “bump fire” a weapon without a bumpstock and if the government wants to outlaw bumpstocks if should be done by Congress not by some un-elected, unaccountable bureaucrats

  155. bearcreekbat 2023-01-12

    Jim Smith,

    Thanks for your thought provoking comment. Sorry for the delay in posting my responsive thoughts.

    I appreciate your acknowledgement that you are taking the position that “The founders adopted the 2nd Amendment to assure that the people could retain weapons to attack the government if and when the people decided the government was abusing its powers,” as indicated by your statement: “That’s the way I read it.”

    But then you added:

    . . . any attack on the government would be deemed to be illegal by the government since that action is not sanctioned by the Constitution.

    [and]

    And an admission by a person that they acquiring them “for an illegal purpose” like to attack the government would be an act of treason.

    I agree with both of those statements. But if the 2nd Amendment actually assures the right to keep guns to attack the government, then that right would be sanctioned by the Constitution and could not be considered illegal or treason. So if the Constitution doesn’t sanction that right then it would seem the 2nd Amendment cannot assure such a right to attack after all.

    It is correct that there are statements from individuals prior to the adoption of the 2nd Amendment that citizens of a State must be armed so they can participate in a militia to defend against efforts by a federal standing army to “enslave” the people, but that seems a far cry from designing the 2nd Amendment to enable people to attack federal government employees and officials when these people with weapons decide the government is abusing its power.

    As for banning firearms, that seems beyond the scope of this inquiry, and Heller has made it clear the “militia clause” of the 2nd Amendment is mere surplusage, so the government’s power to ban personal possession of firearms has its limits.

    Next, as you have pointed out, the January 6 attack on the Capitol did not involve the use of firearms by the attackers, yet they certainly had no trouble breaking into the Capitol and inflicting serious property damage and assaulting and seriously injuring law enforcement officers. Thus your statement,

    “Sure they do”

    in response to my observation that “Bottom line is that the ‘people’ do not need the 2nd Amendment to compile weapons in case they want to break the law by attacking the government,” is inconsistent with this recent experience.

    Certainly guns would increase the opportunity for people attacking the government to inflict greater death and serious bodily injury, but that seems a mere matter of degree rather than necessity. As a matter of fact a serious study seems to show use of guns to be a less effective means of reigning in governments that abuse their power:

    When Erica Chenoweth started her predoctoral fellowship at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in 2006, she believed in the strategic logic of armed resistance. . . . Chenoweth and Stephan collected data on all violent and nonviolent campaigns from 1900 to 2006 that resulted in the overthrow of a government or in territorial liberation. They created a data set of 323 mass actions. Chenoweth analyzed nearly 160 variables related to success criteria, participant categories, state capacity, and more. The results turned her earlier paradigm on its head — in the aggregate, nonviolent civil resistance was far more effective in producing change.

    https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/02/why-nonviolent-resistance-beats-violent-force-in-effecting-social-political-change/

    But you are correct in observing that I was innaccurate in my statement about the using the courts to challenge a government abuse of power, as government power can also be lawfully challenged in many other ways than using the courts.

    Finally in response to the statement “There are many reasons for the adoption of the 2nd Amendment,” you ask:

    Like what? And what other stated “reasons” are there?

    One key reason often mentioned prior to the adoption of the 2nd Amendment was so that people in States could form armed militias and thereby avoid the need for a federal standing army. Some individuals at that time also feared a federal standing army might be used to try to enslave the people (slavery was legal and common at the time) and that an armed militia of people could defend against any violent efforts to enslave them. And, it was apparently enacted so individuals could retain certain guns for legal purposes, such as self defense, hunting, target shooting, etc, at least according to the Heller case.

  156. P. Aitch 2023-01-12

    Warning: Gun Huggers Coming South for Weed?
    – Colorado thieves are targeting trucks with pro-gun bumper stickers and out-of-state plates to steal firearms. Those from Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas are particular targets.

  157. leslie 2023-01-13

    Big thread! The stupidity of pro-gun apologists!!

    Jim Smith says “So what, there is a market [unregulated] for guns”

    Knives longer than a few inches. Bombs. Nukes. Dangerous drugs. Poisons. Regulate these things? Of course.

    Do you have the unregulated right to drive a tank? A semi truck/trailer? You must have a license to drive. You must be of age at least, to drink. Why? Inherent danger of cars, alcohol and guns. All such dangers must be well regulated. But the second amendment in the constitution is uninterpretable.

    Guns can kill humans in a second. Mass shootings in seconds are made possible by semi- and automatic-weapons designed for war. The Las Vegas casino 30 floors-high perch where in ten minutes and thousands if rounds hundreds were killed and maimed . And handguns. A six year old shoots a teacher. A child in a car seat shoots his mother in the back.

    Stupid—that you won’t understand until it happens to you.

    A suicide makes an impulsive, deluded “choice” if a gun is around. Too late to take it back.

    Grow up Jim Smith. Oh, an get vaxxed to. Do something for society.

  158. leslie 2023-01-13

    Smith: it’ll take awhile to get through “your” thread but since you seem to have a mostly glib answer to everything, does your pro-gun ideology obviate rationality or might you respect wisdom, fact and truth, as unstable as those concepts may be?

    And how long and why have you been this champion of your cause, and is there big money or politics behind you, like the progressive billionaires you fear have the rest of us under their heel?

  159. leslie 2023-01-13

    Smith flag-wraps his assertion that “outlawing bump stocks (auto firing) be only by congress” in your disdain of “well regulated” bearing of fire arms, by an unaccountable official. Sounds like a Trumpian-delay tactic.

    Congress certainly may do so. I have not studied recent regulation progress. But if unregulated automatic weapons are commonly understood by all reasonable people to be too dangerous to bear, as they are, although inaccurate/inefficient as the military has learned, bumpstocks should certainly be outlawed, using your term, together with every future technology that evaded the auto-fire ban, including large capacity magazines etc.

    An extremely dangerous device must be well regulated to protect the innocent and every member of society. Smith’s intimidation to the contrary mocks the Republic he lauds. The right wing para military militia groups embedding themselves in law enforcement and normalized society, are, as Rep Adam Schiff (CA) warns, the major threat to peace and stability in the US.

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5427/text

  160. bearcreekbat 2023-01-13

    leslie quite naturally laments the story “A six year old shoots a teacher.”

    This story also raises another problem with the overly simplistic NRA philosophy: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Juanita Jean posts a cartoon today where a NRA cap wearing character says: “The only thing that stops a bad six year old with a gun is a good six year old with a gun.”

    https://juanitajean.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/roge230111.gif

    Of course no one would ever suggest that we arm six year olds, but what if the teacher had been armed as the NRA and Trump folks seem to advocate?

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/nra-backs-trumps-call-for-arming-teachers-schools-must-be-the-most-hardened-targets

    Does this group really want a1st grade teacher to start shooting and killing six year olds with a gun? Or if we post armed guards in the school, does this group advocate the shooting to kill any child seen with a gun no matter how young?

  161. e platypus onion 2023-01-13

    Missouri magats recently banned female legislator’s bare arms in an attempt, I guess, to facillitate legitimate rape. According to brilliant former magat, Todd Akins, legitimate rape does not get women pregnant. Therefore legitimate rape should be banned, not female bare arms.

  162. leslie 2023-01-13

    All of the atrocious anecdotes seem to fail against Smith’s “logic” that only 30,000 gun deaths annually, merely 1/23,000 he may have said, out of our population of 360 million, are acceptable in order to protect the religion of the second amendment.

    Machine guns, which some states allow at supervised shooting ranges, perhaps in the Jim Scull range planned with SDGFP in Meade County, in vacation settings, are normalized where recently a teen woman shot and killed her father with an automatic weapon upon recoil in an unexpected direction. Alex Baldwin’s recent ridiculous killing of a filmographer with a loaded weapon in a movie scene exemplifies the gun culture that infests every nook of our society.

    Right wing media amplifies the second amendment problem to gain Republican power, and the entertainment industry glamorizes AR-15s for profit. Putin is now scamming the USA to divide our society. Russian felon Maria Butina is the Republican South Dakota NRA Queen, that Kristi Noem is intent on displacing, with her very own flamethrower “(somersaulting) POOF!”

    All of the second amendment justifications will fail eventually. It is a matter of how many will die violent gun deaths first, inflicted in absence a well regulated weapons industry. Unless the majority no long rules in our democratic Republic.

  163. leslie 2023-01-13

    In 2022 Joe Manchin (and others) didn’t want to break the filibuster to reinstate the assault weapons ban after it passed the House,…Americans suffered 648 mass shootings last year to preserve the Senate’s sacred traditions.***

    Gun makers know that every delay they can force through lobbying or lawsuits results in more sales.

    Republicans know they can sell the fear of having those weapons taken away to win additional elections.

    The Giffords Law Center reports that deaths from mass shootings were 70 percent less likely during the time the ban was in effect than in the time period before or after.***

    https://www.thenation.com/article/society/court-finds-bump-stocks-legal/

    Smith’s “logic would be to ignore/accept 650 preventable mass shootings and at least a 70% greater occurrence rate than without an assault weapon ban. Stupid.

    Madison’s original second amendment regulation approach was preventing whole categories of citizens from bearing arms. Bumpstocks or other piecemeal regulation do not solve the broad problem guns pose.

  164. jim smith 2023-01-14

    @bearcreekbat

    Re: “But if the 2nd Amendment actually assures the right to keep guns to attack the government, then that right would be sanctioned by the Constitution”

    Not necessarily. I think the founders went as far as they could without saying that for the reasons I pointed out in my previous post. Just like there was no law that sanctioned the colonists attacking the British but because at the time they were allowed to have “arms” they were able to attack the British by using those “arms”.

    I’m interpreting your argument to be that since the Constitution doesn’t specifically say “the people” have a right to attack the government with “arms” because they feel it has “misconstructed or abused its powers” then “the people” can’t point to the 2nd Amendment to sanction it. The problem I see with that argument is if it gets to where “the people” are attacking the government, the “people” will have determined that a government that has “misconstructed or abused” its powers doesn’t need to be obeyed and at that point what the Constitution, 2nd Amendment or other laws say is irrelevant

    Re: “So if the Constitution doesn’t sanction that right then it would seem the 2nd Amendment cannot assure such a right to attack after all”

    “The Constitution” doesn’t “assure” “a right to attack”. It only says the “people” have a right to “keep and bear arms” for “the security of a free state” but it doesn’t say how they can use that right to ensure the “security of a free state”. If the “people” attack the government they do so at their own risk since it is unlikely a government that has “misconstructed or abused” its powers will stand by and let the attack happen without consequences.

    Re: “enable people to attack federal government employees and officials”

    Which is why I believe as I previously stated the founders did not explicitly state the “people” could attack the government. I believe it is ambiguous for the purpose of avoiding what you just said.

    Re: “so the government’s power to ban personal possession of firearms has its limits”

    A lot of politicians and unfortunately, judges, don’t believe that – so it is left up to the courts when the government (state or federal) passes a restrictive gun law and a challenge to a law can take years to work its way through the legal system. In the meantime a new normal is established and if and when a restrictive law is overturned the anti-gun folks cry stare decisis and claim it overturns the precedent of a settled law.

    Re: “yet they certainly had no trouble breaking into the Capitol and inflicting serious property damage and assaulting and seriously injuring law enforcement officers”

    Some of them did. I’ll reserve judgement on the rest of them until I see the 10000-14000 hours of surveillance videos the previous US House administration refused to release to the public.

    Re: “Certainly guns would increase the opportunity for people attacking the government … but that seems a mere matter of degree rather than necessity”

    Well the government seems to think it is a “necessity” since they are arming not only the US military but also other federal agencies like the IRS, EPA, Dept of Agriculture, etc.

    https://www.openthebooks.com/assets/1/6/Militarization_Data_for_Imaging_FINAL_31.pdf

    Re: “As a matter of fact a serious study seems to show use of guns to be a less effective means of reigning in governments that abuse their power”

    Then the government has nothing to worry about and should repeal all restrictive firearm laws like the 1934 National Firearms Act and Hughes Amendment that limit what arms civilians are able to easily own

    Re: “One key reason often mentioned prior to the adoption of the 2nd Amendment was so that people in States could form armed militias and thereby avoid the need for a federal standing army”

    Then I would speculate the 2nd Amendment would say the right of the “state” or “state militia” – not the right of the “people”. And why would they even need the 2nd Amendment in that case since per the 10th Amendment any powers not delegated to the federal government is left up to the states?

    Re: “federal standing army might be used to try to enslave the people…and that an armed militia of people could defend against any violent efforts to enslave them”

    Yes – and that would be a “misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. It is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a reason for the 2nd Amendment so how is that any different than what I’ve been saying?

    Re: “And, it was apparently enacted so individuals could retain certain guns for legal purposes”

    In the 1700’s when firearms were a commonplace necessity in a lot of places especially for hunting and defense against animals and bad people I doubt it ever crossed the founders mind that their society would evolve to a point where firearms would be unnecessary or banned. So it seems logical if they could have “arms” to deter or “prevent misconstruction” of the government’s powers, they also could “keep and bear” them for “self defense, hunting, target shooting, etc”.

    From what I’ve read there were lots of discussions about the Bill of Rights and its contents. Some founders supposedly claimed the Bill of Rights wasn’t even necessary and as you point out there were other proposals. But what finally made it in to the Bill of Rights that was agreed upon by the Congress and the states that ratified it was the following:

    1) The stated purpose of the Bill of Rights as per the Preamble is to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its (i.e. the government’s) powers” by adding “restrictive clauses”. No other reason is stated.

    2) One of those “restrictive clauses” is to ensure the “security of a free state” by stating the “right of the people (not the state or state militia) to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

    3) Since “arms” are only used for deterrence, intimidation, control or lethal force the logical conclusion is that all those tactics are guaranteed to be available to the “people” to be used against a government that “misconstructs or abuses” its powers.

    What other documented and ratified reasons are there in the Constitution for the 2nd Amendment?

  165. jim smith 2023-01-14

    @bearcreekbat

    Re: “but what if the teacher had been armed”

    Good question. What if the teacher was an authorized undercover teacher armed with a concealed weapon and a 6 year old threatens the teacher with a gun. What do you suggest the teacher do? What do you suggest the teacher do if he/she/it wasn’t armed?

  166. jim smith 2023-01-14

    @leslie

    Re: ” Knives longer than a few inches. Bombs. Nukes. Dangerous drugs. Poisons. Regulate these things?”

    Regulation is one thing. Banning them is another. On your list the only things banned from civilian ownership are nukes and that’s because of treaties

    Re: “Do you have the unregulated right to drive a tank? A semi truck/trailer?”

    Yes – if its use is confined to private property.

    Re: “Inherent danger of cars, alcohol ”

    Neither is mentioned in the Constitution

    Re: “But the second amendment in the constitution is uninterpretable”

    No it’s not. It says “shall not be infringed” What do you think that means?

    Re: ” Mass shootings in seconds are made possible by semi- and automatic-weapons designed for war”

    You can’t blame today’s problem of mass murders on so called “assault weapons”. The first semi-automatic handgun was invented in the late 1800’s and the most popular version went into production in 1911. It is also noted the so-called evil “assault rifles” with standard capacity 30 round magazines are not new technology. The original version was invented by the Germans near the end of WWII and the current versions were invented in the late 1940’s and have always been available to the public (note the “47” in AK-47 stands for 1947, the year the firearm went into production). As a matter of fact fully automatic versions (i.e. machine guns), which are true military grade rifles, were readily available to the general public until 1986 and background checks on firearm transfers weren’t required until 1994 – yet nobody talks about mass shootings with any version (semi-automatic or automatic) of these guns during the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s so it’s a relatively new phenomenon and logic would indicate it’s being caused by something else.

    Re: “Guns can kill humans in a second”

    Yes that’s what they are designed to do. That’s why criminals and totalitarian governments want and have them

    Re: “A six year old shoots a teacher. A child in a car seat shoots his mother in the back”

    And the key is the child shot the gun. The gun didn’t shoot itself.

    Re: A suicide makes an impulsive, deluded “choice” if a gun is around”

    According to the CDC, in 2019 there were 38355 deaths from firearms and most were suicides while 14414 were homicides. If someone wants to ki11 themselves it’s a matter of individual choice where the person can pick the time, place and method and an argument can also be made that an individual’s life belongs to them exclusively and not you, the State or anyone else. In addition, suicide is not illegal at the federal level or in any state I can find and some states allow assisted suicide. Note also that the number of suicides committed with firearms (23941) was about equal to the number committed by other means (23570) so as long as there are other options, it’s not clear that restricting firearms would have any effect on the number of suicides.

    Re: ” respect wisdom, fact and truth”

    Other then where I’ve voiced my opinion, what have I said that isn’t “fact and truth”?

    Re: “why have you been this champion of your cause”

    I believe in a constitutional republic and the US Constitution and if you don’t like what it says follow an option in Article 5 and repeal it.

    Re: “is there big money or politics behind you?”

    No – but is that really relevant?

    Re: “outlawing bump stocks (auto firing) be only by congress”

    That’s correct. That’s the way a republic follows the rule of law by using the legislative branch of government

    Re: But if unregulated automatic weapons are commonly understood by all reasonable people to be too dangerous to bear”

    The only unregulated ones are used by criminals who don’t follow any laws. And they are not considered “too dangerous to bear” by civilians in the US unless they were made after 1986 and the SCOTUS has never ruled on the Constitutionality of that restriction. According to the BATF, there are currently 175977 fully automatic, legal, pre-1986 machine guns in civilian hands and I can find only one that was used in a crime since 1934 and that was by a police officer using his personal MAC-11 submachine gun to murder a suspected drug dealer in an unauthorized drug raid on September 15, 1988 in Dayton, OH

    Re “An extremely dangerous device must be well regulated”

    When it comes to the qualifications of the owner, they are just as “regulated” as a normal firearm. They require the same background check along with registration with the government and the payment of a $200 tax.

    Re: “117th-congress bill”

    This bill to ban bumpstocks died in the 117th Congress in spite of the Democrats having total control of the presidency and both houses of Congress

    Re: “1/23,000…out of our population of 360 million, are acceptable”

    Okay. Then answer my question – specifically – “The number of homicides with a firearm will never be zero – so if you think 1 person out of 23,000 or 923,000 is unacceptable then given the fact that deranged individuals and murderers are an intrinsic part of the human race and we currently live in a free society, what number of illegal firearm homicides would ever be acceptable to you to the point you would say “we don’t need any more restrictions on the private ownership of firearms”?”

    Re: “teen woman shot and killed her father with an automatic weapon… Alex Baldwin’s recent ridiculous killing”

    There are 4 basic rules of gun safety and if everyone followed them there would be no accidental shootings

    Re: ” Putin is now scamming the USA to divide our society”

    I think BIden’s often repeated comments condemning 75 million MAGA Republicans that voted for Trump does far more “to divide our society” than Putin ever has.

    Re: ” All of the second amendment justifications will fail eventually”

    Probably not until you repeal the 2nd Amendment.

    Re: “The stupidity of pro-gun apologists!!… Stupid—that you won’t understand until it happens to you… Grow up Jim Smith… does your pro-gun ideology obviate rationality… Smith flag-wraps his assertion… Smith’s intimidation to the contrary mocks the Republic he lauds”

    Personal attacks seem to be your strongest point

  167. jim smith 2023-01-14

    @leslie

    Re: “Americans suffered 648 mass shootings last year”

    “648” sounds like a number typically quoted by the biased, anti-gun Gun Violence Archive organization that includes incidents like drug and gang related mass shootings in their count. In 2020 they claimed there were 640 mass shootings when the FBI said the real number was 40

    https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting?year=2020

    https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/active-shooter-incidents-in-the-us-2020-070121.pdf/view

    This is nothing new as the Gun Violence Archive has been doing it for years

    https://www.ammoland.com/2021/07/fbi-data-number-mass-shootings-10-times-lower-than-media-reports/#axzz6zjG8tfon

    Re: ” The Giffords Law Center reports that deaths from mass shootings were 70 percent less likely during the time the ban was in effect”

    It is well known that the Gifford’s Law Center has an anti-gun agenda and bias. The government concluded the ban had little effect because other firearms that were available were used instead.

    https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/204431.pdf

    And note so-called “assault weapons” are not required to initiate a mass shooting. As an example the Fort Hood shooter in 2009 used a handgun and killed 13 people and wounded 30

  168. larry kurtz 2023-01-14

    Anyway, thank you again, Nino Scalia, for reminding us why Democrats need to control not just the federal bench but every court in every jurisdiction.

  169. e platypus onion 2023-01-14

    1993-2003 information? No newer stats over the past 20 years?

  170. larry kurtz 2023-01-14

    It’s a war of attrition. Sure, some white people die of gun violence but as long as more people of color or the godless die that’s exactly why Republicans will do exactly nothing to change the status quo.

  171. M 2023-01-14

    Jim Smith has never read the Federalist Papers. He’s just another man who has to have a gun to be manly.

  172. M 2023-01-14

    For goodness sakes, the Founding Fathers didn’t trust the masses to vote for the “best” president, believing they were ignorant, so they created the Electoral College to null and void the votes. Do you honestly believe they would trust every Tom, Dick, and Harry with an assault rifle so they can terrorize children, and kill their own citizens? These were learned gentlemen who created a government through compromise and honor, not bullying and swinging guns around at each other?

    Jim Smith fits the profile for a January 6th insurrectionist and terrorist. He certainly has himself convinced that he can take the life of a fellow citizen because he can justify it with the 2nd Amendment.

  173. larry kurtz 2023-01-14

    In a recent high profile gun murder the perpetrator was photoshopped out of his own obituary and White Jesus inserted instead.

  174. jim smith 2023-01-14

    @P. Aitch

    Re: ” Mass Shootings in the US Fast Facts In 2022 so far, at least 3,179 people have been shot in mass shootings”

    Like I said that’s according to the Gun Violence Archive that counts gang and drug related mass shootings where most of the people involved are criminals. And if you’re concerned about mass shootings involving criminals get your legislators to pass a law that would impose a mandatory death sentence on any recidivist with a violent criminal history that uses a firearm to commit a crime regardless of childhood upbringing, economic impoverishment, mental health, age, IQ, ethnicity, $ex or gender identity.

  175. leslie 2023-01-15

    Pffffsssstttt. Coffee all over the place!

    “Gifford’s Law Center has an anti-gun agenda and bias.”

    BIAS. Is that your word Smith? I suppose the Kennedys, the Bradys, even the Reagans, have an agenda or a bias.

    THEY DO SOMETHING TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC! Of course.

    You certainly have a bias and an agenda. Do we say you can’t post here because of that. Your dismissiveness of any data you fear is not persuasive. That is the point in this society. Persuade that your arguments are cogent, correct, and then the fight ends and compromise occurs. Ted Nugent is no scholar.

    Btw, Bear, were you touched by J. Beck’s passing? Ouch.

    Oh, and Smith, you really think another 10,000 or more hours of video is going to help you? Why use that Jan 6 talking point? To just delay and distract? Hundreds if not thousands of patriots intent on jailing the bad actors Jan 6 etc, have certainly watched that many hours for us. @SeditionHunters is one such twitter handle. There are many more still looking. (@leslie is not a twitter handle)

    oh, and getting your nomenclature straight, “so-called assault weapons” are indeed assault rifles, automatic rifles, or other weapons semantics those with your bias and agenda routinely use to distract from the truth that these rapid fire high velocity weapons were and are copied from those specifically designed for mass killing in a war setting. You think WWII German 30 capacity magazines are normalized?

    How many ARs did the Las Vegas casino murderer use, again?

    And, what is $ex? You imply prostitution for what reason? This forum really isn’t glib cable news, Tucker Carlson, Levin, Drudge, or Bannon. Keep it on the rails buster. If you feel I am name calling, we can discuss that, but don’t …. the meat and then act like you responded.

    Having skimmed your list I see your bias, agenda, evasiveness and your enormous amount of text in this post. I go back to initially reading your last “mandatory death” response to p. You don’t understand deterrence and our criminal justice system. Where to start with you? It feels like arguing with a Russian bot or a paid political gun columnist or troll with no rules. Again, are you?

    Otherwise I may devote some real time to your posts.

  176. leslie 2023-01-15

    “Like a virus, the anti-science lies continue to spread, fostered by an unedited pool of speculation and misinformation that is one of the worst features of the internet. In years past, such comments would rarely be published or presented by reputable media led by intelligent, discerning editors. But now, with the ability of virtually anyone to publish virtually anything, the wilder the better, it oozes into the public sphere.” Tom Lawrence https://www.sdstandardnow.com/home/here-we-go-again-lisa-marie-presleys-death-from-a-heart-attack-fuels-another-round-of-lies-about-vaccines

    This is where it seems Jim Smith is coming from. Personal attack? Hmmmmm

    In a comment Don makes it clear. “Covid was a proven killer, and such emergencies call for extraordinary measures. Let’s remember, it was Trump who put pressure on federal agencies to hurry the testing and production of the vaccine. It was probably the only thing Trump did right in his four years in office. If all the testing wasn’t done, you know who to blame.”

  177. bearcreekbat 2023-01-15

    I agree leslie, it is sad to lose such a talented individual. But his legacy should add to the skills and ideas of generations to come.

    Jim Smith, Here are a few thoughts regarding your most recent comments:

    “The Constitution” doesn’t “assure” “a right to attack”. . . . If the “people” attack the government they do so at their own risk since it is unlikely a government that has “misconstructed or abused” its powers will stand by and let the attack happen without consequences. . . .

    [The 2nd Amendment does not] enable people to attack federal government employees and officials.”

    We completely agree on this point. No rational government founder would ever create an express or implied “right to attack” that government.

    Your quote of the language in the 2nd Amendment states: “the “people” have a right to “keep and bear arms” for “the security of a free state” . . . .” This is not quite correct. Instead, the text of 2nd Amendment is:

    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 express language of the 2nd Amendment doesn’t simply doesn’t address an independent right to possess weapons for the security of the State, rather the Amendment states that people have a right to possess weapons so they can be called into “a well regulated militia” that protects the security of the State. And the plain language states that such militia is to be “well-regulated,” with the purpose of “protecting the State.” That plain language does not authorize vigilante groups to form to stop government abuses of power. Indeed, unregulated militias formed without the authority of the State are not within the scope of any rational reading of the 2nd Amendment’s plain language.

    I’m interpreting your argument to be that since the Constitution doesn’t specifically say “the people” have a right to attack the government with “arms” because they feel it has “misconstructed or abused its powers” then “the people” can’t point to the 2nd Amendment to sanction it. The problem I see with that argument is if it gets to where “the people” are attacking the government, the “people” will have determined that a government that has “misconstructed or abused” its powers doesn’t need to be obeyed and at that point what the Constitution, 2nd Amendment or other laws say is irrelevant.

    I can’t see how your comment identifies any problem with my point. Instead, you and I seem to agree on exactly that point: the 2nd Amendment does not authorize unlawful actions. Thus, it seems inconsistent to argue that the 2nd Amendment was designed to allow an unlawful action, here attacking the government, because if the attack is indeed unlawful “the people” that attack are breaking the law, which, in turn, necessarily means the 2nd Amendment does not make the attack lawful. It is either one or the other.

    Re: “One key reason often mentioned prior to the adoption of the 2nd Amendment was so that people in States could form armed militias and thereby avoid the need for a federal standing army.”

    Then I would speculate the 2nd Amendment would say the right of the “state” or “state militia” – not the right of the “people”. And why would they even need the 2nd Amendment in that case since per the 10th Amendment any powers not delegated to the federal government is left up to the states?

    Your question could just as well be rephrased as “And why would they even need any of the Amendments 1-9 setting forth a Bill of Rights since per the 10th Amendment any powers not delegated to the federal government is left up to the states?” Absent some specific grant of power to the federal government it could take none of the actions covered by Amendments 1-9. And this seems to have been the very argument made in the Federalist Papers against adopting the Bill of Rights. In Federalist Paper #84 Alexander Hamilton argued that by listing a Bill of Rights that would imply that the federal government retained power to do anything not prohibited by this Bill of Rights:

    I go further, and affirm that bills of rights, in the sense and to the extent in which they are contended for, are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous. They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed? . . . (italics added)

    Hamilton could have just as easily stated: “Why, for instance, should it be said that [the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed], when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?” Indeed, since the 2nd Amendment does not specifically say otherwise, under Hamilton’s analysis the federal government would have gained an implied power to confiscate and outlaw the possession of all guns except for those gun to be kept for well-regulated militia activity. And, of course that implied power would include authority to impose a militia regulation requiring each individual to place his or her guns in a secure locked location to be used only when necessary to defend the security of the State. While Heller has ruled otherwise, I see no language in the 2nd Amendment to prevent a future court from over-ruling Heller and authorizing such restrictions and regulation of gun ownership under an interpretation supported by Hamilton’s analysis in the sacrosanct Federalist Papers.

    I would speculate this may be why M’s comment specifically referred the the Federalist Papers.

    Re: “federal standing army might be used to try to enslave the people…and that an armed militia of people could defend against any violent efforts to enslave them”

    Yes – and that would be a “misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. It is not specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a reason for the 2nd Amendment so how is that any different than what I’ve been saying? . . .

    1) The stated purpose of the Bill of Rights as per the Preamble is to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its (i.e. the government’s) powers” by adding “restrictive clauses”. No other reason is stated. . . .

    First, the “Preamble” to the Bill of Rights was also never adopted as part of the Constitution. While iIt certainly could be evidence of the opinions explaining why some individuals wanted the Bill of Rights, it is simply not part of the Constitution and thus cannot conclusively state the purpose of the 2nd Amendment.

    And second, there are degrees of power abuse, and enslaving individuals certainly could have been considered by the individuals that raised that possibility as one of the most, if not the most, serious form of such abuse, meriting armed rebellion. Yet, I have not been able to find any credible source indicating these same individuals ever suggested attacking the government for any other alleged “abuse of power.” Rather, the appropriate way set forth by the Constitution to challenges such alleged abuses is through the federal judiciary created by Article III. Likewise, I have not found any indication that these individuals articulated any fear that an adverse decision by a federal court would be an “abuse of power.” Instead, unless I missed something, they only expressed fear of a federal “standing army.”

    What other documented and ratified reasons are there in the Constitution for the 2nd Amendment?

    Again, just to clarify, as noted the Preamble was not part of the Bill of Rights that was ratified by the States in adopting the Constitution. And if I read the Constitution correctly nothing outside the plain language of each of the 10 Amendments ultimately ratified provides any express reasons for the adoption of each Amendment.
    So looking to the 2nd Amendment for the reasons why it was adopted, one looks to the plain language. This plain language identifies only one reason for the Amendment:

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State. . . “

    Re: “but what if the teacher had been armed”

    Good question. What if the teacher was an authorized undercover teacher armed with a concealed weapon and a 6 year old threatens the teacher with a gun. What do you suggest the teacher do? What do you suggest the teacher do if he/she/it wasn’t armed?

    Obviously, there is no easy answer and the response would have to depend upon the specific situation. But I would think that protecting the lives of aberrant children would be the highest priority. Arming teachers and training them to shoot to kill children when a child is holding a dangerous weapon seems to completely undermine that priority. I would be very surprised in one or more adults could not disarm a 6 year old with a gun just as quickly as shooting the child. Indeed, in the recent case in the news the wounded teacher apparently was able to do just that without killing or wounding the child.

  178. e platypus onion 2023-01-15

    https://youtu.be/59lKrAajxCk

    Another legally purchased full auto gun. For that quick follow up shot or thirty.

  179. jim smith 2023-01-15

    @leslie

    Re “You certainly have a bias and an agenda”

    I believe the Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the US and in the right of the people to keep and bear arms. If you want to call that a “bias and an agenda” that’s okay with me.

    Re: “Do we say you can’t post here because of that”

    No and thank you for that, Cory. Most other anti-gun websites I’ve posted on ultimately don’t tolerate differing viewpoints

    Re: “Your dismissiveness of any data you fear is not persuasive”

    I don’t “fear” it – I just don’t trust it. That’s why I try to stay away from sources that come from pro-gun or anti-gun sites unless they provide the actual data for their claims. My preference is for government sites.

    Re “you really think another 10,000 or more hours of video is going to help you?”

    Wasn’t aware I was in need of “help” – but I look forward to seeing it since the current leaders of the House say they are going to release it.

    Re: “Why use that Jan 6 talking point?”

    I didn’t bring up “Jan 6th”- someone else did and I was just responding

    Re: ” are copied from those specifically designed for mass killing in a war setting”

    Never said they weren’t. But they don’t do it by themselves – they require someone to pull the trigger

    Re: “And, what is $ex?”

    As I mentioned somewhere else on this thread I cut and paste a lot of these answers because the same questions and comments keep coming up – and some sites do not allow the word “sex” to be posted so I changed it to $ex

    Re: “You don’t understand deterrence and our criminal justice system”

    Okay – enlighten me

    Re: “Otherwise I may devote some real time to your posts”

    Please do – you may learn something – and I have no problem with your comments. But your responses would be shorter, more meaningful and easier to read if you omitted the personal attacks

    And you didn’t answer my question. You said “But the second amendment in the constitution is uninterpretable” and I said “No it’s not. It says “shall not be infringed” What do you think that means?”

  180. jim smith 2023-01-15

    @bearcreekbat

    Re: “can be called into “a well regulated militia” that protects the security of the State. And the plain language states that such militia is to be “well-regulated”

    The Constitution doesn’t not say “called”. My recollection is militias in the Revolutionary War which were fresh in the mind of the founders were formed by volunteers that banded together and chose their own leaders.

    In the 1700’s when the Second Amendment was written, “well regulated” didn’t mean government control – it meant “to make regular” or “be in good working order” like a well-regulated clock

    https://constitution.org/1-Constitution/cons/wellregu.htm

    Re: That plain language does not authorize vigilante groups to form to stop government abuses of power”

    It doesn’t prohibit them either

    Re: “unregulated militias formed without the authority of the State are not within the scope of any rational reading of the 2nd Amendment’s plain language”

    But they are not prohibited by the 2nd Amendment either. And they are sanctioned under current federal law (10 USC 246) which supposedly supersedes state laws. The problem is several states have banned them and the feckless SCOTUS has never ruled on the Constitutionality of them doing that as near as I can tell.

    Re: ” Hamilton could have just as easily stated…Federalist papers”

    I get there were several opinions at the time but the consensus that made it into the Preamble was that the purpose of the Bill of Rights was to “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. No other reason is stated

    Re: First, the “Preamble” to the Bill of Rights was also never adopted as part of the Constitution”

    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

    Re: “it is simply not part of the Constitution and thus cannot conclusively state the purpose of the 2nd Amendment”

    That’s not the way I read it. The actual copy of the Bill of Rights in my link from the government archives has a capital “THE” and “RESOLVED” just like in the transcript. And while the copy is hard to read, the length of the words appear to match what’s in the Preamble

    So if you agree the Preamble is in the Bill of Rights that was approved by Congress and ratified by the states what do you think the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is?

    Re: “This plain language identifies only one reason for the Amendment…“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State. . . “

    …”shall not be infringed”. What do you think they meant by “shall not be infringed”?

    Re: “Obviously, there is no easy answer… and the response would have to depend upon the specific situation ”

    So should an authorized undercover teacher ever be allowed to shoot a 6-year-old?

  181. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise. Congress should enact compulsory military service or police training might indeed be one way to slow gun violence. Enlistment could look like the Swiss model where soon after high school eighteen year olds would join for two years then re-up or enroll in the college or vocational training of ones choosing.

    choosing.

    Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

    If it were possible and the oligarchs wouldn’t hijack a Convention of States a rewrite of the Second Amendment would be at the top of my list.

  182. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    One person’s weapon of bass destruction is another’s way of fishing…innit? all’s fair in love and fishing?

    That “kill ‘‘em all and let god sort ‘’em out” construct that the far white wing spouts? They’re the same louts who pound the concept of “free will.”

    Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that reproduces in cat species, whether domestic, feral or wild. Infected mice lose the fear of cat urine and are more likely to be preyed upon spreading the parasite even more. Toxoplasmosis has been linked to depressed mood, feelings of guilt and even suicide in humans.

  183. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    The only well-regulated militia in the US is the standing army Thomas Jefferson warned us about and all the rest are entirely unregulated paramilitaries whose only purpose is the wage the race war Mr. Smith masturbates to.

  184. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Agent Smith is a wannabe murderer. It’s just that simple.

  185. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Had any militia really wanted to overthrow a raging tyrant Donald Trump would be dead.

  186. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Extrajudicial killing is big business here in the United Snakes: not just lawyers and and courts and prisons but florists, mortuaries, hospitals, insurers and the cartels thrive on gun violence. That’s what Earth haters like Agent Smith crave.

    Debt, depression, dejection, despair and desperation: white men have nothing to lose by acting out.

  187. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Agent Smith is hurting. Maybe his self-immolation on the steps of the US Capitol will ease his trouble in mind.

  188. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Even spineless Chuck Todd found a pair and told a Republican Wisconsin senator to take his chamberpot back to Fox.

    Jesus is a Democrat, Jim.

  189. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    White Republicans have co-opted self-defense and stand-your-ground to justify extrajudicial killings that overwhelm the courts then cry when thugs like Kyle Rittenhouse (and others) are hung in the court of public opinion so white mass murderers are justified if they act out.

  190. larry kurtz 2023-01-15

    Wounded Knee
    Sand Creek,
    Tulsa,
    Waco,
    Oklahoma City,
    Uvalde
    Santa Claus
    Sani Flush
    Drano

  191. bearcreekbat 2023-01-16

    Jim Smith, This is an interesting discussion. I appreciate your continued thoughts and sources. Here are a few more comments in response.

    You write:

    Re: “. .can be called into “a well regulated militia” that protects the security of the State. And the plain language states that such militia is to be “well-regulated”

    The Constitution doesn’t not say “called.” My recollection is militias in the Revolutionary War which were fresh in the mind of the founders were formed by volunteers that banded together and chose their own leaders.

    It appears that your recollection is not quite accurate. Apparently, men were in fact sometimes called for militia duty (i.e. involuntarily conscripted).

    For long-term operations, conscription was occasionally used when volunteers or paid substitutes were insufficient to raise the needed manpower. During the American Revolutionary War, the states sometimes drafted men for militia duty or to fill state Continental Army units, but the central government did not have the authority to conscript except for purposes of naval impressment.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States#:~:text=During%20the%20American%20Revolutionary%20War,for%20purposes%20of%20naval%20impressment.

    You continue:

    In the 1700’s when the Second Amendment was written, “well regulated” didn’t mean government control – it meant “to make regular” or “be in good working order” like a well-regulated clock.

    Whether “well regulated” means a clock in good working order or a militia, there would need to some measureable objective control to determined that it is well regulated. For a clock, that would be the clocksmith, someone objectively recognized to have the training and expertise to assure that the clock is “well regulated” and functioning properly to serve its purpose – telling accurate time. The militia identified by the 2nd Amendment also would need an objective source to assure that it is “well-regulated,” which means according to the definition you linked, functioning properly to assure “the security of a free State,” And since the 2nd Amendment specifically identifies this requirement as protecting “the security of a free State,” it seems most likely that the authors were not saying just anyone off the street could satisfy the “well regulated” requirement, rather they were referencing some individual or group that both understood how to make a militia “well regulated” and had knowledge of the needs of “the security of a free State.” This certainly suggests that the “free State” in question would be the body to determine how to assure that the militia was “well organized.”

    The volunteers that banded together and during the Revolutionary war were apparently not restricted or required by any governing law similar to the 2nd Amendment to form a “well regulated,” nor restricted or required by any governing law to protect “the security of a free State.” Instead, their goal was to destroy the existing British State governing the colonies, so a new independent State might be established. And even in that case, the revolutionary militia was made “well regulated” by individuals appointed by the leaders of the colonies, rather than some colonist that declared himself leader. The Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775.

    Further, when Washington took charge the various militias were reportedly not at all “well regulated”

    When Washington assumed command, the Continental Army truly was not even an army. Rather, it was a loosely and poorly coordinated band of militias and citizen-soldiers under control of the individual states. There were no established protocols for exercising coordinated authority, for supplying and feeding the troops, for transportation, or any other of the myriad tasks necessary for a field army. Because eighteenth century communication was very poor and maddeningly slow, gaining the Continental Congress’ required approval for anything took long periods of time. Under these conditions fighting the powerful British army was a gargantuan task.

    https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/continental-army/#:~:text=When%20Washington%20assumed%20command%2C%20the,control%20of%20the%20individual%20states.

    Thus, the militia during the revolutionary war would seem to be an inapplicable model for interpreting “well regulated” within the meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

    You continue:

    Re: That plain language does not authorize vigilante groups to form to stop government abuses of power”

    It doesn’t prohibit them either

    Re: “unregulated militias formed without the authority of the State are not within the scope of any rational reading of the 2nd Amendment’s plain language”

    But they are not prohibited by the 2nd Amendment either.

    Indeed, the 2nd Amendment doesn’t explicitly prohibit private individuals from using arms or guns to commit any particular acts, whether forming militia without the authority of the State, attacking the government, killing government officials, or committing other crimes.

    Rather the 2nd Amendment is a limit on government power, not on the rights of individuals. Interestingly for over 200 years the 2nd Amendment did not limit the power of States to restrict gun ownership of confiscate guns. The relatively recent SCOTUS decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago) seems to be the first time it was ruled that the 2nd Amendment also limited a State’s power.

    And since the 2nd Amendment does explicitly identify “the security of a free State” it seems reasonable to conclude that based on this explicit language the founders intended the State to benefit from the 2nd Amendment. Thus, the State seems to be the intended entity that will assure the militia is “well regulated” in order to protect the State’s security.

    You continue:

    Re: ” Hamilton could have just as easily stated…Federalist papers”

    I get there were several opinions at the time but the consensus that made it into the Preamble was that the purpose of the Bill of Rights was to “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. No other reason is stated

    Re: First, the “Preamble” to the Bill of Rights was also never adopted as part of the Constitution”
    https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights-transcript

    Re: “it is simply not part of the Constitution and thus cannot conclusively state the purpose of the 2nd Amendment”

    That’s not the way I read it. The actual copy of the Bill of Rights in my link from the government archives has a capital “THE” and “RESOLVED” just like in the transcript. And while the copy is hard to read, the length of the words appear to match what’s in the Preamble.

    So if you agree the Preamble is in the Bill of Rights that was approved by Congress and ratified by the states what do you think the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is?

    Here is a link to the full text of the Constitution including the Bill of Rights:

    https://constitutioncenter.org/the-constitution/full-text?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3_PijrzL_AIVasmUCR1DdQH4EAAYBCAAEgJAmfD_BwE

    I can find no mention of a Preamble to the Bill of Rights nor any language in the Constitution restating any of the language in that Preamble. Based on reading this, the Preamble is not mentioned in the text of the Constitution, nor ratified by the States. I also note that in your link there are 12 original proposed Amendments and that just like the Preamble, two of those Amendments were never ratified nor included in the text of the Constitution.

    Finally you ask:

    So should an authorized undercover teacher ever be allowed to shoot a 6-year-old?

    I would think not as I simply cannot envision any situation where it ever would be necessary for an undercover teacher to shoot a 6-year-old.

  192. leslie 2023-01-16

    Big picture, it is clear gun violence/lack of congressional and state regulation, and the anti-democratic effort of the right wing, are all one in the same.

    This is a part of 1.) economic inequality, the other major, existential voting issue. 2.) Global warming is the first major issue.

    Smith is the tip of the spear in SD for the “GOP/Republican/billionaire/unregulated capitalism and fossil fuel” enemies of our Republic.

    Demographics have put the Republican Party out of business so our contrary votes MUST BE CANCELLED to avert Mike Rounds’s (c) 2014 senate race “Death Spiral” bully meme and his threat of violence, publicly taunting President Joe Biden to “come and take my GUNS; and my dog BITES!”

    South Dakota serves billionaires, not its 850,000 residents. Smith is the Republican’s tip of the spear.

    Disinformation is the soft part of the billionaire’s coup. Guns are the hard part. Review by academics of authoritarianism reveals this process is in action in the United States right now.

    Matt Gaetz “Freedom” Caucus wants to wait until thousands more hours of Jan 6 video is released. That’s what Jim Smith disingenuously writes here. These “stupid” shills call themselves “patriots”.

    Up is down. Confusion. Just what Putin/Trump are doing in Ukraine. McConnell is a chief Senate architect. He captured SCOTUS as a 6-3 majority. McCarthy, truly stupid as he is, is now the chief House obstructionist for the billionaire’s ultimate goals.

    And South Dakota has become the new global money laundering center.

  193. leslie 2023-01-16

    “Smith’s “logic would be to ignore/accept 650 preventable mass shootings and at least a 70% greater occurrence rate than without an assault weapon ban. Stupid.”

    If this is a personal attack, sue me. The guy that thinks this suggests shooting the six year old. NRA is in Putin’s bag.

    Your evasions are your fingerprints. Disinformation is your game.

  194. jim smith 2023-01-16

    @ bearcreekbat

    Re: “This is an interesting discussion”

    And unlike some of the others, it is civil

    Re: “in fact sometimes called for militia duty (i.e. involuntarily conscripted)”

    I don’t doubt that – but that isn’t what the Constitution says

    Re: “there would need to some measureable objective control to determined that it is well regulated”

    But that doesn’t mean the government is empowered make them “well regulated” especially if the intention of the Amendments is to “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers

    Re: ” Thus, the State seems to be the intended entity that will assure the militia is “well regulated” in order to protect the State’s security”

    That’s reading a lot into it since a state government could “misconstruct or abuse” its powers just like the federal government which could explain why the founders said the “people” and not the “state militia” in the 2nd Amendment. And State “well regulated” control would certainly apply to the organized militia (i.e. the National Guard) – but not necessarily to the unorganized militia as is codified in 10 USC 246

    Re: “I can find no mention of a Preamble to the Bill of Rights nor any language in the Constitution restating any of the language in that Preamble”

    A preamble, like the one in the Constitution, does not define government laws or individual rights like Constitutional Articles or Amendments. It only communicates the intentions of the framers and the purpose of a document. So it’s only in the joint resolution of the Bill of Rights that is a founding document that was passed by at least 2/3 of the members of Congress in 1789 and sent to the states for ratification. Hence the states knew of the Preamble and ratified 10 of the 12 proposed Amendments in the shadow of the preamble by 1791. So while the preamble is not in the Constitution, it makes it clear that the intended purpose of the proposed Amendments was to “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of the government’s powers. No other purpose was stated and as near as I can tell no State formally disagreed with that purpose.

    Re: “This plain language identifies only one reason for the 2nd Amendment…“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State. . . “

    Yes – and …”shall not be infringed”. What do you think they meant by “shall not be infringed”?

    Re: “I simply cannot envision any situation where it ever would be necessary for an undercover teacher to shoot a 6-year-old”

    So should it be prohibited by law? If so, what is the age cutoff where an individual is allowed to legally shoot or kill someone for no reason?

  195. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    Madison intended the right for a well-regulated militia to bear arms will not be infringed.

  196. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    That last comment is a clown question, Agent Smith.

  197. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    Scalia also noted in his Heller opinion that, in the prefatory clause, preserving a militia was merely an illustration for the right to bear arms. On the other hand, “Right of the People” refers to individual rights, “not collective rights, or rights that may be exercised through participation in some corporate body.” The militia reference in the prefatory clause only “announces the purpose for which the right was codified: to prevent elimination of the militia.” However, Marbury v. Madison explains that it “can’t be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect.” Failing to interpret the prefatory clause runs counter to Marbury’s demand. The first clause requires a proper effect, and, by doing so, the first clause is not merely illustrative, but qualifies the second clause.

    https://www.fels.upenn.edu/recap/posts/798

  198. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    In the majority opinion, Justice Scalia disregards the public’s perception of the definition of bearing arms at the time the Amendment was passed (for purpose of militia service). Instead, he advocates for the current understanding as modern and legitimate weapons. This approach runs contrary to Scalia’s originalist philosophy, which dictates that provisions in the Constitution should be understood by their original meaning at the time the provision was drafted. [ibid]

  199. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    Police are among the least well-regulated militias so cops shoot and kill kids every day in the United Snakes and almost all are deemed justified.

  200. larry kurtz 2023-01-16

    The Founders relied on mercenaries to fight the British and it’s easy to believe cops are simply mercenaries hired to uphold what—a broken constitution?

  201. leslie 2023-01-17

    Smith wants respect and thinks others “might learn something” and wants us to be “civil” in engagement when he dismisses questions with “not relevant” and “so what” and defends ultra-right second amendment screed with the need for someone else to “pass legislation” to solve the problems he thinks he needs a gun to solve. Hundreds of his points here are in error and he expects us to play games with him over each one. His god is a gun.

    Smith: So the bottom line is (1) The human race in the US produces a few bad individuals … and until you find some way to identify … to permanently eliminate them from society, innocent people are going to be killed (2) … bad things happen every day to people …Criminals will always have guns if they want them. …they will be smuggled into the country….

    Yeah, the guns I worry about are in pickups, on McDonald’s customer tables; there are way too many are out there in the hands of stupid, stirred-up, second amendment-deluded red necks. Embedded in law enforcement. Sheriffs.

    But yeah, frighten us w/ cartel gun use, yeah, that’ll work (drug guns are likely much less in numbers than those on the streets of the US?)

    And some preventable shootings are ok. Oh, sure. Smith hasn’t explained his personal losses from gun violence.

    Wrong place, wrong time, oops, stand your ground but chase them down! Wild, wild west is just romance. Smith. It doesn’t MAGA.

    “The Second Amendment has been perverted by profit-seekers”

    The NRA obviously is corrupt in message and purpose. Proven. Fact.

    Smith: So what? They produce a product people want and are willing to pay for.

    No. He wants us to be CIVIL, Society does not have to normalize capitalization of shooting people. Of people shooting themselves. Of manufactured self-defense. Of playing militia and war and security. Roger Stone’s security my ass.

  202. larry kurtz 2023-01-17

    The arrest of a failed Republican candidate who conspired to fire bullets into the homes of Democrats in Albuquerque is a virulent Trump adherent. I suspect toxoplasmosis led to a complete disregard for the rule of law.

  203. larry kurtz 2023-01-17

    Urge Congress to pass legislation that compels any applicant seeking to manufacture or purchase a firearm in the United States to submit a blood test and saliva swab to a medical lab and results shared with the FBI and BATFE.

  204. P. Aitch 2023-01-17

    Jim “Miranda Gohn” Smith? Hmmmm ……

  205. larry kurtz 2023-01-17

    It fits. Gohn is a supercilious but self-persecuted, unabashed police loving gun owner who writes weekly letters to the editor and crusades against anything cannabis.

  206. larry kurtz 2023-01-17

    John Santana is another gun worshipper with the same initials who parachuted into South Dakota and frequents Pat’s Pissoir wearing the Lord’s vengeance on his California sleeve but the rhythm isn’t Agent Smith’s cadence.

  207. leslie 2023-01-18

    “Heller’s distinctive focus poses a threat because the Court — changed by Trump appointments — is poised to expand constitutional protections for gun rights
    outside the home, without taking into account how the practice of public carry has changed in the last decade. “Open carry” advocates have sought, self-consciously and with some success, to normalize the presence of firearms in public spaces, from Starbucks to Walmart.” https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/guns-and-democracy

    Recent armed protests in legislatures and in streets across America show that guns can do more than inflict physical injury — they can threaten the public sphere on which a constitutional democracy depends. It follows that gun regulation can do more than prevent physical harm — it can also protect citizens’ equal claims to security and to the exercise of liberties, whether or not they are armed and however they may differ by race, sex, or viewpoint.

  208. leslie 2023-01-18

    A constitutional democracy must define the legitimate use of guns rather than allowing gun uses to define the legitimate boundaries of that constitutional democracy.

    Smith urges the constitution be in his gunsight. So does the Republican party. So dies its financial backer—Billionaires and corporate fossil fuel ultra-capitalists who must neutralize the voters in order to keep their wealth. They are willing, through stooges like Smith, to destroy the constitution, our democracy, the health and education of the majority voters, and the climate. They have seized and manipulated the second amendment as one of their levers. They will eventually give up on the second amendment when democracy, forced to the brink to defend all it represents, overcomes all the tactics of obstruction we are seeing now, on a daily basis. These next two years may be a living nightmare, with the Republicans now in power the House, with a packed Supreme Court. As the last four year term of the Republican president has been.

  209. bearcreekbat 2023-01-18

    Jim Smith,

    It seems as if our exploration of the purpose of the 2nd Amendment has reached a point of exhaustion, In conclusion I offer the following observations:

    While the Preamble to the Bill of Rights is not included within the content of the Connstitution itself nor any of the Amendments, I still agree with you that it is reasonable to look to the Preamble for evidence regarding the intent behind the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment. Based on the specific language from the Preamble in you have quoted, however, namely,

    (1)

    : “The convention of a number of states having at the time of their adopting of the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse, of its powers that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added.”

    it just does not follow, nor seem reasonable, that:

    “The founders adopted the 2nd Amendment to assure that the people could retain weapons to attack the government if and when the people decided the government was abusing its powers.”

    I base this conclusion on the following facts:

    (2) I can find, and have never seen, any specific indication that the founders intended to authorize attacks or violence against the government established by the proposed U.S. Constitution (although I acknowledge some individuals at the time expressed the opinion that people should have “arms” in their possession and available for defense, rather than attack, of the “State” in the event a standing army decided to try to enslave the people);

    (3) The language you quoted from the Preamble does not explicitly or implicitly authorize violence or attacks against the government or “State” (“State” is in quotes since the 2nd Amendment specifically references “the security of a free State”);

    (4) The Preamble addresses the intent behind all of the proposed Amendments, not just the 2nd Amendment, and there is nothing in any of the other eleven proposed Amendments stating or implying an intent to enable attacks or violence against the proposed Constitutional government or “State;”

    (5) The separation of powers set forth in the Constitution itself provides for a Judiciary in Article III, which is tasked with deciding controversies, including those with the government, thereby providing the means for peaceful resolutions rather than violent attacks or confrontations; and, since Article III was part of the proposed Constitution, the founders proposing the Bill of Rights would have been fully aware of this peaceful forum for resolving disputes, but none of the proposed Amendments nor Preamble to the Bill of Rights purport to authorize the people to engage in violence or attacks against the government or “State” whenever the people disagree with a decision of the courts (or acuses the court of an abuse of power) in resolving a dispute about whether the government or “State” abused its power;

    (6) The Bill of Rights only identified specific areas where it clarified that federal authority was limited or restricted and justified these restrictions as preventing “misconstruction or abuse” of federal power, but provided no additional remedy, such as violence or attacks against the government or “State,” beyond relying on Article III to address such alleged abuses; and

    (7) We have discussed the specific language of the 2nd Amendment itself, which also provided no additional specific remedy for claims of power abuse, such as engaging in violence or attacks against the government, or the “State.”

    I think our discussion explored many other matters that I am relying on for my conclusion that I need not repeat. I believe I have learned much from your comments and thank you for the discussion.

    Finally in response to my opinion that “I simply cannot envision any situation where it ever would be necessary for an undercover teacher to shoot a 6-year-old”you ask:

    So should it be prohibited by law? If so, what is the age cutoff where an individual is allowed to legally shoot or kill someone for no reason?

    If by “it” you mean should shooting a 6 year old be prohibited by law, then in my opinion, yes. Absent some circumstance I cannot imagine or come up with, I would think shooting of a young child should be prohibited by law.

    As for your 2nd question, if you are asking about the cutoff age where a young child may legally shoot or kill someone for no reason, I would say that again depends on the circumstances. Current SD law deems a child under the age of 10 to be unable to form the mens rea required for a criminal prosecution. In other words, under current SD law a 6 year old that shoots someone cannot be charged with a crime because the law recognizes that such young children have no understanding of the seriousness or consequences of any behaviors. The federal government and a majority of states identify some similar cutoff on the age before a child can be considered criminally culpable, while internationally 14 is reportedly the most common minimum age of criminal responsibility.

  210. jim smith 2023-01-20

    @ bearcreekbat

    Re: “it just does not follow, nor seem reasonable, that The founders adopted the 2nd Amendment to assure that the people could retain weapons to attack the government”

    If the government “misconstructs or abuses” its powers by denying or limiting freedoms like 1st Amendment rights or “infringing” on the right to keep and bear arms” then what are the “people” supposed to do? You state the “judiciary” was to decide these issues but the “judiciary” is staffed and in some cases controlled by the government that could “misconstruct or abuse” its powers and the decisions of the judiciary are enforced by the government with “arms” which leaves the “people” the choice of either fighting for their rights with “arms” or surrendering.

    Re: “there is nothing in any of the other eleven proposed Amendments stating or implying an intent to enable attacks or violence against the proposed Constitutional government or “State”

    True. But that could also mean they felt the 1st and especially the 2nd Amendment were sufficient to deter or prevent the most egregious attempts by the government to “misconstruct or abuse its powers” especially when the 2nd Amendment talks about being necessary for the security of a free state and that the right of the people to keep and near arms shall not be infringed since in the last analysis as Mao Zedung said “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun”

    Re: “Judiciary in Article III, which is tasked with deciding controversies, including those with the government”

    The problem with that is the “judiciary” is part of the government that can “misconstruct or abuse” its powers just like any other part of the government especially since the justices are appointed for life by other branches of government and not the people. And I think at this point in time both Republicans and Democrats would claim the judiciary is politicized in their decisions albeit for completely different reasons which is not going to enable them to be accepted as an arbitrator of “controversies” especially when you have threats to pack the Supreme Court or assassinate one of the court’s justices when some people or other branches of government disagree with a court’s decision.

    Re: “So should it be prohibited by law?”

    Guns are called the great equalizer for a reason. A 6-year-old with a gun that is determined to use it is just as dangerous as anyone else with a gun. While I’m not a fan of someone shooting a 6-year-old, I’m also not in favor of making it illegal. And because of all the personal experiences and pre conceived notions about the innocence and limited capabilities of adolescents like 6 year olds and the feelings and emotions of such a nauseating act – anyone that does it is going to have a hard time conceiving a jury that it was justified. Any individual that does it had better have experienced something like already being shot by the 6 year old (hopefully not in a artery where the individual bleeds out in 2-3 minutes) where the 6 year old is preparing to shoot again

    Thanks for having a good discussion. I appreciate that you appear to have put a lot of work into this and I relearned some things I had forgotten and learned a couple of new things that I didn’t know from what you said and the links you provided. Hopefully some day “we the people” will just accept each other’s differences and learn to get along peacefully

  211. P. Aitch 2023-01-20

    This is dumb, immature, and just juvenile.
    From the gun hugger, “If the government “mis constructs or abuses” its powers by denying or limiting freedoms like 1st Amendment rights or “infringing” on the right to keep and bear arms” then what are the “people” supposed to do?”
    You need a civics education, whatever your real name is.

  212. bearcreekbat 2023-01-20

    Jim Smith, you ask a reasonable question:

    If the government “misconstructs or abuses” its powers by denying or limiting freedoms like 1st Amendment rights or “infringing” on the right to keep and bear arms” then what are the “people” supposed to do?

    Which “people?” The “people” that agree with the government’s policies and think that those policies are within the scope of governmental power or the “people” that don’t like those policies and believe they are an abuse of power? Obviously no such policies could be adopted without the encouragement and support of some of the “people.”

    If the latter group is willing to obey the law and follow the procedure set forth in the Constitution then they would bring their claims to the courts, file any and all needed appeals and live with the final decision of the highest court deciding that controversy, with the realization and acceptance that there are always more than one side to a controversy and that they have been found to be mistaken. That is the Constitutional remedy even if they don’t trust a judge (incidentally no matter what decision a judge makes in a case at least one side almost always is going to be unhappy if they lose the case and too often will try to blame an “unfair” judge rather than accept the possibility that they, themselves, were simply mistaken on their claims). If that remedy fails then the U.S. Constitution offers the alternative of seeking to change whatever action the unhappy people object to by a change of law by Congress, or if it is believed to a State abuse of power, then through State legislatures or citizens’ initiatives.

    If the unhappy “people” don’t trust Constitutional options, however, these “people also can choose to voluntarily and legally leave the U.S. and seek another country to reside in with laws more akin to their liking, or they can decide to violate the US Constitution and laws and take matters into their own hands illegally by killing or threatening violence against any government official they disagree with. In my view neither the Constitution itself nor the Preamble to the Bill of Rights provide credible or convincing evidence of an intent by the founders, nor anyone else for that matter, to encourage any group of unhappy “people” to violate the law, nor use weapons or violence against government officials.

    Finally I like your comment:

    Hopefully some day “we the people” will just accept each other’s differences and learn to get along peacefully.

    Well put! I agree totally. I look forward to an opportunity to explore other interesting theories with you. Take care and stay safe and healthy.

  213. David Bergan 2023-01-20

    Hi BCB!

    I vaguely recall Madison or one of the other founders discussing that the reason the Construction doesn’t have any exit clauses for the states (i.e., no way for a state to terminate their contract with the federal government) is because all people inherently have the right to revolution. Maybe that was in the Federalist papers?

    Anyway, if that was the founders’ frame of mind, then the 2nd amendment might be intended to make sure the federal government doesn’t remove the materiel needed for a state to invoke its inalienable right to revolt.

    Kind regards,
    David

  214. larry kurtz 2023-01-20

    Sic semper tyrannis for me but not for thee, right Agent Smith?

  215. P. Aitch 2023-01-20

    BCB: I respect your many commentaries highly. You do, however, have a continual tendency to pander (with words) outrageous people making untenable statements. i.e. “…leaves the “people” the choice of either fighting for their rights with “arms” or surrendering.
    Bear, you showed rational courses of action that rational people faced with this situation could follow which of course exposes Mr. Smith’s two choices as being as preposterous as the excuses given for storming the Capitol on January 06.

  216. larry kurtz 2023-01-20

    The good news in my home state of South Dakota is that GOP on GOP violence could mean armed legislators will shoot it out and the god they rule under will sort ‘em out.

  217. bearcreekbat 2023-01-20

    Hi David, I don’t recall reading anything like you suggest Madison may have written in the Federalist Papers, although I could have missed or forgotten it. Jim Smith probaby would have pointed it out in his comments given the depth in which he has considered the 2nd Amendment.

    Even without historical support, however, such an idea would seem much more rational to me than the idea that founders proposed the 2nd Amendment so the “people” violently attack the government if the “people” concluded the goverment was abusing its power. It would give some meaning to the use of “well-regulated militia” and “the security of a free State” in the 2nd Amendment, as well as some the writings of those folks that worried a “standing army” might try to “enslave” a free people in one or more States. It also would seem to support the idea of preserving the ability for a defensive use of “arms” rather than an aggressive use of those “arms.” Of course such a theory didn’t seem to help the confederacy some 60 years after the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

    I do have a problem with the concept of an “inalienable right to revolt.” I think a more accurate obvservation might be an “inalienable ability to choose to revolt” (no matter how unlikely to succeed).

    P.Aitch, thanks for your kind words.

  218. e platypus onion 2023-01-21

    One might believe the Founding Fathers having just fought a war to free themselves from oppressive government would be unlikely to set up an oppressive government of their own and give citizens cause to revolt. But, that’s just me.

  219. jim smith 2023-01-21

    @ bearcreekbat

    Re: ” Which “people?”

    I assume it would be like the “people” of the recent Revolutionary War where supposedly 50% of the “people” didn’t care if they lived under a colonial or British government while another 25% supported the British and another 25% supported the colonists and 3-10% of the “people” actually took up arms to fight and maybe die to have the government they wanted.

    Re: “If the latter group is willing to obey the law and follow the procedure set forth in the Constitution then they would bring their claims to the courts

    As I pointed out courts can “misconstruct or abuse” their power just like other branches of government and because they don’t answer directly to the people, they are probably the easiest branch to co-opt as we have seen recently with proposals to pack the courts or assassinate justices to ensure future rulings favor a particular ideology when rulings are handed down that some people don’t like

    Re: ” the final decision of the highest court deciding that controversy”

    It depends on the “controversy”. In my view a court that outlaws parts or all of the Constitution that include its Amendments is “misconstructing or abusing” its powers

    Re: “then the U.S. Constitution offers the alternative of seeking to change whatever action the unhappy people object to by a change of law by Congress”

    That only works with a government that hasn’t “misconstructed or abused” its powers to the point it has evolved to a totalitarian state.

    Re: “In my view neither the Constitution itself nor the Preamble to the Bill of Rights provide credible or convincing evidence of an intent by the founders”

    When the founders had just finished fighting a brutal war against what they considered an oppressive government and passed a Bill of Rights intended only to deter or “prevent misconstruction or abuse” of a new government’s powers where the future outcome of that government would be unknown and one of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights specifically states the right of the people to keep and bear arms is necessary to keep the security of a free state and that right shall not be infringed it seems pretty clear to me what they intended, Otherwise I see no reason for the “people” to keep and bear arms to ensure the security of a free state if the courts or “a change of law by Congress” could settle all potential “controversies” and I submit they wouldn’t say that right “shall not be infringed” unless they thought “infringing” is exactly what a government that “misconstructs or abuses” its powers would try to do.

    Re: ” I do have a problem with the concept of an “inalienable right to revolt.” I think a more accurate obvservation might be an “inalienable ability to choose to revolt” (no matter how unlikely to succeed)”

    If you believe that, I’m not sure where we disagree. While I wasn’t there in the 1700’s, I’ve said from the beginning for the reasons that I previously stated, that the founders stopped short of saying specifically in the Constitution that the “people” had a right to attack a government and the 2nd Amendment only guarantees the “people” the right to keep and bear arms” and if the “people” “choose” to attack a government because they feel it has “misconstructed or abused” its powers, the government would consider that an illegal act so the “people” do so at their own risk. Ideally if the “people” are armed, it is enough of stalemate and a deterrent for a government not to “misconstruct or abuse” its powers.

  220. leslie 2023-01-22

    Smith missed the point: … if the “people” are armed, it is enough of stalemate and a deterrent for a government not to “misconstruct or abuse” its powers.

    Abuse is coming from elsewhere.

    “We have reached the point where it appears the same set of big-money players is selecting nominees to our highest court, then spending millions of dollars to campaign for their confirmation, and then funding amicus briefs designed to signal a preferred outcome to those nominees once they have ascended to the bench. The pattern apparent in the spending and amicus presence of big Republican donor interests intersects in ominous ways with the pattern of those 73 partisan decisions by the Roberts Five giving wins to key conservative and corporate interests.” https://www.acslaw.org/issue_brief/briefs-landing/a-right-wing-rout-what-the-roberts-five-decisions-tell-us-about-the-integrity-of-todays-supreme-court/

    We see the “dark money trail by pointing to major Supreme Court decisions that delivered wins to conservatives. Those rulings included allowing unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns, reversing the rights of labor unions, and weakening voting rights.”

    Dark money, not just at SCOTUS, but throughout politics, is really the bugger. Not as Smith belabors what he believes to be the purpose of mass arming the minority of the population against a “misconstructed” government as the magic behind the uninterpretable second amendment.

    The Conservative Partnership Institute has been described as a “dark-money MAGA hub” and [is] a “full-service shop for pro-Trump Republicans.” This group is part of a network of, at this point it’s been determined, eleven other groups that all are closely associated with one another – sharing addresses, sharing staff, on each other’s incorporation papers, and also, it involves a lot of the refugees from the Trump election insurrection effort.

    Cleeta Mitchell, affiliated with NRA and Trump’s “Georgia phone-call” lawyer, and Mark Meadows, his chief of staff, and others exhibit … a link between the large and fraudulent scheme to spread lies about the election, and the threats and harassment that … can drive election officials out of their jobs, … drive election volunteers away from the polls, you then have vacancies. Vacancies that Cleta Mitchell is training to fill right now to pursue the interference with American elections that the January 6th riot kicked off. https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/whitehouse-illuminates-dark-money-networks-project-to-undermine-democracy

    This is not random, says Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D, RI).

  221. leslie 2023-01-23

    Finally Smith, do your own thorough, balanced research instead of self-serving conservative “research” you have stewed in. Your shot-gun approach here unreasonably consumes way too much time.

    Start with this: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/strict-scrutiny/id1469168641?i=1000565332659

    Elie Mystal interview about his new book, Allow Me To Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution.

    Second Amendment-a tool for slave patrols (armed white-guy militias), originalism, conservative party tools to maintain white supremacy, cops/misplaced-qualified immunity, NRA 70s-created concepts Smith still argues today, “ad nauseam” and now extends to armed teachers shooting six year olds.

  222. leslie 2023-01-23

    And unpack these atrocious statements which are misleading at best.

    “threats to pack the Supreme Court or assassinate one of the court’s justices when some people or other branches of government disagree with a court’s decision.”

    Conservatives just packed the court 6-3, but NOW you say, characteristically upside down, that reasonable civil systematic proposals to alleviate that packing, are a “threat.” No!

    COME ON!

    And “the great equalizer” doesn’t make it true.

    And “having experienced being shot by a six year old” and “bleeding out in two or three minutes” or whatever….

    Like I said initially, where to start with you???

    P. Aitch is correct.

  223. P. Aitch 2023-01-23

    MASS KILLING SPREE ~ coming soon to a place near you.!
    All over the world, there are people who argue, fight over relationships, suffer from mental health issues or hold racist views. But in the U.S., those people can more easily obtain a gun and shoot someone.
    The data exposes a clear trend: Where there are more guns, there are more gun deaths. Studies have found this to be true at the state and national level, and for homicides, suicides, mass shootings and police shootings. Stricter regulations on firearms are linked to fewer gun deaths. -NYTimes

  224. larry kurtz 2023-01-23

    San Jose, California has a gun ownership insurance mandate in place and Minnesota is considering one, too.

    Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) is introducing a bill which goes much further to include magazine sizes, silencers, ghost guns, 3D guns and mandatory insurance for gun owners. After all, a “well regulated militia” does not mean an unregulated armed populace.

    https://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2023/01/minnesota-legislature-needs-to-take-action-to-strengthen-gun-laws/

  225. e platypus onion 2023-01-23

    10 people killed, 10 more wounded in California. 12 people injured in Looseranna club. Magats=Crickets.

  226. larry kurtz 2023-01-23

    Thoughts and prayers in advance for the victims of a shootout between the Citizens for Liberty and the RINOs in Pierre.

  227. e platypus onion 2023-01-24

    A suspect is in custody for allegedly going on a shooting rampage in the seaside California town of Half Moon Bay, marking the 37th mass shooting in the first 23 days of the year.

    If this isn’t a call for more guns, I don’t know what is.

  228. leslie 2023-01-24

    State measures, pushed after previous mass shootings, mean California has fewer gun deaths per resident than most states. washington post twitter today

    So despite the three mass shootings in Cali, the strict gun laws have helped. https://t.co/Wx157zczBN

  229. leslie 2023-01-25

    Dark money, 6-3 packed SCOTUS, and guns are related.

    Legislative attempts to close loopholes allowing dark money in U.S. elections have repeatedly failed over the past decade.

    Leonard Leo’s apparent role in the sale of Trump’s infamous advisorConway’s Kellyanne business underscores why “influence of dark money is doubly problematic once someone is in office because they’re [potentially] able to influence outcomes” https://www.politico.com/news/2023/01/20/dark-money-leonard-leo-00078657

    Liberal dark money: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2021/12/liberal-dark-money-groups-revenue-soared-ahead-of-2020-elections/

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