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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Philly
Home country: USA
Current location: NJ
Member since: Thu Apr 21, 2011, 10:48 AM
Number of posts: 14,365

About Me

"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside." AND "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..." AND "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds."

Journal Archives

The assault weapons controversy

Attorneys for the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Friday filed the 325-page petition to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Stephen Kolbe and a series of gun stores and shooting clubs asking the court to protect popular semi-automatic rifles and magazines from prohibition. http://www.guns.com/2017/07/24/maryland-assault-weapon-challenge-appealed-to-u-s-supreme-court/

At issue is a Maryland ban passed in 2013. In 2014 a US district judge upheld the ban saying:
"Upon review of all the parties’ evidence, the court seriously doubts that the banned assault long guns are commonly possessed for lawful purposes, particularly self-defense in the home, which is at the core of the Second Amendment right, and is inclined to find the weapons fall outside Second Amendment protection as dangerous and unusual..." wrote U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake...


To explain this, she noted the Supreme Court indicated in Heller that military grade M-16 rifles could be banned as dangerous and unusual, then went on to write "Given that assault rifles like the AR-15 are essentially the functional equivalent of M-16s — and arguably more effective — the same reasoning would seem to apply here."

Blake also found in her ruling that rounds fired from assault weapons have enhanced penetrating capabilities and therefore pose a higher risk to both law enforcement than the bullets fired from other types of firearms. Nevertheless, when plaintiffs questioned the practice under the ban of allowing retired law enforcement officers to receive and keep assault weapons and large capacity magazines, she dismissed the objection saying, "they are better equipped than the general public to handle and store firearms safely."
(Foundational statements by that court which I find faulty are in bold.)

I personally believe that states have certain sovereign powers that do and should allow the regulation of guns within the limits of US SC precedence. The question at issue here for me is that IMHO facts accepted by the court in the original case before Judge Blake were limited and inaccurate.

My issue with any AWB is that a law regulating firearms:
>> Must, without reliance on a brand, model or manufacturer, functionally identify the target weapon.
>> Must not contain language such as "similar to". A weapon meets the criteria or not.
>> Must not contain simply appearance based non-functional criteria.

In your opinion, is there a case where ban on a type of firearm could/should be acceptable?
Please explain your criteria if you answer yes.
If you believe no classes or types of weapons should be more tightly regulated, please explain your reason(s).

Thanks Have a great day.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sun Aug 20, 2017, 10:42 AM (19 replies)

No one seeks to find tyrannical governments

It is when such governments find you that some decisions become necessary. I note from history that the US revolution in the 18th century did not begin until a protracted sequence of abuses and abrogations of colonist's rights had occurred. It is always that way with tyranny. It's only when common folks recognize that they have not much future in continuing under the existing system that revolution is accepted.

There will always be a balance to be struck between the general degree of freedom and the burden of government needed to help those who can't help themselves. In recognizing, the basic need of medical help everyone, the ACA brings an aspect of safety those who've fallen on hard times. As many members have noted here on DU, this system is not perfect and is mostly just a first step but it's a good one.

JFK said: "By calling attention to 'a well regulated militia,' 'the security of the nation,' and the right of each citizen 'to keep and bear arms,' our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy... The Second Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country. For that reason I believe the Second Amendment will always be important."

One of the keys to government respect for the individual is that its armed agents view themselves as fellow citizens. The RKBA places the average person on the same level (of armament) with a soldier or a murderer. The type of weapon is not as important as equality the right delivers.

There will not be an engagement (or at least maybe only a very few) between our current government's military and our people. The equalizing factor of the RKBA is a foundation for that equality. It is not so much the prospect of tactical success as it is the premise for the current serviceman to view himself as a common citizen.

An infantryman will take a station because of his commitment to do his duty. But, more than his duty or his country, an infantryman will fight for his own life and lives of his brothers around him.

Everyone who serves in the military has accepted that his country may place him in harm's way. I can't see myself taking aim at such a fellow countrymen nor can I accept the idea that a fellow countryman, so prepared to chance his safety for the rest of us, will ever take aim at me.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sat Mar 19, 2016, 04:11 PM (1 replies)

5 Carry Mistakes: Responsible Carrying

This really got me thinking.


Any fair-minded analysis reveals that the roughly 13.5 million concealed-carry permit holders in the United States make astonishingly few mistakes with their firearms. Serious mistakes, where actual injuries occur, are rarer still.


1. Abandonment; The necessity of a firearm for which you are responsible leaving your control...
2. One Firearm; We appreciate that it’s a serious and potentially expensive business to select that perfect carry arm, only to have us assert there’s no such thing. We do so nevertheless. There are many, many reasons why this can be so, so we’ll pick just one, and generalize...wardrobe...
3. One Carry Method; To an extent, we understand that our number two implies this: A second defensive firearm will almost certainly call for a second carry method...
4. Abandonment, Part II; Have you considered that your carry firearm is “abandoned” at home, too, at least in the sense we previously reviewed?...
5. “My Skill Is Better Than Your Skill”; The key here is an out-of-fashion character trait—humility—and the surest cure is to get it through your head that nobody with any real sense is ever done learning. And especially not about something as consequential as armed self-defense...

ETA: The gracious alert and learned jury votes are much appreciated. Thanks one and all.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Fri Feb 19, 2016, 12:43 PM (16 replies)

52% of Americans favor firearms...

...as their means of suicide:
In 2013, a gun was used in 21,175 of 41,149 total suicides.
A bit over half. Those are what I call a self-validated opinions.
>> http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate10_us.html <<

Opinions are only useful if they've been validated. My wife spent the last 40 years avoiding crushed red peppers on her pizza. Her opinion was that they would be too spicy for her. She finally tried them. She'd been wrong for 40 years.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sat Aug 15, 2015, 03:16 PM (0 replies)

In 2011 in the US according to the FBI UCR...

...there were 751,131 aggravated assaults; an aggravated assault is a perpetrator causes or attempts to cause serious injury.

Of those 21.2% involved a firearm. That's a bit over 159,000 incidents.

Such incidents may be cases where one person involved in an altercation draws a gun and fires whether the bullet strikes someone or not. Also included in that number are crimes such as kidnapping and rape where the gun was used as a threat to subdue the victim.

About 73,883 firearm injuries due to all intents are recorded for 2011. Those would include attempted suicide, criminal assault, law enforcement shootings, negligence, accidents, etc.


Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sat May 9, 2015, 10:01 AM (0 replies)

Countering the Heller dissent

In his dissent in Heller, Justice Stevens applied from Marbury v. Madison that "It cannot be presumed that any clause in the Constitution is intended to be without effect...". The argument expressed from this point names as the sole purpose for the 2A, the protection of a Militia purposed RKBA only. That, while the use of a gun in self-defense would certainly be legal, the 2A does not innately protect possession for that purpose.

The Heller case was about: "We must decide whether a District of Columbia law that prohibits the possession of handguns in the home violates the Second Amendment. The majority, relying upon its view that the Second Amendment seeks to protect a right of personal self-defense, holds that this law violates that Amendment."

In my view, there were several known, established, accepted and respected behaviors common among the citizens of our young nation. They were:
- the ownership of long guns for the purpose of hunting
- the carry of smaller firearms such as pistols for personal protection
- the use of guns in general for practice
- the use of a gun during service as a law enforcement officer

and, of course...
- possession for use relating to militia service.

I argue that the 2A was written with the militia clause to include in its protection, the specific possession of militia appropriate weapons. That if, weapons not solely purposed for the first four uses, above, would be restricted from the people, the militia would be impaired. That the possession of militia appropriate weapons would be protected. After all a militia armed with Olympic target pistols of .22 caliber or 18th century muskets is hardly well matched against another force armed with even 19th century lever action rifles.

Through history, certain upper classes have prohibited the possession of state of the art arms to those outside their own group. Take for example Japan's Samuri who forbid general ownership of the katana. Laws that would burden the people in same manner as the British attempted to burden the colonies concerning firearms were to be excluded from possibility. The 3A was in line with that same end. It was a standard procedure among the British to house their soldiers in the homes of colonists and burden the quartering family with their feeding and sheltering.

In reading Federalist #46 one can determine that Madison, the principal author of the Bill of Rights, intended to protect a militia of just about every free white adult male in the country. That the existence of arms in the hands of everyone rather than a select few (maybe 1% of the population) was entirely proper.

There have always been 1%ers that sought to be "above" the rest of us. It is that same special interest end that the 2A was enacted to protect against.

In the US we've enacted and, later, corrected laws that forbid certain types of folks from owning firearms. There were laws against selling or giving guns to Black folks and Native Americans, because it was said 'they aren't really people'.

I further contest inferring that the RKBA has no individual protection based upon the founders not expressing that aspect conflicts with the nature of the Bill of Rights. A fundamental principle of interpretation is...
In pari materia ("upon the same matter or subject"
When a statute is ambiguous, its meaning may be determined in light of other statutes on the same subject matter.

The effect of this principle is to apply the 2A in the way as the other rights in the Bill of Rights are applied. The 1A covers newspapers with hundreds of employees as well as an individual blogger. The 2A protects everyone's RKBA not just those who belong to a militia.

The 2A mainly expresses and protects a right, a common right of everyone, not an institution, not the militia. The very idea that a right exists but only for a certain few is insulting to the founders... and to us all.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Tue Apr 7, 2015, 08:00 AM (23 replies)


As in "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

In this context, a right is an innate attribute of a person. A right serves as a guide for behavior in that it names good, correct and righteous pursuits. Actions, having as a goal sustaining one's life are congruent with this guide. Enacting legislation providing for such behavior as legal is also congruent with this guide.

Suggesting that a only a group of people rather than an individual have the right to life is just plain bizarre.
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:17 PM (0 replies)


According to Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France:

"This is a terrorist group and not a state," ... "I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it 'Daesh' and I will be calling them the 'Daesh cutthroats.' "

Any opinions?
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Wed Sep 24, 2014, 06:12 PM (13 replies)

Another novel idea

If you want something in the worst way..........that's usually how you'll get it.

- Now is the time to demand that the folks in the Statehouses and Congress educate themselves about the driving causes of violence.

- Now is the time to demand that politicians enlighten themselves ENOUGH so they can speak without being laughed at due to their ignorance. Information is power; ignorance breeds bondage and waste. Screw that some embarrass themselves, what about the embarrassment they cause their constituents?

- Many people feel that private arms are to blame for much of the violence. The US Bill of Rights and specifically the 2nd, 9th and 10 Articles stand in the way of limiting rights to private arms.

- Now is the time to hold those elected accountable for understanding the new laws proposed and passed and those related laws which currently exist. Now is the time to lose the excuses about trusting advisers, making compromises and "just doing something".

- More than any other purpose or duty a government may have, the primary duty is to protect the individual.

In honor of Mr. Bloomberg:
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters."

Demand a plan? Sure, accept a plan unexamined for consequence, source and detail at the public peril.

For the last 225 years the US has been a leader among nations thanks to the wisdom in its founding documents. Those ideals, checks and balances, principles and rights have been in many ways adapted or copied by more than 90% of other nations. Discard, disparage or ignore any of that at possible cost to everyone.

When considering the existence of God centuries ago Blaise Pascal hypothetically asked, "Do you want to bet?" He then answered the question by saying that it is a necessary bet. The same is true of the RKBA; do you want to bet?
Posted by discntnt_irny_srcsm | Sun Aug 31, 2014, 01:32 PM (1 replies)
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