Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill

The Manchin-Toomey Gun Bill went down to defeat today, as should any gobbledygook called a bill.

From the text:
The purpose of this subtitle is to enhance the current background check process in the United States to ensure criminals and the mentally ill are not able to purchase firearms.
(a) In General.-Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-
(1) by repealing subsection (s);
(2) by redesignating subsection (t) as subsection (s);
(3) in subsection (s), as redesignated-
(A) in paragraph (1)(B)-
(i) in clause (i), by striking "or";
(ii) in clause (ii), by striking "and" at the end; and
(iii) by adding at the end the following:...

"(C) In this paragraph-
"(i) the term ‘interactive computer service' shall have the meaning given the term in section 230(f) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230(f)); and
"(ii) the terms ‘qualified civil liability action', ‘qualified product', and ‘seller' shall have the meanings given the terms in section 4 of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (15 U.S.C. 7903).
"(D) Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to affect the immunity of a provider of an interactive computer service under section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230)....

(c) Prohibition of National Gun Registry.-Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
"(m) The Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of the-
"(1) acquisition or disposition of firearms, or any portion thereof, maintained by-
"(A) a person with a valid, current license under this chapter;
"(B) an unlicensed transferor under section 922(t); or
"(2) possession or ownership of a firearm, maintained by any medical or health insurance entity.".
That last is interesting: Section (c)(m)(A):
" Prohibition of National Gun Registry.-Section 923 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
"(m) The Attorney General may not consolidate or centralize the records of the-
"(1) acquisition or disposition of firearms, or any portion thereof, maintained by-
"(A) a person with a valid, current license under this chapter;"
So that means that, contrary to the assertion that a national gun registry is prohibited, in fact this would allow the creation of a national gun registry -albeit an incomplete one- by consolidating and centralizing the records of gun dealers who go out of business. Such dealers are required to turn their records in. So this bill would have done exactly what it claims to have prohibited. And it only prohibits the Attorney General from acting, not other departments or agencies.

If interested, you can find the text of the 7800 word bill here.

UPDATE: Dave Kopel has much more at Volokh Conspiracy. It's even worse than I wrote.

UPDATE II: Kopel links to this additional analysis, but it deserves its own link here. As the author, Michael E. Hammond of Gun Owners of America, wrote:
Second, whatever ATF thinks it’s compiling with the 4473’s it does not regard it as a “national gun registry,” even though we regard it as such. I drafted the language in McClure-Volkmer prohibiting national gun registries. I also drafted the first draft of the Smith/Tiarht amendment doing the same. ATF does not regard itself as violating these. Third, with respect to making unauthorized copying a crime, the person who will determine whether the Department of Justice is prosecuted is Attorney General Eric Holder (who, by the way, is the head of the Department of Justice).

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Of Course They Are Coming For Our Guns

"No one is trying to take anyone's guns away" is a frequent refrain of the gun banners. It is also a lie. Example: “It would be great if we could get rid of assault weapons, but that's just not going to happen at the moment,” he said. “So let's do this.” Please note the "at the moment" part. Does that sound like no one is trying to take our guns away? Who is 'he'? Some low level nonentity, of course? Try New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Diane Feinstein proposed banning scores of guns by name. Here is the list, which I copied from Feinstein's official website:

"List of firearms prohibited by name

Rifles: All AK types, including the following: AK, AK47, AK47S, AK–74, AKM, AKS, ARM, MAK90, MISR, NHM90, NHM91, Rock River Arms LAR–47, SA85, SA93, Vector Arms AK–47, VEPR, WASR–10, and WUM, IZHMASH Saiga AK, MAADI AK47 and ARM, Norinco 56S, 56S2, 84S, and 86S, Poly Technologies AK47 and AKS; All AR types, including the following: AR–10, AR–15, Armalite M15 22LR Carbine, Armalite M15–T, Barrett REC7, Beretta AR–70, Bushmaster ACR, Bushmaster Carbon 15, Bushmaster MOE series, Bushmaster XM15, Colt Match Target Rifles, DoubleStar AR rifles, DPMS Tactical Rifles, Heckler & Koch MR556, Olympic Arms, Remington R–15 rifles, Rock River Arms LAR–15, Sig Sauer SIG516 rifles, Smith & Wesson M&P15 Rifles, Stag Arms AR rifles, Sturm, Ruger & Co. SR556 rifles; Barrett M107A1; Barrett M82A1; Beretta CX4 Storm; Calico Liberty Series; CETME Sporter; Daewoo K–1, K–2, Max 1, Max 2, AR 100, and AR 110C; Fabrique Nationale/FN Herstal FAL, LAR, 22 FNC, 308 Match, L1A1 Sporter, PS90, SCAR, and FS2000; Feather Industries AT–9; Galil Model AR and Model ARM; Hi-Point Carbine; HK–91, HK–93, HK–94, HK–PSG–1 and HK USC; Kel-Tec Sub–2000, SU–16, and RFB; SIG AMT, SIG PE–57, Sig Sauer SG 550, and Sig Sauer SG 551; Springfield Armory SAR–48; Steyr AUG; Sturm, Ruger Mini-14 Tactical Rife M–14/20CF; All Thompson rifles, including the following: Thompson M1SB, Thompson T1100D, Thompson T150D, Thompson T1B, Thompson T1B100D, Thompson T1B50D, Thompson T1BSB, Thompson T1–C, Thompson T1D, Thompson T1SB, Thompson T5, Thompson T5100D, Thompson TM1, Thompson TM1C; UMAREX UZI Rifle; UZI Mini Carbine, UZI Model A Carbine, and UZI Model B Carbine; Valmet M62S, M71S, and M78; Vector Arms UZI Type; Weaver Arms Nighthawk; Wilkinson Arms Linda Carbine.

Pistols: All AK–47 types, including the following: Centurion 39 AK pistol, Draco AK–47 pistol, HCR AK–47 pistol, IO Inc. Hellpup AK–47 pistol, Krinkov pistol, Mini Draco AK–47 pistol, Yugo Krebs Krink pistol; All AR–15 types, including the following: American Spirit AR–15 pistol, Bushmaster Carbon 15 pistol, DoubleStar Corporation AR pistol, DPMS AR–15 pistol, Olympic Arms AR–15 pistol, Rock River Arms LAR 15 pistol; Calico Liberty pistols; DSA SA58 PKP FAL pistol; Encom MP–9 and MP–45; Heckler & Koch model SP-89 pistol; Intratec AB–10, TEC–22 Scorpion, TEC–9, and TEC–DC9; Kel-Tec PLR 16 pistol; The following MAC types: MAC–10, MAC–11; Masterpiece Arms MPA A930 Mini Pistol, MPA460 Pistol, MPA Tactical Pistol, and MPA Mini Tactical Pistol; Military Armament Corp. Ingram M–11, Velocity Arms VMAC; Sig Sauer P556 pistol; Sites Spectre; All Thompson types, including the following: Thompson TA510D, Thompson TA5; All UZI types, including: Micro-UZI.

Shotguns: Franchi LAW–12 and SPAS 12; All IZHMASH Saiga 12 types, including the following: IZHMASH Saiga 12, IZHMASH Saiga 12S, IZHMASH Saiga 12S EXP–01, IZHMASH Saiga 12K, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–030, IZHMASH Saiga 12K–040 Taktika; Streetsweeper; Striker 12.

Belt-fed semiautomatic firearms: All belt-fed semiautomatic firearms including TNW M2HB."

Feinstein's bill proposes the following as well, also taken from her official website:

"What the bill does:

The legislation bans the sale, transfer, manufacturing and importation of:

All semiautomatic rifles that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: pistol grip; forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; barrel shroud; or threaded barrel.
All semiautomatic pistols that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one military feature: threaded barrel; second pistol grip; barrel shroud; capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some location outside of the pistol grip; or semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.
All semiautomatic rifles and handguns that have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds.
All semiautomatic shotguns that have a folding, telescoping, or detachable stock; pistol grip; fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 5 rounds; ability to accept a detachable magazine; forward grip; grenade launcher or rocket launcher; or shotgun with a revolving cylinder.
All ammunition feeding devices (magazines, strips, and drums) capable of accepting more than 10 rounds."

Since the Constitution specifically prohibits all of the above, and as a leading federal legislator Feinstein either knows that or should know that, she is actively and knowingly working to subvert the Constitution.

Americans have added something on the order of 65,000,000 guns to the national private arsenal over the last five years, increasing the stock by perhaps 50%. Americans are arming like it is 1775 for a reason.

Traitors like Dianne Feinstein and Michael Bloomberg are that reason.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gun Control vs the US Constitution

If one forgets about exquisitly parsing every word and punctuation mark in the Constitution and Bill of Rights and instead looks at the surviving records of what the Framers and the ratifiers in the state legislatures said it meant, it is clear that the purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to preserve the people's ability to engage in armed insurrection.

The Federalists claimed there was no need for a Bill of Rights, that in fact enumerating some rights endangered those not enumerated. They claimed that there was nothing to be gained by enumerating the rights protected by the Bill of Rights precisely because there was nothing in the Constitution which authorized the government to infringe those rights.

Imagine that: The very people who wrote the Constitution argued in writing, still preserved, that there was nothing in the Constitution they had written which empowered the government to prohibit ownership or carrying of military grade weapons.

So how can we be now arguing if weapons control of some kind is good policy or bad if it isn't even Constitutionally authorized?

The Founders had created a new country by armed insurrection. They explicitly wrote that they wanted and expected their descendents to engage in armed insurrection when necessary to preserve liberty, and said that they had delegated no power to the government to infringe the ownership of arms. Yet today we talk about good policy versus bad.

Allowing the conversation to continue on the topic of policy concedes the foundational issue: The Founders themselves said that gun control --and knife control-- are not authorized by the Constitution. Even repealing the 2nd Amendment would not empower the government to enact weapons control: it would take an amendment which explicitly empowered such acts. Even then, it is clear that the Founders believed that the inherent right to arms could not be taken away by government, only denied. The new tyrants don't want the Founders' writings to be discussed, and we are letting them get away with it.

The real issue about gun control is not whethor it is good or bad policy. The issue is that it is subversion of the Constitution: Gun control is treason.

(For numerous examples of the Founders' writings, see 'The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms' by Stephen P. Halbrook.)

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