Yesterday I was locked in the studio all day long, then had to go get the emission test on my Honda Element...sigh...you all know how that song goes, right? Boulder County, environmentally conscious place that it claims to be, as more SUVs-per-square-foot than a Hummer dealership. The inspection palace, OTOH, has five lanes for two-wheel-drive cars, which are always mostly empty, and one lane for 4/all-wheel drives, guaranteeing a nice long wait no matter when you show up. Mostly I just let the engine idle and spew hydrocarbons into the air, doing my part to head off the coming Ice Age.
USA Today ran their summary article on D.C. v. Heller, and all in all it's pretty good. They note, correctly, the effect of the BUSH SELL-OUT of gun owners:
The Bush administration's shifting stance on gun control has added political drama to the case.My friend Jim Shepherd did his own summary — as usual, excellent — in this morning's edition of The Shooting Wire:
Ashcroft's position seven years ago made him a hero to the 4 million-member NRA, which put him on the cover of its monthly magazine and called him a "breath of fresh air to freedom-loving gun owners."
The next year, in 2002, Justice Department lawyers said that any government regulation of gun rights should be subject to the highest level of judicial scrutiny, which would make it harder to enact gun laws.
Now, the Bush administration is siding with Heller in a"friend of the court" brief — but with a large caveat. Justice Departmentlawyers have backed off their earlier position and now say gun regulation should be subjected to a lesser level of scrutiny that would allow far more regulation than the 2002 stance.
The reason is explained in the first line of the administration's court brief: "Congress has enacted numerous laws regulating firearms." Current laws ban private ownership of machine guns and limit possession of firearms that can go undetected by metal detectors or X-ray machines. Laws also regulate the manufacture, sale and importation of firearms.
Vice President Cheney, a hunting enthusiast, broke with the administration and signed a brief with a majority of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging a high threshold for gun regulation.
Levinson believes the Justice Department's stance could appeal to most of the high court as well as the public. "I think laws that pass with genuine public support are likely to be upheld," he says.
Kairys, who has helped cities sue gunmakers for the costs of firearms violence, says gun-control laws could be hurt by any court finding of an individual right. If the court does that, he says, "It's going to be very hard to get any (gun control) legislation passed."
In just over two weeks, we’ll find out if the Second Amendment is a basic tenet of this nation, or a dead letter leftover from simpler times. At this point, I’m not putting money the idea of the Second Amendment being as important as any of the others. That’s because the Supreme Court keeps giving what appears to be an inordinate amount of credence to the amicus brief filed by the Solicitor General of the United States.I think George Bush's legacy will be worthy of the man he's proven himself to be...a steaming pile of cow crap in a Texas field.
In that brief, Solicitor General Paul Clement says that while the Second Amendment states a valid and individual right, it is equally appropriate to put commonsense regulation into place. Those “commonsense regulations” incidentally, would include background checks, bans on “certain types of weapons” (presumably only those he believed to be too-large, too-small, too-loud, too-quiet, too-powerful, and of course, those available to average citizens), and other ideas that seem sensible to someone who holds the core belief that the average American is too-stupid to be trusted.
The fact that President Bush didn’t demand the S-G’s resignation, denounce him publicly while ordering the Justice Department to file another brief and then apologize to the gun owners of America only proves the only thing on his mind these days is (as is the case with lame duck presidents) his legacy. That legacy thing has been the downfall of many pretty good presidents. Unfortunately, it may mean the downfall of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, but that’s still a crap shoot with eight men and one woman rolling the dice for the rest of us.
Of course you already know that Montana has thrown down the gauntlet...this from the Washington Times:
Montana officials are warning that if the Supreme Court rules in the D.C. gun ban case that the right to keep and bear arms protects only state-run militias like the National Guard, then the federal government will have breached Montana's statehood contract.I figure at the very least Wyoming will follow suite, so at least when the Civil War starts, I won't have to move far and I'm already used to the winters!
Nobody is raising flags for the Republic of Montana, but nobody is kidding, either. So far, 39 elected Montana officials have signed a resolution declaring that a court ruling of the Second Amendment is a right of states and not of individuals would violate Montana's compact.
"The U.S. would do well to keep its contractual promise to the states that the Second Amendment secures an individual right now as it did upon execution of the statehood contract," Montana Secretary of State Brad Johnson said in a Feb. 15 letter to The Washington Times.
I do like this hand-wringing commentary, originally from the New York Smear...er, Times, I believe. This link is from Seattle:
"I shot a banded duck," said Hillary Clinton.Finally, in a desperate attempt to pretend that the Republicans care about us, the Department of the Interior is revising rules on carrying guns in national parks. This from the NRA:
Who says we have heard everything there conceivably could be to say from the presidential candidates?
There is something about an election year that makes politicians start bragging about how many furry or feathered critters they've killed. Otherwise, God forbid, voters might think they were interested in doing something about gun control.
So far, the most memorable gun comments during this campaign have been:
"I'm pretty sure there will be duck hunting in heaven, and I can't wait." -- Mike Huckabee
"I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." -- Mitt Romney
"I've always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints if you will." -- Mitt Romney, amending the record once it was pointed out that he had never had a hunting license.
"Maybe he can get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his yard." -- John McCain
"My father taught me to shoot 100 years ago." -- Hillary Clinton
This last, which we believe to be a slight exaggeration, came last week in Wisconsin. At another stop, when someone asked about gun control, Clinton told a story about how she went duck-hunting when she lived in Arkansas, and how the rest of her group, all male, made her shoot first in an effort to embarrass her.
Thence followed a happy ending for everybody except the duck.
The current regulations on possession of firearms in national parks--which generally prohibit possession, carry or transportation of loaded or uncased firearms--were proposed in 1982 and finalized in 1983. Similar restrictions apply in national wildlife refuges. It is now time to amend those regulations to reflect the changed legal situation with respect to state laws on carrying firearms.Finally finally, this great piece from John Stossel on Real Clear Politics:
The effect of these now-outdated regulations on people who carry firearms for self-protection was far from the forefront at the time these regulations were adopted. As of the end of 1982, only six states routinely allowed average citizens to carry handguns for self-defense. Now, 48 states have a process for issuance of licenses or permits to carry firearms, and 40 of those states provide the opportunity for average citizens to legally carry firearms for self-defense.
It's all too predictable. A day after a gunman killed six people and wounded 18 others at Northern Illinois University, The New York Times criticized the U.S. Interior Department for preparing to rethink its ban on guns in national parks.Oh yeah, check out the ZOMBIE TARGETS (above), and thanks to the inimitable Don Worsham for the link!
The editorial board wants "the 51 senators who like the thought of guns in the parks -- and everywhere else, it seems -- to realize that the innocence of Americans is better protected by carefully controlling guns than it is by arming everyone to the teeth."
As usual, the Times editors seem unaware of how silly their argument is. To them, the choice is between "carefully controlling guns" and "arming everyone to the teeth." But no one favors "arming everyone to the teeth" (whatever that means). Instead, gun advocates favor freedom, choice and self-responsibility. If someone wishes to be prepared to defend himself, he should be free to do so. No one has the right to deprive others of the means of effective self-defense, like a handgun.
As for the first option, "carefully controlling guns," how many shootings at schools or malls will it take before we understand that people who intend to kill are not deterred by gun laws? Last I checked, murder is against the law everywhere. No one intent on murder will be stopped by the prospect of committing a lesser crime like illegal possession of a firearm. The intellectuals and politicians who make pious declarations about controlling guns should explain how their gunless utopia is to be realized.
While they search for -- excuse me -- their magic bullet, innocent people are dying defenseless.