Thursday, July 15, 2010

I Can Haz Guns

And when I feel my finger on your trigger

oh yeah!

I know nobody can do me no harm

oh yeah!

--Happiness is a Warm Gun,

The Beatles

Surely there shall not one of these men

of this evil generation see that good land
which I swore to give to your fathers

--Deuteronomy 1:35

We perceive an image of the Truth

and possess nothing but falsehood

--Blaise Pascal


The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that Americans in all 50 states have a constitutional right to possess firearms for self-defense (
McDonald v. City of Chicago).

U.S. citizens now have a court-mandated right to do exactly what what our Federal government does in the name of defense: We have an inalienable right to shoot others. It's official: We now have a license to kill in in self-defense -- not a news flash to those who have seen Charlie Bronson or Clint Eastwood movies.
(It seems Afghanistan arrived at this moment somewhat in advance of us.)

This is an interesting decision as it removes the myth imposed on gun ownership since around 1940 that personal weapons were mainly for hunting purposes. This had became a national attitude following the gangster era and the sensationalized Valentine's Day Massacre.

On the wave of public outcry, the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) disallowed the citizenry from owning military-type weapons, and U.S. vs. Miller (1939) was the first address by the Supreme Court of the Second Amendment. The "sporting function" of weapons was becoming institutionalized.

In order to reflect that sporting standard, assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and sniper rifles were officially frowned upon. But in truth, firearms laws mainly covered only the cosmetics of weaponry: No high capacity magazines, no bayonet studs, no flash suppressors. Non-sporting weapons were still legal, though suspect.

Now, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the Founding Fathers by acknowledging that we can kill people with our firearms, be it rifle, pistol or shotgun; we may kill to protect ourselves. It follows that we are legally permitted to possess and carry non-sporting weapons.

Florida was avant-garde in this respect (though almost no others) when, under former Governor Jeb, we saw the passage of Castle Doctrine. This decision sanctioned the use of weapons against those who would trod uninvited upon a man's, um, castle.

You could shoot him, though the rules did not address whether one should shoot to kill. Nonetheless, he became fair game, changing the perception of fair game from those with feathers and fur to those lacking said cover.

It would be absurd to say that we have the right to defend ourselves via firearms unless we also have the right to bear those same arms.
The two concepts must necessarily co-exist to have practicability. This then has further ramifications.

If I have the right to defend myself with a firearm, how do the states justify forcing citizens to pay fees for their right to exercise their freedoms? Paying for the right seems alien to the concept of rights.

At least now I can legitimately own guns for the sole purpose of killing my fellow man, no longer having to justify the
rifle by my bed as a squirrel gun.
--by JIM

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Anonymous Choloazul said...

A couple of minor quibbles.

The 'castle doctrine' is not a law, it was never passed, no one named Castle was involved so the capitalization is unneeded, and neither Jeb nor any other Bush had anything to do with it.

It is a recognition that one's life may be forfeit when one violently attacks another inside their abode... a precept going back hundreds of years. Remember the front entrance to Viking homes?

More recently certain jurisdictions attempted to abrogate the fundamental right to self defense, by fabricating the 'retreat' requirement (which never bothered to explain whether the intended victim was supposed to turn their back on the attacker, or try to outrun them backwards).

The new set of 'Make my Day' laws push the pendulum back forcefully in the other direction by creating an 'irrebutable presumption' via legislative fiat.

And in any case, McDonald and Heller were essentially 14th amendment cases about equality that had to dispel a lot of myths about the 2nd before getting to the basic issue....

Which was, if Diane Feinstein, Rosie O'Donnell and so forth can have guns on their persons or premises, so can the folks in less affluent zip codes.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 12:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Friday, July 16, 2010 at 7:51:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."
--DH Lawrence

"He laid out the rifles, he loaded the shotgun,
He stacked up the cartridges along the wall.
He knew he would need them for his conversation.
If it went as he planned, then he might use them all."
-- Harry Chapin
"The Sniper"

There it is..

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 11:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, I am a little conflicted about guns. I do not want to shoot anyone or anything other than a copperhead or rattlesnake that I find in the yard or pasture. However, I am very uneasy with the thought of not having a weapon at all. If there is an intruder and I am alone in the house, I very well might leave by another door and call the police. However, if I have a family member in the house with me, I believe I would shoot the intruder. I might take a little chance with my own safety but could never take a chance with another's safety.

Having said this, the most important thing in this hypothetical case is KNOWING that there is an intruder. That's the tricky part. Your own weapons are useless when you wake to find the knife across your throat.

I suspect you agree with most of what I've said. You and I might also agree that we wonder why some among us feel the need to possess military-grade weapons and/or feel the need to be armed when they attend their children's athletic practice, ballet lessons, or trips to the library - or a political speech.

I am baffled by what I perceive as a rather prevalent desire to kill someone.


BTW, as I do not PLAN to kill a person, I do not own a handgun.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 2:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

No worries Jay...

As Choloazul pointed out the issue is more about "self defense for all"

Despite having been around guns mt entire life I currently do not own nor have no plans to...I feel I do not need them to defend my house or my loved ones.

As far as I know ( and I am in a position to know) Rosie O'Donnell and Senator Feinstein do not own guns either as do a majority of citizens in the United States for that matter... so you are in good company.

Should the day arise where the apocalypse be upon us and right wing militias seek to assassinate me and my family because of my political views Well then....I might change my mind. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, o.k. I thought I might just have a blunted sense of self-preservation or be plain stupid because "fearful" is not a common emotion for me. Well, except when I think rattlesnakes or copperheads be lurking 'bout in the rock walls (makes my ankles feel all odd and about to be bitten).

I said I did not own a handgun. I definitely have a favorite 16 gauge and in case I need to shoot a rhino or something I have a 12 gauge. :)

Jay in N.C.

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 4:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The GTLā„¢ said...


Keep your powder dry :-)

Friday, July 16, 2010 at 5:47:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm glad that you've overcome your depression.
FYI. I doubt that a 12 bore will/would bring down a Rhino. Even with slugs. BUT, if you happen to pull this off then save some of the horn for me, as i hear it can stiffen things up a bit.
As a former Boy Scout i find it prudent to stay prepared. I have no desire to kill anyone, but i will protect myself.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 11:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ranger Hazen,
You did not state the complete rationale for not having guns to protect yourself.
I suspect that you can do so in unarmed mode, and be comfortable in so doing.
I do not have a carry permit, nor do i like kill your neighbor weapons, but my point is that the 2nd amendment is not about hunting.
Also, we fail to discuss edged weapons when discussing the 2nd. It says to keep and bear arms, which means axes, swords and big knives to include switch blades. But alas, these are legislated.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 11:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


[1] Ranger capitalizes titles as a stylistic preference.

[2] The "Castle Doctrine" [SB-436] was passed unanimously (3/23/05) by the Florida Senate; by a vote of 94-20 (4/05/05) in the House.

4/26/05, then-Gov. Bush signed SB-436 into law (Chapter No. 2005-27), which took effect 10/01/05.

[3] Yes, "castle law" is a reiteration of English common law. But as you know, even though no new ground was trod, this is the way precedents are set.

[4] At issue in McDonald:

Whether the Second Amendment is incorporated into the Due Process Clause or the Privileges or Immunities Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment so as to be applicable to the States, thereby invalidating ordinances prohibiting possession of handguns in the home.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 12:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Like you,

"I am baffled by what I perceive as a rather prevalent desire to kill someone."

This was mistakenly posted under my name, but it was actually Jim's.

Mea culpa (and I typed his name @ the conclusion ATF.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 12:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa... Yeah, when I later saw JIM at the bottom of the post, I realized something had gone awry but figured it was me - it usually is.

Ranger... My shotgunning abilities are awesomely lethal when I'm stalking the great Southern Appalachian rhino! Now that all the elephants have been killed out, I occasionally take a rhino. I'll keep you in mind. :)

Field dressings make me unhappy because my old Dad and both brothers carried them. Everybody has a little horror they carry around and sucking chest wounds are mine. Internal abdominal hemorrhage worries me but sucking chest wounds scare the hell out of me. I've glady spent the past 15 years not dealing with such and would be even happier to never hear of them again. I like to leave my anxieties and nightmares sitting by the roadside all by themselves while I amble on and put energy into forgetting with only the rare sweaty, clenched fist dream to remind me. :)

Jay in N.C.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 12:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Choloazul said...


One of the Bushes also signed something called the Patriot Act... it didn't set a legal precedent on patriotism either


The Florida law was copycat legislation with a copycat name, and it merely brought Florida into line with the long extant castle doctrine precedent already in place.

In both Heller and McDonald the Second Amendment was treated as a given, and arguments to the contrary were dismissed or debunked, but the ruling was that equal access to means of self defense was an equal right.

Alito, Thomas and Scalia all made that clear in their opinions.


As I said, just minor quibbles, sort of a fetish of mine to line up all the pieces facing the same way.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 6:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thanks for your attentiveness.

Yeah -- precedent-setting it was not. Wrong choice of wd. ... more like a re-iteration of what already was.

Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 7:19:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

IF all the pieces are lined up and facing the same direction, then you have no rear or all around security.
I acknowledge your comments, and appreciate your participation on RAW.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 8:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I too am conflicted about guns, but what's a poor boy to do?
Either we're free or we're not, and i feel we are tilting sharply to the not side.
Guns are not the problem NOR are they the solution. My bottom line is that if the US of A wanted me to kill people with assault rifles , then they should trust me and allow me to have one for my personal use. This is said realizing that i can pay a 200.$ tax to allow me to buy a automatic weapon, to include a belt fed machine gun.
Strange that we have to pay to exercise our rights.
I do not like nor endorse the kill your neighbor attitude in the gun mags. I'll throw Soldier of Fiction in there with the gun mags. I do not and would not join the NRA as i see them as suck ass as the politicians that they wine and dine.
I do not shoot snakes UNLESS they are in my immediate yard. I consider this to be professional courtesy.
I do not hunt,and to tie things together from field dressing. The last time i killed a deer i gave it a sucking chest wound and the sound was too much for me. That was in 1980 or 81 and i don't kill for fun.
I can never understand the photos in the gun mags of guys posing next to their kills. This makes me think that they must have awfully small and fragile peckers.
I'll await the rhino horn powder.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 8:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Let the personal defense arms race begin! Personally I don't feel safe on the streets with anything less then a small tactical nuke.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 10:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Small tac nucs are good for self defense b/c you can hide them as a suppository.

Sunday, July 18, 2010 at 11:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous RangerHazen said...

Dearest Jim,

My complete rational for not having guns is intestinal fortitude...

It takes more guts to love than to hate Ranger Brother and I am sick of hating anything other than ignorance and fear.

Anyone can pull a trigger but yet few are called that have the courage to truly love thy neighbor.

Blame Aikido and the Buddha within for my attitude if you like.LOL

Monday, July 19, 2010 at 12:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

As Canned Heat said in the 60's-you can find love, even in a guitar. Maybe in a gun??
Now i know why i avoid California.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 9:46:00 AM GMT-5  

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