Can The U.S. Government Take Your Guns?

Sen. Feinstein will soon propose that so-called assault weapons and “large capacity feeding devices” currently in the hands of gun owners cannot be transferred after her law becomes effective. From what’s been written and discussed, transfers would include both inter vivos (between living people) transfers, like sales and gifts, as well as transfers upon death, such as by will or “intestacy” (dying without a will). There are also proposals in state legislatures empowering state governments to ban and seize all “evil’ guns and magazines currently possessed by private parties. While not in the Feinstein proposal, seizure remains an issue that makes our blood run cold . . .

The possibilities raise the question whether any government can seize or “restrain the alienation” – prohibit transfers — of firearms and rifles without paying the owner or heirs some form of compensation. I suspect that the Supreme Court may have to face this question at some time in the future, so we might as well try to figure out the answer for them right now.

Eine Kleine Backgroundmusik

The subject matter of this brief post – condemnation and confiscation — has been the subject of hundreds of cases and treatises running to many thousands of pages. This area of law cannot be covered fully or perhaps even adequately in a short article. However, it’s fair to say that government has the power to take private property for public use. This rule goes back to England, where all property belonged ultimately to the King. It was called dominium eminens, or as it’s called today, eminent domain. The process of taking private property is called “condemnation.” Almost everybody has heard these words and phrases.

In colonial America, land was often taken by government for roads and bridges, and the owners were given nothing. Nada. Niente. Bupkis mit kuduchas.

In one case, land was seized from a colonial farmer to build a toll bridge, which wasn’t uncommon in a world where all land belonged to the King. The property was taken at musket-point since the farmer was offered no compensation and would not have accepted compensation even if offered. To add insult to injury, the uncompensated owner was then required to pay for the privilege of passing over the bridge in order to traverse his own property. The colonial governor didn’t even give the poor bastard an E-Z Pass.

The Founders didn’t like that. What they did like was private property, and they were dedicated to the proposition that the government shouldn’t be allowed to take it without restrictions. So, they put the Due Process Clause into the 5th Amendment. It reads:

“No person shall . . .  be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . .”

The 5th Amendment did not specify the nature of the due process owed to a person who had been deprived of property. The Founders believed that what constitutes due process should be evaluated on a case by case basis. Due process might involve a hearing, a trial, state legislative action, an act of Congress or a combination of two or more of the foregoing. But whatever process was due, it was decided that people were entitled to it.

Due process is certainly important, but the Founders felt that due process alone wasn’t enough protection for life, liberty and property. So, the Founders smartly added the “Takings Clause” of the 5th Amendment, and it’s written so that government can’t just snatch a person’s stuff without so much as a thank you. Even the government has to pay. Here’s the clause:

“[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

The 5th Amendment was initially applicable only to the federal government. However, the Supreme Court has held that all of the 5th Amendment was “incorporated” by the 14th Amendment and binds the states.

Condemnation can be thought of as a forced sale, for a fair (“just”) price. The way it usually works is that the government condemns the property by judicial or other proceeding, and offers a price that it considers fair. Usually, the owner insists on a better price, and the game is afoot. The final price is resolved by negotiation or by a verdict.

Sometimes a government “takes” the property without paying the owner, and the owner brings a case against the government for compensation. That’s called “inverse condemnation.” Inverse condemnation cases usually revolve around a government regulation or order that has the effect of a taking, without any actual governmental appropriation of the property.

The basics seem fairly easy to understand, but they aren’t. Even a cursory reading of the Takings Clause instantly raises a whole bunch of questions and red flags. First, what is private? Second, what is property? Third, what is a taking? Fourth, what is a public use? Fifth, what is just compensation? 5th Amendment, five questions. There are a lot more questions, but those five are the big ones and while the questions may be obvious, the answers are anything but. As any good lawyer will agree, nothing can be assumed; everything must be proven. This is true for facts and doubly true for legal theories.

What Is a Public Use?

The “public use” question – really two questions, but they can be lumped together because of one case  — must be handled first, since without a public use there can be no condemnation at any price, no matter how magnificent the payment may be. Based on the far reaching case of Kelo v. City of New London, just about anything that the government wants to do, except violating the Constitution or its own laws, might be considered legitimate “public use” under the Takings Clause.

Kelo legitimized a greedy government’s taking of people’s homes – their castles — so that the property could be handed over to a greedy developer to build a shopping center that nobody else wanted. And what was the governmental purpose in Kelo? Money. The shopping center would pay more taxes than the homeowners who were being thrown out of their homes, so the homeowners had to go.

The much-despised Kelo case, which is widely regarded as a slap in the face to property owners, greatly expanded the ability of government to take property by eminent domain by expanding the meaning of “public use.”

In Kelo’s aftermath, it seemed that the Supreme Court had lost all respect for private property, but that’s not necessarily true. Kelo provided guidance for only one of the big five questions – ie., what is a public use? The analysis doesn’t end once the purpose is considered justified. Switch focus to some other cases and see how they answer the other three questions, and how they impact potential firearms and magazine laws.

What is Private?

You’d think that “private” means it’s owned by a human being or company and not by a government, but that’s not necessarily so. In the recent case of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. United States, the land that was claimed to have been taken belonged to an agency of the State of Arkansas. Normally, that would be considered “public property,” not private, rendering the Takings Clause inapplicable. Anyone who bet that way would have lost – the Arkansas property was treated as “private property” within the meaning of the Takings Clause.

Based on the Arkansas case and previous cases cited in it, it’s a fair guess that property not owned by the taking government and taken by that government from a person, entity or “lower” government is sufficiently “private” to trigger the application of the Takings Clause. Stuff in a private person’s gun locker clearly should qualify as “private.”

What is Property?

“Property” encompasses tangibles like goods and land. It also covers intangibles like patents, trademarks, development rights, profit expectations and contract rights. In other words, it’s a very broad category. It would be easier to list what isn’t property than what is.

It’s very well-settled law that property isn’t one right but a whole bunch of rights. This is called the “bundle of sticks.” To have, to use, to consume, to sell, to destroy, to give away, to leave to heirs, even to apply pink Cerakote to a Glock, all these “sticks” and others are part of the bundle. Owners have the right to prevent others from having, using, consuming, selling, destroying, giving away, leaving to heirs or applying pink Cerakote to the property. “Others” includes adverse claimants, trespassers, thieves, robbers, muggers and – yes — the government. A restraint on alienation would pull one of the sticks from the bundle. Seizure pulls them all.

What is a Taking?

There are situations where the government takes private property and is not required to pay for it. When the government seizes illegal narcotics, for example, no payment is due. When the government takes dangerous products off the market, it doesn’t pay any compensation. It’s exercising power to assure public safety, not the power of eminent domain. Or consider a structure, like a house, that has become unsafe. If the homeowner chose not to repair or replace it, then the property would be seized and the house demolished at the owner’s expense.

Such seizures in the interest of public safety are usually called “confiscation,” rather than condemnation. So, would restraining alienation constitute confiscation or condemnation? Would seizing the guns be confiscation or condemnation?

Let’s start with alienation. Pennsylvania Coal Co. v Mahon, a 90 year old case, muddles the issue for us. The case involved a regulation that limited what a coal company could do to mine its coal. The company’s land was not seized, but it was made subject to a strict prohibition against mining the coal because mining was likely to cause public harm. The Court in that case analyzed the magnitude of the loss in the property’s value and found that when a reduction by regulation reaches a certain point, the government must compensate for it, public safety be damned.

Does restraining alienation cross the line? Thanks to Pennsylvania Coal and other cases, there is no easily understood rule about pulling a stick from the bundle in the interest of public safety, thereby triggering a Fifth Amendment “just compensation” payment. The cases are all over the place, and often contradict each other while seemingly adhering to the principal of stare decisis that requires judges to stand by decisions and respect precedents. For example, New York’s “Landmarks” zoning scheme, which cost building owners billions in lost value without compensation, was upheld. A small city’s open space plan that cost a landowner nothing required compensation. The cases go back and forth.

All we know for sure is this; as of today, if there’s something taken in the interest of public safety that doesn’t reduce the value of the legal property to the owner by “too much,” whatever that means, then compensation isn’t required. Restraining alienation? Maybe it triggers just compensation, and maybe it doesn’t. Seizing the guns? That’s a whole different ball game. How could an outright seizure not require payment?

What is “Just Compensation?”

Assuming that compensation is required for both seizures and alienation restrictions, the question of how much might be the most challenging question of all. It is certainly the basis of more condemnation trials than any other issue. Inverse condemnation cases – where the first issue is whether there was a taking in the first place – are not all that common. True condemnation cases, where the government is alleged to have paid too little, are almost an everyday occurrence and very fractious.

The focus of just compensation is payment for the actual, real economic loss. And that loss must be proven, not just alleged. Surely, a father’s cherry AR, the scoped, accurized marvel with the heavy target barrel and Giselle trigger that he used to hunt hogs with his son, may have great sentimental value to the son. Likewise, the M1 Garand that granddad carried on D-Day is priceless to his family. However, sentimental value is not economic value. So what is the economic value of that prized AR or Garand? What is the value of a magazine that can only feed an illegal gun?

I don’t know.

Why Raisins are like Guns

Under a Depression-era law, raisin growers and packers are required to give – give! — the federal government a big share of their raisins every year. In 2002, the “reserve tonnage” was equal to 47% of the crop. Holy crop! And the government does not pay the growers and packers for the raisins. No, it just takes them for nothing. Nada. Niente. Bupkis mit kuduchas. There ought to be a law against the government taking private property without paying for it. Right?

Wait. The growers say that there is. It’s called the 5th Amendment. The government claims that there’s no taking, just a regulation for the good of the industry, to stabilize prices, and it’s okay for the big G to grab the growers by the raisins.

The growers brought an inverse condemnation case that found its way to the 9th Circuit. See, nuts and raisins do go together beautifully. Lawyers have argued for many years that the SCOTUS should have two dockets – one to hear cases from everywhere else, and one just to review and overturn every case coming out of the Nutball Ninth. In this case, the 9th Circuit held for the government, no surprise there, but the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.

Despite the fact that raisins and firearms having little in common, the case bears watching because the issues will be raised again if and when anaconda-like gun restrictions are foisted on the American public for their own good. Horne vs. USDA might be decided on narrow procedural grounds, or it might define once and for all when a taking is a taking.

Conclusion

Does the Feinstein bill make more sense now? She did not propose a seizure of guns because a 5th Amendment taking of maybe 200 million guns would cost the government perhaps $80 billion or more in compensation and billions more in infrastructure and enforcement. It might also cost lives. There are people who treasure their guns and independence and would violently resist confiscation. Restrictions, on the other hand, may cost nothing, and the people affected by the restrictions won’t have any beef until they’re dead.

Feinstein’s bill is an obvious end-run around not just the 2nd Amendment, but also the 5th. She did us no favors by grandfathering the guns. She screwed us, and the Constitution.

No taking that violates the Constitution, even one that richly rewards property owners, can stand.

So along with the 5th Amendment issues, SCOTUS will need to decide whether the taking of firearms, or one of the sticks in the firearms bundle, violate 2A. It’s likely to do so in the fullness of time, maybe after the pro-2A judges die off and are replaced by the President’s hand-picked sock puppets.

130 Responses to Can The U.S. Government Take Your Guns?

  1. avatarRob Pincus says:

    Confiscation would be an amazingly bad idea.

    • avatarSaul Feldstein says:

      Australians said the same thing.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        This is not Australia. Not even close.

        • avatarMr. Pierogie says:

          True story: my sister went from NJ to Melbourne on a little vacation about a week ago. She stayed with her friend who works at this fashion store outlet. They went to the store together, the friend stayed because she had to work and my sister left. On that very day the store was robbed at gun point. Fortunately nobody was hurt. But it just goes to prove that no amount of anti-gun laws will prevent criminals from obtaining guns. Here’s the article describing the incident:

          http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/armed-robbers-terrorise-staff-at-broadmeadows-fashion-store/story-e6frf7kx-1226545081415

        • avatarSaul Feldstein says:

          Give it a few more years, under a regime whose priorities are gay marriage and gun bans.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Saul, your kind of selective support for the rights of American citizens is exactly what we’re facing in the assault on the 2nd Amendment.

          I see absolutely no difference between Feinstein attempting to dictate what firearms I can and can’t own, vs. someone like you telling me that double-digit numbers of my friends are not entitled to equal treatment under the law because the person they love is the same gender as they are.

        • avatarpat says:

          What about polygamy? Homosexual marriage is not the same as gun grabbing. But many are irritated by what they see as a redefinition of an ancient historical institution that is seen as a societal benefit designed for the creation of and raising of offspring by the primary parents who are of different and complementary genders.

    • avatarStephen says:

      …and painful. I’ve no idea WHO would want to knock the doors on that op.

      • avatarJustin says:

        In a straw poll of my small town PD as well as the State Patrol guys and Deputies I see on a fairly regular basis, I have not found one person who would confiscate. Everyone agrees that if that day were to come, that’d be the day they’d turn in their badges.

        Granted, we’re all gun guys (and gals) ourselves, but I’d like to think that maybe with the exception of the west-coast, east-coast, and Chicago-area cops, this is the consensus of the patrol officer nationwide…

        • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

          “they’d turn in their badges”

          …and how will they pay their mortgages?

        • avatarmatt says:

          Ask those same people how many guns they’ve “taken off the street”. I’m sure you’ll find that they’ve all grabbed guns from Americans in the past, for no other reason than a politician told them to. Or try to find out how many cops resigned after the mass gun grabbing which happened during Katrina.

        • avatarLawdawg says:

          They’ll do it because they’re paid to do it. Might not enjoy or do it with a lot of enthusiasm, but they will still be involved. But won’t happen without a coordinated effort by several agencies. Too big a task for local PD’s to handle alone. Would require too many resources unless they plan on completing over several years which I doubt.

        • avatarBob says:

          I talked to a Texas State Trooper at the 2A rally at the Capital and he didn’t want to answer that question. That means he will obey orders to confiscate.

      • avatarCoyote Gray says:

        Well, their will be plenty of Pro2A people, who won’t risk the wife and kids by doing anything other then handing over their rifles. And then, you have those people like ARM, or COPBLOCK supporters. The ones who are a bit more….dedicated…and organized. Maybe thats a solution. Their are Pro 2A people who preffer an approach of passive-resistence. Those people can send their “black guns” to be housed in safes maintained by those Pro 2A people who are allot more… militant. When they come knocking, you reply:

        “Oh…my black rifle…yes, yes..you need to collect them? Ok officer. Please walk down the end of that dirt road over yonder. That compound over their. The one with 750 angry guys armed to the teeth behind miles of barbed wire. Yes..that one over their with the upside down American Flag. Me and many others on this road asked them to secure our rifles till you came by. It’s a service they offered for the reasoable price of all our ammo; you know..since we won’t need it anymore. They said to be sure to send you their way. Good luck”.

      • avatarWilliam says:

        I do, but I suspect I don’t know anyone who would stick with it for long. When the guys on either side of you bite the bullet, it’s time for a quick career evaluation.

        • avatarTaurus609 says:

          Actually I think it would only take a few Americans to stand firm and repeat the Waco debacle to get the grabbers and their servants (LE’s and the feds) to rethink going door to door demanding folks give up their guns! Yes they would win the battles, and kill (up until then) law abiding Americans. But not knowing which door they knock down would end up with someone handing over their property or which ones would light them up, might make them think twice about obeying an order!

      • avatarCoyote Gray says:

        Plus 100

        It’s why I can’t relate to present day conservatism. The party that purportedly champions the government staying out of people’s personal lives, and wrapping themselves in the blanket of civil liberties, seem extremely interested in what people do in their bedrooms or the choices women make regarding their reproductive organs. Lacks consistency and IMO, waters down our 2A message.

        • avatarAccur81 says:

          Maybe some folks are just a little concerned about tens of thousands of unborn babies being killed every year. Probably 100% of TTAG posters were a fetus at one point. If someone tries to hurt my unborn son, they are going to have a big problem.

        • avatarWLCE says:

          coyote, youre exactly right and it happens.

          my body, my choice. my wife expresses similar sentiment.

    • avatarRydak says:

      I can’t speak for all Police or Military (obviously) but I can speak for myself and the men and women I serve with. I personally know and work with hundreds of police officers. None that I have talked to would follow that order. And the convo has come up often lately. Im sure there would be some young fools who would be willing to follow any order. But those younger ones tend to look to the older ones for guidance. And I think that would be the linchpin for the death of this idea.

  2. avatarIn Memphis says:

    I think the US Government has basicaly proven that it can do whatever the hell it wants, as long as no one stands in opposition.

  3. avatarJon says:

    Well then, let’s ensure that a new AWB doesn’t pass.

  4. avatarCrazed Java says:

    Due to the legal questions involved, of which there would be many, Feinstein’s bill would have to go to the Judiciary Committee. The legal quagmire it would introduce would most certainly mean it would be in committee for an extended length of time and the obvious conflicts with recent Supreme Court decisions would make it difficult if not impossible for any such bill to be put forward for a vote.

  5. avatarUSMCVeteran says:

    They can try! It’s not a foregone conclusion that “they’re going to take pur guns”, grow up!

  6. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    If you own property the govt wants to build a road on, you will quickly discover the King’s confiscatory practices are still alive and well.

    Or, dont pay your property tax and find out who really owns your land.

  7. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Thanks for the explanation, Ralph.

  8. avatarThomas Paine says:

    nice writeup bro

  9. avatarBill says:

    This reminds me of an e-mail exchange I had with the morally bankrupt Thom Mannard of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. I asked him this question and the anti – freedom reply is they will declare the firearms to be dangerous devices, he likened them to asbestos, thereby freeing the gov to round them up without any compensation. I don’t know if this tactic will work, but he claimed that is their plan.
    Thank – you Ralph for this article.

  10. avatarLow Budget Dave says:

    In my opinion, the government has not only the right, but also the responsibility, to regulate gun sales. Yes, we do have private property rights, but we also live in a democracy.

    The phrase “tyranny of the majority” was invented to describe the loss of rights of minorities. In this case, gun owners are the minority. If the majority decides that you have no right to sell your guns without a background check, then you have no right to sell guns without a background check. That is how “rights” work.

    • avatarGabriel says:

      You are wrong about us living in a democracy. We live in a democratic republic, which has rules, i.e. the Bill of Rights, to protect the rights of people who may at times find themselves in the minority.

    • avatarCrazed Java says:

      Legal scholarship would argue that being a minority is not a reason for taking away someone’s rights.

      To argue otherwise would be ignorant of many historical cases. Unless you’re a fan of the Dredd Scott decision?

      • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

        Java: I did not say I was a fan of it, I just said that it seems to be the government’s responsibility. As you say, it is the government’s responsibility to do it in a way that respects the rights of the minority, but not at the expense of everyone else’s rights.

        I doubt that the government is going to claim that gun ownership is the same thing as slavery. That seems like a losing argument, even to me.

    • avatardon says:

      More like how wrongs work, am I right?

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      Our governments do not have rights. They have powers, which the people and the constitutions have delegated to them.

      Furthermore, even if the majority and the government infringe on a right it’s still a right. My constitutional right to free speech doesn’t disappear even if the government goes rogue and bans a book I write.

      So, get bent. You sicken me.

      • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

        MB. That is one reason why I put the work in parenthesis. As far as your personal opinions, I consider you to be a juvenile Nazi with attention deficit problems. So your opinions matter to me pretty much not at all.

        • avatarbenjohnson says:

          Low Budget Troll, you sicken me as well.

          “We ask not your counsels or your arms.
          Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
          May your chains set lightly upon you,
          and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

          Keep licking, you’re doing a great job.

      • avatarPhil Leone says:

        Please read HR. 347.
        The areas of possible abuse scare me!

        Whenever there is a a peaceful protest, all the Government has to do is send a Secret Service agent to the scene and it has to stop or all can be arrested.

        An end run around the 1st Amendment!

    • avatarqajaqon says:

      The Second Amendment is the law. I will sell or give it away at the interest of my choosing.

      She(DiFi) may have skirted the issue of property and confiscation of firearms, but, she fails to see that the 2nd Amendment takes firearms out of property realms and places it in responsibility and rights for the protection/obligation of self/individual and community. This is not a property issue.

      Nous Defions
      De Oppresso Libre

    • avatarWLCE says:

      “In my opinion, the government has not only the right, but also the responsibility, to regulate gun sales. Yes, we do have private property rights, but we also live in a democracy.”

      we live in a democratic federal representative republic, not a pure democracy. the minority is protected from the majority in a republic. we also have the 2nd amendment, which is as equally important as the other amendments.

      “The phrase “tyranny of the majority” was invented to describe the loss of rights of minorities. In this case, gun owners are the minority. If the majority decides that you have no right to sell your guns without a background check, then you have no right to sell guns without a background check. That is how “rights” work.”

      in a pure democracy, which is the antithesis of our country’s principles. the united states was founded on the principle of protecting the minority from the majority. if you dont like it, then too bad. that is how our system is supposed to be. and gun owners are not a “minority”. there are 270 million privately held firearms in the united states (and that is a undershoot).

    • avataruncommon_sense says:

      Low Budget Dave,

      We live in a Constitutionally Limited Republic with democratic representation. We do NOT live in a democracy. Democracy is plain and simple mob rule. The problem with democracy is that minorities have no rights whatsoever.

      In a Constitutionally Limited Republic, democratically elected representatives can pass whatever laws or policies they want up and until the point that those laws and policies violate anyone’s rights — even the rights of just one person. This prevents the masses from taking away all the money of the 1000 richest people — or even the 1000 poorest people — in the U.S.

      • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

        Uncommon_sense: You are exactly right. I tend to use shorthand terms in these blogs, and I sometimes get short with people who assume everyone who disagrees with them is a fool. I might have a misinformed belief that the government will never confiscate guns, but I am not a fool.

        Anyway, the phrase “Tyranny of the Majority” did not gain in popularity until de Tocqueville used it to describe Democracy in America. He knew the difference between Democracy and a Republic, but he used the terms as shorthand to describe the loss of rights by the minority.

        Anyway, as you point out, the rights of minorities are protected in the United States by law, and those laws are enforced, more or less, by everyone who takes their oath of office seriously.

        More to the point, organized and vocal minorities are rarely deprived of their rights without due process. This is known in public choice theory as “narrow interest collective action.” The idea is that political interests that are narrowly focused get better treatment than diverse interests that are spread out over a number of issues. It is part of the reason why the NRA is more effective than, for example, the Sierra Club.

    • avatarjwm says:

      So if the majority decides women have no right to vote that’s the law? How about slavery, if it’s decided by the majority?

      Every statement low budget dave and mikeyb makes shows their true colors and why we gun owners have to fight them tooth and nail to deny them their agenda.

      The constitution and BOR protects the rights of the individual, not the mob.

    • avatarMilsurp Collector says:

      Man oh man, the 20th Century Dictator’s Club would’ve just loved to have you at the poker table. You’ve really outdone yourself this time.

      • Milsurp: A dictator is someone with sole or absolute power. It doesn’t apply to the United States, because we were designed not to allow it. No matter what the NRA brochure tells you, we are nowhere near a dictatorship.

        • avatarWLCE says:

          a dictatorship? no.

          a failing state teetering on the bring of oligarch, imperialist corporatism? definitely.

          at least dictatorships can be easily discovered with a face being printed on it from the single individual in charge. corporatism? not so much. invisible shackles.

        • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

          WLCE: If it is Capitalism you are railing against, you are in good company. Corporations control the political process in the United States, and care little for individual rights.

          I don’t think corporations care about taking your guns away, though. They have easy access to your life’s savings through the banking process, and they don’t care much whether you are armed or not.

    • avatarBdk says:

      LBD: Your assertion that the majority prevails in law making are incorrect and anti-American. Apply your standard to other rights like suffrage, slavery, or civil rights and it fails. It is very easy to identify you as wiki scholar, nothing more. Low budget indeed.

      • BDK: The Phrase “Tyranny of the Majority” was never intended to be a compliment. It is certainly not the rule of law in the United States. Rather, it is a danger that we are supposed to avoid.

        We are actually supposed to protect the rights of minorities, not trample on them. Gun owners are no different, either as the minority or the majority.

  11. avatarPeter says:

    I am very concerned that a lot of the politicians and pundits spend all their time in echo chambers of like thinking people. There is a real disconnect between inside the beltway thinking and the rest of the US, the 99%.
    Things could get very ugly, quickly if some of the actions being considered come to pass.

  12. avatarGreg Camp says:

    As others have observed here, confiscation has a number of difficulties. This isn’t King Philip going after the Templars all in one night. There aren’t enough law enforcement officers and personnel in the military to grab the desired guns in one nationwide event. The news would get out to gun owners across the country. Instant communication makes any program of confiscation exceedingly difficult, so long as the people resist.

    And that’s the point. Kelo was a bad decision from the perspective of personal liberty, but so far, we’ve allowed it to stand. The key question is how long will Americans permit their rights to be infringed. We’ve been compliant for too long.

  13. avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

    I still think the most likely thing is a POTUS order instructing the BATFE include “assault weapons” and hi-caps into the NFA. Yes, that means the BATFE would have to get much bigger – has growing the bureaucracy ever been an issue.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Check your laws and regulations. BATFE can’t do that through their existing rule-making process. It would require an act of Congress to make such an addition to the NFA regulatory domain.

  14. avatarTom says:

    Very interesting read. Funny thing, but a family friend was involved in the Arkansas lawsuit mentioned above, and was explaining some of the ins and outs over dinner one evening. I hadn’t considered the implications for gun owners at that point, only that it was neat that this individual participated in a Supreme Court argument – something many counselors will never do in a long life of law practice.

  15. avatarTommy Knocker says:

    Lawyer BS…no disrepect Ralph. But I live in the real effing world. The govt can take anything it wants. Like the guns taken in New Orleans that to this day are held by the police and allowed to rust away in the salty air and heat of the south. While the govt has thousands of lawyers more than willing to litigate ad nausea even though morally repugnant if not downright immoral. The average working stiff has no money to compete in that game.

    When lawyers get involved I always remember that there were lawyers in Nazi Germany also. Seems not to have prevented the cremotoriums from running 24/7 did it?

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      They could take ‘em and it’ll take years for a court case to even be heard let alone decided upon. By then all the guns they took would be destroyed.

      Not to mention that they could just yell “COMMERCE CLAUSE!” and it’d magically be okay.

  16. avatarDouble D says:

    “Restrictions, on the other hand, may cost nothing, and the people affected by the restrictions won’t have any beef until they’re dead.”

    But what if the owner doesn’t die? If all of my firearms are owned in a trust with my kids as co-owners, could that be an end run around this legislation?

    • avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

      Interesting. Trusts are entities, no?

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I am also interested in the answer to this question. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it asked, but I have yet to see a substantive and credible answer. It may depend largely on how the law, if it passes, ends up being written.

      • avatarDouble D says:

        This is my guess, as well. I have a hard time believing that they’d miss this detail, but if it’s not in there… I’m hoping some resident attorneys can chime in and let us know.

      • avatarRalph says:

        It may depend largely on how the law, if it passes, ends up being written.

        Matt in FL is correct.

    • avatarBen says:

      I do some estate work and I’ve been thinking about getting into firearms trusts for this very reason. Ultimately however, trusts are legal fictions that are highly regulated, and it is pretty likely that if they can push this legislation through, they will make sure these kind of trusts don’t act as a loophole.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        Not sure I agree. The gun confiscators are playing the big game — they want to change the behavior of society as a whole, and do it by preventing acquisition of evil weapons from a certain date forward.

        If a proportionally small number of firearms, let’s say 1M, end up in trusts before the law kicks in, that’s nothing to the gun grabbers. You still won’t be able to buy new ones, and the vast majority of the guns in private possession WILL be subject to transfer restrictions. They still win, even if a small number of us find a way around it.

        • avatarBen says:

          I generally agree with you. They are playing the long game here. The kick-the-door-in gun confiscation that everyone knows will be so bloody isn’t going to happen. They want to make transfer and ownership impossible. If it takes a generation or two to do that, so be it.

          Who knows what shape the new laws might take. I’m just saying it is easy enough to gut the ability to create (or maintain) a firearms trust, so they might do that while they are at it.

          I don’t want anyone to construe this as suggesting a trust is a bad idea or that they shouldn’t put one in place. I think that at the moment, with the future unknown, it might be a wise choice. But also don’t assume it is ironclad.

    • avatarJake says:

      You’ll probably only get to see the text of the law after it’s passed and too late to do anything about it. Based on my understanding of trusts, the trust is dissolved upon your death and the assets contained are transferred to your beneficiaries. Then its “Gotcha” time. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

      With both the registration and transfer language included in the bill, they know when you die and will come knocking. Assuming you try to be a law abiding citizen, they are working very hard to make sure your descendents will not be allowed to have a God-given and “constitutionally protected” right to keep and bear arms. And its a really tough decision between making your children criminals or leaving them defenseless.

      If we can’t at a minimum get the transfer and registration language nixed, I don’t see how this country doesn’t descend into the kind of place I’d hoped I would never see.

      • avatarMatt in FL says:

        But that’s where your understanding of trusts falls short. I mean no offense. It’s just that that’s the difference between a “living trust” that someone gins up in Quicken in 15 minutes, and a trust designed to address multiple ownership situations. This becomes especially important in the case of NFA items. If the trust is written correctly, then it’s not a case where, as you said, my trust is dissolved and the assets are transferred to you, an individual. Instead, it’s a case where you and I are co-trustees, and in the event of the death or incapacitation of one of us, the other becomes the sole trustee, unless and until such time as he chooses to name a new co-trustee. In this way, the trust can “live on” after you’re gone. In the case of the trust containing NFA items, you need to ensure that the trust addresses the issues specific to those items. For instance, what if your sole remaining beneficiary is a minor, or lives in a state where those items are illegal to possess? If the trust doesn’t prepare for that eventuality, it can cause a huge mess for those you leave behind.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Even better, NFA trusts are not limited to NFA items. (hint, hint) I wouldn’t go putting, say, a thoroughbred horse or a bronze sculpture into an NFA trust, but anything firearms-related should be fair game.

          As always, check with your lawyer, and if possible let him/her know exactly how you’ll be using the trust so they can craft it appropriately.

        • avatarMatt in FL says:

          Certainly, AG, they don’t have to be NFA items. I know a couple people who have included a gold coin or two in their NFA trusts, so that if someone on the back end has to pay a transfer fee, the gold coin should cover the cost. I thought that to be very considerate of them toward their heirs.

        • avatarAlphaGeek says:

          Trusts, as legal entities, pretty much have to have their own bank accounts to be considered valid. I think my heirs would find it more considerate if the trust owned monetary instruments (cash, bonds, etc.) than the extra work involved in selling off precious metals.

          Besides, what happens when Elon Musk and his team round up an asteroid with a million kilos of gold and silver in it? :)

  17. avatarIke says:

    In Dianne Feinstein’s own words:

    “Feinstein said on CBS-TV’s 60 Minutes, February 5, 1995, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them . . . Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in, I would have done it.”

    “seizure remains an issue that makes our blood run cold . . .”
    Amen

    • avatarPascal says:

      She can say whatever she wants. The 1a even protects her if she lies or misinforms the public. As a politician they often say stuff to rally their base knowing damn well it makes no sense but it makes them look like they are tough on something.

      She is subject to laws and the Bill of Rights which she cannot sidestep.

      If we really want to get back at her, the SCOTUS as seen fit to allow PACs to use money anyway they please. There should be PAC to help kick her out of office with money used to support whomever wants to run against her.

  18. avatarDavid Walck says:

    It’s already happened, New Orleans during Katrina. The first time residents had seen law enforcement in days, they were only there to take the only defense the residents had.

    • avatarJustice06RR says:

      New Orleans is one place and it was during a calamity; What we are discussing is on a national level and with most law-abiding gun owners fully aware and on full guard/high alert.

      There is a Big difference. LEA’s will not be able to do the same, if at all.

  19. avatarBlake says:

    Government has already argued, in regards to Obamacare, that some plaintiffs have no standing to challenge the law, because the law has already been enacted. And the courts have allowed the argument.

    Anyone really think government won’t argue the same type thing, once a gun confiscation law is enacted and gun are confiscated?

    The bank bailout not supported by a wide majority of the population. Congress did it anyway. Obamacare enjoyed a whopping 60% to 65% disapproval rating, nationally. Obamacare was enacted anyway. Prohibition definitely did not have wide support. Again, enacted anyway.

    Anyone who argues gun confiscation won’t happen because it is unpopular is ignoring recent legislative history. Not to mention the fact that government already violates the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendment on a regular basis.

    • avatarTaurus609 says:

      I think that the courts threw out their claims, was because the law had NOT gone into effect yet, but I could be wrong….again!

  20. avatarstateisevil says:

    SCOTUS (Heller) already prohibits everything in her bill except registration. It was the flip (and good) side of the coin where Scalia threw full auto’s under the bus

  21. avatarTaurus609 says:

    And this is why all of us need to write, call, email, whatever to ALL of our state and federal senators and congresscritters. I don’t care if they are all democrats or republicans or a mix, contact them all. Don’t be fooled to think that if your rep is a republican you don’t need to contact them or if they are democrats it’s a losing cause to contact them. Even email the POTUS, whether you voted for or against him, email him and Biden. Don’t take anything for granted. Be polite but firm, we will not stand for our rights denied!

  22. avatarJ says:

    People have the wrong idea of past rulings made by government judges!

    Just because a judge says that the government is right doesn’t make it so in reality. Do you really think a government employee would not side with their co-workers? Look how police are treated when they do wrong.

    Just because they [government] redefine words and concepts for their benefit doesn’t mean you should follow along. This is why we have a jury of peers, but their minds must have independence, otherwise they will make the wrong decision because the judge will “instruct” them into a specific one.

    I don’t see how a past case will/should make a new one irrelevant and predetermined!

    Also how come the 14th is citied when the fact is the Constitution is a contract between the States. In other words the Law applies to all States in the Union because they are in that said Union!

    • avatarJ says:

      No one should accept this “incorporation” on the States by the Federal Government! You should not use that (incorporated concept) in your argument because this aids them [government] in taking away your rights and doing other things they are not allowed to. The States have a lot more “power” than the Federal Government, at least that was the plan, the Federal Government is supposed to protect your rights. Things are reversed these days, although the States are not protecting your rights as they have to.

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        You do realize that the SCOTUS decision to decide that the 2nd amendment is an individual right, and incorporate it so that it applies to the states, is one of the best things that’s happened to 2A rights in recent history, right?

        • avatarCZJay says:

          Do you know what a backhanded compliment is? The supreme court sure does!

          In other words. Incorporating rights (government coercion) as privileges through the written word [law] is bad, a human right is never in need of law to exist.

          Therefore using the opinions of the SCOTUS, as it pertains to the reach of the Federal Government, is not a smart way to protect your human rights.

          Yes they state the Second Amendment is a right, but they also state that the government can reasonably regulate this right, thereby contradicting the former into a privilege.

          This is why I will not use incorporation as a valid philosophy/concept/argument/reason. My rights were “incorporated’ in this world when I was conceived or (if you are one of those people) when my mother gave birth to me.

          I will not play the “end game” tactic, as my rights are not to be subjected to that. Additionally every game has its cheaters.

    • avatarMark says:

      This scenario I interpret as I would when I was in the military as an “unlawful order”. Act accordingly.

  23. avatarflboots says:

    Feinstein needs to read he oath of office. Tho UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES not kiss obama’s ass.

    • avatarnotI says:

      Not sure who’s kissing whose ass in that relationship.
      She’s been riding the anti wagon since long before Barry was in Law School….

  24. avatarBob says:

    So how does one start a speak-easy gun range? Gonna need a lot of sound insulation on those walls. Or more suppressors. Does a violin case fit an AR? Or maybe a trombone case?

    The gov’t can only make the guns illegal and try to confescate them…and they will fail at least in totality. I mean, how’s that War on Drugs working out? No drugs to be had anywhere, right, cause they’re illegal. Prohibition…how’d that work out? Gov’t had to change it’s mind or face internal war?

    Can’t I form an all denominationally inclusive religion and make firearms usage part of the religious practice and get some coverage from that 1st ammendment? Church at the range.

    Bob

    • avatarnotI says:

      A standard violin case WILL fit an underfoler AK….

      As for the church idea…. not bad…. it worked for L.Ron Hubbard….

  25. avatarCapt. Howdy says:

    The 2nd Amendment is there to protect you, your property and your countrymen from tyranny in all forms. I’d call the federal government trying to confiscate people’s guns as tyranny in the extreme. Don’t allow them.

  26. avatarSammy says:

    Rule of law if just about out the window. Hence stare decisis carries much less weight than it used to. Habeas corpus, due process personal property and the right to a speedy trial could be toast under NDAA.

    Not totally off topic, does anyone know the facts behind the Aug 1-2 1946 Battle of Athens Tennessee? Better yet, anyone left that lived through it at an age that would remember it clearly?

  27. avatarJon says:

    “Can The U.S. Government Take Your Guns?”

    According to Printz v. United States, the answer is “no” if your county sheriff forbids it.

  28. avatarnotI says:

    probably old and known to many of you, but:

  29. avatarMOG says:

    It is not so much what The Government can do now, but what they are setting up to do later. Any small inroad to our rights will eventually become a six lane highway. I remember in the 60s or early 70s, the slogan “Don’t help a good kid go bad, take the keys out of your car, lock it up”, that has been parlayed into “It is society’s fault” that criminals are criminals. It is just as easy, over time, to plant and take advantage of, “It is gun owners fault that people kill with guns”. Law makers are lazy, it is much easier to have a blanket law enacted/enforced than a case by case law. Outlawing murder even comes in degrees, 1st degree dead, 2nd degree dead, third degree dead, hate dead, as opposed to lovingly killing some one? Blue collar crime, white collar crime, going to prison for life after third offense for stealing a can of beans. Officials of The Government proclaiming themselves immune to prosecution. It is spread out and invasive, insidiously creeping in. Fuzzy law.

  30. avatarFeralRadiation says:

    Do “large capacity feeding devices” include my soup spoons? In all seriousness, if Feinstein or another politician tried to introduce a law that included the confiscation of firearms I doubt that it would include paying the owners the money they were owed. Furthermore, no law that resulted in mass confiscation of guns could ever pay back the liberty and freedom that would be taken from those that are being disarmed.

  31. avatarHeath R says:

    this sounded very similar to this lecture (note: about an hour and a half long): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yfy-O3AZ8o4

  32. avatarMark says:

    The only appropriate compensation for firearm confiscation would be a lifetime 24/7 personal security team for the individual and their family members. That would be about two dozen secret service agents for a family of four?

  33. avatarDerryM says:

    Here’s a link to an article “Gun Confiscation in 10 Easy Steps” by Steve Sheldon on “therightofway.net” referenced by “2ndamendmentright.org” that explains a scenario for gun confiscation, which is chillingly plausible:
    Gun Confiscation in 10 Easy Steps

    Just for your consideration in this thread.

    • avatarJustice06RR says:

      Half of those steps don’t even work. #1 and #5 among others. And #9, I’m sure gun owners will defend themselves from the gov’t, and also stick together. Gun owners turning against each other? More like gun owners defending against those who will attempt to take their guns…

      • avatarDerryM says:

        Thanks for your consideration and comments.
        Personally, I view #1 as plausible given the rhetoric of the gun prohibitionists, such as “Gun Nuts”, “The NRA Kills Kids”, “Gun Owners and the NRA have ‘blood on their hands”" , “No one ‘needs’ an ‘Assault Rifle’”, and so on as a conscious effort to demonize Gun Ownership.
        #5 is what DiFi and now VP Joe Biden are talking about when they propose National Registration of arms they intend to specify in their future Legislation.
        #9 is plausible because that, too, is a consequence of Laws regarding the National Registration scheme. Further, we have already seen “Hunters” oppose ownership of Modern Sporting Rifles and opine that an AWB would be “okay” with them.

        However, I see all this as merely plausible tactics, not an ironclad prophesy of things to come. Right now the discussions are heavy on speculation and light on facts, but it is useful to consider possibilities in order to prepare for whatever eventualities come along.

  34. avatarHal says:

    I hope this newer, shinier more restrictive AWB never passes. I resent the infringement on my personal liberty that this law would create, however that is the secondary or even the tertiary reason why I hope it never passes.

    I hope (pray) that I am wrong but I do not see some gun owners going quietly this time. Some folks, right or wrong, feel that they have already been pushed too far… and a renewed AWB would be an ideal spark. I can feel it in the air… like the coming of a storm. If that dark day came it would only take a few thousand working clandestinely to SERIOUSLY disrupt the government and kill a LOT of federal employees (including me).

    Then the question would be, what next? Ideally, we would collectively come to our senses and understand that Americans love liberty and depriving them of it is evil. But I don’t see that happening. I see the madness and the ego in the progressive left spinning out of control. I have a terrible feeling we would do a lot of “progressing” at that time.

    So as I said… I hope for EVERYONE’s sake that this never passes because at that point for some it would cease to be a legal matter. A small few will almost certainly contest this with violence and that will only beget more violence. Perhaps even civil war. I will sit patiently and pray for all Americans that our system of government is still strong enough to keep such an anathema from passing. We have enough enemies outside of our borders… we do not need to create more.

  35. avatarSanchanim says:

    Jesus Ralph awesome article. Now I don’t know whether to be shaking in my boots or not!
    In the end the government could do as they please, but unlike pre war Germany I feel that many will resist. If enough of the government confiscators pay from their actions, then public outcry will make it stop.

  36. avatarNelson says:

    My guess is, IF there is a sustained unrelenting political pressure from the pro-2A side, the most the gungrabbers will get out of the 2013 Gun Debate will be a national database of those adjudicated as mentally impaired.

    Sounds ‘good’ right?

    WRONG.

    This is the most dangerous trap. It’s been awhile since I read through the 2000+ page UnConstitutional nonsense that is the oBUSHma’Care’ but that’s how they intend to ‘register’ your gun. With O’care medical database.

    Sure, as some of you may know, there was a recently added provision that bars med. professionals from asking whether you own a gun or not. But that becomes moot, if for whatever reason they can declare you a danger to yourself, with or without the factual knowledge of gun ownership, as that determination is solely in their hands, not you. Don’t think it can happen? Ask the heavy-set TN prepper David Sarti, who was on Nat.Geo’s DoomsDay Preppers, what happened to his guns after he made a poorly worded Southern boy quip about life and death, to his cardiologist, NOT a psychiatrist.

    Seeing as how oBUSHmaCare is the ‘law of the land,’ for the time being, you’re ALL going to be in the govt database, whether you want to or not. Better yet, it’s ludicrous to think you’re not already in a layered/profiled govt database: um ever heard of the NSA monstrosity they’re building out in Utah, with our ‘money’?

    All these ‘bills’ are a formality, for the peons, when they merely want to formalize what they’ve always done. For instance, it’s bemusing watching liberals get all bent out of shape about GWB spying when oBUSHma’s continuation of warrantless wiretapping go far beyond what GWB’s regime did. But here’s the real kicker, everything illegal that NSA is revealed to be doing now? Clinton okayed ALL of it with Echelon programs (since US military is formally barred from spying on its citizens, Canada spies on US, US spies on UK, UK spies on Canada, Australia spies on Canada, etc and they all share the data. LOLOLOL! suckers!), and the Telecommunications Act of 1996 where Ol Blue-Dress stainer okayed those very NSA hubs in San Francisco ‘outed’ during GWB’s reign and blamed as ‘his’ program.

    Plus the New Year’s Eve signed warrantless spying provisions in FISA and the Patriot Act, we’re already in some shared govt database. Also does ANYONE buy the statement that NICS checks are destroyed, when it’s digitally done? It’s like ever heard of memory buffers? ROMs? Scratch disk space?

    Plus, under the Patriot Act, Federal agents delude they can write their own search warrants without ANY judicial review. UnConstitutional! you say? Ya, like that ever stopped Feds.

    Plus, any ‘honest’ psychologist/psychiatrist will tell you, their field is NOT a ‘science.’ Sure, specific stimuli often yield similar probable range of observably repeated human responses, but in traditional science, the experiment must be repeatable within a specific parameter, EVERY time. Even if it fails once, the model/experiment/algorithm is deemed a failure, period.

    Having stated such, just as the case of recent Mississippi prepper who was heading to see his USAF wife in Okinawa while stopping over in Hawaii, was detained by the TSA, despite having high level security clearance as a civilian DoD contractor because some errant local Mississippi DHS Fusion Center informant who tried to entrap local preppers spread rumors to put him on a watchlist, he eventually got put on the dreaded No Fly List.

    These ‘Lists’ are ALL UnConstitutional as they’re literally convicting you without judicial review, and if you get on it erroneously, via govt agent’s spite, or by clerical error, similar name, etc. you have NO established systematic WAY of getting off it, unless you know someone in govt, or are a public figure & are able to bring media attention to bear.

    Luckily the Mississippi prepper had a buddy in USAF intelligence and his local prepper network made his case known to several radio stations and contacted Reps and Senators; that is the ONLY reason why he was okayed to pass through. But no official statement or apology from DHS/TSA. And, there’s no guarantee that he’ll ever be flagged again.

    Don’t think that can’t happen to you if you’re trying to buy guns, next time? Ex WH Chief of Staff now Mob-city Mayor Rahm ‘No Middlefinger’ ballerina Emanuel is already on record stating that if you’re on the ever arbitrary and UnConstitutional No Fly List, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun! Well, WhoTF says??

    That is the danger that we ALL face if the NRA ever acquiesces to a formal linkage of “No Gun Buy List” linked to oBUSHmaCare’s mentally impaired List.

    Seriously, you don’t trust these govt primates with the Budget, winning wars, Post Office, or Healthcare, or DMV, but we’re willing let the same morons adjudicate who is or isn’t “Crazy?”

    Y’all do recognize by now that most of District of Criminals’ gang of 535 are literally either clinically insane, and/or are sociopathic, right?

    So we’re gonna let crazy motherf*ckers decide who is… crazy, or not?

    NO Thank You NRA.

  37. avatarspeedracer5050 says:

    Be polite, be calm, be factual and make every shot count!!!

  38. avatarNarcoossee says:

    Back after the Katrina disaster, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin didn’t seem to have any problem with his police officers complying with his clearly unconstitutional order:
    http://www.infowars.com/new-orleans-mayor-admits-illegal-gun-confiscation/

    As history demonstrates over and over (and over and over), there exists a way-too-large percentage of the human population who will pretty reflexively snap-to the demands of authority figures.

    • avatarJustice06RR says:

      Did you even read that article? What happened was deemed unconstitutional:

      “Judge Carl J. Barbier presided over the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Barbier signed the permanent injuncation against the City of New Orleans. The city admitted the firearm confiscations carried out by Nagin and Riley were unconstitutional and illegal.”

      They were required to return all firearms seized. FYI the rest of the country will not so easily give-in…

  39. avatarCameron S. says:

    Here I was expecting the whole article to read: “No.”

  40. avatarRoadrunner says:

    The British attempt to seize colonial weapons in 1775, i.e., Lexington and Concord, was taken by the colonials as an act of war by their own government against them. It’s not seditious to remember this, it’s just American history.

  41. avatarpat says:

    Most of you have it wrong. It wont be waiting for superior force to show up at your door in a futile (and ugly) defensive scenario. It will be various offensive actions like arson, looting, bombing, vandalism, riot, massive civil and uncivil disobedience, etc…followed by (ultimately) killing and assassinations if the door to door Republic destroying programs by ‘Big Gov’ were to continue.
    I dont see it getting to that point, and thats why we gotta keep the pressure up to make sure that it never does.

    • Pat: So you are saying that gun-lovers are terrorists?

      • avatarpat says:

        I dont know what gun-lovers are…….I guess ‘lovers of guns’.
        I am talking about defenders of the constitution (which the 2nd amendment is the enforcement part of in regards to its ability to check future tyranny and the upholding of the other amendments which are checks on gov overreach).
        If they were going door to door, there would no longer be freedom, hence, no longer a Republic. Terrorist, Freedom Fighter, Insurgent (what the libtards called the IslamoNazi scum who murdered all those civilians in Iraq), Patriot, Rebel, dude in a red dress, ham sandwich. What you are called is up to what you are doing and why (or who is putting the label on you and why).
        Are you a liberal?

        • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

          Pat: Words have meanings. A “terrorist”, generally, is someone who uses violence to achieve political goals. They always think of themselves as “freedom fighters”, but the term “freedom fighters” implies that all else has failed. This is a rationalization.

          Just because you lost the election does not mean that you are an oppressed minority. It just means that you didn’t get enough people to agree with you.

          Anyone who resorts to violence just because they lost a fair election is a terrorist. It doesn’t make you a patriot. It makes you an evil person. It makes you a murderer and a traitor and worse. People here who try to justify treason by dusting off a few old Sam Adams quotes need to be careful.

          Sam Adams had good reason to advocate treason. The NRA does not.

          Next, will you be putting on your tinfoil hat and telling us how the election was “stolen”? Ugh. I can just feel it coming. If not from you, then someone else will type it in 3…2…1…

        • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

          I forgot to answer the last part. I am a liberal. I believe guns should be registered and owners should be background-checked, but that the government should never be allowed to confiscate.

          I believe that tax cuts do not pay for themselves, that scientific evidence tends to support global warming, and that the President was born in Hawaii to an American mother.

          I couldn’t care less what two consenting adults do behind closed doors, I don’t much care if the CIA taps my phone, and I don’t think the President should be able to order torture, assassination, or airstrikes on American citizens.

          I think both political parties are liars, and both are more interested in their own jobs than in doing what is right for the country.

          I believe the middle class is the backbone of the country, and every program that transfers money from the middle class to rich people weakens America. I usually vote Democrat because they tend to look out for the middle class, but there are exceptions.

          I own a gun or two, and they are properly registered, safely stored, and always pointed in a safe direction. If the government comes to confiscate them (they won’t), I will hand them over and ask for a receipt.

          Then I will vote against anyone who supported confiscating my guns.

        • avatarpat says:

          Dave, If ya voted for Barry then ya get what ya get (and I guess your happy with that). Barry Soetoro is a US citizen (I am no truther or tinfoil hat nutbag). You want bigger government getting more of your money and liberty (huh….wow), you got it. Tax and spend liberalism is insane and a global warming solution (even if man plays a part) like Kyoto would crush the economy. I believe the joining of the different sexes in the institution of marriage is superior for society because you have the creation of offspring and their being raised 24/7 with the complementary genders who are the biological parents (though I have no problem with civil unions that give homosexuals everything but equal adoption pick….as they have done great with special needs children). I have no problem with the three (TOTAL) dudes who were waterboarded or with Barry Droning the hell out of the Islamonazi monsters. The dear leaders parents (anarchy Annie and the commie Kenyan were real nasty America hating pieces of excrement as were many of his friends and associates. The issue is guns, however. You dont get Asymetrical (Gorilla) warfare, but ‘Big’ (and you want bigger) gov does. I dont want to die. So, if a group of traitors come to my door….nothing will happen because my guns will have been stolen a few days before the visit, and I was gonna call about the theft (I am just telling you how with my luck it would coincidently happen, not like I would do anything). Every time a ‘confiscation gone bad’ would occur and police/gov traitors would die, I would celebrate their death. And when a patriot dies by government hands…..arson, bombing, vandalism, riot…….and if the confiscation and patriot killings continue…….assassination and traitor killings. I dont think I would/could do those last two things (only celebrate) and hope it dont come down to that.
          Make no mistake, confiscation equals death to the Republic.

        • Pat,

          Although this board tends to use the Americanized term “gorilla” warfare, the usual term for the use of hit-and-run tactics by small, mobile groups of irregular forces operating in territory controlled by a larger regular force is usually “guerrilla” warfare.

          But to say that you know more than I do about it, you would have to know me. Maybe you are a CIA sniper or something, but I sort of doubt it.

        • avatarpat says:

          Asymetrical (Guerrilla) warfare is the reason they want the semiautomatic/magazine interface out of the citizens hands.

        • Pat: Guerrilla warfare is frequently waged by hiding among the civilian population to avoid capture. In 1906, Lenin wrote one of the most well-known papers about the tactics and effectiveness of guerrilla warfare.

          Although guerrilla warfare does not always involve terrorism, the two methods are frequently used together. Both seek to destabilize the government, but terrorists are more likely to strike at civilian targets.

          You are correct that by restricting military-style weapons such as high-capacity magazines, silencers, and bazookas, the government does intend to restrict guerrilla warfare, terrorism, and mass murder.

          I would argue that these are all terrible things, and that the government’s desire to restrict them is exactly the sort of thing I want my government to do.

          The only exception, I suppose, would be if the government turns against us, and we decide to rise up as a nation and overthrow it. There are about ten things wrong with this scenario, but I will just list the first three.

          1. If the government turns against us, we could simply vote them out of office. No murder is required.

          2. If the Army ever does come to take your guns away, don’t shoot at them. Not only will it tick them off, it will make you into the bad guy.

          I have yet to hear any real scenario where people think that guns will save them, but voting won’t. If the government manages to prevent voting, then all the guns in China (so to speak) won’t be able to restore that right.

      • avatarWLCE says:

        it depends on the perception of the combatants.

        the US government will view them as “terrorists” and “insurgents” but the sympathetic side will view them as “freedom fighters” “patriots”. Its been that way since the dawn of time.

        “low intensity” insurgency/asymmetric war is what it would be technically called from a military perspective.

        • avatarLow Budget Dave says:

          I always find it amazing how many people on this board immediately assume that the only way to stop gun confiscation is by assassination and terrorism. My first suggestion would be to get together and vote against people you don’t like.

          Then, if you lose the vote, you might consider just following the law and trying again in the next election. Also, if the majority of the American people disagree with you, you might want to consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

          People who are fighting against a repressive regime may consider themselves “freedom fighters”, but only if they are better than the people they are trying to murder. The Shining Path Guerrillas are not usually considered to be “freedom fighters”, even if they had won.

  42. avatarWLCE says:

    given that the most powerful war machine in human history couldnt pacify iraq and afghanistan, both smaller than california, blatant confiscations and infringements upon civil liberties would not result in favorable circumstances for the instigator.

    then again, that is why we have a 2nd amendment.

    purely from a military standpoint, though I am confident in a civilized, non-violent outcome. westerners have a tendency to underestimate non-violent revolutions.

  43. avatarJerryboy says:

    not only no, but HELL no!!! when they come for the guns, it’s time to use them!

    • avatarpat says:

      Just dont die in vain. I (odviously) understand your rage, however. Think OFFENSE and ‘live to fight another day’. Vandalism, riot, arson, civil (and non-civil) disobedience.

  44. avatarJ says:

    Wow, tremendous article, looking at a bigger picture than just guns. Thanks so much.
    One important point to emphasize is the value. Never mind the value the gov SHOULD pay for seizing gun. We don’t want guns seized; in that sense they are priceless. The gov might try to rationalize if they paid enough it’s okay. It is not now, never was and could never be okay to disarm people. This might be the first or only land to ever RECOGNIZE We The People’s rights, especially to be armed against malignant false “leaders.” NO tyrant want his “subjects” armed.

  45. avatarEd says:

    You do not know the value of a firearm until it has to be actually used to keep you safe or save your family and protect your family. In 2005 in southern Louisiana we had Katrina to deal with. The storm made my neighborhood a real mess. We had 8 weeks of looting , roaming gangs , and many home invasions going on. Many people who stayed here were assaulted and injured by people with guns and knives and clubs. The power was out and made it difficult for anyone to help us. The police were nowhere around to help with this situation. I had to face these people head on daily and I am thankful to this very day for my AR-15 and it’s 30 round magazines and all my ammo. I was able to keep these thugs at bay and keep my family and property safe until the police and national guard could help us and restore order until the utilities could be restored. Unlike Orleans parish, Jefferson parish did not infringe on our 2nd amendment and conficate our arms when they needed them most. The lawsuites are still being settled to this day for the families who lost love ones killed by looters after their firearms were conficated and they were left defenseless. You do not know what to is like to be in this situation until it is really happening to you , and then you realize the true value of a firearm not limited to government intrusion .

  46. GUNS . THEY SAVE LIVES AND THE USA ALONG MEANS IF YOU COME TO OVER TAKE THIS COUNTRY YOU BETTER BE READY TO BE PLANTED HERE .! AND IF YOU EVER DO COME TOO TAKE MY GUNS ! GOD BLESS YOU BECAUSE DIEING OLD SUCKS FOR SOME AND I DON’T ROLL OVER LIKE THE ONES THAT DO . LIKE THE ONES THAT DON’T WANT PRAY OR FLAGS IN A CLASS OR COURT ROOM YET ! WHEN SHIT HITS THE FAN THEM TYPE PEOPLE ARE UNDER YOUR TABLE THEN PRAYING AND WANT TO KNOW WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO .THEY MAKE ME SO SICK I WISH TO GOD HE WOULD TAKE ME HOME TO GET AWAY FROM THERE STINCH ! TILL IT HAPPENS TO THE CRYERS THEN ITS WILL BE TO LATE SOME DAY IF THEY DON,T PULL OUT THERE HEADS ! THE BIBLE SAY NO AND YOU DO IT IN FRONT OF HEM THE THINGS HE SAID NO TO AND YET YOU SAY YOUR A CHURCH WHAT EVER IN MOST CASES TO ME.PEOPLE ARE THE CHURCH CHRIST WORD IS THE WORD HIS LAW IS THE LAW BUT YOU PUT DOWN YOU HEAD ! SHAME ON YOU THAT DON,T HOLD TRUE TO THE REAL DAYS OF THE USA IN GOD WE TRUST AND THE COMANDS GOD MADE AND WHERE THEY SHOULD BE PUT AT.ANY DAM WHERE WE PEOPLE THAT KEEP THE USA SAFE .AND THEM THAT DON’T WE SHOULD MAKE A LAW TAKE THEM FISHING WHERE SHARKS ARE REAL BIG.GOOD BY .OH IF YOU DON,T LIKE WHAT SAID PLEASE WRITE IT DOWN AND ON BIG PAPER REAAL BIG AND THE ROLL IT UP AND REAL TIGHT .I’LL GET BACK TO YOU WHERE YOU CAN PUT IT EACH AND EVERY NIGHT .FROM WESS.

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