Daniel Payne (courtesy thefederalist.com)

“The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right—subject to reasonable regulation and control, of course, but individual nonetheless.” Daniel Payne, Sorry, But Owning A Gun Is An Individual Right [via thefederalist.com]

88 Responses to Quote of the Day: Close But No Cigar Edition

  1. Always “reasonable” regulation and control. Who determines reasonable? The same people who define “common sense?”

    • The word “reasonable” is the turnstile that leads to the top of the slippery slope. I’m really beginning to dislike that word…

      But regardless, the word “reasonable” does not appear in the 2nd Amendment. The words “shall not be infringed,” “keep and bear,” and “arms” appear, so the litmus test for any gun control needs to be:

      Does it infringe on the ability to keep and bear arms, as these words were defined at the passing of the 2nd Amendment. Keep clearly means to possess, bear clearly means to use. Looking at period-correct language of the day I honestly don’t consider “bear” to explicitly mean “carry”, however it is hard to bear arms in defense of yourself without carrying one around with you so I do believe “bear” covers carrying of a weapon in public. I also believe “bear” also protects ammunition for the weapon, which is glaringly ignored by the 2A crowd in my humble estimation. You can’t bear arms if you can’t fire them, yet taxes on ammo are not attacked nearly as harshly as taxes or limitations on the arms themselves.

      Now infringe is the key word. Infringe would mean to prevent one from carrying out the enumerated right, whether temporarily or permanently. So honestly that tells me that any regulation that delays or prevents me from keeping or bearing arms is blatantly unconstitutional, no matter how “reasonable” it is. NFA? Unconstitutional. Brady Act? Unconstitutional. SAFE Act? Unconstitutional. I could go on, but you get the point. I honestly don’t see FREE, INSTANT background checks as unconstitutional, though I disagree with them on principle that people deemed too dangerous to own a firearm shouldn’t be free to roam the streets anyways.

      I’m rambling…maybe I’ll just submit an article.

      • ErrantVenture11,

        You just touched on my pet peeve. While the Fourth Amendment allows for “reasonable” searches and seizures, the Second Amendment does not. As you stated, there is no wiggle-room. The Second Amendment says our “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. Period.

        If the Second Amendment stated that our “right to keep an bear arms shall not be unreasonably infringed”, we would have a much more difficult fight on our hands. Fortunately, it does not say that.

        • Exactly. Same idea goes with the argument that the 2A only protects the right to be armed in one’s home. Say what? Since when is the government party to what I do in the privacy of my home? I think they are getting the 2A crossed up with the 3A.
          What they are saying is akin to claiming you have the right to free speech, in your own home, but once you step into public, any regulation the gov wishes to enact is ok, since it seems reasonable to them.

        • @Paul G – along those same lines, where can anyone come up with the “in your own home” concept when part of the amendment also refers to the militia? You can have a well regulated militia, but only inside your own home, since that’s the only place you can bear your arms?

      • I’ll clarify my views on carrying in public as well. Seeing as bearing arms in defense of myself cannot be possible without having a gun on my person, carrying is clearly protected by the 2nd Amendment. This does allow for the government to regulate the manner of carry, so long as there remains at least one option of carrying that is not infringed. So a state can regulate or ban concealed carry so long as open carry remains 100% legal and not subject to pre-approval through permitting or other restrictions. The opposite is also allowable. But when open and concealed carry are at the same time subject to training, pre-approval, and/or fees, this is blatantly unconstitutional.

        I also don’t believe in a distinction between the types of arms for carry. Long gun, pistol, shotgun…whatever. Arms are arms. Maybe you allow concealed carry of pistols and open carry of long guns, and ban the opposite. Either way, it is my constitutional right to carry any kind of arm in some form or fashion. The manner of carry is open to regulation, the ability to carry is not.

        • “…bearing arms in defense of myself cannot be possible without having a gun on my person, carrying is clearly protected by the 2nd Amendment. This does allow for the government to regulate the manner of carry, so long as there remains at least one option of carrying that is not infringed.”

          EV, since you are considering an article on this topic, let me make a point for you to consider.

          Yes, bearing arms obviously means the ability to have such arms on your person, hence the term “bearing”. But how do you get from “…shall not be infringed” to an agreement that the government, which is prohibited from infringing on your right to bear arms, has the authority to dictate HOW you may bear those arms? I think this is a stretch and given the propensity of government to stretch to the utmost any crack relinquished to them, a potentially dangerous proposition.

          Look at Texas, for example. You can get an (unconstitutional) permit to carry concealed, but you may not carry a pistol openly. Perfect example of your scenario. But this gives the government the option of defining what concealed means and what penalties it can, may or will impose if your pistol breaks concealment, even accidentally. They could conceivably make it a felony for your sidearm to visibly “print” against you shirt.

          The point of the 2A, IMO, was to give us the means to protect ourselves FROM government. As all of the wrangling and debate and discussion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights reveals, our Founding Founders DID NOT trust government not to corrupt itself and become a tyranny, that’s why they attempted to build in so many controls and limitations on the government while outlining the specific rights that government could not deny to the citizens or the states. The only safe course of action, especially since we are seeing the near success of Progressives at subverting the intent of the founding documents, is to give not one single inch on the subject of government being able to infringe upon, modify or control, however “reasonable” they might sound, ANY aspect of our rights as outlined in the first ten Amendments, and especially the Second Amendment which is our last resort to stop tyranny should it appear to be winning the struggle.

        • “Look at Texas, for example. You can get an (unconstitutional) permit to carry concealed, but you may not carry a pistol openly. Perfect example of your scenario. But this gives the government the option of defining what concealed means and what penalties it can, may or will impose if your pistol breaks concealment, even accidentally. They could conceivably make it a felony for your sidearm to visibly “print” against you shirt.”

          This is exactly the premise of a case that’s wending its way through the Florida court system right now. If you accept the premise that people have a not-to-be-infringed right to keep and bear arms, but then you prohibit them from carrying openly, then that leaves, as their only option, to carry concealed. If you then require permission and set limits on when and how they can do that, how you can you not unavoidably conclude that their RKBA has been infringed?

        • Cliff H, the example of Texas is absolutely against my scenario, because in my scenario the permit to carry concealed, coupled with the ban against open carry, if an infringement. One or the other by itself is OK, but if the default status of Joe Citizen is that he can carry neither openly (because it is banned) or concealed (because a permit is required) then clearly this violates the constitution. Joe Citizen’s right to bear arms in defense of himself in public has been denied or delayed, and thus infringed.

        • Challenge accepted. Now the bigger obstacle: Finding the most elusive of creatures called “free time.”

          Maybe I’ll call the guy who shot Bigfoot.

        • That article is going to include some revisions to my previous opinion, inspired by my absolute lack of ability to open carry while wearing a winter jacket. So if CC is banned and OC is OK, I give up my right to carry whenever the temperature drops to Michigan.

        • ” I give up my right to carry whenever the temperature drops to Michigan.”

          AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!! NO YOU DO NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

          You NEVER give up your right to carry. You’re simply choosing not to exercise it right this very moment.

          Can’t you people figure out the difference between the right to do something and actually doing it? It’s not a bloody REQUIREMENT!!!!!

      • “bear clearly means to use”

        No, ‘bear’ means ‘carry.’ You still don’t have a right to use it in a way that endangers other people.

        My right to swing my fists around ends at your nose. 🙂

        • Not in the specific context of bearing arms, if you look at period-correct publications and definitions. I’ll try to find the article I read (a few years ago) that laid out the case fairly well. I honestly didn’t like the conclusion, but I couldn’t disagree with it.

    • “Reasonable” is: (a) no “assault” weapons, (b) 10-round, wait 7-round, wait 5-round magazines only, (c) no detachable magazines, (d) first grandfather, a few years down the line pass another law to confiscate, (e) handgun rosters with fewer and fewer useful handguns on them, (f) laws asking for non-existent or completely untested technologies, (g) no mail-order for ammo, (h) ridiculous gun licensing fees (think NYC), (i) ignore the deadlines stipulated by law when doing background checks (MD) or issuing FOID’s (IL), (j) repeat a background check, including references, for each handgun you buy (NJ); etc, etc, etc. – this never ends and keep getting more and more baroque.

      All this “reasonable” stuff got me to the point of not wanting to be reasonable at all any more when it comes to proposed new laws.

    • “reasonable regulation and control” means stopping an assailant or armed robber.
      Such non-preemptive regulation isn’t a bad idea.

  2. Well, he’s half right.

    He spends the entire post making an effective argument against those that would claim the “militia” part of the 2A to hold supremacy, that is, those who would say that it applies to those in the military or organized militia. But then, with that quote at the very end of the piece, he still indicates a fundamental misunderstanding.

    Oh well, I’ve never heard of him or thefederalist.com until today, so I don’t figure his influence will be too greatly felt.

    • I don’t see any original thought in his quote. Isn’t he just repeating what the SCOTUS has ruled in the past regarding the 2A? That sort of thinking is one reason why circuit court judges for the blue states keep ruling that it’s OK for states to put restrictions on gun rights, the severity thereof left up to each judge’s (mis)interpretation of the Constitution.

      • This is a very scary trend – Everyone assumes that SCOTUS is the absolute, final and uncontestable authority on what is Constitutional and that there can be no further appeal. As soon as a (bare) majority of SCOTUS rules on a subject everybody wants to just pack up and go home, game over.

        Sorry, SCOTUS works for US, just like the other branches of government (I know, don’t get me started, it’s just a theory). SCOTUS has been grossly wrong in the past, is grossly wrong today in regards the opinion that “…shall not be infringed.” means “…shall not be unreasonably infringed.” And they will be wrong again in the future.

        If in the next few years Obama has an opportunity to appoint one or more justices to SCOTUS and that now Liberal court rules that every single part and portion of the New York SAFE act is entirely Constitutional should we all just give up and get in line to register and/or turn in our now felonious weapons and magazines?

        The point of the Second Amendment, and all other benefits are secondary, is to prevent that sort of government over-reach from occurring, whether it is from an external threat encroaching from outside our borders or from tyranny within our own government. WE THE PEOPLE are the court of appeals for government exceeding its mandate, and that includes SCOTUS. This government was created by the people and intended to work for the people and within the limitations of The Constitution of the United States of America, not the arbitrary and partisan opinions of temporary justices at SCOTUS.

    • The anti-‘s get so hung up on the word “militia” without doing any research as to it’s meaning of that time period. The writings in the Federalist Papers were very clear with references to “militia” meaning armed citizens. Specifically, Federalist No. 46 (written by James Madison):

      “Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.”

      To note, James Madison was one of the 56 delegates at the Constitutional Convention and was the Chief Recorder of Information. He documented the debate over the creation of the Constitution. So, you can bet the use of the word “militia” strongly parallels the meaning in his earlier writings.

      • Federalist #46 is my favorite primary source to use to argue 2A. It very clearly argues that the people, separate from the standing army, must be allowed to bear arms in case they ever have to fight their own government and army. And it was written by the same guy that wrote the 2A – cant argue that!

  3. We have the right with or without 2A. The second amendment just so states it for the ill informed. The only legitimate regulation is of those who lose certain of their rights through incarceration.

  4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he basically just stating what the Supremes have recently decreed? It’s an individual right, but still subject to some amount of regulations and/or restrictions?

      • By the way I do NOT agree with the recent Supreme Court holding that the 2nd Amendment is subject to “reasonable regulations”. That is Pandora’s box and totally guts the right. Any number of entities can enact an infinite number of “regulations”. And if/when any regulations appear before the courts, the courts can use just about any level of judicial scrutiny to review the regulations. All the Supreme did was create a massive bonanza for attorneys and political action entities.

        • Yes, here the Court subscribed to the fallacy that just because we have a history of committing a certain act (unconstitutionally regulating firearms), that certain act must be reasonable or OK.

          Just because we’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t make it OK. Slavery and suffrage come to mind…

        • Now I don’t support slavery in any way, but it did take a Constitutional Amendment to formally abolish it. Prior to that it was not unconstitutional. Morally abhorrent, yes, but the document says what it says.

          Regarding 2A issues, the same applies. The document says what it says. If people want to do something other than that, they can wait until they have the votes to pass an amendment. At that point we’re doomed anyway, inalienable right or not.

        • Any Constitutional scholars feel free to correct me on this, but as near as I can tell the only Amendment ever passed to DENY a right (of sorts) was the 18th Amendment Prohibition of Alcohol and the only Amendment ever repealed was the 18th, by the 21st Amendment Repeal of Prohibition.

          NONE of the original ten amendments of the Bill of Rights has ever been modified in any way by subsequent amendment, nor repealed. To allow such a travesty to occur would be to admit that those rights, as enumerated and for the purpose they were enumerated, are NOT natural rights and ARE privileges granted to the people by the government, the EXACT opposite of the intent of the Founders.

          This is not just a slippery slope, it is a plunge into the abyss.

    • That is what the USSC has said. That doesn’t mean it’s correct.

      The courts have given us the idea of “compelling government interest,” which apparently means that government can ignore the US Constitution if says it has a really, really, really good reason, and claims to do so in a “narrowly tailored” way.

      There have been numerous violations of multiple amendments in the bill of rights (not just the 2nd), in part due to the idea that a “compelling government interest” allows these violations.

      • I have no problem with strict scrutiny – that limits on constitutional rights exist where they’re necessary to achieve a compelling government interest, and tailored in the narrowest possible way to achieve that interest.
        This is the standard that makes it possible for murder statutes to remain constitutional whether or not some faith or other decrees that unbelievers be put to death, for instance.

        The problem I see is that the strict scrutiny standard has been steadily eroded since its inception. The Heller decision, for all the good it did, still saddled us with this mealy-mouthed “reasonableness” standard instead. The same thing has been happening to 1st Amendment rights, 4th Amendment rights, you name it.

        • Not to mention the “common use” test that may become the new litmus test for what arms can be regulated or banned. The way I see it, the Heller decision drew a line in the sand that any new technology can be banned for private use or sale as soon as it is introduced. Something can’t be in common use if the common people can never get their hands on it.

          So no phasors or rail guns for you!

        • Perfect example: Printed guns. These were made illegal even before the technology to make them a reality was available. and are illegal to this day. Stupid. Why don’t these geniuses just ban phasers while they’re at it?

        • “…that limits on constitutional rights exist where they’re necessary to achieve a compelling government interest, and tailored in the narrowest possible way to achieve that interest.”

          The problem with this argument is that the ENTIRE purpose of the Bill of Rights was to enumerate those natural rights that were not under the purview of the government and were intended to protect the people FROM the government. There is no allowance whatsoever in this scenario to determine that there is a “compelling government interest” for the government to protect itself or even other citizens from the rights all citizens enjoy. To argue otherwise is to stamp a very large, deep red, “VOID” on the Constitution itself.

    • That’s about right, though both he and the Court were wrong for not going far enough. A formal SC decision recognizing an individual 2A right is monumental, to be sure, but only in the context of a lengthy history of infringements and a lethargic judiciary finally getting around to it. The basic idea is, well, basic, and fundamental, and really should have been handed down in Miller coming up on a century ago. After all, 1A are individual rights, and aren’t the “people” of the 2A the same “people” of the 1A?

      Nevertheless, I wouldn’t characterize the Court’s Heller and MacDonald rulings as a 99 yard run, only to fumble on the goal line, but more like a very nice 50 yard run, and tripped and tackled somewhere midfield. Excellent field position and poised for the go-ahead score, but not quite there yet.

      • The use of “people” in the First Amendment is a bad example, since it’s an activity which, by definition has to occur in groups (peaceably assembling). Its use in the Fourth Amendment is a better illustration. The rights guaranteed there have never been interpreted as anything other than individual rights.

        • Assembly is a great right, but I just had free speech in mind, which doesn’t necessarily require a group or even a single listener for one to practice it.

          Actually, what would be a poor example is the 10th, which reserves for the states and the people basically whatever whatever the Constitution doesn’t explicitly cover. It’s those “people” whose definition gets murky.

          Are those individual or collective rights? If collective, then how exercised as distinct from the State? How open ended are those “etcetera” rights? I haven’t done enough thinking and reading on that point as yet. So I tread lightly around the 10th amendment.

        • “The use of “people” in the First Amendment is a bad example, since it’s an activity which, by definition has to occur in groups (peaceably assembling).”

          Carlos, this is still ABSOLUTELY and individual right, the idea of assembling in groups notwithstanding. The right belongs to each individual to either join or decline to join that assembly and the assembly itself is made up of individual citizens who are exercising their right to assemble. The group so assembled, in and of itself, has no specific right to exist but the government has no authority to demand that it does not exist.

  5. Let’s think about this for a sec, Dan. Why would somebody put a regulation on a right? Hmmm, very interesting…

    Here’s the way I see it, Dan. Guy puts a fancy regulation on a right ’cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.

    And, ‘course you do. Why shouldn’t ya? Ya figure you put that little regulation under your pillow at night, the Regulation Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Dan?

    The point is, how do you know the Regulation Fairy isn’t a crazy glue sniffer? “Building model airplanes” says the little Fairy; well, we’re not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that’s all it takes. The next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser, and your daughter’s knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.

    See, they know all they sold ya was some regulated piece of shit. And, that’s all the regulation really is, isn’t it?

    But hey, if you want me to take a dump on a right and mark it regulation, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your right’s sake, and for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna stop thinking your rights are subject regulations.

  6. “subject to reasonable regulation and control”

    At first blush that sounds sensible. So here is the ginormous problem. Who defines “reasonable”? Who creates the regulations and controls?

    • That’s the catch all, isn’t it ?

      To me, it’s reasonable to to eat right and exercise. To others, it’s reasonable to intravenously use heroin.

      What defines reasonable?

    • I would say that if there were not a single gun control law on the books we would have reasonable regulations in the form of laws making illegal the crimes of murder, robbery, rape, assault, etc. using any weapon or no weapon at all.

      • ^^^THIS! It’s exactly the same as passing additional laws making it even more illegal to commit a crime if they can prove that you hated the ethnicity or religion of the person or group you victimized. Carp. The crime is the crime and getting into the realm of trying to decide what the criminal was thinking about is ridiculous.

  7. Dan Payne’s writings can best be described in Merriam-Websters Dictionary:

    Full Definition of IDIOCY

    1, usually offensive : extreme mental retardation
    2, something notably stupid or foolish

  8. Just like voting is an individual right – subject to “reasonable” restrictions (like photo ID).

  9. Slow down people – he may or may not be an enemy, but that statement is not sufficient to say what he is by itself. Payne is both right and wrong at the same time, which is not that uncommon on this topic. Yes, RKBA is an individual right, defined as such by the framers (“the right of the People to keep and bear arms”). Confirmed by SCOTUS in Heller.

    So, now the sticky part. SCOTUS in Heller said the RKBA was subject to regulation defined by legislators; the whole thing about RKBA not including rocket launchers. So, Payne’s statement is technically and legally accurate. But it is also wrong in the sense that the framers were quite explicit with “shall not be infringed.”

    Here’s the source of the problem. When the NFA was passed in 1934, the government began infringing on the RKBA, per the language in the Constitution, because the NFA clearly – per dictionary definition – infringes on the RKBA. At least that’s what I personally think, as do most of the people on this site.

    SCOTUS has never fundamentally interpreted, via opinion, exactly what “shall not be infringed” means. Their opinions start from a basic premise that the RKBA has already been infringed and their rulings start from that historical precedent. To most of us on the 2A activism side, the meaning is clear. No regulation. No limitation. NOTHING. And then the fun starts. Does it include nukes? Does it include tanks and jet fighters and JDAMS and SAWs and on and on and on…

    Some people on our side, myself included, think everything passed in and since the NFA is basically wrong, at least in terms of hand-held weapons, and should be repealed. Some very reasonable people ON OUR SIDE think that the NFA is ok, except maybe for suppressors and barrel length, but are cool with restrictions on full auto. Some very reasonable people ON OUR SIDE, think the NFA is basically ok, but everything passed since then is wrong. Or everything passed in 1968 is wrong/ok, and everything since then should be repealed, and on and on and on.

    The guy basically re-stated Heller. Payne is accurate. The only way to see where he falls in the wide spectrum of what “infringed” practically means is to engage him in conversation, not condemnation.

    • Thanks, 505! I agree with you completely on the “source of the problem.” Nukes, tanks, jet fighters, etc; are these protected under the 2a? I’d say they’re not, if only because they don’t fit what I believe to be the correct definition of “arms.” That being said, I’m pretty absolutist on “arms” themselves—full auto, no restrictions on cosmetic or functional features, no limit on magazine sizes, etc. Basically, if it’s a gun, I think folks should be able to acquire it. I’m actually on the fence but leaning towards the idea of believing in legalized rocket launchers, etc., as well.

      I think “reasonable regulation” and “reasonable control” can be defined as something like background checks, of which I’m in favor (though I’m not in favor of federally-mandated universal background checks for the entire country). I don’t believe “reasonable” regulation can include regulating specific types, styles or models of firearms, but I do believe the Second Amendment can accommodate background checks to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms. But who knows, I could be wrong.

      And yeah, this was basically a re-hash of Heller, although I don’t think the majority went far enough in dissecting the constitutional absurdities of the “states’ rights” or “militia rights” interpretations. Anyway, I just thought it’d be a good article to have handy for folks to throw at the “collective right” crowd. Just doing my part.

      • Daniel, I agree on the arms thing mostly, subject to more discussion. I am not sure about background checks, though. There is simply no proof that they work in the sense that they keep bad people from getting guns (clearly they get them anyway) or that they reduce crime. The vast majority of NICS denials (from memory, between 94-96%, could be wrong) are because of bad data or coincidental similarity (e.g., name) to someone who is prohibited. And the people that are denied for a valid reason (prior felony) are then rarely prosecuted, so how much does the entire background system actually work.

        I remember from a long time ago when my wife was in law school, she distilled for me what a lot of the legal protections were about, and it is basically that it is better for 100 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to go to prison. That principle – not law, clearly – I think can be a reasonable context for discussion of “shall not be infringed”. There are so many damned grey areas in this area… what about the deeply mentally ill or people with prior violent felonies or people under restraining orders…

        These are big questions that cannot be settled here and now, but they are valid for discussion within our community, which is wide and vast enough that we will NEVER get agreement on them. Ain’t freedom great? LOL.

        • Freedom is at once tremendously great and capable of producing some incredibly vexing and baffling circumstances. I’ll take it any day of the week, of course, but damn.

          Anyway, yeah, there’s lots of gray areas. I think it’s pretty clear-cut that Americans have an extensive individual right to an extensive number of firearms, but the questions of the mentally ill, etc., are vexing. The important thing is to have a vast, effectively liberated gun market while ensuring they don’t fall into the wrong hands, and we should all be thinking about the best ways to do that. It’s remarkable how viscerally people react to the notion that firearm transactions should have SOME regulation, like a background check; it could be a wrong idea, but if you advance the argument, sometimes people treat you like a gun-grabbing Stalinist or something. It’s a great debate to have, at any rate.

          I’d be interested to see a report about incorrect NICS reports, and the overall effectiveness of the system itself, if you happen to know where I can find one. Perhaps it’s time to write one if no official report has been authored!

        • Daniel. Start here for summary: http://www.newsmax.com/JohnLott/bradylaw-gunownership/2011/06/14/id/399967. I believe John Lott’s website also has more info on this, but don’t have time to dig that up right now. See: http://johnrlott.blogspot.com/

          See here for source data: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/2012-operations-report. It is a long report and you have to grab a bit from one place, then another, then another to get the more complete picture, but the data is there. Enjoy.

      • I disagree with what you call “reasonable regulation” That requires an honest person to prove innocence before being capable of exercising a right. Who makes the determination who is privileged enough to own arms. The criminals should be prosecuted for the crimes committed, not arbitrarily punish peaceful citizens for a future crime that may or may not occur.

      • The Revolution was won with the assistance of privately owned gunships and cannon. So I’m ok with privately owned warships, subs, full autos, tanks, artillery, RPG’s, mortars, and even fighter jets, if you have the means. It’s a well-dressed militiaman, indeed, who sports an F/A-18 Super Hornet. Although even I would accept some regulation regarding its use in U.S. air space, consistent with what all general aviation craft must abide by, for air traffic control purposes.

        I do draw the line at nukes, though. The 2A sets the backdrop as the security of a free state. One shot, one kill, total destruction of our entire civilization, at the direction of one person, comes across as a step or two too far beyond merely ensuring our security.

        • “It’s a well-dressed militiaman, indeed, who sports an F/A-18 Super Hornet. “

          I believe I’d like that on a tshirt.

        • Agreed on the shirt.

          Here’s a question, though. Since the cost of modern weapons systems at the fighter aircraft level is astronomical, the only private citizens who could afford them would be people like… Bloomberg, for example. This is even allowing for government screwing up the procurement system and causing cost overruns upwards of doubling the total program bill.

          How could we prevent private armies from being formed, if citizens were allowed to own fully functional tanks, fighters, frigates, etc? I certainly don’t trust the good will and patriotism of many in modern corporate America.

        • The cost to maintain and operate even one modern warplane is ridiculous. The cost to maintain enough of said implements to operate an air wing? I think you’d need a lot of Bloombergs to do that.

          Private armies fielding military-grade equipment on a scale large enough to destabilize a state or region of the country would only be possible if HUGE swaths of territory supported and funded such an effort. Like, during a bona fide revolution or civil war. At that point, I think we’ve crossed the threshold of extenuating circumstances where such an army isn’t going to be dissuaded by legislation anyways, and the government would have lost the ability to enforce such legislation at a whim.

          So yeah, not a problem.

        • Do you really think a law will stop anyone capable of building or otherwise obtaining a nuclear weapon from doing so? If that were the case, there would be several James Bond movies that would make no sense at all, oh wait….

      • Daniel, This point comes up frequently and people seem to believe that by “Giving up an essential liberty they will gain a little safety” (paraphrased).

        It could be argued, and I have done so myself on many occasions, that to allow the government, at any level, to compile, maintain, and enforce ANY list of persons/citizens who according to criteria determined by THAT government are not permitted to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is the EXACT definition of infringement. Once this is agreed to and deemed reasonable there is no further control over the government deciding who may or may not exercise their RKBA and any simple majority in Congress, with the President’s signature, can repeal your 2A rights.

        This means that some people we would prefer not be armed will legally buy arms. But those same people buy essentially those same arms, and some we cannot own, illegally today, so where is the advantage in giving away our essential liberty when we gain NO safety and in fact open ourselves to the tyranny of government by destroying the Second Amendment?

  10. Yes the 2nd Amendment is an individual right just as the 1st Amendment is an individual right. Neither can be infringed by regulations or controls. The flip side, where folks get confused, is that both Amendments do not provide absolute immunity for an individual abusing their rights. You can yell fire in a crowded theater, but you cannot invoke the 1st Amendment as your defense if you knew your fire yell was a hoax. As a civilization, we can and should hold you accountable for your abuse and dangerously reckless behavior. The 2nd Amendment should work the same way.

  11. I can’t tell if they always toss in a “but” just to keep up appearances among the anti’s and hoplophobes or if they honestly believe in that “but.”

    If the former, it doesnt help anything to pander to loons. If the latter then you’re just a tyrant waiting for your turn among the oligarchs.

  12. Well I get why you don’t like it but of course he’s correct. The first amendment is just as clear that congress shall make no law etc etc. The highest protection a right can get is strict scrutiny. And even then it is subject to, not just reasonable, but necessary regulation and restriction. Your absolute highest right is to continue living, but if the state’s interest is high enough they can come in your house and shoot you down or imprison and then kill you. Knowing that, I don’t see how a rational person can get too upset that the second amendment is also subject to that same standard.

    • I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing “strict scrutiny” used in place of the amorphous “reasonable regulation and control”, but not many judges seem to be willing to do that. Strict scrutiny is now mandated in LA, of course, but that took a referendum.

    • “…if the state’s interest is high enough they can come in your house and shoot you down or imprison and then kill you.”

      There is no interest of “the state” sufficient to come into your house and shoot you down with impunity, nor can they arbitrarily imprison and then kill you. Any of these actions must be taken under “strict scrutiny” of the Bill of Rights, the 4th Amendment in the case of coming in and shooting you (probable cause), as well as the 5th Amendment putting you in prison and executing you following “due process of law.”

      In each case the “state” is acting on behalf of the people and for their benefit, not in its own interest.

      There is not, so far as I can tell, any provision in the Constitution for the government to act against the people for the sole purpose of protecting itself and the Second Amendment was intended to prevent just such an occurance. Further, The Declaration of Independence states that it is not just the right, but the duty of the people to free themselves from a government no longer working to their benefit and tending to tyranny and the Second Amendment was intended as the means by which they could remove and replace such a government.

  13. Congress of the United States
    begun and held at the City of New-York, on
    Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    Further ‘declaratory and restrictive clause’ as stated, ‘in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers’ as follows:

    Amendment II
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html

  14. The 2nd Amendment does indeed guarantee the right of an individual to keep and bear, but I haven’t seen ANYTHING in that amendment about control or regulation, reasonable or otherwise. What a retard.

  15. Payne got it wrong. The Heller and McDonald decisions did not uphold “reasonable restrictions.”

    Reasonableness relates somewhat to a “rational basis” review, which clearly is not the standard that determines whether a RKBA restriction is permissible.

  16. Who the hell is Daniel Payne? A face on a blog? Why do his words, opinions, ideas, or whatever merit even a limited discussion? This kind of thing is right up there with George Clooney making millions running around pretending to be a Tier1 shooter (Peackeeper) or citizen soldier (Monuments Men) weighing in of an assault weapons ban (BTW- as we all know Assault Weapons are already pretty strongly covered by the NFA). He is just some guy talking… nothing more. Last I checked my opinions, ideas, and words have the same weight as his or Clooney’s or anyone elses in our society. Oh I know, I know- hes a politician, or a blogger, or an actor, or whatever… but it’s US who give his words weight by listening, and discussing, and arguing, and …. gee, listen to me.

  17. Ask this clown if the first amendment has reasonable restrictions or not. Or if it should. And who should come up with the reasonable restrictions.

  18. Crazy, evil libtard (democrat) playing with words, and common sense. Remember midterms this Nov. and don’t vote libtard.

    • I didn’t spend a whole lot of time looking around on the site, but it seems pretty much exclusively slanted to the right.

      I don’t entirely agree Mr. Payne, but I also don’t entirely agree with anyone who posts on TTAG either. Still, he doesn’t come across as a howling anti to me. All he really seems to have done was paraphrase the Heller ruling for those who’d still try to use the “collective right” argument against the 2nd Amendment.

      • SCOTUS interprets the constitution based upon its understanding of history, the impact of laws upon society (“collective rights”), and legal precedent. Its interpretations may seem “reasonable” in one context is not “reasonable” in another. We’d all prefer to carry a semi-auto handgun instead of a dueling pistol, and an AR-15 is preferable to a flintlock – but is there a point (as Congress believed in 1934) when it become reasonable to restrict the ownership of machine guns, and where should such reasonableness end? RPG’s? Glycerin tipped bullets? etc.?

        • Just because the current mode of operation of the government is violation of the Constitution doesn’t make it right, or even acceptable. The Constitution means exactly what the Constitution says, and no amount of rhetoric, no activist judge can change that fact. The majority of government these days are criminals and enemies of the Constitution, who should be tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

          In the interim, Nullify!

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