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Even those on the front lines of the fight to defend and extend Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms tend to forget that the term “arms” doesn’t just apply to firearms. As the article 10 Crazy Weapons that are Still Legal in the US indicates, the Second Amendment also protects the right to keep and bear cannons, sap caps, crossbows, Katanas, grenade launchers, umbrella swords, one-handed flails, miniguns, chain whips and flamethrowers. I wonder how long tanks will qualify for that list, especially after this incident [via]. . .

A reunion event on the grounds of a candy mogul’s California wine country estate turned tragic Saturday when a guest was smashed to death by a WWII-era tank.

Dwayne Brasher, husband of Jelly Belly CEO Lisa Rowland Brasher–whose candy heir father is an avid collector of WWII tanks–was behind the wheel of the vehicle when a passenger lost his balance and toppled to the ground.

The 54-year-old victim fell directly in the path of the vehicle and was crushed.

It’s not known which vehicle was involved. The candy mogul in question – Jelly Belly owner Herman Rowland – owns a large collection of fully-functional military vehicles, including an 18-ton Abbot 105 mm self-propelled gun, a Super Mack NO 7-1/2 ton truck, an Israeli M-5 half-track, a M-561 Gama Goat, a M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier, and an FV-603 Saracen APC. And, apparently, a tank. Or two.

Actually, I don’t think this tragedy will inspire California’s anti-gun politicians to apply their restless legislative pens to killer tanks/half-tracks or similar. Though you never know. Once they effectively ban the hand-held variety, why not the big guns?

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  1. Result would have likely been the same had it been a pickup truck, side by side atv, or even a lowly ox cart…. Does the fact that he was squished beyond recognition make him extra deader? No but this was in California so naturally it isn’t the fault of the dumbass who was riding unsecured on a moving vehicle.

    • Or the dumb asses that did not see the danger and warn him to get off or secure himself. Anyone taking bets on how much he had to drink before this happened ? Ban alcohol. Oh, wait, guess we tried that and it did not work so well in the past. OK forget that one. Ban something else instead of letting people be responsible for themselves. Make another law. Yeah, that will do it. Has worked so great in the past. 😉

  2. Oddly enough, a couple of decades ago I was driving through the English countryside and stumbled across a WWII Sherman tank with a large ‘For Sale’ sign on it. I was stationed there while in the Navy, and couldn’t convince the wife we should make an offer. She didn’t think that it would qualify as a vehicle the Navy would ship back to the US for us.

  3. Here in Georgia it is legal for adults to ride in the open bed of a pickup truck. This guy is no deader than the folks that fall out of the back of a pickup every year and then get run over. Of course, he is likely less recognizable after the fact, and no one will look into the casket and say “he looks so natural.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the “tanks” you can buy/import are really not much more than the equivalent of a tracked bulldozer with armor plating on the outside. The canon are nothing but fakes since the ATF won’t allow the other kind. I guess you could convert it to a front stuffer but you would have to stand out front to reload!

    • As long as it’s not full auto you can in fact file a manufacturing form for a destructive device and reactivate the main gun. There is a guy in the Midwest that has quite a few including a fully functional T-72.

  4. Heck, you can easily manage to get fatally run over by a tractor in the same fashion. The moral of the story?

    “Crunchies need to be more careful.”

    • How many have been crushed to death this decade by privately owned tanks?

      I don’t know, but “one” would be a good guess.

      How many have been crushed to death this year by farm tractors?
      I can guarantee it’s over 100, and the year’s not over yet.

      • Been around forever, too! I had an uncle (gone now) who lost an arm to a farm tractor just like that over 60 years ago, a few years after returning from WWII without a scratch.

    • armor, big gun, and tracks…. isn’t that the definition of a tank? (Obviously I never served in the military)

      • A tank has a high-velocity, armor-piercing gun. The photo at the top of the article is a self-propelled howitzer, which has a way-lower muzzle velocity. Howitzer shells are generally fired with a lot of elevation to lob them over intervening terrain; it is very rare for a howitzer crew to be able to see the target. Normally, they get angles from a fire direction center, which calculates those angles from a map location radioed to them by a forward observer.

        As opposed to a “real” tank, which fires a high-velocity shell at a target that its crew can see.

        Whenever I hear a news organization call something a “tank,” I assume “armored vehicle of some sort or another,” and it frequently turns out to be an armored personnel carrier, a self-propelled howitzer, or even an MRAP. Sort of the same thing as when they say “clip,” and you can pretty much bet they actually mean “magazine.”

        • Usually tanks are fully enclosed. Dad played with an M-36 Slugger Tank Destroyer with a high velocity 90mm gun and it was an open turret. The M-18 ( neighbor’s former play toy) and M-10 Tank Destroyers both had high velocity guns and an open turret.
          Of course then we have the Sturmgeschutz type of “tank”, some of which ad high velocity guns.

      • That big gun is only a fake pipe or they demilled it. The powers that be in this country won’t allow us real canon, except the front stuffer type. I would rather have an old armored car like they use to carry cash around simply because they are more mobile and you could take one on the Interstate as needed. The county highway department would take a dim view of you chewing up their recently paved roads with a tracked monster!

        • Can be registered as a destructive device and you can legally fire solids through it. If you want an explosive round, that’s a separate destructive device and $200 tax per shot.

      • “It’s not a fucking tank, it’s an infantry fighting vehicle!”

        My Drill Sergeant at Fort Knox after someone made that mistake.

  5. Damn, I can’t find reload data for that 105 mm self-propelled gun.

    Reach out, reach out and (really) touch someone.

    From 15 km away…

  6. I personally know of an incident where a man was driving a farm tractor with his mom riding on the rear fender when she lost her balance and fell forwards in the path of the large rear wheel. It was a tragic fatal accident as was this event in California. I’ve ridden on the back of hay wagons, in the back of various trucks, on the running boards of various trucks, on the back of various motorcycles, and on a bicycle without a helmet. I could have just as easily been squished any one of those times, but I was lucky I guess. I probably would have been riding on top of the “tank” next to this guy had I been there.

    • “I personally know of an incident where a man was driving a farm tractor with his mom riding on the rear fender when she lost her balance and fell forwards in the path of the large rear wheel.”

      That’s his story and he’s sticking to it…


    • My father in law was a retired Air Force Colonel who died in his Florida avocado grove after getting run over by a backhoe. He apparently left it in gear before hoping down off of it to inspect something.

    • My great uncle, the retired Sheriff of Rockbridge County, VA (I believe he held the office for around 20 years), was killed by his tractor. He was mowing the field, fell off on a grade if I recall correctly, and the mower blades mangled him up after it rolled over him. These things happen. They are tragic. The fact that it was a tank/tracked military vehicle of some sort makes little difference.

      The blood stained bible from his pocket is still in the family. He truly was a great man. An example of what law enforcement officers should be.

  7. There are some tanks out there with functional main guns, they’re classified as Destructive Devices, and they fire solid shot. Talk about some serious reloading…probably not a progressive press….

    • I would not have thought that would be allowed… and learn. so does he have to get a tax stamp for every shell? That would get old quick.

      • I don’t see that being necessary for solid shot. The projectile does not contain explosives and thus would not be legally different from a 12ga slug.

        • You’re right it’s the same deal as with the guys who own anti tank guns. You register the gun as a DD and then you can fire as much solid shot as you want out of it. HE would be the tax per round, if you could even find someone to manufacture it for you.

  8. A few of the comments have made the very reasonable comparison to falling out of a truck, but have forgotten that the anti-gun people rarely bother with reason (and it just seems like the anti-fun/anti-freedom folks behind the gun control movement will be behind the tank control movement). Just like a person is no more dead after being shot with a round from a 30 round magazine then from a 10 round magazine. It is all about the “feels”.

  9. Rowland’s Jelly Bellies — made from sugar, corn syrup and wax — have killed more Americans than his tanks ever will.

    BTW, I have a chain whip — to remove the sprockets on my bicycles. And yes, it would make a formidable weapon. Just not a formidable as a Smith & Wesson.

  10. The author of that article thinks it’s crazy for a person to be able to own a katana or a crossbow. There’s no hope for some people.

  11. I own a number of swords – close to 2 dozen. Hobby, fascination, whatever.
    It always galls me to no end when some idjit writer’s work says “tank” and I look to see any number of things except a tank. Even more annoying: “battleship” and they’re talking about a frigate, destroyer or cruiser.
    Next the journalistic standards will allow “assault rifle” to describe cell phones and baby bottles.

  12. Having been to the Reno air races many years ago I saw many privately owned bomber planes and fighter planes. Both jet and propeller driven. If you are going to have arms in the true sense of US constitution, ie. anything the military has you can have if you can afford it, then you have to be safe when handling those arms.

    Read “To keep and bear arms, the origins of an Anglo American right” by joyce lee malcolm. The 18th century definition of Arms was much larger than today, it included cannons as personal arms.

    • Hello Chris from Kentucky , it’s your neighbor , mark s. from WV .
      You nailed it and I have been trying to wake people up to the notion for years that American citizens own every tank , SAM and launcher , every battle ship , every aircraft , very gun , bullet and uniform in he Army , Navy, the Air force and Marines , and for a period of time every soldier too , even the commander in chief , old Barry O. himself . We buy it , we inventory it and we own it . Be proud and if you are an American citizen , be rich . Just because we don’t park em in our driveways doesn’t mean that it’s not ours . We park all OUR stuff in OUR big parking lots we call OUR bases and harbors .

  13. The Heller decision referenced that the only protected arms are “bearable” arms. While that doesn’t mean that tanks aren’t protected, right now there’s no precedent for it.

    But here’s the interesting thing about tanks. If civilians own tanks, then whats bad that’s going to happen? Nothing. They cost too damned much. The people that own them wouldn’t want to lose them and the types of people that can afford them aren’t likely to be loonies.

  14. I had to google sap caps-I want one! Seriously what’s wrong with a non-firing tank-these guys are no fun…

  15. I can’t believe no one has said it yet… If you outlaw tanks, only outlaws will have them!

    Wait, is that one of those old saws we don’t use any more?

  16. Shortly before my second posting to Ft. Knox (big armored training center when I was in, for those who might not know) , a Sargent there stole an M-60 tank and took it for a drunken joy ride. According to those who were there, the MPs looked like the Keystone Kops for an hour or so. As one of my buddies told me, “How are we supposed to stop a tank with our squads and .45s?” Guy eventually drove the main gun right through the side of the PMO (police station), took out one whole side of the building. Fortunately, the tank got hung up in the debris long enough to rush the tank on foot and apprehend the guy.

    And then there was a similar incident in San Diego several years ago. Video –

    Point is, they can be sorta problematic in the wrong hands. Not saying they should be outlawed, but they are a policeman’s nightmare!

    • No problem issue the police with A-10’s the feds will have a few to transfer for “free” pretty soon. Sure traffic tickets will have to increase to house and car seizure in order to meet support costs but they will look so cool oh and officer safety or some such.

      Kids will love the flyby with the cop dressed as a dog. Worth it.

  17. I feel sorry for the guy. With quotes like

    “he’s tentatively dubbed the American Freedom Military Vehicle Collection, reports the Daily Republic.

    Rowland says he wants his collection of vehicles from the ‘arsenal of democracy’ to teach people the meaning of freedom.

    ‘It is an aspect of why we are free,’ he said back in January. ‘I have a great desire to teach why we are free.'”

    This guy sounds like our kind of guy. Peace on the deceased and the families of those impacted.


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