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You remember Dick Metcalf, right? How could you forget? Dick was the Guns & Ammo editor who’s now a former editor as a result of the stance he took on Second Amendment infringement in his now infamous December column (below). And no, we didn’t get Dick fired. G&A cut bait when some (OK, a lot of) advertisers threatened to pull out.

Anyway, Dick’s also a founder and president of PASA, the Pike-Adams Sportsman’s Alliance, one of the great shooting venues in the country. It seems that in the wake of the controversy, some of his fellow members feel the same way those G&A advertisers did.

In response, Dick sent the following letter to PASA’s membership. Thanks to one of them for passing it along to us . . .

This is going to be a long letter.

The week before Christmas the PASA club office received the following email from a PASA member in response to his routine membership renewal notice:

“Because of Dick Metcalf’s anti-Second Amendment article in Guns & Ammo and his affiliation with PASA I’m not sure I want to be a member of PASA.”

It did not surprise me to see this, considering the enormity of the uproar that followed the appearance of “The Backstop” column for the December 2013 issue of Guns & Ammo.  What did surprise me is that it took so long for the first one to arrive.

I suspect there are other PASA members who share this person’s views, who simply choose not to write and express them.  At the same time, many members probably don’t even know about the controversy, because they do not read consumer firearms magazines or follow internet firearms forums, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media.

Nonetheless, I believe all PASA members deserve to hear from me on the subject.  Hence, this general email, and the request it includes.

Following below are three items:

1.       A copy of the original G&A Backstop column as it was submitted on September 13th.   (I also have a pdf file of the actual column page as it appeared in Guns & Ammo, which I will be happy to send to anyone who wants it.  I did not attach it here because it is 4Mb in size, and many of you may not have the software to read pdf files.)

2.       My comments on the uproar as prepared for the national Outdoor Wire and Shooting Wire two days after Guns & Ammomanagement terminated my association with all InterMedia publications and television shows without allowing me any opportunity to respond.

3.       The “For the Record” statement I have been providing to the national news media who continue to request/demand interviews or TV appearances to further their own anti-gun agendas.

The original column topic was assigned/approved by G&A five months in advance.  The column was submitted six weeks in advance of press date.  It was edited, reviewed, vetted, and approved by the G&A editorial staff and G&A publisher and sent to press.  The editors promoted it with a headline at the top of the December G&A cover, and the title of the column as it appeared in the magazine, “Let’s Talk Limits,”  was written by the editors, not by the author.  (The word “limits” actually appeared nowhere in the column itself.)

If you have read the December 2013 G&A column and share the view that is “anti-Second Amendment,” I would like to ask you a personal favor:

Would you reply and tell me exactly what the column said that you believe to be “anti-Second Amendment?”  I am completely sincere in this request.  I ask, because nobody has yet been able to show me anything in that column that can even remotely be construed as “anti-Second Amendment.”  I will hold anything you say as totally confidential.

I’m not talking about the distortions and untruths that have littered the internet forums and Facebook pages since mid-October, but what the column actually said.

If you have not read the column I hope you will take the time to do so (below), as well as the statements that follow.

I am deadly serious about wanting to know your thoughts.  I would hope a discussion might ensue.


Dick Metcalf
Founder & President


The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads, verbatim, “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.” Note carefully: those last four words say “shall not be infringed.” They do NOT say “shall not be regulated.” “Well regulated” is in fact the initial criteria of the Amendment itself.

I bring this up because way too many firearms owners and advocates for an armed citizenry still seem to believe that any regulation of the right to keep and bear arms is an infringement. Fact is, all Constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be. Freedom of Speech is regulated: you cannot falsely and deliberately shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Freedom of Religion is regulated: a church cannot practice human sacrifice. Freedom of Assembly is regulated: people who don’t like you can’t gather an anti-you demonstration on your front lawn without your permission. And it is illegal for convicted felons or the clinically insane to keep and bear arms.

But a substantial number of pro-gunners nonetheless argue that any firearms regulation at all is by definition an infringement. If that were true, then the authors of the Second Amendment themselves should not have specified “well-regulated.” The real question is when does regulation become infringement? As Shakespeare put it, there’s the rub. And on that issue, reasonable people may reasonably differ.

From 1976 thru 1990 I wrote the “Firearms Law” column in our sister publication, Shooting Times. During those same years I worked with U.S. Senator Jim McClure, Congressman Harold Volkmer, and NRA-ILA Executive Director Neal Knox to draft the 1986 Volkmer-McClure Firearm Owners Protection Act, testified before Congress (and numerous state legislatures) on firearms law issues, and taught college seminars on the history of constitutional law (I’m a historian, not a lawyer).

I also received bags of mail every year, a substantial portion of it from readers who were upset that I supported the passage of concealed-carry laws. (In 1976 less than half the states had concealed-carry statutes.) These readers typically argued (I’m paraphrasing) that “The Second Amendment is all the authority we need to carry anywhere we want to,” or, “The government doesn’t have the right to tell me whether or not I’m qualified to carry a concealed gun.” I tended not to let myself be drawn into that argument, but I always wondered whether those same people believed that just anybody should be able to take a vehicle out on public roadways without any kind of driver’s training program, driver’s test, or driver’s license.

Yes, I understand that driving a car is not a right guaranteed or protected by the Constitution, but to me the underlying principle is the same. I firmly believe that all U.S. citizens have a Constitutional right to acquire, keep, and bear Arms, but I DO NOT believe they have a Constitutional right to use them irresponsibly or unsafely. And I DO believe their fellow citizens, by the specific language of the Second Amendment itself, have an equal right to enact regulatory laws requiring them to undergo adequate training and preparation for the responsibility of bearing Arms should they choose to do so.

I’ve witnessed too many examples of ignorant, unsafe, and dangerous behavior on too many shooting ranges, even by “experienced” gun-owners, to believe otherwise. And we’ve all read too many accounts of legally armed individuals dealing with the horrific personal, moral, and legal consequences of not being properly trained or prepared when confronted with a bad situation.

This year, my Illinois homeland became the 50th state to enact a concealed carry statute. It’s a “shall-issue” law, but it requires 16 hours of training to qualify for a license. Many of my fellow Illinois gun-owners say that’s excessive. They say it’s inherently an infringement. I don’t. But I’d like it to be GOOD training.

I write this on the day the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Aguilar voided the arrest of a man in his friend’s yard in Chicago because he was holding a pistol. The Court’s ruling ended by saying “Of course, in concluding that the second amendment protects the right to possess and use a firearm for self-defense outside the home, we are in no way saying that such a right is unlimited or is not subject to meaningful regulation. That said, we cannot escape the reality that, in this case, we were dealing not with a reasonable regulation but with a comprehensive ban.”

When DOES regulation become infringement? Good question. I don’t think that requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry license is infringement in and of itself.

But that’s just me . . .


When the present controversy erupted a week ago, I was immediately asked by Guns & Ammo/InterMedia management to write the following “clarification and elaboration” on the December Backstop column for use on the G&A website. I immediately did so, but management decided to wait and see how the situation developed. I was also asked to hold off on making any comments in any other forum. Then, after Paul Erhardt’s article appeared in the Shooting Wire yesterday [11/06/13], InterMedia was contacted by two major firearms industry manufacturers, stating they could do no longer do business with InterMedia if it continued with its “present personnel structure.” Within hours, Jim Bequette was replaced as Editor of Guns & Ammo, and my relationship with all InterMedia publications and TV shows was terminated. My response was never published.

How do I feel about that? Disappointed.

If a respected 35-year veteran editor can be forced to resign and a controversial writer’s voice be shut down by a one-sided social-media and internet outcry, virtually overnight, simply because they dared to open a discussion or ask questions about a politically sensitive issue . . . then I fear for the future of our industry, our Cause, and our Country.

Do 2nd Amendment adherents no longer believe in Freedom of Speech? Do Americans now fear open and honest discussion of different opinions about important Constitutional issues? Do faceless voices from cyberspace now control how and why business decisions are made?

From its inception as “Cooper’s Corner” in 1986, the back page column in Guns & Ammo has been intentionally designed to address controversial issues, and to invite reader response. By that standard, the December edition certainly succeeded–some might say, too well. But our intention was to inspire a discussion, not to incite a riot (which is illegal under laws regulating the 1st Amendment).

In today’s political climate within the community of firearms owners, even to open a discussion about whether 2nd Amendment rights are, or can be, Constitutionally regulated at all, is to be immediately and aggressively branded as anti-gun and anti-American by outspoken hard-corps pro-gunners who believe the answer is an absolute “NO!” And yes, I am fully aware of the many and varied historical/legal definitions of the term “well-regulated,” and how they are used and misused.

I am also fully aware that the different rights enumerated in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and following amendments are different, and are regulated differently. But they are all in fact already regulated in some form or fashion, hopefully appropriate to their particular provisions. I further clearly understand that owning or driving a vehicle is not a constitutional right, and that keeping and bearing arms is. But both involve issues of public safety, which is why both are of great and immediate interest to all mainstream Americans, for much the same reasons. Should we not dare speak of both in the same sentence?

Let me make myself clear (again): I believe without question that all U.S. citizens have an absolute Constitutional right to acquire, keep, and bear arms.

At the same time, how can anyone deny that the 2nd Amendment is already regulated by innumerable federal, state, and local statutes, and always has been? Even the Supreme Court’s widely applauded Heller and McDonald decisions affirming an individual right to keep and bear arms, and the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Moore ruling overturning the Illinois ban on concealed carry, specifically held that other firearms laws and regulations do pass constitutional muster.

Do we all agree with every part of those rulings? Of course not. I personally do not. But they are now part of the organic fabric of the Constitution, and we ignore them at our peril. Should we now hold that those rulings themselves are unconstitutional?

All 50 states now have individual statutes or constitutional provisions regulating concealed firearms carry. The vast majority require state-issued permits, and most require some type of training to qualify. Are all those laws unconstitutional infringements of the 2ndAmendment? Should we entirely oppose their existence? Should we obtain concealed-carry licenses anyway? Are we ourselves participating in an unconstitutional process if we do? On these issues reasonable gun-owners may reasonably differ (although you wouldn’t know it from what erupted on the Guns & Ammo website, G&A Facebook pages, and many other firearms forums following the appearance of the December Backstop column).

Myself, I would rather carry legally, than carry illegally and risk prison. Given the fact an Illinois concealed carry law now does exist, I have no problem spending 16 hours of my life under its training requirement. And I will. I am glad Illinois finally passed a concealed carry law. Compared to previous Illinois law, it’s not an infringement, it’s a liberation. It’s a first step.

Do I believe training is a good thing? Of course I do. Do I believe that to require such training is unconstitutional? No more than I believe it is unconstitutional to require the “militia” to be “well-regulated” in the first place. Do I believe the onerous fees and complicated procedures imposed by Illinois’ anti-gun legislators to reduce the number of applicants are an “infringement?” Of course I do. But our foot is finally in the door and I’m applying for a license anyway. That’s just me.

To those who have expressed their vigorous opposition to the content of the December column (and to my continued existence on this planet), I would pose these few questions:

  1. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe all laws prohibiting convicted violent repeat criminals from having guns are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?
  2. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe laws prohibiting the bearing of arms when falling-down drunk or when wasted on drugs are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?
  3. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe all state laws establishing concealed-carry license requirements are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?
  4. Do you have a concealed-carry license anyway?
  5. Are you thereby turning your back on the Constitution?

I would hope this discussion could continue.

–Dick Metcalf


By anyone’s definition I’m a hard line firearms guy. I believe the Second Amendment means exactly what it says. Just as I believe all other Amendments in the Bill of Rights mean exactly what they say. All of them affirm absolute rights. I said nothing whatsoever to the contrary in Guns & Ammo.

But unlike freedom of speech, or freedom of religion, or freedom of the press, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is today the focus of a bitter battle between those who believe deeply in that particular Right, and those who believe the Second Amendment is an obsolete 18th Century artifact that should be severely curtailed or even repealed.

Both extremes in this battle claim to represent the true hearts and minds of the American mainstream. Mainstream voters will ultimately decide the issue. Legislators who enact (or don’t enact) restrictive firearms laws are elected by those voters. Presidents, who appoint Federal Court Judges to rule on the constitutionality of those laws, are elected by those voters. The Senators who approve the appointments of those Judges are elected by those voters.

At present, supporters of the Second Amendment have the American mainstream voter on their side. Nearly two-thirds of the 109 new state firearms laws enacted in the year following the Newtown Horror actually eased gun restrictions and expanded gun-owners’ rights. During that same period there was no significant federal firearms legislation at all.

But 2014 will be a pivotal year. Opponents of the Second Amendment promise to pour unprecedented energy and funding into coming elections to change that course. Second Amendment supporters vow to fight those efforts to their last breath.

Neither side can benefit from extremism.

When Second Amendment supporters argue it is unconstitutional to prohibit convicted felons from having guns after they have served their sentences, the American mainstream stops listening. When Second Amendment supporters argue it is unconstitutional to require any training whatsoever before carrying a concealed firearm in public, the American mainstream stops listening. When radical anti-gun and anti-hunting voices aim death threats at the children of those who would bid on a license to legally cull an African game animal and donate the proceeds to endangered-species conservation, the American mainstream cringes. When a TV network bans a duck hunter from its airways in the name of political correctness, the American mainstream rebels.

All Americans want to find ways to keep horrors like Newtown from happening. But Americans need solutions, not political placebos or public relations gestures. And certainly not more hate speech.

Not since the middle of the 19th Century has there been a greater need in this nation for reasoned, civil discourse instead of extremist rhetoric. Never has it been more important for our public officials and our corporate leaders to make rational decisions instead of bowing down to the strident voices of a radical few.

–Dick Metcalf

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    • Serious question, who can amend your Constitution? As all are discussing the second amendment it obviously can be amended, if its the people or those the people elect then opinion can change your rights.

      • I see your point. But it becomes a bit more philosophical at that juncture. Under the eyes of the law can those rights be amended or abolished after the fact? Sure, there is a procedure for that. However, if you believe (as I do and as has been held as the BoR’s original intent) that those rights predate the Constitution and that the BoR recognizes established inalieanable rights, then not so much.

      • The Constitution can be amended, but it is a difficult process and cannot be done with a mere majority. The usual method is to get 2/3 to vote for it in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and then getting 3/4 of the state legislatures to vote for it. It can be done, but there is no way it would happen on this issue.

      • You misunderstand the principle of rights as enumerated in the Constitution. You could scrap the entire Bill of Rights and those rights would still exist, would still be claimed by the people – they are inalienable. All that would change is the Constitution’s protection given to those rights, against violation by the government. At which point it would become incumbent upon each and every citizen to claim, uphold and defend the rights they personally claim – it would be ugly.

      • “Serious question, who can amend your Constitution?”

        Serious answer, the procedure is called out in the Constitution itself:
        “Article. V.

        The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

      • No, the 2d Amendment codifies a PRE-EXISTING RIGHT; hence, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be INFRINGED.”

  1. Blah blah blah. Keep up that back pedal all you want little Dicky, I still wont be impressed. You showed us your colors, and no amount of dye poured on yourself will reverse who you really are.

  2. I would be more inclined to give him some slack if he ever took the time to learn the contemporaneous meaning of “well-regulated”.

    • Yeah, exactly. I can sort of see where he’s coming from about rights vs. responsibilities, but when his entire argument is predicated on a basic misunderstanding of the vocabulary, it becomes very difficult to take the rest of the argument seriously.

      Reason doesn’t always matter. In a court of law there’s something called the Tipsy Coachman doctrine, where a higher court rules that a lower court reached the right decision, but for the wrong (flawed) reason. Unfortunately in this case, his flawed reasoning is doing what it normally does, and he’s still not getting to the right place. His basic misunderstanding of a core principle runs a core of rot through the entire foundation of his argument.

      • This!

        Unfortunately, he seems to be engaging in a bit of the same thing that liberal trolls do. Their error is explained over and over again only to get yet another ‘sincere appeal’ to ‘show me where I’m wrong.’ It’s BS, nobody who can write two intelligent sentences is THAT stupid. He holds to his views because that’s precisely how he sees it. His appeals for clarification aren’t sincere. He’s an enemy to the RKBA.

    • I am sorry, but maybe Dickie doesn’t have access to any software or information about what was written in Heller that discussed, ad nauseam, what “well regulated” meant, and then maybe he will be a bit more contrite

      • Nor does “…shall not be infringed.” mean what he thinks it doesn’t mean. I’m pretty certain, and I’ve been studying and speaking English for almost 64 years, that “not infringed” and “regulated” are opposites.

        Given the FACT that the purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the people ALWAYS had the RKBA in order to oppose tyranny, and to prevent the government from denying that right in any manner or form, how can anyone come to the conclusion that allowing that same government to regulate by whom and how what degree the right may be exercised is NOT infringement and a direct contradiction of the intent of the Founders?

    • The only way his claim makes sense if if he is suffering from something that causes severe memory loss. There is no way he has remained in a vacuum regarding what regulated means in the context of the 2a. He has to have known what it means most of his career and should still know what it means.

    • Clue for Dick M: It is the MILITIA that is supposed to be “well regulated” [meaning “well trained”], NOT the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. That right “shall not be infringed”, no matter what the polls, the President, or the Supreme Court says.

      And if you need a definition of “infringed”, ask two 5-yr olds who are sharing the back seat of a car on a trip longer than 30 minutes. (“He’s on MY SIDE!!!”) They fully understand the concept, even if it is too difficult for all of the intellectual elites to comprehend.

      • ^^^This.

        And ever since the very basic and elementary language of the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 people have argued over what it “really” says. Hint: It doesn’t mean what you want it to mean, it means what it says.

    • It’s especially pathetic that he claims that he “taught college seminars on the history of constitutional law.” How can one know _anything_ about history without knowing its language?

      Actually, he says later (in his defense): “I am fully aware of the many and varied historical/legal definitions of the term ‘well-regulated,’ and how they are used and misused;” but that’s a fudge, because the use of the term in the Bill of Rights is clearly one thing (“trained and led”) while he repeatedly chooses to address it as another (“circumscribed by laws”).

      • Even so, it’s the militia that are well regulated. Not the people. Not the right. The militia.

        Heck, I like to look at it as, “Since it’s necessary to regulate the militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, so that when the militia get out of line and start taking over powers not delegated to them, the people can say, ‘[*rack*] Not so fast, Bucko!'”

        And even that “free State” thing. That doesn’t mean that the all-powerful ‘state’ is supposed to be free to run roughshod over the rights of the people, it means the security of the ‘state’ of Freedom, like ‘state of matter’ or from Article II, Section 3, “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,” as in “The State of the Union today is one of Individual Freedom.”
        noun: state; plural noun: states

        the particular condition that someone or something is in at a specific time.
        “the state of the company’s finances”
        synonyms: condition, shape, situation, circumstances, position”

  3. This is why any document needs to be subjected to the values and language of its time. Well regulated had a very different meaning at the point of the founding (because languages evolve and meanings easily change within years, let alone lifetimes) and what regulation now entails would be considered abhorrent to many people at time of America’s founding. Even if this were not so, the first part of the second amendment does not invalidate the second, it merely gives it context and added urgency to not restrict weapon ownership. Even if THIS were not the case, it is self-evident that people have a right to property and self-defense by any means necessary, short of unjustly infringing upon the rights of an innocent individual.

  4. I’ve met Dick Metcalf and, some years ago, enjoyed his hospitality at the PASA range. I think that his definition of “well-regulated” and mine differ. And while I believe that extensive training in firearms proficiency and safety is highly desirable, I think that making it mandatory could be dangerous. Dick’s “shunning” by the firearms community is unfortunate. We should be able to conduct reasoned discussion without the “more kosher than the rabbi” attitude that permeates a lot of our correspondence.

    • “We should be able to conduct reasoned discussion”

      Sure we should. But making apologia for antigun nuts is not reasoned. The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed. The only reasoned discussion about that is what should be the appropriate punishment for those who violate the Constitution under color of law.

  5. Lest we all forget that his replacement had already been chosen and he was already going to retire this month anyway. All they did was to gain an assload of free press to their magazine by trying to pretend that they were firing him when he only had two months left there anyway. This whole thing affected absolutely nothing except that they got a ton of publicity over it. It sure felt like a very well planned and executed PR stunt, and it worked.

  6. I believe training and responsibility are absolute necessities when handling a firearms. It is the responsibility of the OWNER however, not the state. Laws that penalize reckless behavior or deliberate misuse are not infringements, laws that “regulate” based on possession of or requirements to possess a firearm are infringments.

    I agree with Dick in that I see far to much reckless use among gun owners, I differ in that they still have the right to own, and responsibility to train as opposed to the STATE MANDATE to train. I would also like to see greater emphasis in penalizing irresponsible behavior with guns (fines would work I think) instead of the useless emphasis currently on which guns are “safe” vs “assault weapons”

  7. My wife and I are PASA members. We received the email. I found several things in his email request that seemed odd but decided to take him at his word. I’m preparing a response that should be sufficient to make sure he can’t make the claim that:

    “…because nobody has yet been able to show me anything in that column that can even remotely be construed as “anti-Second Amendment.””

    That claim really shook me because I can’t imagine that being true in my wildest dreams. However, I will absolutely make sure he can’t make that claim anymore. I’ve gathered together the information from my, now large, library of gun control research and have a reply started. I hope to finish it up this weekend.

    • It could be true that “nobody has been able to show” him anything because he simply refuses to look…after all, one cannot play the victim if one admits the other side has a valid point.

      • That is probably the case. He probably shoved his fingers in his ears and started going “La la la la I can’t hear you la la la la.” like a little kid.

  8. He also appears to be oblivious to the notion of “prior restraint” – virtually any example he provides, when compared with the anti-gun laws he thinks are okay, is about assuming that armed people will be stupid, instead of prosecuting the ones who actually are.

    It’s been pointed out before, Dick, but your examples suck. Sure, you might get prosecuted or sued for yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater, if someone is injured. But there isn’t a “Dept. of Theater Security” strapping bandanas across all the patrons mouths as they file in to prevent you from yelling. And that’s the difference between the “rights” you feel can be infringed and the rights the rest of us know cannot be.

    • Bandanas? If you applied the anti’s methodology to its fullest extent to this example, you’d have your mouth sewn shut or you tongue surgically removed because you might go to a movie.

    • Using the “Fire” in a theater example, it is already illegal to open fire with an AR-15 in a theater. This is an example of a reasonable restriction.

  9. The first paragraph of your article dipshit. All regulation is de-facto infringement. As such, no regulation is consistent with the clear wording of the 2nd amendment. FOAD Dick.

    To answer your questions in order…
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes
    4. Confidential
    5. Compliance does not imply support.

  10. Let me paraphrase, “I believe the 2nd amendment means what it says, but I believe ‘shall not be infringed’ doesn’t mean that it shall not be infringed.”

    Oh and, “I did not attach it here because it is 4Mb in size, and many of you may not have the software to read pdf files.” I can agree with the former (file size) but is there really any substantial number of users that do not have a pdf reader? Or are unable to quickly get a free one?

  11. He wants us to point out what he said? Ok.

    “Fact is, all Constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

    “And I DO believe their fellow citizens, by the specific language of the Second Amendment itself, have an equal right to enact regulatory laws requiring them to undergo adequate training and preparation for the responsibility of bearing Arms should they choose to do so.”

    “I don’t think that requiring 16 hours of training to qualify for a concealed carry license is infringement in and of itself.”

  12. What I got from his original article is that he wanted CCW holders to go through 16 hours of good training before getting the license. I’m perfectly fine with that and I don’t see how it’s infringing on anyone’s rights. There ARE way too many unsafe and ignorant gun owners out there, as evidenced by one of the columns here on TTAG. Those people are the examples the ant-2a crowd put out there. I personally do believe that every gun owner should undergo at least one day’s worth of good training. In fact, many of us did have that, from our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, other relatives, etc. as we were shown proper firearm safety and use growing up.
    If a state requires someone to be licensed for CCW, I don’t have a problem with them also being required to take a minimum of eight hours training for that CCW.

    • Tommy, the word “infringed” is quite well defined, don’t you own a dictionary? They are available on line these days as well.

      • There is no infringement in requiring someone to take training. Look up infringement, one of the meanings, the one that is usually applied to the amendments, is to “wrongly limit or restrict (something, such as another person’s rights)”. The STATES already have the right to make the laws regarding CCW permits, and the Tenth Amendment specifically gives the states the power to rule over anything not expressly written in the Constitution.
        Nowhere do I say that people’s rights to own guns should be infringed upon in ANY way. However, a CCW is a different manner, and since the states already have laws that are specific to each state for CCW then requiring training for CCW is not an infringement and IS a good idea in my opinion.

        • Tommy, please read my reply to your original note. It is hard to determine when a requirement for training becomes an infringement. However, when you have solid evidence that a certain amount impacts the right to “bear” arms, you have an infringement. You make several mistakes here. You say that because a government makes certain laws, it has the right to make those laws. Laws are struck down by courts all the time. The other is that you appear to think 2A is only about the right to buy arms. It is also about the right to bear arms

        • Well Tommy, here in New Mexico, I can OC a loaded pistol without need of a license; we don’t have blood running in the streets from me or anyone else carrying a weapon openly.

          I can carry an unloaded weapon concealed with a mag in my pocket with out a license and we don’t have blood running in the streets from people carrying an unloaded concealed weapon.

          People in six states now have the ability to carry a loaded CC or OC weapon without a license and there is no blood running in the streets from people that don’t have a criminal history. Because criminals can’t legally carry a weapon OC or CC.

          So even though social utility shouldn’t have a say in practicing a civil right; how do you justify, even WITH social utility; such a significant infringement of a G-d given right when there is nothing to justify such infringement?

        • Let’s put it this way, take any of your ‘acceptable infringments’ and put them on the right to free speech, the right to freedom of religion, the right to be be secure in ones person (safe from unreasonable searches and seizures) or any other right and see it it still seems so reasonable.

          Want to speak out against the government, practice your religion, peaceably assemble, or have a jury trial?

          1. Please fill out a form to apply for permission to do so.
          2. Submit to a background check
          3. Have no criminal past – no felonies or misdemeanors with a sentence greater than two years.
          4. Pass a drug test (must not use controlled substances)
          5. Have never been involuntarily committed to either inpatient or outpatient mental treatment
          6. Attend 16 hours of training
          7. Your practice of this so-called ‘right’ shall be limited as designated on a completely arbitrary basis by the government. It shall be limited to 30 minutes of practice, for instance. Per year.

    • So you would be ok with 16hrs of citizenship training being required in order to, for example, vote? By the way, the training may cost as much as $250 and it is only available on the third Wednesday or second Thursday of the month. The classes fill up fast so reserve your spot well in advance. (Classes subject to cancellation without notice.) If you cannot get off from work for the two days needed for the class perhaps you shouldn’t be voting anyway. There will be a test at the end of the class. Failure of the test will require retaking the class before your voter card will be sent to your non- PO-box address.
      This regulation is deemed to be in the public interest since elected officials often make decisions affecting people greatly even to the extent of ending lives. And we don’t want just anybody voting for that level of power….

        • So (tucks shirt behind holstered pistol) = no training while (pulls shirt over same holstered pistol) = training required. What freaking planet are you from??

        • Tommy,
          My point is that it isn’t only about CCW. If we allow the infringement of this important right, all others are just as vulnerable. I’m only questioning why you’re ok with this level of infringement when I suspect you wouldn’t be ok with the same level of infringement on our other rights.

    • Tommy, the extended training requirement would not be an infringement if it could be demonstrated to be equally available to everyone. This affects the right to “bear” so it is a 2A issue. Lott and Mustard found a clear, measurable, and statistically significant difference in the number of people getting concealed carry and the benefit of concealed carry once training exceeded 8 hours or 1 day. This difference varied from state to state and county to county but here are some things to know. The difference was exaggerated where the poor or blacks were concerned. From that point of view alone, it is a civil rights violation. Note the “benefit” I mentioned. Yes, that is the decrease in murder and rape that occurs when more people concealed carry. But that benefit is in most cases, cut in half when training requirements exceed 8 hours. I could go on and on but I’ll stop here.

    • You are ok with .gov requiring 16 hours of training. How thoughtful of you. At some level I agree with training. I disagree with the .gov requiring it since .gov always finds a way to restrict our freedoms.

      I am a Range Safety Officer. I have 8 hours of NRA training. I have 24 hours of training at the range where I work. I supervise shooters. I supervise 5 different ranges. What state interest is served by me spending $250 and another 16 hours on safety training?

      What about a poor single mom living in a poor area with lots of drug dealing. Who is paying for someone to watch here kids while she takes 16 hours of training? What food for her kids should she give up so she can pay for the class? I’m part of the 1% (you know, the 53% of us that actually pays taxes) I can afford this. Don’t want to, but I can. .gov will make this as inconvenient and discriminatory as possible. Do it for the Kids!

    • Forget about the training requirement for a second. The very concept of a “CCW license” itself is an infringement. The implication is that you must get approval from the state to be allowed to carry (the “bear” part of “keep and bear arms”) a gun. The flip side of this is, if you don’t meet whatever arbitrary rules the state has decided must be met, you are denied your right. How is this not an infringement?

  13. Dick….at the time of its writing… “well regulated” meant “well trained disciplined and equipped”… jackwagon.

    This was even revisited in the recent Heller case.

  14. I guess Dick has no understanding of the 2A, that must be the problem. The 2A did not create militias, or allow for them, or any other such blather. The powers of Congress, which predate the 2A, did that quite explicitly. The 2A reflects on the existence of said militias as a reason for enumerating that the people’s right to arms shall not be infringed. The regulated (trained, similarly equipped, chain of command familiar, etc) militia is also hereby reminded of that fact.
    The militia were the ones who were tasked “to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” That militia is the “well-regulated militia” No local “unregulated militia” is referenced by the 2A.
    Clause 15. The Congress shall have Power *** To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

    Clause 16. The Congress shall have Power *** To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

    That militia, the well-regulated one, needs no 2A to be armed. Sorry Dick, do not pass go. The right of arms being uninfringed is enumerated as a deterrent to the well-regulated militia, not to empower one.

  15. Metcalf is quite correct in saying that rights are subject to regulation (irrepsective of amateur etymologies about 18th C. meanings of well regulated). There is a right to free speech but there are also laws against libel, slander, etc., and against shouting fire in a crowded theatre, hate speech to incite a riot, and so on. One has the right to religion, but no right to, say, human sacrifice. And so on. It is very arguable whether compelling shooter training classes is an excessive regulation on the right to keep & bear arms. So if you want to call Metcalf wrong, even idiotically wrong, for that, well, OK: make a counter-argument for that. But the shrill hounding of someone for merely raising a question or making a proposal? Metcalf is a victim of rightwing political correctness just as others have been victims of leftwing political correctness.

    • You are little off base with your arguments.

      I actually do have a right to say or yell FIRE in a theater, crowded or otherwise. What that right doesn’t protect me from is the potential that someone is hurt or killed from my legal utterance of the word FIRE. Unless of course there actually was a fire, and then you would be ok regardless.

      The same goes for libel, slander and hate speech. The right is a given, its the aftermath of exercising that right that is regulated. To put it plainly, exercising my rights can not infringe on yours or anyone else’s rights.

      So while I have freedom of religion and if that religion demands sacrifice, I get no protection because it violates anothers right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

      So no, rights are not subject to reasonable restrictions. Metcalf is wrong and you are wrong in your defense of his wrongness.

    • So, are you saying that Thomas Jefferson’s explanations of the militia and well-regulated are amateur etymology? What about Federalist #29 or some of the others?

    • And it is already illegal to open fire with an AR-15 in a crowded theater. That is a reasonable regulation. No need for any others. Thanks for playing.

      • Well said, Timbo.

        Another way to put it is, you don’t have to have your vocal chords removed before entering a theatre, for fear that you might yell “FIRE”.

        Laws do not prevent action. They are only for the after-the-fact punishment of taking said action.

  16. You blew it when you wrongly said” shall not be infringed ”
    does not mean shall not be regulated” that’ exactly what Hitler said.The liberals use that as gasoline to further the cause of dearmament.

  17. After reading Dick’s column and elaboration, I get the impression that he’s never read the volumes of anti-gun commentary that’s readily available online. If he had he might have recognized that the antis want all access to guns eliminated for public safety (except for the govt. to control the citizenry). While commenting on Illinois requirements for acquiring a permit he also might have noted that NYCs $300+ permit application fee and 6 month backlog are an abhorrent infringement on the 2A.

    For the AI it simply seems that he’s ignorant of the media and PR/social media campaign to abolish the 2A in systematic incremental steps.

  18. Merely for the sake of argument lets grant that “appropriate training” is constitutional.

    Wherein then is the magic in 16 hours of training? Suppose you have a law degree and can go to the range tomorrow and hit 70% on a b-27 from 25 feet? I’d say, yep, you are well trained and there is no need to waste 16 hours of your time.

    Maybe you don”t have a law degree, but you can pass a test on self-defense law, and shoot 70% on a b-27. I’d say, no need to sit through 16 hours.

    The point here is that even if you believe training is constitutional, the only thing that should pass muster are requirements objectively and substantially related to the goal.

    There is no magic about 16 hours. Like a registration fee, it’s an arbitrary hurdle. I can sorta see the rights vs responsibilities argument, and I have seen a lot of knuckle headed behavior myself.

    However, an arbitrary 16 hour training requirement does not solve the knucklehead problem – sometimes overconfident knuckleheads are the very people most likely to have too much free time on their hands to waste. It’s like the Obamacare website- the people most likely to sit through the wait are the ones most likely to be sick.

    Moreover, the numbers to not bear out the notion that more training equals better outcomes (that’s the law of diminishing returns). Vermont is an open carry no-permit place, and its a pretty darn safe state. At the end of the day, responsible adults choose to behave responsibly and learn the safe handling of their firearm, and irresponsible adults choose to behave irresponsibly no matter how much experience they have had.

  19. He spends the first part of his letter trying to blame it on the editorial staff; “But they read it and allowed it!”

  20. 16 hours is one hell of an infringement. Who’s going to pay for those 16 hours, plus $150 for the paperwork? That’s close to $500 in some cases. That completely denies the right to carry to anyone who isn’t able to afford it.

    • Good call. It made me think of the NFA….

      The NFA was enacted by Congress as an exercise of its authority to tax, the NFA had an underlying purpose unrelated to revenue collection. As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms.

      The $200 making and transfer taxes on most NFA firearms were considered quite severe and adequate to carry out Congress’ purpose to discourage or eliminate transactions in these firearms. The $200 tax has not changed since 1934.

      For perspective, $200.00 in 1934 had the same buying power as ~$3,500 in 2013. Point is, forcing people to attend training and pay significant fees will act as a deterrent for individuals who, for one reason or another, cannot afford the $$ or time away from work.

      Thoughts on this are my own, but for the sake of time I referenced the following site:

  21. Dick is free to think and to say whatever he wants.

    Those who read/hear him are free to make choices about gun magazines and shooting venues they frequent.

    Freedom, it’s a great concept!

  22. I used to feel sorry for the guy, but he JUST WON’T DROP THE SHOVEL AND CLIMB OUT. Sheesh.

    He’s all whiny about extremism but patently refuses to see why he’s being criticized. He’s the only one being reasonable. How reasonable is that, Dick?

  23. How does Metcalf see that there are regulations restricting the other nine original amendments? A prohibition against yelling ‘fire’ in a theatre is only effective after the act, thus it is like any other law ‘against’ something. Yelling ‘fire’ in a theatre that is on fire is totally appropriate. Using a firearm in the commission of a crime is also ‘against’ the law. What other ‘restriction’ is necessary? A firearm is a tool, it can be misused, by the ignorant, the immature and those with criminal intent. It also serves a societal purpose that most other tools do not, as a defense against violence and tyranny, and thus deserves special status, thus the 2nd Amendment.

  24. It is with mixed feelings that I view Mr. Metcalf’s comments.

    As president of Guns Save Life, I have never met Dick, but plenty of people in my orbit have and have to a person said good things about him.

    I believe some of Mr. Metcalf’s relatives even tend to one of our famous Guns Save Life Burma-style roadsigns (example: DIALED 9-1-1 | AND I’M ON HOLD | SURE WISH I HAD | THAT GUN I SOLD) on the western edge of Illinois, so I look upon him almost as family even though he’s not currently a dues-paying member of Guns Save Life.

    While my first reaction was to excommunicate him from the gun rights movement, in looking closer, I think we should use his instance as a teachable moment.

    Our enemies want to make us slaves. Showing them kindness, or capital ‘R’ respect does nothing positive. There’s nothing we can do to change their minds.

    Instead, we must give the hard-core gun bigots nothing.

    Instead, we must charismatically educate the uninformed in our society to infect them with the fun and excitement of shooting and inculcate them on the benefits of firearm ownership. Take them out of the darkness of ignorance about guns and enlighten them with the facts.

    Metcalf has hopefully learned his lesson. Striking “common ground” with those opposed to your civil rights is a recipe for losing some of your civil rights… not for them to cede you greater freedoms.

    It is with that in mind that my position is one of neutrality on Dick. Leave him alone and move on with our fight.


    • John,
      First, thank you for all that you do for the RKBA. However, I am confused by this statement:

      “Metcalf has hopefully learned his lesson.”

      How can you say that after he reaffirmed for the 100th time that nothing in his article may be construed as being anti-second amendment? If anything, he’s doubling down on his stance:

      “If you have read the December 2013 G&A column and share the view that is “anti-Second Amendment,” I would like to ask you a personal favor:

      Would you reply and tell me exactly what the column said that you believe to be “anti-Second Amendment?” I am completely sincere in this request. I ask, because nobody has yet been able to show me anything in that column that can even remotely be construed as “anti-Second Amendment.”

      This statement is so unbelievable as to be divorced from reality. Narcisism of the highest order: when thousands of RKBA people are unanimously offended, he asserts that the problem is them; the whole world must be crazy, not Dick Metcalf. Nothing can REMOTELY be anti 2A in the article ’cause I say so. You’re reading it wrong.

      With respect Mr. Boch, Dick Metcalf hasn’t learned anything. He deserves nothing less than destitution and homelessness. He betrayed us all along with the manufacturers/industry that wrote his paychecks. He is an enemy of the RKBA. In his letter to his club, he only makes one valid point: everyone involved in that piece should also be canned from G&A.

      I know you’re just being a nice guy because that’s who you are but you’re too quick to change your stance on DM to neutral. He does not deserve an ounce of leniency from the RKBA community.

    • There is no way Dick is going to “learn his lesson” his ego could not conceive this. He is the teacher and the rest of us are his students, at least inside his head.

  25. When a person thinks long enough about the ideas of gun control philosophically and reaches a conclusion, Dick calls this “extremism.”

    Maybe Dick should read his statements again and read the 2nd amendment, maybe he can reach a reconciliation.

  26. I actually agree that all constitutional rights are subject to limits, but Mr. Metcalf, along with so many others, take that as a jumping off point to conclude, erroneously, that the criterion for what constitutes an acceptable limit is what they consider “reasonable.”

    When it comes to fundamental constitutional rights, that simply isn’t the standard. The criterion is what’s known as “strict scrutiny” and it requires that:

    1) The restriction be necessary to achieve a compelling government purpose; and

    2) That the restriction be tailored in the narrowest way possible to achieve that purpose.

    What this means is that it isn’t enough for Mr. Metcalf to shrug and say “I think 16 hours of mandatory training is reasonable”. He has to pony up the goods – show that incidents due to poorly-trained gun owners are a compelling problem that the government is bound to address. Show that mandatory government training will alleviate that problem, that it is the only way to alleviate that problem, and that 16 hours of it is the minimum amount of training required.

  27. Everyone is entitled to believe in their own opinions.
    But Dick you stabbed the community that feeds you in the back with your opinion.
    Now your feeling the backlash.
    Man up to it.
    You made a mistake airing your views where you did in this print media.
    As a long time subscriber to the magazine in question.
    That’s not where I want to see any negativism that feeds the enemy.
    Yes I do 100% believe “Shall not be infringed” means just that.
    NO regulation.
    I have a god given right to protect myself with what ever is available to me and arms should not be regulated.
    Its a right and rights are not to be controlled by man, or legislation.
    Normal example.
    Driving is a privilege, NOT a right.
    Owning a gun isn’t the same as owning a car.
    You may regulate the manufactures of such things I believe, but not my use of it.
    Not in my personal book.

  28. The guy can’t seem to get it through his thick skull that “well-regulated” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. The Supreme Court cleared the meaning of that phrase up a while back, yet this guy didn’t get the memo. I don’t know if he’s desperately holding on to his misunderstanding of that term, or he’s really that obtuse.

    For anyone who’s unaware, the phrase meant “well trained” at the time of the Amendment’s writing. NOT “restricted” – which would be a logical stretch, since only a few words later the Amendment says it SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.

  29. This is a copy (minus my real name at the end) of my open letter to Dick Metcalf which I sent to him through his PASA organization. This is long. So, sorry guys. Read at your own risk.
    Mr. Metcalf, the founder and president of PASA Park has written a letter claiming he is serious about wanting to know the thoughts of the firearms community, specifically as it is related to his editorial article which led to his termination. He asks 5 questions, I have answers. I will be republishing this letter on so please consider this to be an open letter.

    This is going to be fairly long. But it is important so here we go.

    Mr. Metcalf, I cannot be the first to point out to you that the words we choose to use can 1) carry meanings at one time that have different meanings at the time they are heard or read and that 2) have consequences.

    Your article makes a claim that we (the legal gun owning, law abiding community) should submit to a regulation of our rights. You then claim that our 1st amendment right to free speech is regulated. The worn and tired “fire in a crowded theater argument.” The reality is that this is a poor comparison as this is not a truthful statement. In fact it is not even intellectually honest.

    You see, you most certainly CAN yell fire in a crowded theater. Most particularly if there is actually a fire. In fact, as with a defensive firearm use, there might be a moral imperative to be compelled to yell fire in a crowded theater. That action can save lives. As can the use of a firearm. We do not license, or muzzle, or silence speech before it is uttered. Instead we deal with the consequences of speech (as you are learning) after the event. We determine if speech has been used with intent for harm, malice, or assistance (or any number of other purposes). We also determine if any harm has been done. If one yells “fire” in a crowded theater and no panic ensues, no one is harmed then that person will NOT have their ability to speak hindered in any way. If the same person yells “fire” and saves people from burning to death they will be given awards and the key to the city fore heroism.

    The same should be the case for the 2nd amendment and guns. We have the right to be armed. The 2nd amendment does not grant this to us. It RESTRICTS the government from infringing upon that right. The founding fathers, in their wisdom, saw fit to carve out the ability of individuals to use force
    against any who would do them harm. By any I mean criminals, predators and even governments. The reason for the incredible response to your choice of speech is that we (those law abiding gun owners) have already capitulated to the “main stream” that you seem to be so concerned with.

    Where has it gotten us? We have a patchwork of restrictions on our ability to defend ourselves and a set of rules which cannot be followed. We have the “main stream” who doesn’t recognize that the world has beauty and ugly in it. One of the uglies is violence. Violence is not deterred with words, or signs, or puppies and unicorns. It is deterred with force. Or at least the threat of force. We have “hate crime” laws which make some actions “more illegal” than others because of intent. Will we soon have a department of “pre-crime”? This is what you propose by claiming we should have one right regulated more than another. Should we cast away our 4th amendment rights in order to own a gun or carry a gun so that the all powerful state can determine that it is stored in a way that a government offical says is the proper way. (Which some of us know would be within a solid block of steel with no doors or access).

    The 2nd Amendment is under attack as is the entire Bill of Rights. You are in the wrong to seek a middle ground to appease the “main stream” because there is no middle ground. You either support the right to keep and bear arms or you support the state’s ability to limit your freedom. “But we have laws against…..” Yes we do. The actions that can be done with a firearm which are negative are already illegal. It is illegal to threaten someone with a firearm, it is illegal to murder someone with a firearm, etc. etc. It is also illegal to do those things with any other tool. Insisting that the state can regulate the rights of gun owners places power in the hands of government. And government is constructed of people. People who many of us do not trust to act in our best interest. And the men and women in government know full well that restricting our rights is the best way to increase their power. It is a zero sum game.

    On to your questions.
    1. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe all laws prohibiting convicted violent repeat criminals from having guns are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?

    You are asking the wrong question here. Do you believe we should be returning repeatedly convicted criminals into the general population with full knowledge that we will be dealing with them in another violent crime? Our punishments are not harsh enough to deter the criminals from acting in a criminal way. Why do we make it more difficult for the general public to defend themselves against these violent predators. If a criminal has fulfilled their obligation to society then they should be made whole (after prison, probation, etc has been completed). Otherwise they should not be in the general population. And penalties should be harsher to deter criminals.

    2. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe laws prohibiting the bearing of arms when falling-down drunk or when wasted on drugs are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?

    The behaviors you list are illegal with or without the firearm. This is not a firearm regulation. This is a drug and alcohol use regulation. If someone is irresponsible enough to be in public while falling-down drunk or wasted on drugs they are already irresponsibly harmful to themselves and others regardless of any firearms they may or may not have access to.

    3. If you believe the 2nd Amendment is subject to no regulation at all, do you therefore believe all state laws establishing concealed-carry license requirements are unconstitutional? Should all such laws be repealed?

    State laws establishing license requirements are unconstitutional. The “well regulated” and “militia” terms of the 2nd amendment do not mean what you want them to mean. The “militia” was a term which was chosen to refer to all able bodied men capable of forming a defense of their community who were not part of a standing army. As in, all of us. And “well regulated” did not mean regulated by a government body. It meant prepared and ready to act. These words have meanings now that have morphed into a hope for government control over the population for the left and your precious “main stream” population. But those words don’t mean what you want them to mean. There can be no license to defend one’s self. There is no license to write for a newspaper. No licenses for religious institutions. Licenses are granted by government to do things the government sanctions. The government cannot sanction or choose how it will be limited by the people who are assigned by the Constitution to limit the government. All of these laws should be repealed. Concealed carry, open carry, firearm ownership and possession should be universal throughout the united states. Private property owners have the right to limit and control the accessibility of firearms on their property as should be their right. But the state is explicitly limited from infringing upon this right because it is in place for the purpose of limiting the government officials from uniting against the population.

    4. Do you have a concealed-carry license anyway?

    I may, or I may not. The ability to carry (or not) is best left a mystery. Better that you not know if I am armed but assume that I am rather than know I am disarmed and be made a target. Just as it is better than you not know and assume that I am than assume I am not and be surprised when I am.

    5. Are you thereby turning your back on the Constitution?

    Those that jump through the hoops the government sets up to restrict our lives to just get along and maintain the ability to defend themselves (the Supreme Court has determined the police are not required to defend us) are simply choosing the lesser of evils. But again, you are asking the wrong questions. By siding with the “main stream” and not defending the right to keep and bear arms, and by allowing the gun confiscating side to shape the arguments you are the one turning your back on the Constitution as well as your intellectual honesty.

  30. <sigh>

    Dear Dick,
    You clearly do not understand logic or the Constitution or both.

    Freedom of Speech is regulated: you cannot falsely and deliberately shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
    As RF has posted multiple times: 1) that ruling has been modified since; 2) the criminal prosecution isn’t for the utterance of the word ‘fire’, it’s for the damage and harm that the ensuing panic causes.

    Freedom of Religion is regulated: a church cannot practice human sacrifice.
    This one is a perfect straw man for gun regulations. It’s perfectly legal for a congregation to gather, without filling out a 4473 form, registering with the state, paying a $200 tax stamp to the BATRE, etc. But if they try to commit murder, kidnapping, etc., then we, as a society, step in to prevent it. I think we should regulate guns exactly the same way.

    Freedom of Assembly is regulated: people who don’t like you can’t gather an anti-you demonstration on your front lawn without your permission.
    Another perfect straw man. Alice’s rights to assemble and speak her mind don’t supersede Bob’s property rights. We should regulate guns exactly the same way: Alice can’t carry a gun onto Bob’s property, without Bob’s consent, either implied or explicit.

    And it is illegal for convicted felons or the clinically insane to keep and bear arms.
    Again, I say we regulate firearms, exactly the same way, because these people have not been “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”, they get trials.

    As for the whole “well regulated militia” part. As anyone who’s bothered to read anything about the revolutionary era knows, regulated meant “make regular”, i.e. conform to standards. But hey, if you want to be a pedantic Dick, the regulation only applies to the militia, which you sort of people think means the national guard. I’m not in the national guard, so you can’t regulate me.

    As for the part that mentions the people:
    in·fringe [in-frinj]
    verb (used with object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.
    to commit a breach or infraction of; violate or transgress: to infringe a copyright; to infringe a rule.
    verb (used without object), in·fringed, in·fring·ing.
    to encroach or trespass (usually followed by on or upon): Don’t infringe on his privacy.

    I think saying, “you can’t do X” or even “you can’t do X without Y” is an infringement.

    Of course, what is fundamentally wrong with your Dickish reading of the Constitution, is that you seem to think we only have the rights expressly mentioned in the Bill of Rights, and that government can do what ever it wants otherwise. That is exactly wrong. The government has the expressly mentioned powers in Article 1, and, as the 9th and 10th Amendments clearly state, every other right belongs to the people and states. So the government lacks any authority to control firearms.

    And finally, the most telling indicator of what sort of power the Framers thought the federal government had to restrict firearm ownership: how many laws did they pass that did so? The only antebellum firearms laws I’m aware of are requirements to own or carry a firearm in certain circumstances, and the restrictions on slaves or freedmen owning firearms (further evidence that gun control is used by the establishment to facilitate in oppression).

  31. Although I have heard this many times, can someone explain to me why driving is a privilege? is walking a privilege? Is riding bicycle a privilege?

  32. Freedom of movement is inferred and noted in the US Const.
    I see my previous comment “FOAD” was too precise in it’s intent to pass here

  33. Dick doesn’t get it and never will. He’s a slave to old school Fudd thinking and probably retired a couple of years too late.

  34. “The original column topic was assigned/approved by G&A five months in advance. The column was submitted six weeks in advance of press date. It was edited, reviewed, vetted, and approved by the G&A editorial staff and G&A publisher and sent to press. The editors promoted it with a headline at the top of the December G&A cover, and the title of the column as it appeared in the magazine, “Let’s Talk Limits,” was written by the editors, not by the author. (The word “limits” actually appeared nowhere in the column itself.)”

    I’m sorry, true or not, this is a legend. I’ll file it with the mermaid accounts.

  35. A well regulated militia would be well trained troops under the control of the States. We no longer have a well regulated militia; which was once the duty of the National Guard. Though States still have National Guard elements attached to each State; they are no longer regulated by the State. The National Guard is now controlled by the Federal Government and the States. If a State wished to use its well regulated militia to restrict federal intrusion into the State, the federal government would immediately take command of the National Guard element from the state to prevent the State’s action. For this reason the states should demand all federal control of the National Guard be returned to the States. This will not happen as the States have sold out their National Guard for the equipment supplied by the federal government, which was also purchased by tax money taken from the states.

    As far as “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”, this means just what it says. This should be obvious to the most casual observer. In my humble opinion, where we went wrong in this country was relying too much on lawyers on SCOTUS. What we really need is to get well educated but not necessarily lawyers on SCOTUS. The Constitution does NOT require SCOTUS be filled with only lawyers, and originally it was not! Yes I know very radical thinking but look back at history. Common sense used to be applied but no longer. Again, this is only my opinion.

  36. Doubling down on dumb.

    Shall not be infringed, means shall not be infringed.

    Regulated doesn’t mean RESTRICTIONS.

    The Federal Government can pass a law that regulates the militia in the form of minimums of how much training is required, and how often the militia shall meet for training purposes, but those are not firearm restrictions.

  37. I think most people here are missing the point. Regardless of whether or not you think Dick is wrong, the point is, he wrote an article to generate discussion, which G&A approved and published. I always felt like G&A used Dick and the editor as scapegoats. G&A made the mistake. If they didn’t want to generate that kind of response, they shouldn’t have published the article! Then, they just neatly clean it all up by firing the two people they asked to do it. Nice. Very nice.

  38. “Would you reply and tell me exactly what the column said that you believe to be “anti-Second Amendment?” I am completely sincere in this request. I ask, because nobody has yet been able to show me anything in that column that can even remotely be construed as “anti-Second Amendment.” I will hold anything you say as totally confidential.”

    SERIOUSLY? F*ck that guy. If he can’t even SEE how the RKBA crowd views his article than he’s a willfully ignorant, pompous, narcissistic a$s hole. He’s just plugging his ears and saying “nah nah nah nah nah!”

  39. I’ll be charitable and assume he uses “freedom of speech” to mean the value of speech, rather than the 1st Amendment (which of course does not apply here). I tend to agree that a discourse and conversation is good. But a lot of the subscribers of the publication do not agree, so… I’m sure he can comment here at TTAG just like everyone else.

  40. It amazes me that some people on this board think a training requirement is not an infringement on the right. If you have to pass a government approval to exercise a right, IT’S NOT A RIGHT at that point.

    • Of course it an infringement on your rights and mine.
      Unfortunately so is a permit to carry a handgun or rifle is issued by your state..
      But Its also unfortunately been this way for so long its become accepted by the general public as law.
      The few places that have fixed this ignorance.
      Now have as we know it to be Constitutional Carry.
      That’s the way it should be everywhere.

    • I don;t think it’s so much a “requirement” imposed by some authority, but it’s the Right Thing To Do. For example, I wouldn’t try to use a chainsaw without having somebody show me how to use it properly.

        • And show proof that you paid $250 for this great training from a .gov approved vendor to use a $169 chainsaw for “public safety”

        • “May we please see the requirement for State-approved training, and proof that you’ve taken it?”

          There isn’t any, which was my point. There should be no “state-approved” anything. But that doesn’t mean that getting some training on your own isn’t a good idea.

    • It is when you’re paid by firearm companies to look out for their best interests. If a law was written tomorrow making it legal to tar and feather him, I would be heating tar and cutting open down pillows within five minutes of the law’s passage. F*ck Dick Metcalf.

  41. “Do 2nd Amendment adherents no longer believe in Freedom of Speech?”

    Can I see proof of your 16 hours of First Amendment training, you Statist Bastard(tm)?

  42. “Do 2nd Amendment adherents no longer believe in Freedom of Speech?”

    We do. We also believe in the free market, so f*ck off and die.

  43. It’s real easy for an anti-gunner to say “I support the 2A” when they think that “well-regulated” in the context of the 2A means to enact laws restricting the use and kind of arms. Of course WE, who understand that that is NOT the context of what “well-regulated” means with regard to the 2A will continue to guard against those that wish to limit the 2A.

    He is a pro-restriction elitist that doesn’t have the first clue of what the 2A is about.

  44. He doesn’t understand what he said that was anti-2nd Amendment?

    How about we just start with this quote from his article “I firmly believe that all U.S. citizens have the right to bear arms, but…”

    He lost me at “but”


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