Concealed carry gun pistol
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We the People of the Gun have debated constitutional carry vs. shall-issue for quite some time. The shall-issue debate breaks along the dividing line of a perfunctory NICS check vs. training/testing/qualification requirements. The debate is familiar so there’s no need to go over it again here.

But it’s dawned on me that this isn’t strictly a binary choice: constitutional carry vs. shall-issue. There might be other solutions that are worth considering.

Around the time of the founding (centuries before and decades later) there was a practice of a judge ordering a carrier to obtain a surety to guaranty his keeping the peace. Typically, the judge would impose such a requirement upon a plausible complaint that the carrier had threatened someone or had disturbed the peace.

So arguably, there is precedent from the era of ratification of the Second Amendment for some remedial imposition short of a lifetime ban on gun possession (the dreaded prohibited person status).

Strict scrutiny advocates insist that a right is absolute. But clearly, such is not the case. It is a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. This is a clear-cut example of an absolute right. The accused has a right to the assistance of council, to confront his accusers and to a fair trial. These rights are very nearly absolute.

Nevertheless, we accept that prisoners lose their right to keep and bear arms while under arrest or incarcerated. Most strict scrutiny advocates will concede that there is some room, constitutionally, for a denial of the right to arms upon conviction of especially egregious crimes.

The gun control industry wants to hang on to shall-issue so that they can continually raise the barriers (fees, training hours, testing, qualification, processing delays) to carry a firearm. Their ostensible objective is to “keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.” (read: people of color).

The strict scrutiny members of the People of the Gun will object on the usual grounds. So, we might ask, what might the legitimate arguments be for some sort of permitting requirement?

First is the “deterrent” argument. Ask any teenager what he thinks about, for example, a “curfew” by his parents. He can stay out until 10:00 PM, and if he comes home late, he’s grounded for a time. The girl he was out with gets no punishment for staying out too late, beyond possibly a talking-to. What would we expect their respective behaviors to be?

Constitutional carry is, by it’s nature, penalty-less bad-behavior carry. Unless and until the carrier commits a prohibited person-type offense, there’s no penalty for bad behavior. She can engage in bar fights, road rage and the like and her constitutional right to carry is preserved.

With no consequences, shouldn’t we expect such a permit-less carrier to behave like the girl who violates curfew with impunity? Unless her behavior is subject to something less than “sudden social death” (i.e., a lifetime grounding), she will behave as she pleases.

The old surety system imposed a penalty on an ill-behaved carrier. In the olden days, she would have to find a financially respectable friend to put his personal credit on the line. Should she misbehave again, the friend would have to pay up, causing personal embarrassment. Today, she would have to pay a bonding company for a surety. The cost of the bond would be a meaningful penalty to enable her to continue to carry.

A second issue is training. Shall-issue adherents argue, somewhat persuasively, that in an 8-hour or 16-hour course the prospective carrier learns about carry etiquette; e.g., touching or pointing to your gun while arguing is considered “brandishing.” Courses include some introduction to the laws of self-defense, prohibited carry zones and so forth. There is, admittedly, some merit to these arguments (and plenty of criticisms).

Suppose we consider what I’ll call an “un-permitting” scheme. A state’s legislature would adopt a constitutional carry law privileging the general class (those adults over 18 years of age, citizens, green card holders, who are NOT already prohibited persons). But upon a judge’s order, for reasonable cause, the right to carry may be suspended until the carrier meets a course of requirements and is issued a conditional permit.

If, for example, the carrier was accused of engaging in unsafe gun handling practices, he would be ordered to undergo gun safety training. If accused of brandishing, a course on gun carry etiquette. If found carrying in a prohibited area, a course on the applicable laws.

The major objective in mind is to ease the path toward constitutional carry in the remaining score of shall-issue states. Only felony/domestic violence incidents would trigger full revocation of Second Amendment rights on an all-or-nothing” basis. The legislature could then move from shall-issue to an “un-permitting” scheme and evaluate a move to full constitutional carry in two to five years.

Ultimately, we will have to deal with the nine may-issue states which, I expect, will be forced to adopt shall-issue under the Corlett opinion to be issued in the next 19 months or so. Expect these states to raise the barriers to apply for a shall-issue carry permit (higher fees, more training and testing, tougher qualification standards, longer processing delays).

What will be our tactic to lower such barriers? I think it would be useful to point to the success of a dozen states with “un-permitting” laws, to say nothing of the 20+ states with full-on constitutional carry. We will then be able to ask, legitimately, why the residence of these last few states are so ill-behaved and untrustworthy that they can’t possibly be allowed to handle the responsibility of permit-less carry as the default proposition.

Why must their residents all be taxed, trained, tested and qualified when the few less-responsible among them could just as well be dealt with and rehabilitated with un-permitting?


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  1. In Florida the GOP has a graduated plan to have Connecticut or Kalifornia style laws. The maga and blue haired electorate both fully believes this the “gunshine” state however. Fascinating.

    • Never happen in ILLinois. Had to get SCOTUS to rule to get anything. Whatever happens in CC states aint my bidness…

  2. “The accused has a right … to confront his accusers”

    Which has been reduced to mean the “right” to face a prosecutor because cases are defined as “the state v”, making the state the accuser. So it’s not only not absolute, it’s pretty much null.

    ” Their ostensible objective is to “keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.” (read: people of color).”

    People of color and people without a college education.

  3. So I would ask what the desired outcome is here and along what timeline it is to be achieved.

    Do you (general) want a system where road rage and bar fights do not impact gun rights, one where such behavior results in some sort of punishment or one where gun rights might restricted for a time due to such behavior?

    Is the desired system one where the barriers to carry are “reasonable” or one where they are essentially non-existent and what are you (general) willing to accept and for how long?

    Such questions need to be answered in a fully fleshed out manner since I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that were you to move in the direction suggested here the “surety to guaranty his keeping the peace” would rapidly devolve into a “you might beat the rap but you won’t beat the ride” sort of thing in many places and it will be extended to virtually everything.

    It is not hard to imagine, particularly certain cities, imposing a “any violation results in a requirement to swear out an affidavit of gun ownership/non-ownership” that carries the weight of a felony perjury charge for lying, and that this would then be used to force people who are accused of/guilty of very minor violations right back into the same corral of high-bars to continued carry.

    I can easily see a Boulderite arguing that jaywalking or a traffic ticket are indicative of an irresponsible person and such a person must immediately take a 20 hour class that costs some asinine amount of money and must do so in very short order to satisfy the requirements. Followed, of course, by the rule that failure to get this done on time makes the situation even worse. Now you’re on a hamster wheel you can’t get off of.

    • Do you (general) want a system where road rage and bar fights do not impact gun rights

      If you engaged in a “bar fight” AND you had access to a gun, but did not use it, then no further punishment is necessary, you’ve demonstrated your ability to determine the difference between life threatening and non-life threatening situations… If a bar fight was reason enough to “prohibit” gun possession then I would have banned for life before I was 30…

      • Entirely fair.

        The point of my post is to think about what is and is not acceptable as part of anticipating a counterpunch from the opposition.

        That’s not necessarily a reason not to throw a punch but having an idea of how to anticipate their reaction is useful.

    • “. . . one where gun rights might restricted for a time due to such behavior?” Yes, that’s the idea. Suppose someone brandishes in a road-rage incident. If the penalty for such a conviction is up-to 2 years in prison, the guy may spend a week in jail but he loses his gun rights. So, likely, the guy will plead to disorderly conduct and doesn’t lose his gun rights at all. He doesn’t learn anything. If his privilege to carry were suspended for a month and had to complete anger management and gun etiquette training he might learn to improve his behavior if he values his gun rights.

      “. . . barriers to carry are “reasonable” or one where they are essentially non-existent . . . ” Barriers to entry – to step out the door carrying – require no permit. But, bad behavior (road range, bar fighting, with or without a gun) makes you vulnerable to a suspension of your privilege, mandatory training and maybe a bond.

      We can let our imaginations run in any direction whatsoever. That’s good to a point; it’s “brainstorming”. Ultimately, we have to be strategic. What path might there be to a better outcome faster? Which paths delay progress while we hold our breath and turn blue?

      • My point is simply that they’re not going to take this lying down.

        If one were to imagine that POTG did embark down this road it would be nice, for once, to have actually kinda planned out how we’d respond to their reaction. They will see such a thing as a provocation. “War gaming” their most likely reactions and our counters to them makes sense.

        The difference between a boxer and a brawler. We’ve mostly been brawlers for a long time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

        While progress has been made in some areas (shall issue/constitutional carry) it’s been lost in others (red flag laws). I’d like to see that stop. Not to say we won’t eat the occasional jab but we need to stop walking into low kicks and uppercuts.

        Personally I’m not opposed to your proposal here. I would say that we might steal a page from the Left though, anticipate what they’re likely to do and have “canned” responses (lawsuits most likely) to the top five or ten of them. In boxing terms, hit them with a combination.

    • “I can easily see a Boulderite arguing that jaywalking or a traffic ticket are indicative of an irresponsible person and such a person must immediately take a 20 hour class that costs some asinine amount of money and must do so in very short order to satisfy the requirements.”

      Oh, yes, I can easily that happening, unfortunately, especially in your neck-o-the-woods with all those Cali transplants.

      Returning to Mark’s original premise –

      Incremental is a strategic option. The Leftist Scum have a political strategy known a ‘Nudge’.

      Taking little-tiny (but politically viable) bites in order to get to the goal line. It works for them…

      • It only works for tyrants because those being incrementalized do nothing about it thus allow such victimization to continue.

        What should be done about such tyrants I have addressed in another response regarding capitol punishment being accomplished in public as it damn well should be. CHECK OUT THE RESPONSE(S) I GET.

    • No need for “unpermitting “. That is just a way around due process. Lets just allow a judge to make not carrying in public a condition for probation when somebody commits certain crimes. But lets exclude all first offenses and give a clean slate after 5-10 years.

      Too many things can be labeled as violence when they are self defense or even nothing.

  4. No. Your argument hinges on presuming that the State has the power to nullify a natural (or God given if you prefer) right. It doesn’t.

    • I figure if they aren’t in jail then there is no reason they should not have access to personal defense.

      • That is also much easier to actually accomplish. You think a convicted felon cannot carry a gun? You are an idiot AND a dreamer! Hell, there are enough problems trying to prevent weapons in prison!

    • Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all God-given rights. And each of them can, with due process of law, be taken from you by the state. This is civilization.

      The predecessor was living “in a state of nature” where there was no law beyond the law of the jungle. Any man could take your life or liberty, to say nothing of happiness, with impunity if you and your kinsman were in no position to retaliate.

      If you don’t understand this distinction than you didn’t understand the discussion of the right to be free of “cruel and unusual punishment”. I think there is a consensus that the state will not draw and quarter anyone for any crime. Apart from a few examples such as this one, other rights can be forfeited upon due process of law.

      Perhaps you don’t like this viewpoint philosophically. That’s fine. If you were king you could change the Constitution and law at whim. But, neither you nor I is king. So, this is a discussion on the art of the possible.

      • That is NOT civilization but is tyranny.

        Draw and quarter may have gotten old but we DO need to return to public executions. Hanging, firing squad, guillotine, whatever serves more of a deterrent than the current system that has actually made our society more barbaric since the last public execution.

        • “Hanging, firing squad, guillotine, whatever serves more of a deterrent than the current system that has actually made our society more barbaric since the last public execution.”

          Nice idea, but it won’t work.

          A crime truism is that many criminals fully believe they won’t get caught. There goes your deterrent…

        • Not totally Geoff … there’s many a communists in the USA still alive simply because it’s illegal to put them out of our misery.

      • Civilization is not determined by a government. It’s determined by the members of a society/tribe/clan/etc. . In many ways a government (the law makers) are the enemy of civilization, since the vast majority of laws are created to protect the ruling class and perpetuate their power thru the very real threat of force employed by them against the non-ruling members of that society.

        I’d quote the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence, but I’m sure you are familiar with it. Just as I am familiar with Hobbes thought experiment.

        • No but you’re getting nowhere fast as my only surprise is you mentioning the US constitution at all. It’s impossible for you to hide your closet Marxism and leftist leanings.

          The general definition for “civilized” has not been in the slightest considered by a govt. or the governed masses in the USA since we outlawed public executions but for elementary level readers and above I’ve already articulated that. For anything more I refer you to a dictionary as what you will find in one is at least neutral and non-socialist.

    • Who do you think is a closet Marxist? I’m not seeing it.

      It’s a simple fact that the government does have the power to deny and remove all sorts of rights. It’s being done right now with 2A rights in several states and to a lesser extent by the feds. It shouldn’t, but it does.

      Doesn’t mean we don’t still have those rights, because if they’re inherent/god given, they can never rightly belong to the state. But when the state can take away the ability to use them entirely, that’s a distinction without a difference.

      It got that way because a lot of people thought the loss was worthwhile, or at least were willing to live with it. So the question is, what if there’s a way to claw some of those rights back while keeping public order and not scaring the simpletons (for lack of a better word) into preemptively giving theirs AND ours away again? What could a practical step toward restoring some of these rights look like?l

      • We have somebody like you in charge of the country right now and he’s an absolute FAILURE at both incrementalism AND public order.

        Got any other bright ideas? None of your philosophy seem to be working out to good for you right now. Try all or nothing for a change. Maybe you’ll succeed and realize what it like to have what it takes to fight for something.

        • Personally, I’m in favor of going for the throat. If we can’t get what we wanted out the big swing (as you almost never will), that’s where incrementalism comes in. Take what you can get and set yourself up for a better attack and a bigger bite of the apple next time.

        • He described the reality of our situation. How did you get “We have somebody like you in charge of the country right now” out of that?

          Right now there is no “all or nothing”, because Congress isn’t going to throw out all the existing laws about firearms, and the Supreme Court doesn’t make broad rulings that would even make a significant dent in the situation.

  5. I live in Ca, so I know this will not happen here, but I feel that if the state wants to require people to have training(basic 1 day), they should have to classes at a very minimum charge, like $25 and have an experienced instructor, maybe retired LE, teaching the class. These classes are not so much about shooting, but the situations that can get you in trouble if you do draw or use your gun.
    Questions like if you are in stopped traffic and 2 scummy looking people come knocking on your window, is it OK to open your coat and show them you are armed? What if to draw on a couple of homeless people that are getting aggressive in panhandling?
    Different states are different, what seems right to you may not be legal in your state.

    Requiring a $150 class and then a shooting test over a couple of weeks is just overkill.

    • I too have thought of the influence of “place”. I grew up in rural Minnesota. The culture is called “Minnesota nice.” Outside of the Twin Cities, people are generally familiar with gun etiquette. Likely much the same in other places like VT, NM and a dozen other states.

      Conversely, very few are trained to arms in the major metropolitan areas. Should we be surprised if statisticians reported more gun crime in major metropolitan areas; less in rural areas? More road rage and bar fights in the former, less in the latter?

      Now, what implementation ideas occur to us if we take a different-strokes-for-different-folks approach? Less intrusive in rural states, more aggressive in states with major metro areas?

      Strategically, the right to arms will be more secure in the long run if we maintain the historical policy of major regulation by the states with only interstate-commerce jurisdiction by the Feds. Admittedly, this sacrifices the future of gun-rights in Blue states. But, it has a major benefit of preserving “2A sanctuaries” in the rural states. They will have to fight us to the last of the Aleutian Islands before the 2A is completely dead in the US.

      I’m keenly interested in the discussion of training. More so on what to train for and how to train. The mandatory/voluntary aspect is tricky; but these are discussions for a different thread.

      Here, the topic I hoped to broach, is whether there is some avenue to bridge from Shall-Issue-with-training to Quasi-Constitutional-Carry. Perhaps mi un-permitting scheme is fundamentally flawed; if so, let’s identify such flaws and see if they might be remediated. Perhaps there are still better ideas; or complementary ideas.

  6. Shall not be infringed.

    Which of your proposals did not relinquish to the government some degree of authority to infringe?

    All of these suggestions are futile since prohibited persons, regardless of the reasons they are prohibited, WILL carry a firearm if they perceive their need outweighs the risks. The only thing that is actually prohibited is purchasing the firearm and ammunition through government licensed sources.

    So long as the Second Amendment applies to ALL CITIZENS then the self defense intended by that amendment also applies and THAT is the control on the criminal use of firearms, not handing over the authority to do so solely to government agents.

    The proper response to road rage or domestic violence or any of the other bad behaviors a person may engage in with a firearm that endangers others is to shoot the son of a bitch.

    “…an armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. For me, politeness is the sine qua non of civilization. That’s a personal evaluation only. But gunfighting has a strong biological use. We do not have enough things that kill off the weak and stupid these days. But to stay alive as an armed citizen a man has to be either quick with his wits or with his hands, preferably both. It’s a good thing.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Beyond This Horizon.

    End of problem, end of story.

    • “Which of your proposals did not relinquish to the government some degree of authority to infringe?”

      The “old surety system” at least has a due process step. Of course then you have to find a “financially respectable friend”, so again The Poors need not apply.

      • Such is not typically an incremental baby step.

        As for justice via the non-deductible charitable contribution system part of society you can always call AOC, Ilhan, or that nasty Tlaib for enhanced socialistic assistance. After all, they’re in constant collusion with scramblehead Pelosi and known racists such as Soetoro, Holder, and Geraldo Rivera.

      • “. . . so again The Poors need not apply.”

        This statement is contrafactual. Numerically, the poor are the most numerous of customers of bail bondsmen.

        If a poor person is offered the choice of security a $1,000 bond or going to jail he will do his best to scrape-up the $100 to pay the bail bondsman. Usually he is successful; and, the criminal justice system desires to make most defendants successful for otherwise the jails would constantly have the No Vacancy light turned-on.

        The theory is (whether fact based is another matter) that many people strive to conform their behavior to the law to avoid the cost of the bail bondsman’s premium.

        Whether our ancient system of bail ever served, or continues to serve, a useful result is certainly worthy of debate. Nevertheless, it IS doubtlessly a Constitutional tool in our judicial kit. If it might be a better tool than the kit we are living with today then it might be worth considering.

        Bear in mind that the “kit” we have today with Prohibited-Person laws is sort of “2A-sudden-death”. You can be as ill-behaved as you wish up until you get convicted of a felony, Domestic Violence or 2-year misdemeanor. Prior to this your 2A rights persist; after any such conviction you are prohibited for life. Can we think of any objections to this P-P “kit”? If so, could we imagine something better?

  7. Common practice was known to the founders. The words of the BOR were written with that knowledge…without reference to “common practice”.

    • The idea that we’re going to just snap back to the days of the BOR is a fantasy.

      It’s that simple. We don’t have to like this and we should work to change it but to say that the only acceptable thing is that we get everything we want right now… well that scares the sheep and turns the flock decidedly against us.

      Once that happens the wolves have a much easier time.

      • “The idea that we’re going to just snap back to the days of the BOR is a fantasy. ”

        To snap to something, one must know what is was. The idea of incremental opposition defies the laws of inertia. Go for the throat, accept the limits, go for the throat again. We are where we are because the majority of voters were willing to accept less than demanded, over and over. The anti-gun mob wants to confiscate all firearms from legal owners (no one cares about solving the criminal use of guns). The anti-gun mob goes for broke, then celebrates an incremental movement toward full confiscation. Then they start all over again. Simply put, defenders of the Constitution don’t have the horsepower wage the long march. When they infrequently do have the horsepower, they don’t have the will.

        Whether there will be a “snap back”, or not, I was challenging the notion that justifying incrementalism because of something completely outside the Constitution is just horse pucky.

        • OK, I’m gonna take this a bit by bit and then add to it before I take another one of those fog pills that lead to excessive typos and missing words.

          “The idea of incremental opposition defies the laws of inertia.”

          Nonsense. This ain’t an object at rest. It’s moving faster than I think most people realize and NOT in a good direction.

          Try changing the direction of a speeding car with a quick 180 turn of the wheel or grabbing a handful of break on a bike. Have fun with that. This is what is being asked for by the people who want a “snap” no matter if they know where they’re going or not. The inertia will carry you through in the direction you don’t want to go and the result will be decidedly unpleasant. Combine this with [political] entropy, which has run wild for at least 60 years and you’re gonna have a bad day.

          “We are where we are because the majority of voters were willing to accept less than demanded, over and over.”

          For what feels like the billionth time: Target audience. Until this is figured out by the Right they will continue to lose a slow game of attrition.

          Culture –> Politics. Music, movies, sex appeal… where art thou? What do movie production companies and the music of soundtracks in the last 30-40 years have to do with our current predicament? Hrm? As Geoff asked yesterday, when’s the last time you heard someone say “It’s a free country”? That question’s on the right track but not quite over the target. How about, when’s the last time you saw popular media support such an idea? When’s the last time you heard a song about actual rights and freedom on the radio? Zeitgeist and all the things that go with it.

          Why do you suppose guns don’t get advertised like beer? Is there a way around this?

          “The anti-gun mob wants to confiscate all firearms from legal owners…”

          Yup, and here’s the unvarnished truth they’re likely to win because POTG are so fucking myopic they don’t see the new weapons against them that the Left is already openly talking about. POTG are not good at connecting the dots. Again, transnational shipping. Still stuck? How about CBDC? Know that acronym and what it means? No? Well, do yourself a favor and lube up your asshole in advance. You’ll thank me later.

          Oh, I know, “from my cold dead hands”. LOL! They already have that covered. Let them do these things and mostly the guns will be turned in or hidden. Maybe in 60 years someone will dig them up like an OSS cache from WWII. No need for a “chokepoint” here boys.

          Sheep waiting for the slaughter. Armed and comforted by it yet not realizing the actual tools of their undoing will not be guns and that, very likely, unless CW2 breaks out later this year or early next, the real answer won’t be guns at all. This is a game the Left wins playing the long way and they win it because the other side doesn’t even know the game’s afoot.

          “The anti-gun mob goes for broke, then celebrates an incremental movement toward full confiscation.”

          So what? Bites at an apple. Eating an elephant. Sports metaphors and such.

          It’s not like they’re doing poorly at it. At best, we’re treading water. I mean, sure they celebrate half victories but as opposed to what? POTG who can’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground in most cases, scream for aLl dA rIghTz! except the ones they don’t like then wonder how they got fucked over by their own goddamn game plan? And then, instead of doing an AAR to find the errors and correct them, what do we do? Turn around and complain about Karen… as if she gives a fuck.

          “Simply put, defenders of the Constitution don’t have the horsepower wage the long march. When they infrequently do have the horsepower, they don’t have the will.”

          Well then, they’re fucked. So are all the other BoR fans too. Might as well just throw in the towel now and go expat or accept your fate. You just told me this is absolutely unwinnable because POTG (and other supporters of Civil Rights) are stupid, lazy and weak. If that’s true then the answer is a cup of coffee, a textbook and a gym routine. Oh, but that’s this thing called “work” which as much as I hear about it from the Right seems to be something they always want someone else to do… which is just like the Left, eh?

        • But neither of you are getting anywhere with your silly-assed WRONG point, reinforced with long-winded rhetoric or not.

          Seems like you’re both trying to earn free one-way tickets and pre-departure lawful permanent residency in one of the Commonwealth shitholes because you’re both closet-liberal millennial types IMHO.

  8. I don’t think the authors of the Bill of Rights intended black people to own guns… seeing how they literally owned them.

    Did the founders intend 2A rights to be taken away if you slapped or yelled at your wife?

    Is shall issue CCW really that bad? Seeing how most of the people I see at the range are incompetent/dangerous? Responsible gun owners will get a permit, THUGGANGBANGERS won’t. Something reasonable like a free permit that requires you to pass the FBI Q test. Because I don’t think women off body carrying a j frame in no holster is a good idea.

    Can we have a gun show where they sell the Turner Diaries?

    • Seems there’s always a trolling leftist/liberal in gun freedom discussions.

      If you don’t like individual freedoms to include Constitutional Carry then find another country to whine, be controlled (like YOU obviously need to be), and live in. Most folks don’t want your attitude and demeanor here.

      • I’m not left-wing. I’m paleoconservative/ far-right/ alt-right. I supported Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and Trump 2016.

        Where I live, Antifa open carries and intimidates people. Hence my support for shall-issue carry. You guys watch too much Fox News and Mark Levin. (Both of whom were #nevertrump in2016 ).

        Free Kyle Rottenhouse and free Derek Chauvin.

        • You’re worse than I gave you initial credit for.

          With this recent statement you’re amongst those narrow-minded and cowardly people that would force the law-abiding masses to suffer at least a little so you can feel better. You deserve neither security nor freedom. Unbelievable !!!

    • Shall-Issue is not bad when compared to May-Issue. Genuine May-Issue is better than de-facto Won’t-Issue.

      I was satisfied with PA’s Shall-Issue with only a NICS check and $21/5 years. Issue while-you-wait.

      My mood shifted somewhat with COVID. The “window” where you could apply was closed completely, or substantially in some counties. Moreover, if you move from one county to another you had to get your License to Carry Firearms re-issued notwithstanding that nothing changed about your NICS status or anything else.

      I know someone who had to move from a tranquil county to a more dangerous county in this time of turmoil. He couldn’t promptly get his permit re-issued in the new county. So, such a situation could happen to even a prudent forward-planning person who got his permit, but simply needed it re-issued. This causes me to be more inclined to permit-less carry.

      Here is not the place to get into the merits of training; that discussion should take place. We should be interested in improving training methods.

      Here, the question is how to make progress on the political field of battle. Is there an idea – mine or anyone else’s – to advance the march toward more liberal gun-carry rights? Or, has our entire community of PotG no imagination, no new ideas, whatsoever?

      • Why do we have to bow to the state and pay a tax to be able to carry? Concealed carry is simply carry, as in the Second Amendment. They take away our rights a bit at a time. If anti-gunners couldn’t get rid of concealed carry, they would just raise the fee to $500 or $1,000 to raise the pain threshold.

        • There once was a vendor who sold the turner diaries at gun shows, but he doesn’t seem to be on the scene any longer. You may have heard of him, his name was Timothy McVeigh.

        • “. . . they would just raise the fee to $500 or $1,000 to raise the pain threshold.”

          Absolutely true. And any decision in Corlett or Young is going to be merely the next battle in a long war; one which won’t end in either 30 or 100 years.

          Progress in this war will be measured by gradual increments in popular acceptance of generalized carry. Roughly what we had in the 18th and 19th Centuries prior to the NY Sullivan Law.

          Observers thought the Civil War would be over quickly. They were naive and sadly disappointed. We should recognize that the Shall-Issue revolution, Con-Carry campaign, Heller, McDonald, Caetano were but milestones. The road ahead is long and arduous.

    • “…Can we have a gun show where they sell the Turner Diaries?…”

      It was quite common at one time but I have not been to a gunshow in some years. I have a copy and have read it several times, usually when mentioned in news reports and I wish to check accuracy. I have a hard back copy of Mein Kampf and Quran as well. As a political non-fiction junky my bookcase has many ‘controversial’ titles. Reading these does not make one a racist or extremist, just knowledgeable of the subjects.
      I read Sci-Fi as well, sometimes with a political slant…current binge reading….

  9. Baby steps are for babies. Folks that cannot handle change from tyranny to freedom are encouraged to look to suicide as an option if freedom makes them that miserable.

      • CONGRATULATIONS … I’m sure you feel like you qualified yourself for an Oscar with this highly intelligent statement. Only you seem to forget the failure is also yours as is mine as is the crooked leftist politicians that fail to get the right laws passed and the wrong laws banned. How does it feel to realize you’re a significant part of the incremental and/or all or nothing failure?

        • If you’ve recognized that you’re part of it too, then we feel the same way, I’d reckon.

      • Wrong. Our rights should not be implemented in any sort of stealth-mode, as if we scared someone might see what it is all about. This is how anti-gunners operate, in the dark. We are children of the light and we don’t need to pretend and cower. Find me any pro-gun law that was ever put in place and stayed in place this way.

        • There’s “should” and then there’s “is.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking that what should be can simply overpower what IS.

          We are absolutely in the right — but being in the right and being able to persuade other people of it are two very different things.

          The sad fact is that freedom scares a plurality of people in this country. Shove too much of it in their face, and they’ll start begging Government Daddy with the big guns to take it (and you) away. As smart as any single person might be, people are dumb, panicky beasts. You have to be aware of who the audience is and what they’ll accept.

          You know how we got from the bad old days of the 1960s-80s where nobody could legally carry anywhere to 19-20 constitutional carry states and 90% of America being shall-issue? Stealth. Well, not stealth, precisely, but a whole bunch of relatively small steps that are very hard for the enemy to undo.

          And every step along the way, the predicted disasters *didn’t* happen, which helps convince more people that it’s okay for society to take a few more steps toward freedom. That’s what this article was asking, is what the next steps might look like in some states.

          If we prove willing and able to fight for them, these pro-gun laws absolutely can stay in place — and get *better* in many states, as the constitutional carry movement shows.


    “THUGGANGBANGERS” don’t give a shit about a permit and why is a woman carrying ANYTHING in whatever way she chooses a “bad” thing… I think “racists and wife beaters of any color should be prohibited”… Sounds to me like you’ve already got your own personal copy of “The Turner Diaries”..

      • Some intense rhetoric

        Yeah, but careful with the “big” words wouldn’t want to offend his intellect, might be the only reason he needs to go out and find some little girl to stomp with his jackboots…

  11. It must be understood that with the current state of the Criminal Justice System as it now includes Criminal Justice Reform and a lessening of Punishment. All Laws are written only to effect the behavior of Law Abiding Citizens. Those in Control know and understand Criminals will Never comply with the Law. Thus any such Legislation is written as a means to Control those who are willing to abide by said Precept. Keep Your Powder Dry.

  12. Jesus effing Christ… if I hadn’t first looked to see who wrote this piece of surrender-monkey feces, I would have thought it written by the RINO fudd who haunts Ammoland, Little Quisling Harold Hutchinson.

    People who are so dismissive of strict scrutiny and the absolute nature of enumerated Rights are what many of us would call BOOTLICKERS and COMPROMISERS… like the NRA leadership (Yes, you, Wayne)!

    If a Right isn’t absolute, it’s not a Right. The only limits to Rights are the Rights of others. I can swing my fist around as wildly as I please and no crime is committed, just as long as I don’t go a single micron past the very tippy-tip of your nose!

    Everyone who actually read this is now dumber and less free for having done so.

    • Meanwhile, the government can and does violate those theoretically absolute rights of yours every day… and you can’t do anything about it.

      Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to sling mud at somebody who is thinking in practical terms about what advances in freedom the general populace (who on the whole are dumb, panicky beasts) would accept without demanding that they…and us…be put safely back in chains. A step forward is still a step forward.

      • Bills that more things slowly end up being killed when the balance of power swings to the other side. Timidity wins nothing but appearing to try to stealth a bill through. We have nothing to be timid about. We are talking about our rights, not some generic bill.

        • I’m not talking about being *smart*, not slow or timid.

          You move forward in a fight like this by taking concrete, realistic actions; they can be big and bold or under-the-radar incremental, but the key is that every public action (legislation, culture, and education all count) has to be calculated to gain a piece of ground that you won’t easily lose.

      • You’re out of your so-called mind.


  13. I’m opposed to training requirements. Washington has never had them, and it makes no difference in our stats.

    If we’re not going to have Constitutional Carry, then it should be shall issue, no training required.

        • The Constitution of the United States of America, under the militia clause, gives Congress the authority to discipline the militia.

          I believe Congress needs to do a better job of discharging their duty under the constitution of disciplining the militia

    • Constitutionally the government could require training, with two limitations:

      – they would have to pay for it
      – it would have to apply to everyone (or at least everyone qualifying as militia under federal statute)

      So the foes of individual liberty could have their training requirement only if they were required to participate.

      • I understand your point but as I see it the foes of individual liberty are never going to be satisfied with anything. Useful idiots will whine and complain no matter what is done.

      • I agree with you, with one small qualification.

        It is doubtful that government has the power to compel a citizen to learn English any more than it has the power to compel a citizen to learn French. (To test this proposition, consider Puerto Rico. Does Congress have the power to compel schools in Puerto Rico to teach English? Or matrix algebra? Which enumerated power suggests either is so?)

        Now, to your point. It is clear from the militia clauses in Article I section 8 that Congress DOES have the power to “discipline” the militia and the states the duty to train “according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” So, whatever our doubts might be about English, French or matrix algebra, training to arms is an enumerated power. And the debate over a select militia vs general militia indicates a general training with but few if any exceptions (women, invalids, but certainly no religious exemption). So, here we agree.

        Now for my small quibble. Ignore the militia power for a moment. Judges have a wide latitude to impose punishment upon due process of law. Driving convictions can result in an order to take remedial driver’s education. Domestic violence or disturbing the peace can result in requirement to take anger management consultation.

        I’ve proposed here that if someone has violated the prescribed norms for gun-handling (e.g., brandishing) that a consequence might be an order to undergo corresponding remedial training.

        Suppose the following proposition. We generally require driver training BEFORE being issued a driver’s license. (We acquiesce to this on the pretext of the privilege/right distinction, which I find unpersuasive.)

        The Amish are exempt to the extent that they drive horse-drawn buggies on the road. Does an Amishman have a right to drive a buggy on a public road? Was this a right acknowledged to all men at the founding? Very well. If an Amishman commits a traffic infraction with his buggy may he – Constitutionally – be ordered to take a driver’s education class as a condition of his continuing to drive a buggy on the public roads? If so, then I hold he can be required to take hunter safety education or remedial arms training after an infraction of a codified safety law.

        • The driver’s license issue is different because the government owns the roads, and therefore has the authority to establish standards and requirements for their use, just the same as any landowner may set rules for the use of his land by others. So we don’t even need to go to the Constitution for that; it’s more basic.
          As for requiring remedial training, that still falls under the militia clause because misuse of arms indicates failure to be even minimally “regulated”, and abuse of arms to harm others is completely contrary to the purpose of the militia in the first place!
          Indeed a good argument could be made that any abuse of a gun to harm others in the least degree is an offense against the militia, so a federal law requiring mandatory minimum sentences (not subject to reduction for “good time” or anything else) for so much as being in possession of a gun during commission of a crime, and forbidding the bargaining away of charges concerning abuse of guns, could be justified under the militia clause.

    • No one requires criminals to have training. They love citizens having to jump through more hoops because it means they odds of the criminal running into an armed citizen is reduced. Requiring citizens to have training tips the scale to the criminal. Cops have training and they screw up all the time, so training doesn’t guarantee anything.

      • Very true. 95%+ of the reason LEO academies are required prior to certification is to cover the employing agency’s ass ONLY.

  14. Even in a contitutional carry state you still have to pay ($$$) for your background check. If you want to buy a gun at an FFL dealer. And that is how 99.9% of all gun sales are going to happen.

    Incrementalism is how we get our rights back. The best long term solution is to put 2A education and rifle teams back into the public schools. That would be what the founders would have prefered. Only an educated population can keep a republic.

    • Your comment on incrementalism was made the other day and like was explained to you then you’re still wrong.

      I do agree with returning the rifle teams in schools but it is irrelevant. The generation needing this the most is too easily brainwashed by the pathetic likes of ANTIFA, LA RAZA, BLM, and other communist/racist organizations.

    • Incrementalism can be hijacked anywhere along in a process. What happens if anti-gunners get a majority in a state? They will kill it. In Virginia, they tried to get rid of the personal property taxes over a number of years instead of all at once. You know what happened. There was an “emergency” where it was paused and never ever resumed.

  15. Judges make bad decisions every day. They have done so for centuries. If the Second Amendment can be taken away, so can the First and every other Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment guarantees Constitutional Carry, period. If you could not take a gun out of the home, how much good would it be? Furthermore, carrying that gun concealed is still part of the Second Amendment and we should not have to send money and go Mother, May I, to the state.

  16. “Nevertheless, we accept that prisoners lose their right to keep and bear arms while under arrest or incarcerated.”

    That’s because you are under direct control of the state. Pointless comment.

    Hint: The gun industry is only interested in rooting for their agenda, not citizen’s agendas. It is why they are happy to have gun import restrictions, but that punishes citizens.

    • Import restrictions, while imposed by Bush-1 were in part implemented as an EXEC ORDER (one of the examples Soetoro followed) allegedly ONLY to force an increase in sales of USA-made replacement parts, for example; upper receivers for the FAL, etc., but the real MAIN REASON was to force a significant section of gun control IMMEDIATELY IN ONE NON-INCREMENTAL ACT OF BRADYITIS and without going through Congress because the paranoid, vengeful SQUAREHEAD knew he would never get a bill to his desk for this in one, much less two, terms.

      But … this is another story that sooner or later SHOULD be commentaried in this website in continuance of FUNKY INCREMENTALISM or not.

  17. Is the second a right or is it not? This is the basic premise I always start with.

    Any government involvement in the process usually ends up with us being screwed.

    Until gun rights are treated with as much respect as the 1st amendment and the right to vote I don’t see much room for compromise with the other side.

    Infringement must be met with decisive smackdowns in civil and criminal court.

      • That’s wrong but bear in mind it’s day is coming because the communists done wore the freedoms of amendment #2 the hell out.

    • Actually it’s NOT… The 2nd Amendment is an affirmation that the United States Government recognizes and protects the “natural” rights of a person to defend him/her self against ANY agressor as well as standing in defense of the country against whomever might threaten our way of life be it an external OR internal force if necessary… The “right” to self defense cannot be granted nor can it be taken away by any government… As for the meaning of “ARMS”, it’s understood to include any weapon equivalent to any other weapon that may be brought to bear against you… Proper interpretation would construe that to be progressive to allow for developement of new weapons and the need to defend against them accordingly without governmental interference or restriction…

      • “As for the meaning of “ARMS”, it’s understood to include any weapon equivalent to any other weapon that may be brought to bear against you…”

        This is a fascinating insight!

        I’ve always been frustrated by the gun-controller’s straw-man:

        ‘But arms can’t possibly include nuclear weapons!’

        which serves to bait us into the response:

        ‘Why of course arms includes nuclear weapons!’.

        The audience is left with impression that we 2A-absolutists are the crazy ones.

        Your insight serves as a really practical way of deflecting this baiting tactic. Perhaps along these lines:

        ‘As an individual militiaman, I don’t expect to defend against an invader attacking with a nuclear weapon. Nor does a woman expect her assailant in Times Square to attack with a nuke.

        Conversely, I SHOULD expect an invader or insurrectionist to attack with a rifle. She SHOULD expect an assailant to attack with a handgun. These are the types of arms which we ought to talk about in our debate over the 2A.

        Once we agree on the right to keep and bear rifles and handguns there will remain plenty of time to discuss artillery or nukes.’

      • “. . . recognizes and protects the “natural” rights of a person to defend him/her self . . . ”

        This is NOT precisely true; perhaps much to the shame of Madison, the 1st Congress and the ratifying generation.

        It IS true that the right to arms was deemed a God-given or natural right. Nevertheless, the text of the 2A reserved ONLY to “the People” the right to arms. Anyone not having claim to membership in that class (the People) enjoys NO security against infringement.

        We ought to reason that there was no interest by the founders in securing the right to arms held by Loyalists. Nor native Americans, slaves, free Blacks or any other aliens who might sojourn among us. This simply makes sense from a practical viewpoint. These were men of principle, to be sure. But they were evermore practical men who sought to design a government that would work for what they regarded as their own interests. And, these interests had little sympathy for those outside the class “the People”.

        The gun controllers would prefer to argue that the founders expected that governments (probably state legislatures) would strive to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. And, we may rightly respond: Certainly so. They specified this class when they reserved the guarantee to “the People”. If they intended to define the class differently they certainly would have said so. They might have written, for example: ‘. . . the right of men of means . . . shall not be infringed.’ Or, ‘. . . the right of landowners . . .” Or, ‘. . . professional defenders of persons and their property . . .’ But they wrote no such thing. The fact that they circumscribed the privileged class must be understood to mean exactly what they wrote, not something different.

        To “dis-able” a member of that class would have to be by due process of law. E.g., your right to be secure in your papers and effects could only be with a warrant. Your right to liberty violated only by trial or by suspension of habeas corpus.

        To view the matter otherwise would be to admit that any enumerated right could be re-written (outside the amendment process) by mere act of a legislature.

      • “Arms” covers more than weapons, it includes “all the accoutrements suitable to war”. Back several centuries, shields and helmets and breastplates — all manner of armor — counted as arms. The term doesn’t cover just things that can damage an enemy, it also includes things that protect against damage. So bullet-proof vests and any other protective gear count as arms.
        But it doesn’t stop there; arms includes anything necessary to the use of weapons, so cleaning kits, holsters, slings, optics, blueing, oil, storage cases, gun cabinets, and everything else needed to have, keep, maintain, and use weapons and armor count as arms.

        That said, the term “bear arms” referred primarily to the common arms of the regular/ordinary soldier — that is, in today’s language, the arms of the trained, professional soldier fully outfitted for war. “Ordinary” doesn’t mean the most common, it means “completely outfitted” and thus includes the gear of any soldier who might serve in a professional army — so it isn’t just the standard kit of a common infantryman, it covers whatever might be issued to any soldier, whether a typical infantryman or special team member or special forces.

        • “. . . it isn’t just the standard kit of a common infantryman, it covers whatever might be issued to any soldier, whether a typical infantryman or special team member or special forces.”

          I get the drift of your thesis; I can start down the path. Arms includes cartridge boxes and bandoleers, and so removable magazines.

          Yet I don’t yet see where this line of reasoning (which I don’t dispute at all) can take us. Perhaps it takes us as far as a BAR or SAW; but that’s not much. Perhaps it takes us to a flame thrower, bazooka, or hand-operated missile. Or, to the far-away bunker where an operator navigates a drone and fires it’s guns; or a missile silo. Yet these are rather far-fetched and don’t seem to illuminate the present debate on gun-control.

          I sense that you are driving at something useful to the current gun-control debate yet I’m unable to imagine precisely what that might be. Could you please elaborate?

          By way of illustration, perhaps you mean to suggest that “arms” clearly includes the ordinary infantryman’s M-16/M-4. It also includes a belt-fed machinegun such as the M-2. Notwithstanding that only a few squads would have such a belt-fed machinegun; and a squad that has one might have just one operator, it is nevertheless the case that “arms” must include such a weapon. That moves us from: AR-15; to M-16/M-4; to, M-2. Perhaps you propose to bring the argument over the extent of the definition of “arms” to this point and then pause. You defer taking the argument to the bazooka or hand-operated missile.

        • Perhaps it takes us as far as a BAR or SAW;

          And why can’t I have a low yield battlefield “tactical” nuke? If someone means me harm and has access to such a device (as suggested by the “esteemed gentleman” and Chinese spy consort from California, aka Mr. “we got nukes” Eric Swallowswell)? I already have all the peripheral stuff like body armor, knives, night vision, lasers, ACOG and other “stuff” that will help level the playing field, however I don’t yet have the means to launch certain devices that would assist in defending against even light armor (which could most certainly be brought to bear against me)… You want an M-4? everything you need to create one (even a three round burst or full auto) is avaiable, all you really need is a quality chrome lined barrel and a select fire trigger group… If you want to launch an explosive device however, you are pretty much limited to spring loaded or (my prefference for controllability) air pressure and a tube made from CPVC… As a qualified Marine Veteran, schooled in the use of ALL presonal hand held weapons and “other” devices (including explosives training) I am certainly qualified to use all of the weapons carried by todays infantryman and I already have my own surveilance drone capability which could be easily converted to deliver “tactical” ordinance if necessary (can get real pricey real quick)… No wonder those assholes are so scared of us, I can’t be the only one with the knowledge and capabilities to do this stuff, hell it scares me and I’m not afraid of anything…

        • @ MarkPA
          Mostly I’m just trying to clarify that the term “arms” covers a lot more than just weapons for self-defense, hunting, or recreation. People are quick to say “It isn’t just about hunting” but then some quit the argument after self-defense is included, but the focus is still on ordinary (in today’s meaning) firearms. And anti-gun folks love to look around at the “fringe” stuff related to guns and say, “Oh, we can tax and regulate these!” — but “shall not be infringed” doesn’t mean just guns and ammo, it means everything that might be issued to any professional soldier as standard equipment (which these days would have to include parachutes since they are standard for airborne). In the extreme, it can be taken beyond even ballistic vests to boots and vision gear.

          When you mention squads you cross into territory that scares the heck out of all the nanny-state folks: as pertains to individuals, “keep and bear arms” means combat and support gear for an individual soldier, and that’s where the argument tends to focus, but there is a “collective” side in that once you have more than the individual, the militia concept applies to arms that are fitting for pairs, trios, squads, platoons, companies, etc., whether those be crew-served weapons or entire warships — so the actual collective side of the militia concept (and thus the Second Amendment) isn’t restrictive, it’s additive.

          And all this is to make the point that we too quickly ignore everything except the main clause of the Second Amendment as not relevant. We need to recognize that the mention of a well-regulated militia isn’t just introductory, it is defining in that it gives us the concept within which the term “keep and bear arms” is meant, thus while that phrase definitely applies to the individual it does not stop there; it isn’t just individuals that have rights, it is also individuals joined together — not just the militiaman, but the militia (in all its manifestations from local to national).

        • @ Roymond. Thank you very much for your exposition.

          I see your point as regards accessories. E.g., in IL (IIRC) one is forbidden to have a laser site on one’s firearm. Similarly, the AWBs seem to concentrate on “evil features” such as the bayonet mount or pistol grip. Your discussion makes clear that such regulation/prohibition infringes upon the right to “arms”.

          I find especially interesting your “additive” notion. “The right” is not strictly speaking exclusively an individual right. The “well regulated militia” being a “necessity” also alludes to a collective right; one analogous to the right of association, assembly and worship.

          This additive notion and collective notion serves to overcome the “crew-served” or more exclusively-assigned weapons argument.

          A gun-controller might argue that an M-60 or M-2 is crew-served; it can’t be “borne” by a single militiaman. Similarly, the BAR or SAW is not generally issued to every infantrymen; just one or two members of a squad is assigned such an “unusual” weapon.

          Perhaps that is true to some extent. There MIGHT be some explanatory value in understanding the right to arms as respects an individual member of the People being less than that of the militia as a collective. But the argument could be stretched no farther than that.

          We must go on to examine the reference to the “militia” as a collective. When Tench Coxe asked, rhetorically: “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?” he very likely was speaking of the collective just as much as the individual (a man pointing his weapon at his own bosom).

          IF there WERE a weapon beyond the individual’s “arm’s reach” then what might it’s standing be under the 2A? Would there be NO right inherent in a militia collective to keep, transport, exercise and bear such a weapon?

          One novel reading I’ve seen of the militia clause and “right of the People’ seems illuminating. I.e., that the intention was to prevent any state from depriving the Federal government of a well-regulated militia. Suppose, for example, that Pennsylvania’s Quaker legislature bared its residents from keeping or bearing arms and failed to organize them into a state militia. (For some time PA had no state-organized militia). Such a state maneuver would deprive Congress’ ability to “call forth” the militia from such a state.

          The history of “arming the militia” is one of stingy access to the public treasury. I suspect (research ought to try to confirm/refute this) that artillery was often owned collectively by municipal militia companies. Only a few rich men could afford a cannon as a personal lawn ornament; it would take a village to afford an artillery piece. I suspect they were financed just as we equip municipal fire departments today. And, just as with fire departments, they are sometimes municipal departments, sometimes private volunteer associations and sometimes hybrid organizations.

          What if Harrisburg didn’t fancy any militia company marching on the capital with artillery in tow to seek regress of a municipal grievance? Could the state forbid that municipality from keeping and bearing artillery? Wouldn’t that deprive access by Congress?

          How could we apply this analysis to municipal police departments? Are these not a form of locally-organized “select militia” companies? In case of a national emergency, wouldn’t Congress likely call-forth sheriffs and municipal police? What if a state dis-armed these local forces? Down-arming them to six-shooters?

          I undertake to contemplate your collective and cumulative insight NOT with the view of undermining the individual right. Instead, I think it’s interesting in undermining the goal of gun-controllers to constrain the right to arms to “ordinary” weapons of limited capability corresponding to the majority of individual infantrymen. IF there IS a collective right that is organic to each community then whatever right to arms that MIGHT fall outside an individual right must certainly be vested in municipal collective right-of-the-well-regulated-militia.

          If the gun-controllers can’t carry their “ordinary” individually-borne limitation then it becomes difficult to reach their goal. Each municipal collective – police or sheriff’s department – can’t be disarmed nor down-armed without threatening the “well-regulated” character of the “necessary” militia.

        • @ MarkPA
          My favorite example of the collective aspect of the militia is that in colonial America there were harbor forts that were built by, equipped by, manned by, and administered by not any government but by citizens acting in the common interest — i.e., acting as the militia.
          I wish I could remember the court case but it’s been awhile; anyway, in one western state there was a conflict between federal agents and a sheriff’s department, and the sheriff came out on top in court. One reason given was that the sheriff was both a representative of the state and, since elected, a representative of the people, and with his power to call a posse was the local representative of the militia — so on all three grounds the sheriff’s authority in the matter at hand trumped that of any federal agent.

        • @Roymond: Thank you for the additional discussion. Both interest me. If you could find the citations for either, please post them.

          I read that PA’s Quaker legislature did not organize a state militia for a time; and so, local militia organized themselves calling their groups “Associators”. I wish I had a citation as to the time period when there was no PA state militia and which municipalities had Associators. (If anyone has citations, I’d appreciate them).
          I seriously wonder whether the institution referred to by Article I and 2A is, at once: 1) a Congressionally organized militia; 2) one of the several states’ organized state militias; or, 3) an organic aspect of any civilization. Perhaps it is all three.
          Under #3, we might ask, which came first? The state? Or, the militia? If you answer, “The state” then that rules-out the possibility that it is an organic aspect of civilization. Conversely, if you admit #3, then “the militia” is an organic institution which might ALSO have implementations as a federal, state or municipal government organization. In such a case, the militia can’t be rendered a nullity simply by neglect of a governmental implementation.

          All of this would seem somewhat academic were there no real-life example of a militia not organized by some government. It occurs to be that we have a Cajun Navy as an inter-state, NGO.

          You may protest that the Cajun Navy is a navy, not a land-based infantry unit. Tisk tisk tisk. A navy has amphibious marines; and, I see no reason to confine the militia to a purely land-based role. You may protest that the Cajun Navy is unarmed. I challenge you to interrogate its members as to whether they keep and go armed on missions. I would interpret a chuckle as confirming my conjecture.

          Perhaps there are, or were in recent history, other examples comparable to the Cajun Navy.

          I admit that my thesis is bucking the Presser v. Illinois decision. That is an obstacle to overcome; but, it wouldn’t be the first time that SCOTUS made a wrong decision.

          But the gun controllers can’t have it both ways. Presser would say that there is no right for private citizens to organize a militia; but were that so, then the right to arms must be an individual right. (States have a power to organize their respective militias, this is not a state’s right.) Alternatively, there is a collective militia institution and it is a collective right of the People just as there is an individual right to arms. And the states can’t infringe upon this right; certainly not after McDonald. (Presser preceded McDonald; so McDonald supersedes Presser.)

        • Why CPVC?

          Because if using air pressure all you need is CPVC, it’s strong enough to hold the pressures (150 psi goes a long way) and it’s just a piece of plasic pipe if anybody comes snooping around… 10-4 on the fertilizer bombs, that stuff can still be found laying around old abandoned tobacco barns all over the mid-west…

        • @ MarkPA

          I’ve read so many thousands of pages about the militia concept I have no idea where to point you.
          I’ll start by saying that you’re right, that Presser is wrong about citizens organizing a militia for one simple reason: the people ARE the militia. It also gets the relationship between government and the people backwards: the government only gets to do things that the people have the right to do; the only powers of government are due to the limited assignment of the exercise of certain rights to the government by the people. Thus the only reason the government can have anyone who is armed is because the people first of all have the right to keep and bear arms, and the only reason the government can have an organized militia is because the people ARE the militia.
          Of course this can be addressed from another direction, that of freedom of association: the people may, by their choice to associate, exercise any right they may choose jointly rather than individually. This is true of joining (or organizing) a church, joining (or starting) a political party, and more, so it must also be true of the right to keep and bear arms.
          Of course there are some limiting factors, for example that a militia, i.e. a unit of armed citizens, is both local and has an essential relationship to local government, but within those the militia concept covers everything from ad hoc groups (such as the Oregon coastal militias formed during WWII, which came from the ‘ground up’, i.e. from the people, not from the state; or a posse) formed for the duration of some crisis, to established and continuing groups (I forget which states have such at present, though there are several, as well as some county-level organizations) not directly under the authority of the state governments, to state-established groups as found in the National Guard. Are all legitimately militia because all are formed by the people and either authorized or recognized by the people’s representatives at the different levels.
          As for which came first, the militia or the state, that actually can’t really be answered because they don’t have that kind of relationship because both arise from a common source: the people. It could be answered, “The militia”, because the people are the militia, and in that sense it is the militia that organizes the state (and thus it is the militia which assigns to the state a portion of the exercise of militia operations such as sheriff, police, and National Guard).
          The Court really needs to go back to the Declaration of Independence to get clear on where rights and thus powers come from!

          (I hope this was reasonably coherent as I am exceedingly mind-weary today.)

        • @Roymond re: “I’ve read so many thousands of pages . . . ”

          Thank you again. I assure you that you were coherent. And I agree, albeit I have a question and a counter-argument about two points.

          I agree that the power to govern arises out of the People. We the People establish and ordain our municipal governments and our states alike. If I fully embrace this view then, it seems logical to me, there is a compelling argument for “home rule”; i.e., that municipal governments ought to have a power to regulate activity within their jurisdictions more rigorously than does the state government. However, we advocate for state supremacy with respect to gun regulation. And this latter notion is consistent with the principle that municipalities are subordinate to their respective states. Do you see a resolution to this dilemma?

          Second, the chicken/egg problem of whether militias were established before governments. This is more-so a philosophical question than it is a historical question. If we had adequate records of pre-history civilizations we could count cases in each sequence and draw some conclusion. But this isn’t necessary or dispositive.

          My assertion is that it is more likely that men were more likely first to organize militia for self-defense (or offense against neighbors); and, then later, organize some formal government out of the militia basis.

          Even if I were factually mistaken that this was the majority sequence, one could still ask: Could it be legitimate for men to organize a militia first, and a civil government second?

          My point in advancing these arguments is to drive-home as firmly as possible that the institution of “militia” is organic to civilization not a creation of civil government.

          This is not inconsistent with your view that both the militia and the civil government are each creations of the People. You and I each trace their legitimacy directly to the People and you do NOT hold that the People first created government and the government created the militia.

          Where I see we differ is that I think a more compelling argument can be made, more than you are willing to advance, that the militia more likely came first and in any case, it could come first and owes no necessary feisty of parentage to a pre-existing state institution.

        • @ MarkPA
          The resolution to the question of state supremacy should be simple — and it ought to be in the Constitution! —
          That law which more firmly protects or advances individual liberty shall prevail.
          That’s really what’s behind the approach that puts the militia under the states: the states, being more local and thus theoretically more responsive to the citizens, is a better guarantor of the free exercise of rights than the federal government. But today most states have a larger population that the original thirteen combined, so states are now as big a threat to individual liberty as the original federal government ever could have been.
          Another way — additional, not in place of — to resolve it is that each level of government should only be allowed to make laws that have to do with things at that level, never things below. That was the principle behind the intent of the commerce clause, which was meant to allow the federal government to be a referee between the states (not to meddle inside states!). This would clash somewhat with the above idea, but it is actually of the very essence of the point of democracy, that the people of a polis, i.e. a local government, are in charge of their affairs, not anyone from outside (today’s Democratic Party is thus not democratic but imperialist). Essentially this would be the commerce clause (original intent) applied to the hierarchy of government, so that each level of government would be only a referee between lower levels, with the modification that if a lower level moved to curtail free exercise of individual liberty then, and only then, could the higher level intervene.
          Whether the militia came first historically is to me not terribly relevant. To a large extent it would depend on how we define “government”, since if we go back far enough we have tribes on a scale where all the members knew each other, essentially an extended family, and “government” in practice meant the oldest living common ancestor. Where militia enters the picture depends on whether we want to call self-defense a militia function (I do, for the sake of continuity; with respect to the Second Amendment, “the security of a free state” can be seen as starting at home with defense of self and family): if we do, then the militia comes into play the moment one family/tribe member employs force to protect another; if we don’t, then the militia doesn’t show up until there are multiple tribes — but that seems an artificial boundary to me.
          So it comes down to definitions. In a sense, government comes first because government does not require the existence of the “other”; parents setting rules for children is the root of government (and why monarchy was so common), thus government exists prior to the presence of threats, and it is threat which leads to the emergence of militia.
          In practice we don’t have any clean-slate examples of a society with neither government nor militia; historically the closest thing is when a government over a large territory collapses leaving lesser units on their own, and in those cases the argument can go either way — there are examples of communities organizing for defense and only afterwards organizing a government, just as there are examples of some local entity establishing authority and later recognizing that defense is needed and so militias are formed. Both can be found in the process of the crumbling of the western Roman Empire, though what is most common is that the patronage system, where wealthy landowners provided services and protection to less well-to-do citizens who in turn gave loyalty to the patron, shifted from being centered on the courts and legal matters to being centered on geography and survival matters — and in that, government can be said to come prior to militia when a given patron’s lands were in a peaceful region, but the case is not so clear in less peaceful regions; indeed there are examples of tenants of a vast estate offering not just agricultural but also military service. But the fact that this nascent feudalism arose directly out of an existing relationship that changed its nature somewhat makes the examples interesting to discuss but not helpful in historical terms, and thus we are back to what you note is philosophy (an interesting note here is that the statement “the people are the militia” is itself inherently philosophical since only rarely in history have all the people turned out to serve in the militia at once).
          Now to turn back to democracy, in a polis, these two statements are true: the people are the militia” and “the people are the government”. Thus to ask which came first, militia or government, is to ask a nonsense question because the moment you have the people you have both militia and government. The obvious contest to that is to discuss institutions, thus departing (to borrow some really old philosophy) from the substance to the accidents, from the reality to its expression, from noumena to phenomena. And in terms of phenomena, I say the question doesn’t matter: militia is an aspect of the people, and government is an aspect of the people, and if you want to get right down to it then if a militia (institution) forms where there is no government (institution) then the militia at that point is the government since it possesses all the necessary elements of government: leaders, subordinates, rules, penalties. On the other hand, if a government forms where there is no militia, that government immediately requires a militia, else it has no way of instituting rules and penalties for leaders and subordinates — so in theory you could have government without a militia, albeit a government with but small chance of continued existence!
          Of course we are far removed from any of these theoretical situations; government is today in terms of territory quite ubiquitous: there is no place (well, except for some rather unique situations of small amounts of disputed territory) unclaimed by one government or another. So the practical question comes down to what is necessary for the formation of a militia, since government is everywhere, and the answer to that is that government is irrelevant to the question: the people are the militia, and they may form a militia at will; the militia, however much it may be offered in service to government, is not a creature of government but of the people (by the people, and for the people) and thus the formation of a specific militia (unit) is within the right of the people as and where and when they wish — and government has no more authority to forbid the people to be the militia and exercise that right than they have to forbid the people to be the people.

        • @Roymond: Thank you again for your thoughtful exposition. You are affecting my thinking about this topic.

          “. . . militia is an aspect of the people, and government is an aspect of the people, . . . ” This reminds me of the notion of “checks and balances” and the design of a republic with a multiplicity of non-concentric constituencies.

          (Imagine, by contrast, a unicameral legislative scheme where citizens voted for a city council. Councilmen voted for a county board of supervisors. Supervisors voted for state legislators. State legislators voted for the Congress. At all levels of government all decisions would be made by a majority sharing a common interest. E.g., in a municipality corn farmers would out-vote soybean farmers. In a county grain farmers would outvote livestock farmers; and so forth to Congress where agricultural interests would outvote industrialist or merchant interests. It was such a form of republicanism that founders intended to avoid.

          Your conception begins with a common body of men. Some with a political orientation, others with a martial orientation. To be sure, these would be substantially but not completely overlapping. If those with political interests “captured the flag” they might have to contend with a broader body of less political and more martial interests. And vice versa.

          From this point of view, the supremacy of government over militia or vice versa is only one specific question within a more general question. Should any one faction be allowed to monopolize all power; particularly, the capacity to military power? If it is unacceptable to allow agriculturalists (for example) to obtain and sustain a monopoly of all forms of power, then it is unacceptable for any other faction – theocratic, philosophical, political or martial – to achieve such a monopoly.

          The Constitution (Article 1 section 8) and 2A might have contemplated the optimal arrangement where the goal was “that every man be armed”. That they be trained, by their respective states, “to the discipline prescribed by Congress” ought to ensure that all were comparably prepared to be “well regulated” (which is to say, effective). So they could, and would, spontaneously “associate” for municipal defense; even to oppose tyranny by their own state governments.

          Supposing this were the design, we might ask: How might a DIFFERENT design have better fulfilled the founders’ goals?

          Here comes the the gun-controller’s argument. ‘That the 2A authorized exclusively state organized militias as a complement to the federal militia.’ Our answer is: ‘Were that their intent they would, and could, have so stated in plain language. That argument does nothing to explain why the right to arms was secured to “the People”, not to “the several states”.

          Moreover, such a design would tend toward concentricity of martial constituencies. E.g., the militias of southern (agricultural) states allied against the militias of northern (industrial) states. The latter allied against the militias of coastal sea-faring states. And the sea-faring states allied with southern (agricultural) international trading states. Diversity of interests (e.g. northern farmers, southern craftsmen) to join together to oppose the simple majority of political and martial interests of their states.

          This has been a fruitful dialog for me.

  18. Note that I wrote, “Go for the throat….” Gun grabbers swing for the fences, then settle for what seems “reasonable”.

    Fact is….if defenders of the Constitution had what it takes to turn things around, we wouldn’t be in our current circumstances, at all. We didn’t arrive at our current Constitutional situation by truck.

    There can be no question that politicians go where the money and the votes are. They do not vote on first principles. Defenders of the Constitution don’t have the horsepower (big donor money that funds the implementation of society, culture, education).

    Go big (and take what you can get), or go home.

    So, yes, mocha frappuccino for me, please.

  19. “an 8-hour or 16-hour course the prospective carrier learns about carry etiquette; e.g., touching or pointing to your gun while arguing is considered “brandishing.” Courses include some introduction to the laws of self-defense, prohibited carry zones and so forth. There is, admittedly, some merit to these arguments (and plenty of criticisms).“

    This is my position.

  20. “Never Doubt That A Small Group Of Thoughtful, Committed Citizens Can Change The World: Indeed It’s The Only Thing That Ever Has.” Margaret Mead

  21. Absolutists’ All-Or-Nothing attitude usually leaves them with nothing. Taking baby steps is fine, as long as you’re not trading baby steps forward for giant steps backwards. The path of no issue->discretionary issue->shall issue->Constitutional carry is more realistic than no issue->Constitutional carry. They may decry “permission slips” to exercise rights, but they at least have a way to carry, and they can gain more freedom by disproving the unfounded accusations of traffic accident shootouts, blood in the street, and showdowns at high noon

  22. @MarkPA…

    The central issue is governed by circumstances of the founding of the 13 colonies, and not to be viewed through a contemporary lens. The central government/committee did not exist prior to 1781; there was no “national government” of the colonies anywhere on the continent. The only “national government” was the British parliament.

    The colonies were individual, stand alone, unique creations (each with purposes often in conflict with the others). The colonies were created to satisfy the political and economic interests of the mercantile,religious, and political powers of their sponsors.
    While governed by the central power of the British parliament, the colonial governors were not of one accord about how the colonies would be governed locally.

    Beginning with individual colonial government, the winners of the first US civil war did not seek to establish an American central power that could rule over the former colonies (now States). Nothing in the writings of the founders indicates a common/popular interest in re-creating the British government with one of American flavor.

    The colonies had existing militias long before the founding of what we now call “the nation”, or better, national government. Indeed, there was no national government from which power extended to create the constitution, or otherwise rule over the victors of the war of independence.

    The colonies (now States) were content to rule themselves, quite apart from any of the other States. It was only when the strains of existence of the individual (and fiercely independent) States became too great to have no coordinating facility that a “national government” of any kind was created (Articles of Confederation, 1781). Again, note that the individual State militias already existed.

    When the Confederation proved itself inadequate to facilitate/coordinate/manage the affairs of interaction between the individual and independent States that a different tool was created…the Constitution of the US. Those States that created what we now know as the federal government did not surrender their preexisting right to independence from tryanny of a State-created entity (the federal government), except as delegated by the States, and revocable by the States; i.e. overthrow of a central government become too oppressive of the rights of the people, and the powers of the States.

    The existing militias of the colonies were retained by the individual States so as to provide for protections of a State, when other States might not be involved. The militias of the States were also there to augment the federal standing army when needed in the ebb and flow of national and international political developments. The State militias were never the creation of the federal government (simple legislative control), nor disbanded in place of a central government controlled national army.

    Underneath it all was a central, mutually agreed, understanding that the people of the States (thus, the people of the nation) retained the unalienable right to throw off, violently, an authoritarian, tyrannical central (federal) government. Of all the possible uses of a State militia, the unifying use was to defend the States from the federal government. The States jealously preserved the right of insurrection as the last ditch defense against a federal government such as we have today.

    The founders through off the rule of a monarch, over the issue of taxes and other oppress ions of the colonies that we, today, see as “normal” operations of government. Can there be any doubt that those same founders would use State militias today to put an end to a government…“that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”


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