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Glenn Reynolds (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

So here I am at Rough Creek Lodge, toking on a six-year barrel-aged Camacho, depending on a cup of coffee and an Italian space heater to keep the Texas chill away. Constitutional scholar Glenn Reynolds and his wife are out shooting something winged (this way cometh). Earlier today, Glenn justified the junket with an extemporaneous talk about the Second Amendment. After chronicling the recent history of the Supreme Court’s pro-2A rulings, the Instapundit laid out his vision for extending and defending American gun rights . . .

“Now that gun rights are a matter of what I call ‘ordinary constitutional law’ it’s time to use legislation to move forward,” Professor Reynolds opined. To that end, Reynolds offered a four-point plan:

A Federal Civil Rights law for firearms – Under the new law, the maximum punishment a state could inflict on someone for a minor firearms-related offense – for someone who has the right to keep and bear arms (e.g., not a felon) – would be restricted to “a couple of hundred dollars.”

A tax credit for owning guns – “We should encourage an armed citizenry,” Reynolds announced. Looking around the room at a posse of wealthy gun owners, Reynolds quickly added that the credit should be capped ay $1500 – $2000 per year.

A national law waving immunity for anyone depriving a citizen of their Second Amendment rights – “That’ll learn ’em” an audience member growled.

National reciprocity – “Now that the Supreme Court has incorporated the right to keep and bear arms, gun owners should be able to exercise that right in all 50 states.” Someone asked if a state should be able to enforce its version of gun rights on an out-of-state gun owner (as it can now) under a national reciprocity law. “I’ve got two words for anti-gun leftists who say gun laws should be left to the states,” Reynolds said. “Gay marriage.”

Speaking of which, Reynolds reckons the gay rights movement offers a template for gun rights activists. The Instapundit believes that gun rights advocates should be just as vocal and organized as gay rights activists. “How many gays are there? Two percent? Five percent? No one screws with them.” (I resisted the urge to say “so to speak.”)

Reynolds’ plan reflects his belief that gun rights are in a far better place than they were twenty years ago. Safe, even. I attempted to throw cold water on his triumphalism, pointing out that millions of Americans in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere are still gun rights deprived. If the state confronts their “Irish democracy” by confiscating firearms, there’s still a chance all hell could break loose.

“If the police try that, people should make the prosecutors’ lives miserable,” Reynolds responded. “They should do everything and anything within legal limits to shame them. Wanted posters, public demonstrations, everything . . . They should vote them out of office.” Reynolds’, um, optimism on the subject was a bit surprising, but I hope the Blogfather’s plan is realized. And my fears aren’t.

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    • So I wrote the following, but the edit function failed: While I can’t say that I agree with all four of these points, I will say that we could be better served to even the playing field across the nation rather than polarizing further. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose. As an aside, I’m amazed that the following articles were all published in the same day. Land of the Free? Perhaps–but boy the water sure is getting hot in this pot. Perhaps I’ll need to jump out of here. Sooner rather than later.

        • Even an Australian Senator said the gun confiscation failed.
          www dot aic dot gov dot au/statistics/violent%20crime.html
          Homicides remained basically flat.
          But sexual assaults an robbery increased after the guns were confiscated.
          www dot ncpa dot org/sub/dpd/?Article_ID=17847

          There are now MORE guns in Australia than there were before the guns were confiscated.
          www dot abc dot net dot au/news/2013-01-14/australians-own-as-many-guns-as-in-1996/4463150

  1. A tax credit for owning guns – “We should encourage an armed citizenry,” Reynolds announced. Looking around the room at a posse of wealthy gun owners, Reynolds quickly added that the credit should be capped ay $1500 – $2000 per year.

    Nice sentiment. But this would be national registration (or, at least voluntary registration for those who claim the credit).

      • That assumes that you filled paperwork when you bought the gun. Buying from a private party, receiving gun as a gift, inheriting the gun, none of those require YOU filling a 4473 form.

        • The point being, make it voluntary and some will sign up, others won’t. They get to choose which they are more comfortable with and they are given something in return.

          I have no problem with letting people make the choice for themselves. Make it mandatory on the other hand, and now we have a different ball of wax (although, can you imagine a credit for owning guns? Shannon’s head would explode).

  2. I agree that a tax credit would be a registry of people with guns. How about exempting all firearms and ammo from taxes. A valid argument can be made that taxing in any form could prevent access to firearms by increasing the cost. Of course some states/counties/cities would still try to find a back door to make this happen.

  3. Good article RF. Glad you are covering this gathering – looks like fun.

    …long time fan of TTAG and Instapundit both, “waving” at you, and spell checking ”
    – A national law waving immunity for”

    as waiving your right to any more of the bourbon until later…;)

  4. I hAve a problem with the second one, tax credit for owning guns. That is a defacto gun registration. If you apply for the tax credit in your income tax return, you are admitting to owning guns. The feds would just look at tax returns to find out who owns guns. No need for registration, we will do it ourselves. I for one would not take “advantage” of that tax credit.

    • It’s difficult, but it goes back to enhancing and reinforcing the idea that the 2nd amendment wants to support a citizen militia. Not everyone needs to take credit for it, but it moves the narrative forward.

  5. Yeah, not taking any tax credit for owning a gun, thanks anyway. De facto registration via the IRS is a really “bahd eye de ah” Mr. Reynolds.

  6. The Feds know you have a gun if they run a background check on you. Just as well get a tax credit for it. They don’t have to know what the gun is. They can find that out easy enough anyway, tax credit or not.

    • First, just because they ran a NICS check does n I t mean that you actually purchase a gun. Second, not all gun purchases require a NICS ( private sales, having a CHL in TX, does bypasses a NICS check when purchasing gun from FFL’s, receiving a gun as a gift, inheriting a gun, etc)

      • While true, I think that database is where they’d start. They’d get most of guns by using it. Enough to make law-abiding citizens defenseless.

      • “First, just because they ran a NICS check does n I t mean that you actually purchase a gun.”

        Sorry, that’s just obtuse. In a theoretical case of confiscation, the idea that NICS wouldn’t be the first database to be exploited is incredible.

        • I have purchased a number of firearms. Only on one a NICS was done. Sure, they can go and collect all the 4473 forms from every FFL, but that will take time and as of right now is not legal. Not that that has stopped Obama before. Again, purchases from private parties do not require a 4473 or NICS.

  7. Remember how the left used to love this guy? It was GR this, GR that, when they had a Bush to bring down. Now I’m guessing the true believers don’t discuss him much, except in spiteful tones. He’s right, of course. We need to get active. I imagine a movement where people in authority must listen to our demands, no matter how insane, and take them seriously. Where victims of anti-gun hatespeech can be whisked away to “safe spaces” to clean and oil their guns in peace. A place where disarmed, disgendered, and hoplophobic biggots have no power.


  8. How about requiring participation in a well regulated militia in order to be eligible to vote.

    The “regulated” part would require the following:

    1. Training equivalent to NRA Basic Pistol

    2. Obtaining a CCL and carry pistol

    3. Practicing and qualifying with a carry pistol at least once per year

    4. Regularly carrying

    I think the founders intended that the citizenry protect itself. Our poilce are becoming s “standing army” when they should not have to be.

  9. I love RCL, but mainly in the summer when I can take the family and we can all go shoot at the “newer” range and I can make the run on the Nature Trail to Gunn Mountain and back. Great food, relaxing atmosphere, though definitely not budget travel.

    That said, I think the speaker is living in a fantasy world on almost all of those points becoming reality. The only significant movement I see happening in the current environment is through the courts, and not all of that will be “forward”.

    • The point is, making sure we have a roadmap of MORE things to fight for IF we get the opportunity. Just as the dems have plans to go for universal background checks, assault weapon bans, and no-fly list no sell guns agendas ready to roll when the time is opportune, so should we. Having a roadmap also gives us an intellectual framework to work from.

  10. Gun rights aren’t safe, we are one democratic congress and Senate away from California. Heller decision be dammed. This is why it’s important to get out there and vote, even if you live or vote in a single party blue state.

  11. Tax credits for firearms are a bad idea, we have to be smarter than to fall for that BS registration scheme. I suggest a law banning all taxation of firearms outside of municipal sales tax. Just treat them like any other item sold.

  12. ” – for someone who has the right to keep and bear arms (e.g., not a felon) – ”

    The Second Amendment doesn’t have an “except for… ” clause before OR after “shall not be infringed.”

    No compromise. Not any more.


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