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The National Rifle Association’s public and ongoing acceptance of The Brady Bill’s provisions – specifically the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) – runs completely counter to the Second Amendment. What part of “shall not be infringed” does the NRA not understand?

That said, the NRA lives in the real world. They’re trying to hold the line against expanded background checks, a movement that just gained purchase in Oregon. The chances of repealing Brady at the federal level are somewhere between slim and none and slim just left town.

The NRA’s mantra: don’t expand background checks. Fix the current system. That’s like an anti-war organization saying don’t send more troops into Iraq. Let the ones who are already there sort out the Iraqi Army.

In both cases, success is both unquantified and highly unlikely (to say the least). More to the point, the option of expanding participation after the “fix” is left on the table.

I’m not the only one who sees the NRA’s stance on Brady as “problematic”. Over at, writer Joe Wolverton II (above) highlights the hypocrisy.

The National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) reported on May 6 that the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association (NCSA) is trying to scuttle House Bill 562 because of a provision in the measure that would repeal “the requirement that law-abiding citizens must obtain permission from their local sheriff before acquiring a handgun.” . . .

In the story reporting on the NCSA’s opposition to HB 562, the NRA-ILA distinguishes the North Carolina process of approving gun purchase from the one preferred by the NRA:

This antiquated and inefficient system has been in place for nearly a century and was enacted long before the age of computers and computerized records. Unfortunately, the NCSA has determined it would like to continue to use discretion to deny permits to purchase handguns, rather than simply use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) utilized by the majority of other states.

In other words, while the NRA criticizes the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association for blocking the state bill that would end their current gun purchase approval system, the group has no problem perpetuating the federally mandated system.

Again, realpolitik. Why not beat back gun control with gun control – or anything else the NRA can lay its hands on? Because cognitive dissonance is dissonance. It’s makes it difficult for people to understand the NRA’s “true” position on gun rights. That they are inviolable.

Would the NRA lose ground in the court of public opinion if it came out against ALL background checks? Yes it would. Big style. But taking the longer view, how can the NRA promote the “proper” interpretation of “shall not be infringed” when they accept infringement?

I say go for it. You?

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  1. The NRA picks their battles – thats all. They have finite resources and some fires should be put out before others (including the small ones).

    • …. and I’m okay with a national organization focusing on federal legislation. Nothing prevents a state organization from being just as effective on state level legislation other than their (lack of actively participating) membership.

      The NRA can do, and regularly does, all sorts of matching grants for so many small clubs and organizations.

      NRA works everywhere they are wanted.

    • As Heller and McDonald have shown, NRA has a poor judgment when it comes to picking the right battles. Not only they were opposed to both cases (esp. Heller), but they have actively intervened to derail Gura’s work in Heller.

      • Heller and McDonald were real, tangible risks to take to SCOTUS.

        If Roberts had flipped like he did on ObamaCare our rights TKABA would have been effectively *gone*.

        • You can’t win a war by evading all the battles on account of the risk.

          And look, I’d get it if NRA had simply stood aside from the case. But they didn’t. They actively intervened, to the point of actually making Gura’s job harder.

      • …and this selling-out-our-rights behavior is why I’ve never joined, and never will.

        Sorry NRA. I believe in the 2nd.

    • States with constitutional carry all rely on NICS. The premise, for now, is that if you can pass NICS there’s no reason you can’t carry open or concealed. I’ve been dealing with the absolute purists on this for 20 years. We nearly lost the 2A very gradually. We are taking it back a LOT faster now than we lost it but the political reality is that even our friends wet themselves at the thought of a roasting by the lib media. They are reluctant to loosen any laws lest they be called “tools of the gun lobby”.

      • Only 20 years? If we “purists” walked away from this little war of attrition and appeasement, I guarantee you that rights would be obliterated in this generation. It’s the hardcore that keep the fire going. Those who strategically work the battles are necessary. The “purists” are necessary for drive and vision. However, if only the purists remained we would have been through a war and issues would’ve been decided by now; one way or the other. The “rationalists” (for lack of a better term) temper the “purists” and the “purists” keep driving the “rationalists” from accepting less as good enough.

        • John, I think you have articulated your case well here:

          “The “purists” are necessary for drive and vision. However, if only the purists remained we would have been through a war and issues would’ve been decided by now; one way or the other. The “rationalists” (for lack of a better term) temper the “purists” and the “purists” keep driving the “rationalists” from accepting less as good enough.”

          “If only the purists remained . . . the issues would’ve been decided by now; one way or the other.” And, probably against the 2A. If you look at the polls with history you will see that back in the 1950’s and 1960’s public opinion against guns was pretty overwhelming. Bear in mind that this was the era of the Civil Rights movement with the threat of outbreak of violence looming over the country. There was nothing comparable to NICS at that time. The only means of distinguishing between the “black sheep” vs. the “white sheep” at that time was skin color; but, race was rapidly loosing ground as a means of rationing civil rights. So, the only “solution” seemed to be to withdraw 2A rights in a color-blind manner.
          Ironically, NICS has gotten us beyond this race-based discrimination of prohibited-persons. Now, we can argue that 2A rights are available – or withdrawn – based on objective criteria established by law. The pressure is off to try to control gun violence by withdrawing 2A rights from everyone regardless of skin color.

          “”The “purists” are necessary for drive and vision.” I agree, the purity of vision is important to inspiration and enthusiasm. What I would argue is that we should concentrate on “shall not be infringed”. Now, then, what is the meaning of “infringe”? Are serial numbers an infringement? Is licensing dealers an infringement? Is baring felons an infringement?
          Whichever existing/potential law we debate has some impact on our audience. They are either persuaded by our arguments; or, they are turned-off. If they trivialize our argument they will get turned-off and dismiss us as unworthy (irrational) debtors.
          Have we a shortage of egregious infringements? If we had nothing serious to complain about then we would be forced to abandon the debate or argue about the remaining infringement so of small import. But, such is not the case. We still have 10 States that more-or-less deny the Right-to-Carry; among other egregious issues.

          Moreover, we ought to argue that government is on a relentless quest to find novel ways to infringe on RKBA. A given objective regulation at one time might have NOT been an infringement; but, at a different time could represent a real threat. To illustrate, let’s imagine a law in the 18th century requiring militiamen to register their required gun and accessories. (This is hypothetical in the absence of makers’ marks and serial numbers at that time). Such a law might have been utilized as a means of enforcing contemporary laws to ensure that militiamen fulfilled their duty to keep arms. Would that have been an “infringement” upon the RKBA? Arguably not; no more than the the actual laws that militiamen muster with their arms and accessories for physical inspection.
          Advance the clock 100 or 200 years and contemplate a registration law. There is no longer a mandate for every man of militia age to keep a gun. There is blatant hostility by government to civilian arms ownership. The 20th century law is not to register ONE gun; it is to register ALL guns! Would such a law constitute an infringement?

          Clearly the hypothetical 18’th century registration law would have constituted little – if any – “infringement” whereas the 20th century registration law would have threatened obliteration of the RKBA. We need to reserve the right to apply proposed laws to contemporary circumstances and argue why they threaten “infringement”; or, do not rise to this level.

      • “States with constitutional carry all rely on NICS. ” What do you mean by this statement?

        My guess is that if a cop encounters a citizen with a gun (e.g., at a shooting or at a blandishment incident) the cop can run a check on the citizen. That check relies on NICS – or a LE equivalent of NICS – that will identify any prohibited-person record on file.

        If so, that makes sense. And, if so, it closes the gap between Shall-Issue vs. Constitutional Carry. In which case, we ought to be advertising this aspect of Constitutional-Carry.

        Moreover, it substantially guts the cost-of-NICS argument. The database underlying NICS must still be maintained for prohibited-person checks as well as every other purpose (e.g., a check for wants & warrants; priors that might be applicable to the current arrest such as burglaries when the guy under arrest is carrying a crowbar and screwdriver, etc.)

        John Lott has pointed-out that the NICS database is defective in delaying the response by a few days in a few percent of cases as well as returning a false-positive response in some cases. A gun carrier relying on Constitutional Carry is betting that he won’t fall into either such category of delayed or false-positive cases. The gun carrier who voluntarily acquires a CWP from a Constitutional Carry State has considerable insurance that if a cop inquires after his prohibited-person status he won’t come-up with a delayed response or a false-positive response. Especially in a shooting incident, the ability to “instantly” show his CWP will establish that he is the “good-guy” in the incident and probably not the suspect.

        • “Moreover, it substantially guts the cost-of-NICS argument”

          I don’t think so. Of course the LE database has to be maintained, just as its equivalent did prior to NICS. But how much did it cost, and how much is it now costing to hook that up to a system accessible to thousands of requests simultaneously, 24/7, including the equipment required to be in hundreds of thousands of gun stores, which also has to be paid for. I’m guessing eliminating the requirement would save $billions and cost next to nothing. But I don’t know, I don’t even know where and how the costs are being hidden.

        • I don’t know what the costs are either; I’d like anybody to point me to any published figures.

          I work in the IT industry; particularly in data and in pretty large quantities of data.

          To populate a big complicated database (such as underlies NICS) is VERY expensive. No doubt about that. Yet, we seem to agree that building that database is deemed necessary to support other LE functions. What we are talking about is the marginal cost of fielding millions of inquiries from FFLs.

          The cost of making and accepting an inquiry, reading the database, and returning the result is pretty cheap. Recall the last time you called customer service from a mail-order company and asked a question about a prior purchase. You take for granted that the customer service rep can hit her database and get the result in a minute or less. If the private sector – merchants – can afford to make this technology available to their customer service reps it’s not unreasonable to suppose the Federal government could do it at just 3 times the price.

          I imagine that when I go to my neighborhood FFL that my query goes through untouched by human hands. My name is globally unique. My guess is that my NICS checks might cost the Feds $1. On the other hand, someone with a relatively common name must bring up several possible matches. A clerk must decide whether to clear or wait the clearance. Eventually, they have to decide whether to clear or stop or just time-out. These must be expensive because at least one and possibly several people have to look at the goodness-of-match and make a decision. What’s the weighted-average of the automated clearances and the manually reviewed inquiries? We just don’t know.

          Even so, whatever the cost, I really doubt that voters will care. The voters tolerate far more egregious government expenditures without a peep. No matter what facts we bring to the attention of the voters, the feel-good aspects of NICS checks will probably “really feel” like it’s worth-while.

      • “States with constitutional carry all rely on NICS. The premise, for now, is that if you can pass NICS there’s no reason you can’t carry open or concealed.”

        Umm, no. Not at all. There’s absolutely no way to tell whether any given person walking around with a holstered firearm could pass NICS without obtaining identifying information about that person and running a NICS check. Which isn’t done. There are, no doubt, people walking around with openly carried firearms in constitutional carry states who could not pass a NICS check, and they will never be discovered short of committing a crime or otherwise drawing the attention of the government. Which doesn’t mean constitutional carry is bad, I actually favor it. But it does mean that constitutional carry is essentially unrelated to NICS.

        NICS is about whether you may lawfully purchase a firearm from a dealer (and in some states whether you may lawfully purchase from a private party). Constitutionally carry is about whether you need a permission slip from the government to bear arms in public (however you may have obtained them, via NICS check or otherwise).

        • I share the interest in the quoted remark. What does it mean?

          It’s clearly the case that OCiers who are not detained/arrested are unlikely to be BC’ed by a NICS or NICS-like check. One plausible exception to that assumption would be an OCier who is “known to the police”. Perhaps the guy has been stopped for speeding several times; or, arrested for bar-fighting. Clearly, nothing would stop a curious cop from calling his dispatcher and ask him to run a BC on “Joe Schmoe” whose identifying details should be on-file in the local police archives.

          Apart from that exception, an OCier would not be BC’ed unless-and-until he is detained or arrested; hopefully on a bona fide pretext.

          So, for example, suppose an OCier is stopped on a routine traffic stop. His OC’ed gun is apt to be noticed by the cop peering into the car. (In a State where a carrier is obliged to disclose he is carrying when detained by the police, he would be legally-bound to disclose that he is carrying if the OCied gun has not been noticed by the cop.) Thereupon, the cop could very well run a BC on the carrier while running a check on the motorist’s traffic record.

          When Walking-while-OCing, a cop could detain an OCier and open a conversation about guns or any other topic of interest. In the course of that conversation he might ask the OCier to show his ID. In some States, the pedestrian may be obliged to produce ID or declare his name, birth date, and residence. In other States, he may have no obligation to do so but might volunteer his identification. The cop needn’t carry on the detention beyond discovering the OCier’s identity. Thereafter, he might run a BC while observing the OCier’s direction of travel.

          All in all, it would seem to be imprudent for a prohibited-person to practice OCing in a Constitutional-Carry State. It would be far more prudent for a prohibited-person to CC.

          I imagine that LEOs don’t use NICS – per se – to BC their “customers”. NICS returns some results that are not relevant to normal police work (e.g., that a person has renounced his US citizenship) and does NOT return results that LEOs need in detail; e.g., wants & warrants; misdemeanors; arrests where charges were not pursued. Whether the channel of inquiry is Brady-Bill’s NICS or a different channel, both rely on substantially the same underlying databases.

  2. I say that recent history has been a repetitive pattern of the right trying not to lose too badly, and the left winning a little here and a little more there. Someone said that there is no victory in defense, and they were right. We aren’t winning, we’re just losing more slowly. In accepting licensed concealed carry, we did what we always do, compromise principle (NOT be infringed) in favor of infringed a little less, and by so doing, we ratified the notion that infringement is fine as long as it isn’t too much. Won a little, lost a lot.

    Political pragmatists insist that we have to take what we can get. Is there a time to take what is ours? George Washington didn’t freeze his ass off at Valley Forge for this. We will find out soon enough who is willing to risk a little something. We got this country by way of real men putting their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor on the line. Wonder who will do that now?

    • “Political pragmatists insist that we have to take what we can get.”

      The problem there is that we aren’t “taking what we can get”, THEY are – WE are simply keeping what’s left.

    • We have too many people being happy to drink the government kool-aid and swim in the warm brown 22 goo coming out of the government uranus. More people have to realize that state, federal, local, it is all government and it all sucks.

        • Correct. But I was trying to combine Brown 25 with Catch 22, so I invented Brown 22 from the Government agency Uranus. When you don’t know where you are, look up Uranus.

      • Well, you could always move to someplace that has effectively no government. Waziristan or Somalia, for example.

        I feel a little out of touch with this latest wave of ignorant blind hatred towards government, any government.

        Life with NO government is nasty, brutish, and short.

        I would much prefer for people to use their brains and come up with specific policy proposals to curtail government over-reach – such as “no charges, no asset forfeiture” and “get a warrant before wiretapping” – than childish nonsense about “goo” coming from anuses.

        it makes you look stupid and irresponsible.

        • Well, you could always move to someplace that has effectively no government. Waziristan or Somalia, for example.

          You could always move to North Korea. They seem to already have the government you want.

          I feel a little out of touch with this latest wave of ignorant blind hatred towards government, any government.

          Then you are completely out of touch with the founders of this nation and the notions upon which they founded it. They loathed government, any government, and intended to establish the very least amount of it possible. They also recognized the right of people to abolish their current form of government in favor of whatever form they desired or no government at all.

          Life with NO government is nasty, brutish, and short.

          Life with the wrong sort of government is nastier, more brutish, and one would wish it be shorter. There are enough statist dystopias in existence already. Why don’t you pay one a visit?

          I would much prefer for people to use their brains and come up with specific policy proposals to curtail government over-reach – such as “no charges, no asset forfeiture” and “get a warrant before wiretapping” – than childish nonsense about “goo” coming from anuses.

          It’s already been made the supreme law of the land; the Constitution of the United States of America. Relevant to the scope of this article, the 2A clearly states shall not be infringed. If our government won’t abide by that simple rule then it won’t abide by any other law when push comes to shove.

        • You broad statement that the founding fathers loathed government, any government is nonsense. You would have to be a complete simpleton to believe that all the people who would voluntarily travel long distances to participate and form something that they “loathed”.

          The founders were skeptical of government, but they didn’t hate it.

          I agree that government should be limited. But there is a whole lot of real estate between “everything the government does is either evil or incompetent” and supporting a totalitarian state.

          And that word you keep using – infringed -doesn’t mean what you think it does.

        • As to the meaning of infringed, yes it does mean what he thinks it does. Centuries of trying to redefine the term just haven’t worked.

        • the original meaning of infringe was to crush, defeat, break

          gun bans logically infringe because they defeat the RKBA.

          restrictive CCW permitting regimes logically infringe because they defeat the B in RKBA.

          waiting 15 minutes for a NICS doesn’t break, defeat or crush the RKBA.

        • I spoke the truth. Infringed, from a root meaning into fragments, does not mean broken the way you claim. It means it in the sense that not even a fragment shall be broken off.
          Pretty simple.

        • Latin definition for:
          infringo, infringere, infregi, infractus

          conjugation: 3rd conjugation

          break, break off
          lessen, weaken, diminish, dishearten
          overcome, crush
          Age: In use throughout the ages/unknown

          a 15 minute NICS does NONE of these

        • Certainly it does. 15 minutes for some, days for others, false denials on some as well. All because of presumed guilt prior to exercising a right? Where is that justified in our laws?
          A right turned into privilege is no right at all. It has been said a right delayed is a right deprived.
          That would mean diminished at least, in reality more like destroyed.
          Even using your definition, it fits.

        • “where is that justified in our laws”? so, uh, WHAT!? whether you agree or not that the law is good, surely you already know the answer.

          And as for what constitutes an infringement, I didn’t see the words “anything that PaulG decides he doesn’t like” in the definitions of infringe.

          Your are confusing your personal preferences with constitutionality.

          and your comment about background checks comprising a presumption of guilt is illogical – a presumption of guilt would be a denial with no background check at all, making you go to court to prove your innocence.

        • Actually I have fully supported my conclusion. So have you, supported my conclusion, that is. Your take seems to be that the degree of infringement doesn’t count as an infringement. The same tack the courts have taken. Its called hypocrisy. You wear it well.

        • “. . . a 15 minute NICS does NONE of these” I agree; when a prompt “Proceed” response is received.

          Clearly, when a NICS check returns a No-Go on a prohibited person then it is NOT the NICS check that is in question; rather, our focus ought to be on the statute that makes the buyer a prohibited person. The applicable provision of the statute might be an “infringement” making that provision unconstitutional. But this does not implicate the NICS check system.

          When a NICS check returns a false-positive then that suggests a reasonable argument for an infringement. If false-positives had a material impact on the People’s access to the primary market in arms then that would be an infringement. Conversely, if rare, the argument would be diluted.

          With respect to those individuals given a false-positive response, it would be an infringement. So, let’s look at a single individual case. Might that individual be prevented from a hunting trip or a marksmanship competition? If so, would that be an infringement that rises to the level of a Constitutional violation of his rights? If it prevented him from mustering in the defense of a free state? Perhaps so; yet, if everyone else in his muster and other musters were unaffected, it’s hard to make a Constitutional case. Should it prevent her from defending herself in her home or on the streets; well, then, that would be worthy of a Constitutional debate. In the absence of some provision for immediate relief, I’d say we have a good argument. If the local constabulary or a judge could wave the positive NICS response, the problem would be substantially cured.

          Delayed responses are more troublesome. If the sale can’t proceed for 3 days then the NICS check could arguably be characterized as an unreasonable infringement. If the rate of such delayed responses is minuscule, then the infringement is minuscule. Conversely, if the rate were large then the infringement would be proportionately larger. E.g., suppose in the wake of the Ferguson riots NICS delayed ALL responses from Missouri; that would constitute infringement. We should be on-guard for any such possibility. We should seek a change in the law that would prohibit any such arbitrary No-Go responses

          We can raise legitimate objections to the way the NICS system operates; and we should certainly do so in the expectation that Congress SHOULD mitigate the adverse impact. We must be rational here. To the extent that NICS infringes, our objections are likely mostly curable via Congressional or DoJ changes. Once these are disposed of, we have to ask ourselves:
          – do there remain sufficient infringements worthy of complaint by us, the PotG?
          – would the uninterested voters agree that our remaining infringements do violence to the Constitution?
          We haven’t done the homework required to reach affirmative answers to both of these questions.

        • I agree with your post almost entirely, Mark.

          False positives should be a very rare event, and they should have ramifications for the agency that caused it. The prohibited persons laws should be based on very strict scrutiny.

        • @Aaron: Frankly, I stopped reading your last comment where you flew into gratuitous insults. There’s no need for it and no reason for me to read more. Knock yourself out writing more. Perhaps someone else will read it but I certainly won’t. 😉

    • Exactly. This is why I don’t support the NRA. Their focus should be on repealing the NFA and the GCA, starting with the restrictions on silencers.

      A Marksman was asked how he could hit small targets. He replied that the center a dime was the same size as the center of a wagon wheel. NRA needs to aim on the center of gun control’s basis.

  3. AARP – sliding communist
    Now the NRA sliding liberal

    bounce to GOA or let’s throw in the towel and do the whole Armageddon thing, if you think you’re ready.

    • Bloomer has never heard of the GOA. I never see them doing much in Tallahassee when the legislature is in session. The Shall Issue movement caught traction following Florida in 1987, and the Castle Doctrines did as well following 2005. Those got a big push in Florida by the NRA and Unified Sportsman of Florida. I would prefer constitutional carry, but the 1987 changes along with FL 776.013 was quantum leaps ahead of 1986.

    • The GOA is nothing but the Pratt family employment agency. They have ZERO political clout and are willing to sing a tough guy no compromise song as long as they get some anti-NRA checks to cash while knowing that no one is listening to them or afraid of them.

  4. I’m a member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America, as well as a Front Line Defender member of the National Association of Gun Rights. We need them all.

    The NRA has the massive membership and political clout to fight gun control, and to a large degree they do. When they screw up by caving in to political deal brokering, organizations like the NAGR and GOA step in to keep them honest.

    Face it, we need to be united in our fight against fascism and the Liberal demagogues who use emotions and lies to sway the uninformed to further their own agendas. Is the NRA perfect? No. But it has power in Congress, and through it, we have power. Infighting among gun owners will only serve the interest of those who would be our masters in everything from gun control to sugared soft drinks..

    • I agree! There is nothing wrong with being in multiple organizations. I think everyone should be in at least 2 national and 1 or 2 regional/state level organization.

      • True, BlueBronco. I’m also a member of our state organization. We should always act locally whenever we can.

  5. Yes. I think that the NRA should arm all five million of its members, storm Washington, D.C., take over the US gummint by force and hoist the Gadsden flag over the Capitol.

    Which makes just as much sense as taking on the Brady Law now.

  6. Robert,

    You must be a millennial that wasn’t around when FOPA went down, Herbert Walker’s crap, Clinton Ban, Brady Bill etc. The NICS systems’ short coming is the fact that guys like Loughner wasn’t in it. The current problem that you totally left out of the story is that Universal Checks is about private transfers and transfers among friends and family. Furthermore, most states don’t have a registration of firearms. The only southern state that does is N.C. for some weird reason. Nor do most states require a permission to purchase a gun. The movement the past few years by Bloomer et al. has been about closing up all those loopholes.

    Had the NRA not been doing battle, the Clinton Ban wouldn’t have had a sunset. Brady didn’t want an instant system, they wanted a long waiting period instead. Gun control was in place in many places when the NRA-ILA was formed in 1975 including your Texas.

    • Agreed. The NRA has done more for gun rights in the past 30 years than any other organization. Without them, we would have been sunk by now.

      • Are you sure? It was SAF that won Heller and McDonald, which is arguably worth more than everything else done wrt gun rights for the past 30 years combined.

        • Sorry, but Heller was a Cato Institute case started by Robert A. Levy. The SAF did a great job of jumping on board later and stealing the credit.

        • They started it, yes, but it was Gura who argued and won it before SCOTUS. And SAF, not NRA, took notice and hired him immediately after, and sponsored the second strike in McDonald. Seeing how Gura is still with SAF, I think it’s not unreasonable to count his personal victories in that way.

        • Heller effected D.C. and Illinois. It didn’t not cause a single change in the southern United States regarding gun ownership, ccw licenses etc.

        • Heller firmly and unambiguously, established, for the first time in judicial history, that 2A is an individual right. Without Heller there would be no McDonald. And even without McDonald, Heller put significant constraints on what can be done on federal level throughout the Union, regardless of state laws.

        • I didn’t dispute that. However, it didn’t effect the change in the south like you think. For example, shall issue in Florida 1987 had a bigger impact in The South than Heller has. The Castle Doctrine was pretty big in 2005 as well. Don’t forget the SCOTUS rulings against the Brady Bunch in the late 1990s either. Heller is big, but it is only a partial victory. Heller stopped way the hell short is why it didn’t impact The South.

      • According to _the NRA_, the NRA has done more for gun rights in the last 30 years than any other organization.

        • We join some groups to go to court. We join some groups to lobby. It is called division of labor. It is a very modern capitalist concept.Only about 300 years old.

    • +2. Thank you. One thing I notice about internet forums is there is a lot of opinion asserted as fact, without linkage, which would make it so much easier to tell if the fact is true or not.

      I’m a noob to the in’s and out’s of gun law, so I really appreciate it when someone can summarize history with relevant references. In case anyone is interested, there is a scholarly review of the CCW movements history of successes, written by a Professor Patrick, now out in kindle format at Amazon, that also contains a history of the NRA.

      What the NRA is really, really good at is lobbying, for individual gun owners, with dedicated staff in everyone of the 50 states, talking to state and federal legislators. If you know anything about politics, you know its local, its about alliances, bargaining, and compromises (ABC’s) and you don’t win them all.

      I am grateful for RF bringing up UBC, for the more I read, the more I realize its like a 3D chess game, as to fighting for our rights. You may not agree with every decision the NRA makes, but you can’t argue with its influence. I’m reminded of the signature line of Gene Hoffma, one of CGFs founders, who doesn’t always agree with NRA, and is partnered with SAF usually, on litigation, which is SAFs strong suit: Never, ever NOT contribute to the NRA.

      Point being, we 2A folk need to use ALL the tools in the toolbox.

  7. Yes they are, and have been on the side of every MAJOR anti gun bill to come down the pike. 1963 in the 20’s and so forth. Yes I am a life member of the NRA, so I do have the right to both mention it and complain about it. Not that non members do not have the right, they sure do.

    • Life member# 5062385, and I think you’re a “moby”

      As an actually voting member, you can influence where the organization goes. What I’ve seen is miles beyond where we were when I joined in the late 80’s.

      Where you might see what you’d consider to be an unseemly compromise, I see that as the NRA understanding “the art of the possible” and focusing on what they can actually get done, versus pie in the sky projects.

  8. Personally, I am torn about UBC. I can understand the argument that it leads to registration (which I already know, living in California), and it is true that it doesn’t keep the bad guys from obtaining firearms, but at the same time I am not overly fond of the idea of a convicted felon out on parole being able to waltz into a gun store and buy any gun off the shelf.

    In any event, the issue is not going to be resolved by any pending case, and to be fought, has to be fought a the federal level, probably through legislation and not litigation. the courts are likely look at it as a permissible, even if imperfect way of enforcing the federal laws prohibiting certain persons from possessing firearms, and that this will pass strict scrutiny. I think it is highly unlikely that the courts will find the possession limitations as violating the Second Amendment; to do so would have to affirm that felons and homicidal psychopaths have an inalenable right to keep and bear arms, and that is just not going to happen.

    • I agree with your strategic assessment. SCOTUS can only fix what has been brought before them, and in the current environment of lower courts filled with Clinton, and now Obama appointees, counting on an originalst vs judicial activist battle of ideas is a crap shoot at best.

      Now is the time to elect a 2A friedly POTUS, and hold the majorities we elected to Congress to their promises. That is pretty simple, but requires walking the walk. Ourselves to the polls, helping get out the vote by others who agree, knocking on neighbors doors, talking on phone, writing on social media, etc.

      And contributing to organizations that leverage our donations.

      If there is any doubt in your minf that the left-progresive wing of the Democrats are not “doubling down, to push tbrough the resistance” (Alinsky) and are doing the exact same, and more, abusing Executive Authority, teamed with cynical propagandists at the Reliable Party Organs, with the same “ends justify the means” (V.I. Lenin) morality that informs those Elites,

      Well, then you haven’t been paying attention.
      So, the bottomline here is talk is cheap, especially on anonymous forums.

      • I’m waiting for a presidential candidate to promise to repeal each and every executive order by issued by B.O. during the first 15 minutes he/she is president, then being open to reconsidering them one at a time in case some portion is useful.

    • UBC accomplishes nothing. Instead, how about preventing those convicted felons from waltzing into a gun store and buying anything on the shelves by making it ILLEGAL!? Not for the gun store, but for the FELON! Right now, the gun store could be forced out of business, perhaps personnel being judged felons, going to jail, etc, we all pay added costs and complexity, and nothing whatever happens to a felon attempting to buy a gun. Does no one see that is backwards? The laws should inconvenience the criminal and leave the rest of us alone, not the other way around. After one attempt, a prohibited person should be prevented from walking into a gun store for a decade, by the steel bars which keep him inside the concrete building, with all the personal protection a force of armed men can provide.

  9. Yes, let’s all turn on eachother. That’s one sure fire way to beat the antis. No, the NRA isn’t perfect, but they win, and because of them we’ve been winning more than losing lately, for the first time ever. Without the NRA none of us would be gun owners right now, and the second amendment would’ve been full on repealed already. Yes, we need to play offense, but that doesn’t mean charging across 500 meters of open field while the Army of the Potomac has the high ground and more canister shot than the Army of Northern Virginia would ever see.

  10. I tend to think you are more likely to get to “shal not be infringed” from “Infringed all the time by everybody” by starting with a shift towards “shal not be seriously infringed” , then “shal not be majorly inconvenienced” and so on… then people see that the sky doesn’t fall and there isn’t blood running in the streets (see gradual expansion of CWP in states both licensed and unlicensed for a decent result of the to that strategy).

    Personally I would rather see a gradual and slow expansion with lower risk of major setbacks than push too far too hard, with higher risk of major setbacks/major expenditure of effort and wealth for no results. Money and time is finite for all of us and from an emotional standpoint it is easier to stay excited when you have a series of small win/loss with a net trend towards win than it is after a major defeat.

    the terribly difficult part is knowing before the end of the day where the spots in the risk – reward curve end up resulting in ling term defeat rather than victory… I fear that UBC’s may be one of those regions where we would be better off attacking other sides of gun control to avoid/reverse some of the culture destruction in many of the worse off states (well and mitigating the worst impact of them in the border states) rather than attacking them directly….

  11. The NRA’s mantra… don’t tell me, let me guess…

    Is it “Hold the line where the last Progressive Statist drew it”, or is it
    “Strictly enforce existing infringements” ?

  12. If the NRA were saying something like: “They wanted to do X, Y, and Z, and we got them to only do Z and even there we made Z less obnoxious than it would have been, we ended up with Z-prime which sucks less than Z would have,” I’d be fine with that.

    (And yea verily, instacheck, even when backlogged, beats hell out of gratuitous two week waiting periods.)

    Many people who have commented so far seem to think that’s what the NRA is doing.

    What I’ve seen from them, instead, is proud support for Z as if it were their idea, and an insistence that it needs to be followed faithfully before considering any more gun laws. I agree that we shouldn’t consider any more gun laws; I disagree MIGHTILY with NRA’s caveat to that statement. We shouldn’t consider more gun laws; we shouldn’t consider more gun laws even if instacheck is followed rigorously and bad guys still continue to evade it.

    Further evidence of this mentality: NRA has adopted as a talking point “we don’t need more gun laws, we need to enforce the ones we already have.” The ones we already have are *wrong* and besides, they could use that same statement after the next slew of restrictions passes. It’s a “principled” stand of leave things exactly as they are because they are they way they are, and that stand will be problematic when things start to get worse again.

    In other words the NRA isn’t for repealing any of the shit we’ve already got. And once something new passes, the NRA seems to just shrug and say, “well, that’s what we’ve got now.” That’s not a principled organization, that’s part and parcel of the ratchet effect we’ve been dealing with.

  13. The arm-chair philosophers among us are not explaining how we could roll-back the FFL BC.

    We have a law defining classes of individuals who are prohibited persons. Some of us object – in principle – to prohibiting anyone from exercising 2A rights. Others of us – in principle – accept that some people can be prohibited, but would like to make some changes to the criteria. With respect to the objectors, here is the problem with NICS. The objectors wouldn’t have a problem with NICS if only the prohibited-persons law were repealed. Then NICS would be moot. So, objectors, tell us the political path to repealing the prohibited-persons law entirely.

    Assuming the objectors can’t tell us how to repeal the prohibited-persons law, we are living under that law. Probably, it is a law that most uninterested voters support. So, where we are is that we want to repeal the FFL NICS check.

    So, anti-NICS people, explain to us the political path to repealing the FFL NICS check. How do we package the argument – for uninterested voters – that we want criminals, crazies, etc. to be able to waltz into a friendly neighborhood FFL and waltz back out with a gun. How do we make uninterested voters really comfortable with this idea?

    Do you guys see that this is a pretty tough sell? Let’s grant that the FFL NICS check doesn’t accomplish anything. Let’s suppose that it really is an unconstitutional “infringement”. Still, we have to get a majority of voters uninterested in guns to get riled-up about our conclusions and write their Congress-critters asking them to repeal the FFL NICS check. How much of our political clout (which is pretty limited) do we want to spend pursuing this goal? Is this really the best use of our time and treasure?

    Some folks in our PotG community argue that the uninterested voter finds UBC to be a really appealing idea. We know better. We have to choose between two related battles:
    – how to eliminate FFL NICS checks; vs.
    – how to stop Bloomberg from writing a UBC bill that Congress might pass.
    While some of us are working on eliminating FFL NICS check these efforts aren’t being applied to stop UBC.

    So, what do we do? Assume that both UBC and FFL NICS checks are – philosophically – objectionable. We have a political problem. Shall we set ourselves up to losing on UBC in order to stand-our-ground on philosophical purity?

    • Very well said. I would add that even among the POTG the terminology can be confusing.
      When I read “universal background check” I interpret that as the FFL NICS, and the requirement to transfer all guns by way of FFL, as it is in CA, in order to be sure the buyer is not on the Federal NICS database, as a felon, crazy person, or DV. From what I’ve been told by those with experience in other states its pretty simple, and you cab get an answer in 15 minutes.

      The problem with assuming thats UBC is its not that simple. The State of CA has its own definition, and checking all those databases takes a lot longer (note, this is CA DOJs tech failure, and I am not defending it).

      And the States problem is like the Feds: GIGO. 40% of Californias prohibited persons list is just wrong, and despite spending $28 million robbed from DROS funds, to hire 48 new leos (26 of which changed to other jobs once they got hired), the State of CA is not close to fixing it, and is asking for more money.

      So, the first job is to define what background checks means, and whats needed to make what we have work, before piling on new laws.

      And that includes making the supposedlh private bound books of FFL records on guns bought and sold safe from government conversion to a national registry. That is the bogeyman at the end of the information collection process that gun rights people fear, for historical reasons, and rightfully so.

      And before we pretend non POTG are gonna understand all this, we POTG need to have a clear statement of what is what. I dont see that even at TTAG, under Facts About Guns, except for some of Bruce Kraffts stuff, but even that is too complicated for the average layperson…

      • “So, anti-NICS people, explain to us the political path to repealing the FFL NICS check”

        Demonstrate that it costs a fortune and accomplishes nothing. We are bombarded repeatedly with the wonderful benefits of denying 140 million firearm purchases each week, or whatever, and we all know those numbers are bogus, but no one explains to the casual observer WHY they are bogus. The denied/prohibited simply go buy a stolen gun on the street, causing the owner to have to buy another, insofar as preventing a criminal from obtaining a gun we have accomplished nothing. But how much did it COST to accomplish nothing? Give us charts of crime rates over 50 or 100 years, annotated with the points of NFA, GCA, GOPA, etc, showing the lack of any real effect of any of those laws, also showing points where each state passed “shall issue” (which costs little to nothing) so that relationship is visible. More charts of increasing size of armed government, and how that has affected crime rates, and how much it costs each of us.

        The answer to your question is extensive cost/benefit analysis, which will convince somebody, either them or us. Currently I believe all past expenditures have been wasted, and all future expenditures should be halted. If an honest cost/benefit analysis proves me wrong, that is acceptable. If it turns out as I expect, it will outrage enough of the population to allow a constitutional amendment to be passed if that is what it’s going to take.

        • You will never win a political fights with raw facts and data, no matter how convincing they are – the other side can always muddy the water by producing counter-studies of their own, no matter how shoddy (it’s not like laymen can understand the difference or spot bad statistics easily… and if they do, you just make another “study”!), or simply by appealing to emotion. The AGW “skepticism” is a good example of that.

          Politics is 90% emotions, 10% facts. Consequently, in order to win, you need propaganda in roughly the same proportion. And furthermore, that 90% emotional component needs to have a broad appeal – it’s easy to preach to the choir, but what’s really needed is some emotional hook that will resonate with broad swaths of the populace, not just die-hard conservatives. So the moment you start talking about “shall not be infringed”, or how guns are needed to resist tyranny, or, God forbid, about how Obama is a Muslim socialist who wants to take your guns – you have lost that broad appeal.

          I don’t know what a really good pitch would be; that’s something that requires professional public opinion studies and careful construction. As a guess, centering the discussion on self-defense is likely a must, and the left-wing crowd specifically can be courted by focused messaging on women and minorities. E.g. hijack the entire college rape train, and pitch armed self defense as a cost-effective solution.

        • Agreed.
          Another line of reasoning would be the threat from jihadi terrorists like the Beslan attack on a Russian school or the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi.
          Still another would be the possible spread of Mexican drug, kidnapping, extortion cartels to the US.
          Still another would be racial violence as in Baltimore or Ferguson.

        • “Demonstrate that it costs a fortune . . . ” OK, so what are these costs? In particular, I want to know the marginal costs of fielding NICS checks based on the assumption that the costs of maintaining the underlying databases would be incurred for law-enforcement purposes other than FFL and CWP BC checks.

          I imagine that the cost of running a NICS check that raises no red flags is negligible; less than $1. If some red-flag is raised such as a similarity in name between the subject and someone with a criminal record – I imagine it’s a lot more – I’ll guess $25. We really ought to know what these costs are and tell the tax payers are paying for the NICS system.

          Our problem is that voters will probably be happy to pay this price. It probably doesn’t amount to more than once cent per taxpayer per year.

          “. . . and accomplishes nothing.” Objectively, you are probably correct; or, so close to correct that it hardly matters to quibble about a few legitimate rejections or those that don’t occur because criminals don’t buy a gun because it’s too hard to find a straw-buyer or black-market gun. Let’s make this point to the public. Our problem is, unfortunately, that the voters will probably prefer to have BCs even if they were pretty well convinced that they don’t accomplish anything.

          “We are bombarded repeatedly with the wonderful benefits of denying 140 million firearm purchases each week, or whatever, and we all know those numbers are bogus, but no one explains to the casual observer WHY they are bogus.” It’s up to us to explain that 99% or so of the rejections are false-positives. The voters don’t care. Admittedly, these false-positive individuals have to go through some effort to clear their names. We should argue for facilitating this process. It’s my understanding that the Feds will issue a person an ID number after they clear his identity which he can use to disambiguate his identity the next time he makes a purchase.

          Let’s assume there were no NICS system for FFLs. The problem of false-positives wouldn’t go away. A small number of such individuals would encounter the same problem when they encounter the police in a gun/non-gun incident where the police run a BC on the suspect. If I were involved in a DGU I would sure as hell want to establish myself as the “good guy” as soon as possible. If the cops and the DA got a false-positive during the investigation they would start down the path of considering prosecuting me. They might not stop – after a few weeks – when the BC was cleared as a false-positive.

          “The denied/prohibited simply go buy a stolen gun on the street, causing the owner to have to buy another, . . . ” Generally, I agree with your point. Prohibited-persons will buy guns that are either: smuggled from overseas; stolen; manufactured in clandestine factories; or, straw-bought in FFLs. Unless and until we plug the last of these holes in the sieve, prohibited persons will get their guns with/without BCs.

          So, let’s hire Gallop to do a national poll. Do the voters want to repeal the BC on dealer sales of guns? While we are at it, let’s ask whether the voters want to repeal the ID check on dealer of alcohol or tobacco? They are somewhat comparable in that we know that youthful drinkers and smokers will get their alcohol or tobacco from of-age friends or unlicensed dealers. NICS checks and ID checks for alcohol/tobacco are a complete waste because they will not stop anyone with the slightest initiative from buying what he wants.

          My expectation is that such a poll would resoundingly endorse NICS and ID checks while – at the same time – acknowledging that they have little-to-no prophylactic effect. At least we would know whether we have to convert 90% or 80% or 70% of the voters to see things “our way”.

          “. . . insofar as preventing a criminal from obtaining a gun we have accomplished nothing. But how much did it COST to accomplish nothing? Give us charts of crime rates over 50 or 100 years, annotated with the points of NFA, GCA, GOPA, etc, showing the lack of any real effect of any of those laws, also showing points where each state passed “shall issue” (which costs little to nothing) so that relationship is visible. More charts of increasing size of armed government, and how that has affected crime rates, and how much it costs each of us.”

          I’m game; I’ve studied econometrics at the graduate school level. I’d be interested in seeing the results of such studies. There are a couple of difficulties. One is that all the Antis would – in harmony – sing that these studies are flawed. They have done so with John Lott’s work as well as with every other serious researcher. Unfortunately, very few voters would recognize the terms “multiple regression”, “degrees of freedom”, “T-statistic value” or 95% confidence level. So, how would they be assured that the results of all these very interesting studies were convincing in the face of the Anti’s with their PhDs and MDs disparaging such studies?

          “The answer to your question is extensive cost/benefit analysis, which will convince somebody, either them or us. Currently I believe all past expenditures have been wasted, and all future expenditures should be halted. If an honest cost/benefit analysis proves me wrong, that is acceptable. If it turns out as I expect, it will outrage enough of the population to allow a constitutional amendment to be passed if that is what it’s going to take.”

          The population isn’t outraged by our $17 trillion national debt, nor the fact that Social Security, MediCare and MediCade are all insolvent.

          I’m strongly in favor of amending the Constitution to correct the faults our politicians have created in manipulating our governmental institutions. To get an Amendment requires 38 States. On some issues, I think that’s feasible. For example. I think that with 40 Right-to-Carry States we could push through an amendment that the Right of the People shall not be denied for want of a demonstration of need other than a desire for self-defense. Such an amendment would compel the last 10 States to adopt Shall-Issue.

          In fact, if the States started submitting petitions to Congress to call for a convention of the States I think that would stampede Congress into pre-empting a convention of the States with a Congressionally-proposed amendment.

          A Constitutional amendment is feasible at the point where sentiment in the States is approaching a consensus on an issue. I doubt that we are any where near a consensus on background-checks on gun purchases or carry.

    • The arm-chair philosophers among us are not explaining how we could roll-back the FFL BC.

      I don’t know how to roll it back. Admitted.

      But one thing I am sure of; having the NRA sing hosannas over it isn’t helping. When the Big Bad Gun Nut Organization (as the antis like to think of it) says such wonderful things about it, it reduces the likelihood of it ever being repealed to zero, because NO ONE with any voice in DC is pushing to do so, and everyone is pushing to keep it.

      • “I don’t know how to roll it back. Admitted. But one thing I am sure of; having the NRA sing hosannas over it isn’t helping.”

        Thank you for acknowledging the difficulty of rolling back the FFL NICS check. That’s a first step.

        I agree with you that we shouldn’t be singing “hosannas” over the FFL NICS check. Instead, I think we ought to be quite frank about the limitations of the FFL NICS check. The best we can say about it is that it is a means for society to express its objection to allowing prohibited persons to access the lawful primary market in arms. In this respect, it’s rather like the State laws prohibiting underage persons from buying alcohol or tobacco from retail dealers.

        Society has no illusion that underage persons are acquiring alcohol or tobacco in the secondary market. Harbor no illusions about guns. Criminals and crazies will get guns by other means as well.

        Disabusing uninterested voters in their unfounded confidence in FFL NICS checks is a worth-while activity. It helps our argument that UBC will be no panacea.

        • NICS repeal is made MORE difficult by the actions of the NRA. That’s what I’m trying to get across. They are NOT helping here. It’s not just that they’ve chosen their battles (which I could understand–leave it alone for now, attack it later), they’ve continued to lend NICS rhetorical support.

        • Maybe because NRA thinks NICS does RKBA more good than harm. I think that’s true – politically. NICS doesn’t have to save one life or keep one gun out of the hands of a criminal or crazy. If NICS makes the uninterested voter somewhat more comfortable with RKBA then that helps move the cause along.

  14. This just in: Governor of Oregon signs law making it a felony to spend time with friends

    Still not sure why we didn’t get to vote on that. Not that it would have turned out any differently.

  15. Brady doesn’t need to be repealed, as you stated, it is contrary to the 2A, thus null and void.
    As we have seen, potus instructs the gov to ignore legitimate laws he disagrees with…we the people can legitimately ignore illegal laws.

    • The Supreme Court will never repeal Brady. The next President will probably be a Democrat who will probably appoint more liberal Supreme Court judges that will probably nullify the Second Ammemdment.
      The NRA understands the political winds. Repeatedly taking cases to court will one day result in complete loss of the Constitutional RKBA.
      That is why they focus on lobbying and making gun-owners look more responsible. It really is a perception war between people who label guns as ‘evil’ and people who own then as ‘irresponsible’ and responsible gun-owners. Unless the NRA can show gun-owners as responsible, they cannot continue to exist. That is why they stay away from Constitutional issues and focus on lobbying

      • Scotus does not have the task of determining constitutionality. It gets away with doing that via public acceptance of them stealing that task from us. The same way illegal laws stand because the people accept them as valid, even disagreeing with them.
        As long as people remain ignorant of the allocation of powers in our Constitution, the document is nothing but window dressing. Our schools help ensure that remains the fact of life in America.

        • SCOTUS has had the power to determine Constitutionality for over 200 years. It gave that power to itself. And in 200 years, there hasn’t been a better idea on who should make such a determination.

        • The Constitution makes quite clear who is tasked with that job. It is not scouts.
          Maybe you, like most of America, needs to read it again.
          The task most definitely is not a listed duty of any of the three branches. Tasks not given can not be assumed. They are reserved to others.

        • “. . . there hasn’t been a better idea on who should make such a determination.” Unfortunately, that’s the bottom line, isn’t it.

          Naturally, the States could overturn a SCOTUS decision they don’t like. All they would have to do is call an Article 5 convention to amend the Constitution. If Congress wanted to overturn a SCOTUS decision all they would have to do is send a proposed amendment to the States. As far as I can recall, that has never happened.

          Elections have consequences. The voters keep sending the same Congress-critters to Washington notwithstanding that Congress has long been held in great contempt by the voters. The voters elected and re-elected presidents who nominated SCOTUS and inferior court judges.

          If we really don’t like what we are getting from SCOTUS then we have to persuade our fellow voters to vote differently; and, we have to vote differently ourselves. We are not doing so well on this – are we. We don’t like politics; but we aren’t learning to play the political game more successfully.

        • They are reserved to others.

          I assume you mean the people of the United States of America is supposed to have this job.

          Well, that means there will be about 300 million different opinions on what is and is not constitutional, and it necessarily is up for a vote. Nice job.

        • That is one possibility.
          No need to assume, if you read the Constitution the answer is there quite plainly.

          I guess you prefer ignoring the Constitution in that regard, yet will complain when the parts you like are ignored?

        • You miss my point.

          And you now imply the consitution DOES explilcitly specify who is to determine if a law is constitutional. So who is it?

        • I implied nothing.
          I guess you have never read that old scrap of parchment?
          Shame on you.

        • if you read the Constitution the answer is there quite plainly.

          That’s more than an implication, you outright SAID it’s there.

          OK, Cite article and section, big man. Because I have indeed read it. Where does the constitution say who shall interpret it?

        • Wow, I guess maybe a short read like the Constitution is difficult for some people.
          Read the 10A.
          Amazing how people cite Marbury, yet fail to grasp that scotus awarded itself extra-constitutional powers.
          More amazing, nobody cares that 9 political appointees with life tenure are being allowed to rewrite the Constitution through interpretation. The republic was not designed for that.

        • I remembered the 10A on the way home last night. I was for some reason fixated on the pre-BOR original document. Regardless, the 10A eliminates some possible answers to the question, but doesn’t really resolve the question I am asking.

          I agree, for what it’s worth, that the constitution doesn’t give the supreme court the power (other people said that, not me; I only challenged your statement that who does have the power was stated in the Constitution). It has been usurped by SCOTUS and with some hindsight, it’s really not terribly surprising that that happened.

          The 10A further underscores that no power not given to the fedgov by the constitution resides with the fedgov. It would have been nice if it had said “expressly” just to make it doubleplus clear, but oh well. Having it reside with the states or the people, though doesn’t resolve the matter.

          That’s because there’s no mechanism specified for interpreting the constitution and finding a law unconstitutional and overturning it. Without any procedure specified, there’s no way for people to say, “yeah, well OK, Law X has been overturned,” or “Yippee, that stupid Law X has been overturned!” (depending on how they felt about Law X to begin with). No actual authority has been established, and let’s face it: one is necessary enough that it’s a power vacuum not having one.

          Some of the historic attempts to fill the vacuum were unsatisfactory. South Carolina attempted to “nullify” laws it was unhappy with back before the civil war, but that doctrine implied a law could be de jure unconstitutional in one place and not in another, which is absurd (and would basically violate equal protection and bill of attainder provisions, not that all of those existed back then). “The people” deciding it would either lead to people feeling free to ignore what they think is BS (i.e., nullifcation on an individual basis not a state basis) which would overthrow the whole point of having laws at all, or, some mechanism for voting on it and having the results be binding; again NOT provided for in any way, shape or form.

          There being no one empowered to do this and no procedure specified, and a procedure needed, someone stepped in and filled the void. And they could plausibly argue that they had that power as an implied power (and remember that word “expressly” wasn’t there); after all courts DO interpret laws all the time in doing their job, and the Constitution is a supreme law that governs not just us but also other law, similar to the ways all laws govern us. And having made the argument…well, who is going to call them wrong? There’s no authority specified to stop them doing it, which is sorta the whole point.

          As an aside, I like Mark Levin’s idea of giving the states, acting in concert the ability to overturn a law. He phrased it wrong in his proposed amendment (his phrasing amounts to a supermajority of every single legislature, rather than a majority vote by a supermajority of legislatures, but it’s a good idea. One common weakness of the constitution, especially post 17A, is a lack of ways for the states to “check” the fedgov; there’s only the nuclear option of calling a convention, and intelligent people argue whether such a convention could go wild, AND congress can thwart it (or worse, accept the draft for the United Socialist States of America) by specifying how the results should be ratified.

        • That power is not implied whatsoever. There are no implied powers allocated in the Constitution. It is that simple.

        • I go more in depth below, but the constitution was never meant to be “interpreted.” It was meant to be obeyed.

      • Actually, SCOTUS struck down 2 parts of the original Brady Bill. One of the cases involved Sheriffs Mack and Prinz.

        Ultimately, Brady wanted long drawn out waiting periods and were against instant checks such as the one Florida had been doing since 1989. After SCOTUS slapped them down, they adopted the Florida system.

        The Sheriffs case won and confirmed that Sheriffs don’t work for the Federal Government.

    • “we the people can legitimately ignore illegal laws.”

      Absolutely. In fact, the government will reward you for doing so, with free room and board for the next few years or decades.

      • Because too many people like you support the illegalities of government. You empower our abuse by government.

        • how long are you gonna playnthis stupid game of sophistry? you accused someone for being responsible for things outside of their control. that’s not truthfull.

        • How can you say he has no control over the situation. The people, of which we all are a part, do have means of control. That was my point. I’ m sorry if it was over your head.

        • stop being a sophist. you have no idea what he does or does not do, and your judging him and his actions as responsible for things you don’t like is condescending, and fatuous to boot.

        • Wrong again. I know that he has that power, whether or not he chooses to exercise it.
          I also know that he is quite capable of speaking for himself. I am also certain that if he wanted someone to shill for him he would choose somebody capable. That excludes you.

        • and yet you shill for him – more accurately, against him – and others like him.

          maybe you should stick to speaking for yourself.

        • I shilled for nobody. I replied to his statement. If you don’t understand that difference, a pattern regarding your mental acuity is forming.

        • reading is a fundamental skill, PaulG. Perhaps they didn’t teach that to you in your GED course. Let me reiterate: “more accurately, against him…”

        • Look up the word “shill”. Your initial words…” And yet you shill for him…”, make clear you do not know the meaning.

  16. Not every fight has to leave you paddling against the current.
    I as a Life member. I agree with most of what the NRA is doing.
    You have to pick your battles and go with the ones that will preserve or bring back the most good.
    You have to let the people vote with their “feelings”. Even if it wont stop 1 criminal from obtaining a gun.
    But if anyone thinks I wont give a gun to a family member who has no criminal history or is nuttz.
    Your nuttz too.

  17. The NRA has always struck me as a fundamentally conservative organization…”conservative” in the sense of “not liking change.” They also seem to be preoccupied with defense, rather than going on the offensive. As a result, they don’t always do a good job of representing the views of the more radical POTG, like many of us on TTAG, who are more interested in AR-15s than SAAs, and more likely to open carry than to hunt ducks.

    But in the long run, it benefits the gun rights movement to have multiple organizations that occupy different niches on the conservative-to-radical spectrum…as long as we all remember to focus our energy on advancing gun rights in our own ways rather than fighting internal battles over the intellectual purity of the movement.

    • Me too. And I don’t need anything else.

      SAF? Yes, Alan Gottlieb has done some great things. But supporting Manchin-Toomey wasn’t one of them.

      • +1. From what I’ve read, Gottlieb is a smart man who has been ahead of the curve on the laws and litigation.
        He just forgot thag others arent so far along, and he goofed by thinking he could:

        A. Negotiate on behalf of gun owners, and
        B. Trust Democrats

        Hubris. Lack of focus. I-594 does not make me feel comfortable that he learned his lesson.

        But then there was a mountain of rich liberal money aimed at the urban liberals. That is the cautionary tale, and perhaps the opportunity, to change minds of tech millenials, and I see signs of the sea change here at TTAG.

  18. I’m an NRA member, but not an unabashed fan. I do think the gun community owes them a lot, but I also think they have let us down many times with their political expediency. I also think the SAF has done more for us in the last 10 years than the NRA has. I also don’t buy into this “we owe the rights we have to the NRA.” We owe our rights to the Constitution and our willingness to stand up for those rights. The NRA has just been an imperfect vehicle to help us do that, but if they were not around, we would have started another organization. If all these anti-gun groups can spring up overnight, we could spring one up also.

    On this issue, though, I happen to reluctantly agree with them. I don’t like BCs, but IF we can’t get rid of them, and it seems we can’t, they need to be fixed. Also, the time it takes to get them fixed buys us time until we can get a little more clout put together, like after the next presidential election (hopefully). I just wish the NRA would do a better job of explaining their strategies to the membership instead of just asking for money.

    • I also think the SAF has done more for us in the last 10 years than the NRA has.

      Like supporting Manchin-Toomey?

        • Heller was a case from the Cato Institute. The SAF jumped on board late and stole the credit. I’m not saying that the SAF didn’t help, but it wasn’t their case. It was Robert A. Levy’s. And that’s a fact.

      • Exactly! Manchin-Toomey was a damn near disaster. Losing that is why Bloomer has started his domino strategy at the state level regarding “universal checks” or euphemism for de fact registries.

  19. The NRA is but one of many tools in the pro-2A sandbox. Plus, if you don’t like what the NRA is doing, you can complain, and/or cancel your membership.

    I’m a member myself, since I see a net benefit for having a loud voice in Washington to support our rights. The WaPo article Ralph posted put it best when they stated the NRA uses fear on occasion to motivate gun owners. That, I have no issue with, since a lot of gun owners tend to sit idly, since “it doesn’t affect them” directly. Sometimes fear can be useful. It’s like raising a kid, you use the fear of taking something away to motivate them to take correct action.

    Going into the NRA, I was aware of the compromises they made in the past, with the GCA, Hughes, and the NFA. Sucks, but I signed up looking at the “new” NRA, one that seemingly won’t compromise if possible.

    And I do spread my donations around a bit. I’m a member of my local 2A rights group, Florida Carry, and also am considering signing up for either the American Suppressor Association or the NFAFA, since the NRA doesn’t serve the stamp collector community effectively at this time.

    And if the NRA doesn’t stay the course, it’s a simple matter to not renew my membership.

  20. I’m gonna swim against the tide. WTF is wrong with background checks? With modern technology, it is possible to set up a system in which a background check can be performed via smartphone anywhere.

    I don’t want a serial rapist with warrants buying guns. I don’t want a dangerous paranoid psychotic, who should be committed, buying guns. And I don’t understand why that is controversial to some 2nd amendment supporters.

    My view is that law abiding citizens should be allowed to own and bear anything they want, without requiring any tax stamp or other nonsense. But I also believe in criminal control.

    Flame on.

    • The problem is with GOVERNMENT background checks. They’ve demonstrated they can’t be trusted.

      As for criminal control, every gun store should have at least one deputized employee so if someone shows as a felon that person can be detained.

      • NICS doesn’t tell you why the check was denied, it just says “denied”. It doesn’t mean that the person in question is a felon. It doesn’t even mean that they’re trying to buy the gun illegally – sometimes they just get it wrong and deny by mistake (been there twice).

      • every gun store should have at least one deputized employee so if someone shows as a felon that person can be detained.

        An agent of government at every commercial firearm purchase; are you serious?!?! Have you no concept of the inalienable individual right to keep and bear arms? Please read the following and reflect on how having a government agent, ready to swoop in and detain the purchaser, oversee every commercial firearm purchase fits. (Protip: It doesn’t.)

        A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

    • I don’t want a serial rapist with warrants buying guns. I don’t want a dangerous paranoid psychotic, who should be committed, buying guns.

      No flame, Aaron. But serial rapists buy guns all the time, just not from Bud’s Gun Shop. They buy them in an alley. And dangerous paranoid psychotics buy guns all the time, too, and they do get background checks. James Holmes passed a background check and then shot up a theater in Aurora. Jared Lee Loughner passed his background check and then shot up a bunch of people, including Gabby Giffords. Aaron Alexis passed his background check, then killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

      Wake up, Aaron. You’re being taken for a fool by the government and you don’t even know it. They don’t care about background checks. It’s all about the 4473.

      • While I completely agree, it’s just not a winning argument. Most people are fine with making it a little harder and more dangerous for a violent felon to get a gun. If a serial rapist has to do it in a back alley, fine. Maybe they will get shot and robbed during the transfer.

      • I’m awake, Ralph. Don’t assume that because I disagree with you that it is because I don’t understand the situation.

        Seung-Hui Cho SHOULD have been prevented from buying the guns used in the VA Tech shooting, as he had been adjudicated to be a danger to himself or others. This information did not make it to NICS. That needs to be fixed.

        Dangerously deranged people need to be in NICS.

        “Back alley” gun sales need to be controlled. Private sellers running a 5-10 minute background check via an iPhone app is not an infringement.

        The concerns about using background checks for stealth registration need to be addressed by legislation.

        • “Back alley” gun sales need to be controlled.

          No, they don’t.

          Private sellers running a 5-10 minute background check via an iPhone app is not an infringement.

          If a private seller chooses to use a private service, it is not a government infringement. It’s the seller’s property so the seller can choose to perform private background checks. If the check is government mandated or in any way, shape, fashion, or form government funded then it is indeed an infringement.

        • The concerns about using background checks for stealth registration need to be addressed by legislation.

          This was already addressed by the Constitution from the beginning; shall not be infringed. It’s none of government’s business who sells, buys, keeps, or bears arms.

        • you keep using that word. i don’t think it means what you think it means. (to quote Inigo Montoya)

        • I know full well what it means in the context of the Second Amendment. It’s obvious from most of your posts on this article that you haven’t a clue about inalienable rights or even that the Constitution created our government and limits it to specific powers. The individual right to keep and bear arms was supposed to be off limits to government… and for very good reason. Look at the mess we have with big government today.

        • you keep making ridiculous and unsupportable assertions “you have no clue about inalianable rights…constitution..2nd amendment”, and the big whopper “the founding fathers hated government, any government”

          yes, i do have a clue. i’m trying to share it with you.

      • +1. I’ve read about ATF agents demanding to copy the bound books of FFLs, or inspect them off-site. I would imagine they could be very quickly scanned, and with todays ocr software, quickly downloaded into a database, which I understand is illegal.

        I have also read that as LGS go out of business, the FFL is forced to turn over their records to ATF. Is that true? If so, then those records are NOT destroyed as per the law, after some period of time.

        Does anyone have any credible information on this? In CA, handguns and long guns are required to be registered. What is to prevent the CA DOJ, under some Executive Action, justified by CA AG Harris, to cross-reference that against the CA DOJ background check system, to create a registry of guns owned by individuals?

        It seems to me that we should be pushing for laws that ban that kind of data aggregation, not worrying about NICS, which is overloaded and broken anyway.

        • I agree we should ban data aggregation on gun sales. but i also think NICS should be fixed.

    • There’s nothing wrong with not wanting a violent rapist to have ease of access to weaponry per say, but that’s the world we live in. No background check is going to stop anyone like that, just like a restraining order won’t stop domestic violence. However, this new push over “Universal Backround Checks” has nothing to do with trying to keep felons from buying guns, and everything to do with creating stepping stones to much more draconian gun control laws. First they pass the UBCs, then it’s suddenly realized the UBC system can’t be enforced without universal registration. Then a couple shootings happen anyway so then it’s time to start banning everything scary. Before you know it, it’s a “SAFE” act. Also, the UBC system suddenly turns anyone into a felon who happens to hand their gun to a friend or family member.

      • “Also, the UBC system suddenly turns anyone into a felon who happens to hand their gun to a friend or family member.”

        And after it has been in effect for 5 years or so, we’ll get “and we know all of you have shared your firearm with somebody, because it is so easy to do and nobody can catch you. So, we’ll be coming to your door to allow you to prove you did NOT break the law, or to confiscate all of your firearms and set a court date for your prosecution.”

        • More likely to see the conclusion that the law is ineffective because of the large number of unregistered guns that can escape the process. Solved, of course, by mandatory registration of all firearms.

      • That’s really an illogical argument. Why not just make murder legal since the law doesn’t prevent all murders? Restraining orders have probably saved thousands of lives, even though sometimes a domestic killer just ignores them.

        Instant background checks are pretty fast. It would be trivial to create a computer or phone app to make the process fast and easy.

        • No, it’s not illogical. There’s nothing illogical at all about resisting do nothing laws that are only stepping stones to some truly dark places. What’s illogical is falling for the democrats and this whole line about UBC’s. Explain how UBC’s would’ve stopped any mass murder event? You want to know how you stop a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun. Example A: Garland Texas.

        • it’s kind of hard to prove a negative.

          but the VA tech shooter bought guns used in the massacre AFTER he was adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill. that data didnt make it to NICS because of Virginia privacy laws.

          there’s a perfect example of how a rational NICS could have helped.

          btw, the good guy with a gun in garland was an “evil” government employee.

        • non sequitur, john.

          your right to privacy ends when you have been diagnosed as a dangerous paranoid schizo.

        • Show me. Your opinion again? They probably have a profile that matches you in the DSM, right?

        • A form that the individual fills out. Thus he makes decisions regarding whether or not to divulge that information. Also, if he chooses to do so, the 4473 is not a public document
          All you have proven is that you don’t have a clue.WTF you are talking about.

        • Good lord you are dumb. It is against the law to purchase a gun if you are adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill.

          in that situation, you have had due process, and your rights have been reduced.

          it is against the law to about it on the 4473.

          the fact that some people lie about it does not mean they have a right to do so.

        • If I am dumb, boy are you in trouble. I asked you to show me where mentally deficient people lose their right to privacy, remember? Remember? Hello?
          A 4473 proves your point? How? A form that half the country will never see let alone fill out? A form that even if filled out honestly by a mentally deficienct person , who us denied a purchase, is not in the public purview?
          You have proven one thing, that your knowledge of being mentally deficient and filling out 4473 comes from your own personal experience.

        • The logical conclusion to your position is that right to privacy covers committing a felony by falsifying a 4473.

          Your post is absurd.

        • Like I said, if I am dumb…….
          You don’t think well, do you. It has nothing to do with lying on the form 4473.
          Everyone who purchases a new firearm filks one out, and answerz the question, ergo everyone buying a firearm has no right to privacy?
          Anyone can ask you a question, you choose whether to answer. Answers on forms not in public purview do not negate your privacy.
          Your thought processes are quite juvenile.

        • you aren’t even making sense to yourself. at this point, you are just arguing to save face.

        • So how does the existence of a question on a form prove that the mentally deficient have lost their right to privacy? It doesn’t. The from is not mandatory for, nor limited to, the deficient, nor a matter of public record.
          If such a form proves that the deficient have lost the right to privacy, then it is indicative that all new gun purchasers have lost the right to privacy, as all must answer that question.
          If that is so, then this obviously proves that filling out that form violates the 2A. One cannot be compelled to concede their right to privacy in order to practice the RKBA. That is obviously an infringement
          Read it slow. Make a flow chart. You can do it! You will see.

        • Aaron I’m not one of those that believe cops and soldiers are evil. Or that the government is “evil.” The government is simply behaving how all governments have always behaved, it wants to grow. The VA shooter would’ve found another way. He wouldn’t have simply been denied the purchase of a fire arm and then said “Oh well, looks like I can’t kill anyone.” He would’ve found a way to get them illegally, or have made a bomb. The only way anyone would’ve stopped him is if he was countered by an armed response. It’s the NRA’s repeated line for a reason. Because it’s true. Terrorists and psychopaths don’t just stop because one avenue is denied to them. So the best thing we can do to stop them, is focus on loosening restrictions on owning and carrying firearms so they can be countered with force as soon as possible.

        • the ‘”evil” government employee’ comment wasn’t directed at you, but instead at some of the fantasists posting here who would turn America into Somalia or Waziristan if their wishes came true.

          I think it is a little bit of a leap to claim that Seung-Hui Cho would have committed his mass murder with other means if he had been denied a gun purchase. No one could know that for sure. But it would have delayed him, which is better than nothing.

          I do agree that bsckground checks alone aren’t going to be very effective. To work, they have to be coupled with enforcement of punishment for felons attempting to purchase guns, and a more rational system for dealing with the dangerously mentally ill.

    • There’s a huge difference between a private citizen running a background check before deciding whether he wishes to sell his privately owned property to another person, and being forced to subjection to arbitrary government screening before being allowed to participate in a Constitutional right.

      Can you honestly not see the difference?

      • that word “arbitrary” is not relevant in this case. there are laws about who is prohibited from purchasing guns. i happen to think deranged people should be committed, but in lieu they certainly should not be purchasing gun, regardless of who the seller is.

        and like it or not, most of your rights have some governmental involvement. for example, you have the common-law right to sell your house, but you have to update tax and title info.

        • I disagree. Many of the taxes, to include property taxes in this country are unconstitutional. The way the government was set up was to have as little government as possible interfere with someone’s rights.

        • I have purchased a few houses in my life and never once did I need a goverment background check to do so.

        • “I have purchased a few houses in my life and never once did I need a goverment background check to do so.”

          If you borrowed money, you did, you just probably don’t know it. Credit report is required by government sponsored entities (among other checks). Credit report is the equivalent of NICS being run by a private entity but required by the govt, which is functionally the same. Your employer also runs a background check before they hire you and in some companies they fingerprint you. The reason that it is so hard to win the background check argument is that people are accustomed to being screened for everything.

        • Apples and oranges.
          Keep trying though, yoy may see how bad your example is.
          A credit check is not a criminal background check, or government mandated.
          Besides, most of the time I paid cash for the houses…just like my guns.
          Oops, now there is a valid comparison! Pay cash, no questions asked!

        • To AllAmerican: your opinion on the constitutionality of taxes is obviated by the supreme court’s opinion.

        • Ah, but, since when is the Supreme Court to be the ultimate athourity on the constitution? They were never granted such a power, they just assumed it, and the other branches just kinda took it. The constitution does not specify a branch to “interpret” it; because it was never meant be interpreted, but obeyed.

        • if the supreme court did not perform the function of judicial review, there would no practical bulwark against unconstitutional legislation. None.

          your argument is a purely philisophical one with no practical applicstion.

        • so you think the states, or the people should determine the constitutionality of things.

          huh. leaving the determination of constitutionality of things to the people sounds like direct democracy – aka, mob rule – which is one of the few things that the founders clearly hated.

          the constitution was expressly designed to PREVENT direct democracy.

          the supreme court was charged with upholding the constitution. how should they do that if they have no power to adjudicate constitutionality?

        • Actually the republic was designed as a better alternative to democracyl. We are a Constitutional republic, not a representative democracy. Think about a hamburger versus a sloppy joe…similar, same basic ingredients, but not the same.
          I would much rather have decisions regarding the Constitution in the hands of tbe states or the people than decided by nine life-tenured political appointees who do not answer to any constituency of the people.
          Oh yeah, and that’s the way the Constitution says it is to be handled. I must have missed the amendment giving that power to scotus

        • first you point out the fact we are a constitutional republic, then you go back to advocating for “the people” – aka direct democracy – deciding constitutionality.

        • US is both a constitutional republic and a representative democracy. If it were the former but not the latter, it would imply that the legislature is not elected at all, which is plainly not the case.

          Most representative democracies in the world today are also constitutional republics. A few are constitutional monarchies.

        • Sorry, but no. The US is not both. It cannot be. While both systems have most of their aspects in agreement with each other, it is the differences which matter. Just as a man and a woman are mostly identical genetically, it is the differences that matter.
          In fact, even in socialism many of the characteristics of democracy, and our republic, are extant. But the differences are essential.

        • Sure it can be. “Constitutional republic” and “representative democracy” are completely orthogonal. “Republic” means that it’s not ruled by a single person with hereditary system. “Constitutional” means that it has a constitution that defines the framework of governance and places limits on the democratic process. “Democracy” means that it has elections. “Representative” means that people don’t vote for legislation directly, but elect representatives. All of these are true in case of USA (and France, and Germany, and many other countries).

        • Not so.The characteristics of a republic and a democracy are to a very high degree shared characteristics. That does not mean that a republic is a democracy, representative or otherwise. It means they share many traits. They also differ in a few key characteristics. Those characteristics make the two irreconcilable to each other. Thus a republic cannot be a democracy, even given the similarities.

        • The only way this is true is if you’re using a 200 year old dictionary for the definitions of both. If that is not the case, care to explain what those differences are?

        • Volokh alludes similarly in his defense of using “democracy”. He claims tbat in the 1700s the words were understood as different, in the mid 1800s interchange gained some acceptance, and such acceptance is now widespread.
          Of course, the definitions have not changed. Like engine/motor, irregardless/regardless, icebox/refrigerator, or magazine/clip, the acceptance does not mean correctness.
          Complacency, poor education, or intellectual laziness contribute to such devolution of language usage.
          A republic values the rights of the individual, a democracy values the rights of the group. The twain cannot be reconciled. Heller was right, even absurd to need asking, in a republic. Not so in a democracy.
          I much prefer the correct use of ferms, even if it seems old-fashiined. Modern, “it’s close enough” (but actually wrong) use of terms just makes no sense to me. To be dumb with a lot of company is silly. It also contributes to the further deterioration of the nation.

        • You may note tbat in the 1700s, when the two terms were understood as different, this nation was founded as a republic, by design. The definition of democracy has not changed, nor of republic. Very little has changed in our Constitution either. Nothing, barring perhaps 1913, to change our form of government.

        • Sorry, but no, Paul G. Republic and representative democracy are synonymous.

          Also see definitions

          Republic:A republic (from Latin: res publica) is a form of government in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body[1][2] and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law.

          REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. A form of government where the powers of the sovereignty are delegated to a body of men, elected from time to time, who exercise them for the benefit of the whole nation. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 31.

          Where did you get your poly-sci degree from? You need to go ask for a refund.

        • The two are only synonymous to the intellectually lazy.
          Those teaching that two similar systems with important differences are synonymous need to be flogged. They mislead people like you.
          As another has noted, in the past it was well understood that the two are different. The two have not changed. All that has changed is lazy teachers teaching similar equals the same. Absolutely reprehensible.
          I take it you consider men and women identical? After all, the one chromosome difference is negligible, right?
          Details matter. Apparently not to you.

        • you just said a whole lotta nuthin. Again.

          You have some bad habits. Vacillating between incompatible positions. Calling other people’s positions lazy without even bothering to substantiate yourself. Blaming others for being responsible for things you don’t like. Confusing your personal preferences for constitutional issues.

        • I have not vacillated. Perhaps the problem is you. You seem to have problems with comprehension. Intellectual laziness and the resultant detriment to the education of our nation is hardly a matter of my opinion. As a matter of fact, twice in the last week I have seen articles calling this a national crisis.
          You seem to exemplify the problem.

        • yes, someone else always seems to exemplify some problem in your mind.

          when everyone around seems to be the problem, look in the mirror – that’s where you will find the problem.

          you vacillate constantly, such as when you complain that the supreme court doesn’t have the authority to determine constitutionality, you point out the fact that the US is a republic, and yet you want the people to determine constitutionality. You are an incoherent mess.

        • So citing the Constitution is vacillation?
          Scotus is not empowered with judicial review capability by the Constitution. To infer a power not allotted them is unconstitutional. Powers not granted to a branch are reserved to the states or the people.
          Got it?
          I see no amendment giving scouts that power. It cannot exist by Inference.

        • as entertaining as you may find it to be sophmoricizing, you are doing what you claim others to be doing: projecting your own biases onto the constitution.

        • There are a couple of problems with contesting the doctrine of Judicial Review.

          First, it’s not perfectly clear that States did NOT intend to vest the Judicial branch with the power of judicial review. Hamilton mentions this power in the Federalist papers and Marshall, as a delegate to the Virginia ratification convention also mentions this power. Just two very slim and self-serving threads at best; but there they are. Arguably, Hamilton’s mention didn’t circulate outside of New York. It’s doubtful that Marshall’s remark left the convention itself. Nevertheless, it’s incumbent upon us “protestants” to argue a clear and convincing case that well-read and thoughtful men of the 18’th century couldn’t possibly have intended the doctrine of Judicial Review; and, in its stead, intended some other mechanism such as the doctrine of Nullification.

          We have our work cut out for us on this first point. As bad as Judicial Review is, there is no obviously superior mechanism; and, certainly, not one grounded in the text of the Constitution. I wholeheartedly agree that something ought to be done to rein-in Judicial Review; but whatever that is, it probably ought to be properly defined via amendment to the Constitution.

          The second problem is that the legitimacy of Judicial Review is deeply engrained in our legal system by two centuries of practice and precedent. By what mechanism could we remove it?

          We might petition Congress for a redress of grievance. Would Congress grant any relief? Typically, a majority of each chamber is made up of law school graduates. Without Judicial Review they would have a hard time imagining some other mode of thought. We would have to propose some alternative mechanism of which a majority in each chamber would have to find more appealing than that with which they are familiar. As things stand, Congress can pass all the feel-good laws their constituents demand and let the Judiciary take the criticism for ruling bread and circuses UN-Constitutional. If Congress adopted a law (vs. propose a Constitutional amendment), SCOTUS could simply rule the new law UN-constitutional.

          We might elect a President who would either send armed forces to the chambers of the Supreme Court; or, in the alternative, selectively ignore SCOTUS decisions (as did President Jackson). Were Congress satisfied with the doctrine of Judicial Review, Congress would use the power-of-the-purse to rein-in Presidential intrusion on the power exercised (legitimately or not) by the Judiciary.

          The Judiciary is perfectly unresponsive to anything apart from impeachment or, possibly, the Treasury refusing to issue their paychecks.

          The only apparently viable avenue of assault on Judicial Review is through a Constitutional Amendment; and, that is an undertaking outside the means of the PotG. We have trouble enough getting the 2A enforced.

        • Hey, I agree with you!

          I think folks arguing against judicial review are quixotic.

          how does the supreme court uphold the constitution if they don’t review laws for constitutionality? without judicial review, they are essentially a meaningless branch of gov’t.

        • “. . . without judicial review, they are essentially a meaningless branch of gov’t.” I take your point, but I wouldn’t go that far.
          Suppose, for a moment, that SCOTUS and the inferior courts refrained from interpreting the Constitution. (What that might look like would be hard for us to imagine.) They would still have to rule on matters of law. That is, we would still have problems with cases such as Abramski. There, you see, Congress did not see fit to require non-FFLicensed-dealers fill out 4473 forms and run NICS checks. Was this an oversight? Or, did Congress deliberately refrain from extending a commercial regulatory regime beyond licensed dealers? Oh, never mind. SCOTUS was all too eager to answer that question. SCOTUS simply filled-in Congress’s negligent omission and found that Abramski lied on his 4473 form and skirted Congress’s original intent.

          So, SCOTUS would still have a fair amount of work to do; there just wouldn’t be any means of protecting Constitutional rights or power limitations.

          SCOTUS has done a great deal to undermine rights and extend the powers of governments. Nevertheless, it has also – on occasion – defended Constitutional rights ad reined in excesses of governmental power. Without the doctrine of Judicial Review, the President and Congress to say nothing of the States and municipalities would have free rein.

        • Interesting that one would think prior mentions could infer something clearly not in the Constitution
          There were those who mentioned wanting Washington to be king, Should we consider that enough to change the title and powers of the executive?
          If it is quixotic to not want the Constitution gutted on the bench by a 5-4 vote of appointed (for life), unaccountable to anyone, justices, then I think that word does not mean what you think it does.
          Even those arguing for judicial review are aware that it is not in the Constitution. That says it all. Implication is not valid.
          If the states or people wish to enable the scotus with that power, they can call for an amendment.

        • – “. . . prior mentions could infer something clearly not in the Constitution”
          – “There were those who mentioned wanting Washington to be king, Should we consider that enough to change the title and powers of the executive?”
          – If the states or people wish to enable the scotus with that power, they can call for an amendment.”
          Each an excellent point. However, there is a distinction to be made between the first 2. The Constitution was merely a proposal when the Federalist papers were published and the ratification conventions were being held. It was during this time that the anti-Federalists were doing their best to shoot-down this radical idea of a Constitution proposal. The debates leading up to ratification conventions and the ratification conventions themselves served as ample opportunity to take-up any objectionable ideas. IF Hamilton and Marshall ADEQUATELY announced their observation that the Judiciary would have the power we now call Judicial Review THEN the People would have been given ample opportunity to object. They didn’t.
          I don’t expect anyone to eagerly conceded that Hamilton’s and Marshall’s remarks constituted adequate fore-warning. It’s certainly debatable. However, those of us who have doubts about Judicial Review have to overcome this argument; i.e., that these two remarks drew no objections.
          Hamilton’s proposals to make Washington a quasi-king died in the Philadelphia Constitutional convention. Lots of folks mentioned lots of things that never made it into the text of the Constitution or Bill of Rights; nor into the legislative history of the Constitutional conventions in the States nor in the more or less official writings of Federalists and anti-Federalists of the era. Once the text of Article II was published, debated and ratified any mention by Hamilton to make Washington a quasi-king were foreclosed.
          Not so any topic not clearly addressed in the text of the Constitution; and even less so when there is at least some mention of that topic prior to ratification. A strong rational case can be argued that Judicial Review was implicit in the structure of the draft Constitution and this inference was entered into the public record on two occasions.
          Where you would have a much stronger case would be on a question such as succession. Let’s do our best to imagine the national mind-frame of 18th century Americans who recognized their “country” to be their “State”. Now, consider the doctrine of “Welcome to the Hotel California! You can check-out any time; but, you can never leave.” Where in the historical record could we find any hint that there was at least one American who considered the doctrine of “Hotel California”? Did South Carolina have the residual “power” to succeed from the Union? Where did Lincoln infer a Federal power of Hotel California?
          In any case, the problem of reversing 200+ years of practice and president far exceeds the difficulty of resolving an academic debate.

          “If the states or people wish to enable the scotus with that power, they can call for an amendment.” can be turned on its head. If the States or the People wish to displace or supersede Judicial Review they too can call for an amendment. In the interim, the States and the People can be construed to have acquiesced to the doctrine for lack of a better idea.

          I always presuppose that there must be a better idea that has not yet occurred to me. That there is nothing between SCOTUS judicial review and a Constitutional amendment to supersede SCOTUS (e.g., 14A superseded Dredd Scott) seems a serious fault. Arguably, Judicial Review is a sound idea implemented in a bad way by 5/9 individuals. Perhaps the 50 Chief Justices of the State Supreme Courts should be empowered to overturn SCOTUS’s decision on Constitutionality by a 2/3 vote.

        • Judicial review was not included in the Constitution, and powers not given were clearly reserved elsewhere. What was there to object about?
          As stated, the usurpation of said power was incremental, and concerned trivialities in the earliest cases.

        • ideal/aspects/demrep.HTML

          If free elections were democracy, even socialism is democratic. Centuries of academic shortcuts lead to such poor academics.
          Go slap your professor….note the part about “antithetical”. You should be paying me to correct your prof’s poor teaching.

        • your link is an incoherent mess, making meaningless distinctions. Your post claims Plato himself didn’t even understand what a republic was when he wrote “the republic”, and neither did John Adams.. What an arrogant absurdity. The fact is that the d-bag that wrote the article that your post linked to was making stuff up. I’ll take John Adams and Plato over you and your sophomoric links any day. A representative democracy absolutely CAN have a constitution limiting the majority, hence the term “constitutional democracy”.

        • Working from a phone I have limited resources. Even I did not like the confusion they uttered between type and form of gov.
          Still, democracies were extant in the 1700s and prior, even in England…a representative one no less.
          The founders conspicuously limited the majority and favored rule of law and individual over majority rights to avoid creating a democracy. The republic does share characteristics with a democracy, I have consistently said that. But like do many things, shared characteristics do not make the one into the other. A cake is not a pie is not a loaf of bread. The differences define, not the similarities.

        • yes, i know. the relevent distinction for this discussion is between republic (which can be both representative democracy and constitutional republic) versus direct democracy, aka “mob rule”. the founders were somewhat divided on federalism but all agreed that a republic was the way to go because direct democracy was doomed to failure.

        • Elections are a common characteristic of many forms of government. That a democracy features this characteristic does not make any form of government that elects officials into a democracy. Poor scholarship abounds.
          A motorcycle and a car share many traits….is a motorcycle a car?

        • You keep insisting that the terms didn’t change their meanings, but they did (and, in general, it is common for meanings to change over hundreds of years – there are many thousands of English words that have also changed their meanings since 1776).

          When US was founded, there weren’t really any democracies in the world to speak of, and the word itself was basically unused in contemporary language, and used only by scholars discussing Ancient Greek politics. To that extent, it was used in a narrow way in which the Greeks themselves (notably, Plato) defined it, which means direct majoritarian voting. The entire notion of “republic” and “democracy” being opposites also originates from Plato.

          Today, on the other hand, most of the world nominally has some elections, and about half of it has elections that are fair to a reasonable degree – and this has been the case for many decades now. Consequently, a word was needed to describe this very popular arrangement in a broad way, and the word “democracy” was adopted for that purpose from the scholars, broadening its meaning to describe any system of government that has elections. Additional terms were introduced to describe various nuances – e.g. what the Founders referred to simply as “democracy” is now “direct democracy”, and what they referred to as “republic” is now “representative democracy” – and then there’s an orthogonal axis for constitutionalism vs parliamentary supremacy, and another one for monarchy vs elected executive, and so on.

          Nothing about it is shoddy. The picture that it paints is just as clear, and all the distinctions that were originally there are preserved. On top of that, we now have some broader meta-categories (like unqualified “democracy”, that includes both direct democracy and representative democracy) for more convenient categorization.

          Oh, and socialism can absolutely be democratic (either direct or representative). Socialism, after all, is just an economic arrangement, it’s not all-encompassing.

        • The meanings haven’ t changed.
          The focus on individual versus majority rights is still a major discrepancy between the systems.
          All that has changed is the quality of education.
          Is an airplane a car? They both have many traits in common, with important differences. Perhaps the meanings of those terms have changed as well?
          It is amazing the degree to which some will go to defend their ignorance.

        • An airplane is not a car, but both are vehicles. When there were only cars around, before airplanes, it would make sense to just refer to them as “vehicles”, since there weren’t any other. But now that we have both, it makes sense to have a word for the entire category that is clearly related, and subdivide further. Same principle here.

          Furthermore, your fundamental approach of thinking that those are complete systems (and hence distinct) is wrong. Democracy is not a complete system – it’s just a descriptor used to describe a particular way of deciding who runs things, and says nothing about how the things are run (and in particular, says nothing about the balance between individual rights and majority rule). When we say that US is a democracy, all it means is that it is in a very large category of countries that have elections. We then apply further descriptors to narrow it down – like saying that it’s a republic (and hence doesn’t have a monarch), or saying that it’s constitutional (and hence has hard limits on what the elected legislature and executive can do, unlike simple majority rule democracy).

          Having all these different words, that don’t pretend to describe the entire system, but instead describe specific, narrow parts of it, and can then be combined to make a bigger picture, is what gives us the flexibility to precisely describe various forms of government in detail and distinguish between them accordingly. For example, France is also a democratic constitutional republic, but it’s unitary. Germany is a democratic constitutional republic, but it’s a federal one, and so it’s closer to US. Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy, though their constitution is relatively weak because of the “notwithstanding clause”. Switzerland is a democratic federal republic, nominally constitutional, but majority-rule in practice. And UK is a democratic monarchy that is strictly majority-rule (due to the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy).

          And all this palette cannot be adequately described, compared and contrasted if the only two words in your lexicon are “democracy” and “republic”, and you insist that they’re contradictory.

        • A republic and a democracy are both forms of government.
          They have similarities.
          They have differences.
          The differences are important.
          No, having elections is not limited to democracy. That it is a characteristic of a democracy does not imply that any system using elections is democratic.
          Similarly, before cake, flour was a major constituent of bread. Later, cakes and other goods employed flour. Is cake a bread? Does it employ bread principles?

        • Both cake and bread are baked goods. And it’s not uncommon for a language to take a word for “bread”, and over time broaden it so that it covers cakes, as well, when they appear.

          Anyway, this is just arguing around in circles. You’re basically insisting that your very peculiar definition of the two words is correct, and virtually everyone else is wrong. 99% of people on the street will disagree with you, as will all of the dictionaries. If you prefer to stick to a different definition in spite of that fact, it’s your right, but don’t be surprised if people can’t comprehend your arguments, since you’re effectively speaking a different language to them.

        • 99 percent of the people on the street think that regardless and irregardless mean the same thing.
          Populist ignorance doesn’t change the truth. Even if the lie is propagated upon the populace.

        • did you notice the word “direct” in front of democracy in my post?

          Republic = representative democracy

          republic does not equal direct democracy

        • A republic does not equal representative democracy either. That was one of my initial statements.

        • Our republic shares many, even nearly most of the traits of democracy, but is different. Still, advocating the power of the people is not absolutely a call to direct democracy, except perhaps to the simple.
          Instead of using the online thesaurus you should try and learn about our form of government. Maybe even read the Constitution.

        • Quite a few goverment personnel are sworn to uphold the Constitution…wait til they all find the power they have to rewrite it through interpretation!

        • so if you are a soldier, you uphold the constitution by defending the nation. if you are a law enforcement officer, you uphold the constitution by enforcing laws. if you are the supreme court, you uphold the constitution by judicial review.

        • Are you joking? Upholding the Constitution for scotus would be to do what the Constitution empowers it to do, and not to usurp powers it has not been delegated. To exercise judicial review is to contravene the Constitution. Pretty simple.

        • All three branches, the states, and the people for that matter. That’s the concept of divided government, or checks and balances. There is very little to stand in the way of an overbearing supreme court if they are considered the ultimate authority on the constitution. No one branch has that authority. A supreme court with unquestionable authority as such can trample our rights just as easy as a king, or an elected legislature. Congress, and the executive branch, can and should hold the supreme court accountable for unconstitutional rulings. If all three branches won’t, then the states much challenge the federal government, and if the states won’t, then the people must. If the people do not- The Republic dies. The “right of revolution” spoken of in the declaration of independence is embodied in the second amendment.

        • I think folks arguing against judicial review are quixotic.

          how does the supreme court uphold the constitution if they don’t review laws for constitutionality? without judicial review, they are essentially a meaningless branch of gov’t.

          Instead of the what if question, let’s look at what they’ve done with this usurped power. I’m not even talking about long ago. The nation has adopted aspects of fascism. We have unarguably become more socialist. Part of the Affordable Care Act has been rubber stamped A-OK by SCOTUS. Some infringement, in direct violation of the plain language of the Second Amendment, has been deemed not only okay but necessary by SCOTUS. What about Fourth Amendment encroachment? The list goes on. This nation is barely identifiable with it’s founding roots and the Supreme Court of the United States of America, by crowing itself with the power of Judicial Review out of thin air, has made it possible. It doesn’t follow the Constitution and it doesn’t guard the rights of the individual. It now primarily exists to find ways to grow government power through creative rulings. Judicial Review in the hands of the Supreme Court is one of the cancers that killed our republic. We never had a chance to explore the “what ifs” of solving constitutionality the proper way since the power was usurped so early on. IMHO, we can’t honestly and accurately answer the what ifs and it shouldn’t be the issue since we have clear evidence of the destruction brought about due to SCOUTS wielding such power. Why play around with the theoretical when there is already hard fact on the table showing what a mistake Judicial Review has been?

        • “We never had a chance to explore the “what ifs” of solving constitutionality the proper way since the power was usurped so early on. ” A very good point. Arguably, SCOTUS’s earlier decisions ruling laws Constitutional or not weren’t terribly offensive. We got accustomed to the doctrine of Judicial Review. Then, FDR’s SCOTUS got drunk with Federal Progressive power; and, by that time, it was way too late.
          What looked – early on – as bad decisions developed into nightmares in the decades to follow.

          And, how is this different from the first and second branches of our Federal government? Hasn’t our Executive branch become drunk with power as well? Incrementally assuming more power at the expense of either the Legislative and the Judiciary?

          Hasn’t our Legislature become drunk with its power to spend, tax and borrow the rest? Haven’t they shown utter contempt for the sentiments of their constituents?

          What are we the People doing about the Federal government? With one notable exception – Right to Carry implementation acts in 40 or so States – we are doing NOTHING!

          In my opinion, we the People – acting through our States – have to do 2 things to rein-in the Federal government:
          – elect Congressmen and Senators who will represent their constituents’ sentiments; and,
          – call for Article V conventions to draft amendments to the Constitution.

          The States have a role in electing Congressmen (not Senators). The State legislatures need to stop gerrymandering Congressional districts with the design to preserve incumbents’ lifetime ownership of their seats. We the People have to stop re-electing congressmen and Senators merely to preserve their seniority so that they can return Federal pork to our home economies.

          Our politicians have had 225 years to find the loopholes in the system designed by the founding fathers. We have done little to nothing to close-up these loopholes. As long as we do NOT care ENOUGH to change our Federal government we will KEEP our Federal government just as the monster it has become.

    • Legitimate “criminal control” is called either “prison” or “the gallows”. If you are on the street, you should be free.

    • Aaron: you are asking the right question: “I’m gonna swim against the tide. WTF is wrong with bacground checks?” I beg your indulgence to phrase it slightly differently.

      Addressing us PotG: ‘Let’s assume that BCs are unconstitutional for some reason. Now, then, when our voting neighbors ask us “What [TF] is wrong with background checks?” what shall we say in response?’

      Naturally, we’d like to recite our assumed argument that BCs are unconstitutional and explain our rationale. The difficulties we should anticipate are:
      – apart from we PotG, most voters aren’t much interested in the Constitution – tragedy though it might be, that’s the reality we face; and,
      – most voters will be unpersuaded by our rationale – DOUBLE the tragedy though it might be, that’s the reality.

      The political reality within which we live is a fact; a fact that has proven extremely difficult to move. If voters are not concerned with: the national debt; NSA collecting telephone data; civil forfeiture; . . . they why should we imagine they will see the light about our subtle argument about freedom-from-BC-to-buy-guns?

      We need arguments that we can SUCCESSFULLY sell to voters who are uncommitted – or even sympathetic to gun-control. What we ought to be doing is to explain why NICS is a useful innovation; one that ought to be recognized as a game-changer in our contemporary evaluation of the 2A.

      Prior to the database technology upon which NICS is based, American gun-control was inherently racist. Throughout American history no one had a problem with white native-born citizens buying or bearing arms. Objections were always aimed at blacks and immigrants of dubious origins. On the dawn of the Civil Rights movements, neither race nor national origin was politically-correct so politicians limited the right to carry to only those who were rich and politically-connected. Abolishing a civil right was no more constitutional than rationing that right based upon race.

      NICS provides a basis to readily separate the goats from the sheep without reference to race, national origin, wealth or political connections. Anyone who passes a NICS check is presumptively entitled to his 2A-guaranteed right to KBA. Someone who fails a NICS check ought to be entitled to the opportunity to clear his record; failing to so so, he may lawfully be deprived of his 2A rights.

      We have legitimate questions about the criteria for determining who is justifiably stripped of his 2A rights. We have legitimate objections to the means by which NICS records are gathered and updated. Let’s expend our efforts trying to make improvements on these points.

      Meanwhile, those PotG who like Constitutional Carry can wait for their BCs at the scene of an incident (e.g., a shooting, blandishment, etc.) – possibly in handcuffs. Other PotG who don’t mind CWP cards can “instantly” establish their BCs by displaying their cards.

  21. About the only thing that can be done about BGCs now is to get them assigned to a non-governmental foundation that can be more trusted than the government to not play games with the info.

    Not that it would matter much; all the NICS calls are being recorded by the NSA anyway.

    As for the NRA, overall I think they’ve been doing fairly well, though more on the legislative front than anything else. Though I’d love to see them start a push to get the Castle Doctrine laws upgraded to full-bore, allowing armed citizens to shoot cops who don’t properly approach their ‘castle’.

  22. This is precisely why I’m having difficulty joining a CMP club in my area. They are all 100% NRA clubs. I don’t see how their zero tolerance policy benefits the entirety of gun enthusiasts.

  23. The NRA sounds a lot like our version the SSAA, but the SSAA don’t have anywhere near the political clout the NRA does. That said, the SSAA can still scare some politicians with “the power of the gun lobby”, especially to the greens.

    While I do see the SSAA as a bunch of reactionary Fudds, there is no other group with the numbers to challenge any onerous legislation.

  24. The NRA is on the wrong side of the 2A, but they’re on the right of the current SCOTUS interpretation of the 2A. And as long as SCOTUS thinks it’s ok to deny gun rights to convicted felons then the NRA will score more victories by supporting NICS over some antiquated, inefficient, capricious system of vetting gun buyers that gives local politicians veto power.

    Gun rights shouldn’t be subject to political debate, but they are. And you win political battles by offering palatable alternatives that make the status quo indefensible.

  25. Kinda off topic…

    SB941 in Oregon was signed and went affect immediately when sighed on the ground’s of the emergency clause.

    Well i did a search for the definition of the clause and found
    this (page 3)-

    “…emergency clause

    A statement added to the end of a measure which causes the act to become effective before the accustomed date. An emergency clause either sets a specific date or is effective immediately, which means that the measure will take effect on the date of its signature into law. NOTE: emergency clauses may not be attached to bills which would raise revenue…”

    So if the state get’s any money from the bill it (the state) can’t use the
    emergency clause to enact it.

    Will the state Oregon getting any money from the background check’s?

    • “Will the state Oregon getting any money from the background check’s?”

      Very worth while to check out…

      • “Will the state Oregon getting any money from the background check’s?”

        If the State Police is considered the state of Oregon THE ANSWER IS YES! 10 bucks…

        “If you buy a gun from a licensed dealer in Oregon, a background check is performed by the Oregon State Police. At that time the make, model, caliber and serial number of the gun is recorded, along with all your personal information. In that sense, the gun has been “registered.” However, in private transfers, there is no such background check required, although you can conduct one voluntarily if you really think the State Police need your $10.00.”

        Hey, TTAG legal heads – Is this worth checking out?

        “An emergency clause either sets a specific date or is effective immediately, which means that the measure will take effect on the date of its signature into law. NOTE: emergency clauses may not be attached to bills which would raise revenue…”

        So if the state get’s any money from the bill it (the state) can’t use the
        emergency clause to enact it.”

  26. The “real world” is whatever world people choose to make. Leftists chose to make a dystopian hellscape and American citizens, including all of you, chose to let them. That’s the real world.

  27. We’ve only so many choices and the NRA is in a niche we can’t afford to ignore. The GOA, SAF, NRA, these are the hitters I know of and belong to. It’s a tough and frustrating situation.

  28. Brady checks have only been around 20 years. In that time, this program has shown itself to be all but entirely ineffective in achieving its stated goal – keeping guns out of criminals’ hands.

    I can’t fathom why everybody treats background checks as something that comes part and parcel with 2A rights. It was an infringement when they came up with the idea, and it’s an infringement now.

  29. Since polls show a solid majority of NRA members support background checks on all gun purchases (not necessarily transfers), why would the leadership come out against them? When I go to buy a gun, I have to wait about 10 minutes and browse the store for the background to check come back passed. To me, this is not an infringement on my right anymore than waiting in line several minutes to vote or showing my register card seems like an infringement on that right.

    Background checks, when done as quickly as everyone I have ever waited for, are only an infringement for those that do not pass. And if you are a felon or illegal alien, I don’t really that you are inconvenienced or denied. Because fuck you.

    • Voting is not an inalienable right, so your comparison is totally invalid.

      When you go get your government background check to speak your mind, let me know.

      • Owning firearms is not an inalienable right, either. Just asked a felon. When pro-gun people read the words “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”, they seem to make an automatic assumption that “the People” must have been intended to encompass everyone that resides in the nation. It does not and never did. It did not cover slaves when it was written, for example. That isn’t mentioned in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, but it is clear from other sources.

        There are a number of quotes from Founding Fathers outside the Constitution that suggest that the Second Amendment was not intended to apply to anyone other than those who were both “freemen” and “peaceable citizens” , meaning that violent criminals, foreign nationals (illegal immigrants), and slaves were not protected by it, and could therefore be prohibited under the the law from owning firearms. As with much of the Constitution, to get an clear view of what the intent was in the context of the time when it was written, you sometimes have to look at sources outside the document itself. To put it another way:

        “On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322)

        Looking to sources outside the Constitution is often the most effective approach to take to with respect to debating the Second Amendment, because while the meaning of “well regulated militia” and “shall not be infringed” may continue to be debated ad nauseum by some, there are many more explicit quotations from the Founders which support a clear individual right to own guns, both for personal security and as an impediment to government tyranny. These are often quotes for which the anti-gunners generally have no coherent rebuttal to, due to their clarity and spirit. But in many of those same sources, it becomes clear to me that the Founders had no problem denying firearms to those they excluded from membership in the collective group known as “the People” . Namely slaves and those who are not “peaceable citizens”.

        Well, we don’t allow slaves anymore. We do still have violent criminals, and we do still have foreign nationals on US soil, now numbering in the millions. I think most of the Founders would view the idea of allowing millions of illegal immigrants, who’s national loyalties are highly suspect at best, to reside here and own weapons on US soil as being as much a threat to the sovereignty and security of US Citizens as having a foreign army based here. I personally do not want illegal aliens to even BE here, let alone have guns. I also have no qualms about preventing convicted violent felons from ever legally exercising that right again. Among gun owners, I doubt I am in the minority with either view. So if a 10-15 minute wait in the gun store allows the seller to verify that I am indeed one of ‘the People’ as it was meant by the founders, then I see that as not an infringement on my rights, but rather a minor inconvenience which ultimately helps to preserve the integrity of that right, as well as preserving the security of the nation.

        Maybe my background check goes faster than it does for others due to me having a concealed carry permit. I would consider a significantly longer wait, such as hours or ‘come back tomorrow’ as unreasonable, and therefore an infringement. I am against waiting periods and against background checks for temporary transfers between people who are personally known by the transferrer to be legally permitted to possess firearms. I have loaned guns to friends, most recently a pistol for my friend’s wife to take her CHP training course so she could try it before buying. My friend happens to be a cop, but even if he wasn’t I would consider government interference with this to be both stupid and an infringement on both our rights. So for me personally, background checks are not a black-and-white, all-or-nothing proposition. I don’t know what a perfect system would look like, if there is such a thing. I just know I want a system which we don’t yet have, one that minimizes the obstacles to the ‘goods guys’ owning guns, while providing at least some impediment to the ‘bad guys’ (and seriously mentally ill) from getting them.

        • >> I think most of the Founders would view the idea of allowing millions of illegal immigrants, who’s national loyalties are highly suspect at best, to reside here and own weapons on US soil as being as much a threat to the sovereignty and security of US Citizens as having a foreign army based here.

          There was no such thing as an “illegal immigrant” in the times of Founders, because there were no visas and no border control to speak of. You moved into one of the states of the Union and resided there, paying taxes, for a certain period of time (usually a year, but it could vary anywhere from 6 months to a few years depending on the state), after which the state would consider you its citizen, and that would also translate to citizenship of the Union. As time went by, becoming a citizen got harder, but residency was not restricted until the first anti-Chinese immigration laws in late 19th century.

        • One example of a quote from a Founding Father: “The said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…” -Sam Adams

          As quoted in Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1850) edited by Peirce & Hale

        • I am sure he once said “I passed wind” as well. Of course, those words are not in tbe Constitution, and are of no consequence in relation to ones that are.
          Keep grabbing at straws.

        • i agree with you a couple of posts down in whuch you say inalienable rights can inly be deprived via due process. but here i disagree – historical context and oiginal intent are highly relevent to understanding meaning.

        • As history, yes. As claim to modify clearly written sfatements that were the outcome of the discussions,, not a chance.

        • You do know what a debate is, right? After the input from the debate is settled, a final decision is formed. The input does not override the conclusion, except in fantasyland.

        • All that verbosity and not a single relevant fact?
          The subject of felons and their inalienable right to arms has been discussed here often
          Slaves had no rights, so nothing in that regard is relevant either.
          Sorry, the length of tbe post won’t change your wrong into being right.
          Nice try though.
          Here is a hint: inalienable rightz may only be deprived via due process. The Constitution lists a number of amendments disqualifying certain reasons for denying the right to vote. Yet it never declared it an inalienable right. Either you or the Constitution is wrong. It isn’t the Constitution.

        • int19h, you are factually correct, and I was speaking in hypothetically about how the Founders might view the contemporary situation. Many including Jefferson, did not encourage mass immigration, nor did they think it was irrelevant where the immigrants came from with respect to the influence they would have on the new nation. They did not regulate immigration however, and left that to the states to do as they wish. Had there been a sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of armed Crown Loyalists from England, it might have been another story.

          From the Americans for Immigration Control’s website:

          “Thomas Jefferson saw the new government as a unique combination of the freest elements of English law and political custom. He was concerned that unrestricted immigration of peoples from lands unacquainted with the principle of representative government might undo the careful work of our Founding Fathers. “Yet,” he said prophetically, “from such we are to expect the greatest number of immigrants.”

          Even if these immigrants could throw off the principles of the governments they left, Jefferson feared that they would merely pass”from one extreme to the other. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty.” He added, “In proportion to their numbers, they will share legislation with us. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp or bias its direction and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent mass.”

        • Ah, I see…you want to posit what you think the founders “might” think against what we know they penned.
          Tilting at windmills?
          Virginia, by the way, yes there was a Santa Claus…but it is not written in any of our founding documents.

        • “Slaves had no rights, so nothing in that regard is relevant either.” Because the Founders did not view them as being part of the People, which is the general point of my post with respect to violent criminals. You can say I am wrong, but since some of Founders publically attached a qualifier on the right to bear arms by saying “peaceable citizens” during debates on the Constitution, it would appear I am in good company.

        • Problem is, I state a fact, not wishful thinking or uncodified opinions.
          The founders had differences of opinion, the Constitution was the settled conclusion. The opinions that went into making those decisions do not override the final product.
          It isn’t rocket science.

        • “You do know what a debate is, right? After the input from the debate is settled, a final decision is formed. The input does not override the conclusion”

          No, but what exactly the conclusion IS has been a point of debate even among legal scholars for some time. If you think considering the content of the debates to illuminate what that conclusion is, ( i.e. the actual meaning of the final document) is not relevant, then that puts you at odds with what Jefferson said in the quote I provided. You will forgive me if I afford more weight to his opinion on the matter than yours.

        • Jefferson said “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms”.
          If you hold him in such esteem, why would you speak against his view?

        • “Problem is, I state a fact, not wishful thinking or uncodified opinions.”

          The quotes I provided are factual, not fictional.

          And yes, I also stated my own opinions. I don’t think I was unclear about it being my opinion. How is that a problem? This is a internet comment section, not a term paper.

          I don’t think I have anything to add on my opinions, and I was not looking for a debate. I respect your opinion on the matter as much as I do my own, albeit not as much as those of the Founders. I’m going to have a beer and watch TV now. So long and good night.

        • The quotes are also opinions, which were considered at the time they were stated, and figured into the document we have. To revisit them in order to rehash the meaning of that document is fraudulent. The participants did that already.
          Revisionism rears its ugly head.

    • Every time I go buy a gun, I have to wait anywhere from a day to five days because they always delay me, no exceptions. Why? Because I am an immigrant (a legal one, mind you).

  30. If you let perfect be the enemy of the good nothing will ever get done. This is why the anti’s win: they are happy to get background checks now, and slowly move towards gun bans one step at a time. Maryland did not get into it’s current state all-at-once, the anti’s used each crisis to pass a small bill. In CO, the “perfect is the enemy of the good” crowd beat back a change from the current 15-round limit to 30 rounds – because they wanted no limits. Could be years (if ever) no limits passes. So, Coloradians will live with 15 round limit indefinitely because people would not compromise. Anti’s are bad, but more often I think that the perfect-is-the-enemy-of-the-good no compromise crowd is worse.

    • Although I agree with your larger point, there was no such bill in Colorado; some guy tossed out a verbal suggestion and RMGO beshat themselves screaming about it. (RMGO is an example of what you are complaining about; as near as I can tell the only thing they are good for is lining Dudley Brown’s pockets with money–and he is also the head of NAGR.)

  31. The NRA needs to research and publicize the annual COST of the Brady bill, plus the annual effect, ie prosecutions and convictions. Beyond that, break the costs down to how many schools would that build, how many college scholarships, etc. I am convinced (without any real numbers, nobody seems to know!) that the cost is astronomical and the result is nearly nothing.

    • You haven’t paid any attention.

      NRA won’t do this study, because NRA actually favors the background checks themselves.

      If you want someone to do the research to show that BGCs are useless (on top of unconstitutional), it won’t be an organization that likes the idea.

      • The NRA does NOT favor Universal Checks. They battled the Toomey-Manchin b.s. You need to pay attention who actually backed it . . . Gotlieb!

        • Score, one strawman completely demolished.

          You’d have a point…IF I were referring to universal background checks. No, I am referring to the existing NICS system.

          I’d wager that many of the people you systematically, down the line, “refuted” here were doing the same, but I’ll let them speak for themselves.

        • Steve, You are one tilting with windmills like Don Quixote. Pay attention. Oregon and Washington just fell like dominoes for Universal Checks. The people didn’t have the ability to stop that but you think they can repeal NICS.

          I think all gun control is unconstitutional, or against inalienable rights. However, that is not reality at present. Plus, there are a lot of goofballs that think the B.O.R. is obsolete.

        • Jeez Louise.

          I am NOT asking the NRA to fight NICS. I am asking them to stop actively supporting it.

          First you were all over me for claiming that the NRA supported UBC, when I had never said so. Now you again dodge the point, by claiming I want the NRA to immediately drop what it’s doing and fight NICS, which I do not. I’m adult enough to understand one must pick one’s battles, but there’s a difference between that and ceding the principle to the enemy.

          When you are willing to actually address the point I am making (which is not unrelated to the point RF made in the article we are all (supposedly) conversing about, though you’ve plainly missed it), come back.

      • The NRA backed the Prinz case and argued that the Brady Act was unconstitutional because its provisions required local law enforcement officers to conduct background checks was a violation of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution (Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Rifle Association of America in Support of Petitioners, Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 1997). Based on these grounds, the NRA told the Court “the whole Statute must be voided.” However, the Court only declared part of Brady Unconstitutional. NICS came on line in 1998 and made obsolete the part SCOTUS declared unconstitutional.

        What did you propose the do in 1997? Drag SCOTUS of the bench and body slam them? This battle did get fought. Frankly, I think all gun control laws that infringe are a violation of inalienable rights. Unfortunately, that isn’t reality. On top of that, we have states falling like dominoes to UBC. If we don’t turn that back, its moot.

        • My complaint, more specifically, is that the NRA *today* talks about the present federal requirements as a wonderful thing.

          If they were to tell the story you basically told here, and say “Look, we managed to evade a complete disaster here. Ideally we’d have got no background check at all, but it was an oncoming hundred-car freight train and we at least managed to blunt the impact” I could sympathize with that. Instead, they praise NICS and FFL BG checks to the high heavens, leaving one with the impression that if, somehow, there were no BG check today, they’d want one imposed.

          In other words, there is a 2A infringement (and we are agreed it is an infringement) of which the NRA actually, positively, approves. The NRA approval of same is the issue here.

        • I would prefer they acknowledge it as “the devil we know” and at some point try to walk it back through legislation. The irony is that people are mad at the NRA yet Gotlieb’s group backed the Manchin-Toomey.

        • I think we’ve converged on agreement here. I have more to say in my reply to you downthread.

  32. The NRA is willing to compromise on “common sense” gun control. That is why I support the National Association for Gun Rights. We cannot compromise on our rights!

  33. For all the misuse of the term “civil rights group” people forget that the NRA ultimately is a business organization, and functions as one.

  34. “Shall not be infringed” versus “well regulated”. I contend the Oregon bill goes too far, however reasonable background checks are like locks on my home- keep honest folks honest.

    • Universal checks are the first step to getting all guns registered as per Neslon “Pete” Shields. When they accomplish that, they will move to banning them. This is why Bloomer and the Brady bunch are pushing Universal Checks. They were against the instant checks until Brady got smacked down by SCOTUS. They aren’t a life lock for you. Ever here of Leland Yee?

  35. The NRA does NOT favor Universal Checks. They battled the Toomey-Manchin b.s. You need to pay attention who actually backed it . . . Gotlieb! Its failure is why Bloomer has moved on to the state level and just pulled it off in Washington and Oregon with his sights on AZ, NV and ME next.

    • UBC isn’t the claim. The claim is that the NRA loves the current existing background check system (on FFL sales) a/k/a NICS a/k/a the Brady Act as it finally passed.

      • The NICS system essentially replaced the Brady Bill which was interim measures requiring local LEO agencies to to background checks and enforce waiting periods. The Brady Bunch was initially against NICS until the SCOTUS handed the Brady Bunch their butts in their hats over the Prinz/Mack case. Then The Brady Bunch were magically fore it. The way Florida has done instant checks going all the way back to 1989 when buying from and FFL only includes the buyers name, DL number and whether its a handgun or longun, no serial number or model info. This system is a hell of lot different than a “Universal Check.”

        • Thanks for clarifying the history. Brady Bill/Instacheck is all just some muddle nightmare in my past recollection of 20 years ago; the details of how one mutated into the other really don’t matter; we still have to get a “Mother May I” from the State before purchasing a firearm from an FFL.

          NICS is quite a bit different from a UBC, since one is a specific implemented method, and the other describes the scope of use of that method. In other words, there’s no reason NICS couldn’t be required to be used for UBCs and Colorado (which uses a similar system) has done so with their NICS-like system.

          The thing that puzzles me about your stance here is: I don’t believe many here are making the claim that the NRA is in favor of extending the reach of background checks, so I’m not sure why you think you are “correcting” people.

          The complaint, in the original RF piece, and in my responses, has been that the NRA does not merely not choose to fight, but rather, actively favors the current NICS system (and its local variants) and most importantly, its federal requirement to be used for FFL sales. Robert wants them to fight now, if I understand him correctly; I am more sympathetic to the argument that ti’s a bad windmill to tilt at right this moment. But RF and I both agree that the NRA should not actively support ANY background check requirement, not NICS, not for FFL sales–and yet, they do.

        • I am not trying to correct people. Just pointing out that Goitlieb backed Manchin-Toomey which failed due in part to efforts from the NRA. Bloomer et al. have shifted to the Domino effect by going at it on the State level. I don’t think Robert grasps that we have lost 2 states 2 UBC with AZ, NV and ME currently targeted with more being cued up.

          With Barry and Biden, NICS isn’t getting turned back anyway. If Hillary wins, it will be another 8 years. We lost in front of SCOTUS to get the whole thing thrown out in 1997. Robert overlooked that little fact about Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898, 1997. The NRA’s position was that the whole Brady Bill should have been thrown out as unconstitutional.

        • Just pointing out that Goitlieb backed Manchin-Toomey which failed due in part to efforts from the NRA.

          So if I understand your position correctly, what you were trying to say here

          The NRA does NOT favor Universal Checks. They battled the Toomey-Manchin b.s. You need to pay attention who actually backed it . . . Gotlieb! Its failure is why Bloomer has moved on to the state level and just pulled it off in Washington and Oregon with his sights on AZ, NV and ME next.

          (your top level reply) was more like:

          [not BlueBronco’s words]Well at least the NRA didn’t favor Universal checks, like the SAF did.

          And if comparing the two orgs side by side, that’s a very valid point. I’d probably join the SAF were it not for the Manchin Toomey thing. If I could somehow join whilst disavowing and refusing to fund their lobbying efforts, I probably would (though I’d really hate the skunkstink). I haven’t (up to now) talked about them here because the topic of RF’s post was the NRA.

          I’ll try to give both organizations their due here:

          The SAF seems to have done some good things in court cases. They’ve been abominable on the legislative front, actually calling for additional federal infringements.

          The NRA hasn’t done so well on the judicual front, forgoing (if not actively trying to thwart) battles that turned out to be very good once someone else pursued them. They’ve been better on the legislative front, certainly much better than SAF, fighting a bunch of state infringements, and have been effective in holding the line federally. The problem is, they seem happy with the current state of federal law and don’t seem to want to roll anything back there.

          It’s a shame we can’t combine the SAF’s court acumen with the NRAs legislative clout; we’d still have a less-than-ideal organization (since both do support at least the present day background check and the hypothetical new organization would too) but it would be better than either one of these two groups.

          I will also state that the NRA is trending better; it was truly awful before the 77 revolt, but it still has quite a ways to go.

          I consider the FFL BC issue very important, worth refusing to give the NRA so much as a rusty penny of my money, because it’s a logically untenable position; if you are willing to support FFL BCs, why not BCs for all sales? There’s no logical argument an FFL (but not universal) BC supporter can give against UBCs, other than to pull his head out of his ass and say, “Oh darn. Come to think of it FFL BCs suck too. Never mind.” That’s why the antis can make so much hay out of the term “loophole”, because people that think BCs are a good idea can’t possibly consistently regard the ability to buy a gun without one as anything but a way to evade doing the right thing. (So at least Gottlieb is consistent…I just wish it wasn’t consistent in quite that particular way.)

          So the NRA position increases the peril of UBCs even though they do fight against them.

        • Frankly, I was against waiting periods and b.c. If a felon gets arrested with a gun, then charge them. As it stands, next to no prosecution comes out of rejections on NICS. Part of that is probably because that many rejections aren’t really about felons etc., but other things such as failure to appear warrants on speeding tickets entered into the NCIC by local jurisdictions as well as errors. From what I gather, those often get cleared up. The big thing is the SCOTUS failed to throw the whole thing out like they should have so the NICS kinda got made permanent.

          The other thing is that the majority of sales, especially new firearms is through an ffl. Private sales are not in most states or gifts to family members. Making people go through an ffl for such things in part results in 4473 forms being filed and fees collected not to mention that now a central system has a chance to figure out who has what and later confiscate them. Currently, the FBI (if they are the one doing the check) or in case of Florida FDLE don’t collect data on the items. They don’t get serial numbers or model numbers, just handgun or long gun. Th goal of The Brady Bunch, Bloomer et al. is to get everything registered and then ban everything.

          What I see the current NRA stance as is a differentiation on Manchin-Toomey type BC. I really think these UBC laws will put us in a bad place.

        • “I really think these UBC laws will put us in a bad place.” That’s correct, IF we let Bloomberg write the UBC bill. Is that what we want?

          The NICS FFL BC is the wrong focus. If we think carefully about it, we should focus on the laws that enumerate classes of prohibited-persons. We either have NO prohibited-persons (P-P) law; or, we have such a law. Now that we have a P-P law we either enforce it preemptively; or, after-the-fact. Before the P-P is permitted to acquire a gun; or, after he has been caught with the gun.

          As a political matter, it is next to impossible to persuade a majority of American voters that the government should do NOTHING to preempt a P-P from acquiring a gun. Tragic as it is, Americans have – for many decades – expected governments to pass laws that SEEM to protect them no matter how expensive they are to enforce and no matter how ineffective such laws are in practice.

          It’s a political impossibility to roll-back the FFL BC; likewise, it’s impossible to completely eliminate the P-P law. Therefore, it’s a waste of effort and money to try. We are stuck with both of these, no matter how philosophically objectionable they might be to some of us.

          The BC at an FFL – in the 21st century – is not so onerous that we can convince the public that it is an “infringement”. (Whether any of us thinks it IS an infringement doesn’t matter; what matters is what the voters think.) UBC is a MUCH different beast. Depending on who write the bill, it will be outrageously onerous or not much of a problem at all. It’s OUR choice.

          The track we are on leaves Bloomberg to write the UBC bill with the expectation that he will make it so onerous that the “We will NOT Comply!” movement will get it repealed; or, watered-down to a diluted version we can live with. That’s quite a bet; one which we have lost most recently in OR and WA. Do we like spending our time and money only to lose the fight?

          Now, 20 States and DC have some BC requirement for non-dealer sales. As this number rises, we will approach substantial UBC; which, in turn, will threaten national registration. What is the best strategy to stop the downward slide?

          A much less risky avenue is available to us. WE could write the bill OURSELVES; for purposes of exposition, let’s call it the Un-BC. (Like 7-Up, the Un-Cola). The objective should be to substantially satisfy the voters’ appetite for “closing” the “gun-show loophole”. That’s what they want, isn’t it? Make it illegal to sell a gun to a P-P outside an FFL. The voters aren’t especially interested in BCs; they just want to do whatever might be feasible to frustrate P-Ps from buying guns.

          The cornerstone of Un-BC is to make a small change to the existing law that makes it a crime to sell a gun to someone you KNOW, or have reason to BELIVE, is a P-P. We simply change the existing law to make it a crime to sell to a P-P whether you know he is prohibited or not. (I trust that few of us insist on our liberty to sell guns to P-Ps.)

          Under Un-BC, we need a safe-harbor such that if we sell to a P-P who passes a BC, we can’t be convicted (unless we knew or had reason to believe he really was a P-P notwithstanding that he passed the BC.) Now, we are free to:
          – sell to people withOUT a BC when we are convinced the buyer is not a P-P;
          – sell to people WITH a BC when we are not convinced the buyer is not a P-P.

          Under Un-BC, access to NICS ought to be opened-up as widely as possible. E.g., gun-show promoters, gun clubs; gun ranges; sporting goods stores; notaries public; police agencies all should be allowed to sign-up for NICS access. Thereby, a buyer ought to be able to request a BC to be run on himself and get a NICS-certificate printed good for 30 days. This would hardly be an inconvenience at a gun show/club/range. For advertised sales (newspaper, internet, etc.) the buyer could drop by a NICS service provider (sporting goods store, etc.) and get a certificate printed up on his way to meet with the seller.

          Naturally, a CWP/FOID in good standing should also serve as a BC. Each State could provide an automated phone service to call and verify that the serial number of the CWP/FOID is still valid. (NICS should do the same to validate certificates to ensure they are not forged.)

          Finally, under Un-BC we have to insist that a BC is NOT required for a LOAN to a person the lender does not KNOW or have reason to BELIVE is a P-P. The argument here is that no rational legal gun owner would loan a gun to a person he thought might be a P-P. If he did so carelessly he would likely be caught. If the gun were discovered in a crime it would be very likely to be traced to him (either through the FFL or backwards via the criminal). If traced via the FFL, the lender would be obliged to disclose the identity of the borrower.

          A major objective of Un-BC must be to keep such sales OUTSIDE of FFLs where 4473 forms would be filled-out and archived for 20 years. I’d prefer that there be NO paperwork requirement for non-dealer sales. However, that is not likely to be achieved easily. What we should try to achieve is that the seller make a record of the BC certificate number, identity of the buyer and the make+model+serial of the gun. The seller would thereby know that he might be traced (via the FFL of retail sale through the non-dealer seller) if the gun he bought were found at a crime scene. I would prefer that the seller have NO retention period comparable to the FFL 20-year requirement. We might have to settle for a short – 1 or 2 year – retention period. (If no BC is made then the seller would still be obliged to make a record of the buyer’s identity and the gun’s make+model+serial.)

          Is Un-BC perfect? No; it’s just a little worse than the FFL-BC. Is Un-BC better than Bloomberg’s UBC at an FFL? If we can avoid the risk of UBC is Un-BC a worthwhile alternative?

          Admittedly, Un-BC is another skid down the slippery-slope. Nevertheless, it’s a skid to a safer landing spot vs. the landing spot Bloomberg has in mind for us in UBC. Once the P-P law was adopted, the FFL BC was inevitable; it was just waiting 30 years for technology to make NICS feasible. Twenty years after NICS, UBC or Un-BC are feasible; take your pick. Or, try to roll-back the P-P law.

        • One thing that is problematic with NICS is it is handled differently by different states. The FBI doesn’t collect serial numbers when the check is done through them nor does the FDLE (Florida when it is done through them). All Florida knows at the time of the check is its a long gun or handgun. Tennessee does it through the TBI, but they do collect serial numbers, make, model, caliber etc. Tennessee also requires the dealer to keep a thumbprint card for at least a year. To me that is bovine excrement. That has nothing to do with determining if the person is prohibited person.

  36. All I know is this: NICs is an infringement on my Rights. I have no record, I’ve never had a domestic violence incident (not that misdemeanors should have ANY affect on your right to own a gun and protect yourself!), I haven’t even had a speeding ticket in 10 years, yet 9 months ago I was delayed on my NICs which didn’t bother me too much because it was an hour. Yesterday I tried to buy a new hunting rifle and 24 hours later I’m STILL delayed. A: I shouldn’t have to provide any information to the government and B: I shouldn’t have to wait. We need to stop compromising with the Government on the Right to Bear Arms. Any delay is an infringement. The problem with the NRA is they’re willing to compromise and the Government seems to think they speak for all of us. Hopefully I’ll get my new hunting rifle enough before hunting season so that I can shoot it a few times before trying to hunt.

    • OK, so I agree with you. Any delay (beyond a couple of minutes) for a NICS check to clear is a prior restraint. And, prior restraint on a fundamental right is unconstitutional. That, and a SCOTUS decision is all you need to secure our rights under the 2A.

      So, all we need is a SCOTUS decision. How do we get that? What will induce SCOTUS to hear a challenge to the FFL NICS check law? Or a challenge to the May-Issue laws? Or any other gun-control law?

      Isn’t this our problem? How do we get SCOTUS to secure our right(s) as WE, the PotG, see them?

      And, just which are our “rights” as “WE” see them? Let’s gather all gun-owners – the PotG – in a great convention and see which detailed rights on which we can achieve a consensus. If we could do so we would recognize that we PotG are a bunch of rugged individualists. We might achieve a consensus on very FEW specific detailed rights. Specifically to NICS, we might have trouble getting a majority of gun owners to object to the FFL NICS check as it stands.

      I’m not asserting here that a majority of us are convinced that the FFL NICS check really does stop a significant number of criminals and crazies from buying a gun. Instead, I’m suggesting that a majority might not regard the NICS check to be enough of an “infringement” to justify complaining about.

      I offer an alternative train-of-thought: The only path to securing our 2A-guaranteed rights is to persuade a super-majority of the voters of the proposition: guns-in-civilian-hands is an intrinsically good idea – first and foremost – because of its “social utility”. Because of that social utility, the founding generation recognized this obvious fact in the 18th century. Their children and grandchildren remained convinced in the 19th century. And, the world-wide events of our time indisputably demonstrate that same social utility today. (Witness the Yazidis and Kurds in Iraq.)

      The ugly truth of this social utility will remain as long as any surviving sub-culture of the character of ISIS, North Korea, Russia, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc. It will remain as long as any single criminal or crazy survives.

      A social utility argument will NEVER convince Michael Bloomberg. We don’t have to convince the LAST reluctant Anti. It is necessary and sufficient to whittle-away at the voters who are merely sympathetic to that which is proffered as “common sense” or “reasonable” gun-control. The latest Pew Poll suggests that Americans are split about 50:50 on those who favor more vs. less gun-control. We need to push that ration to 40:60, then 30:70, and then to 20:80. At that point, the Anti’s won’t matter anymore.

      So, you have waited 24 hours for a NICS response; and, you might wait 72 hours. (Three years ago I waited 4 weeks for NJ to respond to a BC on 3 stripped receivers. I still haven’t finished building up these receivers.) So, how do we construct our argument that a few percent of us OFWGs occasionally wait as much as 3 days for our FFL NICS check returns? What’s going to gain us sufficient sympathy to influence Congress to roll-back the existing FFL NICS scheme?

      I propose an alternative tactic: Let’s talk about the tragic death of Carol Bowne. NJ’s foolish and extreme law delayed her handgun purchase permit to 45 days, long enough for her ex to catch-up to her and knife her to death in her driveway. Here is a prior restraint that has actual blood on its legislative hands. A woman (not an OFWG like you and me who hang around our LGS for giggles) was threatened; got a court order-of-protection; applied for a gun permit. She wanted a gun to protect herself from imminent threat of death. A law restrained her plenty long-enough to deny her her right-to-life. What for? Because her fingerprint check had not yet been returned by the FBI. Just about every other State would have allowed her a gun in 3 days, worst-case. What would have saved Carol Bowne’s life? How about zero-delay if you can show a court-issued order-of-protection? Is that “common sense”? Is that “reasonable”? If not, then a 24-hour police guard at public expense until the government can complete it’s paperwork?

      I’m not inquiring after whatever might be clearly constitutional or clearly the ideal answer. Actually, I’m not especially interested in finding any perfect answer to any RKBA question. Rather, I’m interested in winning voters’ hearts and minds so that they begin to understand why RKBA and “shall not be infringed” made sense in the 18th century and continues to make sense today.

      It is necessary and sufficient to get voters to begin to develop reasonable doubt about the BS the Anti’s make sound so “common sensical” and “reasonable”. From that point – doubt – we can get traction on just how it is that BCs at the point-of-sale don’t have much – if any – impact. Felon-in-posession might have some marginal impact – but even this is a difficult proposition to prove. CWP-holders in possession are proven to be NO threat to public order. States that converted from Shall-Issue to Constitutional Carry have not looked back.

      Suppose we could reach this point in the public discourse. Largely, the wind in the Anti’s sails would be evacuated of any remaining force. Thereupon, it becomes seasonable to point out that: “We will not comply!” with any new laws. The residual audience – watching their fair-weather friends and sunshine gun-controllers turning their attention to other more pressing issues – will realize that they are far from reaching their goal. Then, we point out the simple axiom propounded by their hero Mao: “Political power emanates from the muzzle of a gun.” And it’s corollary: “We have the guns; they don’t. Where’s the problem?”

      The final nail in the coffin of gun-control is: But of course, if you can get 3/4 of the States to ratify a change in the 2A, by all means, you are at liberty to pursue your goal.


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