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 The Gun Store machine gun ad at Las Vegas Airport (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Machine guns are the Voldemort of gun rights groups. America’s Second Amendment advocates argue against Universal Background Checks, for open carry and around felons’ and mental health patients’ gun rights. But none are willing to stand up and say “Americans have the right to own fully automatic machine guns” (a.k.a., “military-style assault rifles”). So hats off to State Senator Lee Bright, currently challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina’s Republican primary. Speaking to Fox’s pet liberal, Mr. Bright annouced his support for armed teachers – with machine guns! OK, he didn’t come right out and say it. But nearasdammit . . .

Appearing on Fox News’ “The Alan Colmes Show” Friday, the tea party favorite expanded on his proposal for school districts in South Carolina that would incorporate guns into school curriculum and have high schools teach gun use.

Bright was asked if teachers should be allowed to carry guns, even machine guns, in schools.

“I would think a teacher protecting a school grounds should be able to carry whatever she can carry legally,” the lawmaker said.

“So should machine guns be legal to carry?” Colmes asked.

The state senator argued it was imperative to protect the Second Amendment above all else.

“The Second Amendment is pretty clear. It says the right to carry arms should not be infringed,” Bright replied.

“So you should be able to have any gun you want?” the conservative host pressed.

“I don’t see how the government can regulate it,” Bright said.

This from Wellesley grad Clare Kim at who, naturally, couldn’t leave readers with a level-headed interpretation of their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Ms. Kim devotes four – count ’em four – concluding paragraphs to attacking Senator Brights’s bright idea.

In 1986, Congress passed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, which forbids the sale to civilians of all machine guns made after the law took effect.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in District of Columbia v. Heller that individuals are allowed to possess firearms “unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

Justice Antonin Scalia recognized the right expressed in the Second Amendment is not “unlimited,” writing that the court can limit “the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

“Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws impos­ing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms,” Scalia wrote in his opinion.

Me thinks she doth protest too much. Kim should simple say “Machine guns? WTF? That’s a weapon of mass destruction! Imagine if Adam Lanza had used a machine gun! Blood in the streets!” Note to Kim: link back as and when. Thanks. And good luck Mr. Bright.

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  1. I’ve always thought that instead of passing “Firearms Freedom Acts” state legislators should be passing “Ensuring Firearm Availability for Militia Use Acts” in which citizens should be allowed to purchase ANY firearm available for purchase by Law Enforcement Officers, in order that said citizens should be able to practice on their own time with said weapons as part of their role in the citizen militia.

    • I respectfully disagree.

      I think we should not be codifying into law that which we can and cannot do.

      In social theory, the legal institution sit atop the core values of the society. Most of us don’t commit murder because it’s against the law, but because we believe it is wrong to do so.

      The laws merely provide punishment when the social contract is broken.

      I think it creates (has created) an awful mess when we try to micromanage behavior with “this is legal” or “this is not legal” to do.

      This concept is magnified greatly when what we are talking about is an enumerated Right in the core document that ‘defines’ our social contract.

      So, I believe what we “Should” be doing is simply repealing those laws that infringe in the RKBA and absolutely do NOT replace them with laws of what are allowed to do.

  2. Using “machineguns” as a fear inspiring term is absurd. If any of these lunatics who shoot up victim farms had used “machineguns” there’d likely have been fewer victims. They’d blow through magazines in an upward arc away from their intended targets and spend more time reloading than shooting.

    For the pol or pundit using them as some horrible soccer mom shocker shame on them should they intentionally scaring people and double-sham on them if in their professional capacity as information people they choose to remain ignorant and honestly believe the garbage coming out of their mouths.

    • Select fire is the proper term. Unless 2A candidates get out front and control the rhetoric, we will be fighting in retreat forever.

      • But isn’t “select-fire” still ambiguous, because the term comprises both burst and full-auto settings?

        • As far as the law in concerned, burst is full auto. If it fires more than one bullet with each trigger pull, it’s considered fully automatic, as the law currently stands.

    • Alan Colmes failed as co-host with Hannity, then failed as host of his own radio talk show, now he is back on Fox.

      It has always been my opinion that Fox puts Colmes on because he is an obnoxious caricature of every uber-Liberal Progressive and every time he opens his mouth he makes conservatives and conservatism look good. Like Ed Schultz, when you want to denigrate Liberals, they are the low-hanging fruit.

  3. 2 Things – Hey, why not?. We know the left wants to ban all guns & repeal the 2nd amendment so that all we have to defend ourselves is a sticks & knives, and the feds have all the guns, so why not push to have machine guns in schools. The nation is divisive on this issue anyway. We should never compromise, all that leads to is them having a inch. If you can take an inch you can take a mile.
    2. Alan Colmes isn’t a conservative he’s a card carrying liberal, he’s just a contributor on fox.

      • I think he was referring to the quote taken from the MSNBC article: “’So you should be able to have any gun you want?’ the conservative host pressed.” Of course, to be fair, MSNBC may believe Colmes is conservative.

    • The ONLY argument I can think of that applies to the “Why not?” question is the very same reason that the military has converted to burst fire on their standard issue weapons (not the machine guns). Given the option of full-auto it was too easy for the soldier to simply spray and pray, resulting in a lot of ammo expended and minimal chance of actually hitting a specific target.

      In the hands of a minimally trained and very nervous school official, in a public environment where rounds penetrating walls or windows could easily cause unwanted collateral damage, and in situations where encountering large numbers of assailants is highly unlikely, use of full auto or even 3-round burst fire, while it should not be illegal, should be strongly discouraged.

      This falls under the mantra of “Use the right tool for the job.”

  4. Sigh; the rights of society starts with the citizen. When the government
    and what are supposed to be public servants; are allowed to do and own things outlawed to the general population, then we have the seeds of if not outright tyranny.

  5. Lee Bright is a lunatic, fiscal hypocrite, and secessionist. I will not be voting for him.

    But he’s 100% right on gun policy. His bill that proposed a firearm safety and marksmanship course for SC schools really should have passed.

    • I don’t know a thing about Bright, and I’m far too lazy to look it up, but an argument could be made that Americans have given up a lot of freedom because we elect status quo type politicians. Maybe it’s time to inject a little crazy?

      • Remember the government shutdown? The one that cost the fragile economy 28 billion? That was orchestrated by people who weren’t “Washington insiders”. Different doesn’t forgive stupid.

        • I missed where we made the turn off into government shutdown, but in any event is the President not considered an insider? Because from where I was sitting the “Give me everything I want then we’ll negotiate” stance he took was the driving factor behind the shutdown. And then, once it was inevitable, he continued to do everything in his power (and a whole lot outside his power) to make it as painful to as many people as possible. I would call that orchestration….

          I do agree that different doesn’t excuse stupid. This nation elected a POTUS in 2008 and 2012 that campaigned on being different…….

        • Isn’t that scary? Why the stoppage of government services will cost economy so much? Is the government producing something that I’m not aware of? I call BS on the cost.

        • Kyle, according to currently available statistics $28 Billion ($28,000,000,000.00) equates to 2.58 DAYS of government spending. How can it be considered that blocking .708% of the national spending budget equates to a national catastrophe? I contend, as did those lawmakers, that the socialized abomination that is Obamacare, which they were attempting to address, is the greater catastrophe for this country and may well lead to our demise as a free society.

          The time is past for being nice guys and team players.

        • It didn’t “cost” 28 billion dollars, the money was already taken from the economy in the form of taxes. Saying that because the government couldn’t spend the money it took from the country, that the economy of the country was hurt is laughable. That money was taken from a productive economy, then withheld because some greedy politicians weren’t allowed to “borrow” more of the money the economy made. Want to help a fragile economy? Don’t take the trillions in taxes out of the economy in the first place.

    • My local range in Podunk GA rents full auto. When will SC fix that CCW reciprocity issue with GA. Hopefully when Graham is gone.

    • I live across the street from it, theres like 4 or 5 other places that have full auto arsenals to rent too. I do get my CCW renewed at The Gun Store though

  6. Funny. Back in 1982 in that well known, right wing, red neck bastion of suburban Rhode Island, I took Hunters’ Safety at school. The teacher was a math teacher who taught Hunters’ Safety in his classroom after school. I scored highest on the final exam and the prize was an NRA Membership. A bunch of us would keep our shotguns in our cars in the parking lot and would hunt doves after cross country practice.

    Of course today that same high school has a cop assigned to it, discharging a firearm in Town Limits is verbotten, and people complain about deer eating their roses and knocking over their trashcans. The Chief of Police refuses to issue any new CCW. I miss the old days.

  7. It seems pretty clear that the 2A was written with small arms in common use by the military in mind.

    I think all military small arms should be required to be offered for civilian sale in operating order and at depreciated cost before any other method of disposal is legal. (I can dream, can’t I)

    • It wasn’t just small arms that won the revolution. Privateers made up the navy at that point and for a long period of America’s history.

      The second amendment was made for cannons.

    • “It seems pretty clear that the 2A was written with small arms in common use by the military in mind.”

      Obviously not. Otherwise there would be no issue with the 2A. The biggest hangup people (specifically antis and GOINO – gun owners in name only [looking at you Giffords/Kelley]) have with the 2A is the “well-regulated militia” section. Because they fail English.

      In order to serve in the Militia, one must be armed. Regardless of our inherent right to self-defense, to serve in the militia, you must own/possess arms first. The ability to call forth a militia stands apart from the right of keeping arms. There may never be a militia called forth, but you have to be prepared.

      Antis and GOINOs can argue the social and economic environment of the time the 2A was written to make their case, and it’s a disingenuous argument and misleading.

      The 2A is very clear. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. There’s no ambiguity.

    • “It seems pretty clear that the 2A was written with small arms in common use by the military in mind.”

      While the first phrase mentions “A well regulated militia…” I think you have a basic misunderstanding of the Second Amendment. I do not believe for a minute it was written with any particular types of arms in mind, otherwise it is fairly certain they would have commented on that point. The Founders were to a large extent lawyers and politicians and a caveat such as this would not have escaped their attention. Further, a single attempt by the Senate on September 9, 1789 proposed to insert “for the common defence” next to “bear arms”, and was defeated before the amendment was returned to the House for consideration. This was the closest either body came to defining what sorts of arms were to be considered, or for what use.

      So, IMO, there was only one reason the Second Amendment was written, and why it was written in absolute terms of “…shall not be infringed.” and that was to codify in our founding and establishing document that the right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and NOW Constitutionally protected right, without conditions, and that the new government, and by reference, ANY government, had no right or authority to infringe upon the RKBA.

      That said, I can’t find anything in the Second Amendment that says the government can’t pass pro-gun legislation.

  8. Justice Antonin Scalia recognized the right expressed in the Second Amendment is not “unlimited,” writing that the court can limit “the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

    All things have an inherent amount of danger to them if not used properly, even items invented for the benefit of humankind ( o.d. on prescription meds). The only reasons that I see fully automatic weapons as being seen as unusual is because of the idiotic laws making people to jump through hoops just to own them, making them a rare, and price.

    • Scalia’s decision was written to only apply the decision to the home. Specifically outlining what the decision does not cover doesn’t mean the courts won’t/can’t rule on guns in other places.

      “Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws impos­ing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

      Basically, if you want to challenge the other ridiculous laws, you will have to use something else to get there. This is pretty smart, since a decision that only applies to one issue/law can stand up to scrutiny later. If the decision was a broad-sweeping reform decision, the likelyhood of that decision being edited and twisted would be much higher.

      Scalia kept it simple.

      • If they really wanted to keep this to one issue, instead of playing their legal nit-picking games, they only have to rule once and for all, regardless of the specifics of the case before them, that the Second Amendment means EXACTLY what it says and that no law created by any government entity, and no regulation enacted by any government agency, has any legal standing to subvert the clear mandate of “…shall not be infringed.”

        How hard is that, really? What the Hell are these justices afraid of? Previous courts have stated unequivocally “Racism and discrimination are perfectly Constitutional”, why is it so hard for these people to stand up and say the RKBA cannot be infringed.

        • What the Hell are these justices afraid of?

          A free state. Seriously. The thought terrifies statists. The thought terrifies MOST Americans today, methinks.

    • Scalia’s statement is blatantly dishonest. If we are only allowed arms that are commonly used and not unusual, then we are stuck with what we have right now. We can never have any new types of arms because in order to become common, lots of people have to own them, but in order for that to happen, people have to be able to acquire them, which they can’t do because they can only buy commonly-owned arms. It’s a catch 22. If this current legal reasoning were implemented centuries ago, we really would be stuck with muskets only, to say nothing of ARs or AKs.

      It’s also dishonest based on the fact that full-auto weapons are VERY common in the US. We have a huge standing army with tons of full-auto weapons. So by Scalia’s standard you and I should have no problem owning one or two, right?

  9. Mr. Bright is right. When it says right to keep in bear arms it means even arms like fully automatic weapons. As far as teachers having guns in the school, nothing more would put a smile on my face to know that a deranged loser went in the school with a gun (of any type) and came out on a stretcher or going to the squad car with crap in his pants because he encountered a armed teacher.

  10. With teacher pay being what it is I don’t think I could afford to own a machine gun even if it were legal… just firing one would eat up my entire (small) salary, LOL.

    BTW, many teachers (myself) included aren’t naive about the issue at all, including the horrific possibility of an armed attacker intent on murdering innocent children. Plans have been made, even if they don’t have the official stamp of the district or state’s approval.

    • If the registrations hadn’t been closed in 1986, there’d be a lot more of them and they’d be a lot less expensive.

    • There is nothing fundamentally different about a select fire AR type rifle and a semi variant. And in many cases an FA weapon is simpler and cheaper to build than a semi variant. Without the artificial value imposed by government regulations FA weapons would cost about what semi weapons cost.

  11. When I was in High School back in the late 1980’s the parking lot was full of cars that had guns in them. Some were even visible from the outsite (truck gun rack). I had an agriculture class (Future Farmers of America) and we were taught how to reload shotgun shells and to shoot trap on the football practice field. If that happened today many people would be in jail. It is sad how time often seems to change for the worst.

  12. Anybody but Lindsey Graham, he is a light in the loafer RINO of the worst kind. He will stand up for AR15s one day then support Obamacare the next. A quixotic hypocrite is what Lindsey Graham is.

  13. The antis love to jump on Scalia’s having written that the RKBA is not an unlimited right, as if that therefore justifies any and all gun control legislation that they want to pass.

    • And not for a moment commenting on the possibility that Scalia is absolutely WRONG in that opinion, given the very precise wording of “…shall not be infringed.”

      How can any person with enough legal scholarship and experience be appointed to the SCOTUS without being able to understand that simple piece of unambiguously written English?

  14. One thing I do not agree with is the argument that with a select-fire weapon on automatic fire, that one is more prone to miss the target. Shooting at one person, perhaps, but shooting into a crowd, that would depend. If the shooter knows anything about what they’re doing, they could very much be hitting people. Imagine if James Holmes had opened fire with an automatic fire weapon in the Aurora theater. Adam Lanza shot each child multiple times. Imagine if he had fired into multiple children with automatic fire. He would have turned them into human hamburger meat.

    I know it is just a movie, but I think of that seen in the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” where they take the stock exchange and are firing automatic fire weapons. You could never do that scene like that with semiautomatic.

  15. Machine guns aren’t legal? The sad thing is a lot of the general public thinks AR15s are machine guns or don’t know the difference.

  16. The very least we should do is to repeal the freeze on automatic firearms registration. There has been very few incidents with lawful owners of Class 3 firearms

  17. The virtual ban on full auto firearms, driven by public perceptions born of 1930’s gangster movies, should go the same way as the fast falling state bans on switch blade knives, themselves driven by public perceptions born of 1950’s gangster movies.

  18. If I was in a mall (I don’t go to malls, but whatever)…uhmm…computer store or camera store maybe…attacked by a gunman with an evil ghost rifle 30 round magazine clip shoulder thing. I’d want the guy to be armed with a fully auto weapon, thank you very much.

    He’d be out of ammo in a second or two and most of the rounds would spray harmlessly into the ceiling. They are useless for criminal purposes imho, and just a toy for civilian purposes. No reason for them to be illegal anymore so than any other firearm.

    A guy perched on a roof with an old scoped .30-06 and 30 rounds is way more scary and can cause FAR more casualties.

    And yes, I know you could have a large say, fully auto glock with a huge drum magazine that would keep it from firing all the rounds into the sky. But at that point, the magazine is huge and not concealable and someone who everyone sees coming is not nearly as much of a threat now is he?

    Should canon and explosives be legal? Sure, as long as you can store them and use them in a way that won’t harm innocent people. So, bearing explosives for self defense==a no go, because it’d fail that test. Having a grenade and throwing it at some garbage pile at your ranch==fine. Owning 50lb of explosives in your downtown apartment==not protected, imho. Owning 50lb of explosives stored properly in the middle of nowhere on your ranch for stump removal (or whatever) sure, that’s fine.

    How about an RPG? Sure, same deal. If you can store it safely and securely, it should be allowed. You also don’t need to worry about gansters running around with stingers, it’s a misnomer–they are extremely expensive. And you’d get stopped by dozens of citizens and police if you tried walking around with one.

    how about a nuclear weapon…well, is there anyplace you could use it for “fun” or business use without effecting other people or their property? No. Therefore, you wouldn’t be allowed to have/use one. (it’s a silly arguement anyway as it would cost so much to make one that no one would do it). If someone could make a tiny pure fusion weapon with a tiny yield, then sure, no reason why a private citizen couldn’t use it for excavation purposes or whatnot. But those don’t (as far as we know) exist.

    Bio weapons would be the same. Those I don’t even want a government owning, period.

    But for a fully auto weapon…does it pose any more danger to anyone than any other gun? No. Is it a risk to nearby houses/people/pets/property? Nope. Is the ammo going to explode, or the gun somehow going to harm others if you don’t have it stored a certain way, or there is a fire or flood or something falls on it, you drop it, etc? No.

    So there’s zero reason for them to be treated any differently than any other gun.

    Though really, I can see a great reason for keeping .22LR machine guns COMPLETELY illegal . There’s not enough damn .22LR ammo out there for the rest of us, don’t need you jerks wasting it and driving the price up! (kidding, kidding)

  19. Now Now Lindsey Graham is a AR 15 owner and 2 amendment friend we cannot attack him he is on our side.

    • Sorry, Lance, a lot of people in this country and in the world own AR-15s (or military variants) and they are NOT my friend, regardless of what the say is their opinion of the Second Amendment. Judge a man by the content of his character, not the political rhetoric he spews in order to keep getting re-elected.

      RINO is as RINO does.

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