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Proponents of civilian disarmament know exactly where to draw the line when it comes to deciding which guns Americans should not be allowed to own: any gun that scares them. The gun control advocates I mean. And if you’ve played that game with them you’ll have heard the rhetorical technique known as reductio ad absurdum. Specifically, “should Americans be allowed to own nukes?” Most gun rights advocates draw the line at weapons of mass destruction. Gun control folk respond by insisting that a black semi-automatic modern sporting home defense rifle is a weapon of mass destruction. Anyway, where do you draw the line? Should you be able to buy a Russian ZU-23-2 AA gun or similar? Without a background check or a permit?

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    • Except back in colonial days when the Second Amendment was written, the Founding Fathers had no problem with people owning cannons or warships.

      • If its housed on your yacht to protect against pirates than I’m all for it. Congratulations on your success.

        • My thought exactly, great for anti pirate deterrence. every yacht should have one, or two, or three!

        • Certainly on the Rio Grande, since Americans have been murdered there by Mexican “pirates” (drug cartels) here recently. Unlimber this bad boy (in Vietnam I liked the -4 better, twice the firepower!) on those pukes and their whole outlook would be changed. Still, gotta wonder what 23mm cannon ammo goes for, I’d guess we saw around $20,000 blown off in the video.

        • Why is my yacht any more important than my home, or my country? Why are pirates any more of a threat than home invaders or my government? Carry .45, you are an anti Constitutional liberal. I despise you.

        • I’m pretty sure that Carry.45’s comment was said with a sense of humor. I’m equally sure that your comment was a dramatic overreaction, and demonstrates that you have the sense of humor of a bar of soap. A hairy bar of soap.

        • Hey Matt! What is funny about this line:
          “Arms describe something that can be carried without mechanical assistance. So probably not.”
          That opening statement from Carry.45 set the tone for where he is coming from. So you can just kiss my ass.

        • I actually didn’t see his original comment, just the one you directly replied to, about the yacht. So maybe you’re right about his motivations. I don’t know. What I do know is you’re being a dick, first to him, and now to me, and there’s no call for that. So knock it off.

          I don’t have time to play games with people who want to be assholes anymore, so I’ll just memory hole it when I see it. I haven’t moderated a single comment since the new moderation policy went into place more than a month ago, but if you persist in being obnoxious and attacking other people personally, I’ll be happy to start with you.

        • Well moderator Matt, Skin that smokewagon!

          First of all, I did not personally attack anyone. The question of the day was should you be able to own that gun. The obvious answer to anyone that understands the Constitution is yes. I replied to a person that said no. I did not call that person a name. It was you that ,did not read the string of comments, attacked me by saying I had the sense of humor of a hairy bar of soap. Your words, your starting the personal attacks. I told you to kiss my ass. Again that is not a personal attack. Had I called you an ass kisser then you would have a point. Then you called me an asshole. Sorry Matt that your feelings got hurt but it is clear to everyone reading these threads that you have a problem with understanding free speech and that you are the one in many cases that starts the personal insult war. Anyway: go ahead and carry through with your threat to moderate my comments just because you lost the debate. That will just prove to me what TTAG really is. It is a place where liberal gun owners think they know better than the rest of the gun community and when called out for being weak on the 2nd amendment they get all butt hurt and want to sensor the comment or react with insults.
          I’m getting tired of your gas so skin it!

      • Indeed. Initially, the Army relied upon civilian-forged artillery. Local militias paid for the casting of artillery pieces to defend their town and their state. When the Continental Army was founded, they initially used those militia guns until more could be procured in bulk.

        • Thank you Jesse. As a history major i have focused a lot on the Revolutionary and post-Colonial period and regularly point this fact out in debates.
          As of yet I haven’t received a single rebuttal because it’s well known that these were privately owned by militias(or the bell makers who cast and loaned them to militias).
          Good to see someone else is acknowledging this.

      • Thank you. I get sick of these simplistic, unresearched, modern speech interpretations of important words,being slung around carelessly. Its fine if you’re just being conversational, but when you are trying to cut to the meaning of a word as it was historically intended, it matters.

      • Here’s the deal. I don’t research history or definitions of words. I’ve heard it described like that before and it made sense. Also, what use do we have for bulky cannons when we have rocket launchers and grenade launchers(which are able to be carried. Lets get those legalized before we go after cannons and artillery shall we.

        • I think you have this backwards. Before we get something “legalized”, let’s first repeal the 2nd Amendment so that our right to keep and bear arms “can” be infringed. Otherwise, it’s legal NOW. And good luck on that repeal. Or surviving the attempt.

        • Here’s the deal. I don’t research history or definitions of words. I’ve heard it described like that before and it made sense.

          So… you plan on remaining willfully ignorant then?

    • The right to keep and bear arms… one may keep without necessarily having to bear armaments upon their persons. Limiting the protections of the right to only those arms which could be carried by the individual wouldn’t make much sense in light of the first part of the Second Amendment to the Constitution; A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. It’s a statement about tyranny and invasions; crime, not so much.

    • Yes I should be able to own one. The barrier with something like that will always be the cost of the firearm and the ammo to go with it. Also – it’s not like those are going to be hanging around any gun shops… so why does the government care? Because… rules for thee and not for me. /government.

    • Carry.45,
      The 2nd Amendment text is below:

      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 see nothing in it that limits it to being able to “carry” an arm. Therefore, under the 2nd Amendment, I believe an American Citizen SHOULD be able to keep and bear whatever arms he/she can afford and deems appropriate to their purpose.

      • The 2A supports your thinking. Government is prohibited from infringing. It’s none of government’s business because government encroachment is one of the things to be kept at bay by the right of the people to keep and bear arms. So many people try to draw their OWN line without considering what the Constitution actually states. We either are going to keep the government within the confines of power demanded by the Constitution or we aren’t. The very instant we allow government to violate the document, we’ve given license for further unconstitutional laws. If the government wants to deviate from the powers enumerated in the Constitution and the People agree then a constitutional amendment is in order. Until such time, it’s incumbent upon every citizen to insist that government follow that contract to the letter! It’s as necessary to a free state as the right of the people to keep and bear arms, IMHO.

    • This. Every time some anti pulls out the “everybody will own nukes!” hysteria I ask him if he can afford one.

      All these leaps anti’s take are already cost-prohibitive and the reality is that if you have enough cash lying around to afford not just owning something like this but feeding it as well then you can afford it whether it’s legal or not.

      If nukes were available on Walmart shelves tomorrow there would be no more folks owning them who already do.

        • Why would they? There are already a zillion things they could buy but don’t.

          This is one thing that really annoys me about arguments against owning any weapon you can afford. Do they really expect gangs to buy tanks? All that money tied up in something so easily captured. The expense of manning it, training the crews, maintenance, and actually feeding it ammo and fuel — not a chance.

      • Back in the day I used to sign for 10 nuclear warheads at the beginning of every shift. Uncle Sugar GAVE them to me. Does that count?

    • The only people who can afford these either don’t want them or want them to protect there compounds full of millions of dollars worth of drugs. And they are in Mexico.

  1. No. I’m a strong 2A supporter, but I believe that the class 3 weapons is alright with a permit. I feel that handguns, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles should be purchased without registration.

    • I’m a strong 2A supporter, but I believe that the class 3 weapons is alright with a permit.

      Sorry, but the second part of your sentence shows that the first part of your sentence is a complete lie.

      • The fact that he said class 3 shows he doesn’t know what he is talking about. Class 3 is a tax bracket. Machine guns, SBS, SBR, DD, & AOW’s are all NFA items or Title 2 firearms and there are no permits for owning them.

        • Technicalities aside, what is the difference between the Feds issuing you a tax stamp after checking your background and a “permit.” Doesn’t it constitute government “permission”?

    • Why class 3 should be with a permit? What a permit does? Do we feel safer if somebody has a permit? If you can afford it you should be able to buy anything short of mass destruction arms (nukes, large bombs and such). What should be forbidden is having/arming a private army.

      • So, you don’t like freedom of contract and free association. Early militias were often formed and armed by a rich “officer”, no reason why they shouldn’t be again today. A prime example was the unit called the Red Rovers, from Alabama. They fought in the Texas Revolution.

        • I’m not against freedom of association. But I think that standing armies may be used for good and for bad. Having a local warlord is not on my priority list. I don’t disagree with people owning stuff and free to associate when times require. While you suggest that the rich can armed people, I guess this is more nuanced. I’m not against people being sponsored to buy stuff, but they should be the owners of the armament and free to associate and dis-associate whenever they feel like it.

    • Why? Why? Why?

      if you are a strong proponent, explain please why a short barreled rifle or suppressor should require a tax stamp and increased background check, and a 9-12 month delay… while you are at it, if you support the 2nd, why should regular gun purchases have a background check… should we have one before we sell a pool? or bleach? or pesticide? Some things are dangerous, and dangerous people can own them, punish the dangerous people, not the items or regular folk who will not do dangerous things with them. Especially if those punishment don’t actually stop the dangerous people from getting those items! What is the definition of insanity?

    • Class 3 restrictions are tired, ridiculous and worthless. Of all the crime committed with machine guns since 1934s, only one was done with a registered machine gun (out of MILLIONS of existing registered guns) and it was a disgruntled cop. There have been plenty of documented cases of *illegal* machine guns being used in crimes since 1934, the NFA and subsequent gun control acts failed to stop any of this, so why should Class 3 require a permit when said permits won’t stop machine gun crime, and law abiding citizens owning machine guns CONTINUE to be law abiding citizens that don’t use their machine guns for illicit purposes? When is the last time ANYONE outside of a major terrorist organisation used a cannon to attack anything? AA guns are stationary defensive weapons, tactically worthless for committing crimes and the first thing to be disabled by operators should you happen to be a drug dealer or terrorist warlord with one of these on your property. Besides, with scumbags like Leland Yee importing RPGs and distributing them to criminal scum in California, why worry about an AA gun or auto-cannon? Ultimately, we’re just talking about wealthy people collecting weaponry with respect to legal ownership here, weaponry that could, in an emergency, be deployed to assist in DEFENSE of the union.

    • I am completely against the extra taxation of certain classes of firearms and weapons. MAYBE I could see having a card, maybe, like a CCW for certain weapons, but the tax is ridiculous.

      • What would it take to turn your ‘maybe’ into a ‘no’? Are you already aware that the moment government requires anything that the exercise of a right becomes a privilege? Privileges are permissions granted that can be modified or revoked in the future. When one supports a privilege without an alternative way to exercise the actual right, they are not supporting the right at all. How can that maybe-partial support for the right to keep and bear arms be moved to full support of the individual right?

      • Sure you can. Millions strongly support Gun control that don’t fully understand what that means.. Tens.. perhaps up to a hundred million support the idea of the driver license and they do not fully understand what that means either.

        • So, if I say that I’m a strong supporter of “rape awareness” but think that it means educating potential rapists on ways to be most successful then I’m still supporting “rape awareness”? I don’t think so. 😉

          Manuel stated, “I’m a strong 2A supporter.” However, what he went on to describe is gun control and not support for the Second Amendment. So, by not understanding the Second Amendment, he is not supporting it but is actually supporting something diametrically opposed to it.

          I stand by my statement.

    • Until the National Firearms Act of 1934 you could mail order full automatic weapons and legally own them. I have heard stories of people going to the local hardware store and buying a Tommy gun. Additional restrictions were placed with the Gun Control Acts of 1968 and 1986. These legislative acts were put in place to stop crime, all 3 are epic failures. The only thing that these acts have done is infringe upon our rights and make it more difficult for the law abiding to purchase firearms.

  2. If you are rich enough to build your own nukes you are probably a nation in your own right. Same if you can feed that beast….

    Like senator Yee , no you shouldn’t be able to own that, but *I* can. /Joke

    I have some friends who were artillery in the army, I have no problem with them owning it.

    So owning, yes. Firing should be controlled by CLEO, but always permitted lol. kinda like: “call before you dig”. “Call before you send thousands of paper weights into atmosphere at supersonic speeds”

  3. Sure, why not? Only the EXTREMELY rich would be able to afford it, and have the space available to enjoy it. It isn’t like such a thing is going to show up during a robbery at a liquor store.

    • ^ This.

      No one is going to use such an item for petty crime.

      And if someone wants to cause harm, they can do it any number of ways. Think about it. If a person is determined to kill someone, they will succeed and they don’t need that gun to do it. The victim cannot possibly be on guard for every possible method of attack 24/7.

      A determined assassin could walk up behind you anonymously and shoot you with a small caliber handgun in the back of the head. They could drive over you with a car as you walk unsuspectingly across a parking lot. They could pump propane into your home in the middle of the night as you sleep and detonate it. They could be walking toward you and suddenly deliver a knockout punch with brass knuckles … and then finish you off with a knife after you are laying unconscious on the ground. And I haven’t even mentioned poisons. Shall I continue?

      A person who owns artillery isn’t any more dangerous than anyone else.

      • While I agree we currently have the Constitutional right to own this gun, I also agree that we should not have that right. All these examples make a good story, but that sucker can obliterate an airliner or a high-rise office building from several miles away, in mere fractions of a second. And among those who could afford them, and afford to feed them, would be terrorists and enemies of the U.S.

        So! A Constitutional Amendment to ban weapons over .50″ I could support, so long as there were zero “riders”. Funny, but nobody is proposing that, want instead to point to a 23mm cannon and outlaw 5.56 beanshooters. Or .50 beanshooters. The amendment I speak of could be passed in every state within weeks, and would be less than 1 page long, even if we include rocket launchers at the same time. But it will NEVER happen.

        • You seem to miss his point. If someone wants to destroy a plane or high-rise building, they sure as hell don’t need this type of firepower, as the 9/11 hijackers showed (unless you are a “truther”). Cost, training, ammo requirements and other factors will make weapons like these a rare occurance, even if this type of firepower was available to the civilian market. Even in warzones (like AFG), terrorist and insurgent organizations have specific requirements and funding issues that prevent them from using “high calibur” weapons and instead resort to cheap, crude but effective IEDs. Also costly weapon systems will always leave a financial mark and will probable garner attention anyways from the authorities, regardless of intent. Finally, the Constitution is supposed to be a restriction on the Government, not individuals, although that’s been abused with the Prohibition amendment. Therefore, I am not inclined to support your “fixes”.

  4. As many as you can afford without any checks, permits or registration. If a government employee has access to it, then a citizen should have the free and easy ability to own it.

  5. If is a tough question. Easy to get bogged down in the mire of details. But simply put a person that is within the constraints and freedoms of the US constitution. Should be able to not only buy and maintain any thing that hard work and the struggle for independence that our fore fathers toiled and labored, fought and died for but should also should have the freedom and protection that our for which country provides. Do I want my neighbor owning a weapon of mass destruction? No. But do I want his rights infringed? No. Do I want mind infringed no. It is the delicate balance of accountability and reason that we all seem to lack from time to time that gets us introuble. Would I sacrifice my family for freedom? Well compare to the price of freedom. Maybe I would. There are plenty that have done much more and sacrificed far more. Anyone else would be a traitor and a coward. Just my 2cents.

  6. Sure you should.

    Anybody hear of Crimea? Ukraine?

    What if the gang Senator Lee was helping to arm was coming after you in Armored SUV’s?

  7. I could sympathize with a town not wanting someone to own something like that within city limits. If I had a neighbor in my apartment complex with a genuine destructive device (not a dang Street Sweeper), I really, really hope he never ND’s it.

    • Nah. If you own it, then you are responsible for it. If you ND and someone gets… well… obliterated, then you go to prison. With rights, come responsibilities. I don’t care what my Federal/state/local government says. If I want to own it, then I’m going to own it and, in so doing, I accept responsibility for its use.

  8. Buy anything you want, you’ll be held accountable for the outcomes of your use of it. Innocent until proven guilty.

  9. My new want besides guns are a cannon. They have civil war style which require no tax stamp and other modern types that do. I would really love a 105mm howitzer to drag around. They require a tax stamp from what i have read. Why do I want one? Just because. Plus I like making noise. I loaded and fired an M777 which is 155mm and it was awesome.

    I don’t like that you have to have a tax stamp because anything taxed, can be on a list and easily confiscated by statists. So yeah, we should be able to own that kind of stuff if we can afford to buy it.

    • The irony is that the regulatory clowns somehow think a civil war cannon can’t do *massive damage* but a 40mm Bofors can. A 20 lb Parrott gun would mess up any armoured car.

    • When I was in college, in the mid 60s, there was a guy in a VW microbus at the school with a water cooled Browning .30 belt fed machine gun in the back. I saw it several times. Also a guy who lived in the dorm with me who had an M-2 carbine (select fire, IOW) hanging on the dorm room wall. Have we really grown so much crazier that our right to do that should be infringed? Cuz if so, why hasn’t there been an Amendment? Our rights are being stolen away by our elected representatives, they hope on their way to be our rulers.

      We need to wake up, as a nation, and here I am preaching to the choir. But I do contribute, as well.

  10. There are a bunch of folks who own modern canons. Knob Creek always have them. Civil War enthusiasts have large turnouts for meets. Don’t recall any holding up a 7/11. WMD is one of those leftist BS words intended to do a Piers Morgan at national level. So stop repeating communist drivel like that RF. Personally I don’t give a crap what someone wants or can afford.

    • A nuke is WMD. Poison gas is WMD. An 18″ gun from a battleship, firing a 2000 lb high explosive projectile 20 miles is NOT a WMD. Or a 500 lb bomb, or a 750 lb can of napalm. If I had to define it absolutely, it would be something like “one use can kill more than 100,000 people. THAT is a WMD.

      • Yup. This.

        I believe based on the 2nd amendment that Americans should be able to own anything short of a weapon of mass destruction.

        Cannon? Yes.
        LAW or AT-4 or RPG? Yes.
        Battleship? Yes.
        Tank armed with SABO rounds? Yes.
        Submarine? Yes.
        Ballistic missiles to arm that sub? Why not?

        Nuclear ballistic missiles to arm that sub? No.

        Why? Because you have to draw a line somewhere and WMDs are not weapons of defense or even something that could reasonably be used against a tyrannical government. They do not discriminate by nature.

        Personally, I don’t even think world governments should have weapons of this power, but once the cat is out of the bag, it can’t be put back in.

  11. AbsoFU–INGlutely because when the government comes goose stepping down your street you best believe they are going to have one….ammo is probably cheaper than .22lr anyway

  12. Arms = Ordinary Military Equipment.
    That means everything an ordinary enlisted soldier carries into battle.

    Nukes, Tanks, Battleships = Crew Operated Equipment.
    It takes more then one person to service and operate.

    This is not to say that citizens should not own Nukes, Tanks or Battleships… it only means that the Second Amendment does not protect their right to own them.

    • Additionally a nuke is a standoff weapon. It’s the ultimate deterrent. It has nothing to do with defense of any kind, it’s international insurance to check expansionist aggression and nothing more.

    • If one can afford the taxes, facilities, training, personnel, certifications, maintenance, and other legal and treaty requirements, then why not?

    • Everything a soldier can carry into battle is usually considered SMALL ARMS. I can understand your point of view considering the idiom:
      4. bear arms
      a. to carry weapons
      (World English Dictionary)

      Another definition:
      1. Usually, arms: weapons, especially firearms.

    • Who the F–k told you that? Read the damn amendment, it is only 27 words. Does it say “except” in there anywhere? You’re talking “interpretations” after the fact, and those can be interpreted to mean you can’t own anything that uses smokeless powder, or primers, has to be a flintlock or matchlock. Bullsheet.

      If you want it to say that, then AMEND it. Don’t just ignore it.

  13. When I was working at Interarms in Alexandria, VA, before 1968, we had a front parking lot filled with a wide variety of wheeled artillery, all in working condition. You could pay your money, hook your newly acquired howitzer, cannon, whatever, to your trailer hitch and drive off. I don’t recall any reported incidents of our customers shelling their neighbors.

  14. For me, the limit is if the weapon is designed for indiscriminate killing, such as a grenade that would take out innocent as well as attackers.

  15. Shall not be infringed……. let’s just say that if planet busters were available taxes probably wouldn’t go up very fast….

  16. Well why not? The insane cost is going to keep anyone ‘bad’ from getting one. This is kind of like that old stand by for the anti-liberty crowd of comparing ‘assault weapons’ to atomic weapons.

    • Exactly. The price alone of crew-served weapons would make them as common as Lambos and Ferraris. Spielberg would buy one for his collection, then lobby to have them banned for anyone else.

    • Define “bad”. The kind of people that would buy these are the truly wealthy and priviliged. They would hire guys like the crowds Halliburton sent into Iraq as contractors to man them. A bought and paid for “militia” that has heavy weapons and only answers to their corporate sponsors. Over a 100 years ago we had that system.

      It’s why factory owners, railroad magnates and mine owners owned whole towns and the people that lived in them. And why they felt free to murder any who opposed them.

      But yeah, anybody with the funds should be able to buy any non nuke, non bio weapons available. And remember, if your next door neighbor decides to have blocks of c4 in his garage and he sets them off accidentally, the law will punish him appropriately for his negligence.

    • Then all a tyrannical government would have to do is legislate away arms for civilian law enforcement and thereby back-door disarm the public. It’s a flawed criteria when compared to the clear and strong Second Amendment limitation on government already in place. 😉

      • At least then we’d have law enforcement on our side.

        Regardless, that line in the sand keeps me from getting mired down in the “M1 Abrams and Tactical Nukes for everyone” strawman debate.

      • I don’t agree. What Topmounter said was if it’s legal for law enforcement it should be legal for everybody. He did NOT say if it’s not legal for law enforcement it should not be legal for anybody. I, personally, think select-fire should not be legal for those who spend my money for ammo and work to “supposedly” defend innocents in tight quarters, aimed shots, one at a time, should be mandatory. But if I choose to blow off a 20-rd mag or two on full auto just for the Hell of it, what business is that of Osama’s?

        • If that’s indeed the way he intended the statement then I would agree. However, it doesn’t read that way to me. Also, I agree with the latter part of your statement. If peace officers need full auto in a situation, they could ask the local militia.

        • In my rural AO, it wouldn’t be a big shift in thinking. Already, our local peace officers freely admit that they expect to rely on other citizens in moments of need. The local militia groups that I’ve been involved with have been maintaining good lines of communication since the early 1990s (not sure about present day as I’m not currently involved). Some years back there was a mortally wounded deer some distance down in a ditch beside the road and the deputy wasn’t having any luck putting it out of its misery. I went to hand him my 1911 but he declined and asked me if I could finish the deer (which I did). This year, that deputy is most likely to be the next sheriff. Our peace officers here aren’t at all shy about asking for help and are forthright about their reliance upon other citizens in any sort of bind.

  17. Sure, if you could afford it or even find it for sale. Ammo and somewhere to shoot large bore weapons would be another problem. Most people don’t have a large range with an impact area behind their house.
    The government holds all the large bore ammo and parts contracts for American weapons.

    Eastern block weapons might be available. Again cost and Ammo availability would be too expensive for most.
    I can see a legitimate need to keep explosives, nukes and anti aircraft stuff only for the military, but if someone wants a 25mm cannon who cares?

  18. No. That is a crew served weapon. Picture fails to show the monkey required to load the rounds. If the first 10 amendments are individual then how can a crew serve weapon be included?

      • The internet is very much a crew served system that has an infrastructure of people supporting it that is probably bigger than the population of 1770s America. But then again, the founding fathers could have never imagined that we would have the ability to download 30 assault video clips per second.

    • Say what? Amendments are individual? Like, #1, #2, whatever? WTF are you talking about, and how do you get from here to there? Can you demonstrate a crew served Amendment?

  19. I believe we should be able to own any man portable weapons up to and including rocket launchers and heavy machine guns. If a man can carry it we should be able to own it.

    • Not to be pedantic but an M-2HB is not really man-portable. At least, my recollection was me carrying the receiver while someone else carried the barrel, plus a third guy if you want a tripod. And then the ammo . . .

      • How about “if a group of men can carry it”, then? All BS as far as I’m concerned, 2A currently gives me the RIGHT to own a battleship, somewhere around 50,000 tons. If that’s not a good idea, let’s AMEND it.

        • Pardon me, I misspoke above, 2A doesn’t impart any rights. It prohibits Government from infringing upon my natural right to own a battleship.

        • I almost typed a comment correcting you last night. But, I realized from your other posts that you have an excellent grasp of the concept and it had to be a simple mistake. 😀

  20. It is only a question because constitutional lawyers who find the merit of precedence over primary establishment are making it a question.

  21. The founding fathers intended the army to be weak and the militias to be strong, but there is some truth to the notion that they never imagined the weaponry of today. In practice ‘shall not be infringed’ has been replaced with ‘reasonable’, which is unfortunate because in this country there are 300,000,000 different opinions as to what is ‘reasonable’. Short of amending the second amendment, I think the weapon is not the issue we need to be concerned with, but the intent of it’s possessor. I can not think of a reason for a civilian possess a nuclear weapon other than to kill civilians, which is conspiracy to commit murder by it’s very possession. If you can afford such a conspicuous weapon for your own entertainment have at it IMO, just don’t be surprised when the FBI comes knocking wanting to know what you plan on doing with it.

    • Yeah, but what reason does a government have for a nuclear weapon other than to kill civilians? Shouldn’t that be outlawed, too? And before you point out legitimate targets which would require a nuke, think about the THOUSANDS of nukes we keep. Probably 100 on each submarine, never mind bombers and missiles. Enough to level any two countries into molten slag.

      Also think of the constant argument of the anti’s against the idea of an effective defense against tyranny, that our government would use nuclear weapons against us. A few in private hands might be a deterrent to that, no?

      • Nukes are to nations what firearms are to individuals. What are handguns good for except killing people? Well, they work pretty good as a deterrent. Israel is the smallest, most hated by it’s neighbors country on earth, but it’s like a little guy with a big gun. You just don’t mess with Israel. On the other hand Ukraine gave up it’s nuclear weapons on the promise that we’d come to their aid if they were attacked and now they’re like the guy that brings a knife to a gunfight. Actually they’re more like a guy who brings a frisbee to a sword fight, but anyway… I bet they’d love to have those nukes back right now. Granted our arsenal of several thousand nuclear warheads is probably a bit of overkill, but it’s better to be over-gunned than out-gunned. And if a government were to use their nuclear arsenal on it’s own citizens the government would cease to exist itself because you need the governed to be governor.

        On the individual level there is no claim that, ‘well my neighbor has a nuke and I just don’t trust the guy so I got one of my own.’ Some things (not many, but some) are better left to the government. Anyway it doesn’t stop with a nuke, if you are pulled over in a rental truck with a 5000lb. diesel fuel and fertilizer bomb I should expect you’d better do some pretty fast talking. It’s not the rental truck or the diesel fuel or the ammonium nitrate, all those things are just fine, but put them together and explain just what it is that you’re up to that isn’t a threat to your neighbors. I don’t think it can be done.

  22. I don’t have a problem with someone owning a FLAK gun since they cost so much. It’d be like a Rolls Royce or a Bentley of guns.

    I don’t have that much money and neither does 99.9% of the population.

  23. I feel the same as Topmounter on this, same toys as our CIVILIAN law enforcement. Full auto, SBR with suppressor, flash bangs, tear gass 40mm launchers,, etc.

  24. Please remember that the government no matter what the scale works for us to provide inrastucture and provide an assembled military to prevent domestic threat.

    • That’s the way it is supposed to work. Unfortunately, some of our leaders have other thoughts on how it is supposed to work. Just ask Senator Yee.

  25. Absolutely. Private ownership of hardware like artillery or tanks fits perfectly with the idea behind the 2nd Amendment. They are also prohibitively expensive. I always laugh when the antis make this argument, referring to tanks or whatever. No concept of money…. Not to mention that anyone who could afford something like that most likely has the resources to get a hold of it regardless of legality. Might as well tax it.

  26. As for individual ownership, I take a thought from my days in the Marines. How about the dividing line being crew served weapons and high explosives. If the Marines trusted us enough to issue it to one individual Marine, then I should be able to own it now. But crew served weapons (mortars, SMAW, arty) treat those the way you do Class 3 now. Or, you’d have to go in part with a couple of other neighbors (some people will split ownership of an airplane that way) to get the BIG toys. Not a perfect solution probably, but something I was toying with

    • Common man, do you really feel the marine corps trusted you with guns. How often could you go grab your saw or m16/203 and just walk out to the range by yourself. You really think the military trust even a quarter of its members with weapons?

    • You have that backwards. Government possesses no rights, individuals do! Government cannot grant that which it does not already have so it can only grant privilege. When an individual becomes an agent of government, that individual operates under privilege and not rights for the duration of that action under government authority. Why would an individual with rights place their exercise of those rights under the criteria imposed upon agents of government operating under privilege? Doing so would make practically meaningless the first part of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Power and authority flow from the People to government and not the other way around.

  27. I have no problem with citizens owning arms such as this because at the end of the day, bigger arms are self regulating in that not only does the price increase the bigger you go, but so does the cost of feeding it!

  28. Of course. You’re certainly not going to conceal it, or even carry it openly. It’s a little bulky to carry about “disturbing the peace” or “going armed to the terror of the people” (as our quaint NC statute states). It is a very expensive toy that creates no real hazard to anyone.

    Most arguments against fail strict scrutiny, though one can attempt to make a case that there is a difference between offensive and defensive arms. (This example is somewhere in the ‘neutral zone’ of such a classification scheme.) Even so, the devil is in the details with such an argument, as even a nuclear device could be construed as a last-ditch defensive arm to render territory unusable to an invader. As always, it’s not the characteristics of the arm(s) in question, rather the intent of the owner.

    • Lordy, can you even imagine towing the thing, uncovered, down an Interstate? Please buy a half-dozen GoPros first and have them pointed in every direction, reactions would be hilarious!

  29. Been to the knob creek machine gun shoot twice
    Saw shoulder fired and tripod mounted full auto, flamethrower and heavy artillery being fired
    Nothing died except for appliances and wooden spools
    All of it privately owned. The thought of that brought a big smile to my face

    • The way I understand it, and I’m no expert, is that you can own artillery. You just can’t own explosive shells. Feel free to correct me.

      • In the case of current weaponry (or at least ammo) that seems eminently reasonable, in that if someone is using such a weapon against you, you will know where to find free and unregulated ammo.

  30. People seem to forget the militia part. I may not be able to afford a M1 Abram, a old F4 Phantom, or even a Stinger missile, but the community/town/city/state certainly could.

    Gun owners need to reform the militias, otherwise we will never have any legitimacy.

    • Militias have been forming and reforming for decades. However, some gun owners ridicule participants, and even the very notion of citizen militias, while in the next breath saying that they “support the Second Amendment’!

    • Depends on how you define militia. Ohio state militia with the governor at the top of the org. Yes. Hutaree militia with rev. billy bob at the head. No. I would have no problem at all being part of a state militia. But I’m not going to join a bunch of nutters preaching racism or civil war against the gubmint.

        • John, a militia that doesn’t answer to a higher authority is just a gang waiting to go over the line. Because you and your buddies are good and honest men does not mean that all such groups are.

          Or maybe you’re not good and honest men. Telling me I’m talking out my ass for stating my experience in these matters indicates a certain sensitivity to the matter.

        • Every group with which I’ve been involved have placed themselves under the authority of the Governor of the State of Ohio and have sent notice to the Governor’s office. Some groups volunteered with local law enforcement and engaged in disaster/emergency relief right alongside other State entities. Your comments appeared to be biased by and based upon mainstream media. Again, I ask if you have been involved with any groups. Again, I say that if you haven’t been then what you are writing is bovine excrement and not much more.

          I care not if you consider us “good and honest men.” We worked hard and provided out of our own pockets. We did so in an earnest attempt to continue the tradition of citizen militias. Why don’t you form one or join a good one yourself instead of pontificating in a comment section?

        • So, you accept that militias need to answer to a higher authority. Good. Rogue groups passing themselves off as militias are a threat to us all. Nice to know that if the governor called you out to engage anti government “militias” you’d do your bit.

          As I said above, I have no problem with properly vetted militias.

    • A militia can be formed at any time it’s “necessary”, so long as the people are armed. In about 5 minutes. That is why 2A is worded as it is, and the militia clause is not a restriction.

      • Aye! And the effectiveness of any militia relies heavily on the right of the people to keep and bear arms NOT being infringed by government. Since effective militias are necessary to a free state, I’m often dumbfounded as to why some gun owning Americans don’t see the simplicity and necessity of shall not be infringed. It’s not just preferable to a free state. It’s not just best for a free state. It’s necessary; as in, a free state will not remain free without it.

        Shall not be infringed acts as a deterrent to invasion and tyranny. By allowing that to atrophy, the People have allowed a situation in which this nation *might* not restore a constitutionally limited government without great pain and loss. Had the deterrent remained strongly in place, government wouldn’t have been able to get this far off script. Government will always seek more power as it is the nature of government. A prudent people ensure that the individual is never debarred the use of arms as a check to the nature of government.

  31. If my neighbor had one of these, I’d still worry more about him running me over with his car than shooting me. Unequivocal yes. Although, good luck getting a holster for it.

  32. Lots of good comments in this one. I agree with the notion that a crew service weapon, while totally legal to own, would actually make sense as a tax-stamp purchase. Now, in exchange for my common sense reasonable interpretation, kindly remove shorties, cans, and giggle switches from the NFA list.

  33. The line is simply and clear.

    A person should be able to purchase, own, bear, use, carry, posses any type of arms where the arm itself, without human intervention, is not a direct danger to others.

    Firearms do not fall under that category, in any manner. A firearm requires a human to make it dangerous.

    Nuclear weapons or actual explosive based arms do not require a human to make them dangerous. If the arm in a standard stated deploys does it endanger those around you? If yes, then it can be restricted, if no, then it cannot.

    An explosive going off can destroy my neighbors house, so obviously my possession of explosives endangers them, even if I do nothing with the explosives.

    I can have 500 firearms, and 100,000 rounds of ammunition, and even if my house burns down, my neighbors are not endangered.

    That’ the difference, and where the line can be drawn.

    • While we’re at it, we should turn off all the natural gas to private residences too. It should be outlawed. Some children could lose their lives because their neighbors had a gas leak resulting in explosion while they were away. We’ve seen far too many gas explosions to allow the madness to continue.

    • Whoopee, glad you agree with yourself, as soon as the amendment is ratified we’ll have a basis for discriminating, until then it is legal.

  34. I should be able to buy any short barreled weapon or suppressor by plopping money on the counter and walking out like any other firearm transaction.

  35. Should you be able to buy a Russian ZU-23-2 AA gun or similar? Without a background check or a permit?

    Huh? Of course! Although it doesn’t have to be, something like that could be useful. It’s not about crime, it’s about invasion and tyranny. The government is prohibited from even background checks or permits…

    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.

  36. I have issues with violent felons owning such things. Then again, I have issues with statist government control freaks and corrupt politicians having access and control over ordinance of this caliber. My understanding is that this is a crew – served weapon that is not man-portable. It does not fall under the classic definition of “arms” as I understand it.

  37. Civilians have been LONG been out gunned. Does ANYONE think that they and their buddies handguns, rifles are a match to the US military or police? There is never going to be civil war; we have democracy and over 150 years of relative domestic peace, with peaceful transition in political power every 4-8 years. Even the US civil war was between the North Fed Gov and Southern Confederate Gov. PS The Brits are NOT coming either. Your gun is: 1) a hobby, 2) for hunting, 3) and last self protection. (you are not a sheep dog vigilante of society. If you think you are, you are delusional.) Of course 2nd amendment written when SINGLE SHOT FLIT LOCKS were the gun of day does not mean we can own any weapon.

    • Of course 2nd amendment written when SINGLE SHOT FLIT LOCKS were the gun of day does not mean we can own any weapon.

      Read some history! If you don’t want to invest that much time, please read some of the earlier comments in this thread regarding the history of armaments and the militia. 😉

      Also, the Second Amendment doesn’t allow us to own any weapon. It PROHIBITS; government from interfering with the individual right to own any weapon.

      • Jus Bill, that’s weak. Afafghanistan sent the Russians home with only stone age culture and mentality. Even their defenses were made of mud.

      • In fairness though, the Vietnamese were funded by the Soviets and the Chinese. And the United States financed the Mujahideen resistance to the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    • Please get off Al Gore’s Internet, and trade in your keyboard for a quill pen and inkpot. You may exercise your 1st Amendment rights only by means of the technology available at the time the Bill of Rights became part of our Constitution.

      On what basis do you expect to dictate the manner in which a war will be fought? Do you think you can force it to be like the mass battles of WWII, with armor, artillery, air power, maybe even battleships standing 10 miles offshore and firing 16″ guns to deliver shells 10 miles inland? Perhaps you would prefer it be more like the trench warfare of WWI, or maybe you would like to return to the type of warfare in our Revolution, where troops marched onto a field to the music of fife and drum, then fired in volleys on command?
      You don’t get to choose. Your enemy will choose for you. It will more likely be some form of guerrilla warfare.

      • While I suspect you’re correct, it depends on how egregious the trigger is. If a president disbanded Congress and his cabinet and declared himself ruler forever, executing the Supreme Court as his first act and closing down all media as his second, I suspect 20+ million armed men would be in DC within a week to see what’s happenin’, don’cha see, gorillas be damned. And if anybody thinks there is another force on the planet, regardless of armament, which can stand up to 20 million AR-15s, you might want to think again.

    • There is absolutely no way that you can say with any authority whether another civil war could occur or not and whether a tyranny could ever arise or not. And if you think people can’t fight the U.S. military, then tell me, why is it considered insane to consider invading Iran? The primary argument is that Iran has a population of seventy million people.

  38. This would be a great weapon to have in your front yard, so you could blast the hell out of those inconsiderate morons who drive by with their boom boxes 5 notches past maximum, and the bass cranked up to blast mode!

  39. Considering how expensive it is to own regular guns and shoot them regularly, I can’t imagine what one of those would cost to keep reloaded every time you want to take it to the range and shoot things 😉

    That said, anything the government can buy I should be able too. I mean we already sell most stuff or give it away to people who end up using it against us (*Cough* Al Qaeda)

    Honestly, I could be swayed to think that maybe a training class or two on using the thing be given first, and maybe some requirements on shooting the thing ‘for fun’ like backstops, someone mounting one on a house might draw some eyebrows, especially near an airport 😉

  40. Two proposals:

    1. If you can carry it you can keep it; e.g., no towed artillery.

    2. If the police have it we can have it.

    • Since the 2A is about an individual right, and a protection for the people against tyranny I am ok with proposal #1.

      That would allow access to all manner of shoulder fired weapons that can take down planes, tanks and bust low grade bunkers.

      Proposal #2 Needs clarification, Are we talking the same assets available to DHS, FBI and CIA not just the local sheriff?

      If it’s all LEO agencies then that allows light armor, armed drones, grenades, all manner of automatic weapons, and in some cases Blackhawk Helo’s.

      So in thinking it through I think your proposals are just fine.

  41. You have to choose. Either you support the 2A, or you don’t. Civil rights are civil rights. There can be no compromise… unless of course you feel it would be reasonable to suggest that blacks maybe could sit only up to the MIDDLE of the bus on Sundays. For the children.

  42. I don’t remember where or when I heard it but someone once explained the “why not a nuclear arm?” answer to me. They said the nuke was a weapon in defense of “community”. Our rights were more geared around the “individual” and their rights to buy, keep and carry “personal” firearms. With that in mind I’m no fan of tax stamps and other bureaucratic red tape involved with owning fully automatic “personal” firearms or those with a silencer, shortened barrel etc. If someone has enough cash to make one of their personal firearms a fully automatic Thompson or BAR more power to ’em. I don’t think a government permission slip etc should be required to excercise a right.

    • You know, the real pi**er about that is a select fire AR costs essentially the same as a semi only, look at the LEO only catalogs. All is the same except for a little gizmo behind the trigger assembly, if not for the NFA I suspect the cheapest option would be to have ALL select fire, so there did not have to be two versions produced, which adds cost. 14.5” barrel, so you can mount a bayonet for hog hunts, select fire and ready to mount a silencer (which would be MUCH cheaper due to mass production), all for the price we pay now.

  43. i dont have a problem with privately owned military aircraft and munitions, warships, artillery pieces, or armored vehicles. but for some reason i do dawn the line at nbc weapons, but im not really sure why. maybe i just feel like theyre especially sinister in nature, or the typical manner of deployment is too indiscriminate? i dont know, though. maybe the long lasting ecological consequences make then seem “worse” to me. but then, i tend to come down on the side of the issue that is against actual nations stockpiling and using them, too. i feel like theyre more man-made horrible disasters than legitimate arms useful for defense.

    i used that word “feel” a lot, i know. im just kinda thinking out loud, and im hardly decided on the topic.

  44. People should be able to own any aimed non explosive firearm without a permit. They should be able to own explosive devices with permit. Anyone should be able to own any firearm that their government owns. Even if they were previously convicted of a non violent felony. Explosives have the potential to kill indiscriminately so there should be some regulation but still available.

  45. You know, I’ve always wanted a 50mm anti-tank gun, so…you should be allowed to own that. Let me keep thinking about this.

  46. Who said governments can own nukes? Who’s permission did “they” ask?

    Edward Teller proposed the production of a 10,000 megaton nuclear bomb, large enough to incinerate all of France for example. Hell, it’s the government… why not?

    As for me? I’ll own whatever I can damn well afford, thank you very much.

  47. Get off my lawn!!!

    Big government doesn’t realize that raping us in the butt with taxes for stupid social programs only makes the average citizen resistant and suspicious of the gov’t. However, if gov’t regs were reduced and your average citizen is allowed to buy whatever it pleases, then there would be more revenue collected through a smaller sales tax.

    • That’s not wise. All government would have to do is legislate away law enforcement’s privileges in arms to circumvent the Second Amendment constraint on government. Besides, it’s not about crime, it’s about tyranny and invasion. I’d much rather stick with the stronger original limitation upon government: 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. Thankfully, neither you or I have the power to negotiate that away… it would require a constitutional amendment. So, if that’s what you want then you have some work ahead of you. 😉

  48. Sure why not. Besides firearms at that level would be largely self regulating because only a serious collector with the financial means and storage space would be interested in buying one.

    Tanks and jets are good examples of this, anyone can buy a tank or a Mig minus the guns, but few people outside of wealthy collectors do.

  49. Can I get a tracked version (ZSU-23, I believe)? The ammo would be kind of expensive now that Leland Yee is going to be doing some time…

    • You should be watching Sons of Anarchy. Then you would understand that while the Chinese are having some supply chain problems, the Irish are able to step in and pick up the slack.

  50. Ideologically, yes.

    Realistically, no.

    Only the uber rich would be able to afford it and none of them are on “our side.”

    So, f*ck them, I say no.

  51. Yes, we should be allowed to buy such a gun.

    But at the cost of the weapon and the ammunition, I don’t think it would be a very popular choice. The only people who would own one would either be very rich or have a very particular need.

  52. I think you should be able to buy any arms you want, as long as you can buy it. Yes, even nukes. But nobody will buy one, because they don’t have a reason to pay that much for something they’ll never use.

    Battleships, fighters, tanks, artillery….. Buy what you can afford and be responsible.

  53. I’d be ok with allowing civilian purchase of this weapon without registration or background check. Prohibited possessor laws should still be in place, of course. I don’t find that permits and background checks are effective at preventing the wrong people from acquiring firearms. I’d just want those laws still in place so that we can take away someone’s trailer-mounted heavy machine gun if that person, subject to due process, is determined to be a unsuitable for firearms ownership.

    Likewise, all the same civil liability laws would still be in place. You own every round, after all. So unless you also own many wide open acres where no one will hear this thing or be hit by it, then it’s not going to happen. If you want to store this thing in your garage, I’m ok with that; but don’t think you’re going to fire it off in the cul-de-sac without losing it and your freedom.

    • Prohibited possessor laws should still be in place, of course.

      Not “of course”. Why should those laws still be in place? There were crazies in society even at the time the Constitution was being written. Yet, the Second Amendment doesn’t include your criteria. To fundamentally change the way that the 2A restrains government, there must be a constitutional amendment and not merely writing unconstitutional laws. Supporting those laws, you are telling government that it’s okay to violate the Constitution.

  54. There’s no logical, rational, or moral reason not to be able to own one.

    If someone were to ask, “Why?” One should ask them, “Why not?”

  55. I think I should be allowed to own such a gun, unless and until I prove through my actions that I would use it to illegally harm another person.
    Now, ill personally never be able to afford one even if I was allowed to own it.
    But some people have struck it rich enough to pay to feed the beast. Why should I, or anyone, infringe on their rights to personal property?
    Murder is still illegal, so is negelant property damage. So I have no problems with someone owning it. When they go out to shoot it, if they hurt me or damage my property, that’s when I’ll get mad. And most gun owners are responsible enough to go shooting where there are safety limits in place- I.e. marked ranges.

    No firearms of any type should be regulated, in my opinion.
    The only “gun control” I support is actions.
    That is, I support laws prohibiting discharge of firearms in certain areas without good cause ( such as legal self defense).
    We don’t want people shooting in library’s for example, unless the library has a range intended for shooting.
    Infact, I only support prohibitions on discharging firearms on some public property. If a person is on their own property and is able to ensure the projectiles remain on their property, I don’t care. Go to town shooting.
    And I believe it is in the public interest to ensure some public property is set aside for the express purpose of discharging firearms.

  56. Why not? Rich people already own the US military and use it to start wars for their interests, so why shouldn’t one individual that can afford it be allowed to buy any type of gun?

  57. Hoo boy. I’m actually surprised at the responses here. I was expecting a little more reason. No, no civilian should be able to purchase anti-aircraft guns. Or, for instance, Stingers. If these were available on the open market, it would be trivial for terrorists to attack civilian airliners and wreak havoc on a considerable scale. How is this even being seriously considered? I know some people here believe the second amendment applies to anything and that they should have access to whatever they need to stand up to potential government tyranny, but all else the same, if any weapons were available on the open market our country would look very different and not in a good way. If that is, indeed, ‘what the founders intended’ (funny how must people who throw that around aren’t historians or, say, constitutional scholars), then the 2nd amendment needs to amended. I believe anyone who isn’t a danger to others should have access to small arms for recreation or self defense. Widespread access to weapons of war poses far too great of risk to public safety.

    • If ‘terrorists’ thought these things were useful they already could buy them openly, or surreptitiously. A 30 second google search turned up a site selling twin 40mm Bofors anti aircraft guns for $10,000. They needed a lot of work but that’s hardly an impediment if your so determined to do something that you’re willing to die in the attempt.

      The fact is that few enough people can afford such weapons and even fewer want them. Restricting them frankly doesn’t prevent crime or terrorism since they are terribly ill suited to either purpose.

      What terrorists find useful are tankers of chemicals, airplanes and bombs but banning the first two means banning the economy and industry and the last isn’t ban able since even a very powerful one can be constructed from common materials using high school level chemistry.

      Terrorist are a straw man in this argument.

      • You’re truly deluded if you think that open-market availability of anti-aircraft weapons within the United States wouldn’t make us less safe.

        • Here’s a simple and direct question for you. Is it about safety or Liberty? If your answer is the former then there’s an appropriate quote for you regarding the trade of Liberty for safety.

        • @ Psuedo: See my response above to this matter, but the point I made that even in a warzone, which you can argue is an open market on weapons like that, terrorist and insurgent organizations still have to weigh costs in equipping, managing and training rockets, missiles and heavy calibur weaponry. The Taliban still has budget it needs to stick to, so more often than not it chooses low-tech means to get the job done, such as IEDs and small arms ambushes. Ask anyone in the intel community what is easier to find and track, a crate of WORKING, FUNCTIONAL stinger missiles or components to IED making material such as fertilizers, blasting caps and cell phones. The activity of using them is illegal in Afghan law btw.

    • The right to keep and bear arms is about the right to keep and possess weapons of war. Small arms are weapons of war. A specific type of weapon of war, but a weapon of war nonetheless. The question is where to draw the line regarding weapons of war. Generally, I draw the line in terms of if the weapon can be used to destroy things. If it can be used to kill people, then it’s fine to possess, but if you could say ring down an aircraft with it, then it’s in the realm of weapons of war that are not what we would consider arms in the classical sense.

  58. Hmmmm…..

    Individual right so anything it takes only 1 person to operate mechanically? No crew served weapons? What about computerization and electronics?

  59. We need to take the 2nd amendment not necessarily as any particular founding father understood it (Jefferson, e.g., was no libertarian despite the mythos around him…using bills of attainder during the Revolutionary war, and while president trying to get journalists charged with treason who wrote against him [albeit through state laws and courts]….yeah….he and Madison expressly denied that any rights applied to non-citizens are those who would not swear to their vision)

    Now anyways, if we use natural law as a guide and the “force of the words” I think we have more than one purpose behind the 2nd amendment

    1. Personal self-protection. A crew served weapon, let alone a nuke, could not be justified under that end, but arguably a PDW or carbine assault rifle could.

    2. Common defense against enemies foreign. Crew served weapons, and generally all conventional weapons would be justifiable under this, but insofar as it is “enemies foreign” under the direction of (to use Locke’s phrase) the “Supreme Government”

    3. Common defense of a state against grievous Federal aggression, and in general the defense of any smaller community against aggressive and unjust acts by either a larger entity or similar. Here, there is a real danger if the “Supreme Government” has a monopoly on control. While any and all claims to war cannot be made by individuals as such, they can be made by a group for the sake of the real common good of the community (by common good I don’t mean what liberals mean in hijacking that word, but the good that is secured through community and truly beneficial to each member as a member, like security from invasion). Hence it is necessary “for the security of a free state” to have subsidiary bodies of militia, not controlled by a central authority.

    One could argue that the 2nd amendment, under a “common right interpretation” (which, I hold, is true as well as an individual right being true, rather than in opposition) weakens the original Constitutional authority of the central authority, as the Constitution states that no State may keep any troops or ships of war in times of peace, without consent of Congress. If we look at historical arguments about that and the need for the 2nd amendment, contemporaries saw it as guaranteeing the ability of States to arm themselves, keep militias, originally undermined by the original Constitution. Hence California’s Naval Militia had ships of war (until impressed into Federal service during the World Wars)

    Under this aspect, which goes beyond merely personal protection, there is a right to arms properly fitted for military ends.

    However, certain weapons, certainly biological and I would argue chemical and nuclear are so heinous as to be wrong even in war. And even if one could construct a hypothetical just use (wiping out an invading fleet at sea?), such weapons would be unsuitable for defending one’s own turf.

    I think the 2nd amendment as written does guarantee arms suitable for a militia, to each individual. Hence, as written it encompasses AAA guns and stingers.

    Now I would hold that natural law does not go so far as that, since even if directed by a small community, militia activities are by nature not individual, and can only be just if for the common good and not private interest, and so it would be just that such armaments be restricted to public armories, etc. But in a less centralized fashion

  60. I draw the line at WMDs. AAA, heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, artillery and the like; all ok. True WMDs: Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons are another thing altogether. I would rather that states didn’t have them either and while it would in no way concern me that people in my community have artillery or long range explosive warhead missiles I don’t think I’d be comfortable with uninspected privately held stock piles of NBC items. There is no safe place to utilize such weapons, and the smallest of accidents in handling them could result in cataclysmic outcomes.

    While I’m opposed to virtually all regulation of small arms and most light weapons I think I would be comfortable with some sensible regulation of heavy weapons. Sensible in this case would be safety rules regarding where such could be utilized and perhaps some safe storage requirements for explosives, large stores of propellants and explosive/incendiary ammunition.

  61. Should you be able to buy a Russian ZU-23-2 AA gun or similar?

    Why not?

    I imagine it is going to cost a bit more than anything you would find at your LGS, which only means that I can’t afford it.

    And I also imagine ammunition is going to be on the expensive side as well.

    All in all I imagine owning and operating that thing in any manner is going to cost quite a bit of money. To which I say good on you. Can I come watch when you take it to the range?

  62. It’s funny when people lump the agency in as to what gear they have. Last I checked the CIA isn’t a law enforcement agency per se. And it used to be they could get in huge trouble for working here in the states seeing as they are a “intelligence” organization. Frankly I’d rather have an intel guy have some military experience over a degree any day of the werk

  63. The intent of the 2nd amendment is that we be able to defeat our government when/if they become oppressive, go out of control, begin to (as they have) pass laws which violate our rights. Therefore: If the military has it we should be able to buy, own, & use the same weapons. This would include automatic weapons, high capacity magazines, ANY firearm, weapon, explosive the military has & could use against us in a civil war should be available to our ownership & we should be allowed to carry said weapons ANYWHERE we go. No-one should have the right to ban those weapons from their place of business, office, government building, etc.

  64. Yes.
    I wouldn’t mind owning one in reality. I really want a solothurn or something similar. 20mm is just fun to shoot.
    Kinda spendy but so what.

    • I’ll second that emotion! I once was trained in the use of twin .50 machine guns, with the kicker that they were mounted in the nose of a T-33 jet aircraft. Toss in practice bombs and rockets with dummy warheads, and you have the most fun course of training the world has ever seen!

  65. Sure, with one general proviso: No chemical/biological or nuclear ordnance (and I’ll go so far as to include depleted uranium in that qualification as well). Smoke and tracer rounds are ok, but inciendiary weapons (white phosphorus shells, napalm and the like) are also a hell no. Stuff that’s going to fly well afield of international treaties and basic human decency shouldn’t be available to civilians. Or nations, for that matter. Explosive warheads would be ok, with the same permits that dynamite and such require.

    Obviously unless you have a lot of private land and/or a safe means of transport and/or have local permission to light one of these off, owning an artillery piece and actually using one are two different things. That’s not even considering the various financial barriers involved. So yeah, I’d be ok with private ownership of such a beast, given all the impracticalities very few are going to be in private hands.

  66. Sure, why not? As long as the owner is a grown-up, acts like it, and can afford it, why should I care? It would make a pretty awesome and very practical stump remover.

  67. A weapon like this is extremely expensive to obtain or operate which makes them unavailable to all but a small portion of the population even if there were no laws governing possession and use of such a weapon. Even to those who can afford to buy such a thing there are very people few who would be interested in buying one. If they were interested and able then they would almost certainly be a wealthy collector. Additionally, it is very difficult to hide and transport such a weapon because of its size. Irresponsible people don’t tend to have the ability to amass fortunes and there are heavy weapons in the hands of collectors out there, which you never hear about for that reason. I don’t see any good reason to restrict civilian ownership of something almost no one can obtain anyway. I would draw the line not at the type of heavy gun but rather at ammunition types. HE shells and rockets are questionable and anything that has a shaped charge in it would be a no-go. Chemical shells would not be okay. Obviously biological and nuclear weapons are out. Depleted uranium would be an environmental nightmare so that is out.

  68. In our modern times, to me the word arms should apply primarily to the basic tools of war that a person would possess for engaging in war with other individuals, and which would serve as their basic weapon if acting as part of a resistance to fight a tyrannical government or to fight an invading army. Such weapons have the ability to kill, but not to destroy.

    So for example, rifles, handguns, shotguns, but not grenades, rocket launchers, crew-served weapons, etc…weapons such as AR-15s should most definitely be thought of as weapons of war, but what people need to remember is that war isn’t just conflict against a tyrannical government or conflict between nation states. It is something individuals do to one another as well. If someone is trying to kill you or inflict serious bodily harm on you (or your family), that person has declared a state of war on you, and as such, you have a fundamental right to possess the basic tools of war to make war back on that person. These tools of war are also what would be your primary weapon for, as said, fighting as part of a resistance to a tyrannical government or fighting an invading force.

  69. 2nd amendment doesn’t say anything about ordinance or artillery. It does say arms, which are a type of ordinance. But a cannon is the artillery type of ordinance. I would like them to be available to militia units as the dick act describes, paid for and provided by the state in which the militia operates. As far a title 2 weapons, it is completely unconstitutional that the people don’t have non taxed/licensed (besides normal sales tax) access to them. You should be able to buy short barrel rifles/shotguns, suppressors and machine-guns the same way you buy any other firearm, with a simple instant background check and take possession of it instantly. My point is the line is drawn when it is no longer a personal weapon, when it is a destructive device and artillery. Heavy machine guns, grenades, cannons and bombs, leave that to the militia and the military. If the police department can have it, so should you. If the military has it, you local militia should as well.

  70. Yes, I should be able to buy that gun and yes I should be able to win the lottery which would then allow me to purchase said gun.

    If I had a huge piece of property that would allow me to take full advantage of the AA gun, sure, why not? What a hoot it would be to open up that baby from time to time, as finances would allow. Not sure how easily I could order the ammo for it online. doesn’t have a category for 23mm AA ammo, but … perhaps Walmart will get some in stock.

  71. A local antique shop around where I live has a punt gun ( which is basically a cannon. It’s intent was to be used for fowling- and it’s now illegal because we decided that’s overkill for hunting. Not because it was too much for private ownership.

    I view it largely as an academic matter. I can’t even afford a .50BMG, let alone something above 20mm. And I think most of you lot are right there with me. Besides, I’m much more likely to get killed with a handgun than a scary black rifle, let alone cannon.

    It is interesting for one point: it tears off the anti’s mask of “evidence based risk assessment”. No one can make a case for cannon killing thousands of Americans, it’s the idea of what citizens MIGHT do with it. And that puts the evidence unequivocally on our side and all their arguments firmly into the hypothetical.

  72. My idea is that everything that is not made as explicit antimaterial (that is, up to 50 cal or historical equivalents), that has to be towed or that fires exploding ammunition is good to go.

  73. It would be fun to see precisely how far Second Amendment supporters would be willing to go when it comes to private ownership of firearms.

    AA battery? OK, we have folks here saying, “Sure, why not?” (Me included on this one)

    M1 Abrams Tanks?

    Shoulder launched RPGs? Or other type of weapons?

    How about a F15 Eagle?

    How about a field howitzer?

    I think even the most fanatical Second Amendment supporter may finally draw the line somewhere?

    Portable nukes?

    • As long as the Constitution is binding upon government, there is no line. Government has no authority to restrict the individual’s right to keep and bear arms. It requires a constitutional amendment to make any line even remotely legitimate.

    • “M1 Abrams Tanks?” There are already tanks available for civilian ownership, albeit mostly WWII surplus and with deactivated cannon. If/when M1’s become surplus it should be the same deal.

      “Shoulder launched RPGs?” Civilians should be able to own RPG’s, recoilless rifles, grenade launchers etc. with inert warheads/smoke rounds etc. The hot stuff should be saved for local or state militias.

      “How about a F15 Eagle?” I remember reading that some millionaire owned a surplus FAA Harrier, disarmed of course, and a number of de-gunned Sabres, MiG-15/17’s, Hawker Hunters, Gloster Meteors and even an English Electric Lightning were also in private hands. So why not?

      “How about a field howitzer?” Already possible. Look at Knob Creek and Big Sandy Range events. A not-insubstantial number of WWII and pre-WWII artillery pieces, including a 90mm T8 that has made the rounds, all being live-fired. Again, HE, flechette and other nasty stuff could be held by local and state militias.

      “Portable nukes?” Even if you could afford it, Interpol and NATO would probably be very interested in making you dead for having it. So good luck on that one. Once you get to the realm of mass atrocity and mutually assured destruction it’s pretty tough to make the case that you’re defending yourself from the actions of a tyrannical government.

  74. Sure, why couldn’t I own one. I have never committed a crime. And at 60 years old I don’t plan on it now. In fact every non felon home should have one. Or two.

  75. First if all, yes I believe that we should be able to own the pictured ordinance. Second, I’ve always laughed at the “nuclear weapons” argument, because it implies that any government has the capability to stop someone from making one if they have the time, money, and knowledge necessary to build it.

    • The government can stop someone, because they monitor very closely the sales of the materials needed to construct a nuclear bomb.

  76. I find it amazing that there are some on here who go nuts at the “Militarization” of police yet they think anyone else should be able to buy a belt fed machine gun at Kmart.
    You can’t have it both ways.

    • Why not? Our taxes pay for police, if we think select-fire rifles and the latest in mall ninja gear is too expensive or surplus to the needs of average beat cops when PD’s twenty years ago generally got along fine with uniform blues, shotguns and revolvers then why shouldn’t we have some degree of say in that? If cops want better gear, let them pay out of pocket.

    • You can’t have it both ways.

      Oh yes we can. Individuals have rights (and can have privileges) whereas governments, and agents of government, only have privileges. The government is prohibited from infringing upon the individual right to keep and bear arms. The People can limit the privilege of government at the People’s discretion. I’m surprised that you don’t see this as I’ve read some of your other writings. Does government (and agents* thereof) have privileges, rights, or both in your understanding?

      (* As individuals, they have rights. However, when acting under the authority of government, they are acting on privilege.)

  77. Yes, but this is the one place that I would want some sort of regulation. I believe that there should be no regulation on ALL small arms be it select fire, SBR, or suppressors. But when it comes to a crew serviced weapon I think that there should be some sort of background check. Ideally what is currently used for the purchase of a handgun. And other than that hell yes I should be able to purchase it if I can afford to own it.

  78. Why do you hate capitalism? This should be legal and unrestricted. The only restrictions should be your budget and the real estate to store, lug this around, train with it, and of course, the costs of ammunition.

    If you can afford all of it, chances are you already can buy one of these in this time and day.


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