Virginia Gun Store (“The Gun Dude”) Publishes Pro-Gun Control Article


TTAG reader NW was looking forward to doing a gun transfer via a Falls Church, Virginia FLL called “The Gun Dude.” “It’s a local shop with a great atmosphere and some of the friendliest salespeople around,” he writes. And then NW happened upon a blog post on the store’s website called Guns Don’t Kill People; People Who Shouldn’t Own Guns Kill People. Written by an Army vet, lawyer and self-professed “proud American” named Matt Randle. Mr. Randle’s rant goes a little something like this . . .

While I was in the Army I had weeks of training, physical and mental health screening and background checks before I ever was allowed to fire my weapon. Then it was under intense safety and supervision and happened semi-annually to ensure I could still safely operate my weapon.

Police officers under go full background checks, mental and physical health evals, and weeks of training before they can fire their weapons. Then it is under intense safety and supervision and they are required to re-qualify at least annually to demonstrate they can still safely operate their weapons.

To adopt a dog from the pound I was required to list 3 references, have the dog licensed, vaccinated, and fixed.

To drive a car I must have insurance, and be licensed.

To obtain a license I was first required to take an eye exam, a written exam on safety and the laws of driving, and a practical driving exam. Subsequently my license is periodically required to be renewed, and, if I demonstrate poor habits my license can be suspended and even permanently revoked.

To fish I must apply for licensure and provide my basic information. Same for hunting.

To practice law I had to go to school for 3 years (to the tune of $200k), take an exam in ethics, complete a background check that was more invasive than the one I needed to acquire a security clearance in the army, take the Bar Exam, the toughest test I’ve ever taken, which lasted two days, and am still required every year to take at least 20+ hours of continuing education.

Yet to buy and own a gun in Arizona from a private party I need not prove a thing.

To buy a gun from a “dealer” I fill out a two page application and am subjected to the lowest level background check possible.

Bottom line: “The 2nd Amendment is not infringed by requiring sensible training, background screening and licensure.” This from a lawyer? What part of “shall not be infringed” doesn’t he understand? By the same token, what gun dealer – in Virginia no less – would risk alienating his clientele by publishing a pro-gun control article?

On the other hand, why not? I’d have published it here, so that TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia could read Randall the riot act. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what I’ve just done. As for NW, he’s done with The Dude. Would you buy from this dealer based on his decision to publish this screed?


  1. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Thank you for the warning on which gun store to avoid in Falls Church, VA. I live in Georgia, but if I’m ever in VA I’ll avoid the place.

    1. avatar DisThunder says:

      But you can bet he’s soon to be offering rock-bottom pricing on the proper training and qualifications that would put you on par with his rigorous Army training, and probably offer payment installment options!

      Average Army shooter: Better than most cops, but only because the A-10 is going to retire someday, and SOMEBODY has to shoot the bastards.

    2. avatar JimmyDelta says:

      Yup. I’m in Alexandria and will make a point of stopping by to invite Mr. Randall to FOAD.

      He takes the same tack as all of the other “but, *I* am different” Betas trying to get some MMDA or CSGV tail.

    3. avatar Dondgeon says:

      FWIW, this guy’s location is inside the DC beltway. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not REALLY Virginia. Never know what kind of kooks you’ll find there.

      1. avatar Ken says:

        The owners are almost guaranteed to not be Virginia natives. The vast majority are carpetbaggers or foreign born. When I worked in Falls Church (7 Corners area), it was rare to find a native Virginian living there. I felt like an outsider in my own state.

  2. avatar gbo says:

    Wonder what kind of background info the author has to provide when buying a toaster, shovel, power drill, or lawnmower…

    1. avatar david says:

      And you left out hand weights the little dumbbells Baseball bats Golf clubs Which are all used To murder people On a regular basis in a much higher percentage than firearm related homicides You can look right on the CDC and watch their bar graph tell you the whole nine yardsBlunt force trauma is the number one Way to commit homicide in the United States according to the CDC reports. And let’s not forget about automobiles, canoes Boats Heck even surfboards there’s a lot of drownings in the state of Florida Oh yeah you might as well register people so that they can make sure they know how to swim before they are allowed to get in a pool Come on really this is getting ridiculous this country needs an enema of its Current Occupation I’m sorry Administration. Lately I get those two confusedLmao

      1. avatar bobmcd says:

        Not so. Blunt force homicide is more common than homicide with long guns; it is NOT more common than homicide with handguns.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          It occurs to me that these observations might lend themselves to a gun-rights strategy – somehow.

          We know our brothers in the knife-rights movement are making their case in the judicial system. Granted, we PotG are not especially interested in knife-rights. Nevertheless, we do see the 2A arguments there.

          Suppose we PotG begin to think about the RKBA broadly, inclusive of lots of non-gun arms. Whatever we might be able to accomplish – perhaps more easily – as concerns non-gun arms will tend to support the RKBA as it applies to guns.

          We are aware that lots of folks – criminal and law-abiding alike – are persecuted on knife charges. There is a general – and Federal – set of arguments that ONE skilled lawyer could assemble for defending these charges. There is a small number of State-specific arguments that several skilled lawyers from each of several States (NY, MD, etc.) could assemble. Creating these arguments is a one-shot cost we might support and then make available to criminal defense attorneys for free. What would the predictable consequences be?

          Defense attorneys would bargain more aggressively threatening to go-to-trial with our package of 2A arguments. The “price” of plea-bargains might drop to the point where knife charges are not worth arresting or charging. We would get knife-nullification. Alternatively, DAs would spend time in court and often lose in jury nullification. Neither outcome is desirable to the governments of these States; not the executive nor the judicial nor the legislative branches. What are they going to do? Expend the resources of their municipalities and States in a public argument over the RKBA as it applies to knives? Or, begin to see things more-so from our viewpoint.

          There was a recent case in MA where a woman was convicted for bearing a stun-gun. The court ruled that a stun-gun was not a 2A “arm” with protection There are still some pepper-spray laws on the books of some States and municipalities and – presumably more laws on stun-guns. As with knives, one general line of arguments could be made for these less-than-lethal weapons and several State-specific arguments as well. All for a fixed cost. To whatever extent States/municipalities are enforcing weapons laws against less-than-lethal weapons we could again tie-up DA resources prosecuting such cases.

          Admittedly, there aren’t many less-than-lethal weapons prosecutions. Nevertheless, we may be able to get into the courts without a prosecution. Or, we may be able to find someone willing to suffer the consequences of a test case on such a less-than-lethal weapon. The publicity is apt to be much more valuable here than the outcome of litigation. Women who do NOT carry pepper-spray or a stun-gun are apt to begin to question the constitutionality of such less-than-lethal weapons without having to confront their personal sentiments about guns.

          A third tack is to pursue blunt-force weapons arguments. By way of illustration, I’ll use the infamous “slung shot”. This “weapon” is either a “black jack” on a stick; or, it’s a heavy weight tied to a line used as an aid to “throwing a line” e.g., to a boater whose engine has failed.

          Some States/municipalities prohibit such blunt-force weapons; whether it’s a slung-shot or a club or brass-knuckles, etc. is merely a detail. Here, there is a two-pronged attack.

          Where a State has NO such prohibition we PROMOTE the use of such LAWful weapons. E.g., we advise vulnerable people (e.g., young women) that they can’t carry a gun in NYC but they are permitted to carry a slung shot (or whatever). Granted, the gun would be better, but at least the slung shot is legal. Such a line of reasoning ought to get the audience thinking about about the rationale for permitting one type of weapon (inferior) while prohibiting another kind of weapon (more effective). Once such a thought process begins, who knows where it will go! Just planting the seed of skepticism and allowing it to germinate ought to be useful.

          Where a State prohibits such blunt-object weapons we are in the same posture as with respect to knives and less-than-leathal prohibited weapons. Arguments for defense lawyers; consequences of having to prosecute in the face of such arguments.

          My line of thinking here does NOT promise instant-gratification. It’s a long slow grind to begin to shift:
          – public opinion on the possibility of bearing-arms (ANY KIND of arms) for self-defense; and,
          – legislators’ opinions on the possibility of relaxing the obstacles to concealed-carry (Won’t-Issue).

          Pick a few target “markets”, say: NYC; Baltimore; and, DC.

          NYC is a special case of NY State. Up-State, it’s feasible for an Empire-State’r to get a CCP; impossible in NYC. There is a fissure that could be widened by a concerted effort. NYC isn’t going Shall-Issue without SCOTUS. However, we might be able to build pressure for NYC to relax its May-Issue policies. E.g., imagine Harlem youths starting to carry slung shots for self-defense (imagining this or some other blunt object were legal in NYC). An effort – such as I’m describing – could send the NYC council on a never-ending chase to out-law baseball bats, cricket bats, etc. Or, making peace with us PotG by making May-Issue CWPs available.

          Baltimore is special in that there was an issue as to whether Freddie Grey’s knife was legal/illegal. Likely, the citizenry of Baltimore is pissed-off enough to look for any issue – one reminiscent of the Freddie Grey case serving this purpose nicely – to do battle with their governing class.

          DC is special in that it gets directly to Federal Constitutional rights; represents a stage on which to get attention from Congress; and, is an extremely dangerous city. The interplay between an angry citizenry and the current litigation to remove “need” as a prerequisite is apt to play in our favor.

          What do you guys think?

    2. avatar Chip in Florida says:

      Wonder what kind of background info the author has to provide when posting stuff to the internet? No one needs a full-sized keyboard and certainly no one needs more than 14.4kb modem.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        And don’t forget the semi-annual recertification for voting. Eye and literacy exams, too.

    3. avatar TX Gungal says:

      Doubt it! Went to his web site, has extensive on-line store store for just about any type of gun you could think of buying at your average gun store.
      I think his rant on the lack of “oversight” of better vetting for gun purchases is a way to set himself apart from the competition. Democrats are hippocrates, so would not be a stretch for him to gin up business by catering to like minded libs. Or noticed his prices are under the competition so goal could be to undercut competition then close up shop.
      All speculation on my part but he does strike me as someone I would not do business with, Just comes across as flaky.

      1. avatar JimmyDelta says:

        ^^^ Exactly. We all know Leftists still buy guns and he’s after that business. I wonder what kind of additional checks they’ll volunteer for “for the children”.

    4. avatar Alan Rose says:

      The pen being mightier than the sword, I wonder what type of background checks and training he would apply to fencing and writing?

  3. avatar Grindstone says:

    Yet to buy and own a gun in Arizona from a private party I need not prove a thing.

    Don’t like it? Stay the f*ck out of AZ then. I plan to retire there and I don’t want aholes like you messing it up before then.

    1. avatar david says:

      Amen brother! I back your theory 110Percent on this.We have the same private cell laws here in Florida.

    2. avatar dh34 says:

      Yup. I saw a great bumper sticker this weekend: Don’t California my Texas

      1. avatar david says:

        Awesome bumper sticker I saw one here in Florida not too long ago that said don’t New York my Florida. Lmao

      2. avatar Avid Reader says:

        We used to see a lot of “Don’t Californicate Colorado” bumper stickers.

        It happened anyway, dammit.

    3. avatar Jethro Bean says:

      Ive lived in AZ over 20 yrs and we wont let jackwads like this ill informed Virginian screw it up prior to you making it to my great Sonoran… And WHY did he, the all knowing gun control lawyer, if VA based biz cite my state? Reach much?

  4. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    I didn’t even no he existed and apparently I lived five minutes from his place of business.

    Think about a small FFL stands to gain a lot of business from mandatory background checks on private sales.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Nailed it. Background checks = easy money for ffls, which is precisely the reason mandatory background checks are an issue.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Well then, allow me to counter the agenda-driven suggestion from the OP:

        I, as a FFL, do NOT want to have to be forced (or even asked) to supply background check services (even for a fee). I’ve got other things I need to be doing to/for/with guns other than running NICS checks.

        Further, as my bound book fills up, I can just imagine the increase in spot-checks by the ATF, trying to trip me up or find (or invent) some reason to get me into a position of surrendering my FFL, for no more reason than to get me to turn in the bound books. When a FFL gives up their license, their bound books go to the ATF – who then uses that data as a de facto registration of everyone’s guns entered into the book. The more political reward for getting that information, the more pressure the ATF will put on FFL holders to get it.

      2. avatar CBI says:

        Agree with Dyspeptic Gunsmith. I also have an FFL, and would gladly give up the income from transfers in order to have the whole “required background checks” stuff go away. I suspect that our take on “required background checks” is fairly common among FFLs. Not universal, of course (what is?), but common.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Illinois mandatory waiting periods, which require customers to make a second trip to the gun store, serve a similar purpose of strengthening their bottom line.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Oh, I would hate that. Every time I go into an LGS, another gun wants to follow me home. It could be an endless cycle, having to return every 3 days and buy another gun.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          That seems equal parts terrifying and awesome.

        2. avatar Other Tony says:

          Maryland only allows purchase of one handgun per month, if I remember correctly. I do know that I saw this sign at a MD gun shop: “Buy a gun a month — it’s the law”

    3. avatar NOVA_Bullitt says:

      Given the opposition that NOVA Firearms got from a small but vocal (and media-supported) subset of the community (both when they were in what is now his location and when they, after a change in management, tried to open a branch in Arlington), I wouldn’t be surprised if he felt he had to take that angle in order to stay on his neighbors’ good side. Both geographically and demographically, his shop’s neighborhood isn’t far at all from NOVA Firearms’ planned second location, and the local agitators went so far as to harass businesses that just happened to be nearby.

      He says in a different blog entry on his site that he doesn’t know much about guns, for a dealer. So, it’s possible he’s still learning about the principles as well as the hardware.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        I have a feeling that, if he keeps making anti-2A blog posts, he’ll have plenty of free time to learn all about the principles and hardware when he puts himself out of business.

        1. avatar NOVA_Bullitt says:

          That wouldn’t surprise me. If he’s doing $20 transfers, he’ll still get my business next time I buy from out of state. Of course, if he does a blog about how “you can buy a gun over the internet without a background check”, I’ll be asking for my $20 back, since apparently he’s not going to do the background check…

  5. avatar david says:

    Yeah I see what you’re talking about it starts off rather mild and then goes to a full on anti gun Pro registration Nonsense garbly goop. I would never go in that store again and I would inform as many people as possible About his post and let them read it and decide for themselves whether they want to revisit that shop He sounds like one of those and ties that slipped in behind the wheel When we weren’t looking. Because you know registering all your Firearms that really helps prevent crime Ridiculous and then you got to be physically fit well that just eliminated about 80% of America What an a******!Ass Whole

  6. avatar Publius says:

    Written by an Army vet

    Well that explains his seething hatred for freedom. He underwent intense brainwashing in basic training to ensure his primary goal at all times is to increase government power.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Please detail this brainwashing, I’d love to know more about it.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Uh, whut?

      Most vets (especially combat vets) I’ve met throughout my entire life have a better appreciation for, and better understanding of, the US Constitution and history of same than the general population – and to not put too fine a point on it, I’d say that I’d rather have a judge and jury of veterans in any courtroom where I’m on trial than a judge from Harvard Law School and a bunch of bar examiners for my jury.

  7. avatar notguiltfree says:

    Pretty much this tells you how intrusive the government has gotten over the years in all aspects of our lives.

  8. avatar Kenshinwulf says:

    Falls Church V.A. is a highly liberal area with tons of D.C. and Maryland commuters/transplants. Its a huge part of “NoVA” (and much of why VA went semi-blue). I’m actually surprised the area HAS a gun shop. Checking them out, I saw this Yelp review: “The new shop in Falls Church is really picturesque, designed like an Apple Store….” which says quite a bit about his clientele…

    1. avatar PeterW says:

      Yep. I’m from Falls Church. Lived there until the late 80s when I went to the left side of the country. It’s a very small town, but even when I did live there, they were the only police force in the country driving VOLVOs as cruisers. Seriously.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    “While I was in the Army I had weeks of training, physical and mental health screening and background checks before I ever was allowed to fire my weapon.”

    To get in to the Air Force, I had to fog a mirror. It was a struggle, but I made it. When I was in the Air Force, I had a couple of hours of dry fire and qualified the next day. Instant expert!

    “Police officers under go full background checks, mental and physical health evals, and weeks of training before they can fire their weapons.”

    And look what that got us.

    I would say to Matt Randle, as one lawyer to another, “Triple your malpractice coverage. You’re gonna need it.”

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Yea, that’s about what I was thinking.

      I have a far better grasp of the law and I’ve never paid one thin dime to study what I know about the law. I think this dude should ask for a refund of his tuition as well as vastly increasing his malpractice insurance.

    2. avatar Omer Baker says:

      Ralph made me laugh. Teehee.

    3. avatar Pete says:

      fog a mirror *snrk*

    4. avatar JSJ says:

      “Police officers under go full background checks, mental and physical health evals, and weeks of training before they can fire their weapons.””

      Heh. Other times we just shook the Sheriff’s hand and got hired.
      Background checks and mental exams? Nah. None of that stuff. Did spend 6 weeks in class covering law and procedure though. “weeks of training”? Sure. 1/2 day on the range and a full day trying to wreck cars at the airport. OJT at it’s best.

  10. avatar jwtaylor says:

    There was so much total bullsh!t in his first paragraph that I had to skip to the end. I would not do business with anyone willing to lie like that.

  11. avatar DaveL says:

    The training argument falls apart the moment you realize that unintentional acts account for a negligible fraction of firearm injuries. Virtually all damage done using firearms is the result of somebody doing exactly what they intended with a firearm.

    As for screening, we already have background checks, criminals simply use illegal channels.

    Licensing, of course, is really just the government’s certification that an individual meets the criteria set forth under the former two headings. If those are moot, so too is the idea of licensing.

  12. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Started out I thought he was about to get in the firearms training business, like a lot of shops are doing and this was his way of getting newbies to sign up for training, but then I read on and I wonder why he is even in the gun business if that is what he thinks is the right thing to do.

  13. avatar MarkPA says:

    Oh my! For a law school graduate he exhibits a profound lack of understanding of our society’s political principles. Has he noticed that there is no test for voting, procreating, having custody of minor or adult dependents? The liberties enjoyed by members of our society are far too numerous to list.

    The problem of enumerating liberties was a matter of contentious debate between the Federalists vs. the Anti-Federalists in the Constitutional era. Ultimately, there was a compromise – or – more of a concession. The Federalists could have a Federal Republic; the Anti-Federalists would have a handful of rights explicitly acknowledged at the level of Constitutional guarantees. Among them, the RKBA.

    The 2A was no whim or accident. The Revolutionary war was ignited by the British King’s attempt to impose gun control on the colonists. If anything was to be guaranteed it was that the sovereignty would remain in fundamental control over the means to political power. As Chairman Mao explained so clearly, that power emirates from the muzzle of a gun.

    What does this gun-controller call for? Is it training to the discipline of arms? Oh, very well. That’s fine! The founders provided for that long before anyone thought it worthwhile to explicitly enumerating the RKBA. Article I Section 8 provides clearly that Congress shall have the power: “To provide for . . . disciplining, the Militia, . . . , reserving to the States respectively, . . . the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

    That Congress has neglected to so provide – and that the States have neglected to train – the militia is a matter to be taken up with his Congress-critters. Should Congress see fit to proscribe, e.g., Eddie-Eagle for elementary school children, the 4 rules for middle-school students, and marksmanship or carry protocols for high school students, I’d expect relatively little grumbling from the PotG. Once the entire militia is trained-to-arms as formally prescribed by the Constitution there would remain little-or-no issue with respect to individuals to elect to keep and bear them.

    Inasmuch as about 45% of American households keep arms it seems reasonable to approach universal training-to-arms; at least to the level of gun safety. I vaguely recall from the news some general concern for gun safety; something about the children and accidents. If there is any basis in fact to such concern then by all means, let’s apply the Constitutional remedy.

    Surely, the experiences of genocide in throughout the 20th century, and the affairs of the day in Africa and the Middle-East are clear indication of the importance of training the militia to arms.

  14. avatar Ken says:

    PLEASE don’t associate the DC suburbs with the rest of Virginia. Northern Virginia (Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, Herndon, Vienna, Great Falls, etc) has nothing in common with the rest of the state. It is a very liberal area filled with people from the northeast, out west and from many foreign countries. Before I returned to the mountains, I spent a lifetime of 6 years there. Like New York City and Chicago, Northern Virginia politics has ruined state government and made life miserable for the rest of us.

  15. avatar actionphysicalman says:

    He was in a different Army than I was. I was 11A and firearms training was pretty minimal IMO. They also didn’t interview anyone for my background check. There was a complete mental case that slipped into my IOBC class. There were about six law enforcement agencies involved when they finally noticed his behavior and looked into his background.

  16. avatar Pogo says:

    He’s a FFL holder, get rid of private sales and he makes more money.

    Just food for thought.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Exactly. I’ve met FFL’s who think like this.

  17. avatar NineShooter says:

    The vast majority of his “examples” falsely equate the screening and training needed to perform specific JOBS/CAREERS with the requirements for a simple purchase of a piece of equipment.

    I’ll just ignore the comparison of making sure he is an appropriate guardian for a living animal; that’s just too far off base to even require a response. And in most states, I think you can still accept a gift of a dog or cat from a neighbor or relative without any approval at all.

    As for the other comparisons, it would be far more apple-to-apple to say you don’t need any training/licensing/.GOV-approval to buy an Army uniform, buy a police uniform (or rent one at the costume store), buy a car you do not intend to drive on public streets, buy fishing or hunting gear, or represent yourself in a court of law.

  18. avatar Bud Harton says:

    I don’t need a background check or license to vote. I don’t need any special training to worship the Supreme Being of my choice. Just being born here qualifies me for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and I don’t need to any special permission to voice out loud and in print that this guy is a freakin’ idiot.
    All similar Constitutional guarantees like the Second Amendment

  19. avatar SelousX says:

    Would I use that FFL? F–k no!

    I have no idea what this bloviating @$$hat did in the Army, but unless it called for handling classified material or ‘priority resources’ he probably had an ENTNAC, or Entry National Agency Check, AKA “the lowest level background check possible”
    This is, IIRC, roughly equivalent to filling out a 4473, AKA “the lowest level background check possible”, which begs the question as to why he’s crapping all over it.

  20. avatar dh34 says:

    “Be part of the Gun Dude Family”

    I’d rather be raised by foster parents, thanks.

  21. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    That guy should get a full refund of his law school tuition because that school taught him wrong.

  22. avatar anthony says:

    i used to be in the “everyone should just be able to buy a gun” camp. i was 100% opposed to any restriction on person’s right to purchase a weapon. This change two months ago. I was at a gun store and the guy next to me came up and asked if he could hold a Glock. The guy behind the counter lock the slide black and handed it to him. The first thing out of his mouth was ”hey this gun is broken.” so i reached over and showed him the slide release. He then asked me about guns and we started talking, and it turns out he had not so much as held a gun in his life. He was holding in his hand and talking with his hands and waving the gun all over the store. i had to ask him 3 times to stop pointing it at me. so my viewpoint has drastically changed. the idea that he could have purchased at 40 caliber Glock loaded it put a round in the chamber stuck it Mexican style in his pants went home pulled it out and shot his daughter in the face on accident terrified me
    i am still 100% anti registry. i am still 100% pro gun. Cold dead fingers. but i think you should have a take a test and get a permit before you can own any firearms . that guy forced me to the realization that unlike most of us here at TTAG, most people have had zero training in how to handle a firearm. This is the test I think you should have to take to be able to have a gun: you have to take the gun out of the box, load the magazine, put a round in the chamber put the gun in a holster put the holster in your pants. Then you have to make a fruit salad, while watching your favorite 30 minutes sitcom, after which you must break the gun down clean it put it back together, and then go outside and demonstrate that you can at least hit a target from 25 feet away. What is actually being tested for is to see if you break any of the four rules of gun safety. break any of them even once, and you can retake the test again in 6 months
    We People of the Gun forget that most people only know guns from what they see on tv.
    until you can show that you understand how incredibly dangerous guns are, and the four simple things you can do to make sure you never negligently shoot someone, you should not be allowed to own a gun.

    1. avatar Omer Baker says:

      That same guy probably drove to the gun store. He could kill way more people with that car. Someone needs to teach him to respect the gun, just like you need to respect the vehicle. But to say one must be tested to exercise a right, I cannot agree with you on that.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      So people with arthritis, or have some disability that would not give them the strength or dexterity to disassemble a gun can’t own a gun.
      Since many, if not most, guns require tools to disassemble, then people have to be forced to buy those tools.
      Almost NO ONE would be allowed to own a Winchester Model 94. Try taking it apart and putting it back together, I’m betting you have no idea how.
      There is no reason you have to know how an object is built or functions in order to use that object. Did you have to take a blacksmith’s class to swing a hammer? Or learn how to use a sharpening steel to cut your steak? Change oil to drive a car?
      Think through this again, because you clearly didn’t the last time.

    3. avatar NineShooter says:

      I hear you anthony, I’ve experienced very similar things while working in gun shops. However…

      As long as the anti-gun forces exist, they will (eventually) try to use any such mandatory training system as a tool (or bludgeon) against legal gun owners. It’s a sad state of affairs that we can’t require simple safety training without the danger of it becoming a back-door licensing system (Oh, so sorry, you didn’t pass the test, better luck next time, but there won’t be a next time, too bad…).

      It’s too bad that the anti-gun people have proven that they can’t be trusted, because this is the outcome of that attitude; smart gun owners just don’t (can’t, really) support mandatory training before purchase, because we know how it will be (mis)used, eventually.

    4. avatar MarkPA says:

      I have some empathy for your reaction to your experience. IF we lived in a society where the Constitution were respected and our State legislators behaved reasonably, then I too would advocate some sort of test analogous to a driver’s license.
      But, reality is that we don’t live in any such society any more. The danger of empowering government to ration the 2A’s rights between the haves and the have-NOTs is too great to tolerate. We PotG didn’t bring our society to this state; the Antis and other Progressives did.

      Gun safety is not rocket science. As a child of 7 or 8, I figured most of it out on my own. Sitting calmly on a stool in my father’s store I fiddled to my heart’s content with the shotguns. It was immediately clear to me that the muzzle was the place where just one hell-of-a-blast would emerge; enough to blow a 1″ hole in anything or anyone in front of it. Cocking the hammer set things up for the bang. Pulling the trigger would make it happen.

      Most people – not all I’ll readily grant you – but most will seek out a little bit of training. For the rest, it’s up to us to extend a hand, put our arm around the new-bee’s shoulder, and say “let me show you a couple of things”.

      Most of the problem you speak of arises out of a lack of universal knowledge about guns. We might have the same problems with, say cars, were it not for the fact that just about everyone in our society has to know how to drive a car.

      My response to the problem you point out – and which I acknowledge – is universal gun safety education. I’d start with Congress exercising it’s Constitutional power to “prescribe” the “discipline” for the militia and the States’ responsibility to train the militia. Eddie Eagle for elementary children. 4-rules for middle school. Marksmanship or carry protocol for high school.

      Something like 45% of American households have guns. Children from non-gun-keeping households visit their friends in gun households; thus, probably double this number (90%) of kids have some meaningful probability of encountering a gun. If we want gun safety in our society then universal education for the militia is clearly the vehicle to compel this result.

      Or, maybe our society doesn’t regard gun safety as a priority. The Antis certainly don’t want anyone to know anything about guns unless and until they are government employees. The Antis aren’t interested in gun safety in the way we PotG are interested; nor are they interested in the way parents of minor children are interested. And so, therefore, they would oppose universal training to arms even to the very limited extent of gun safety.

      Well, then, what shall we have? Universal gun safety training? We PotG take care to train one another, relying on our innate good judgement to seek-out knowledge and develop skill? Or, government imposed training, testing and licensing for those fewer and fewer of us who continue to insist on exercising our rights.

      I think I can identify the most dangerous choice among these three. I wish it were not so; but, I didn’t make the society the way I find it. I’m just trying to make the best of what I’ve found and I want to avoid the choice with the most obvious inherent danger.

    5. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Freedom is messy, and fraught with risk. I choose to assume that risk in order to live free, and I refuse to accept prior restraint upon my liberties due to the uncontrollable irresponsibility of others.

      1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

        This +1000. Freedom is worth the risks it takes to maintain it. Once a freedom is gone, just assume it’s gone forever because the state will have little interest in giving it back. Although it was a patently absurd law, it still took almost 2 decades to get rid of the 55mph national speed limit. I always think about that whenever somebody’s gun-control epiphany is presented as a “sensible” thing to do. Sensible for them, maybe, but not for the rest of us.

        How many of us have given naive first-timers their first instruction in how not to shoot themselves or other people? Doubtless, the counter guy at the gun store would have done just that. Also, that first-time customer would probably go away only to return several times with questions about what to buy. And each time he’d leave with a little more essential knowledge about guns. Buying a gun is usually a process of interactions which culminate in an actual purchase.

    6. avatar Xanthro says:

      Did he buy the firearm?
      Plenty of people go into a gun store, to simply hold a firearm, but plenty of these people don’t actually make a purchase until they’ve sought out more training.
      Would you ever even consider buying a car if you’ve never sat in one? No, you wouldn’t.
      That how many first time gun buyers are. They’ve literally never held a firearm. They naturally want to hold something before they invest in the research required for training.
      California has all the requirements you requested. You have to show you can load and unload any handgun before you can take possession. You have to pass a written test.
      Yet, California’s firearm accident rate and homicide rate is higher than other large States such as Texas.
      History has shown that granting the government the power to test people before exercising a right, means the test will be used to curtail that right.
      Literacy tests for voting were used to deny Black people the ability to vote for example.

    7. avatar Five says:

      I’ve seen people do stupid stuff with guns, but I’ve come much closer to being killed by people doing stupid stuff with cars, and every single one of those drivers was likely licensed, insured and had received the government mandated training and passed the government mandated tests.

    8. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I’ve been a shooter for 57 years now, and you think you have the right to give me some half-assed test? Who the flake do you think you are? Anybody with any sense who has never handled a firearm will seek training without your controlling inputs, before he thinks about loading one. And I taught myself, with no other input for about 10 years, you don’t need to pretend magic is involved, or huge amounts of money must be spent on “experts”. Antis would love the idea that they could increase the training requirements by another year every now and then.

  23. All the above. I don’t recall legal owners causing problems, so WTF? Anyway lawyers get a lot of training but they’re still A-holes. Mostly.

  24. avatar Shire-man says:

    I foresee a Fudd about to lose a bunch of business.

  25. avatar 505markf says:

    I prefer to gun owners are trained, safe, knowledgeable, experienced, and not bat-shit crazy. My problem exists when the government defines what each of these terms means, through force of law. Because laws can and do change. Want to legally enable the confiscation of most firearms in this country? Hell, that’s easy. Make speeding in your car a felony. Likey? No. Possible? Yes.

    Make it the law that people have to pass a mental health exam. Either it will be stupid – and yet another drain on limited resources – or something useful, say screening out the bat-shit crazy. How about next year they add to that anyone who is highly depressed? Evidence should only be taking an anti-depressant. I take one of the most common anti-depressants out there but for a completely different reason. Guess what – cymbalta works wonders for people with chronic, severe arthritis. Evidence of depression? Nope. Five years later, the law could include anyone taking an anti-anxiety drug, and so on. It will never stop.

    The central truth of any government bureaucracy is that it NEVER gets smaller voluntarily. It just grows and grows and grows, constantly finding new things to justify that growth.

    Hell, I don’t even support a felony invalidating gun ownership anymore. There’s too damn many felonies out there, and we are all likely guilty of one or more of them regularly. It isn’t used against us yet, but it can be in the future. And that’s why the “shall not be infringed” is so damn important to fight about – it is possible in any quasi-legal way, government – any government – will take what it can and control the rest.

    And no, I would not shop at that store. I’d just buy my guns off the internet where no background checks are needed. Or so I’ve heard.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Even for full-auto, right?!

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      “Make it the law that people have to pass a mental health exam. Either it will be stupid – and yet another drain on limited resources – or something useful, say screening out the bat-shit crazy.”

      You are quite right. I’ve taken a course titled “Guns and Psychology” at Gun-for-Hire in NJ. (They have quite a comprehensive curriculum). The instructor is a forensic psychologist; a small part of his practice is evaluating gun-owners who – as a consequence of some incident – have lost their NJ FOID cards.

      He charges about $2,000 for about a full day’s work to do a proper analysis of a client. He is STRONGLY OPPOSED to any routine mental evaluation for gun possession. Here are the possibilities he sees:
      – 15 minute office visit and a meaningless letter;
      – few, if any, practitioners will be willing to assume the enormous liability if a client commits a crime;
      – a handful of specialist forensic psychologists doing a thorough analysis for a high price
      He regarded none of these – especially the 3rd – as desirable in any way.

      Any journey down the mental-illness road is perilous. Especially so if government has a hand in the process. Wringing government out of the process of disabling a Constitutional right seems unlikely.

      Prior restraint seems an intrinsically bad idea; i.e., the notion that passing some psychological test prior to exercising 2A rights is a non-starter.

      Any psychological disabling must necessarily be on an exception basis. If an individual’s public and private behavior raises no concern on the part of those around him then the presumption must be that he is competent. Conversely, if anyone observes behavior sufficiently disturbing as to raise a serious question as to a threat by that individual to public safety then it becomes incumbent upon that observer to raise an alarm.

      Our society seems to do a very poor job in raising the alarm. Where mental illness seems to be at the heart of a shooting, it appears that a number of observers were deeply concerned about the individual’s behavior long before the shooting. Our concern ought to be a general one; not focused on a single issue such as guns. What’s the point of stripping these individuals of their gun-rights but leaving them fully enabled to use cutlery, blunt-objects, or strong-arm force to kill or injure others?

  26. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Not that it needs pointing out,…well, to some people, maybe it does, but none of his supposed examples are listed prominently in the Bill of Rights. So prominent in fact, it’s listed 2nd. Last time I checked, nothing in the first 10 amendments discusses anything about dog ownership, fishing and hunting, or driving. Why is this feeble tactic by the gun fascists to explain their incessant desire to infringe on a constitutional right, never seen for the illogical hokum that it is? Also, once lawyers pass the bar, don’t they have to take an oath to abide by, and hold true to, the U.S.constitution, the preeminent document on law in the land?

    Q: How many lawyers does it take to shred the constitution?
    A: We’ll have to wait till they all stop, then we’ll take a head count.

    1. avatar david says:

      Not to mention the big white elephant in the room But isn’t President Obama a lawyer?? Lol

  27. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    “…take the Bar Exam, the toughest test I’ve ever taken, which lasted two days, and am still required every year to take at least 20+ hours of continuing education.”

    Poor, poor lawyers. It must be really, really tough. The exceedingly tough bar exams must be why we have so many lawyers, right?

  28. avatar Five says:

    Why do people keep using the driver’s license analogy for gun ownership? You do not need to have a driver’s license to buy a car. You do not need insurance to buy a car either (if you are taking out a loan the bank probably requires it and if you are going to register your car your state probably requires it, but you only need to register your car if you plan to drive it on public roads).

    Anybody can buy a car, but only legally allowed people can buy a hand gun (already the case). If you want to drive a car (regardless of whether you own it) on public road, only then do you need a license.

  29. avatar Vitsaus says:

    This reminds me how much I resent having to buy a fishing license every year. Price goes up constantly, I get to do it maybe 2-3 times a year. I am actually really pissed off now thinking about that.

  30. avatar Swarf says:

    Soo… your argument is that there are a bunch of things with burdensome governmental restrictions and unreasonable requirements, so why not guns, too?

    Yeah, that’s a winner.

  31. avatar NW says:

    I’m the person who sent this in, and I really did like this shop and the employees I met there. (I almost felt bad about sending this in until I realized it would just be free advertising for them.) Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I’ve already lived in parts of the world where firearms were heavily licensed and I was not safer as a result. So, I’m going to take my business elsewhere.

    For those of you who agree with them I highly recommend stopping in, they only charge $20 for transfers and their return policy is the best I’ve ever seen.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      I’ll feel bad for the temporarily-displaced and otherwise-competent employees, but it’s better for all gun owners if places like this wither and expire due to lack of customers, lest this counterproductive and defective attitude spread any farther.

      1. avatar NW says:

        Whenever people mention licensing, I think of Carol Bowne, the NJ woman who was stabbed to death by her ex as she waited months for a pistol permit.

        Licensing won’t stop murderers either, criminals will still buy their guns illegally or steal them and mass shooters who spend months/years planning their killing sprees will either go through the licensing procedure (the same way many of them pass background checks) or go the illegal route themselves.

        I’m all for training and education but I don’t need the government to tell me how to do it.

        I do look forward to picking up my next transfer though, a near-mint condition S&W 66 with a 2.5″ barrel 🙂

        1. avatar NineShooter says:

          Nice addition to the collection! I’ve owned a couple of those little flamethrowers over the years, in stainless and blue (model 19), and they invariably shoot far better than most folks would expect. Convenient to carry and fast-on-target, too, with that short barrel. Enjoy!

  32. avatar R says:

    Someone should ask the FFL is they would be willing to “publish” a dissenting piece, that is, have an open dialogue on the subject.

    Yes, military members are subjected to all sorts of testing. However, that has very little relevance to the Bill of Rights, unless I am missing a hidden clause.

  33. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I’m with you Shire-man. AND we could “help” him along. I belong to a boatload of FB gun pages-let’s spread the word. He could hang out with Mike ” the gun ghoul” weissner…

  34. avatar Mad Max says:

    Obviously, background checks, training, and testing are of little value. Just look at who qualifies to practice law.

    1. avatar Dr. Vinnie Boombotz says:

      Bingo. He learned rhetoric, not much else. See Plato’s Socratic dialogue ” Gorgias “.

  35. avatar bobmcd says:

    I also live in Yankee Occupied Territory (AKA Northern Virginia) and am quite interested in finding and supporting gun shops inside the beltway. There are very few of them up here. As has been noted, a shop that tried to open in Arlington was unable to due to furor from the neighbors.

    Here’s the big problem I have: I just read everything I could find on The Gun Dude’s web site, and I can’t find any trace of the Randle article. Has anyone other than NW actually seen this entry? Or, NW, could you send a link to the entry?

    I hate to think that TTAG is slagging one of the very, very few Northern Virginia guns shops based on a mistake.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Go back to the blog area and look again. I didn’t see it the first time I visited, but I did on the second visit; it’s under a bright red header image with gray text that says “Keep calm and be”. Maybe the blog entries are rotated? If you don’t see it, refresh the page and see if anything changes.

      Direct link:

    2. avatar bobmcd says:

      NineShooter: thanks, that must be it. When I looked at the blog page, the posts were arranged totally differently. I think I may visit the shop this weekend and see what’s up. I’m sure they are getting quite the earful, electronically if not in person.

    3. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      I found the link very quickly-and I am a bit of a Luddite. It’s there on his FB page and he seems to agree and applaud it. Not someone I would use for ANYTHING…

  36. avatar Josh says:

    Good afternoon,

    I am Josh, one of the owners of The Gun Dude. This blog is from a friend and fellow veteran who is also pro-gun. The intent of this blog was to promote conversation and discussion about a topic that is very real to our community. It is my hope to to spur the community toward unity and contribute to solving some of the tough questions that face us today and will likely continue to challenge us in the future.

    By virtue of owning a firearms store, we are pro-second amendment. I welcome you to join us for a cup of coffee and to share your thoughts on the topic.

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Hi Josh, thanks for dropping in and introducing yourself.

      I’d recommend carefully reading all the responses to this post, so you understand (as best you can) how some gun owners feel about the attitudes expressed in that blog post on your site. Some of your business (and maybe the overall success of your business) depends on it.

    2. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Thanks for the response but remember a certain gun writer named DICK”let’s talk limits”Metcalf who lost his gig after pushing a quite similar tome…I certainly don’t live near you but my son(who is NOT a gunguy) does in Maryland. HE would applaud your buddies diatribe(yeah there’s that word).

    3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

      Ok, let’s have a conversation: what tough issues will be solved by the position advocated in the blog post, and how, exactly will that position solve those tough issues?

    4. avatar NOVA_Bullitt says:

      I agree that firearms training is definitely a Good Thing. However, as another fellow veteran…when has mandatory training every stopped anyone from doing something stupid, harmful, and/or illegal? How many mandatory 1-hour training briefs did you sit through each year? Did the .01% of your unit who actually needed that training ever actually listen?

      If firearms training became mandatory, it would very quickly become just another box to check. Or worse; constant emphasis of minutiae would cause people to lose sight of the big picture.

    5. avatar E. Fudd says:

      Josh, the blog on your gun shop’s website contains an entry promoting the idea that people should be required to go through a background check for all gun transfers. Now, riddle me this: Do you know of any establishments that profit from providing background checks and would benefit from mandated background checks for all gun transfers, including private gun transfers?

      Here’s to hoping that lots of gun owners in your area read your blog.

  37. avatar Michael Ship says:

    Posted to the Dude’s blog:

    Dude! The written word on the Internet is a funny thing. You need to indicate somewhere the sarcasm or people will think this is a serious letter from Matt. Your business seems pretty unique and hopefully successful, but if you agree with Matt that all these steps or requirements are not infringements, you are likely in the wrong business. Even poor old Matt is full of straw men which is beyond disheartening for a legal professional. No state nor the Feds can keep a person from freely traveling wherever he wishes – it’s a right outlined in the constitution. Now, flying or driving is a privilege – stupid, but constitutionally true.
    Constitutionally, neither do you have a right to a dog (though you may argue organic law regarding “happiness”; however, you certainly do not have the right to force the present owner to provide you one against their rules for adoption. All that said, is this just YOUR experience based on where you obtained Fido, or was it a law in VA of which you were forced to comply?
    Having a weapon in the Army or as a Peace Officer may be a condition of employment, but it is not a right. You know, like your right to speak your mind – like this blog post. However, you do not have the RIGHT to insist the Dude post it – it’s his RIGHT to determine what is acceptable on his property.
    Unfortunately, he supports your post and stupidly jeapordizes his business and reputation by, well, being STUPID. Which is his constitutional right.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Well, said. Philistines to the left of us . . . Philistines to the right of us . . . The fight continues.

      Guns up.

  38. avatar Noishkel says:

    Well there’s one FFL I won’t be doing business with. Don’t treat with the enemy. And anyone that even remotely propose any gun control law is THE enemy. There’s no more room for these half ass half measures and compromises.

  39. avatar Geoff PR says:

    ” Would you buy from this dealer based on his decision to publish this screed?”


    Lemme think about it.



  40. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    No. The writer’s reasoning is facile in the extreme. From an unworldly, if well-intentioned, high school freshman, I could accept such an essay as a fine first attempt in his exploration of the topic. From a college-educated and tier 1 law school-trained professional? Not at all. The piece is laughable and readily refurable by a high school sophomore with but a passing familiarity with the topic.

    I can only conclude that this obvious insult to our intelligence and affront to our freedom was intended to persuade fencesitters and less attentive readers. Shame on this man and this gun shop.

  41. avatar Wiregrass says:

    Maybe he’s trying to be WashPo’s new “gun guy” like that clown at HuffPo.

  42. avatar Mark N. says:

    Gee, I took the (infamously difficult) California bar exam–the overall pass rate, last I looked, was a bit over 50%. It was three days long. And it really wasn’t all that hard–I finished early two of those days. And I am sure that Ralph took the New York bar exam, reputedly the toughest in the nation. But neither of us would agree with Mr. Randall.

  43. avatar crzapy says:

    Last time I checked getting a law degree, obtaining a driver’s license, and adopting a dog wasn’t a basic human right enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

    On the other hand keeping and bearing arms is. He can get bent!

    Also, by his logic shouldn’t people be subjected to higher scrutiny and testing to vote?

  44. avatar gsnyder says:

    Last time I checked a military person is given a firearm and being trained specifically to kill humans. Last time I checked a civilian has to purchase a firearm and is not being trained specifically to kill humans.

    The military is not dealing with a constitutional Right, they are under contract to perform a job. A civilian is as an American citizen enjoying their Rights and not under contract to perform a job.

    Rights are Rights, we have them, no further license is required.

    Not a well thought out rant.

  45. avatar DavidMS says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. In an ideal world, everyone would get some training before purchasing a firearm. I’m pretty sure it could be handled in two hours. That said, I’m worried about giving the gun grabbers anything. But at the sometime, unless we can change the politics at present, I don’t know if we can win long term. Most of their solutions are lead-paint-chip eating moronic to the problem of gun misuse and are really driven by idol smashing and a desire to eradicate gun ownership in the name of a symbolic victory over the right.

    Long term, the only way to win is to make guns non-partisan.

  46. avatar Pete says:

    Oh lordy, that article is unfortunate. I get the impression maybe the gun shop, rather than being serious fudds, is just trying to be trendy, safe, approachable. Kind of appeal to squeaky newbs. Which wouldn’t be bad for the gun-enthusiast cause if it were the case.

    Maybe they didn’t know what they were stepping in, and with gentle explanation will become a force for good…

  47. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    I would love to see the Supreme Court forced into defining “infringed” on an unrelated topic.

  48. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    What all of those licenses and permits to do basic things tell me is that true freedom is dead.

  49. avatar PeterK says:

    “I believe in the second amendment, but…” :p

  50. avatar John says:

    This is the problem with both sides of the gun rights debate, both sides are full of narrow minded hypocrites.
    “shall not be infringed”, you wouldn’t allow a 5 year old to carry a loaded gun around with him. You just “infringed” on his rights.
    You wouldn’t allow a convicted violent felon to carry a loaded gun, you just “infringed” on his rights.
    “The 2nd Amendment,…….” what about the rest of The Constitution \ The Bill of Rights?
    “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, first word is LIFE as in I have the right to not have my life ended by someone with a gun.
    There are over 300 million people in the US and they ALL have rights. None of YOUR rights are more important than THEIRS.
    For anyone with any common sense, “shall not be infringed” is NOT a written in stone absolute. There has to be a balance. Exactly for the reasons stated above.
    A properly implemented and maintained licensing system makes the most sense for all sides. It makes more sense than the current NICS system and would be easier to administer.
    I generally disagree with 99% of the current “gun control” laws. I disagree because I am an intelligent human being and these laws serve little to no purpose and provide no balance and yes they actually do “infringe” on the rights of the citizens.
    The posting in question here is absolutely correct on licensing. It is not an “infringement”, it is a necessary check on the balance of the rights of ALL of the citizens of the US.

    If you want people who no nothing about guns to take you and your opinions \ position seriously you all need to stop spouting hypocrisy and start making arguments that make sense and don’t contradict themselves.
    You make the rest of us look just as fanatical and uncompromising as those who want to take away our rights so of course people who don’t necessarily care one way or the other will “error” on the side of “perceived safety”

    1. avatar NW says:

      A 5 year old is not an adult; so there is no reason to treat all adults as if they were children.
      If a felon has served his or her time I see no reason not to reinstate all rights, including voting, firearms, etc.
      If that individual is deemed too dangerous to have a gun, maybe they should remain in some kind of institutional care.

      A licensing system will only raise the costs of acquiring a gun in terms of both time and money. A poor person facing an immediate threat doesn’t have much of either. You’ll probably see illegal sales go up, plus you will be creating a new government bureaucracy and a new class of criminals for the people who make minor mistakes in the licensing process. If someone misses a deadline or cannot afford to renew their license, will the police come along to confiscate their guns?

      1. avatar NineShooter says:

        A “right” that requires a government-issued license to exercise it, is actually not a “right” at all.

        We’ve all heard what happened when the NICS system “went down” for hours or a day; no firearms transfers were allowed at all. Even with no evil intent, it clearly demonstrates the problem: If for any reason (or no reason at all), the .GOV decides to stop or delay you from exercising your so-called “right”, then it stops. See: gun buyers who tried to buy guns during the LA riots, years ago. They were SHOCKED to find out about waiting periods that applied to all purchases.

      2. avatar John says:

        Typical. You sound like a Pro Gun politician using misdirection to avoid the topic, no better than an Anti Gun politician.
        I said nothing about treating adults like children. I was speaking to the hypocrisy of “shall not be infringed” under any circumstances. If you won’t allow a 5 year old to carry a gun you just “infringed” on his rights to defend himself. Essentially boiling your argument down to “shall not be infringed” makes you a hypocrite or a fool because either you give the 5 year old a loaded gun or you don’t.
        If you are neither a fool nor a hypocrite you must except the system of checks and balances and address each on their individual merit without defaulting to “shall not be infringed”

        Your comment on the licensing system amounts to nothing more than a childish excuse. I said a properly implemented and maintained system. A properly implemented and maintained system would not in any way be prohibitively expensive. If a person is so poor that they can not afford $25.00 every 5 years then they would never be able to afford a gun or ammo in the first place.

        This is why people who are “on the fence” in the gun debate don’t want to get involved. Neither side is capable of presenting a valid, intelligent argument without misdirection or childish excuses.

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          False dilemma FTW?

          A 5 year old is not a responsible adult. His rights are held in trust by his parents until he comes of age/maturity to bear responsibility for exercising them himself. His rights are not infringed; rather, they are exercised in his place, by his parents.

          (Besides, there are certainly 5 year olds who are capable of exercising, and who do exercise, their RKBA.)

          And I’ll entertain your RKBA licensing system just as soon as you advocate an analogous system for voting, or for exercising speech or religious exercise rights.

        2. avatar david says:

          You are definitely wrong about the age limits Those limits were not enacted until many years after the Constitution was written Back then the average man live to about 50 years old today people live well into their 80s. Back then you could be 14 years old and go to war As they did And you can vote at the age of 14 And younger as long as you were considered a man The legal age of 18 and all of that wasn’t established for many many years after that So in all Words of wisdom The Constitution doesn’t have an age limit every United States citizen that lives in the United States of America Has constitutional rights Even a child going to daycare has the right to wear a shirt That says anything that they want As freedom of speech The same thing goes to kids in high school that wear NRA shirts and we’re being kicked out later let to wear the shirt as much as they wanted after legal lawyers got involved and explain to The teacher staff That yes in fact students at high school elementary school and kindergarten do have constitutional rights.

        3. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          I mentioned no specific age limits in my comment. Nothing you just said contradicted anything I said.

          Well, not nothing. If a child’s parent disallows the child to wear a shirt expressing a thought/belief/idea, the child’s rights have not been infringed. The parent is responsible for the child’s rights.

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      ” ‘shall not be infringed’ Why yes, that is precisely correct. Now, then. What does that phrase mean with respect to any bill presented to Congress or a legislature?

      “you wouldn’t allow a 5 year old to carry a loaded gun around with him. You just “infringed” on his rights.” Granted; that’s true. However, minors don’t necessarily have the same rights as adults have. E.g., no where in the Constitution is the 5-year-old’s right to drink alcohol or smoke guaranteed. His right to a public trial is not guaranteed. You have a long row to hoe to get from depriving minors the RKBA to most other laws which seem to fly in the face of “shall not be infringed”.

      “You wouldn’t allow a convicted violent felon to carry a loaded gun, you just “infringed” on his rights.” There is spirited debate on this point among PotG. In any case, it is otherwise constitutional to strip civil rights from convicted felons; e.g., the right to vote or serve in public office. There is a body of evidence (not overwhelming, but nevertheless respectable) that law-breakers were deprived of RKBA at the time of ratification.

      “The 2nd Amendment,…….” what about the rest of The Constitution The Bill of Rights?” Well, what about it? Hard to respond to this challenge in the absence of some specificity on your part.

      ” “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”, first word is LIFE as in I have the right to not have my life ended by someone with a gun.” This phrase is found in the Declaration, not the Constitution. It is entitled to due deference but it is not necessarily controlling. The natural right to “life” serves as a cornerstone to the right of self-defense from whence the RKBA is drawn. Each of us has that right of self-defense against others; the 2A guarantees us the RKBA is support of that natural right. The 2A does not undertake to guarantee anyone that any aspect of our government secures his life against threats by any 3’rd party such as a criminal or a foreign invader. In fact, the first significant 2A SCOTUS case ruled against the plaintiffs claim that the 2A could be invoked to protect them from violence perpetrated by non-State actors.
      On the contrary, it is firmly established in diverse courts including SCOTUS that the government owes no duty to protect any individual from the hazards of assault absent a “special relationship”. E.g., the government owes such a duty to a prisoner; but it does not owe any such duty to a citizen at liberty.

      “There are over 300 million people in the US and they ALL have rights. None of YOUR rights are more important than THEIRS.” Nor is any of their rights more important than my own rights. Once a right is enshrined in the Constitution, certain policy options are taken off-the-table. See Heller.

      “For anyone with any common sense, “shall not be infringed” is NOT a written in stone absolute. There has to be a balance. Exactly for the reasons stated above.” The reasons stated above are far from dispositive. You are correct; the text of the 2A is not carved in stone; it was written on parchment. It is merely a “parchment guarantee”. It is only so good and reliable as any other Constitutional guarantee. It turns entirely upon a willingness of the People to make good on this social contract entered into by our forefathers at the time of the ratification. Provision has been made to amend the Constitution and so it has been solemnly altered some two dozen times. Departing from the prescribed amendment process weakens every other guarantee of this social contract.
      The word “absolute” does not appear in the text of the 2A; nor does the word “balance” appear in that text. Likely the best analysis available to us today is to be found in the opinions and amicus briefs for Heller and McDonald. There remains much work ahead of us, no doubt about that. As yet, SCOTUS has not seen fit to take a challenge concerning the right to bear arms; nor on “special places” nor on the metes and bounds of the definition of “arms” respecting magazines or cosmetics. I can only refer you to these 2 very pertinent cases and the phrase: “shall not be infringed”.

      “A properly implemented and maintained licensing system makes the most sense for all sides. It makes more sense than the current NICS system and would be easier to administer.”
      Personally, I harbor very little animosity to a scheme of certification as to an individual’s status as 2A-able. However, I regard it as merely an expediency of momentary value. E.g., suppose a cop should encounter me armed, behind the wheel or standing over a bleeding target, we both have a keen interest in establishing whether I’m the one wearing the “white” or “black” hat. The CWP card serves this purpose until the cop can verify my hat color with the FBI’s NCIC system. And yet, since the NCIC response is only minutes away, the card’s role is modest and probably diminishing in importance over time. States that have migrated from Shall-Issue to Constitutional-Carry apparently have no regrets.

      “I generally disagree with 99% of the current “gun control” laws. I disagree because I am an intelligent human being and these laws serve little to no purpose and provide no balance and yes they actually do “infringe” on the rights of the citizens.” Yes, yes. The more inquiry one makes into the efficacy of these laws the more one is apt to be drawn into this conclusion.

      “The posting in question here is absolutely correct on licensing. It is not an “infringement”, it is a necessary check on the balance of the rights of ALL of the citizens of the US.” Necessary? Just why is this so? What aspect of “licensing” are we discussing here? The card? The NICS inquiry as a prerequisite to issuing the card? It the fee the State agency charges for the card? (A high enough fee serves the purpose of “No guns for poor people!”; is that the objective?) Is it the training requirement? Is it the opportunity to harass a law-abiding 2A-able citizen in exercising his rights without first acquiring and retaining in his possession his card?

      My wife is a naturalized citizen. During the decades during which she resided here under her “green card” she was obliged to carry her card at all times. No objection. She was not a citizen with natural born rights; the card was wallet-sized and laminated. No problem in carrying it. Now that she is a citizen she is stripped of her card; but she is encumbered with the legal obligation to carry an 8″ X 11″ piece of paper with her wherever she goes. Curious, don’t you think? What purpose does this law serve? To allow the Federal government the power to harass her knowing full well that it’s impractical to carry such a document at all times?

      “If you want people who no nothing about guns to take you and your opinions position seriously you all need to stop spouting hypocrisy and start making arguments that make sense and don’t contradict themselves.”

      Personally, I don’t much care whether people who know nothing about guns think about me or my opinions. If they take their responsibility as voters and citizens under our Constitution seriously then I expect them to have read the Constitution and the Federalist papers. I would wish them to be familiar with the Anti-Federalist papers as well. From this point, I could take them seriously.

      Until they are able to take their responsibilities as citizens seriously they would do well to maintain an open mind and seek opinions and rationale from multiple sides of issues that touch upon Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.

      “You make the rest of us look just as fanatical and uncompromising as those who want to take away our rights so of course people who don’t necessarily care one way or the other will “error” on the side of “perceived safety” ”

      Alas, just as one can’t fix stupid one can’t fix indifference or a lack of curiosity. I am gradually coming around to embracing the stance characterized recently by a sharper wit than I as: “Screw you” (directed at the Antis). I.e., if asked by some member of the class “the People” what I think of some gun-control proposal one might respond – with respect to the author of that proposal: “Screw him/her!”

      Elaborating, entirely irrespective of any possible efficacy of any new control, the answer is No! Our system of government is founded upon the principle of the consent of the governed. We PotG are those that are impacted by gun controls, not the criminals. There are altogether too many existing gun-controls that indisputably infringe upon our 2A rights. Our pleas for relief have fallen on deaf ears in Washington and in too many legislatures. Unless and until we are granted our seat at the head of the negotiating table we withhold our consent to any new law whatsoever.

      After several of our most egregious complaints have been satisfied, then – and only then – will we entertain any discussion of new or revised laws. Then, “shall not be infringed” and efficacy will determine whether we support a proposal or oppose it.

      1. avatar John says:

        “minors don’t necessarily have the same rights as adults have. E.g., no where in the Constitution is the 5-year-old’s right to drink alcohol or smoke guaranteed.”

        The Constitution also does not say “Adults rights shall not be infringed”, in fact no where in the Constitution does it say the rights are limited to adults.
        Smoking and drinking are not “Rights”

        “Personally, I don’t much care whether people who know nothing about guns think about me or my opinions. If they take their responsibility as voters and citizens under our Constitution seriously then I expect them to have read the Constitution and the Federalist papers. I would wish them to be familiar with the Anti-Federalist papers as well. From this point, I could take them seriously.
        Until they are able to take their responsibilities as citizens seriously they would do well to maintain an open mind and seek opinions and rationale from multiple sides of issues that touch upon Constitutionally-guaranteed rights.”

        You should care because they do vote. Even if they have read your recommended reading, they will still form opinions and vote based on those opinions. If you want them to “seek opinions and rationale” you must be willing and able to have an intelligent conversation without defaulting rigidly to “shall not be infringed”.

        “We PotG are those that are impacted by gun controls, not the criminals.”
        The only people who would be impacted by a proper licensing system would in fact be the criminals. Seriously how much are you impacted by having to renew your drivers license every 5 years?

        “There are altogether too many existing gun-controls that indisputably infringe upon our 2A rights.”

        I absolutely 100% agree!

        “Our pleas for relief have fallen on deaf ears in Washington and in too many legislatures.
        Unless and until we are granted our seat at the head of the negotiating table we withhold our consent to any new law whatsoever.
        After several of our most egregious complaints have been satisfied, then – and only then – will we entertain any discussion of new or revised laws. Then, “shall not be infringed” and efficacy will determine whether we support a proposal or oppose it.”

        If a person rigidly defaults to “shall not be infringed” or any other stance with no room for reasonable discussion, why would you listen to a single word they have to say? There is no point to listening to this person if they are unwilling to have a reasonable discussion.
        Why must you sit at the head of the table?

        Something I just thought of, as to consenting to any new laws. In actuality, a “proper licensing system” would not be a new law but an overhaul of an existing one. NICS if you think about it is in fact already a licensing system albeit an extremely poorly implemented and maintained system.

        Does the PA in your screen name mean you live in PA? Eastern? I live in NJ.

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          If a person rigidly defaults to “shall not be infringed” or any other stance with no room for reasonable discussion, . . .

          I rigidly depart from the text of the Constitution. The text is the text. It’s the text whether you or I like it or not. From that text we begin the discussion. As an example, birthright citizenship. I find it hard to believe that the ratifiers did not understand “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States . . . ” The exception “and subject to the jurisdiction” was explained in the legislative history. The drafters of this text had their opportunity to express themselves clearly and the text rises or falls on it’s black letters.

          When applying the text to present day circumstances there will be situations that are not plain on their faces. We have to interpret the text and we must resort to our best imagination of what how the ratifiers might have – most likely – applied the text to the circumstances we contemplate. This isn’t easy; however, it does not involve injecting our own present day preferences into the process. For this reason I shun both “absolute-ism” and “reasonable” in the absence of these terms appearing in the text.

          The words: “Congress shall make no law . . . ” bring to mind “absolute-ism”; even so, we understand that they were not interpreted to create license for liable or blasphemy. The words “unreasonable search and seizure” certainly compel us to use “reason”.

          The words “shall not be infringed” compel us to consider whether a bill under consideration by Congress or a legislature constitute an “infringement” upon “the right” as it was understood by the ratifiers. E.g., does a law requiring commercial manufacturers to emboss a serial number and maker’s mark “infringe”? Or, does a law providing for licensing concealed-carry “infringe”?

          I do not harbor much objection to Pennsylvania’s law for a “License to Carry Firearms”. It cost me only a trip to the sheriff’s office and $21. My license was issued upon filling out a form, payment, photo; took 15 minutes. There was no training requirement nor a test or qualification.

          Had I been compelled to take a training course I would not have objected; nor if I were obliged to submit to a test concerning the 4 rules or the law on the proper use of lethal force. I would not have objected because the license law only applies to concealed-carry. Open carry is legal without permit. We have a legislative history from the 19 century that concluded that open carry is the right protected by the 2A; but that concealed carry was subject to regulation. I would not quarrel with this judicial determination. However, I do quarrel with a law that raises material barriers to open carry.

          Your NJ laws flaunt the US Constitution under McDonald. No ordinary citizen has any chance of surmounting the barriers against carry. In NJ, only a very rich man, or his employee who guards his property, has any potential to be licensed. These are the kinds of laws I believe we must object to vigorously.

          Secondarily, laws such as those of Illinois or Massachusetts that are arbitrary and onerous in treating non-residents ought to be vigorously opposed. That children do not enjoy the same rights as adults is not necessarily expressed in each provision of the Constitution or law. The distinction of applying rights to children differently than for adults was established long before the time of the US Constitution. You will have to dig deeper into that tradition to ascertain how it is to be applied. That some distinction is permissible I do not quarrel. I suspect that the distinction of authorizing 18-year-olds to have long guns but not hand-guns raises an infringement argument that can’t be easily dismissed. Especially so in the absence of evidence from the ratification era that boys of militia age were denied the right to bear handguns.

          “If you want them to “seek opinions and rationale” you must be willing and able to have an intelligent conversation without defaulting rigidly to “shall not be infringed”.” You are correct that we do have to care about voters and who they vote for. I firmly believe that any “intelligent conversation” must depart “rigidly” to the black letter of the Constitution and the established traditions of Constitutional interpretation. For if we do not do so we lose our tether to the social agreement that protects us all in respect of every one of our rights guaranteed by the system of of government. E.g., we can all agree that the Electoral College is obsolete; nevertheless, until we undertake the effort to amend it, it is that mechanism that governs our Presidential elections.

          “Seriously how much are you impacted by having to renew your drivers license every 5 years?” Here, I agree with you. I would prefer that driver’s licenses be free; but the fees are not so great that they would constitute an “infringement” were there a constitutional limit expressed in that term. We have a de facto social agreement that everyone has a right to drive subject to good behavior. This social agreement serves as more than a parchment barrier against excessive fees or testing requirements to ration licensure to only the privileged few. Are the fees to high? The test too severe? Probably not; for if they were, the people would be yelling about them.

          In contrast, a few States have excessively high fees and much higher training requirements than other States. 5 – 10 States prohibit carry altogether. And, there is nothing much stopping their infringements.

          “. . . why would you listen to a single word they have to say?” Because they would – at such a point – be putting their foot down. As it is, the gun-control legislation is bull-dosed through Congress/legislatures over the rational protests of the NRA and other gun organizations. The gun-controllers do it when they can because they can. They refuse to listen at all. The majority of voters are not deeply invested in the gun issue; not our Fudds, nor their gun-control sympathizers.

          I am coming to the “screw you” stance because I think it’s our only opportunity to awaken the gun-control sympathizers to acknowledge that we, the PotG, are those who have the knowledge to bring to the table and we are the ones to be governed by the laws. Criminals’ behavior is not much influenced by new laws. Non-gun owners are not touched at all – if, as we argue, gun control laws are ineffective.

          “NICS if you think about it is in fact already a licensing system albeit an extremely poorly implemented and maintained system.” I can see how you might construe NICS as a “licensing system”. My own take is that NICS and CC-licensing is more akin to a “certification” system.

          I think some among us get unnecessarily lathered up about the “rights vs. privileges” terminology. As if a “permit” or a “license” is something like a franchise or concession. E.g., a government grants permission to build the one and only bridge across a river baring all other bridge builders for 10 miles up and down the river.

          In PA, where there is no training requirement or test, the “License to Carry Firearms” is merely a certification that the sheriff has checked NICS and State databases and has found no disqualifying record. There is no notion here of rationing the License to the bear minimum of those who can demonstrate a genuine “need”; which is the case in NJ. You must show that you “need” because you are extremely rich, politically connected, or that you are an armored-car driver; i.e., you protect rich men’s money.

          I wouldn’t object to a test or training requirement IF I could have faith that its terms would be governed the way the terms of the driver’s licensing scheme were governed. However unless and until we could arrive at such a level of acceptance of guns in public places, I will object.

  51. avatar Scott Loungemaster says:

    Seriously, people? For those of you unable or unwilling to look into what you are reading, this blog post was not written by the owner of The Gun Dude shop, but rather, a close friend of his who happens to be a gun owner and a lawyer. Additionally, are you really willing to be so callous and petty to speak out against a small business owner because he is willing to put posts on his blog that represents a variety of viewpoints where this debate is concerned? Perhaps you all would rather he just “toe the company line” and put up posts that resonate, and agree with, every single one of your viewpoints on the matter. The post seems to me like a well thought out, and written essay, by a close friend of the store. Why shouldn’t he put it up? Do you agree 100% with every single viewpoint of your friends? Are you willing to censor his or her opinions because they do not fall in line with yours? That’s a pretty pathetic existence. And for all of you pledging to never set foot in the Gun Dude’s shop because of his willingness to promote free thought and discussion of, perhaps, contrasting outlooks, then shove off already. As for NW, the guy who brought this to light and will never go there, good. The Gun Dude is, hands down, one of the best gun shops I have ever been to. Not so much for vast inventory or anything, but rather the hugely welcoming atmosphere they promote and practice there. You’d be hard pressed to find a shop in the area with a more friendly atmosphere, and I think he has done a lot to make seasoned gun owners, and first timers alike feel great by doing business with them.

    1. avatar Peter U says:

      I will second what Scott said. I have been to the Dude’s place several times. I made small purchases a couple of those times, and just visitied/browsed other times. I have brought my young kids with me as well. It is nice to have a gun shop inside the beltway in Hillary-ville (Falls Church). Yes, there are plenty of real Americans left here, by the way.

      He also posted a subsequent piece where he asserts that guns are a necessary and Constitutionally guaranteed right.

      I will be buying a gun from the Dude (Glock 42 for CC) and will continue to buy from him. These are good people, providing goods and services to other good people in a desert of liberalism. Give ’em a break. Gun guys are our friends. He shared a friend’s opinion that you don’t agree with. I’m okay with that…


  52. Hope everyone is enjoying the snow in Northern Virginia snow! I know not everyone on here agrees with how our company is approaching firearms ownership. That’s Ok, we don’t always have to agree. But we do have to work together to ensure we can all continue to own and use firearms in the years to come.

    Our recent blog addresses Responsible Firearms Ownership as a community approach and I wanted to get your weigh in on the topic.

    Here is the direct link:

    I welcome your feedback on how you think we can continue to support the community in our own unique way. Thank you!

    -The Gun Dude

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