Wednesday, October 11, 2017

You Think You Can Repeal Rights? Best Wishes. Bring Friends. Pack A Lunch.

"We'll just repeal the Second Amendment, and then gun rights will magically go away forever." - every room temperature sophist lackwit who's ever wanted to ban guns

Best wishes with that plan. In an I'll-shoot-you-in-the-face-with-a-shotgun-while-laughing-about-it sort of way, right before I leave one of your remaining appendages in orifices unfamiliar to their usual anatomical capability. And then I'll go after your friends and family. With pliers and blowtorches. Pour encourager les autres.

The way I read the Constitution, Article I, Section 8 authorizes Congress to issue letters of Marque and Reprisal, which was to authorize private ship owners and captains to make naval war on designated enemies’ ships.

For the perpetually clot-headed, this was done with cannon of whatsoever size one could acquire and mount on board their private ship (or fleet of same).

In blisteringly simple words, it was understood that anyone could own and possess naval artillery, and operate a man o’ war, and if Congress issued the requisite hunting license, could lawfully turn their weaponry on an enemy’s naval and merchant vessels.
At Lexington and Concord, the British were marching to seize, not muskets and shot, which everyone in a colonial frontier teeming with savage natives and wildlife might encounter and possess, but rather, they were going after supplies of gunpowder (by the cask) and cannon artillery.

(Which the British would eventually get, one muzzle blast at a time, at Bunker and Breed’s Hill some months later. Hurray, Team In Your Face!)

Yet again, private citizens had access to artillery and arsenal quantities of powder (which, BTW, were also the explosives of the day).

So before, during, and after the Revolution, it was understood by custom and practice, as well as specific authorization, that “bearing arms” didn’t means just rifles, but crew-served artillery and explosives sufficient to wage war, at that time, on the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, Britain.

And thus, unless the First Amendment only means inkwells, quill pens, and handbills, rather than radio, television, and satellite TV networks, then the Second Amendment doesn’t just mean rifles that the Fudds think are socially acceptable. It means any weapon of war, including crew-served weapons, artillery shells, (a cannon is useless without the cannon balls), explosives, and yes, for the total historical fucktards among us, it even means battleships.
In short, everything currently banned from export without the requisite permissions under ITAR is an “arm” by legal statute (for the less clever, look up ITAR, and tell the class what that "A" stands for); therefore everything so designated is precisely what the plain language of the Constitution authorizes “the people” to keep and bear, and did so until the 1930s, when a cowed SCOTUS started giving in to FDR’s threats, and looked the other way when Congress set about unconstitutionally restricting a right which beforehand was absolute and untrammeled, going back to before 1787.

And the Second Amendment doesn’t grant those rights to us, they proceed from natural laws rights to self-defense, as human beings endowed with them. And they aren’t privileges subject to later revocation on governmental whim; they are the birthrights of free people.

In short, for those with Neanderthal-thickness skulls, and commensurate IQs, the Second Amendment isn't the pink slip for the right in question; it's merely a "No Trespassing" sign.

Any attempt to restrict the people's right to them is, by absolute definition, tyranny.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

You want my rights?

Molon labe, bitchez.


Feel free to dispute this train of thought in comments.
Here's a helpful link to the relevant documents.
And, if you thought it was just clever irony that the leading frigate of this nation's navy was named after that exact document, you're a monumental idiot.
A man o' war is my right, and my rights are a man o' war.

Boarders repelled while you wait.


T-Rav said...

There's only one place where I'm not sure if I can follow your logic: nuclear weapons. I mean, I agree that there's no good reason to prevent people from owning howitzers and naval vessels (which is kind of awesome to contemplate), but wouldn't that apply to nukes as well? That would, after all, be the ultimate force equalizer in the contest of Joe Citizen vs. The Government. But it seems to me that's a massive ramping-up of the problem we've had the last 20-30 years: increasing the number of parties with access to said weapons increases the likelihood that someone really unstable would get hold of one. That's not such a problem when we're talking about firearms, but when it's a uranium bomb, it's a much different story.

I'm not saying that's likely to be a practical problem, because it's not, or that that somehow makes the whole gun-rights thing irrelevant, which would be a mind-numbingly stupid thing to say. I'm just curious if you think there's something to the objection I'm raising, or if I should just go back to remedial logic classes now.

RSR said...

Aesop - Amen.

T-Rav, this Bob Owens piece is quite good:
"Were they alive today, perhaps Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, etc., might reconsider that perhaps some arms should be restricted. The city-leveling power of bomber fleets and ballistic missiles armed with the power of the atom, capable of eradicating entire populations in a moment, would seem be something no individual or small group should have the power to own and use indiscriminately.

That stated, they would almost certainly agree that handguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns, machine guns, hand grenades and grenade launchers, and artillery are precisely the kind of weapons they would want citizens to have.

How can we say this with such certainty?

The Founders themselves armed for war with muskets, which at four shots per minute, were the commonly issued assault rifles of their day. Contemporary flintlock rifles, while having more far range in the hands of elite marksman only fired one shot per minute, and some took far longer to load. Hand grenades had been in military use in the United Kingdom as early as the Battle of Holt Bridge in 1643, and had been in widespread use for 100 years. Artillery, from swivel guns to cannon, howitzers, and mortars, were in common use and owed by private citizens and communities.

Warships, the most powerful weapons of the day, were often privately owned; in fact, the eight frigates of the Continental Navy performed pitifully, and were all sunk by 1781. The only real naval success enjoyed by the rebellious Americans were from privateers, who made the best of the 1,697 letters of marque issued by Congress.

And so we can say to you without reservation, that yes, the Founding Fathers would have wanted the American people armed with the best contemporary handguns, sniper rifles, assault rifles, submachine guns, machine guns, hand grenades and grenade launchers, and artillery that they could buy, and they would want us well-trained so that we were deadly accurate in their use.

It would seem that the various National Firearms Acts are clearly unconstitutional, as plain as can be an unquestioned violation of the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Aesop said...


Let's be fair: You can follow my logic easily.
You just don't want to go there. Right?

That leaves you with the conundrum:
a) The Constitution and Bill of Rights means exactly what it says
b) it doesn't
c) and there's a logical path and legal argument, consistent with everything we know, to prove b) above, and here it is...

Read what I wrote, then try to argue, in light of the plain language meaning and implications of both Art. I, Sec. 8, and the 2nd Amendment, that while frigates, explosives, land and naval artillery, and nearly 1700 privateer naval combatant ships were okay, some weapons are beyond the pale in combatting a tyrannical government.

The British burned the US Capitol in 1812; if we'd had a nuclear weapon, would its retaliatory use on the King's palace in London at that point be justified, or not?
Show your work.

The government strafed the Branch Davidians at Waco with machinegun fire from helicopters, and used tanks (yes, M728 armored CEVs, but treads, a turret, and a demolition gun in the turret is still a tank) against men, women, and children. Had they possessed AAA, an M1A1 Abrams for self-defense, and Stinger AA missiles, would their use have been justifiable?
Shouldn't they (or anyone else otherwise qualified) be allowed to own them, despite the opportunity for mischief already seen when people get tanks, artillery, and AA missiles?
Again, show your work.

Why is a nuke different?
The idjit (lone or not) in Vegas capped 58 people with street-legal ordnance.
But the deadliest attack prior to that was a guy who set a bar on fire in New Orleans with some lighter fluid; he killed 32 people. And more people have been killed in Chicongo since 1990 than died at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
Make the moral and legal case that 15,000 murders done daily, 500, 800, 900 a year is tolerable, but that 15,000 all at once is suddenly right out and naughty.

If it's wrong for Joe Schmoe to have those options, why is it contrarily right for governments to have them?

If we can trust two guys in a silo, or two officers in a submarine not to go batshit with nukes, and start WWIII, why can't we trust two guys in Podunk not to do that?

I'm open to reason and logical discussion.
But you can't arbitrarily rule something out because logic and reason makes you feel icky.
Fair enough?

Have at it.
I get the argument that wanting 10,000 nukes is sane, but that somebody is justifiably scared to death of the guy who only wants one.
But for forty years, we've lived in denial of the reality that somebody may already have one. So the argument that we're preventing that is a specious as the argument that gun laws stop crime. (Just like speeding signs stop speeding.)

If banning things works, let's ban mass shootings.
Maybe go whole hog, and make murder illegal.

So, howzat plan working out so far?

And if Joe Blow, on 9/12/2001, had taken his personal nuke, put it into a FedEx truck or flown in on an old DC-3, and set it off on Mecca at the Kabah the day after the WTC towers came down, how hard would anybody we care about listening to be crying over that?
What if Sumdood, first inventor of the nuke, had sailed one into Tokyo Bay on December 9th, 1941?

Both those guys'd be on US postage stamps, have statues in the Capitol, and there'd be schools and navy ships named after them.

Anonymous said...

I think the barrier-to-entry on things like nukes (and battleships, and F22s) is cost, they're expensive to buy, and expensive to maintain. And unlike the artificially high cost of full-auto (supply and demand being a thing, and the supply has been what is was in 1986), such things really ARE expensive. So while one might say one has a RIGHT to own a nuke, in a practical matter few could AFFORD one, so it's highly unlikely my neighbor, or anyone in my county, will have one.

Mark D

Aesop said...

Quite so.

Trump or Bill Gates might afford a battleship; lesser men might raise and equip a regiment; those of us of humble means might have to settle for "just" a tank or a field piece.

But imagine trying a no-knock raid on the guy with his own MRAP or Stryker, or city hall no longer free to piss on people's heads because some of them had a small towed howitzer and a few cases of HE and WP rounds. Different society then, isn't it?

"An armed society is always a polite society."

Anonymous said...

I used to want an M101 towed 105, but the new mortars are especially versatile; Christmas IS coming soon...
Boat Guy

Jesse in DC said...

"In short, for those with Neanderthal-thickness skulls, and commensurate IQs, the Second Amendment isn't the pink slip for the right in question; it's merely a "No Trespassing" sign."

What a perfect quote.

T-Rav said...

That's fair, and thanks for the feedback. I think it would probably be a mistake to get hung up on the nuke thing, since it would be extremely difficult in practice for an individual or small group to get their hands on one.

It may be nothing more than a particular fixation of mine; I see nukes as a sort of Pandora's Box where weapons are concerned--no matter which way you go, there are nasty consequences. I don't know that I really have a logical argument against what you're saying. In any case, all arms below the nuclear level are most definitely fair game in my opinion, so there's that much room for agreement, anyway.

The Gray Man said...

It's worth mentioning that modern nuclear weapons are less weapons than they are deterrents. The presence of nuclear weapons has likely saved hundreds of millions of lives through dozens, if not hundreds, of avoided wars.

And... Please continue.

The Gray Man said...

Nukes would be an outlier, not to be heavily focused on at the expense of what will actually happen, which is people rightfully acquiring large amounts of small arms and ammo.

By small arms, I do include 40mm appliances and other such things.

The Gray Man said...

Exactly. People gawk at us like we have our weapons for the specific purpose of harming others.

No, we have it to prevent harm coming to our own.

So get your own, don't try taking mine.

Unknown said...

The whole nuke thing is silly anyway. You can’t just go buy them no matter how much they “cost”. At most you could build a dirty bomb because we don’t have access to fissile material. I don’t think there are any uranium mines in “private” hands. The parts and pieces to make fissile material can’t be had laying around.

Aesop said...

Which is why it devolves to reductio ad absurdum anyways.
The only practical restriction ought to be whether you can afford it, or not, which is entirely personal, not governmental.

It isn't like you're going to sneak a tank or battleship into a liquor store or bank shoved in your underpants, is it?

People own artillery and cannons now. People own 300' steel-hulled ships now. And despite those two facts, there hasn't been one single drive-by shooting from an American flagged ship, nor one single American vessel acting as a pirate in some 300 years, AKAIK. Just yesterday I watched a YouTube video of the last one or two B-29s flying, and it's in private hands too. Yet no one, AFAIK, has nuked any more Japanese cities either, or for that matter any American ones.

Which leaves hoplophobia as the only rationale left for banning anything, which stands on no legal precedent nor constitutional underpinning to give it support.
Bans only induldge psychosis.