Over at Shall Not Be Questioned on the Toomey-Manchin deal:
This bill is like trying to plug the holes in Swiss Cheese by cutting out plugs from the same slice and inserting them into the holes that are already there.
I’ve only read excerpts of the bill so far, but I’m not impressed. I’ll try to read it this weekend and post my thoughts in between preparing for my trial advocacy final and grading legal research assignments for class I’m the TA for.
Apropos of David Gregory’s violation of Washington, D.C.’s strict liability standard capacity magazine ban, and the D.C. attorney general’s decision to forego prosecution:
Historically, selective enforcement is recognized as a sign of tyranny, and an abuse of power, because it violates rule of law, allowing men to apply justice only when they choose. Aside from this being inherently unjust, it almost inevitably must lead to favoritism and extortion, with those empowered to choose being able to help their friends, take bribes, and threaten those from they desire favors.
Of course, if you’re not David Gregory, and don’t have David Gregory’s connections, the D.C. attorney general is not nearly so understanding.
Tens–likely hundreds–of millions of such magazines are lawfully possessed in the United States by law-abiding gun owners. More than 1 million PMAGs are backordered from Magpul. Brownells sold through three-and-a-half years worth of magazines in three days.
Magazines like the one Gregory displayed on Meet the Press, and Magpul’s PMAG, are not complicated; they are made up of a box and a spring. Given the sheer number of standard capacity magazines in the United States, and the infrequency of mass shootings (they are not becoming more common, and your chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about the same as your chances of being struck by lightning), these magazines, as well as the AR-15 rifle (and all semi-automatic weapons) are in common use for lawful purposes.
If in common use is to mean anything at all, it must cover the AR-15–America’s most popular rifle–and standard capacity magazines.
Well, mostly. The election was but a blip in the ever-busier life of a second-year law student,* so I haven’t had much time to wail or gnash my teeth about America’s failure to stave off entitlementageddon for more years rather than fewer.
Today, though, it struck me.
Fewer than 200 years ago, Emerson wrote:**
It is only as a man puts off all foreign support, and stands alone, that I see him to be strong and to prevail. He is weaker by every recruit to his banner. Is not a man better than a town?
I doubt many today would agree.
*The first draft of my law review note is due on the 19th.
**I was going to make it my latest QotITI, but it’s already been one.
It’s been a while since I did one of these, but the faux outrage from the left over Romney’s paying 13% in taxes inspired me.
Judge Learned Hand is commonly referred to as the greatest American judge to never sit on the Supreme Court.
He had this to say on the matter of taxes:
Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury. There is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes. Over and over again the Courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everyone does it, rich and poor alike and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.
And Hand wasn’t even libertarian or conservative; he ran for office (before becoming a federal appellate judge) as a member of the Progressive Party.
During the oral arguments before SCOTUS today on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked:
But the reason, the reason this is concerning, is because it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don’t have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not have a duty to stop him absent some relation between you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that rule, but that’s generally the rule.
And here the government is saying that the Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual citizen that it must act, and that is different from what we have in previous cases and that changes the relationship of the Federal Government to the individual in the very fundamental way.
p. 30, lines 9-23
I haven’t read the whole thing yet (indeed, I’ve only skimmed the first part), but I thought this was an interesting point.
Given the reactions in the media and the blogosphere, my impression is that things did not go well for the government and its case.
Fine by me.
Gen. Napier famously said:
Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
I wonder how he would deal with fanatics in Afghanistan who feel compelled to go around shooting people and setting off suicide bombs just because someone burned a book.
Not that raving hysteria over burning the Koran is anything new.
If even the Afghanis who have trained with US forces and work with them daily are shooting our soldiers over this, it’s time to pack it in and leave them to their own devices (which will presumably be hand-crafted and -powered, since any infrastructure they’ve got is going to disappear once we stop protecting it).
The reason no one ever conquers Afghanistan is because they eventually realize, much like Han Solo in Star Wars, that “No reward is worth this.”
On an NRO post excoriating Santorum’s strong anti-libertarian bent, commenter YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAARGH has this to say:
The problem with the Republican party today is that they are the party of Boromir: they don’t want to destroy the state, they want to use it for good. They mean well–as does Mr. Santorum–but that’s because, like Boromir, they don’t understand the problem.
I read something similar in a piece yesterday talking about how it’s all well and good that the Republicans want to cut departments and programs like PPACA, but what are they going to replace them with?
Why do they need to be replaced with anything? Most of te stuff the feds are tied up in isn’t any of their damn business in the first place, so why would any sane person who just cut the government replace it with anything at all?
I just want the government to leave me alone. And because I’m such a nice, friendly guy, I want the government to leave everyone else alone, too. Is that so much to ask?
In his latest screed, ‘Puter tackles how the Catholic Church got themselves into this mess. RTWT.
2. The American Catholic Church currently reaps what it has sown post Vatican II. For far too long, Rome and the local bishoprics have allowed Catholics in place of public prominence to misportray Catholic teachings. Even worse, the Church has stood idly by as “Catholic” politicians from Kennedy to Cuomo have treated the Church’s positions on adultery and right-to-life as optional. Worst of all, ‘Puter’s Church has utterly failed to catechize the several generations raised during and immediately after Vatican II, leaving no one to act to protect and to defend the Holy Mother Church.
2a. Much of the priesthood ordained from 1970-1985 are self-loathing Catholics. They don’t like the choice they made, but see no way out. They vote against the Church’s teachings. ‘Puter’s pastor announced in a homily that he voted for pro-abortion Obama. These men are doing a grave disservice to a great institution, both religious and societal, through their sinfulness.
Now, I’m not Catholic, but I don’t see how the HHS requirements can possibly be squared with the free exercise clause of the First Amendment; there’s no way this would survive any kind of meaningful scrutiny. And given the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the so-called ministerial exception (which was essentially 9-0, affirming the right of churches and religious organizations to ignore federal law (sex/age/disability discrimination, etc.) when making hiring and firing decisions for positions whose duties are primarily religious), they’re not likely to see this much differently.
If the Catholic Church had been less inclined to bring in Big Government for dealing with social issues, they might have more allies in this matter; instead, they appear to have been hoist with their own petard.
I only skimmed his piece at the Corner this morning, and would have missed this bit if a commenter hadn’t pointed it out:
I have to say, though, that the second paragraph seems to be a step in the right direction for Bloomberg. He seems to be suggesting … that we require private firearm sales to go through license dealers so that background checks are performed. (Under current law, licensed dealers have to perform background checks, but once a private citizen owns a gun, he’s free to sell it without a check.) … requiring background checks for private sales is at least debatable — a fair number of crime guns seem to come from private sources, and it’s not unreasonable to ask someone who wants to transfer a gun to drive to a licensed dealer first. (California allows dealers to charge $35 for the service; another option would be for the government to pay.) [emphasis added]
This is the return of the (so-called) gun show loophole.
Laws requiring background checks on private transfers are on the books in California, Massachusetts, and presumably several other states (DC likely bans them all together, given the nonsense they make people buying guns from FFLs go through). New York City requires (I believe) all gun owners to be licensed.
And yet Bloomberg wants to criminalize (with VerBruggen’s support, apparently) all private sales of firearms. Straw purchasing is already illegal. The people these laws are trying to stop are already breaking the law. The only people this law would affect are the law-abiding. Want to sell your gun to your brother? To your friend? Tough shit. Go pay the man his cut.
Why is another law going to make any difference at all?
Michael Brown is sick of the local sheriff encouraging qualifying citizens to protect themselves.
This isn’t really a quote, but the paraphrase of Brown’s statements from this article:
Despite what the sheriff may say Brown believes encouraging people to get a CWP isn’t the answer.
County Councilman Brown says law enforcement get more hours of training when it comes to weapons and they should be the ones protecting citizens. Sheriff Wright says he hasn’t heard from brown’s constituents who are upset over his comments and says he has an open door policy.
This is especially bad timing, given that a patron of a local Waffle House had to defend himself from what must have been a pair of misunderstood upstanding citizens.
Even if I were to concede the councilman’s point that the police are better trained (given the OCD of the gunblogging community when it comes to classes and training, I find that a bit hard to believe), the police have no duty to protect anyone.
Not you, not me, and certainly not the poor bastard who had to defend himself in a Waffle House in Spartanburg, SC.
What are we supposed to do, Councilman Brown?
Wait the rest of our lives for the police to show up?