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Possible Obama Supreme Court Nominees and the Second Amendment:

In the October 2008 issue of America's 1st Freedom, one of the NRA member magazines, I gave a brief overview of the Second Amendment record of some of the people who had been mentioned as possible Obama appointments to the Supreme Court: Sonia Sotomayor, Merrick Garland, Cass Sunstein, and Eric Holder. This is not, of course, a full list of all the people who have mentioned.

Monty:
After what happened to the DC Representation bill, I think the NRA is in a very strong position. Its not likely NRA will let a nominee with a bad track record through without a lot of pain for those democrats that value the opinion of the NRA. The second amendment is the third rail of the current congress and it sounds like Obama has come to realize it...

I'm not saying its what will happen, or even if its very likely, but if Obama was willing to abandon the gun grabbing, and appoint a pro-second amendment nominee, it may be possible to get a nominee in who is further to the left on alot of other issues.
5.2.2009 1:18am
J. Aldridge:
Cass Sunstein's position on the 2A is much stronger than the NRA's position, especially when you consider the fact the 2A most likely was borrowed from the Mass Constitution.

Of course, Congress has no power to ban your guns with or without a 2A no more than they have the power to ban baseball bats.
5.2.2009 1:52am
CurlyDave (mail):
A very anti-2A appointment by Obama could produce incorporation.

The majority hinted that they would have voted for incorporation if that issue had been present in Heller, but it wasn't.

Knowing that Obama will appoint more anti-2A justices, the current ones may feel a desire and an urgency to incorporate while they still have a majority.
5.2.2009 2:25am
Brett Bellmore:
The problem being, would Obama nominate somebody who really cares about respecting precedent?
5.2.2009 7:33am
PostNoBill:
Let's hope he appoints some sort of minority woman, so that when we get the presidency back, we can stick with actually qualified white men.
5.2.2009 7:33am
Kharn (mail):
Are we playing 'find the black, Jewish, lesbian, Alaskan native in a wheelchair with a law degree' yet?
5.2.2009 8:05am
Oren:
There are a lot of pro-gun Senators in the Democratic Party (Webb, Tester, Gillibrand off the top of my head). Obama knows this, and I think he's willing to compromise his preference for gun control to get things that he feels are much more important to his agenda (health care, immigration, ...)
5.2.2009 8:24am
Oren:
Also, EV (if you read the other conspirators blog post comments), could you divine what EK thinks about the 2A from this experience?
5.2.2009 8:28am
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

Of course, Congress has no power to ban your guns with or without a 2A no more than they have the power to ban baseball bats.

So the 1934 NFA is unconstitutional? As is the Gun Control Act of 1968?

J. Aldridge's (oft, oft, oft-expressed) views on the Constitution give me sort of a tax-protester feel.
5.2.2009 8:37am
Oren:

J. Aldridge's (oft, oft, oft-expressed) views on the Constitution give me sort of a tax-protester feel.

Yes. We've all read and digested his views on the cc and the 14a and come to our own conclusions. There really is nothing more to be said about it.
5.2.2009 8:51am
rosetta's stones:
Yeah, strategically, it won't pay Obama to confront the 2A issue on this nomination. With this pick, he can get status quo and then some, with almost no downside for him unless he creates one.

The only real curiousity is whether he'll select counter to the common wisdom, and I can see him doing that. This is his pick, not yours or mine or some interest group's... and at some point, he may decide to quit being led around by the nose, especially since his leaders so far have been a befuddled Congress, Geithner, Bernanke et al.
5.2.2009 9:07am
J. Aldridge:
"So the 1934 NFA is unconstitutional? As is the Gun Control Act of 1968?"

Yup, just as prohibition would been without the Eighteenth Amendment.

"J. Aldridge's (oft, oft, oft-expressed) views on the Constitution give me sort of a tax-protester feel."

Ultra Leftists tell me the same thing.
5.2.2009 9:16am
J. Aldridge:
Yes. We've all read and digested his views on the cc and the 14a and come to our own conclusions. There really is nothing more to be said about it.

I'll humor you and pretend for the day there really is a Easter Bunny.
5.2.2009 9:19am
Kirk:
J.Aldridge,
Of course, Congress has no power to ban your guns with or without a 2A no more than they have the power to ban baseball bats.
In the world intended by the founders, sure. But in the one we actually inhabit? Not a chance, sadly.
5.2.2009 9:32am
jviss (mail):
Editorial comment on the article.

Paragraph 21, which begins "In 2007, a three-judge panel..." seems to be missing something in the last sentence:


The D.C. government asked for are hearing of the case, before all 10 judges of the D.C. Circuit.


Or maybe I just don't get it?
5.2.2009 10:00am
Per Son:
So is this the new litmus test?
5.2.2009 10:01am
jviss (mail):
Whoops, I think I see it: apparently "a rehearing" was changed to "are hearing." It appears in the following paragraph, too.


[DK: Thanks. I fixed those typos.]
5.2.2009 10:02am
jviss (mail):
My fear with Obama is that he will continue to exercise the incredibly poor judgment he has so far in his administration, particularly with his appointments. I recognize others will disagree, but just the sheer number of tax cheats appointed is startling to me.

I have no doubt that Obama will nominate a statist/authoritarian, who is decidedly left in every sense of the contemporary definition, and who has no respect for the fundamental aspect of the constitution, but will believe it is right and just to correct perceived injustices, i.e., to legislate from the bench.

I believe the majority in the Senate will not vet her on her judicial philosophy, but will cheer that she will push their social philosophy in the court.
5.2.2009 10:18am
Oren:

I'll humor you and pretend for the day there really is a Easter Bunny.

You know, there are many folks that have roughly the same interpretive stance as you do about the CC and somehow manage to be somewhat civil about it.
5.2.2009 10:18am
Oren:

I have no doubt that Obama will nominate a statist/authoritarian, who is decidedly left in every sense of the contemporary definition

No comment on the pro-civil-liberties proclivities of the liberals (plus Scalia) on the bench?
5.2.2009 10:23am
jviss (mail):
Well, if you consider the Second Amendment a civil right, as I do, but most liberals I know do not; and, remarkably (to me), the ACLU does not; nor do the liberals on the court, if Heller is any indication.

If you consider property rights, or rights to not having your property taken by the government and given to another private party to profit from a civil right, as I do; but the liberals on the court do not, if Kelo is any indication.

So, I don't think the liberals on the court respect civil liberties across the board.

I am not a very good student of the court, but I would have to say that the constitution, i.e., civil liberties, is in better hands with Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas, than Ginsburg, Stevens, Souter, and Breyer. Kennedy: no comment.
5.2.2009 11:10am
Brett Bellmore:

Of course, Congress has no power to ban your guns with or without a 2A no more than they have the power to ban baseball bats.


For all my disagreements with Aldridge, substitute "authority" for "power", (They've got the power, unfortunately.) I have to agree with that. They've got no enumerated power to ban ANYTHING. Regulate it if it crosses state lines in commerce, sure, but not ban.
5.2.2009 11:50am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I am not a very good student of the court, but I would have to say that the constitution, i.e., civil liberties, is in better hands with Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas

If by the constitution, you mean the 2nd amendment, yeah. probably.
5.2.2009 11:54am
rosetta's stones:
"No man's life, liberty, or property is safe," warned Mark Twain, "while Congress is in session."
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We need to amend Twain's comments.
5.2.2009 12:00pm
Kirk:
We need to amend truncate Twain's comments.

FIFY--a simple removal of the ending clause will suffice, no?
5.2.2009 12:29pm
Oren:

Regulate it if it crosses state lines in commerce, sure, but not ban.

The power to regulate *is* the power to ban.
5.2.2009 12:37pm
Oren:


If by the constitution, you mean the 2nd amendment, yeah. probably.


It saddens me that none of the Justices can be said to take all of the first 6 (well, the 3rd is silly but OK) amendments as seriously as I would like.

Take Scalia on Heller and get shafted when he declares that dirty words and references to drugs aren't speech for the purposes of the 1A (but you get Texas v. Johnson as a consolation prize). Stevens is OK with dirty words and drugs but you don't get Texas v. Johnson on account of his WWII-thing.

Scalia is stronger on the 6A (Maryland v. Craig, the whole Booker/Blakely/Apprendi thing) but Stevens upholds the 4A more often (Harris, Herring, Hudson) although Scalia will give you Kyllo as a consolation prize. Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton was particularly galling. Stevens dissent in Oliver v. United States, of course, bears mention, although apparently he wasn't persuasive enough to carry the day.

If you ask me, it's sort of a wash. I use the word "fuck" more often than I shoot my gun and that's as good a tie-breaker as any.
5.2.2009 12:50pm
jviss (mail):
I would love it if someone would make a table of the 10 amendments and the voting record of the current justices next to it; I would, but I'm too lazy/busy, etc.
5.2.2009 1:16pm
Brett Bellmore:

The power to regulate *is* the power to ban.


But the power to regulate commerce which is interstate is not "the power to regulate", its a very limited subset of that power.
5.2.2009 2:30pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Yes. We've all read and digested his views on the cc and the 14a and come to our own conclusions. There really is nothing more to be said about it.
Look, I don't know what the big deal is. He's not a lawyer or historian, but he knows how to link to the blog of a guy who isn't a lawyer or historian either. Just that one blog, though.
5.2.2009 2:45pm
CJColucci:
My prediction is that Obama isn't going to give a damn one way or the other what his nominee's views on the 2d Amendment are. Whatever any of them think about Heller, just about any plausible candidate will nevertheless uphold far more regulation than the NRA would like. The details will be unimportant. Obama has other priorities.
5.2.2009 3:46pm
John Moore (www):
Oren:

No comment on the pro-civil-liberties proclivities of the liberals (plus Scalia) on the bench?

Depends on which "civil liberties" you care about. The cultural/political divide in the country is split on that.

If you ask me, it's sort of a wash. I use the word "fuck" more often than I shoot my gun and that's as good a tie-breaker as any.

Saying "fuck" likely to be what you say just before someone with a gun takes your life because you don't have one ;-)

Also, I suspect the rationale for tighter regulation of the airwaves (scarcity requiring government control) will fade rapidly in the near future.
5.2.2009 3:47pm
cboldt (mail):
-- So the 1934 NFA is unconstitutional? --
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According to the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Arkansas where Miller was tried, yes, the 1934 NFA is unconstitutional in light of the 2nd.
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SCOTUS would have upheld the lower court too (and on the same basis of being unconstitutional in light of the 2nd), but it lacked a finding of fact, that a sawed off shotgun is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.
5.2.2009 4:35pm
OLDPUPPYMAX (mail):
Sooner or later the left will overturn the 2nd amendment. These are people who above all, cannot help themselves. The imposition of absolute authority, the destruction of this nation as it currently exists and the desire to render impossible the slightest protest make their course quite clear. And perhaps their ultimate success in this regard will be a good thing. For the American public has shown no counter resolve to the theft of its property and wealth, to its right to speak in a manner not acceptable to a vocal minority and has accepted all manner of intrusion upon the cultural heritage vital to the continued existence of a moral and healthy society. God willing, the death of our right to keep and bear arms will provide the spark necessary to remove a tyrannical government with a second American revolution.
5.2.2009 4:49pm
Oren:


Saying "fuck" likely to be what you say just before someone with a gun takes your life because you don't have one ;-)


But I do have a gun!

As to the civil liberties, leaving aside SDP (since I know we disagree and it's not productive to hash it out yet again), I don't think it's quite clear that Thomas and Scalia (Roberts and Alito haven't been on long enough) are really much better than Breyer and Ginsburg.

Take Hudson -- Scalia's eviscerates what even he acknowledges is an ancient privilege of English Law: the right of a citizen to surrender peacefully to lawful authority instead of being taken by force.
5.2.2009 5:19pm
John Moore (www):

But I do have a gun!

If you lived in DC before Heller, that would have been a problem.

I would say that Thomas and Scalia are *different* than Breye and Ginsburg. As to better on civil liberties.., beat me.
5.2.2009 6:08pm
John Moore (www):
Freudian slip re: civil liberties?

I meant "beats me"

:-)
5.2.2009 6:29pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
(well, the 3rd is silly but OK)
Amendment III: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This right may sound silly at first glance, as we don't have the bitter experience that led the Founding Fathers to include it. OTOH the present administration is getting close to "quartering" bureaucrats in a whole bunch of businesses.
5.2.2009 6:46pm
rosetta's stones:

As to better on civil liberties.., beat me.


Once the camps are open, we will be able to accommodate you, JM.



OTOH the present administration is getting close to "quartering" bureaucrats in a whole bunch of businesses.


Tell us more about this.

OT, last week, a guy was walking around my neighborhood door-to-door in the middle of the day, with a satchel saying "US Census", and wearing the proper ID it appeared. He didn't knock, just wrote on a clipboard and kept moving. WTF?
5.2.2009 7:02pm
Eli Rabett (www):
You left out Hillary Clinton
5.2.2009 7:13pm
J. Aldridge:
David M. Nieporent said: "Look, I don't know what the big deal is. He's not a lawyer or historian, but he knows how to link to the blog of a guy who isn't a lawyer or historian either. Just that one blog, though."

No I'm not a lawyer but why would I need to be a historian to read history? Paul Madison is a historian of American law with the LOC (retired).
5.2.2009 8:04pm
NickM (mail) (www):
rosetta's - he was working on the project where the Census is attempting to identify all changes to their master list of residential properties (so Census forms can be sent to every address next year).

Nick
5.2.2009 9:00pm
Joseph Slater (mail):
David M. Nieporent has it right, but this shouldn't become a thread about J. Aldridge's views about Con Law, given that they have no chance of becoming actual law.
5.2.2009 9:30pm
J. Aldridge:
Joseph Slater: My views? These are the views of the framers and the words of the the constitution itself. I didn't dreamed anything up like lawyers or SCOTUS has.

"Commerce between independent powers or communities is universally regulated by duties and imposts. It was so regulated by the States before the adoption of this Constitution, equally in respect to each other and to foreign powers. The goods and vessels employed in the trade are the only subjects of regulation. It can act on none other." --James Monroe

"It is best as it stands—The power of regulating trade between the States will protect them agst each other—Should this not be the case, the attempts of one to tax the produce of another passing through its hands, will force a direct exportation and defeat themselves." --Oliver Ellsworth

"I will only mention here, as it is perfectly within my recollection, that the power was given to Congress to regulate the commerce by water between the States, and it being feared, by the Southern, that the Eastern would, whenever they could, do so to the disadvantage of the Southern States, you will find, in the 6th section of the 1st article, Congress are prevented from taxing exports, or giving preference to the ports of one State over another, or obliging vessels bound from one State to clear, enter, or pay duties in another; which restrictions, more clearly than any thing else, prove what the power to regulate commerce among the several States means." --Charles Pinckney

"To make a thing which may be bought and sold is not to prescribe regulations for buying and selling. Besides, if this were an exercise of the power of regulating commerce, it would be void, as extending as much to the internal commerce of every state, as to its external." --Thomas Jefferson


If this were admitted, the enumeration of the powers of congress would be wholly unnecessary and nugatory. Agriculture, colonies, capital, machinery, the ages of labour, the profits of stock, the rents of land, the punctual performance of contracts, and the diffusion of knowledge would all be within the scope of the power; for all of them bear an intimate relation to commerce. The result would be, that the powers of congress would embrace the widest extent of legislative functions, to the utter demolition of all constitutional boundaries between the state and national governments." --Justice Story
5.2.2009 10:55pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

According to the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Arkansas where Miller was tried, yes, the 1934 NFA is unconstitutional in light of the 2nd.

That's of incredible interest, in the category of totally irrelevant.

Do you read Heller for the same proposition? Including Justice Scalia's comment about the M-16? Heller is slightly better authority on the 2A than that W.D. Ark. case, you know.
5.3.2009 12:39am
cboldt (mail):
-- Do you read Heller for the same proposition? Including Justice Scalia's comment about the M-16? Heller is slightly better authority on the 2A than that W.D. Ark. case, you know. --
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In Heller,9 of 9 SCOTUS Justices propounded utterly false/incorrect summaries of the fact pattern in the Miller case, as well as the decision. I agree that Heller is more contemporary, but that doesn't mean that it correctly stated, distinguished and handled past precedent.
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Miller itself, the SCOTUS case, is quite easy to read and summarize. There are no dissenting opinions, the case is short, the logic is simple. That Courts deliberately misconstrue it is testament to outcome-oriented jurisprudence. Congress won't call 'em on it, because Congress like holding the public under its thumb, too. Besides, and Congress thinks every law it passes is perfectly Constitutional.
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I disagree that Miller is totally irrelevant. It's hanging out there, not having been reversed or repudiated, except by error.
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My reference to the W.D.Ark case was to establish the state of the 1934 NFA when SCOTUS took up Miller's having been relieved of criminal liability, on account of the 1934 NFA being unconstitutional. The focus was meant to be drawn to the SCOTUS decision.
5.3.2009 9:19am
Kharn (mail):
LarryA:
I was always amused by the treatment of the 3rd in history classes. "Oh, back in the day the British would make you let their soldiers stay in the barn. We have military bases now so its not needed" No mention of the quartered troops stomped on those thought to be less than loyal to the Crown, etc.
5.3.2009 12:33pm
Brett Bellmore:

but that doesn't mean that it correctly stated, distinguished and handled past precedent.


I really wondered about that: Given that there are probably in excess of a million Americans who are familiar with the fact that Miller had won at the lower court level, and it was the federal government that appealed to the Supreme court, how is it that Scalia got that backwards?
5.3.2009 2:35pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
OTOH the present administration is getting close to "quartering" bureaucrats in a whole bunch of businesses.
Tell us more about this.
If the government owns half the stock in a company, ya think they might want to nominate someone for the board of directors?

The firearms industry has also seen several efforts, including the 2000 agreement between Smith &Wesson and HUD and the NYC lawsuits, which would place government representatives in some sort of control position in private companies.
I was always amused by the treatment of the 3rd in history classes.
I was amused by lots of things in history classes. Sociology was even funnier.
5.4.2009 2:18am
cboldt (mail):
-- Do you read Heller for the same proposition? Including Justice Scalia's comment about the M-16? --
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I just now looked at the particular phrases in Heller and Miller on the specific point of the M-16. Scalia has cherry-picked the "in common use" phrase from Miller, because it suits the outcome he intends to produce (diffusing the holding and rationale of Miller without drawing too much attention to Miller, in order to protect long-standing but unconstitutional law). He did not choose an operative phrase from the Miller holding, either "this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense" or "has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia."
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Scalia's choice of "in common use," in combination with the enforcement of the unconstitutional 1934 NFA, results in the government being able to convert an unconstitutional infringement that results, over time, in absence of common use, into a constitutionally permitted restriction.
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Again, I agree that Heller is more contemporary than Miller. And of course, the government, with the help of SCOTUS, maintains that the 1934 NFA is constitutional. But it doesn't take a genius discern that the government is engaged in rank "sleight of hand" dishonesty on that point.
5.4.2009 8:41am
J. Aldridge:
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb said: "Do you read Heller for the same proposition? Including Justice Scalia's comment about the M-16? Heller is slightly better authority on the 2A than that W.D. Ark. case, you know."

You mean where he said owning an M-16 is useful in service of the military, and therefore, may be banned, BUT also says arms under the Second Amendment is "unconnected with service in the military."

Talk about flip-flopping!!!
5.4.2009 8:51am
cboldt (mail):
[Scalia] We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." [All of Scalia's conclusions in this vein depend on the scope of government regulatory power being congruent with "in common use," which is downright handy when the government can regulate things out of common use] We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of "dangerous and unusual weapons." [1) notice the stated historical prohibition is on carrying, not on keeping, and 2) cites omitted, but they do not support a conclusion that the US government can constitutionally ban the private possession of a dangerous and unusual weapon, let alone Scalia's outcome that it can constitutionally ban a small arm in common use by the military]
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It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service--M-16 rifles and the like--may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. [Here he seems to be saying that the government may ban M-16s and weapons that are useful in military service] But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. [Notice he does not probe the scope of "lawful weapons possessed at home" at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification] It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. [Unusual is not the measure, and even if it was, "highly unusual" in this instance is bootstrapped from government restriction]
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Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right. [He neutralizes the Miller Court's statement -- "weapon [that] is any part of the ordinary military equipment or [which] use could contribute to the common defense [is in the scope of 2nd amendment protection]" -- without explanation]
5.4.2009 10:00am
J. Aldridge:
Notice he does not probe the scope of "lawful weapons possessed at home" at the time of the Second Amendment's ratification.

No need to because State laws dictated what "lawful weapons possessed at home" were required along with amount of gunpowder and lead. You would be fined if you were eligible to bear arms and didn't have the required gun and ammo. Could also be fined for also not maintaining the gun.

Doesn't sound like much of an individual right to keep a gun for personal self defense at home when you were required to by State law!
5.4.2009 11:07am
J. Aldridge:
Also, women were not allowed to "bear arms" but they still could purchase and own guns. (Wink, wink)
5.4.2009 11:09am
cboldt (mail):
-- No need to because State laws dictated what "lawful weapons possessed at home" were required ... --
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Inquiry into what possession was required by law doesn't probe what possession was prohibited by law, and therefore does not address the scope of "lawful weapons possessed at home."
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What weapons were removed from homes under force of law, and for what reasons?
5.4.2009 11:22am
LarryA (mail) (www):
Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks.
Tell that to our folks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a former infantry officer, I would consider leading a company into a conflict where my soldiers were outnumbered 100 to 1 (as would be the case in a conflict between the U.S. military and U.S. civilian gun owners) pretty much suicide, regardless of armor or air support.
5.4.2009 11:24am
Oren:


As a former infantry officer, I would consider leading a company into a conflict where my soldiers were outnumbered 100 to 1 (as would be the case in a conflict between the U.S. military and U.S. civilian gun owners) pretty much suicide, regardless of armor or air support.

You don't lead your company into a conflict. You harden into a defensible position of strength while and assert control through rapid deployment of overwhelming force (that's where air &arty come in).

Also, I'm not sure there are 20 million gun owners (~200k military could be brought to bear) in the US that would actively take up arms against the US military in the case of an insurrection or rebellion. Of course, the politics leading up would be important, but that number seems inflated. They be in the hills within a few weeks, at which point rooting them out is a function of civilian cooperation, not military might.
5.4.2009 11:59am
LarryA (mail) (www):
You don't lead your company into a conflict. You harden into a defensible position of strength while and assert control through rapid deployment of overwhelming force (that's where air &arty come in).
Excellent tactics where you are in a defensive role. If the U.S. military were trying to stage a coup (which is of course highly unlikely, I'm speaking hypothetically) then infantry/armor companies would have to move out and take civilian defensive positions. Whole 'nother ballgame.
Also, I'm not sure there are 20 million gun owners (~200k military could be brought to bear) in the US that would actively take up arms against the US military in the case of an insurrection or rebellion. Of course, the politics leading up would be important, but that number seems inflated.
Again, I was thinking of a coup, not a rebellion. In case the political situation actually got to the point of rebellion, I'm not sure the military would fully respond either. There are lots of possible scenarios.
They be in the hills within a few weeks, at which point rooting them out is a function of civilian cooperation, not military might.
That would depend on which side the civilians responded to.

In another post having to do with Spitzer's gun control plan where he suggests Obama could use government firearm purchasing power to regulate the civilian market I looked up some numbers:
Active duty U.S. military: 1,455,000
U.S. military reserve forces: 848,000
Federal/state/local sworn law enforcement officers: 837,000
Total government employees with guns: 3,140,000

The NRA has more members. Considering 80,000,000 U.S. gun owners the non-government market is 25 times the government market. That tail's too little to wag that dog.

And I haven't thrown in that many, if not most states wouldn't go along with the plan.

Or you can look at it another way. The U.S. military is currently straining themselves trying to keep order in Iraq, a country little larger than California. Picture those same military resources spread across fifty states.

As I said, suicide.
5.4.2009 1:52pm
Oren:


They be in the hills within a few weeks, at which point rooting them out is a function of civilian cooperation, not military might.

That would depend on which side the civilians responded to.

Indeed, without the sympathy of the civilians, the insurrection would be over by the first winter.


The NRA has more members. Considering 80,000,000 U.S. gun owners the non-government market is 25 times the government market. That tail's too little to wag that dog.

My statement wasn't about the number of gun owners, it was about the number of gun owners willing to take up arms against a military force. My grandmother owns a shotgun, but if there is a coup/rebellion she is going to stay put and do as she's told. I don't blame her either.
5.4.2009 3:34pm
Oren:

Excellent tactics where you are in a defensive role.

I think a US insurgency against a coup without massive public support could be dealt with defensively. Strangle and isolate -- crush while you can. Comparisons with Iraq are inapposite because there was destroyed the basic implements of government needed to impose order. Here, the army could protect the police when needed, secure the courthouses and let the local civilian government maintain day-to-day order.

Of course, without the public support (and therefore in the face of hostile state/local governments) everything is up for grabs.
5.4.2009 3:39pm
J. Aldridge:
What weapons were removed from homes under force of law, and for what reasons?

Pennsylvania once banned all weapons within the City of Harrisburg and the PA supreme court found it not infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. Reason: Crime suppression.

Only instance I can think of for the removal of arms by law is if the arms involved are govt arms given to militia members. Public arms became very popular when greater numbers could eventually be purchased/loaned from the U.S. and there were requirements by law for their eventual return.
5.4.2009 8:12pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Pennsylvania once banned all weapons within the City of Harrisburg and the PA supreme court found it not infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. --
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The only cites I find to that revolve around your own post of July 30, 2008, referring to Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Kreps. According to your representation in that post, the Kreps case is about banning of carry (not possession in the home), and that of a narrow class of small weapons (pocket guns, dirk-knives and slung-shots). Also as you represented, that case presumes the 2nd amendment is not effective against the states.
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My sense is that the reality at the time of the founding was that "the people" would be at rough force parity as compared with "the government."
5.5.2009 9:10am
J. Aldridge:
According to your representation in that post, the Kreps case is about banning of carry (not possession in the home)

There was never was rational for the banning of "home possession" of anything. As far as rights go, guns have no special significance over owning a stove, medicine or food.
I've never understood the elevation of "guns" to such a special status over everything else a person may own and use.
5.6.2009 8:06am

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