Today, I wanted to take a look at this article from the Washington Post. They are attempting to make the case that the Second Amendment allows for the banning of the AR-15, because it isn’t a weapon “that ordinary people carry on an ordinary basis for self-defense.” This article is as dishonest as usual when discussing the Second Amendment. What they have done here is said that the Second Amendment applies to weapons that the militia would carry, then twisted it to say that the modern interpretation doesn’t apply to any gun that you can’t carry concealed, meaning that you can’t carry hand grenades and rocket launchers, or AR-15s.

Logically, it should also exclude AR-15s, which are not commonly carried for self-defense.

Washington Post

Of course, the Heller decision never said that “common use” was restricted only to weapons that were carried for individual defense. It said used for common defense. That decision also glossed over what we are supposed to do when a law creates its own “common use” restriction. That is, what if a weapon isn’t in common use because an otherwise unconstitutional law has eliminated that weapon from being in common use? For example, machine guns might very well be in common use, if it weren’t for the fact that they have been restricted for a century, and outright banned for the past 37 years. It’s this sort of circular argument that the Bruen decision is addressing: Would the founding fathers have banned machine guns? I don’t think that they would have. After all, there were cannons and even entire warships that were in private hands at the time of ratification.

What’s really interesting about the Post article is that it signals a shift in anti-gunner philosophy. It looks as though they are finally giving in to the SCOTUS decisions. Sure, they take the time to trash talk the decision:

Modern gun rights jurisprudence began in 2008, when Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a Supreme Court opinion called District of Columbia v. Heller. That opinion featured the astonishing act (astonishing for an originalist, at least) of reinterpreting the original meaning of the Second Amendment. This took some jurisprudential jiu-jitsu. Scalia discounted the introductory clause that explains the purpose of amendment as ensuring a well-regulated militia. He shifted the meaning of the right to bear arms to personal self-defense.

Along the way, Scalia made up a new limitation for the newly created right.

Washington Post

The point here is that they are beginning to recognize that they have lost this part of the fight. What’s funny is that they go on to claim that the right doesn’t apply to hand grenades or tanks. I beg to differ. The law permits the private ownership of armored vehicles. We see them every day: they deliver money to your local grocery store. Granted, those are not armed with cannons and belt fed coaxial machine, guns, but they are currently owned.

I would argue that hand grenades would be permissible to own. I could easily see that using a hand grenade in a crowded subway would be just as illegal as emptying an entire handgun into a crowd. After all, indiscriminate weapon use that strikes six innocent people in order to hit one mugger is a bit ridiculous. However, using that same tactic against four armed men in your downstairs living room that are waiting to ambush you as you come down the stairs could easily be justified.

Similar cases can be made for owning a Javelin AT missile. There aren’t many cases where one would be useful to use in self defense, but that is a different story than simply owning one. It is important that we not conflate owning a weapon and actually firing it. Just as there is a difference between owning a 1911 and firing one at someone, a similar distinction exists for nearly any weapon, whether that weapon is a single shot .22, a missile launcher, or a hand grenade.

I would argue that the Second Amendment as it is written also permits nuclear weapons. If only there was a way that we could rewrite the Constitution to account for new technology… Perhaps a way to modify it. We could call it an Amendment. Perhaps we could, say, get a 2/3 majority of both houses of Congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures, and we could amend the Second Amendment to say: “shall not be infringed, but in no case will this permit the private ownership of nuclear weapons.”

But then, several decades from now, the left will be arguing that the AR-15 is actually the same as a nuclear weapon.

Categories: Antigun


It's just Boris · May 15, 2023 at 7:09 am

The 2nd Amendment is arguably the simplest part of the entire Constitution to understand and interpret. It doesn’t require lots of deep thought, pondering or analysis.

Which, I suspect, is why so much time and effort is made to convince people otherwise.

Re AR-15s being nuclear weapons, well, they are made out of nuclear materials. All those evil electrons, protons, and the utterly ghastly neutrons. *shudder*

Michael · May 15, 2023 at 7:40 am

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.

William E. Gladstone

For the True Believer ™ there is NOTHING you can argue that matters against His/Her/Its feelings. Logic and reality is useless words against their FEEEEELINGS.

For the evil Socialists, their fine Talking Points(tm) are to disguise the PRIME DIRECTIVE of disarming you so they can get more POWER.

Or in simple man terms “Don’t try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

“A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Friday

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please—this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time—and squawk for more!
So learn to say No—and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Do your duty to family and trusted friends.

That’s a big enough job, I think.

    EN2 SS · May 15, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    NO is a perfectly good answer to most questions.

oldvet50 · May 15, 2023 at 8:33 am

I am old, 73 in fact. When I was in PUBLIC junior high school studying the US Constitution, the teacher explained the second amendment. She said that in order to maintain an army that knew what they were doing, the population that it drew its members from would need to be very familiar with firearms. If they already had weapons and the skill required to use them, an army, or militia, could be quickly formed to come to the aid of the country in its defense. Simple stuff that 8th graders could understand!

Anonymous · May 15, 2023 at 10:18 am

A fundamental mistake was accepting moral lessons from a government. At most, the government’s job is to distribute the gasoline taxes to the road paving crews. If the government wants to mass an army on the border in preparation for war on the middle class, then you should consider what you want to do about that. Careful i-dotting and t-crossing on your application for passes to the ghetto will turn out just like it did eighty years ago.

Of course 2A permits nuke bombs. But that’s not to say you get to commit millions of counts of reckless endangerment, meaning don’t point it at me and I don’t believe you when you say it isn’t loaded.

Jay Dee · May 15, 2023 at 11:26 am

First, the Second Amendment does not grant the right to keep and bear arms. It tells the government not to fool around with it; i.e. infringe.

Why does it tell the government not to do this? That’s in the first part. It says that free state needs an armed population for its security.

So what happens if a state chooses to infringe on this right? It is no longer a free state. Read our Declaration of Independence for remedies.

    Divemedic · May 15, 2023 at 11:38 am

    You don’t see a single line in either my post or in the Post article that says the 2A grants anything. Don’t argue against a point that no one tried to make.

Beans · May 15, 2023 at 11:50 am

If you go by the NFA definition of weapons of war, and also go by the definition of weapons of war at the time of the NFA being passed into law, then cannon, machine guns, armed ships, tanks, fighters and bombers, grenades, mortars, precision rifles and submachine guns, pretty much all guns are covered, including short barreled shotguns and short barreled rifles, pistols with changeable barrels including rifle-length barrels, pistol braces and shoulder braces.

Then there’s switch blades and drop blades and swords and axes and brass knuckles and stiletto blades and rod bayonets and knives and, well, just about everything a modern leftist would consider a horrid weapon that doesn’t belong on our streets. (Brass knuckles were issued/made for trench fighting, along with all those other weapons, too.)

And chemical weapons. And explosives of all sorts.

Bout the only things not available at the time were guided missiles and guided rockets and nuclear/thermonuclear weapons.

Magazine fed personal weapons? You could buy a Thompson SMG through the mail with a 50 round drum, and a BAR with a 20 round mag.

Heck, you could buy or sell actual machine guns without the government’s nose in your business.

Silencers and scopes and hand grips and stabilizing grips and bipods and tripods and vehicle mounts galore.

It was all legal.

Makes a leftist have vapors when you tell them all of this.

Gryphon · May 15, 2023 at 2:01 pm

The “NFA” was originally proposed as a Ban on Handguns (those are Still the most frequently-used Weapons by Criminals) and while the Not- Relevant – Anymore Gun Control Group “opposed” it, they supported the “Tax” on many categories of Weapons under the rubric that they were “Used by Gangsters”. Of course the $200 Tax (about $2500 Today) was unaffordable to most people; actual Gangsters like Al Capone could easily Pay that (but, remember, he was Put Away for Tax Evasion).

As for Nukes and other “Strategic” Weapons, a case could be made that the “Militia” part of the 2A would reasonably, under the “Well Regulated” (Trained and Organized) standard would mean that Possession of things that could inadvertently Start a War with a Foreign Nation would fall under a Collective Defense category.

    Divemedic · May 15, 2023 at 2:55 pm

    I disagree with your take on the nuke question. Finding reasons why “shall not be infringed” means that you can make exceptions is what the left does. Once you agree that the amendment means something other than what it says, you leave the entire Constitution up for interpretation.

Slow Joe Crow · May 16, 2023 at 6:44 pm

If want to make the Wapo twink screech, explain that the “well regulated militia” clause they always pound means that everything in the inventory of the organized militia (National Guard) is fair game for citizens and manufacturing sales and possession shall not be infringed. This would cover assault rifles, machine guns, armored vehicles, artillery, guided missiles and armed aircraft. While we no longer have a naval militia, the letters of marque clauses cover private warships

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