Second Amendment Scrutiny

On the eve of oral arguments in District of Columbia v. Heller, here are a few articles that may be of interest to people following the case:

Alan Gura and Robert Levy, two of the lawyers representing D.C. resident Dick Heller in his Second Amendment challenge to his city's gun ban, summarize their arguments in the Legal Times.

The New York Times notes the division between Solicitor General Paul Clement and Vice President Dick Cheney regarding the level of scrutiny that gun control should get under the Second Amendment, mentioning the Robert Novak column I discussed last week.

The intra-administration split is also mentioned in The Washington Post's preview of the case.

Gura and Levy say the Supreme Court need not specify a level of review: "Because Dick Heller challenges a categorical ban on handguns, as well as a near-total prohibition on exercise of Second Amendment rights relating to long guns, the outcome of the case does not depend on applying a specific constitutional standard of review." But if the Court decides to set a standard, they add, strict scrutiny—meaning that regulations must be the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest—is clearly appropriate, since the right to keep and bear arms, which grows out of the right to self-defense, is a fundamental right. They say regulations such as "the ban on felons possessing firearms, instant background checks for gun buyers, and sentence enhancements for using a gun in commission of a crime" would survive strict scrutiny.

In my column last week, I suggested that if D.C.-style gun control does not violate the Second Amendment, it's hard to imagine what sort of gun control would. 

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  • ||

    Anybody around here ever fire a Glock model 22? I might be able to get one on the cheap. I probably have a larger than average hand and want something that will fit comfortably.

    Plus (and this is the coolest), maybe someday I can get a kit and make it into one of these.

  • ||

    Buying a Glock is never a bad idea. Go for it.

  • ||

    I haven't fired a Glock, but to me the grip feels like a plastic 2x4. Many people swear by them so I doubt you can go wrong.

  • ||

    If D.C.-style gun control does not violate the Second Amendment, then the Second Amendment is worthless. It would be like arguing that prohibiting women younger than 50 from getting abortions would not violate Roe v. Wade.

    If the court rules this way, the States will need to call for the first-ever Constitutional Convention to fix this.

  • Paul||

    Glock: The Volvo of handguns...they're boxy, but they're good.

  • ||

    Can't go wrong with the Glock. They don't feel quite as good in my hand as some others, but I am slightly more accurate with Glocks. Very durable. Just make certain you are OK with the trigger safety (the only safety on the gun).

  • Episiarch||

    I might be able to get one on the cheap.

    My rule is, if you can buy just about any gun really cheap, just buy it. You can always sell it later for profit, and if it's a piece of junk you can abuse it or give it away.

  • ||

    Or sell it to a police trade-in.

  • KipEsquire||

    "strict scrutiny -- meaning that regulations must be the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest"

    That's only the definition of "strict scrunity" in the context of restrictions on speech -- often called "strictest scrutiny."

    The "fundamental rights" version of strict scrutiny is "narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest" -- still pretty strict, but less so than "the least restrictive means."

    (Indeed, Gun and Levy use the correct definition in their op-ed.) :-)

  • KipEsquire||

    Make that "Gura and Levy" -- how Freudian of me. =/

  • ||

    I know, you know, we all know, the people, NOT the US Supreme court decides what the US Constitution says. Got it.
    If the supremes decide wrong, time for civil war.
    Libertarian militia forever, huuu!

  • Episiarch||

    Or sell it to a police trade-in.

    Indeed.

  • jj||

    The Glock is the only gun I have ever fired.

  • Other Matt||

    Or sell it to a police trade-in.

    Indeed.


    I have a Jennings I got years ago for $70. DC was handing out $150 for a handgun, I could have made some money on it, except I missed it as I was notified too late. Darn the bad luck.

    Glocks-I shot one for years in competition, carried one, owned as many as 8 at one time, I believe, but now pretty much exclusively use CZs. Glocks are good for what they are, they shoot a lot better than people give them credit for. I would always make sure to have at least one about.

    The real test of a true Glock shooter is if they know what "Glock Knuckle" is.

  • ||

    Come'on now guys. Spend a couple extra bucks and buy a Sig. Now that's a quality handgun.

  • Episiarch||

    but now pretty much exclusively use CZs

    I have a CZ 97B. Fucking amazing. No good for carry (too big) but ridiculously accurate and comfortable to shoot, right out of the box.

  • Other Matt||

    Anybody around here ever fire a Glock model 22? I might be able to get one on the cheap. I probably have a larger than average hand and want something that will fit comfortably.

    Use a Hogue wrap around the grip, you'll be fine. My son has very long fingers, and he shoots ok with it. Shoots better with a EAA Witness, feels better in his hand with his fingers half as long as my arm, but a Glock is ok.

  • ||

    The real test of a true Glock shooter is if they know what "Glock Knuckle" is.

    Would that be anything like "Garand Thumb?"

  • ||

    The real test of a true Glock shooter is if they know what "Glock Knuckle" is.



    Can't say I've ever had Glock knuckle. M1 thumb, however, is a bitch.

  • Guy Montag||

    As soon as the USSC rules in favor of Heller I can legally walk from Arlington, VA into DC with a loaded concealed pistol? Um, as soon as the USSC rules for Heller and that concealed in federal parks law is signed I can
    legally walk from Arlington, VA into DC with a loaded concealed pistol?
    As soon as the USSC rules for Heller and that concealed in federal parks law is signed and DC recognizes my TN CCP, I can
    legally walk from Arlington, VA into DC with a loaded concealed pistol?

    Looks like we have a ways to go before the region joins civilization.

    Glock thing:
    So many people like Glocks that you are probably not going wrong getting it. After a gun dealer who used to sell them almost exclusively gave me a first-person account of a bad experience (and stopped selling them completely) I am just not getting one.

    Not enough evidence to spoil the whole batch. My pref. is with 1911 style autoloaders anyway.

  • ||

    Fucking damn you to shit-hell, sage!

  • ||

    Guy:

    Are you talking about the alleged habit Glocks have of going kaboom?

  • Other Matt||

    but now pretty much exclusively use CZs

    I have a CZ 97B. Fucking amazing. No good for carry (too big) but ridiculously accurate and comfortable to shoot, right out of the box.


    Ep-A couple years ago, I got a CZ 75 stainless. Out of the box, looked cool, never shot it. Like a bonehead, I decided to use it for the MD State IDPA championships just because I wanted to shoot it. Of my flight, I was within 0.01 of the guy with a custom 45 model, with an out of the box not broken in pistol. I was amazed. Completely outshot the Glock 19 I had used the previous year.

    Has nothing to do with the rights, just a really nice firearm.

  • Guy Montag||

    Warty,

    Yea, I worked with a guy who had it happen to him (the one I mentioned upthread). Was pretty much leaning to Para Ordnance at the time and his experienced tipped me to what I was considering anyway.

  • robc||

    Cant go wrong with a glock. Every one Ive shot has been nice.

    I carry a Sig P239.

  • Other Matt||

    Can't say I've ever had Glock knuckle. M1 thumb, however, is a bitch.

    Due to the configuration of the grip, most people overgrip the Glocks. Not all, but most. If you overgrip, you'll find that the bottom of the triggerguard on the Glock is none too kind on the middle knuckle of the middle finger. Hurts like hell after about 400 rounds, or a couple days of 300-500 rounds. If you go to one of the schools that doesn't teach you much but has you put 1000 rounds downrange in a day, it can get really bad.

    People blame it on the grip, but it's a function of the shooter not the gun.

    I'll avoid any further threadjacking with technical discussions of individual firearms, but to say that I sold my Sigs, I kept one Glock, and have a boatload of CZ's and Witness guns, and a couple XD's. The XD's have extractor issues after a few thousand rounds, so they'll probably go sometime soon too.

  • Episiarch||

    My only complaint with the 97B is that hollowpoints will occasionally catch on the edge of the feed ramp and jam. Not hard to un-jam and doesn't happen that often, but annoying. You would never use hollowpoints in it if you were carrying because of that tendency.

  • Guy Montag||

    BTW, on the skeet and wobble ranges this weekend my shooting buddy was an Air Force Sgt., who shoots competitive skeet, with one of those really fancy shotguns (over/under, 12 GA w/tubes for 20, 28 and .410) and a Mossberg over/under.

    He kept saying my Saiga-12 looked "evil" :)

    He won skeet with over 20 to my SIX (freakin SIX! Cindy Sheehan could shoot that without glasses!) then I beat him on wobble 23 to his 15.

  • Other Matt||

    Warty | March 17, 2008, 3:26pm | #

    The real test of a true Glock shooter is if they know what "Glock Knuckle" is.
    Can't say I've ever had Glock knuckle. M1 thumb, however, is a bitch.


    Have to learn to use the heel of the hand...;>

  • Episiarch||

    Guy, maybe you should take some skeet lessons. You know, swing-through, different leads at different stations, etc.

    Because 6 is BAD.

  • Guy Montag||

    E,

    That Saiga takes me a couple of rounds to get used to. When I take the Benelli pump I am usually up in the mid 20s.*

    The huge gas tube over the barrel of the Saiga messes me up until I stop trying to point the end of my barrel and just look down the tube. If you see one you will know what I mean right away.


    *BUT I CAN'T TAKE THE BENELLI BECAUSE THE STUPID RANGE NAZIS WON'T ALLOW ANYTHING SHORTER THAN A 23" BARREL!!!!

  • Other Matt||

    My only complaint with the 97B is that hollowpoints will occasionally catch on the edge of the feed ramp and jam. Not hard to un-jam and doesn't happen that often, but annoying. You would never use hollowpoints in it if you were carrying because of that tendency.

    Ep-One more and I'll shut up. It sounds like you just need someone to do some reliability work on it. If you want, go here, DR is a world class shooter, instructor, and very practical guy. I'm sure others could do it also, this guy just happens to be my instructor so I've learned to trust him too.

  • Other Matt||

    Cindy Sheehan could shoot that without glasses!

    Dammit, Guy, you now owe me a coke and a paper towel!

  • Guy Montag||

    OM,

    Only if you accept payment in fiat money :)

  • Episiarch||

    Matt, I realize I could have it modded by the gunsmith to fix it. I kind of find it to be a shame because the thing is otherwise amazing--and for $600-700.

    Guy, are you saying that you get almost perfect scores in skeet using a manual-pump gun?

  • Guy Montag||

    If you are calling 21-23 "almost perfect", yes.

    If you have never used a Benelli Nova Pump (after a little bit of practice), then you would not be surprised either.

    One thing I found out quickly, these new guns don't let you rack them with the trigger pulled. Must release before slide will move.

  • Other Matt||

    Matt, I realize I could have it modded by the gunsmith to fix it. I kind of find it to be a shame because the thing is otherwise amazing--and for $600-700.

    I've had one problem with a CZ, factory fixed it no hesitation. Might want to look at that too.

  • Episiarch||

    Impressive.

    Skeet is fun and I have not reached the "I get 25 every time because skeet never changes and I have it down" stage yet, so I enjoy practicing. But trap is much more fun and I'm very good at it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Since this has turned into the handgun forum, let me ask: does anyone have experience with Taurus? I was considering getting one of their .40 S&W or .45 ACP models.

  • ||

    BP,

    My shooting buddy had a Taurus 45 and liked it OK. He got it after having lots of trouble with an el-cheapo 1911. He ended up selling it and getting a S&W 9mm. The main reason was magazine capacity. Be sure to consider that when looking at a 45. AFAIK most of them will be no more than 8 or 9 rounds, but with a 9mm or 40 you're looking at 15-17 rounds.

  • Other Matt||

    Since this has turned into the handgun forum, let me ask: does anyone have experience with Taurus? I was considering getting one of their .40 S&W or .45 ACP models.

    Taurus is ok, doing much better of late. Trigger on the 24/7 and PT 111 models suck for accuracy, but if you're not shooting much and want something that gives some resistance in case of adrenaline rush, it's ok.

  • Other Matt||

    AFAIK most of them will be no more than 8 or 9 rounds, but with a 9mm or 40 you're looking at 15-17 rounds.

    Or you can look at an XD in 45ACP, with 13.....

    However, back to the original thread with DC v Heller, Second Amendment Sisters is holding a rally in front of the SC steps tomorrow, if anyone is interested. Specifics are here. Unfortunately due to some family medical issues I will not be able to make it, but it will be interesting to see if anyone can.

    instant background checks for gun buyers

    I really like how they keep "instant" in there...these seven day waiting periods are nothing more than a pain in the ass with no purpose.

  • ||

    If the court rules this way, the States will need to call for the first-ever Constitutional Convention to fix this.

    Please God no. I tremble to think what a Constitution crafted by today's politicians would look like.

  • BakedPenguin||

    sage & Other Matt - thanks.

  • ||

    I probably have a larger than average hand and want something that will fit comfortably.

    Pick up one of the high-cap Para-Ordnance guns (I have a P14-45) The double-stack magazine makes for a nice, thick grip that I really like.

    Mine needed a little tweaking on the feed ramp to prevent hollow-point hangup, and is a wonderful gun.

  • Mith||

    I have a .45 made by a spanish company called Star. Love it. Don't remember the model offhand, but It's very small for a .45, but is well balanced and shoots great. I liked it a lot more than the Glock .45 my dad had.

    Problem is it only has a six shot clip, so you actually need to aim...

    I've shot a couple of Taurus pistols including a .45 I believe, didn't like them that much. For me the balance was wierd on all of them, and I didn't find them as accurate. That's probably more my fault than the gun though.

  • Mith||

    Ah, found a link for the Star:
    http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg113-e.htm

    Other problem is they are double action, still a great gun though.

  • Paul||

    My rule is, if you can buy just about any gun really cheap, just buy it.

    Heavy is good. If it does not work, you can always hit him with it.

  • ||

    I'm going to go way out on a limb with a prediction: I predict that it will be 9-0 that the 2nd protects a fundamental individual right requiring strict scrutiny. But they'll split on whether the DC ban is constitutional under this standard. One of the opinions will be that guns are so uniquely and horribly eeeevil that even a blanket ban would pass strict scrutiny.

    It's even possible that this will be the majority opinion, in which case the result will resemble what would have been an Onion headline in a saner world: "Supreme Court Strikes Down 2nd Amendment As Unconstitutional."

  • ||

    Not that I'd badmouth Glocks, or Sigs, but I'm fond of my H&K P7, myself.

  • ||

    Sure, Sage, get the Combat Tupperware. Your ammo will stay fresh for up to six months.

  • ||

    "People blame it on the grip, but it's a function of the shooter not the gun."

    Nope. If it happens with one type of gun and not another, it's the gun and not the shooter.

    Myself, I carry a .45 Gunsite Service Pistol, because I care enough to send the very best.

  • ||

    I own two glocks. I have never heard of "glock knuckle". I attended the four day handgun class at FrontSight and fired about 1100 rounds during those four days. The glock worked perfectly and my hand was just fine. About half of the people attending wers shooting glocks and I never heard a single complaint from any of the ones I talked to.

  • LarryA||

    instant background checks for gun buyers

    Instant except if you have a name too close to someone else's or some such. When I worked in a gun store I had several customers who almost always got delayed, then it's three business days.

    Of course in Texas a concealed handgun license cures that problem.

    Contrary to spousal opinion I don't have "one of everything that shoots," but I have seen a lot of guns in 25 years of teaching. I prefer to shoot a Colt 1911, but I carry a Glock because I don't rust it. (I can't wear copper, etc. I was always having to clean the Colt grip screws.) Mine is a 30, .45ACP/ten-round magazine.

    I'm also a firm believer in, "You'll do best with the gun that suits you, not the one the experts like."

  • Guy Montag||

    Episiarch,

    Impressive.

    Thank you, but I did not get out there the first time and shoot those games that well. Took several going-through-a-case-of-shells weekends to get there and if I don't shoot for a couple of months it takes a few rounds to get it back.

    Skeet is fun and I have not reached the "I get 25 every time because skeet never changes and I have it down" stage yet, so I enjoy practicing.

    I still have yet to get 25 in *any* game! But being consistantly over 20 is happy-space for me. I carry around a Cuervo hat just in case it happens by accident or something. Might have been there by now if the range I go to had not "outlawed" my Benelli. Need to fork out some cash for a 23" or longer barrel, or just get another Nova Pump with a longer barrel, ghost ring sights, threaded for chokes.

    But trap is much more fun and I'm very good at it.

    I am better at trap and wobble than skeet too, at least I am consistantly a couple of birds higher with them than skeet, i.e., if I shoot high-teens to 21 on skeet I usually am over that by 2 or 3 on the other games and not below 20 on the same day. Have to use the Saiga for them anyway since it is my only gun with choke tubes. Scrap is okay too.

    OHGC: My son swears by his H&K USP COmpact .45 that I bough for his birthday #21.

  • Guy Montag||

    Instant except if you have a name too close to someone else's or some such. When I worked in a gun store I had several customers who almost always got delayed, then it's three business days.

    Or if you 'boldly' leave the optional SSAN block empty on the fed and VA form when purchasing the Benelli mentioned above.

    Somehow that made my 'instant' check take the full 3 working days to be approved by Richmond.

  • LarryA||

    I am better at trap and wobble than skeet too

    Try sporting clays. That's a humility game.

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