Second Amendment Rights and the Election

At The Volokh Conspiracy, gun rights scholar and Reason contributor David Kopel explains why yesterday was a good day for gun rights:

NY-23: Winning Democrat Bill Owens was A-rated by NRA (as was Hoffman)....

By far the most prominent gun control advocate on the ballot this year was Jon Corzine (F). This summer, Corzine twisted lots of legislative arms to win enactment of gun rationing (“one-handgun-a-month”), a silly law that is even sillier in New Jersey, where every handgun purchase requires advance permission from the local police chief. With Christie replacing Corzine, New Jersey gun owners can hope for benign neglect rather than active hostility. The New Jersey Assembly appears to be unchanged.

In sum: A bad night for advocates of gun show restrictions. Another fine night (as were election nights 2006 and 2008) for Democrats with A ratings from NRA. And good news for Second Amendment advocates in blue New Jersey and purple Virginia.

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  • ||

    So gun control is definitely on the way out. Finally

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Sounds like there is only one elected advocate for the position I share with you in all of New Jersey. But that's one more than last week.

  • ||

    Sorry for the bullshit link, but bear with me. It takes you to one of those USAtoday graphics and defaults on 'money', but if you click on 'news' you will see an interesting graphic on the dwindling support for more gun laws.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/s.....-31-vacimp

  • ||

    Hopefully money control will be out next.

  • ||

    Hopefully we will be able to find ammo, someday, for less than 50 cents per round!

  • Mango Punch||

    Well if you want it for free [in your dog] just befriend your local SWAT team

  • ||

    I think you are actually correct about that. Lots of SWAT teams exist not because they are needed, but because they provide opportunities for gun nuts/adrenaline junkies to play with cool guns, dress up like soldiers, burn thru lots of ammo, and go to Gun Skool to train, all on the taxpayers' dime.

  • ||

    Mere bullets are not ammo. Well, unless your local SWAT teams use muskets.

  • PFJ||

    Happy about this, but does anyone think these results are being caused by gun control? Based on what I heard from New Jerseyans (ites? residents?) they all had about 15 reasons to hate Corzine that were more important than guns.

  • Nipplemancer||

    right on all counts (including use of New Jerseyan). The GOP could've run nearly anyone and still beat Corzine. Christie will probably be a one-termer unless he can piss rainbows and shit unicorns.

  • JB||

    Gun rights are especially important considering the hordes of Obama zombies out there.

    If they can't be persuaded to take their socialism to Canada or France, they can be dealt with in other ways.

  • MNG||

    JB
    You really should take those meds the doctor prescribed...

  • Colin||

    +1

  • ||

    That's chock full of juicy irony. Your statement re: meds, that is.

  • JB||

    Is the troll, who thinks it's fair that he get punched in the face, talking again?

  • Tony||

    Don't you have a possum to rustle up or something?

  • JB||

    I don't want to know what you call your mom.

  • MNG||

    Good news. I think the battle concerning gun control is one that must be fought within the Democratic Party. To some degree it is a little sad to see pro-Second Amendment Dems like Deeds go down for that reason, because these guys need to be cultivated (Dems will be in power sometimes, and if we can keep a chunk of them pro-2nd Amendment then we have little to fear).

    I see Bloomberg won, he's pretty awful on gun control...

  • ||

    didnt realize you were pro-gun, MNG...

  • MNG||

    It's hard for me to think of a gun control measure I'm not against. I grew up around guns, unlike a lot of liberals I don't think they are some black magic items just waiting to go off and kill everyone around...

    I also oppose affirmative action and immigration. And why I certainly am not as "pro-market" as most here I do think markets are amazing forces for good nearly all the time.

    I mean, believe it or not I am a longtime Reason subscriber for, er, a reason...

  • EMp||

    "..Hear, hear!"

  • Tony||

    And why I certainly am not as "pro-market" as most here I do think markets are amazing forces for good nearly all the time.

    I think you mean you're Statist communist Hitler lover.

  • ||

    New Jerseyans LIKE gun laws for the most part. They also like mullets, but hey - there is still no chance that christie will roll it back. Corzines initiatives were basically pandering, since getting a gun was damn near impossible already long before he took office.

  • ||

    I live in Arizona and I like that if I'm out shooting and then go run an errand or shopping or whatever, I don't have to worry about people freaking so I just wear it on my hip and do my business. I like that when I got pulled over last week I put my pistol on the dashboard and the officer doesn't say a word about it. I like that ccw is becoming so widespread here that recently when I was out with buddies and a couple of women, we learned in conversation that 3 of the 4 of us has concealed weapon permits. It's just not a big deal.

  • ||

    I forgot to mention that both women had concealed weapon permits. I like the kind of woman who will shoot a rapist stone dead. Let's have more of them, please.

  • ||

  • ||

    I agree with this too.

  • ||

    Workin' on it - turned in the paperwork and the check for my CCW permit yesterday. Barring unforeseen issues (like what?? I haven't had so much as a traffic ticket since '85!) I should have it in about 30 days.

  • ||

    I also like this.

  • ||

    In NJ/NYC wearing a gun concealed or not, is viewed as morally equivilent to threatening everyone with it wildly. The people here are so far removed from firearms being used for anything other than gang violence, that viewing it otherwise has become impossible. They see owning one as a safety threat to anyone within a mile radius like the thing is radioactive. I have been asked at work if I own "a gun". I say actually I have a lot of them, shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers. They look at me like I just said I have the severed heads of my victims in the fridge and am saving them for a snack later.

  • ||

    Two words come to mind reading your paragraph describing the mindset of people there: Unfortunate, irrational. People are so detached from reality anymore, it's quite disturbing.

    And not to make light at all of your coworkers' unfortunate reaction, your words conjure that hilarious image of Ben Stiller in the airport security office with the officer just chanting "You said BOMB on and AIRPLANE".

    These are the same sorts of people who will push us into the ovens once the television tells them to.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I keep running into people like that in Virginia, near DC. Getting pretty damn sick of hearing "why do you NEED an automatic shotgun?"

    Idiots can't grasp the concept of "want" unless it is something they want.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    And I have a semi-auto, but they can't grasp the difference there either.

  • ||

    We technically have open carry in WA, but...don't do it in Seattle or other big towns, because the cops will hassle you. Plus carry permits are incredibly easy to get (which I wholeheartedly approve of). You walk into the permit office (not even staffed by pigs, which is great), get electronically fingerprinted and fill out a one page form. Within 30 days you get your permit. $55. No reporting your arrest record, no references, none of that crap.

  • ||

    No permit required in Arizona for open carry; only for concealed. While I disagree with licensing in general, I do appreciate that with the ccw, it changes the way the courts look at you: You now walk into a court with some assumption of good faith and training, which is important if in the worst case scenario you had to shoot someone.

  • ||

    Having spent the first 35 years of my life in NJ and then moving to VA, the difference w/r/t guns is impressive.

    Commenters above are dead on - most people in NJ, other than in the more rural areas, where I lived (and even many there) have never even *seen* a gun, and most think that nobody qould actually own one, much less CARRY one!

    We knew moms who would not even allow their kids to go to a friend's house if they learned that dad owned a gun. My wife had to clamp her mouth shut more than once when some mom went off on that rant - otherwise our daughters wouldn't have had friends over. One mom said, "Oh, I would never let my daughter go to a house that had a gun in it," and of course she, like all others, just presume that you agree with the sentiment.

    Then we moved to VA and discovered what "shall issue" was. I know lots of guys - and some women - with CCW permits.

  • ||

    One mom said, "Oh, I would never let my daughter go to a house that had a gun in it," and of course she, like all others, just presume that you agree with the sentiment.

    I think I should start pushing the opposite presumption. "Oh, I would never let my daughter go to a house without a gun that someone could use to protect her."

    Might be fun to see the looks on those faces. I can already see their counter-argument that surely I agree that its a job for the police, to which I will respond that extensive case law holds that the police have no duty to protect you in your private homes but rather a duty to protect the public at large.

  • ||

    There is little to zero support for rolling back gun laws in Jersey. If you want guns and you're connected, you can get them easily. If you're not connected, well, it's Jersey, so you ain't shit.

    Corzine got punked because he's a douchebag.

  • ||

    yup. Jersey is a cesspool of patronage, graft, and special favors. I hate that fucking place, and I hope they all burn in hell with withered taints for eternity. NYC isn't much better, (ive moved) but at least the girls are hotter/have smaller hair.

  • ||

    domo, see, I at least am connected in Jersey. My great-uncle was a judge and ran for state senator; my grandfather and uncle know every influential WOP in Paterson; my cousin's father is a pig (and he owns pistols, natch); and more.

    And I still won't live there.

  • dhex||

    paterson, huh? i thought you smelled funny epi.

  • TP||

    ...In Paterson that's just the way things go.
    If you're black you might as well not show up on the street
    'Less you wanna draw the heat.

    Yes, here's the story of the Hurricane,
    The man the authorities came to blame
    For somethin' that he never done.
    Put in a prison cell, but one time he could-a been
    The champion of the world.

  • ||

    I was just one of the tax paying peons, watching the greaseballs steal from me, and tell me to STFU and smile at the same time. I sold my house and moved. lost 200k. fuck NJ.

  • ||

    I have no problem with those who advocate for gun rights, but I wish they would push for Second Amendment rights. Nowhere in the Second Amendment are guns, rifles, or firearms mentioned. In lieu of "guns," the word "arms" is used. Thus, explosives, CBRN weapons, and guns of all type and size should be freely available in the United States. As should tanks, jets, etc.

    Groups like the NRA half-step. They know that some regulation is needed but are too cowardly to concede this fact.

  • lord of war||

    "Thus, explosives, CBRN weapons, and guns of all type and size should be freely available in the United States. As should tanks, jets, etc."

    Most of that stuff is already legally available in the US (with the exception of CBRN). You just have to have a far bigger wallet and jump through a few more hoops to get it. Crew served weapons are actually dropping in price on the civilian market due to the rising price of ammo.

  • ||

    Tanks and military jets must be defanged prior to civilian purchase. That's not an "arm" - that's a toy.

  • lord of war||

    And you can, with enough paperwork and money, re-fang them.

  • ||

    Worse, groups like NRA advocate for "sporting purpose" gun rights, which is just chickenshit. As you said, there is no mention of specific firearms in the Second Amendment, but any reading of depth into the background of why that Amendment came to be illustrates that what is being preserved is nothing less than the right to enforce the rest of the document (or to ultimately alter or abolish it). Fighting for a 'sporting use' obfuscates the intent of the founders of the republic.

  • ||

    The NRA very specifically rejects any argument that arms must have a sporting purpose to be protected under the 2nd

  • ||

    Yeah, dunno where you get the idea NRA is in favor of any "sporting purpose" test or limitation on what kind of "arms" are protected by the 2A.

  • ||

    Even so, when did hunting politicians become something other than sporting...if you give them a head start?

  • Gun Lover||

    It's also perfectly legal in all 50 states to own a flame thrower. The reason most people don't own one is:

    A) It's not very useful for home defense, as it would likely burn down your home along with your assailant if you used it for that.

    B) It's not very useful for personal defense either, at least not against a gun; flame throwers have too limited a range

    C) It's not even very useful to criminals, and for the same reasons: lack of range in a shootout and a very good chance of burning their own buildings down by accident.

    D)About the only legitimate and worthwhile civilian use it does have is destroying swarms of killer bees or other deadly insects, something most people very rarely need to do. (Also, insecticide is usually cheaper and easier to use.)

    Hence, there are no laws against owning a flame thrower because who's going to buy one anyway?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    That asshole Bloomberg has been sending private investigators out to gun shows in the hinterlands to try to entrap the operators.

  • EMp||

    Ah, well, Bloomboig is the mayor of New York. Methinks perhaps a bit of the old "Nepoleon complex" going on there...gun control = people control.

  • ||

    "In NJ/NYC wearing a gun concealed or not, is viewed as morally equivilent to threatening everyone with it wildly.

    Good, lets arrest the cops that are carrying thing. This is America, the law is supposed to apply to all.

  • ||

    New Yorkers and New Jerseyians view cops very suspiciously as well. And for good fucking reason. Only problem is who will arrest them?

  • ||

    Don't pop that cork so fast...Gillibrand was an NRA A-rater too, and quickly fell in line behind Chuckie Schumer's latest scheme to eliminate personal arms ownership...and wasn't Scozo-whatever an A-rater too?

    This 25 yr life member has zero faith in NRA's ratings and would like to see LaPierre and his gang gone from the exec offices.

  • EMp||

    Yeah, I was afraid Gillibrand was going to do the go-along to get along dance once she ascended to the position of overlord-ship. I think for now, and with the current election returns, gun-control will only if the republican minority shrinks even more during the midterms(doubtful), or Obama is re-elected(possible). JMO

  • EMp||

    "..gun-control will only be brought up.." meant to say...

  • ||

    Christie is extremely unlikely to make any change to NJ's licensing, registration, permit to purchase, ID for ammo purchase and recording of ammo purchase, so-called assault weapon ban (18 mos for each 10+ magazine in your possession?), and effectively no ccw for common citizens. NJ is thoroughly anti-gun and Christie, a former fed trough feeder, expressed no pro 2A sentiments during the campaign.

  • ||

    where every handgun purchase requires advance permission from the local police chief.

    Please tell me there is a Heller challenge to this winding through the courts.

  • EMp||

    I'm waiting for the Supremes to take on their own ruling regarding federal law and how it applies to the states, cities and municipalities early next year. The current 'buzz' is that it looks like it will be favorable for 2A advocates.

  • ||

    doubt it. since its basically left to the local officals, its very hard to show the law as a whole is overly restrictive. Easy for the anti gun nuts to just say that the communities don't want guns, and the local officials know their people best.

  • ||

    Giving local officials the discretion to restrict a Constitutionally protected activity strikes me as pretty clearly unconstitutional. Arguably worse than legislation that imposes unconstitutional limits.

  • ||

    I'm dropping my NRA membership due to their amicus brief in Citizens United advocating for a narrow interpretation of finance law. That and their Heller pussy footing. Boys better get some balls or they're history.

  • TP||

    There's no shortage of guns in NJ. Just take a ride through Camden or Newark. You'll see plenty of guns.

    Right or wrong, most NJsians don't see handguns as a form of personal protection, they see them as tools of the trade for criminals. Shotguns, rifles and muzzleloaders are a different story.

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