Election 2012

Obama Finally Acknowledges a Constitutional Right to Armed Self-Defense

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Last night's debate was the first time I have heard President Obama mention self-defense in the context of the Second Amendment. Until now, as far as I know, he has always talked about the constitutional right to keep and bear arms in connection with hunting and target shooting, a weirdly constrained view that suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of this provision's purpose, which is to protect people against aggressors (including aggressors who work for a tyrannical government). Evidently someone told Obama he was not saying the right words to reassure supporters of gun rights, because last night he amended his Second Amendment lip service: 

We're a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We've got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves.

If you watch video of the debate, you'll see that last part was almost an afterthought. Still, Obama deserves credit for finally acknowledging that the Second Amendment is not all about outdoor recreation. (The 2012 Democratic platform, by contrast, affirms "Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms" without specifying what they might be used for.) But Obama loses points for once again conflating "assault weapons," an arbitrarily disfavored category of military-style but semiautomatic firearms, with machine guns:

Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don't belong on our streets….Part of [my strategy to reduce gun violence] is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced….seeing if we can get automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

As Mitt Romney noted, automatic weapons (i.e., machine guns) are already effectively banned for civilian use. Is this persistent confusion by Obama an honest error, or is it part of a deliberate gun control strategy that aims to mislead the public about the firearms covered by "assault weapon" bans? Until now I have been inclined toward the latter explanation, but Obama's belated, halfhearted acknowledgment of armed self-defense as a constitutional right suggests he just doesn't know much about this issue and does not care enough to educate himself. 

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  1. We’re a nation that believes in the Second Amendment, and I believe in the Second Amendment. We’ve got a long tradition of hunting and sportsmen and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves unless they live in a Democratic jurisdiction like Chicago.

    1. Foob!

    2. and people who want to make sure they can protect themselves unless they live in a Democratic jurisdiction like Chicago.

      We have to keep the streets safe, don’cha know, for the murderous thugs, and the looters who burn down their own neighborhoods!

      1. They might be thugs today, but they’ll be tomorrow’s Community Organizers!

    3. Hey, even we Chicagoans can protect ourselves now. I mean, if we can travel outside the city to take a class that we can’t take in it, in addition to the usual paperwork and the extra-special Chicago paperwork (not to mention the extra-special IL paperwork), and if we don’t intend to protect ourselves anywhere outside our own homes (including in our own garages, if we have them, because for some reason that would not be part of your home)…

      And if we’re lucky, soon we’ll get to pay an extra “violence tax” on the guns and ammo that we…still can’t buy in the city…

      1. My sister and brother-in-law live in Chicago, and he assures me that the only people in Chicago who actually want a gun are crazy gun nuts. I asked him if he had actually contacted all the potential gun buyers in Chicago to verify their nuttiness. It turns out he did no such thing, but, nevertheless, those gun people are all crazy.

        1. Well of course they are! I mean, we are! I mean…

          I feel kinda bad now, because it’s one of the things I am least likely to talk about with people I know IRL, who are 99% insanely anti-gun. I need to be representing.

  2. Does that include a Constitutional right to bear flying killer robots?

    1. Bears, flying killer robots!

      1. Bear-flying killer robots!

    2. We have a Constitutional right to bear robot arms. With guns built into them.

  3. he just doesn’t know much about this issue and does not care enough to educate himself

    I can make that argument about a whole host of issues the President can be expected to have a passing familiarity.

  4. One thing they haven’t banned is the anthrax vial I keep on me at all times … for duck hunting.

    1. Damn straight! Today, the mad scientist can’t get a doomsday device, tomorrow it’s the mad grad student. Where will it end?

      1. Anyone smarter than a 5th grader.

  5. Are they singing a duet there?

    1. Yup. “If Teardrops Were Pennies”

      1. I would have bet good money on Islands in the Stream.

      2. “Ebony and Ivory”?

  6. But assault weapons are scary looking!
    They look like scary automatic weapons!
    And they’re scary looking!
    Did I mention that with pistol grips and stuff they look like all scary and stuff?

    1. Did I mention that with pistol grips and stuff they look like all scary and stuff?

      Gotta love the old “Assault Weapons Bans.” Among the criteria for the California version was whether it had a barrel shroud. Yep, the ban included a safety item!

      1. I saw them being waved around in a movie. It was terrifying.

  7. I like the way he raised the specter of banning “cheap handguns”. Nobody talks about “Saturday Night Specials” anymore. Obama probably cost himself a few more votes.

    1. http://www.gallup.com/poll/157…..omney.aspx

      It is one poll. Maybe Gallup is totally smoking crack this election. I wouldn’t be shocked if that were the case. But Obama better hope they are. The trend from October 11th sure looks like a preference cascade of undecideds making up their minds.

      1. What are their weightings for party?

        If they’ve started to shift from their absurd D+8 to anything more realistic, it will make it look like Romney has all kinds of momentum and Obama is sinking fast.

    2. right. iow, if the handgun is affordable that is a BUG according to these people, when it should be a feature.

      the people MOST in danger from violent crime tend to occupy the lower income quintiles. iow, the people most in need of the means of self defense tend to be the least well funded in our society (the average middle/upper middle class individual is far less likely to be a victim of homicidal violence than working class and lower income people) , so for them a “saturday night special” simply means an AFFORDABLE means of self defense

      the sneering elitism disgusts me from these assholes

      1. The Constitutional right to keep and bear Korths. You haven’t heard of it?

    3. Can’t have poor people buying guns.

      I loved when they used to mention “they’re only good for shooting / killing people”. Uh, if you’re using it for self defense, that’s what you want.

      1. yea, and fwiw, there is a difference between the optimum ammo/gun system for civilian use vs. military

        in military use, you want a gun/ammo combo that will disable and cause grievous injury. that ties up extra support personnel and resources in treating the person. unless that military is so callous as to just leave their warriors to die in the field if injured, they are going to be massively hampered in transporting, treating, housing, medicating, etc. the wounded

        for civilian use, the optimum result is incapacitation. in military use, it’s a bug, not a feature, if the bullet kills the opponent (vs. grievously wounding them).

        in civilian use, it makes no difference if the person dies, or is incapacitated. the point is that the treat is neutralized.

        it’s a subtle distinction, but one that some people miss when comparing military weapons to civilian weapons

        for us (civilians), we want a weapon that will NEUTRALIZE the threat – iow stop it. i don’t care if the guy dies or is paralyzed, or is wounded and passes out. i just want him to stop shooting at me.

        (granted, fwiw, i almost never carry concealed iow off duty. i carry on duty, but off duty, i am mostly unarmed)

        1. in military use, you want a gun/ammo combo that will disable and cause grievous injury.

          Yet, oddly, I believe the ammo that will do just that is outlawed for military use under the Hague Convention.

          1. well, yes. specifically hollow points for handguns but it’s kind of irrelevant to the actual scenarios faced in combat because the VAST majority of bullets fired in combat are fired by rifles. in the case of rifles, the damage due to temporary wound cavity is another story entirely vs. handguns

        2. No, the goal is usually to shoot them in the head. Death for the other guy is definitely considered the best outcome these days. May have been different when we fought armies.

        3. I love how you refer to the object being neutralized as a “treat”. No wonder pigs shoot up so many dogs.

    4. He’s stuck in academic lefty-speak circa 1989.

      Seriously, where the fuck has Obama been for 25 years? Did they keep him frozen or something, until the time was ripe for a puppet President?

  8. OT: Another one of them fake bomb plots: Man arrested in plot to blow up Federal Reserve bank in New York:

    Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested for allegedly attempting to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan, the Department of Justice and a U.S. attorney’s office said in a press release.

    1. Don’t worry. I am sure the FBI will never let one of these plots get out of hand and get anyone killed. Top men you know.

      1. We’re only months away from a bomb-walker scandal.

        1. Some say we already had one, it was called the Oklahoma City Bombing.

          1. I’m not familiar w/ that aspect of it. Did the federals give Timmah his bomb?

            1. The rumor has always been that the FBI was monitoring Timmah and tweedle dumb and didn’t arrest them because they were trying to get the big fish at some nutty compound in Southeastern Oklahoma.

              1. I can see some FBI/ATF types waiting in a van, watching him pull up in front of that building, and muttering to themselves, “Wait for it…wait for it…”

                1. I was living in OKC at the time. I have a good friend who is anything but a nut who was working in a law office downtown that morning. He swears and FBI agent came into the office shortly after the explosion and asked to use the phone, made a call and simply said “it happened” and then left. Have no idea if that is true. But I do know my friend and don’t find him to be the kind of person who would make such a story up.

                  1. Well that’s creepy as all fuck.

                    1. That is an amazingly creepy story, John.

                      Another interesting turn in the case is that Ramzi Yusef and Terry Nichols were in the same town in the Philippines three months before the bombing. Now Cebu City is the 5th largest city in the Islands, and the largest port, so maybe it’s just a coincidence, but damn

                      I never thought the FBI intentionally blew up their own building, nor gave McVeigh and friends the whole bomb. I’m not so sure they didn’t help him with parts, or didn’t let him run around in the hopes of rounding up some mythical Muslim terror cell. Still, it was an ordinary traffic stop for no plates (and an admitted illegal concealed weapon) that got McVeigh initially collared, right? Aside, who drives a getaway car with no plates?

                    2. it’s not creepy at all. it’s actually a perfect example of filling in the blanks in a vacuum. if you are predisposed to see black helicopters, it looks creepy. if not, i would shrug my shoulders and say for all i know he was talking about his latest bowel movement

                    3. That’s retarded. Assuming for the sake of argument that the story is true, if an event of national importance just happened, the dude isn’t making a phone call to talk about his poops.

                      No, you can’t prove he isn’t, but we’re dealing in probabilities here. Just like you don’t go out every day taking precautions against the theoretically possible eventuality of being hit in the head by a meteor, one can draw conclusions which are more likely than others given the context.

      2. Give me 2 sacks of “explosives”, I’m gonna twist a tiny pinch up in rolling papers before we part ways and see if it goes boom. Just saying.

    2. what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb

      If you and your buddies can’t build a bomb, don’t buy one. The only people selling “bombs” in the US are Federales. Although, it seems like there might be a market opportunity for real bombs… Nah. These guys aren’t buying fake explosives, just being given them. Which ought to be the fucking cluebat hitting you upside the head.

      1. We invade Iran, a country that actually has sponsored lots of terrorist organizations, and I think we’ll see real bombs in markets soon enough…

        There’s a near infinite supply of young, dumb-ass loser men, who would love to strike a blow at the Great Satan if given a chance. Which, considering they’re poor losers, they won’t get. It’s the guys who have the potential for making their own chances—who won’t be calling up the BATFE for advice, incidentally—that we should be on the lookout for. And that these stings aren’t catching.

        But it sure looks good for the agencies involved come appropriations time.

      2. It is almost like this is a long-con where they can running in these impossibly stupid ‘terrorists’ until we become accustomed to such… and then, they drop in someone that has even half a clue.

        1. they keep running

          fucking preview button

    3. U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch says:

      The defendant thought he was striking a blow to the American economy. He thought he was directing confederates and fellow believers. At every turn, he was wrong

      Sometimes, our government tells the truth without even realizing it.

  9. Is this persistent confusion by Obama an honest error, or is it part of a deliberate gun control strategy that aims to mislead the public about the firearms covered by “assault weapon” bans?

    It can be both, you know.

    1. Obama, so incompetent he fucks up his own lies.

      That sounds about right.

  10. The calls for restoring the assault weapons ban was a bit of a surprise to me.

    Not because I was under the delusion that Obama was anything but a nanny gun grabber, but because it was an enormously tone deaf thing to say from an electoral standpoint.

    Is Obama trying to lose OH?

    1. I don’t get that at all. His internals must be horrible. The assault weapons ban? What is next a promise for single payer healthcare and the repeal welfare reform? If we are going to take loser ideas from the 90s, lets go all the way.

      1. He fancies himself Bill Clinton, but without a divided government handing him a strong economy, and sorely lacking in Clinton’s oratory skills.

        And Clinton ran against Dole, the poor old sap.

        Maybe next Obama will propose midnight basketball.

        1. I would be more impressed if he got caught jizzing on the White House staff.

          1. And completely unsurprised if the staffer was a dude.

        2. And school uniforms. Good times.

        3. To be fair, Romney doesn’t seem like a much better candidate than Dole.

          1. He isn’t as old.

        4. Maybe next Obama will propose midnight basketball.

          “How do you stop 5 black guys from raping a white chick?” /RACIST JOKE

    2. The country is quite a bit more in favor of gun restrictions than the NRA.

      1. The country liberal echo chamber I live in is quite a bit more in favor of gun restrictions than the NRA.

        FTFY

      2. In 1990, before the assault weapons ban, a Gallup poll found that 78 percent of Americans favored stricter regulation of guns. But that number has declined steadily ever since. Last year, Gallup asked the same question, and only 43 percent of those polled said they favored stricter gun laws.

        If you weren’t around for the assault weapons ban, it was a bitch for Democrats and contributed to their mid-term drubbings and continued unpopularity. If you think Round II will work out any better for them when support for stricter gun laws in the abstract isn’t even a majority anymore (much less a strong majority as it was in the 90s), then I’d like your proof.

        Nah, just kidding. Remain deluded and fuck your own electoral chances. It’s what you wanted to do, anyways.

        1. Last year, Gallup asked the same question, and only 43 percent of those polled said they favored stricter gun laws.

          What with the expansion of CCW laws, that reduction in demand for stricter laws happened during a time when gun laws were getting less strict. So its not like a bunch of gun grabbers got a bunch of super-strict laws passed, and thought they had done enough.

      3. Yes, the part of the country that plans to vote for Democrats anyway is in favour of gun restrictions.

        Swing voters can and do become single-issue voters when gun control talk is a reality. Were you asleep in 2008 or 1994?

        1. OH, PA, FL, CO, VA, NH, ME – all CCW swing states that Obama just lost votes in. Or as the NRA would say – “told you so”.

    3. Honestly, I was surprised the question was asked for this very reason. (Especially considering how in the bag Crowley seemed for Obama by this point in the debate.) BF was just like, I don’t get it, neither of them wants this question–Obama cannot possibly want to answer this question. And…I don’t get it either.

      1. In the run-up to the question, I was sure it was going to be about Fast and Furious.

        It’s definitely a blast from the past. Almost expected a question about militias or abortion bombings to worm its way in there after that one made it through.

    4. I’m not so sure that the gun control cracks weren’t meant to win OH, WI, and CO. Which, along with IA, NH, and maybe VA, are the only real undecideds left in this election. Isn’t OH the state that kept inflicting Metzenbaum on the rest of us all of those years? Seems like gun control has some staying power in the state if that’s true? Maybe the O campaign’s internals show that undecideds are swayed by “reasonable assault weapon legislation?”

      It doesn’t matter if his GC topic irritates Red states. Those are already lost. What both candidates are trying to do is reach the 4-8% of undecided voters in the above 6 states (Which is about 0.5-1 million total people, FWIW) and get them to pull the lever. Anything that might reach those people, without completing alienating their own voters from showing up, is what these guys are going to do. So, while GC may be a total loser issue to the rest of the country, if it resonates in a traditionally GC-tolerant state like OH, or WI (still amazed that CCW got passed there), or a state that just suffered a firearms-related massacre, then that’s what will be offered to the undecideds.

  11. If that sheriff’s wife in Sons of Anarchy had owned an “assault rifle” instead of that puny 9mm, maybe she would have defeated her attackers!

    1. NO SPOILERS!

      1. I actually rewrote the comment to leave out what happens in last night’s episode, to stay spoiler-free. But one week is all you get!

        1. SoA really burned me out with an entire season dedicated to the stupid IRA and Jax’s stupid kid. What a dumb, overly prolonged season.

          His Irish half-sister was hot, though.

          1. Trust me, that season was the low-point. It picks back up after that.

            1. I guess I’ll check it out again. Grumble.

    2. I haven’t watched any of this season after they killed off Opie. WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYY???

      1. Because he’s been looking for a way out since Donna died.

        1. A man so beautiful should not be allowed to die.

  12. Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets

    So, he’s going to end all federal grants for local cops to buy military weapons?

    1. Oh, I SO missed that! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! Anybody got a good excuse for me fumbling that away? I got nuthin’.

    2. Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets.

      So he wants all those .45 ACPs and their myriad copycats to be outlawed and, presumably confiscated?

      That’s just the most obvious example, but damn near every gun in existence today was originally designed for some weapons procurement contract.

  13. Weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets

    They belong on Mexico’s streets.

  14. Here’s my compromise:

    Any firearm and implement that law enforcement has access to should be free to purchase for a non-LEO.

    The Supremes have already established that there is no positive right to protection from the police, and that there is no right to a police force trained to a certain federal standard when it comes to firearms. LEOs (legally, anyways) have the same federal obligations as regards defending the public and training as a regular citizen: none at all.

    There is nothing owned and operated by a police officer which could not be justified by private citizens under similar auspices.

    That is not a perfect solution, but it’s one I would be satisfied with.

    1. I see your solution, but raise you the question of why police are necessary at all.

      1. Depends on where you live, I suppose.

        Some of places I’ve lived where people are decent, the community is small and tightly-knit and cops aren’t necessary.

        Lots more where there’s at least a sizeable minority of people whose criminal acts can’t be investigated and judged by community norms, either because of the sheer number of acts or the partiality and institutional limits of community norms. There’s room for an arbiter limited in scope for such instances — and a police department as the enforcement and/or investigative arm of that organization.

        At any rate, I was just offering a thought on the current statist environment and what I’d find bearable (h/t Bernardo de Paz).

        1. Some places I’ve lived where people are decent, the community is small and tightly-knit and the cops are kind-hearted, just, and not corrupt.

          Lots more where there’s at least a sizeable minority of people prone to criminal behaviour, the cops are criminal themselves and corrupt beyond redemption. A police department does not function at all as an arbiter limited in scope in such instances, but merely exists to promote established criminality.

          Well-functioning courts, on the other hand, work quite well. I entertain the idea of criminal prosecutions being carried out by well-funded private foundations (perhaps “The John Q. Smith Foundation for the Prosecution of Crimes Against Women”) that would pick on their favourite pet causes.

          The biggest problem with state prosecution and state police is the mantle of sovereign immunity, which removes the desire to even pretend to uphold the law.

        2. Depends on where you live, I suppose.

          Some of places I’ve lived where people are decent, the community is small and tightly-knit and cops aren’t necessary.

          The only possible good the cops can do for me is to issue the necessary by law police report in order to be reimbursed by my insurance company in the event I were robbed.

          But being that virtually everyone is armed in one fashion or another, robberies are few and far between.

    2. i think this is pretty workable (abotu gun availability)

      however…

      “LEOs (legally, anyways) have the same federal obligations as regards defending the public and training as a regular citizen: none at all.”

      people constantly misunderstand the case you are referencing. LEO’s absolutely have a duty to defend the public vs. the “regular citizen”

      what the case said was that LEO’s had no duty vis a vis any particular individual to protect THEM unless a special relationship was established (they are in custody, or an officer tells them that a guy will be on scene in 10 minutes), etc.

      contrary to popular misunderstanding , the case did not say LEO’s have no duty to protect people. it was merely about their obligation to an INDIVIDUAL to protect them.

      it’s a very common misunderstanding. it’s almost become a modern day schenck, in that it is so frequently referenced incorrectly, in an attempt to make some meta point

      1. Cops have a duty to protect people, just not you, citizen. Well, that’s convenient. I fail to see the difference here. The word people refers to a plural number of individuals. The cops have no duty to protect any particular individual, so how can they have any duty to protect “people”?

        1. look, read the case. it’s quite simple.

          have you read the case? if not, read it THEN if you still fail to see the difference, i can explain it to you.

          do you need a link?

          1. btw, here’s a quick wikipedia account

            it’s PRETTY accurate and easier to read than the court case (although i suggest the court case is worth reading)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W…..f_Columbia

            1. or were you referring to

              castle rock v. gonzalez

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C……_Gonzales

            2. I’m familiar with this case. Also, you wrote:

              what the case said was that LEO’s had no duty vis a vis any particular individual to protect THEM unless a special relationship was established (they are in custody, or an officer tells them that a guy will be on scene in 10 minutes), etc.

              And wikipedia’s account of the story:

              Nine minutes later, the two women called the police again and were assured they would receive assistance.

              Does that count? Or are you maybe a little fuzzy on the case yourself?

              But you haven’t really cleared anything up for me. How do you have an obligation to protect “people” without an obligation to protect individuals?

              1. i don’t grok your question here.

                and again, GONZALEZ let me repeat this ONLY APPLIES TO FEDERAL OBLIGATIONs…

                the VAST majority of duties imposed on police are per STATE law and STATE constitutions, not federal law.

                again, the easiest example. if i am talking to you, i am aware you are impaired by liquor to the extent you are a danger to others, and i let you drive off without making an attempt to stop you, i WILL be held civilly liable.

                that’s a duty to PEOPLE, but not to a particular individual.

                PEOPLE are the public at large who are plced in danger by the driver driving off

            3. Anyway, cops have no duty to protect anyone ever, with two exceptions: special relationship and state-created danger.

              A special relationship basically only exists when a person is in police custody or if a person is a confidential informant or something like that. Restraining orders do not count (as per your second link).

              A state-created danger happens when the police try to protect someone, and through those actions that person or someone else is put into more danger than they were previously. This doesn’t always hold up in court.

              So to sum up. If a person (or people) isn’t in police custody or the cops didn’t put a person (or people) into greater danger than they already were, then the cops have no obligation toward a person’s protection.

        2. The difference is that they can still use the duty to protect citizens as an excuse for being above the law, but without you actually being able to hold them accountable for their incompetence.

      2. Is there a practical, legal way to hold LEOs to an abstract duty to protect the public?

        I might be wrong on that point — I’m no lawyer (thank God). If I’m not, then I’ll concede to sloppy use of language but not regarding my main point, which is that there’s no practical difference between a LEO and anyone else when it comes to federal obligations for the defense of oneself and others.

        1. well, yes. let me give you one example. from my police academy back in MA

          case in MA a ways back. cop was conversing with a driver that was impaired. in brief, it was later determined that cop knew the driver was impaired by alcohol but knew the driver only had a short drive home and let the driver drive off.

          driver crashes, carnage, injuries, deaht etc. ensued.

          the officer was disciplined (fired) and also sued personally. the officer did NOT have a legal duty ot arrest for DUI. that was discretionary. but in allowing the impaired driver to drive off, they failed their duty to protect the public.

          any police officer who contacts a drunk driver and let’s them drive off is shirking their duty to the public and will be disciplined, and likely sued (quite possibly vitiating qualified immunity and being PERSONALLY) sued.

          ofc’s also have a federal obligation to enforce DV protections orders per VAWA.

          i suggest you actually read the case, immaculate trouser? have you.

          almost everybody who comments on it, has not read it

          1. Have not read the case; I read the brief. I’ll take your summary as truth, but I don’t think it materially impacts my point vis a vis the similar rights and responsibilities of gun ownership for LEOs and the public.

            1. fair enuf. look, we probably agree that

              1) one’s physical safety is one’s own responsibility. sure, the cops, the firemen etc. can OFTEN help and protect you, but first and foremost it’s one’s own duty to protect oneself and one’s loved ones from those who seek to do violence

              self defense is imo both a right and a duty for any individual. imo, i also think i have the moral duty to defend my wife and family.

              2) i think gonzalez was wrongly decided. iow, i think LEO’s should have GREATER responsibiity to protect individuals than they do – legally

              note also, that gonzalez merely established minimal federal standards. for example, under my state law, i *am* legally required to provide protection TO INDIVIDUALS in the exact circumstances that the SCOTUS said i don’t

              so, i (as a LEO) DO have a duty to protect individuals in that case (DV Protection Order), it’s just that said duty comes from state law not federal requirements

              but again, we probably both agree the police way too often get there after the fact. the 2nd amendment respects that we have a right and duty to defend ourselves. govt. isn’t our daddy or mommy. WE are our own protector!

              1. that we can probably agree on. and that LEO’s are NOT held to high enough standards (at least federally) in regards to their duty to protect people

                i took this job to protect people and i do it as best i can. my best friend died protecting others as a cop, and there is no more noble thing than to lay down one’s life to protect one’s brother.

                imo, to some extent cowardice has been institutionalized in our police academies. sadly. it’s gotten better ex-post columbine, though (ASAP program, etc.)

                in brief, protect yourself. we (cops) will do what we can, but its ultimtely your responsibility

          2. That’s a case of state-created danger. The only reason he had a “duty to protect” the individuals that were harmed is because he allowed them to remain in danger. If he had never pulled over the drunk driver, there would have been no liability.

            1. i never said he pulled the driver over. sorry, read for content.

              the issue was he was SPEAKING with a driver he knew to be impaired. such as in a bar parking lot and let the driver drive off knowign he was impaired.

              that duty applies EVEN IF the cop does not make the stop

              next time, read for content. i never said he made a stop of the driver.

              i can tell you this

              scenario:

              i walk up to a scene. i speak to johnny who is entering his car. johnny is CLEARLY impaired by liquor. johnny says “hey, can i leave”

              i say “sure”

              i am FUCKED. civilly. most likely i will lose qualified immunity. i have a duty to PREVENT him from driving off. doesn’t matter if i made a stop or not

              if i have PC to believe he is a danger to the public and i respond “hey, it’s cool” if he asks if he can drive off, i WILL lose the civil case. guaranteed. i will also be fired.

              i am not aware of any criminal law i will have violated.

          3. Read it. It in no way contradicts the way that it is frequently used: “Police have no duty to protect you”. It is never used to say “police have no duty to prevent people from drink driving”. Never.

      3. what the case said was that LEO’s had no duty vis a vis any particular individual to protect THEM unless a special relationship was established (they are in custody, or an officer tells them that a guy will be on scene in 10 minutes), etc.

        Oddly enough, that’s exactly the same duty to protect any given person as a “regular citizen” has; that is to say, none, in the absence of a special relationship.

        And, I would even argue that the common understanding of the law on this point is pretty accurate, because the issue never comes up in the context of a special relationship. So, the shorthard that “cops have no duty to protect the public” is pretty much on target.

        Not only that, but I believe Occifer dunphy is incorrect that the requisite relationship can be created when a cop says someone will be there shortly. The Warren case about someone who had called 911 repeatedly and was told someone was on the way. The Court’s decision (in a nutshell) “Sorry. You fucked up. You trusted the cops.”

        1. there are several different duties:

          1) established under federal constitution
          2) established under federal law
          3) established under state constitution
          4) established under state laws

          those are as to legal duties

          then you also have
          5) established as per dept. policy

          and lastly, not legally binding, but

          6) established as per morality.

          the case people are referencing only speaks to 1 and 2 as per individuals.

          again, as numerous OTHER cases show, for example, the example of the officer letting the DUI driver drive off (thus neglecting his duty to the public as per STATE law), he was proper fucked for doing so

          1. and note that (5) is also extremely relevant in civil, and sometimes criminal court

  15. You mentioned Obama and honest in the same sentence. I don’t understand.

    1. So my calico is getting bigger. Her main form of entertainment is hiding under our bed and launching hit and run attacks on my wife and I and the dog.

      1. You make me miss the giant orange lunatic we had when I was a kid. You risked bloody heels every time you sat on a couch.

        1. I get her with my hand once in a while and roll her over on her back and it is claw and bite fest. It is funny because I can push her half way across the bed and she just comes back. The rougher you play with her the better she likes it.

          1. You’re talking about your wife, right John?

            1. CURSE YOU.

              1. I guess I didn’t refresh in the last two hours.

          2. Your cat or your wife?

            *rimshot*

      2. Haven’t you seen My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet? You need to get a bald hipster beardo to come over with a chasable cat toy for a couple hours.

        Unless, of course, you’re more amused than annoyed by the attacks.

        1. That guy’s not a hipster, he’s merely extremely gay. There’s a subtle difference.

  16. “Obama’s belated, halfhearted acknowledgment of armed self-defense as a constitutional right suggests he just doesn’t know much about this issue and does not care enough to educate himself.”

    Also, not really as smart as many claim…

  17. Did Romney bring up Fast Furious?

    Haha just kidding of course. Romney probably supports the “Assault Weapons Ban” and his administration would likely have tried the same thing.

    1. He did, in fact, but the moderator put an end to that line right quick.

  18. Is this persistent confusion by Obama an honest error, or is it part of a deliberate gun control strategy that aims to mislead the public about the firearms covered by “assault weapon” bans?

    Democrats keep bringing up “assault weapons” because their leadership has probably never even touched a gun and most of their voters have no clue what makes an AR-15 NOT an M-16. It’s an appeal to ignorance.

    1. THIS. It’s really no surprise that the lawyer with the Harvard mouth who lives in an upscale Chicago neighborhood like Hyde Park wouldn’t have a clue about the differences between a semi-automatic rifle and a fully automatic military grade assault rifle.

  19. And, once again, machinegun owners get thrown under the bus by the rest of the gun owning community. First they came for the machineguns…

    1. Well there’s a perception, and I don’t know how accurate it is, that a lot of NFA owners are very much in favor of maintaining the status quo because if we were to return to a pre 1934 level of regulation for machine guns, it would wipe out the value of their collections in an instant.

      I mean, don’t get me wrong there’s plenty of Elmer Fudds out there who don’t see why anyone needs more then a .30-30 and a 12 gauge, but I will say I’ve talked to one or two MG owners who are not in favor of restoring full auto rights due to how much money they have tied up in their NFA weaponry.

      1. This is one NFA collector who would give up that value in an instant for the liberty to own whatever weapons he damn well pleases.

        1. I had no doubt that was your take on the issue, and I have no doubt that many, perhaps a majority of the NFA weapons owning community feel the same way. But I cannot help but wonder how many there are who like being part of an exclusive club with high barriers to entry, or how many there are who simply do not wish to see collections that are worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even a million dollars drastically depreciate in value.

          1. Well, I can certainly sympathize with losing a lot of money, but the fact is, the value of an NFA collection is almost entirely based upon the artificially curtailed market. There are some guns that are legitimately rare, and they would retain probably a large amount of their value. The newer stuff would not.

            Anyone who has been “investing” in the NFA market has been gambling at high risk. Prices in the last few years have been unreasonably high, and so recent entrants to the market have the most to lose. Anyone who’s been holding machineguns for more than about 7 years has experienced a wild increase in value, but it’s all on paper.

            1. i agree with this analysis. full auto have remained a niche market and many want to keep it that way.

              firearms rights in general (shall issue states, mcdonald, heller, etc.) have MASSIVELY expanded over the last few decades. however, laws regarding full auto haven’t changed barely at all. and many, if not most, are fine with that. the vast majority of RKBA advocates are concerned with being able to carry a handgun to protect themself, not having rifles get disqualified due to petty meaningless cosmetic distinctions, etc. machine guns are a niche market, useless for self defense, and not an issue for most people

        2. Of course getting the parts to convert a semi-auto to full-auto (at least in AR 15) are so easy to get that full-auto isn’t necessarily the call to go full bore NFA. It’s the higher capacity and higher caliber MGs that designated machine guns offer rather than so-called assault rifles that have a full-auto mode.

  20. Shoulder Thing That Goes Up

  21. I thought Obama said he was going to resurrect the assault weapons ban? Did he not say that?

  22. Obama did say they (Dems, I suppose he means) want to reintroduce the assault weapons ban:

    Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced, but part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence, because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence, and they’re not using AK-47s, they’re using cheap handguns.”
    http://www.npr.org/2012/10/16/…..ial-debate

  23. Pretty pathetic when even Reason magazine gets this wrong. The right to defend one’s self isn’t CONSTITUTIONAL, it is natural and inherent. The second amendment doesn’t say I can defend myself, it says government cannot prevent me from doing so.

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