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Eleanor Roosevelt Had a Carry Permit, So Why Can't You?

Eleanor Roosevelt had a permit to carry a handgun in New York state (though not in New York City, it should be noted). If you find yourself in a jurisdiction that forbids law-abiding citizens from packing heat, you might ask why she could carry but you cannot.

The good news is that guns laws have been racdically liberalized over the past three decades or so. As Grover Norquist noted a few months ago at OZY:

Thirty years ago, 80 percent of Americans supported stricter gun control laws. Certain guns were banned. Organizations formed and expected they would soon “ban handguns” in private hands. In 1987 Florida passed a “shall issue” concealed carry law that required local government to give any honest and sane adult a permit to carry a gun concealed on his/her person or in a purse or car. Today, 41 states have enacted such laws. In 2007 there were 4.5 million such permits. Today there are more than 11.1 million. Arizona, Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska do not even require permits to carry for their citizens. Five percent of the adult population has a concealed carry permit. One in 20. This drive has been fueled and validated by the fact that violent crime falls faster in states with concealed carry laws and even faster as more citizens avail themselves of that “new” right.

The crime rate per 100,00 people has declined as carry permits have increased. In 1987, for instance, the total crime rate was 5,550 and the violent crime rate was 610. In 2013, those numbers stood at 3,099 and 368.

In arming herself, Eleanor Roosevelt was ahead of the curve.

Image via the Twitter feed of historian Michael Beschloss.

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  • ||

    "The crime rate per 100,00 people has declined as carry permits have increased. In 1987, for instance, the total crime rate was 5,550 and the violent crime rate was 610. In 2013, those numbers stood at 3,099 and 368."

    Thats just crazy talk. I heard that guns are the problem. The problem wasn't defined exactly, but guns are definitely it.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I heard they use guns to do abortions while smoking pot and having ass sex.

  • Paul.||

    If only, then progressives would mandate them.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I'm in favor of more gun in citizen's hands. That said, I would be cautious about tiring it too closely to the drop in the crime rate. I think that a lot of the drop in the crime rate has to do with the aging of the population. There may be, as the article suggests, a difference in the rate of drop between states with fairly free carry rules, and states with more restrictive ones, but I have no way to know if the difference is statistically significant.

    The real issue is that proponents of gun control laws have been consistently wrong. If restrictive laws were up for a vote they promised that their passage would result in a dramatic drop in crime, and that never eventuated. If a loosening of restrictions was being mooted, they cried that the result would be blood in the streets, and that, too, turned out to be bushwa.

    And, most important of all, the proponents of gun control are scofflaws; they find the Second Amendment hugely inconvenient, and so they do their level best to ignore it. They are outraged that it stands in the way of their plans, and lack the guts to propose the necessary Constitutional amendment to remedy the situation.

    It makes you wonder what OTHER civil, natural, and Constitutional rights they would prefer to ignore.

  • Doctor Whom||

    The real issue is that proponents of gun control laws have been consistently wrong.

    It isn't just on this issue that what "everyone knows" is consistently wrong. Once something becomes an article of faith, no amount of counterevidence can persuade the true believers to commit apostasy.

  • ubik||

    Answer: FA.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Fuck ass?

  • Ted S.||

    No. A long long way to run.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Thread winner.

  • ||

    "It makes you wonder what OTHER civil, natural, and Constitutional rights they would prefer to ignore."

    You haven't been paying attention if you are wondering that. I can tell you right now which ones.

    All of 'em.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Wrong ! They support the Diversity Clause, the non-Trigger Amendment, the Free Shit part, and some other crap.

  • Paul.||

    You mean The Commerce Clause.

  • Bill Adams||

    As they interpret it: granting mercantilistic powers to the Feds, rather than denying them to the States.

  • CatoTheElder||

    I think most of our rulers are cool with letting people keep their 3rd Amendment rights ... unless those become inconvenient to the ruling elite for some reason.

  • ||

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, "This Permit Not Valid in the City of New York"?

    If Eleanor Roosevelt couldn't even get a permit in New York City, then who the hell can?

    There's gotta be a Second Amendment violation there somewhere.

  • ||

    Having to have a permit is in itself a second amendment violation, so yeah, there is.

  • Zeb||

    I'm inclined to think that a shall-issue permit is not a violation. I don't think it is terribly necessary or useful to require a permit (doesn't seem to make any difference instates that have no permit at all) and I'd get rid of it if I were in charge, but I'm not sure that the second amendment excludes any regulations on who can carry a gun in public.

    Do you think that there should be any restrictions on who can carry a gun? For example, a mentally unstable person or someone who has been convicted of multiple violent crimes?

    Another question: DOes the "well regulated militia" part have any practical meaning in the 2nd, or is "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." the only part with any actual force?

    I agree with you that requiring a permit violates one's natural right to defend oneself, but I'm not entirely sure that's what the Constitution says.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Being a convicted felon does not, or should not, be grounds for be deprived of the right to defend oneself legally. I would asterisk that as long as the felon has completed their term of punishment. Once they've completed their sentance, and are released without restrictions, all rights should be restored.

  • Zeb||

    I agree about the felons. If someone is so dangerous that they can never have their rights restored fully, then just keep them locked up.

  • ||

    I disagree Cdr.

    Punishment is the deprivation of rights. One may be deprived of the right to move around freely (incarceration) or of other rights. They do not necessarily need to be all for the same length of time.

    There are plenty of people who are dangerous to the point where they should be deprived of their right to bear arms permanently even if their right to freedom of movement has been restored.

    This is not to say that I think the current practices are correct.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Felonies aren't all created equal, as we've fallen a long way from rape/robbery/murder being the primary felonies of a justice system.

    In California, forging vehicle registration and related documents is a felony. Faking the sticker on your license plate could not only land in the hoosegow at the low, low price of $45k a year, but also gives the state carte blanche to ignore your natural rights despite there not being no ethical violation at stake.

    But even felons who were convicted of violent crimes have as much a right to defend themselves and their families as anyone else. If their crime is so severe that the state has legitimate fears about allowing a particular person to come near a gun, I wonder why he's out of prison in the first place.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Does said permit cost money? Do I need to do "special stuff" to to obtain it?

    If you answered yes to either of those questions then my rights have been "INFRINGED".

    For example, a mentally unstable person or someone who has been convicted of multiple violent crimes?

    If they consider such a person a danger to society, why are they allowed to roam around freely with access to knives, bats and cars?

    DOes the "well regulated militia" part have any practical meaning in the 2nd

    No. It's a leading explanatory phrase. If they meant the militia they wouldn't have said people. It was also a direct rip-off from the Virginia Constitution, where it was a indictment against standing armies.

    Virginia: That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Art. I, § 13 (enacted 1776 without explicit right to keep and bear arms; "therefore, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" added in 1971).
  • Zeb||

    What if you can carry openly without a permit? It is my understanding that at the time of the Bill of Rights, it was common to forbid concealed carry in public, but open carrying was normal and permitted. Does the right to bear arms necesarily require that you be able to bear them concealed?

    I'm just curious about it. I think that the states with no licensing or permits for any kind of gun ownership or carrying have it right. But I don't like to assume that the Constitution automatically agrees with me about everything, as tempting as that may be.

  • ||

    "I think that the states with no licensing or permits for any kind of gun ownership or carrying have it right."

    Agreed.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    It says what it says. Concealed, open and right up to and including nukes and biological weapons.

    Now do I think your average citizen should be allowed to own a nuke? Meh, probably not, but I can see the argument for it. As with anything, there is the right way and the wrong (easy) way.

    With the advent of WMD (and I use that term as it was originally defined to mean NBCs), if 67% of the legislature and 75% of the states didn't want the average citizen to own them, all they needed to do was pass an amendment.

    Instead, nine shitweasel unelected judges with political leanings redefine what the words mean to impose limits where none exist.

  • ||

    "Now do I think your average citizen should be allowed to own a nuke? Meh, probably not, but I can see the argument for it."

    And here is one. Currently owning one is prohibitively expensive. The only people who can afford to do so also have far too much to lose to use the thing recklessly. If I had one I can only imagine using it when things have gone to shit so badly that everyone is clamoring for me to do it; zombie apocalypse scenario.

    I can also see private owners being more trustworthy than governments.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Both good arguments.

    Mine was, since the reason for 2A was to keep the government in check, the citizenry should be able to own any weapon their government does. I will agree, however, that is somewhat problematic WRT liability.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Eh. The thing is, when any single person can nuke the White House if they have enough money, then we have the same problem we have now; Special interests would define legislation.

    Special interests, in this case, being defined as anybody with the capability of blowing up our legislators.

    Of course, there is always the counter argument that only the incredibly dedicated or totally insane would then become politcos. That's not neccessarily a bad thing.

  • Idaho Bob||

    And the Left continues to villify guns, gun owners, and militias.

    "Already, plenty of Americans are asserting the right to carry guns in previously unlikely places (such as in schools and government offices). Already, they are forming private militias for purposes such as patrolling the Mexican border and protecting a claimed right to graze cattle on federal lands. Again, when private citizen militias already carry guns for those purposes, it's "just" a matter of expanding the scope of an established principle to use guns for other purposes."

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion.....tml#page=1

  • ||

    "I'm inclined to think that a shall-issue permit is not a violation."

    I disagree. If I have to ask permission or pay a fee to exercise a right then I don't have that right.

    Having to be licensed to arm yourself is exactly the same thing as having to have a license to express your conscience (i.e. licensing journalists comes to mind).

  • Zeb||

    I agree on the matter of rights, but I'm still not so sure about what the second amendment says. I wish they would have used "each person" instead of "the people" more in the BOR. It would make things much less open to a collectivist interpretation.

  • CJR||

    It's worth noting that the 2nd amendment makes no allowance for a 'reasonable' infringement. Several other amendments do.

  • PavePusher||

    Here are some "plain English" translations and grammatical analysis.

    http://www.largo.org/literary.html

    http://www.libertygunrights.com/4pg2A Diagram.pdf

  • wareagle||

    I'm not sure that the second amendment excludes any regulations on who can carry a gun in public.

    how about that 'shall not be infringed' part?

  • Zeb||

    I may have put that wrong. Perhaps should have said "under what conditions one can carry a gun in public".

    I guess I am getting into the realm of guessing the intentions of the authors and "original meaning", which I try not to do too much, but I have a hard time thinking that it was intended to forbid any and all regulations on how a gun can be carried. Am I incorrect in my understanding that concealed carry was forbidden for most people in the past? Is it really an infringement on the right to bear arms to say they must be carried openly? It wouldn't seem to take away your right to defend yourself or affect the effectiveness of the citizen militia.

    Please note I am not arguing in favor of any regulation or restriction. Just trying to make sense of the law.

  • wareagle||

    the Founders were clever in creating ways for adapting laws as they wrote them, but they made the process difficult, too, so that change would be deliberated. With guns, there is that "shall not be infringed" part which does not leave much gray area. I don't know if that meant no changes, restrictions, limitations, modifications, etc ever, or if the phrase was designed in absolute terms.

    Since the right of citizens to own guns was largely a measure for keeping govt in check, I'll guess that was the emphasis behind the "shall not" clause. As time moved on, open carry was the norm if several areas of the country, and probably less so in cities.

  • ||

    Good grief Zeb.

    The second amendment explicitly excludes any and all infringements on the right to arm yourself.

    Yes, there should be restrictions for felons and crazy people. This is provided for in the fifth amendment.

    Yes it has practical meaning. The founders did not want a centralized government to have a monopoly on military strength or for them to ban citizens militias. The right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms was, at the time of the writing, a long established right in english common law.

  • Zeb||

    OK, I'm getting bogged down in details. But just a few more comments.

    We are talking about concealed carry permits. Is that an infringement on the right to arm yourself if you can carry openly?

    I can't remember exactly what I originally said/asked about the "well regulated militia" bit, but what I wanted to ask was whether it had a practical effect in law. I understand the purpose and meaning, as you explain. But would the 2A have any different legal meaning if that part were dropped.

  • ||

    Yes it would be an infringement to say that you can carry here and not there (on your body) or like this but not like that. Also it opens the door to definitions about what is proper or not that would negate the right altogether.

    Remember, with government, if you open the door to something, no matter how wrong or ridiculous it may seem, they will go through that door. This is why I believe the broccoli mandate is coming.

  • ||

    Oh, I posted to quickly.

    As for the militia bit, yes it would have different meaning but not with regard to the individual right. It would remove mention of localities having the right to form militias which, the more I think about it is an important right.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's something to weeding out people who either can't be held responsible for their actions or people who have--effectively--willingly forgone their right to own a gun by committing a violent felony. I also think it's appropriate to check a buyer's age for the same reason--to make sure the gun owner can be held responsible.

    The Second Amendment protects our right to choose to own a gun. It doesn't give us the right to shoot people indiscriminately--we can still be held responsible for what we choose to do with a gun.

    People who cannot be held responsible for what they do (such as the insane), thus, should probably not be allowed to own a gun.

    People who a jury of their peers convicted for willingly engaging in a violent felony are people who have effectively willingly given up their right to own a gun.

    And when it comes to children, again, if they can't be held responsible for what they choose to do, the same as adults, then I don't think should have the same level of freedom. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to use a gun--it means their parent or legal guardian is responsible for buying a gun and giving them access, and, hence, the parent is to some extent responsible.

    So, I can see how having some kind of system in place to make sure people: are of age, haven't been convicted of rape, etc., haven't been recently deemed by a psychiatrist to be incapable of making responsible choices for themselves--can't just walk in and buy a gun.

  • wareagle||

    People who a jury of their peers convicted for willingly engaging in a violent felony are people who have effectively willingly given up their right to own a gun.

    and this is where the road starts to fork. If the convicted has served his/her sentence, then that individual becomes whole again. Creating multiple classes of "yeah, but..." citizens serves no one. The sex offender registry is just one example of an idea that may be well-meaning but, in practice, serves no one.

    I think we're all unanimous on the mentally unstable, but having committed one crime is not proof to believe that another will follow. And if it does, we're talking about people who disregard far more serious laws than gun ownership, making that prohibition little more than feel-good legislation.

  • Zeb||

    If you can be sentenced to life in prison, then it seems perfectly reasonable that you can be sentenced to life without the right to have guns. But I think it is ridiculous and unjust to have that automatically be a consequence of any felony conviction.

  • ||

    I agree. It should only be in cases where someone has demonstrated a pattern of violent behavior that is unlikely to change.

    Of course getting rid of victimless crime altogether would be a better start.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    If you can be sentenced to life in prison, then it seems perfectly reasonable that you can be sentenced to life without the right to have guns.

    Does it?

    So, if you're a convicted felon can you lose your right to your religion? Speech? Petition your government? Can they force you to quarter soldiers? Can they take your right to not be required to incriminate yourself? Your right to trial by jury? Can they chop your dick off (unusual punishment)?

    Why self defense?

  • ||

    Good arguments. You almost had me changing my mind.

    Taking someones freedom of movement and right to be armed are not for the purpose of punishing the convicted. If all we wanted was punishment we could administer lashes. Those two are done to protect other citizens from having their rights violated by offenders. I don't see it as unreasonable to remove for life the right to be armed from someone who has a history of doing just that, even after his right to move around freely has been restored. I am not saying it should be done inn every case.

    The other rights you list hypothetically, if removed, would not serve to defend other's rights.

    In short, we choose incarceration and taking away 2A rights so that the offender cannot victimize others. The only other right that would serve that end would be taking away their right to life. That is a special case as I see the government has already proven itself incapable of doing that competently.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    So why just guns? Why not, knives, bats, cars, tire-irons, moderate sized rocks, 2x4s, hammers, saws...?

    I'm of the opinion that you don't let the fuckers out of prison until their time has been served. Once it is, they become full-up people again, with ALL their natural rights. If they repeat, lock em up and leave em.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can see that. Maybe it should just be a condition of parole. We'll let you out early just so long as you agree 1) to forgo your right to own a gun, 2)...

    Maybe it should be part of the sentencing. By the power invested in me by the State of New York, I hereby sentence you to life without possession of a firearm--in addition to whatever else.

    On the other hand, like I said, I think people who commit violent felonies are, in reality, willingly forgoing the legal protection of some of their rights.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This goes back to the mens rea discussion some of us had last week. When a jury of your peers convicts someone of a violent felony, one of the criteria is whether the defendant willingly chose to commit the crime. This is, for instance, why self-defense is considered a legitimate excuse for what would otherwise be considered murder. In those cases, the jury can decide that, no, the defendant did not willingly choose to commit murder--because the defendant had no choice.

    If mens rea is considered, and a jury of your peers--not the government--decides that what you did, you did willingly, then there is an excellent argument to make that you willingly accepted responsibility for the consequences of your actions. You chose to be held criminally responsible for your actions.

    It's like someone suing you in court for breach of contract. Tony might insist that's an example of the government forcing one party to do something against his will, but how can you say a jury of your peers (not the government) making you live by the agreement you willingly signed onto is making you do something against your will?

    You willingly agreed to the terms of the contract!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Violent felonies aren't much different. The jury decides whether you willingly signed on to the terms of the contract--when you committed that crime. We all have a reciprocal obligation to respect the rights of other people. If you willingly violate the terms of that contract, you willingly forgo some of that contract's benefits. If you willingly/purposely violate someone else's rights with a gun, I can't imagine why gun ownership wouldn't be the very first right you willingly gave away.

    You can sign the protection for certain rights away.

    You can waive your right to remain silent.

    You can waive your right to a trial by jury.

    You can waive your right to an attorney.

    You can sign away your free speech rights in a non-disclosure agreement!

    If a jury of your peers finds that you willingly violated someone else's rights with a gun, why shouldn't that be interpreted as though you willingly waived legal protection for your Second Amendment rights?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    If a jury of your peers finds that you willingly violated someone else's rights with a gun, why shouldn't that be interpreted as though you willingly waived legal protection for your Second Amendment rights?

    There is a difference between waiving your own inalienable rights and someone else waiving them for you. If you say the commission of x crime requires y punishment to make up for the action then you should be able to pay y and then be able to live the rest of your life as a person, equal to all other people.

    If you want to say giving up guns is a condition of your parole, that's the felon's choice (he hasn't paid all of y yet). Saying he can no longer defend himself means he's less than a person and you are setting up a tiered system of rights. And you are never letting that individual get back to being a person for the remainder of his existence.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There is a difference between waiving your own inalienable rights and someone else waiving them for you."

    But the jury is not waiving them for you. They're really just confirming the facts. You willingly waived those rights yourself when you willingly used a gun to violate someone else's rights.

    Do you or don't you believe that we all have a reciprocal obligation to refrain from violating other people's rights?

    What is the result of willfully violating that reciprocal obligation to respect other people's rights--if not forgoing protection of your own rights?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Do you or don't you believe that we all have a reciprocal obligation to refrain from violating other people's rights?

    I do. However, once you've paid for your indiscretions, that should be the end of the matter. In telling an ex-con he can't own a gun you are telling him he has no right to self defense for the rest of his life. As I point out above, does that mean we can take away other inalienable rights from him?

    And you may counter that taking away his gun protects others rights.

    1. It doesn't. If he's going to commit murder, he certainly isn't going to worry about getting caught with a gun.
    2. He can kill you with a kitchen knife if he so chooses.
    3. He's paid his debt. He is a person again, which means he has rights again. His inalienable rights.

    If he commits another crime, lock him up and throw away the key. I have no problem with a two strikes rule (with discretion).

  • Ken Shultz||

    "In telling an ex-con he can't own a gun you are telling him he has no right to self defense for the rest of his life."

    There is an open question about how long the legal protection for a violent criminal's Second Amendment rights are no longer in effect. Surely, it's for at least the length of his sentence.

    However, I have to reemphasize that we're not talking about how long the government should impose a restriction on the Second Amendment rights of this duly convicted armed robber.

    We're talking about someone who willfully forgoes their Second Amendment rights--and for how long--after they've purposely used a gun to willfully violate someone else's rights.

    Our rights are inalienable by the government. A jury of your peers is not the government.

    Criminals willfully forgo their rights when they violate someone else's rights, and that's because we all have an obligation to respect each other's rights. A jury's true job is to confirm whether the defendant willfully violated someone else's rights.

    No question, the legal consequences can be too harsh, and reasonable people can disagree about that, but if you willingly violate someone else's rights with a gun, that being interpreted in law as having willingly forgone your right to own a gun seems perfectly reasonable.

    Assuming they've waived their right to own a gun when they misuse a gun is an easier case to make than assuming they've consented to being locked up in a cage, isn't it?

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Surely, it's for at least the length of his sentence.

    Agreed.

    We're talking about someone who willfully forgoes their Second Amendment rights--and for how long--after they've purposely used a gun to willfully violate someone else's rights.

    They've willingly committed a crime and forgo some or all of their rights for some period of time as punishment.

    That punishment is based upon the crime. Some are short, jacking a car, five years. Some are long, murder, life. That punishment is usually prison. But when you've completed that term, your life is yours again.

    As I said above, if you want to say "Ken, your sentence is 5 years in the big house and 15 years forfeiture of gun rights." I don't have a big problem with that.

    But saying that all convicted felons, automatically can never own a gun again, I do have a problem with it. That's no different than saying convicted felons can't own property or get drunk or live where they want or play baseball in a park. It creates a lower class of human and inhibits their ability to turn their lives around and become a productive members of society.

    It may be an appropriate punishment for some crimes, but it certainly shouldn't be a blanket standard.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I suppose if it was part of the sentencing it would be more tolerable. But saying anyone who commits a felony cannot ever own a gun seems wrong to me. All felonies are not equal.

  • CatoTheElder||

    Permitting, licensing, and registration requirements all infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms.

    Simple as that.

    Before arms are expropriated, the state must know where they are. Knuckleheaded "common sense" gun control measures are the first step to prohibition, just like the Harrison Act was the first step in the war on drugs.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "I'm not sure that the second amendment excludes any regulations on who can carry a gun in public."

    I am. "The right of the people to keep and bear arms chalk not be infringed"

    I understand that people whose first language is Lawyer parse this otherwise, but from where I'm sitting that is very simple;

    NO taxes

    NO registration

    NO permits

    NO waiting period

    No government databases, oversight, or regulation whatsoever. Not on anything that one of the "people" can "bear"; i.e. anything that can be carried and operated effectively by one person.

    So, you don't have a right to a nuke; in normal operation those require quite a crew. Similarly, you don't have a right to an M-60 machine gun, no matter WHAT John Rambo does in the movies; that thing requires a minimum of two people to operate without jamming in seconds. You DO have a right to an M-16, or an AK-47, or a BAR.

    Is this a good idea? I don't know for sure. I DO know that I am far less worried by the idea that one of my idiot neighbors might own and assault rifle than I am by the idea that my Government does not feel constrained by its Constitution.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    I don't agree with your premise that 2A implies that it must be carried by 1 person. People is plural. Me and Billy Bob bear this arm. We're the people with that right.

    AND, what about self propelled arms. I can operate an F-16 by myself.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    An F-16? By yourself? Fuel it, maintain it, and all? I doibt it; military hardware is notoriously maintainence intensive.

    I'm simply saying that the combination of the known intention of the authors (allow the citizemry access to commonly used military arms), plus the wording of the Amendment, give a tiny little loophole for some mild restrictions.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    An F-16? By yourself?

    A person could learn to repair/maintain their own jet. Besides, does that mean if I have to take my rifle to a gunsmith I forfeit my right to bear a rifle?

    I'm simply saying that the combination of the known intention of the authors (allow the citizemry access to commonly used military arms)

    What about cannons, were common citizens able to own their own cannons back when the amendment was written? That takes more than one person to move around. How would privateers carry out Letters of Marque without cannons?

  • antiquarian||

    "You have a republic-- if you can keep it."

  • Bill Adams||

    Another question: Does the "well regulated militia" part have any practical meaning in the 2nd, or is "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." the only part with any actual force?

    The trouble is, and has always been, the attempt to finesse big differences with a compromise wording. Some at the convention wanted to make it clear that these arms were only for the support of authority, not a potential threat to it, while others were satisfied that the militia clause was only a grammatical or rhetorical qualification to the rights clause, not a legal one. In fact, the two elements represented contradictory views, and the compromise wording left room to interpret either way. We have only recently emerged from the shadow of well-regulated-militia thinking in the judiciary. Constitutional guarantees have proved to be a week reed against the "actual force" of whichever grafters are in power at the moment.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Oh, lots of them. And the aristocrat wannabes running hat city will be just as stubnorn and just as stupid as the prices of Chicago were whe they got hauled into court, and waste truckloads of the taxpayer's money.

  • Leisureguy||

    Correlation is definitely not causation. The statements in the article, "The crime rate per 100,00 people has declined as carry permits have increased. In 1987, for instance, the total crime rate was 5,550 and the violent crime rate was 610. In 2013, those numbers stood at 3,099 and 368." might be taken to imply that the cause of the decline in the crime rate is due to the increase in carry permits, though of course the author is very careful not to make this claim (which would be ludicrous). Quite a few studies have identified that the primary cause of the decline (which doubtless has multiple causes) is the abatement of environmental lead due to discontinuing lead paint and leaded gasoline.

    What would be interesting would be to compare the crime rates with the proportion of the population that has a carry license state by state. One might expect, for example, that states with the highest crime rates have also the highest proportion of carry licenses (for protection against the large criminal population). I actually don't know what the evidence will show in that case. But we do know more about the decline in the crime rate and the primary driver of that.

  • Barnstormer||

    "...One might expect, for example, that states with the highest crime rates have also the highest proportion of carry licenses (for protection against the large criminal population)...."

    Anecdotally, I'm pretty sure you'd find quite the opposite. Places with the highest crime rates tend to be the most restrictive about citizen carry.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The author is very careful not to make this claim (which would be ludicrous). Quite a few studies have identified that the primary cause of the decline (which doubtless has multiple causes) is the abatement of environmental lead due to discontinuing lead paint and leaded gasoline."

    Um...

    Here's what he actually wrote:

    "Violent crime falls faster in states with concealed carry laws and even faster as more citizens avail themselves of that “new” right."

    Whatever is responsible for drop in violent crime rates, it certainly isn't because of a decrease in the number of people carrying legally, that's for sure.

    As far as decreased lead in the environment being responsible for falling crime rates, I'm open to that suggestion, but I'd want to see the studies myself before I subscribed to that. Honestly, I'm not much of a utilitarian myself--I prefer a freer society for qualitative reasons that utilitarianism doesn't address.

    That having been said, it seems like we can agree with the author, here, that falling rates of violent crime aren't especially correlated with stricter gun control. But I think that is his claim. Is it not?

  • Zeb||

    The lead thing is interesting. I'd like to know more about it too. At least based on the limited anecdotal evidence available to me, it seems plausible. I know a few people who had high lead levels as kids and they definitely have trouble controlling themselves and have problems with anger and violence.

    Another possible cause of declining crime rates that I hesitate to bring up is legal and readily available abortion. Not sure how well that idea has held up.

    But whatever the cause, the numbers suggest strongly that increased carrying of guns isn't associated with any increase in violent crime.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Levitt and Donohue came under fire for their abortion-prevents-crime paper, and I think the debate is still going on. It was mostly a slap fight between statisticians economists and thus worthy of being ignored, but there's a prima facie case for abortion in crime-ridden populations reducing violent crime. We don't have to sign off on the morality of the practice--we could reduce crime by castrating every male in the nation, provided you don't view the castration of millions as a crime--but it's clearly the case that fewer unwanted or fatherless children would result in fewer future criminals.

    I'd imagine that the rise of video-game culture and its tendency to replace physical sports also has an effect on criminal behavior. Confining young men's ritualized warmongering to the Playstation instead of the basketball court has to reduce opportunities for confrontation and violence.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There is a lot of good evidence that lead is the Criminal Element. There's not just a correlation over time as cross-section studies of states and smaller jurisdictions also finds that places that banned lead sooner or otherwise used less of it have less crime. Lead is profoundly harmful, even in the parts per billion rage. Even arsenic is a micronutrient at minute levels, lead is only ever harmful.

    Banning leaded gas (and paint) is a massive example of when government intervention protected individual rights.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Then I should be dead. I eat roughly 1/23 oz of lead a year.

    Have yet to commit any major crime.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Lead is profoundly harmful, even in the parts per billion rage.

    According to the CDC, the level for which treatment is recommended for teh chilrenz is above 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood and 10 micrograms per deciliter for adults.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't think you know what ppb means or how 'studies' work but that's hardly a surprise.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Assuming blood weighs about the same as water. A deciliter weighs 100 g.

    5 micro grams/100g = 5x10^-6/100 = 5x10^-8 gram PB/gram Blood Invert that you get 1 part per 20,000,000 which is two orders of magnitude more than a part per billion.

    So how can lead be "profoundly harmful" at the ppb range when treatment isn't even required until obtaining 1 part per 20 million?

    Someone please check my math.

  • kbolino||

    While that works out to 47 ppm (if my math is correct), the same page also notes "no safe blood lead level in children has been identified"; i.e. the threshold for treatment ≠ the threshold for discernible harm.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    There is a lot of good evidence that lead is the Criminal Element.

    Bullets are made of lead. Guns really ARE evil!

  • ||

    I am pretty sure that crime rates falling overall, but faster in places with large numbers of carry permits, does show that the carrying of firearms by potential victims causes the rate to fall.

    I am also certain that having violent convicted felons overwhelmingly answer the question "What is the number one deterrent against choosing someone as a victim?" with "If I think they have a gun." shows that also. One has to be pretty boneheaded or mendacious not to see it.

    Also, the gun grabbers that argue that armed citizens do not deter criminals are liars and hypocrites.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I am pretty sure that crime rates falling overall, but faster in places with large numbers of carry permits, does show that the carrying of firearms by potential victims causes the rate to fall."

    We can at least agree that violent crime rates didn't rise with the increase in the number of people legally carrying.

    And I'd also like to think that there are qualitative aspects to freedom that aren't being addressed here, too.

    Even if the increase in the number of people legally carrying was correlated with higher rates of violent crime, I'd still support the right to carry anyway--because I have a general qualitative preference for freedom even if it comes with increased risk.

    I'm not saying it's what we're doing here, but when we do reduce this stuff to utilitarian arguments, it sometimes feels to me like we're helping the progressives build the gallows they want to hang us with--so to speak.

    Neither I nor my rights exist for the benefit of society, and I recognize that even if and when, statistically, we can show that respecting my rights does benefit society. If the statistics change tomorrow, however, I'm certainly not going to stop supporting my Second Amendment rights.

    I don't know that cigars, pr0n, Scientology, motorcycles, punk rawk, pay day loan centers, sugary sodas, furry fandom, or slot machines are necessarily in the best intersets of society, either, but I think people should be free to engage in all of that stuff anyway.

  • wareagle||

    We can at least agree that violent crime rates didn't rise with the increase in the number of people legally carrying.

    and maybe that is a better way of framing the argument. Can I prove conclusively that more permits = less crime? No, but it is a trend that is hard to ignore and, as a bonus, a near-provable case can be made that more permits do NOT increase crime.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "a near-provable case can be made that more permits do NOT increase crime."

    Yeah, and that's probably all we need to prove to keep our rights fairly secure from public opinion--in the short term.

    Long term, I'd love it if more Americans could get their heads around the idea that freedom has substantial qualitative benefits--even when it DOES entail more risk.

    ...and the time to make that latter case isn't when the statistics are going against us. The best time to make that case is when we don't really need to--statistically speaking.

  • ||

    Ken, you are a furry, aren't you? Thats why you threw that in there, isn't it?

    *Just kidding. Actually we did have someone admit to being one once. More power to him and of course the old 'Whatever creams your twinkie'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Yeah, I'm not the furry--not that there's anything wrong with that.

    I'm on board for motorcycles, punk rawk, and sugary sodas, though, if that's any consolation.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    My favorite comment on the subject by a convicted felon was back in the 1980's; a daytime talk show that I was watching because there was a TV in a pace I had to wait, and I couldn't turn it off, had a reformed burglar on. When asked what weapon he most feared in the hands of a householder, he answered "A hunting bow"

    "Why?"

    "Because nobody buys one for home defense. You see somebody with a shotgun, or a rifle, or a pistol, the odds are he never fires the thing. But a guy with a bow? He's a hunter. He practices. He's gonna hit what he shoots at. And that's gonna be you. If I ever looked up the stairs and saw a guy with a bow, I'd have offered to dial for the cops myself."

  • AlmightyJB||

    Why did the White House have a fully stocked bar during prohibition?

    FYTW

  • Cdr Lytton||

    The US embassy in Kuwait had a fully stocked bar when I was there 15 years ago. No touching for servicemembers.

  • Seamus||

    As long as it was stocked before Prohibition, and as long as they didn't sell or transport the booze, then it was perfectly legal. Mere possession, serving, and consumption of alcohol weren't prohibited by Prohibition.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It was stocked with bootleg liqour

  • kbolino||

    It is doubtful that the White House's bar remained fully stocked for 13 years without some transportation taking place. The only real hypocrite though would be Hoover; Coolidge was opposed to Prohibition.

  • AlmightyJB||

    So if I oppose a law I can just ignore it? Good to know. The information on this is not difficult to find.

  • ingra.mckee||

    just before I saw the receipt which said $5461 , I didnt believe ...that...my mom in-law woz like they say actually bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there sisters roommate has been doing this 4 only about twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on there house and purchased themselves a Audi Quattro . this link...........www.netjob70.com

  • ||

    Worst bot ever.

  • Warrren||

    Still better than Dunphy.

  • FrankInFL||

    Well, she DID have some highly-placed friends. I suspect your permit was denied for a related reason ;-)

  • Jerryskids||

    Why is nobody addressing the real question here: Why does Eleanor Roosevelt's carry permit have Jimmy Carter's mugshot on it?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Now, now, that's not fair. Mind you, I'm not sure who it isn't fair TOO...

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I can operate an F-16 by myself.

    If you can get it off the ground, anyway.

    And-
    If some cop can make a decision as to whether he will "allow" me my weapon, based on a piece of paper, then you can bet your ass my right has been infringed.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Real" criminals (and the criminally insane) don't give a fuck what the law says.

  • BoscoH||

    I did not realize she was so tall! I mean, she looked tall next her crippled husband, but not that tall, My respect for her has gone from zero to +2 after reading this posting, +1 for packing heat, and +1 for being tall.

  • antiquarian||

    I guess deciding to be tall was a good move on her part.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Here in California, new laws are going into effect that require the purchaser of a firearm to show a certificate of competence before taking possession of that firearm. I don't believe the certificate is free, and certainly not if you take an approved firearms course in order to pass. Waiting periods and background checks have been in effect for firearms in general for a while. You have had to register your handgun for many years, and recently, the registration requirement was extended to long guns. Add to this that there has been a significant ammo shortage in the State for some years, with the .22 shell drought now at "exceptional drought" level for the last year or so. Taken together, there is a lot of "infringement" of the 2nd Amendment in California. Why has this not been successfully challenged in court?

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Oh yeah, I forgot the Statewide ban on AK-47s and other scary guns, which continues at full strength despite the sunsetting of the corresponding Federal ban years ago. Really, the State of California does not take the Second Amendment seriously, and hasn't for at least a couple of decades. Why have they not yet been slapped down hard by the courts for their nose-thumbing attitude?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    It's in the process of happening, and MY aren't they scheming about it. The "must have a good reason" clause in their license rules had been struck down, and the Ruling Class is acting like Medieval Princes on being told that they had to obey the laws just like the peasants.

  • Vulgar Madman||

    What's the point of being an aristocrat, if you don't get special privileges?

  • userve32||

    Wow she was one homey looking chick.

    www.Anon-Wayz.tk

  • antiquarian||

    How many 72-year-olds are likely to be on the cover of Vogue?

  • JayMan||

    If you are a man or woman, why would you ask for permission from another man or woman to carry a weapon - exercise your right of self-defense?
    The government, and its actors, are public servants. I'm one of the public. I don't ask my servants for permission.

  • Darth Soros||

    William F. Buckley Jr. once said that Eleanor Roosevelt's entire life was one unending war against the syllogism. (of course these days that's pretty much true of all "liberals.") It's a little-known fact that she liked to target-practice using copies of Aristotle's LOGIC.

  • Lawman45||

    The Elite (rich or famous or politically well-connected) are "special" people with special privileges. YOU will never be their peer or equal.

  • gloriyamark||

    I can see what your saying... Rodney `s blog is good... on friday I bought a gorgeous Cadillac from having made $9899 this past 4 weeks and-more than, ten/k this past-munth . it's actualy the most-comfortable job I have ever done . I began this 3 months ago and almost straight away was bringin in over $80, per/hr .
    check out here ...http://www.Job-Reports.Com

  • antiquarian||

    I'm a supporter of the Second Amendment and concealed carry, but it's disingenuous to say that violent crime has decreased as CCW permits increased and leave it at that, which implies the former occurred as a direct and sole result of the latter. The increase in permits helped, I think, but there are many other causes, both about firearms (such as the increase in firearms overall) and not (such as the idea that today's young-- always the most likely to commit violent crime-- are the first generation to grow to adulthood after the end of the use of lead in gasoline, which, transmitted to humans atmospherically, worsens impulse control).

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