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The Framers Did Not Know From 3D-Printed Guns. So How Can They Be Covered by the Second Amendment?

A former congressman suggests that homemade plastic guns can be banned because they did not exist in 1791.

WikipediaWikipediaSteve Israel, who tried to restrict 3D-printed guns when he was a congressman, is not happy that the Justice Department has abandoned efforts to censor the software required to produce such weapons. In a New York Times op-ed piece, Israel urges his former colleagues to pass legislation aimed at putting this genie back in the bottle. Specifically, the New York Democrat wants Congress to require that "printable weapons have components necessary for their operation that make them detectable." He addresses possible constitutional objections with this closing non sequitur: "After all, the people who used quills to write the Second Amendment couldn't comprehend that one day guns would be produced by 3-D printers."

The Framers probably did not anticipate stun guns or semi-automatic pistols either, but that does not mean the Second Amendment has no bearing on the constitutionality of attempts to ban or restrict them. "Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search," the Supreme Court ruled in the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding." The Court reiterated that point in 2016, rejecting the premise that a state ban on stun guns raised no Second Amendment issues because Tasers did not exist in 1791.

Israel also mentions the "constitutional free-speech right to share computer codes" asserted by Defense Distributed, the company whose software the DOJ recently agreed to allow online without the threat of criminal charges. But he offers no response to that claim. Presumably he would point out that the people who used quills to write the First Amendment couldn't comprehend that one day a network of computers would make it possible to communicate electronically with people around the world, let alone that the exchanges might include instructions for making stuff at home with widely available equipment.

By Israel's logic, Americans have a right to own flintlock rifles, to circulate literature printed on hand presses, and to prevent the government from rummaging through their diaries and personal papers for no good reason. But the Second Amendment does not cover plastic guns made on 3D printers, the First Amendment does not protect speech on the internet, and the Fourth Amendment has nothing to say about the security of information stored on computers, because the Framers knew nothing of such things.

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  • damikesc||

    I never understood the whole "How can they understand modern guns" nonsense when discussing the founding fathers.

    He doesn't seem to realize that they didn't. They likely KNEW they didn't know what would come in the future and left a lot of the Amendments very open in terms of protections.

    They didn't know about television or radio, either. Yet he isn't calling for those to be censored.

    Well, yet.

  • Just Say'n||

    And the Founding Fathers definitely knew about this stuff. I watched that Quantum Leap episode

  • ||

  • ||

    Arg! I must've gotten my facts, unknown unknowns damned lies, and statistics mixed up.

  • See Double You||

    What the fuck does Scalia's opinion in Heller have to do with damikesc's comment about Steve Israel's bad logic?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Hey, Mary Stack, how come some of the people on your list have numbers behind their names, and others don't? And why are some numbers listed twice? And finally, why isn't Giant Realistic Flying Tiger on your list? I've never seen anyone rip into your like that guy did earlier today. Holy crap, that was epic. I am still laughing about it.

  • Pat_||

    People posting all bold do it because they have nothing to say.

  • Social Darwinist||

    What do you think the purpose of the 2A is? I'm interested in your thoughts on it not links to other articles, court decisions, publications, etc. I'm also interested in a respectful discussion on the issue not dialogue that devolves into name calling.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Or that YOU define what is permissable for MY self-defense?

    That you can't see the irony in this statement on this thread is... telling.

  • Social Darwinist||

    Thank you!

  • Social Darwinist||

    What name-calling? Leo was pointing out that you don't want me to define what constitutes your self defense at the same time you are trying to defines elf defense for others or at least defending the definition of self defense by the courts and legislators for the rest of the country. He pointed out the irony in that. No name calling and no aggression.

  • Social Darwinist||

    I don't understand this reply so I'm not going to respond further. It doesn't seem we were getting anywhere on this point anyway. I will continue our conversation below.

  • Social Darwinist||

    Defense of the country including repelling external or internal totalitarian governments wishing to implement their will without the consent of the governed. One can make the argument, even with the courts rulings that today's reasoning of 2A is for self-defense, that one cannot defend a country if one cannot defend themselves.

    So what would it take for citizens to defend the country against an internal or external threat? Flintlocks? Single-action revolvers? Full auto machine guns? Cannons? Tanks? I believe there is a difference between arms and WMD's (NBC weapons). The idea is that citizens cannot defend themselves if they are constantly and demonstrably out armed by governments.

    What SHOULD it take to make the courts rulings come into alignment with the purpose of 2A?
    What SHOULD it take to have laws limiting and restricting citizens rights to keep and bear arms? It should take an amendment or repeal of 2A. Instead, we have courts, politicians, and others claiming that 2A means things it never did, claiming that we need "common sense" legislation curbing rights, or making other emotional pleas to restrict or ban weapons.

    Also, I laid out a framework for our discussion stating that I had no interest in devolving into name calling. I don't understand why you decided your last paragraph was necessary. I won't be provoked into that kind of exchange. Hopefully we can have a polite, respectful debate even if we disagree vehemently on the issue.

  • Social Darwinist||

    Michael, I said I was interested in your opinion on 2A not what Scalia said or what is in US v Miller. You seem to be very knowledgeable about proceedings and court cases concerning 2A but in the many posts I have read that written by you I fail to get a good understanding of what you think the purpose of 2A is, where gun control laws are in relation to 2A (gone too far, just about right, haven't gone far enough), what can be done to correct the gap, if any, and what level of arms ownership and restrictions should be allowed.

    In my opinion, the creation of a permanent professional military in no way negates the purpose or scope of 2A. The military in its simplest form is just another agency of the government therefore 2A would be reinforced by the creation of a professional military.

  • Social Darwinist||

    I'm not asking for courts to align with my purpose since I'm not a founding father regardless of how old my kids say I am. The purpose of 2A does not change person to person or even state to state yet restrictions on keeping and bearing arms do. As to your question about rejecting the lengthy history of bans and regulations I'd say most if not all of them were derived at or enacted through unconstitutional means, an actual example of living constitution reasoning. Let me give you an example to clarify what I mean. I have a great respect for both the prohibitionists and the anti-prohibitionists of the early 20th century. The prohibitionists wanted the production and sale of alcohol banned across the country. They knew they would have an uphill fight without an amendment that specifically prohibited it. They used their influence to pass and ratify the 18th amendment and alcohol was essentially banned. I'm totally against a ban on vices like this but you have to admit that is an astounding accomplishment. I cannot even fathom the mindset of the country, just 2 years off WWI, allowing this to pass. However, just thirteen short years later, the anti-prohibitionists had won the argument that prohibition was wrong and got the 21st amendment passed and ratified. Alcohol was essentially legal again. Again, an amazing accomplishment and the correct way to alter a right or restriction of rights whether explicit or implicit.

  • Social Darwinist||

    If I understand your comments correctly then you and I agree that states should be prohibited from making laws and regulations that violate fundamental rights. I would add the federal agencies are also prohibited in the same manner. Are you saying then that 2A is not a fundamental right? I would argue it is, that self defense and more broadly the ability to defend against tyrannical rule is a fundamental right.

    I disagree with you on SCOTUS rulings. If a law is passed, like an assault weapons ban, and a suit is challenged all the way to SCOTUS then their ruling, if they make one, will either allow banning of assault weapons (can) or prohibit the ban (cannot).

    I agree that originalism means understanding the intent or purpose of the constitution and the amendments. That was the entire premise of my questioning. The very first sentence of my very first communication to you was "What do you think the purpose of the 2A is?"

    The Prohibition example was to show that if the governed so consented to have right removed from the population as a whole then the proper procedure is through the amendment process. Making laws and regulations that stand in contrast to the intent or purpose of the constitution, with or without SCOTUS approval, are unconstitutional. Surely you can't be arguing that SCOTUS has never made rulings that were overturned by later SCOTUS rulings, are you?

  • Social Darwinist||

    Modifying people's rights by slowly encroaching on them through the implementation of laws and regulations at federal, state, and local level and not through amending the constitution is the definition of living constitution. It takes the courts cooperation or willingness to disregard constitutional intent for these rights to be eroded.

  • Social Darwinist||

    Modifying people's rights by slowly encroaching on them through the implementation of laws and regulations at federal, state, and local level and not through amending the constitution is the definition of living constitution. It takes the courts cooperation or willingness to disregard constitutional intent for these rights to be eroded.

  • Social Darwinist||

    I'm not encroaching on anyone's freedoms. I want people to arm themselves as they see fit, even if that means they don't arm themselves at all, without government interference. Above you stated the purpose for 2A was self defense, you should want people to arm themselves as they see fit. I don't see how this is an encroachment of a right, one could argue it's an expansion of a right from where it stands today. Also, I'm not trying to impose my opinion on anyone. I try to convince people to see the constitution as originally intended and I vote for the candidates that I think will best hold up that view.

    I understand Federalism quite well. I also understand that there are people who would rather take the easy road to achieve their desires than follow a process that has worked well at protecting our freedoms.

    As to President Roosevelt's quote, I wasn't complaining. I thought we were having a discussion or debate about 2A. You still haven't answered my fundamental questions about your opinion on 2A. Why? Can you at least answer me this, would you want me or anyone else to define, list, restrict, regulate or otherwise control what arms you were allowed to keep and use for your own self defense? If the answer is no then you and I agree.

  • ||

  • ||

    Today, self-defense. based on court rungs. Originally had nothing to do with self-defense, but defense of the country with a citizens militia.

    Actually it did, which you can see in state constitution clauses like PAs of the era, which said "for defense of self and state". It was likely left out of the 2A to prevent limiting the scope.

  • Pat_||

    Today, self-defense. based on court rungs. Originally had nothing to do with self-defense, but defense of the country with a citizens militia

    Your postings are childish, frankly infantile. personal self defense law goes into deep history of English common law, and in the US is establish by statue in every state, andcase law.

  • TangoDelta||

    Actually, knives are arms too but nobody much gives a shit. Likewise air rifles, perhaps the most powerful "assault weapon" of the time with a 20 round magazine were certainly known and nobody gives a shit. Moreover, George Washington himself certainly knew of the Belton flintlock which was capable of firing 16 or 20 lead balls in as little as 5 seconds so it's hard to say that "assault weapons" weren't even conceived of unless you're willing to admit total ignorance of history. Anyone who claims the founders never imagined the kinds of technological progress was coming is being willfully ignorant and might as well keep repeating the "la la la" mantra with their fingers in their ears.

    In short if your claiming that weapons that are limited to a rate of fire of 192-240 rounds per minute are the only ones protected by the Second Amendment, I'm good with that since I'm not confident I can pull the trigger that fast and maintain reasonable accuracy. Again, just because they didn't know how to make them or the right materials hadn't been invented doesn't mean people couldn't imagine what was coming. It's like saying we should abandon thoughts of colonizing Mars because we we're missing a few key components that may make it possible.

  • James Smith||

    "Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous,
    that only those arms in existence in the 18th century
    are protected by the Second Amendment. We do not interpret
    constitutional rights that way..."
    You cannot be that obtuse. Scalia plainly states making the argument that only arms in existence at the time of the ratification of the second amendment are protected is a frivolous argument. how can you possibly interpret that to mean the opposite?

  • perlchpr||

    You cannot be that obtuse.

    Oh, my friend, you are quite mistaken. He most certainly can be, and is.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Modern versions of firearms are also protected, those which are in common use at the time (where 'the time' means 'whatever time period the individual in question is in,' not limited to a handful of years a couple centuries ago.)

  • perlchpr||

    Moron.

  • TangoDelta||

    ... first stated in US v Miller...


    Yawn, and we both know Miller was B.S. because only one side showed up and like all cases where only one side shows up they pretty much get whatever they want. Unfortunately we'll probably never have that decision even overturned because most judges religiously treat precedent as gospel regardless of how bad it is.

    You keep banging on about how the NRA was "powerless" against the "assault weapon ban" but that ignores that they didn't contest it because with a sunset in only 10 years it could easily have taken more time in the courts plus a whole pile of money when the alternative is use it as a voting club against gun banners. Just look at what happened. What you call powerless most other people call politically savvy but whatevs.

  • damikesc||

    Television and radio protect the modern equivalents of speech and press at our founding.

    Likewise, 2A protects modern equivalents of ... flintlocks ...which is WHY the NRA was TOTALLY powerless against the 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban" for ten long years. It could ONLY be repealed or expired.. (It expired)

    Don't know why I'm even wasting my tiime, but...

    The internet and television are dramatically different than the press as known at the time of the founding than fully automatic weapons are to the guns known at that same time.

    They could imagine a gun firing quickly. Internet? No.

    But continue making an ass of yourself. It seems to be your own true talent.

  • Pat_||

    The 1994 "Assault Weapons Ban" PROVES who the ass is. (smirk)

    why do you smirk when many in the gun ban lobby like Everytown, and even Bloomberg himself lamented that during the "assault rifle ban" more new assault rifles were made and sold than in all of US history?

    Semi auto AR-15 based rifles in civilian non LEO hands at start of "Assault rifle" ban was 340,000. Just before it ended it was 1.2 million.

    Keep talking about bans they are GREAT advertisements!

  • ||

    so read Scalia's ACTUAL words and context

    Contextually, he handed a legal gun owner his semi-automatic pistol back after D.C. took it away from him.

  • ||

    I've read Scalia's ACTUAL words, and it says the opposite of what you think it does. So maybe YOU need to read them.

  • Pat_||

    the assault rifle ban was a total failure. huge amounts of assault rifles were sold -- way more in every year under the ban than in any year before it.

    The ban was just a ten year long AR Advertisement.
    '

    As far as the uk, if you are not a criminal you are MUCH safer in the US than the UK. We just have a lot of criminals shooting each other (Good! LMOA!)

  • TangoDelta||

    The US is a lot closer to Mexico than it is to the UK both geographically and demographically. Why do you think your comparison is valid? It's kinda like saying Bozeman has fewer shootings than Chicago even after adjusting for population. Chicago probably has more murders in a week than Bozeman in a decade, hell the cops in Chicago probably kill more people in a week than are murdered in Bozeman.
    See, it isn't apples to apples nor is it apples to oranges, it's more like apples to the color blue.

  • Mickey Rat||

    The existence of the FCC and its powers to regulate content is predicated on the Founding Fathers having no knowledge of broadcast communications and therefore they operate under compromised free speech/press protections. That argument has not only been used, but accepted for over a hundred years.

  • Wizard4169||

    Such arguments are obvious nonsense. The founders were bright enough to know that weapons technology had changed in the past and could be expected to change further in the future. That's why they deliberately chose the generic term "arms", instead of any specific weapon. Failure to understand something this simple makes it impossible for me to take anyone advancing the "flintlock muskets!" argument seriously

  • Pat_||

    So Scalia ridiculed your claims michael. does this upset you?

    And why would the Nra much bother with the 19894 assault rifle ban which was a BOON to semi auto rifle sales?

  • Mithrandir||

    Fuck this guy

  • Jerryskids||

    The Founding Fathers were at least smarter than this jackass in that they knew they didn't know everything and therefore left people alone as much as possible. Nobody's less qualified to run other people's lives than somebody who thinks he's qualified to run other people's lives.

  • creech||

    This Israel genius somehow overlooked that the Founding Fathers put an amendment process in place because they knew citizens in the future might want to modify the powers delegated to the Federal government.

  • Brandybuck||

    Amending the Constitution is too onerous. Can't we just ban stuff based me thinking it's a good idea?

  • Trainer||

    And we should ban it through executive order since it's easier to convince one person your idea is valid than it is to convince hundreds.

  • Pat_||

    Michael are you upset that guns in the US keep increasing? How does it feel to keep losing?

  • Just Say'n||

    I think Bill Weld has a new campaign adviser

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    I know that's right.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    It's interesting, because it seems to admit a fundamental distinction in how these people think about the government. The old idea of the government controlling certain things, or of the government allowing only certain things.

    This is a major divide that I fear goes undiscussed in a lot of these arguments, and this divide needs to be made explicit because meaningful discourse cannot occur without dealing with this issue first.

  • ||

    Good lord man! If we took the time to understand each other's underlying assumptions, there'd be no time for poo-flinging contests.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Back in the day, they used to be pissing contests, but then someone complained about the sexism inherent in that sport.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's such a dumb argument on its face, 'x' didn't exist in 1791 so we're free to ban it.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And I think it's because their argument isn't that "it didn't exist then, so it should be banned." Its "it didn't exist, and so the government hasn't allowed it yet."

    If I'm not clear, I find the latter belief to be repugnant, but that seems to be how many view the government. A teller of what's allowed.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The latter is the grade school explanation of government. Many seem to stick with this view throughout adulthood.

  • ||

    It's such a dumb argument on its face, 'x' didn't exist in 1791 so we're free to ban it.

    As I clumsily pointed out above, "we don't know what we don't know" was, at least in part or in some minds or whatever, a justification for the Gulf War.

  • BYODB||

    I thought the gulf war had something to do with Saddam demanding something like ten billion dollars from his neighbors 'or else'.

  • ||

    My bad, War in Iraq. I must be getting old.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Presumably he would point out that the people who used quills to write the First Amendment couldn't comprehend that one day a network of computers would make it possible to communicate electronically with people around the world...

    And no doubt certain lawmakers would be thrilled with the ability to limit that right, as well.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Neither did Steve Israel exist in 1791. You know where I'm going with this...

  • ||

    Israel urges his former colleagues to pass legislation aimed at putting this genie back in the bottle.

    3D printed guns aren't magical. It's more like putting Shrödinger's cat in a bag so you can declare it dead.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    It's just resting...

  • BYODB||

    Of course, the joke is on this idiot because a purely 'plastic' or even 'printed' firearm is more likely to blow off the users hand than do anything else. Not to mention that, last I saw, you're still going to need a steel barrel no matter what.


    He might want to look into banning lathes.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Only if you get your news about them from the UK or Aussie cop shops. They deliberately blew up a few Liberators to scare people. The ones made by the designers work fine with low-pressure rounds like .380ACP or .22LR in an all-plastic ABS barrel- so long as you only use the barrel once. And they have quick-detach barrels for exactly that reason. The Washbear pepperbox revolver even had an all-plastic cylinder that could hold 6 .22s.

    They're only intended as tech demonstrators until the carbon fiber and metal printers become commonplace, anyway.

  • JesseAz||

    Steel barrels can be sold with any notification to a government entity.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, I think of them as similar to the one-shot guns that the Allied Forces gave to the French during WWII. Sure, they can't easily be used repeatedly, but you use your one bullet to shoot a guy with a gun and then use his gun.

  • ||

    Not to mention that, last I saw, you're still going to need a steel barrel no matter what.

    I remain unconvinced that a ceramic or cement couldn't work. Certainly not competitive on a weight, ease of manufacture (cost), or durability basis, but the given situation/design constraints arbitrarily (as JesseAz notes, steel tubes can't be effectively regulated) require all the best options to be off the table.

  • Curt||

    The biggest concern they have about "plastic" guns is that they won't see them on metal detectors. So, going back to Israel's quote... I'm pretty sure that the people who wrote the 2nd amendment with quills also didn't anticipate the use of metal detectors to check whether people had guns.

    But, practically speaking, you still need a steel firing pin. And your ammunition is still metal.

    I'm pretty sure that they can just tell the TSA that (even when they don't see a gun in the xray) they should be wary of carry-on bags that contain 22LR ammo and a nail.

  • markm23||

    The TSA misses 90% of actual guns with several inches of steel in the barrel and chamber, so there's not much danger of them spotting a little 22LR cartridge.

  • I can't even||

    In 1791 any blacksmith with enough skill could go ahead and make a gun or even a cannon with a permission slip from the state. Anybody with saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal could whip up a batch of gunpowder also without permission. Why would the Founders give a crap how easy or difficult a gun is to make?

  • I can't even||

    without

  • Ron||

    A piece of pipe, a 12 gauge shell and hit the end with a hammer. primative but it works and dangerous

  • DiegoF||

    The progs will grudgingly put up with the plastic guns until they become so ubiquitous that used ones start finding their way into our oceans, and a whale washes up and starts busting caps at its rescuers.

  • Brandybuck||

    The framers probably DID know that gun technology would improve. They weren't writing in a static vacuum of changelessness. A couple of the framers were actual bona fide inventor dudes.

    The idea of plastic 3D printed guns may have been beyond them, but the idea of easily manufacturing guns in the home would not have been right at home in their conceptual framework. Hell, the big breakthrough of their day was MASS manufacturing of guns! Individuals making guns at home was already a thing, it was just that one needed to be somewhat knowledgeable and skilled to do it.

    The cheap single shot concealable firearm made in the home is not unknown in history, and decent firearm museums even have a section for them. A collector friend of mine had several of those beauties.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    the idea of easily manufacturing guns in the home would not have been right at home in their conceptual framework

    I believe this is what is called in the technical nomenclature a "reverse Trump".

  • EscherEnigma||

    The low/no-skill production of things was probably not something they expected.

    But I think the bigger one was how America would transform into a majority-urban country where gun ownership wasn't common.

    It's a bit ironic, but if a society has a sufficiently high level of gun ownership and active use, then you actually need less regulation because it'll just be part of the culture. You only really start needing a lot of regulation when something slips out of the norm.

  • Naaman Brown||

    According the Foxfire books on mountain crafts, colonial era farmers collected nitrates from cattle urine, collected sulfur from sulfur springs, and made their own charcoal, to make gun powder.
    Colonial era mountain blacksmiths went from repairing Pennsylvania rifles (made in small workshops mostly in York County, Pennsylvania) to building their own copies.

    Colonial era militia regulations in the the Watauga Association and State of Franklin defined what was regulation equipment for a militiaman/soldier. Militia regulations did not ban bird guns or rabbit guns or deer rifles or weapons kept for self defense, Militia regulations required possession of a military quality weapon. The idea of banning guns owned for other traditional and lawful purposes was never part of militia regulations.

  • Rockabilly||

    Well man, what about the 1st amendment?

    ....or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...

    Now congress meant a printing press and since the internets and what have you don't come from a printing press, it has to be regulated and what not, or whatever congress says.

    That's according to the 1st amendment.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    You know who else's national constitution failed to provide adequate protection against future violent maniacs with guns...?

  • Rat on a train||

    Kerensky?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    They never expected the Bolshevik inquisition.

  • Rat on a train||

    Or American intervention. Perhaps 2016 was payback for 1917.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    They must've realized that the digital timer they were using to keep track of the years elapsed didn't have the ability to show triple digits.

  • Eman||

    Whose hasnt?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    door to Ravenclaw common room swings open

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Anyway, if you think this is bad, just wait till you're living in a trailer park and a squad of National Guardsmen come by and say you have to let them crash on the floor of your double-wide because it wasn't made out of wood with hand tools.

  • Longtobefree||

    Brick, don't forget brick. Those brick house are OK.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    My dream is to go the Supreme Court with a 3rd Amendment based constitutional complaint.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    With Led Zeppelin's No Quarter blaring in the background.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Trust me, it's not worth it. Sadly, it was only around the seventh year of court proceedings, after having sold off my double-wide, my orphan laborers and both my tibiae to pay the lawyers, that I realized that the mantle of "paladin of mobile home property rights" is not adequate ROI for arm-wrestling with Uncle Sam.

  • JesseAz||

    You always quote this... yet refuse to read ever other word in the opinion that actually explains why he used those words in that paragraph. Are you dumb or do you have a word count limit before your eyes start to bleed?

  • perlchpr||

    Allow me to answer that question. He's dumb.

  • perlchpr||

    OK, you are specifically dumb.

  • sparkstable||

    You aren't a very good communicator. You make statements, but never elaborate or re-state in an attempt to defend your position or win converts. You simply repeat yourself. A major rule of communication is that if your audience doesn't understand you... it's YOUR failing and you need to try again in a DIFFERENT way. You don't... you're just a repetitive ass with all your sneering and smirking. Decent people aren't smug, even when they are right. You are smug, even when you have been shown to be wrong (your reading of Heller seems correct when you consider the part you cite; however your reading does not hold true with the parts cited by others, and given that the opinion must be taken as a whole a correct reading must be compatible with both parts at all times leaving your reading lacking and therefore incorrect by definition).

  • sparkstable||

    You repeat yourself all the time. You always claim rights come into conflict, you've never explained how. You always cite the same single part of Heller without ever managing to state how the rest of Heller fits with your reading of it (since it explicitly states the opposite of what you conclude from the portion you cite... repeatedly).

    You called me names despite the only thing I said about you was that you are smug (that's a character claim) and demonstrably wrong (that's a provable fact... as I laid out in my original post: your reading of one part of Heller is antithetical to other parts of Heller, therefore must be incorrect by definition as a correct reading must, again by definition, be found to hold true with regards to ALL of Heller simultaneously).

    You didn't support anything other than repeating ONE portion of Heller... that OTHERS countered with by posting other parts of Heller that deny your reading of it. Their understanding of Heller can hold true EVEN WITH the part you cite... your reading can NOT hold true with the part they cite. See the problem? Or am I being aggressive and deserve to be called names again (whiner, bull-shitter, pathetic, and a psycho... yet somehow I'm the unhinged one I suppose)?

  • Wizard4169||

    Whoa, now you're resorting to aggression? Offering to "crush your goober ass" certainly sounds a bit hostile to me. But I'm sure you can explain how you're still the victim here.

    Oh, and I've offered specific examples of your dumbness. If it makes you feel any better, though, you're clearly a very bright guy, because you're stupid in a way that only smart people can be.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Ignoring his stubborn ignorance regarding the rest of that opinion, I think it's amazing that with all of his supposed Libertarian street-cred, he apparently considers Supreme Court rulings as the literal Word of God. Like court rulings are inerrant.

    Lick those government boots much Hihn? Do you go around quoting Plessy v. Ferguson too?

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    By the way, Hihn, before you go offering to jam something in my ass, don't bother. Like I told you before, I'm not interested.

  • Pat_||

    No one has "Attacked" you Micheal, you are just being mocked for having no facts on your side.

    Relax, it will make your continual losing less stressful to you.

  • Wizard4169||

    Truly fundamental rights can only conflict in your diseased mind. But feel free to keep chasing your tail, I'm sure you'll catch it one of these days.

  • sparkstable||

    OK Mr. Smarty pants... since literally everyone else here is just a dum dum head... what's the answer?

    How would YOU resolve a conflict between two rights, both of which are absolute?

    (and how, exactly, might two such rights come into conflict in this theoretical example?)

    I really would like to know... I'm curious and have yet to come up with an answer. You've stumped me.

  • IceTrey||

    It's Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of HAPPINESS and that's the Declaration not the Constitution you ignoramus.

  • Pat_||

    Relax michael., you lost on the facts, your screaming and boldface make everyone picture you as crying.

  • sparkstable||

    For being the smartest person in the room... you are selfish with your knowledge. I asked you above to explain your position about rights coming into conflict and you ignored it. Also... you're comment about incorporation was akin to stating the sky was blue... it had nothing to do with the fact that someone pointed out that you had made a mistake in your list (pursuit of happiness). It would have been more apropos to point out that whether it was "Pursuit of Liberty" or "Pursuit of Happiness" that it was actually a line ripped from John Locke which originally read, and was intended to still mean "Life, Liberty, and Property" seeing as how if one can not be secure in their property, they have no means by which to build up a life and seek their own goals (happiness).

    And your question about the 9th is self-evident. The rights are limitless. It was by design. It was a compromise with the anti-federalists to codify the idea that the Bill of Rights was not a list of rights the people had and no more, but a re-affirmation on the fact that the government was not to trample these rights... as well as all the other non-listed ones.

  • sparkstable||

    So... I answered your question, will you answer mine? How can two inalienable rights come into conflict and if/when they do, how do YOU suggest we resolve such a conflict? You state this conundrum as some sort of prism through which, if we have the correct answer, can distill all sorts of just conclusions given different variables (ie, it's a philosophy of justice so to speak). I'd like to know your take on it. I can't answer it myself because I fail to see how your premise can be true (rights coming into conflict) thus why I ask for an explanation on that point, as well.

    And please... for the sake of all that is good... just respond to the questions/comments without going all bold/sneer/name-calling/yelling hysterics. Just have a conversation. I really am asking you these things in good faith. I am curious as to what your answer to this would be as I can not fathom one.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Dammit Mike. If all your responses were like this rather than that boldface shit above we could have a conversation, maybe learn something.

  • Pat_||

    Michael, is there someone we can call to intervene in your breakdown? Perhaps a safe space to help you deal with your issues?

  • Longtobefree||

    You realize that your hate speech is not protected by the constitution, right? You are using the web; not covered.

  • Pat_||

    Michael, you bully scream engage in hate speech and bogotry and then project it on others?

    You realize your own "linked facts" show you to be wrong?

    No one has threatened you, but you seem dangerously unhinged.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    I would have gone with beards, but I guess the dress code at your government run school was different from mine.

  • perlchpr||

    OH GOD, WHY IS IT SHITTING ALL OVER THE THREAD AGAIN?

  • Pat_||

    You lost on the facts, you are inverting the case law you are citing. and you are demonstrating what maybe mental illness with all your boldface caps

  • Rat on a train||

    Come on Israel. Prog harder. Only firearms manufactured prior to 1791 are protected.

  • Longtobefree||

    OK, trebuchets it is. And Halberds. And the odd Napoleon 12 pounder. How thick are the stone walls of your castle?

  • Rat on a train||

    I have a star fort.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

  • Rat on a train||

    A true progtard would limit to firearms in existence when the 2A was adopted, not their equivalents, actual individual firearms in existence.

  • Pat_||

    Relax, Michael, keep ranting about how it is only muskets. keep telling us how we have to reduce the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth amendments like so many leftists now say.

    You do a good job entertaining us with your unhinged rants.

  • 10mm||

    Ah, how sweet, unHihnged is back.

    You really wait until Reason posts an article about 2A definitions to come back?

    I haven't seen Scalia copy pasted in a month or so, nice to catch up.

  • 10mm||

    Nice, I just saw that you managed to bait people with your "Unalienable" and "Absolute" gibberish above too, in the 2A article comments. Can't wait to see who bites.

  • Pat_||

    Your comment on unalienable was gibberish But do keep posting! You are making us all laugh at your frustration!

  • damikesc||

    yes, only hunting rifles (non-automatic), per Scalia and law of the land since 1939,
  • ||

    No, it protects any common weapon in use NOW. Which are semi-auto weapons. That's clear from Scalia's ruling.

  • sparkstable||

    So because of technological limitations (they hadn't figured out yet how to mass produce a high rate of fire rifle that the everyman could get a hold of) our rights are somehow impacted via what the state can and can not do to us? That doesn't make sense at all. It is literally the same argument that what I'm typing right now does not deserve any 1A protections because it's not printed on a press.

    IF the founders lived in a time that was more advanced, ie they had access to fully automatic weapons, do you really imagine that the militia would NOT have shown up with such weapons? You would have to say they wouldn't in order to uphold a current ban on such weapons because if they would have shown up with such weapons, by your reading of Heller, such weapons would now be protected today as a result.

    This is such a convoluted understanding of how rights work that I really have a hard time seeing how a mind can hold it to be true at all times (which is required for it to also be a just understanding of rights).

  • IceTrey||

    The Constitution is crap. It doesn't prohibit the government from initiating force.

  • perlchpr||

    You're really stupid enough to think that a piece of paper has an actual effect on people's actions?

    I bet you think restraining orders actually work, too.

  • Pat_||

    Wow look at all that boldfaced from the unhinged guy who got owned on the basic facts.

    Keep it up Michael. Excited about Trumps pick for SCOTUS? or does it make you upset?

  • IceTrey||

    You think people pay the taxes imposed by the 16th amendment out of the goodness of their heart?

  • sparkstable||

    So those kids at Kent State are still alive? I missed that part of the story.

  • Curly4||

    The gun may be printed but the ammunition is not and should be detectable.

  • Longtobefree||

    So all the laws this guy voted on are null and void because he did not use parchment and a quill, right?

  • Eeyore||

    Don't forget that the inks we use today didn't exist back then. Everyone forgets about the 200 years of advancements in ink technology.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    They never expected the span of ink acquisition.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    lol

  • sparkstable||

    The Xerox machine is to the First Amendment what a machine gun is to the Second Amendment.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "A former congressman suggests that homemade plastic guns can be banned because they did not exist in 1791."

    I hear (or read) this kind of nonsense over and over again from leftists.

    I don't know what make them think that they can selectively apply such a standard only to the 2nd Amendment without it also being applied to all the rest of them.

  • General_Tso||

    Hopefully that's one of the reasons that he's a former congress-critter.

  • Bloving||

    Here, it's very simple...
    If we can all agree that:
    1. Self defense against any unlawful attack is a basic human right.
    2. That as a basic human right, self defense is and should always be considered a Civil Right of the People and thus the exercise of that right must be immune from restriction, infringement, licensing or taxation by Government at any level.
    3. That the Civil Rights of the People are not subject to the approval of the Majority Opinion and belong to every Individual regardless of their social status.
    4. That any infringement, restriction, licensing requirements or taxation levied on the free exercise of a Civil Right is a violation of that right.
    5. That any law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages the free exercise of any Civil Right is an infringement on that right.
    6. That if a law, policy or rule that prohibits or discourages a Citizen from legally acquiring the tools, weapons or means to freely exercise their Civil Rights, then their rights have been infringed.
    -Then it follows that those who advocate for the preservation of the right of the People to keep and bear arms are, in fact, Civil Rights advocates. It also follows that those who oppose the right of the People to keep and bear arms are against the People's civil rights.
    We have a word for people who advocate for or try to use the force of law to infringe on the civil rights of others: we call them Bigots. 

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