Revisiting the Right to Bear Arms after Summer 2020 Rioting

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The final version of my article, The Right to Armed Self-Defense in the Light of Law Enforcement Abdication, published in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, is now available for download.

The basic theme of the article is that the inability or unwillingness (often under standdown orders from politicians) of law enforcement to protect life and property during the summer 2020 riots and looting in cities across the country undermines the claim of opponents of the right to keep and bear arms that individual firearms ownership is obsolete given the existence of modern police forces.

One contribution the article makes is to document the scope of the lawlessness last summer, which was largely ignored by the media. The article did not attempt to be comprehensive, but it may still be the most thorough discussion of the extent of the unrest, the lack of police response, and of efforts by citizens to protect themselves with firearms.

Meanwhile, I just came across a strange response to my article, and articles with similar themes, by Duke Law professor Joseph Blocher and Yale Law professor Reva Siegel. They write,

Advocates for guns have seized on the events of the past year — especially racial justice protests — as occasion to argue for an expanded right to keep and bear arms.20 Some scholars argue that the state has no monopoly on tools of violence, "especially in times of emergency and civil unrest;"21 they contend that armed self-defense is critical "in a time of lawless violence"22 and that "in the absence of a viable, effective police presence, [it is] in practice the primary mechanism citizens have to protect themselves, their businesses, their employees, and their property from violence"23 or from "tyrannous factions."24 Such arguments effectively read the racial justice protests through Heller's law and order lens, coding them as crime rather than speech or assembly. Doing so obscures the harms to public life that public carry can inflict, and it privileges the claims of citizens who rely on guns — rather than gun laws — to respond to fears of violence.

Citing my article for this point is academic malpractice. I don't think my article could be any clearer that I was writing in response to looting, rioting, shootings, arson, and other mayhem and violence, not to "racial justice protests." I even pointed out, explicitly, that "it appears that the vast majority of BLM protestors were peaceful, and many of the looters and rioters were doing so opportunistically, not because they believed it furthered 'the cause.'"

For reasons that escape me, progressives have been unwilling to distinguish between peaceful racial justice protesters and those who engaged in wanton violence that claimed a dozen or so lives, caused billions of dollars of property damage, and left residents of American cities, often members of minority groups, begging for police intervention that was not forthcoming. From the article:

In Minneapolis—a city hit especially hard by recent rioting—the summer of 2020 saw groups of armed residents protecting property and life from law breakers. In the city's Lake Street neighborhood—which was at the heart of recent riots—restauranteur Cesia Baires formed Security Latinos De La Lake, a group of gun-toting locals dedicated to protecting the area's Latino community. Baires' group was one of many armed neighborhood watches that sprung up in the Twin Cities.224 "It's not something that I would want," Baires told MPR, "but . . . we were left alone. . . . There were no cops that would come around. So what are we to do? Just stand there and do nothing?"225 The local NAACP chapter also organized groups of armed residents to guard local businesses during this summer's wave of rioting.226 In the city's predominantly-Black Folwell neighborhood, "it became . . . apparent . . . that the police weren't available to help. . . . [w]hen protests and ransacking of businesses erupted" in May.227 As a result, residents "banded together to protect themselves[,] . . . . sitting outside businesses with guns to make sure outside groups didn't attack."228 After several Black-owned businesses were destroyed during demonstrations, City Councilman Jeremiah Ellison (son of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison) organized his own group of mostly-Black armed citizens.229 The group was formed to protect businesses in a neighborhood "considered [to be] the heart of the city's black community."230 In one incidence of armed self-defense during the rioting in Minneapolis, video footage shows armed volunteers standing outside a tobacco shop to help the storeowners defend the premises against rioters and looters.231 One gun-toting volunteer explained that while "we definitely don't agree with the looting, but we do agree with the cause for protests."232

NEXT: Who Are The "Several Key Scholars" Who Support The New Eviction Moratorium? Apparently Laurence Tribe is one of them.

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  1. Bernstein,
    That is life in academe in a polarized age.
    Suck it up and move on.

  2. For reasons that escape me, progressives have been unwilling to distinguish between peaceful racial justice protesters and those who engaged in wanton violence that claimed a dozen or so lives, caused billions of dollars of property damage, and left residents of American cities, often members of minority groups, begging for police intervention that was not forthcoming.

    Well, duh. Socialism is not a merit based system which allows the distinction between people who work or are law abiding, and those who slack and.or break the law. Why would you expect a movement based on Marxism to make a distinction between good police officers and bad, or peaceful protests and rioters?

    1. I don’t think Marxism/socialism doesn’t allow for a distinction between law abiding folks and criminals. If anything they broaden the distinction by recognizing ‘economic crimes’ that we don’t.

      1. “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime”

        The only distinction in Marxism/socialism is whether you are useful to the state or not.

        1. I guess you haven’t read much actual Marxists/socialists then. The ones I’ve read thought that crime hurt workers primarily and should be combated.

          1. dwb isn’t useful to anybody, so he(?) objects to anyone who judges people by how useful they are.

          2. We’ve read up on what actual Marxists do whenever they get a chance to do what they want. I should think that’s informative enough, probably more informative than what they say when they’re NOT in power.

            1. The thing is, you aren’t very accurate in labeling Marxists vs. non-Marxists.

          3. I don’t care about what any marxist/socialists write.
            They can spout all the flowery BS they want and it doesn’t mean a damn thing compared to what they DO.
            And they have shown themselves to be murderous bastards.

            1. “they have shown themselves to be murderous bastards.”

              so have lots of other people. “Don’t be blinded by ideology” is valid, regardless of which ideology you prefer.

      2. Broaden AND narrow: Legal things become crimes if they don’t approve of them, illegal things stop being crimes if they do approve.

        Thus charging rent is an “economic crime”, arson of an occupied building isn’t any crime at all, if it’s done by an ideological ally.

        1. I’m pretty sure Marxist countries prohibited arson. Heck, they probably had stiffer penalties than we do.

          1. “If it’s done by an ideological ally.” Are you under the impression the laws on the books actually meant anything in Marxist countries?

        2. Yes, charging rent is a crime to a progressive/Marxist/socialist, ergo the CDC no-eviction order.

          1. You’re confusing the progressive/Marxist/socialists with the “the rent is too damn high!” party.

          2. I think the CDC no eviction order is stupid and immoral but it’s not socialism/Marxism. You might want to have a finer level of distinction than Glen Beck or Jonah Goldberg.

            1. “I think the CDC no eviction order is stupid and immoral”

              If you want people to isolate in their homes to limit the spread of infectious disease, they have to have a home to isolate in.

              1. OTOH, if you want people to live rent free in somebody else’s home long after anybody is isolating to limit the spread of infectious disease, you might be the CDC.

                1. On the other, other hand, If you think making more people homeless will improve the course of a pandemic, you might be a Brett.

                  1. Implied assumptions to your comment:

                    1. The eviction moratorium will reduce homelessness to a statistically significant level – While that assumption is intuitively plausible, the limited empirical evidence suggests that the answer is most likely no. Jurisdictions with and without eviction moratoria had no statistically different levels of homelessness. Homelessness is also not well time-correlated to changes in eviction policies.

                    2. Homelessness increases pandemic risk – Again, intuitively plausible but there is scant evidence for the claim. A plausible counter-claim is that the homeless tend to spend more time outdoors where covid transmission risk is far, far lower.

            2. An elected bureaucrat confiscating private property allowing people to live rent free in other peoples property, without compensation … is not Marxist, she said. Its not socialist, she said.

              lmao

              1. “An elected bureaucrat confiscating private property allowing people to live rent free in other peoples property, without compensation … is not Marxist, she said.”

                Care to show off your superior knowledge of Marx to point to where Marx said that elected bureaucrats should confiscate private property, and allow people to live rent free in other peoples’ property without compensation?

                Skipping over your invention of elected bureaucrats… how would that work, exactly?… elected officials have been allowing people to live on other people’s property for rather a long while. Most of the land in this country was expropriated from the people who were living on it prior to the Founding of this country.

        3. ” Legal things become crimes if they don’t approve of them, illegal things stop being crimes if they do approve.”

          Which is totally different from Brett’s philosophy, in which things he doesn’t approve of are or should be crimes, and things that he does approve of should definitely not be crimes.

          1. There are plenty of things I don’t approve of that shouldn’t be crimes. I really don’t approve of narcotics, for instance, but think they should be perfectly legal.

            There are even one or two things that I approve of in certain instances, but think should generally be crimes. Like harboring a fugitive you personally know to be innocent, to give a random example.

            1. If only that came out consistently in your commentary writing!

  3. “For reasons that escape me, progressives have been unwilling to distinguish between peaceful racial justice protesters and those who. . . ”

    For reasons that escape me (actually they don’t), a certain law professor simply lumps ‘progressives’ into one pile without distinguishing. . . anything.

    1. “For reasons that escape me (actually they don’t), a certain law professor simply lumps ‘progressives’ into one pile without distinguishing. . . anything.”

      Is the reason that doesn’t escape you the fact that such a generalized statement is a clear, concise way to describe a trait that many people of a given group share?

      1. Clear and concise via being literally wrong?

        1. It’s only literally wrong if you understand “progressives have been unwilling” in this context to mean “all progressives have been unwilling” instead of “in general, progressives have been unwilling”

          Based on some of your other comments, you would attribute such an understanding to people “on the spectrum”.

          1. You mean if I read it as written? Academic writing is supposed to be careful and this is a lazy overgeneralization (in an otherwise interesting article).

            1. If you read it as written, you understand that it is a generalization.

              1. Weird how many on the right in this comment thread aren’t picking that up.

                1. Weird how many on the right in this comment thread aren’t picking that up.

                  You’re under the impression that QA is “on the right”?

                  1. I’m looking at Ben, and Jimmy, and Brett a couple of others.

              2. A sloppy and incorrect one, yes.

                There’s a reason why Merriam’s example for the word is about how sloppy that kind of thing is:

                https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/generalization

                1. Evidence that it’s incorrect?

          2. “It’s only literally wrong if you understand “progressives have been unwilling” in this context to mean “all progressives have been unwilling” instead of “in general, progressives have been unwilling””

            In other words, if you just add some of your own words to what the Prof actually wrote, you can imagine he wrote anything you like!

            1. Well, that’s what the people reading the statement to mean “all progressives” are doing, but nice try.

              1. Why wouldn’t you read it that way? There are lots of ways to indicate otherwise – “Some progressives,” “many progressives,” “A handful of progressives.”

                And of course he completely excludes conservatives from his criticism even though, as we see in this very thread, some of them are also guilty. But they’re Bernstein’s guys, so no problem.

                1. “Why wouldn’t you read it that way?”

                  For the same reason you don’t read other generalized statement that way. The French eat cheese after the main course, they speak speak Spanish in Mexico, etc. These statement don’t apply to all French, or all people in Mexico, but they clearly describe the norm.

                  1. There are two ways you can read it: some people in the progressive set are bad. This is uncontroversial to the point of not being worth saying. Though leaving out the conservative set is saying something.

                    Or maybe he’s saying all people in the progressive, generally, are bad. This is partisan claptrap, though claptrap you often see in the comments of this blog.

                    1. Smacks of what-about-ism. Does he need to include all possible political sets? What about all possible other sets?

                      Clearly he’s talking about his experience with respect to his paper, so feel free to point out where conservatives, or others, are blatantly mischaracterizing his article?

                    2. If he’s just sharing an ungeneralized anecdote, then this is not significant.

                      Hence why people assume he’s making a larger point.

                      It’s telling if his defenders are retreating to just an anecdote.

                2. Because that’s not the way normal people conduct day to day discourse.
                  See for example an academic source – ‘It isn’t that religious conservatives were unaware of science or rejected scientific findings,” – normal people treat that as a generalization about most ‘religious conservatives’, not a statement intended to refer to very single religious conservative. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/10/what-caused-the-u-s-anti-science-trend/

          3. I’m so glad I read this blog; I’m a progressive and I’m constantly learning about all the things that I had no idea I believed.

    2. In this thread, linguistic pedantry is taken to such ridiculous extremes that it collapses under its own weight and forms a quantum singularity from which no common sense can escape.

      1. “In this thread, linguistic pedantry is taken to such ridiculous extremes that it collapses under its own weight and forms a quantum singularity from which no common sense can escape.”

        You didn’t have any common sense to begin with, so you should be unaffected by this.

  4. “Citing my article for this point is academic malpractice. I don’t think my article could be any clearer that I was writing in response to looting, rioting, shootings, arson, and other mayhem and violence, not to “racial justice protests.””

    No the “racial justice protests” and all the looting, violence, arson, etc. were one in the same to left-wingers. There is no differentiation in the heads of those extremists beyond those who marched or peacefully protested and the looting/rioting that occurred. One in the same and that is your thought error.

    And a guy with a gun severely hampers this ability to effectively “protest” which is why they don’t like the concept.

    1. What a crock of crap. Lots of liberals that supported BLM loudly decried looting, burning and such.

      1. My subjective impression from last summer to the present is consistent with Prof. Bernstein’s, i.e. that liberals (including commenters here) were overwhelmingly more interested in minimizing and excusing the violent rioting than condemning it. I would be genuinely interested in revising my opinion via counterexamples if you have some.

          1. Thank you for the evidence documenting it took over 3 months for Biden to condemn the violence and looting.

            1. “This claim is false: Joe Biden has denounced riots since protests after the death, just over three months ago, of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck.”

              Literacy is a good skill to have.

        1. So why did the BOTH the local mayor and governor seem to be OK, and publicly supported, violent protesters chasing police out of an area of a city, setting up a self governing “autonomous zone”, and consistently defended arsonists that tried to burn down a federal courthouse nightly?

          1. When did mayor and governor ‘consistently defend arsonists that tried to burn down a federal courthouse?’

            1. You mean when they demanded Trump remove his “federal troops” for weeks on end….

              Do I really need to google that for you?

              1. Ah, see, I thought you said you had evidence of the mayor and governor ‘consistently defend arsonists that tried to burn down a federal courthouse’ when what you had was actually evidence that they demanded federal troops be removed. Wait a minute, the first things *was* what you said you had!

        2. I spent a lot of time saying throw the book at the rioters, not the protesters, and was called a commie riot-lover.

          There’s a lot of conflation going on.

          1. The arson is not violence argument must have distracted people

            1. Failed arson of an empty building is not the same as attempted murder, no.

              1. “Failed arson of an empty building”

                You never know when the building is not empty, so yes, it can be the same as attempted murder.

                “body was discovered on Monday in a building that was burned in late May during protests in Minneapolis over the murder of George Floyd”

                This is why we call you Gaslighto

                https://time.com/5869366/body-building-minneapolis-protests/

                1. Indeed, that’s why arson is typically treated as a serious violent crime, though it is technically a crime against property: Because it does frequently result in deaths, and basically everybody knows it, including the arsonists.

                  Mind, during last year’s riots there were frequent efforts to set on fire buildings everybody involved knew without a doubt were occupied, because the people inside were fighting back against the efforts to set the building on fire!

                  1. ” that’s why arson is typically treated as a serious violent crime”

                    Well, the main reason is because fires can spread to other structures, especially if you live in a place that has many buildings built out of wood that are close to each other.
                    See also
                    Chicago, Great Fire of
                    San Francisco, 1903
                    Tokyo, WWII bombing of

                2. The initial argument was with people equating the attempted burning of a courthouse with Rittenhouse killing people.

                  So quit moving the goalposts.

                  The summer protests and riots were different. Attempted arson is bad, but not nearly the same as murder.

                  1. Sorry, but boarding up the entrances of the federal courthouse so that people inside will not be able to escape when you set the building on fire is attempted murder.

                    1. How stupid do yo have to be to believe that stone building can be set on fire? Who’s stupider, the person who actually does it or the person who thinks bringing it up after it worked as well as expected proves attempted murder.

                  2. And you are pretending that self-defense is “murder”. Two attempts to murder Rittenhouse were caught on video.

                    1. “Two attempts to murder Rittenhouse were caught on video.”

                      Unless those were two attempts to defend self against Rittenhouse.

          2. Seems like you spent a lot of time denying much of the violence. You denied anyone was murdered during the protests, and just in this thread you appear to be denying that there was arson, other than “failed arson of an empty building.” This is false.

            1. He just denies that arson is serious, its just a lark really.

              Yet, its just as much “violence” as punching or shooting.

              “Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of the property of another. It is considered a violent crime and is treated as a felony in most states.”

              https://www.justia.com/criminal/offenses/violent-crimes/arson

              1. The context is people who were equating failed arson with Kyle Rittenhouse shooting people.

                I am not saying arson is not a crime, or not a felony.

                I’m saying those two crimes are not comparable.

                1. You’re right they aren’t. One’s not a crime.

                  1. shooting people isn’t a crime? Or attempted arson isn’t a crime? Either way you choose, you get mocked for making a spurious claim.

                2. Happy Land fire in 1990 arson killed 87 people.

                  Seems fairly serious…should probably categorize lighters as “military assault style” weapons…

                  1. Do you know what failed means?

                    1. That they should only have been prosecuted as attempted murder?

                    2. Arson is a different crime from murder for a reason, Brett.

        3. I think you are conflating attempts to point out that the rioters were a small percentage of the demonstrators – and in some cases not ideological allies of the demonstrators – with attempts to excuse their behavior.

          Lots of liberal commenters here, myself included, made it plain that these people were criminals who should be arrested and charged.

          1. But you had comments like this:

            “Sarcastr0
            July.27.2020 at 9:32 am

            This is a bad idea.

            Either you shoot rioters, in which case the protests against the federal presence will continue because after all they aren’t rioters, [My emphasis.] and you will look both crazy and weak.

            Or you shoot protesters in which case I’m pretty sure given the moms and vets and videos, you will have screwed up badly.”

            You shoot rioters, it’s wrong, because they aren’t rioters.

            In that thread we’re talking about occupied buildings being set on fire, and Sarcatro asserts that arson can be peaceful because maybe you just set fire to a flag.

            Can you see how that would be interpreted as a denial that there was really a riot?

            1. 1. You could read that as my saying ‘rioters aren’t rioters’ or you could realize that what isn’t rioters are ‘protests against the federal presence.’
              One is absurd. The other is exactly what I’ve been saying.

              2. That was in reply to: Kent state was one thing — but I think it is time for the use of live ammo. A few *dead* Antifa terrorists will put an end to this — don’t the police have a right to self defense?

              Which was Dr Ed absolutely conflating protests with riots.

            2. Brett, the thing is there were rioters at the riots. There were protesters at the protests. From these facts, you jump to the conclusion that the protesters were rioting. And you object strongly to having it pointed out to you that the rioters and the protesters are not identical groups. I don’t think there’s much, if any, opposition to the idea that the people who rioted should face trial for rioting, except for you, because you endorse the notion that “wait, those other people rioted, so these people should not be punished for rioting on Jan. 6. can you distinguish between the two groups of rioters on something other than what, exactly, they were rioting about? Or would you prefer to stick to “the Jan. 6 rioters were actually antifa”, the claim you tried out at the time?

        4. “My subjective impression from last summer to the present is consistent with Prof. Bernstein’s, i.e. that liberals (including commenters here) were overwhelmingly more interested in minimizing and excusing the violent rioting than condemning it. I would be genuinely interested in revising my opinion via counterexamples if you have some.”

          I can’t (and don’t claim to) speak for anyone else, but I know that I consistently criticized people who insisted on conflating the protests and riots as if they were the same events. Treating the rioters like rioters is one thing, treating the protesters as rioters is not the same thing at all.

      2. No this is accurate and true which is why you adamantly object to it. There was lots of lip service to not breaking things, burning things, looting things, or assaulting people, but then you had a lot of actions that said otherwise. Like “progressive” city DA’s refusing to prosecute anyone who did any of these crimes and a lot of the apologists in the media who tried to cry “it is only property!!!!”

        The people who were prosecuted were those who defended themselves or their property, like the couple who chased off trespassers. Or the guy who shot three people actively assaulting him (one with a firearm that was illegally owned and possessed).

          1. Again, this is the left being duplicitous. They tolerated mass violence and lawlessness for an entire Summer and then cherry picked a few prosecutions for the really bad actors that got caught. A few convictions doesn’t make up for the thousands that had deferred prosecution, dropped charges, or were simply permitted to throw fire bombs, launch fireworks at officers, and assault counter-protesters.

            1. Again, you are just stating things without supporting them.

              QA provided facts. You’re just repeating a victimization narrative, as usual.

              1. This is consistently your problem here Sarc. You ignore objective reality and demand proof of the world in which all of us normals live because of that refusal to accept it.

                One would have to be blind and or dumb to not realize what was going on this summer. And if you think it is a victim mentality, that is because many real people, who own actual things like businesses, were adversely affected. Many were injured, lost their livelihood, and had to live under the constant lawlessness of these activities. To be an apologist for this should ashame you, but for some reason you continue to defend it as though it didn’t happen.

                1. I can see why Jimmy would think people demanding proof is a problem. I bet it’s one he runs into all the time!

                2. Your problem is you think what you feel to be true is more valid than evidence. So valid, in fact, that asking for proof is just being in denial.

                  It’s the mindset of the zealot; of someone who can’t abide anyone disagreeing with him. And it’s why you suck at arguing, and end up intimating violence a whole lot.

                  1. You describe the entire mindset of a leftist. You believe that America is inherently racist, there is global warming, no election could ever be stolen, and because Biden is now in office we can magically trust a vaccine. You do so in lockstep with your marching orders and never question authority. Instead you are programmed to make banal calls for authority while providing none yourself. Typical stuff from the useful idiot crowd. You are a cultural marxist fink. The only difference between you and the next guy who does the same thing is I think you are bright enough to know you are being played like a used accordion.

                    1. Your commitment to thinking you don’t need proof to state things you think are facts remains strong, I see.

                      Also, fink? How old are you, anyway?

                    2. And you once again prove my point, which you like to do a lot around these parts….

                    3. “And you once again prove my point, which you like to do a lot around these parts”

                      Pointing out that you’re full of shit proves your points?

            2. Do you have evidence that the people whose cases were dropped were guilty of crimes?

              1. “Hi Strawman, meet Queenie….”

          2. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/almost-half-of-federal-cases-against-portland-rioters-have-been-dismissed/ar-BB1fGKGS

            Never posted a link before. Hope it works.

            Nearly half of the charges in Portland dropped. Those that weren’t dropped were settled with volunteer service hours as the punishment… including doing GOTV work (interesting… statists letting statist rioters go if they promise to solicit votes). These deals done against the wishes of their bosses, the DOJ under Trump who sought actual criminal prosecution.

            Also… 96 cases in Portland versus 400 for Jan 6 (an event of over a month which resulted in millions in damages and many injuries versus an event that lasted a few short hours where the only major injury as a result of conflict of the day was a protestor being shot from behind and killed by a still unidentified cop).

            1. ” These deals done against the wishes of their bosses, the DOJ under Trump who sought actual criminal prosecution.”

              Maybe, just maybe, the fact that Donald Trump wants you to be prosecuted isn’t sufficient evidence of having committed a crime to get a conviction. We do still want to only convict people if they get a fair trial where the prosecutor lays out evidence of a crime, right?

        1. ” There was lots of lip service to not breaking things, burning things, looting things, or assaulting people, but then you had a lot of actions that said otherwise. ”

          So you’re upset that the peaceful protesters wanted their protests to be peaceful, but at the same time the violent rioters wanted their riots to be violent?

          That’s the problem with conservatives, murderers be murderin’.

    2. “No the “racial justice protests” and all the looting, violence, arson, etc. were one in the same to left-wingers.”

      You misspelled “right” in the second-to-last word in this sentence, AND you don’t know that the phrase is “one and the same”, no “one in the same”.

  5. Actually, the raise or fall of crime rates is not a factor in whether a natural right is protected by the US Constitution.

    1. I take Bernstein to be arguing that that kind of thing shows *why* there is a natural right, There’s nothing more natural than wanting to protect yourself and your family and the fact that police can’t/won’t do it for you shows why you have to be able to do so yourself.

      1. True, but Bernstein once asked me “what antisemitic posts in the comments section of the volokh conspiracy?” so it’s hard to take him as a rational assessor of the world around him.

        1. Oh, he’d acknowledge anti-Semitic comments, if he thought they were coming from a left leaning commenter!

      2. Not so much why there’s a natural right, as why it hasn’t been rendered redundant.

        Explicitly guaranteed constitutional rights don’t vanish just because somebody decides they’re no longer necessary, of course. Takes five people deciding that…

        1. But there are reasons why some things are natural rights and others are not. They are not just magical things leprechauns leave on your lawn for you. Bernstein is giving such reason.

          1. Here we’re discussing something which is both a natural AND an explicitly guaranteed right.

            1. Except, no you’re not. The explicitly-granted right is to keep and bear arms… actually using them to injure or kill somebody is not enumerated.

        2. “Explicitly guaranteed constitutional rights don’t vanish just because somebody decides they’re no longer necessary, of course. Takes five people deciding that”

          Alternatively, you can do it with 12.

    2. Correct, as mayor Giuliani took a filthy dump and used the BoR to wipe his ass…and he was able to reduce violent crime in NYC substantially. Now right wingers oppose his use of gun laws to prosecute criminals and left wingers oppose his use of stop and frisk to prosecute criminals.

      1. The problem with using stop and frisk to prosecute criminals is that there is not way to tell just by looking at a criminal that they are a criminal. It’s not like being a criminal causes a permanent visible change to the skin of a person…
        oh… right. To a racist, it’s the other way ’round. The skin color determines that a person is a criminal because the criminality comes from the skin coloration, not the other way around.

      2. “Stop and frisk” reduced the crime rate only because you’re not counting the hundreds of crimes against Constitutional rights the cops committed every day.

    3. “Actually, the raise or fall of crime rates is not a factor in whether a natural right is protected by the US Constitution.”

      Correct. If a right is natural, it does not need protection.

    4. Correct. It doesn’t matter if the murder rate is 3% or 30% if you find yourself in the 3%.

  6. “Citing my article for this point is academic malpractice.”

    The point itself is academic malpractice. There’s no need to “code” the protests one way or another. To the extent there was crime, there was crime, and to the extent there was speech and assembly, there was speech and assembly. It’s hard to trust experts when they produce such sloppy work.

    1. Maybe you’re not reading code in the right context?

      1. You must be an academic.

  7. Blocher and Siegel, like all gun grabbers, are just mad that the almost non-existent chance of grabbing guns became totally non-existent due to the large numbers of woman, blacks and latinos buying guns in response to the riots.

    1. This doesn’t even make sense. Why would the odds of successfully “grabbing gun” depend on whether or not women are buying guns, for whatever reason(s)?
      Theoretically, it should be even easier to grab those guns than the ones the menfolk are clutching, because the men have greater grip strength.

      1. Because the political support for gun rights increases as new groups [or larger numbers of people] become gun owners.

        1. There’s always the Supreme Court. Once Democrats pack it, it’ll reverse Heller, political support (and the Constitution) be damned.

          1. If they want a violent insurrection, this is how they get a violent insurrection.

            1. Some days I think they do want a violent insurrection, because they could take the kid gloves off, and start gunning people down.

              Or maybe just bombing them from 20,000 feet, if the President’s statements are any indication.

              1. At least here, the people who can’t stop talking about gunning people down are all on the right, Brett.

              2. No way they could use “smart” bombs, drones, F-whatevers, tanks or nukes. Americans wouldn’t shrug off the kind of collateral damage we’ve seen in the mideast.

                Look at how difficult it has proven to be to combat insurrectionists in Iraq/Afghanistan and they are visually distinctive from the kinds of insurrectionists they’d face on the homefront.

                Reminds me of the scene in Star Wars when Princess Leia says to Governor Tarkin: “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

            2. “If they want a violent insurrection, this is how they get a violent insurrection.”

              Are you referring to winning elections? That’s how we got the last one.

        2. “Because the political support for gun rights”

          guns do not have rights.

  8. For reasons that escape me, progressives have been unwilling to distinguish between peaceful racial justice protesters and those who engaged in wanton violence that claimed a dozen or so lives, caused billions of dollars of property damage, and left residents of American cities, often members of minority groups, begging for police intervention that was not forthcoming.

    I think this needs the word “some” before “progressives.” And once you make that change you could substitute “conservatives” for “progressives.”

    1. The left is always working in unison, but makes it look like they have two sides. You get the “reasonable law abiding politician” side that talks the talk. Then you get the “by any means necessary” side that walks the walk. Makes for convenient cover for each side which the publicly usually falls for and people like Queenie use to try to justify lawless violent action when it supports their political agenda.

      1. You must not know many ‘progressives,’ getting them to agree on where to eat lunch would be a minor miracle.

        1. By the time they figure out what pronouns to call each other, agree on what version of vegan ought to be followed, make a selection based upon whatever fair trade agreement is favored, and then rode “green” transportation there it would take a very long time to get this group to lunch…..

          1. So nice to see at least a shred of agreement between the two of you…

            1. Sorry did not mean to flag this, phone’s nuts today.

          1. Right, right.

      2. “The left is always working in unison, but makes it look like they have two sides.”

        The conservatives are the ones with the higher focus on conformity. Getting the leftists to all fall in line is like herding cats.

    2. “Progressives” making such distinctions were sooooo totally common that you failed to offer even a single example of it.

      1. Standard “progressive” tactics….SHOW ME DAS LINKS!!!????!!

        It was so common that it pervaded the daily and only someone blind and/or dumb could have missed it….

        1. Next they’ll demand that you cite a study showing the exact (very tiny) number of progressives who could be bothered to say anything negative about summer violence.

        2. Lol, Ben was trying to agree with you.

        3. “only someone blind and/or dumb could have missed it….”

          Are you blind, too?

        4. “Standard “progressive” tactics….SHOW ME DAS LINKS!!!????!!”

          Standard idiot tactics “I don’t have any evidence to support my claim. Asking for proof just proves you’re one of THEM!”

      2. Actually, I made the distinction myself, and QA provided some vastly more prominent examples above.

        1. Translated to normal speak: Those are some cherry picked examples which are not representative of actual reality.

          1. The Democratic Party’s Presidential and VP nominee’s actual statements are cherry picked?

            1. They are the quintessential mouthpiece of the liberals, so of course. Occasionally though they stumble like when Pelosi said “I don’t know why there isn’t more violence in the streets….” Generally though they keep to the one side of the duplicitous messaging.

          2. So you ask for examples, and when you get some you complain that they are “cherry-picked.” Guess what, examples are examples. They are not a systematic survey.

            What an ass you are.

          3. “Translated to normal speak”

            Jimmy the inane translated to normal speak: DUH! DUH! WHAT?

    3. Perhaps you really suck at language. Such subtle distinctions as you make explicit are well-understood to apply to language in general. “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded” is a perfect example of what “everybody” understands without needing the explicit modifiers you insist upon here, in this instance, when it suits you to denigrate the messenger as incompetent rather that argue about the message itself, which is that progressives, yes in general, are a bunch of whiny selfish socialists who have no respect for property rights. What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine; and the ever-popular other people’s money.

      1. Or maybe you’re an obnoxious idiot. Come to think of it, no “maybe” involved.

        I wasn’t denigrating Bernstein as “incompetent,” but rather as being extremely biased.

        And no, in this context, writing “Progressives have been unwilling to…” in no way suggests the writer thinks conservatives have also been unwilling. Plus, it plainly reads as a blanket condemnation, possibly allowing for a small number of exceptions, but hardly recognizes that the attitude he desc ribes is not only noy universal, but very likely a minority view.

        1. Bernard,
          “rather as being extremely biased. ”
          one could say that about most people who bother to post comments.

          My complaint was that Bernstein was whining about everyday academic life, and as they say,”if you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen”

          1. one could say that about most people who bother to post comments.

            OK, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

            1. The right-wingers wail if you’re wrong, and the wail even louder if you’re right.

      2. “Nobody goes there anymore” is not an academic way to put things.

      3. “progressives, yes in general, are a bunch of whiny selfish socialists who have no respect for property rights.”

        Whereas, conservatives, in general, are a bunch of whiny selfish authoritarians who have not respect for property rights, if the owners of the property in question aren’t acting as the conservatives would prefer.

        1. Now you are starting to understand how [most] libertarians feel stuck between liberals and conservatives.

          Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

          1. How do they feel when lectured to by twits who didn’t notice that the person they were talking to is a non-partisan libertarian? Actually, I already know the answer to that one.

            1. Claims of being non-partisan don’t mean much if one’s biases always hold in a single sociopolitical direction.

              1. Being not a partisan implies being against parties. It does not imply that both parties are equally worthy of respect. I’m consistently in favor of liberty… if your party is consistently against liberty, then they get criticized for that.

          2. And one making a snide comment about your post.

  9. Bernstein’s credibility decreases every time he posts something here. I would love to read something on this that doesn’t resort into nonsensical partisan political bashing in furtherance of the culture wars, as opposed to the actual constitutional issues at play here. Bernstein seems to live in denial of reality. He once asked me “what antisemitic posts in the comments on the volokh conspiracy?”

    1. Mr. Bernstein has an extremely broad understanding of the word “antisemitic”, such that it automatically encompasses any statement critical of the government of Israel, even if made by a citizen of Israel.

      1. What evidence to you have of the incredibly broad allegation (“automatically encompasses any statement critical of the government of Israel“)?

          1. For that reason, I never criticize the Israeli government. Oh, wait, I just did: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/israel-shouldnt-force-citizenship-on-non-israeli-children/

            More to the point, it’s a weird obsessive tic that certain commenters are so discombobulated by my posts on antisemitism that they feel the need to bring them up in completely irrelevant contexts. Obsessive anti-anti-antisemitism is quite the look.

            1. Apparently there are team assignments to observe and thus certain kinds of mandatory coup-counting to perform.

              1. “Apparently there are team assignments to observe and thus certain kinds of mandatory coup-counting to perform.”

                Alternatively, there are some themes that certain writers return to again and again, such that it becomes obvious to anyone who reads it who isn’t already ideological about the topic.

            2. “I never criticize the Israeli government”

              Swell. What you were accused of is labeling anybody who does criticize the Israeli government as “antisemitic”. Even conceding that most antisemitics probably do criticize the Israeli government, conflating the two categories is still grossly intellecturally lazy.

              1. In fact, you wrote, “Mr. Bernstein has an extremely broad understanding of the word ‘antisemitic,’ such that it automatically encompasses any statement critical of the government of Israel, even if made by a citizen of Israel.”

                1. Swell. What you were accused of is labeling anybody who does criticize the Israeli government as “antisemitic”. Even conceding that most antisemitics probably do criticize the Israeli government, conflating the two categories is still grossly intellectually lazy.

          2. Is English not your first language, or are you having a problem with logic? The above is an example that he considers SOME criticisms of Israel to be motivated by anti-Semitism. I was asking for evidence that he considers ‘any statement critical of the government of Israel’ to be anti-Semitism.
            Have another go.

        1. “What evidence to you have of the incredibly broad allegation ”

          Read his writing.

          1. I did, and found no evidence of that. Have another go, this time with actual statements that support your claims, not hand waving.

            1. Must not be there, then. Or, you have a partisan blind spot, that thing where you can’t quite bring yourself to criticize thy fellow Republican.

              1. So you don’t actually have anything to back up you nonsense. Figures.
                And free tip: not jumping to unwarranted conclusions about people (e.g. I an not a Republican) will serve you well in life, sonny boy.

                1. If not St. Ronnie’s 11th commandment, what is the reason for your inability to criticize Republicans, sonny boy?

            2. All Pollock knows how to do is to wave is hands.

              1. It’s worse than that. I don’t know how to wave is hands. Is that like jazz hands?

      2. Aren’t those citizens internalizing their self-hate?

        1. Please, explain to Israelis that dissent is self-hate.

          1. Trying to make a semi-ironic comparison between Israelis that dissent and internalized misogyny. I’ll accept the fail…

  10. “Advocates for guns have seized on the events of the past year — especially racial justice protests ”

    Those protests were not racial justice protests –

    1. Illustrating my point about Bernstein’s post precisely.

      1. No, it can also be taken for sarcasm. If you can’t see that possibility, then the only thing being illustrated if your incompetence at understand real language.

        1. How in the world is that statement sarcasm?

        2. Sarcasm? Bullshit.

        3. Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf, Sarcastr0, constantly, continuously, demonstrates advanced language comprehension on this blog. He manages his own language subtly and succinctly. And yet he draws from right wingers more accusations of poor language comprehension than almost any other commenter. That reflects badly, of course, but not on Sarcastr0.

    2. “Those protests were not racial justice protests”

      Well, the protests for racial justice were, not sure about the one(s) you went to.

  11. The basic theme of the article is that the inability or unwillingness (often under stand down orders from politicians) of law enforcement to protect life and property during the summer 2020 riots and looting in cities across the country undermines the claim of opponents of the right to keep and bear arms that individual firearms ownership is obsolete given the existence of modern police forces.

    Professor Bernstein, I think that summarized quite nicely. Put simply, if the police cannot or will not protect my property from looters; I can and will.

    1. It’s a human right to do so.

    2. Yup, Commenter_XY. And good for you that you caught Professor Bernstein’s emphasis on private armed property protection. What you may have overlooked is his apparent endorsement of potentially rival ethnically-minded armed vigilante organizations, apparently united in a common goal to protect property, or at least whatever ethnically identifiable property they could take note of.

      There is some notable older footage—often offered up by pro-gun advocates as exemplary—of ethnic Korean shop owners protecting their property during a former riot. They are seen banding together, down on the street or up on rooftops, brandishing pistols, and excitedly pointing out to each other people who are not visible to the viewer. Then they blaze away, at whatever hapless targets drew their attention. It looks like they are defending a perimeter against intruders, instead of individual businesses against looters.

      Some gun advocates love that stuff. What they want, apparently, is to be thought of as alternative enforcers of civil order, with the freedom to use deadly force as their judgment requires. In this OP, Bernstein seems to be endorsing that.

      1. Imagine! People endorsing others exercising their human rights to defend themselves and their property.

        Thing is, endorsements are irrelevant. People will protect themselves and what’s theirs regardless of endorsement by anyone. The only ways to prevent it are: (a) create and operate a justice system that does the job so individuals don’t have to or (b) institute brutal North Korea or Cuba-style government oppression.

        Progressives seem to want option B.

        1. Ben, so there is a fundamental human right to deadly vigilantism? I thought that notion became unfashionable when Wyoming hanged Tom Horn in 1903.* You couldn’t just leave property protection to the police and the insurance companies?

          *Horn’s life and career stand as a pretty good cautionary note about the practical downsides of Bernstein’s civil violence notions. For anyone who needs more, check out the career of Pinkerton James McParland.

          1. Not everyone remembers the events of 1903 as well as you.

            And only extremely shallow people care about what’s “fashionable” more than they care about their family’s safety and prosperity.

            1. Ben, and you think taking potshots at rioters is a better choice to protect your family’s safety and property than just getting out of the way and collecting on your insurance? Please don’t try to sell that crap. It makes no sense. Do you give any thought to what could go wrong while you brandish a pistol at rioters, vs. what could go wrong relying on law enforcement and insurance?

              1. That’s a decision for someone who has the means and the opportunity to decide it. Rioters also have decisions to make at such a time.

                1. Shooting at me rarely makes me feel positively towards the shooter(s). The guy bleeding in the street is no longer a threat (assuming you’re a good shot under pressure). The other hundred people in the street probably are. And, if any of them are armed, you’ve just given them permission to shoot at you.

              2. Also the entire premise of the article is that law enforcement is useless sometimes. And in places with no law enforcement, insurance will eventually become unavailable.

                1. “Also the entire premise of the article is that law enforcement is useless sometimes.”

                  Coincidentally, it was also the premise of the protests against police.

              3. How facile. Just collect the insurance money. Except that in these cases, often there isn’t any. They are often marginal businesses, and skipping insurance may be the only way to break even (remember what Mike Brown and George Floyd were doing shortly before they died? They were ripping off small neighborHood businesses ). A huge amount of petty crime gets factored into overhead. Or, they were insured, but their policies don’t pay for riots, etc. Or maybe ride red for arson. And, if they were covered, they won’t be at their next renewal. It’s not precisely red lining, because the underwriters have the loss data to back up astronomical rate increases. Unless the state insurance commission denies the rate increase, and then the insurance company just pulls out.

                Real life – insurance is something that we all should have, but only the middle class can really afford.

                1. Bruce Hayden, tell it to Bernstein, who is a big fan of insurance losses as a metric for comparative riot assessment.

                  Or, taking your insurance remarks as well-grounded in reality (which I do, by the way), so what? Is shooting someone to protect property really a better personal policy than letting an uninsured almost-failing business go under and starting over? If it’s an almost-failing business, what have you really lost? Something so great that it is commensurate with taking a life to defend it? And how hard is it really, to start another uninsured almost-failing business?

                  But maybe you think, screw Lathrop, not only does he stupidly think scumbag looters deserve moral protection, which their scumbag practices so plainly show they should forfeit, but he is also showing contempt for the hard lives of poor people, and their efforts to get ahead. How about shooting the wrong person, maybe a poor person trying to get ahead? Never happens? Or it would never happen to Bruce Hayden, because training, or prowess, or something?

                  If you think that, you better try to get back to being well-grounded in reality. You aren’t that good. Nobody is.

                  Chaos is what it is because it overwhelms people’s ability to manage events, which run out of control, and take folks by surprise. In shoot-outs, sometimes would-be defenders get shot by other would-be defenders. You could be the victim. Or you could be the self-victimizing shooter. Because things were chaotic, and in a moment where you feared for your life, and had a split second to decide, you decided wrong, and shot someone you thought was about to kill you, but in fact wasn’t even armed, or even a criminal. Or, he may in fact have been about to kill you, because he was a would-be hero too, and thought you with your gun were a criminal.

                  In pro-gun fantasy land, everything works like in the movies. The situation develops. The hero, enjoying the perfect vantage of ideal camera placement, anticipates trouble, identifies bad guys, judges everything perfectly—before the action even starts. Reality works differently. It finds the hero concentrating on something else entirely, disoriented, and searching in a panic to get his bearings, while trying to catch up with random sights and sounds that don’t add up. You don’t see that in the movies, because the director knows an audience couldn’t follow it. Folks can’t follow it in real life either, but real life doesn’t have a director, so it almost never works like in the movies. You get prowess in the movies, and chaos in real life.

                  But maybe the hero knows it’s a riot, and arrives on the scene on purpose, anticipating trouble. He’s running a training-session reel in his head, making absolutely sure of his target, getting everything right before he shoots . . . an undercover cop. Or before someone scary pops out of his peripheral vision, utterly by surprise, from outside that so-reliable inner narrative, leaving no time at all to be sure of anything. And by the way, the guy you shot was an unarmed bystander fleeing for his life from some genuine threat the hero didn’t even know about. Or maybe just fleeing from some other would-be civilian hero, because the whole idea here is that lots of people get involved, bringing their private initiative and their private guns to quell the chaos.

                  Experience like that may be the only way you can discover that your personal gun policy is whacked, and should have been replaced by avoidance, where that was available. Folks talking about defending property with guns during riots are not practicing avoidance. Just the opposite. But they don’t want to hear that, so they demand instead that every decision to shoot recklessly be protected by crazy laws which make their own internal uproar the only standard of their guilt or innocence.

                  I don’t buy it. Someone planning to use guns to protect property during a riot is a picture-perfect example of someone who could have avoided doing it. And undoubtedly—if he enjoys the advantage of good training—ignoring the training—which would have told him to stay away from armed trouble, first and foremost.

                  1. ‘Someone planning to use guns to protect property during a riot is a picture-perfect example of someone who could have avoided doing it. And undoubtedly—if he enjoys the advantage of good training—ignoring the training—which would have told him to stay away from armed trouble, first and foremost.’ You have no idea what you’re talking about, again. Although I will give you, rioters have the right to go about their business until that business becomes denying someone else their rights.

                    1. Hank Ferrous, can you explain? What’s wrong with what I said?

                      Please be careful not to attribute ignorance where you have no idea if it applies.

              4. SL,
                It is easy to take that smug position when your on the sidelines a year after the fact.

                7-11 can take that position; why not?
                The immigrant shopkeeper whose whole life is invested in his store? not so easy.

              5. During the peaceful protests at least one automotive dealership had almost three million dollars worth of cars stolen. At the time there was some discussion as to whether or not the dealership owner’s insurance covered civil unrest. I haven’t been able to find out if the insurance ever paid the claims. I suppose that’s okay though. At least none of the peaceful protesters who destroyed and stole so much property weren’t hurt by the man who the looters were trying to destroy financially.

                https://www.motorious.com/articles/news/looters-steal-hellcats/

                1. Unless, just maybe, the people who wanted to steal cars and the people who wanted to protest were different people.

                  1. Yes. That totally discredits the idea that you should protect yourself or your property and instead wait to be reimbursed by insurance.

                    And time and again the major news reports left out the words like “riot” when describing ANY protest that progressed to the point of actual rioting, looting, and arson. How are we supposed to tell the difference between a “peaceful protest” and rioting, looting, and arson when we were told by the “unbiased” media that they were all peaceful protests?

                    1. “Yes. That totally discredits the idea that you should protect yourself or your property and instead wait to be reimbursed by insurance.”

                      Point to where I wrote the word “insurance.” Don’t tell me you can’t see it, you’re the only one who can.

            2. “Not everyone remembers the events of 1903 as well as you.”

              There’s this thing called a “search engine” that can help you to find information, maybe look into it if your mind is going?

          2. It’s vigilantism when you go looking for somebody to shoot. It’s self defense when they come to you.

        2. “Imagine! People endorsing others exercising their human rights to defend themselves and their property.”

          Imagine! A whole faction of people who wax poetic about the vital sanctity of the right to life when the context is telling women what to do with the contents of their reproductive organs, but if the context switches to the right to snuff out human lives, suddenly it’s a “human right” to kill.

          1. I’m generally pro-death. Pro-abortion, pro-self-defense, pro-assisted suicide (converse of the right to life), and pro-death penalty (only in limited heinous instances such as Dahmer and similar).

            I’m pro abortion because you can’t force a woman to keep a child. Now if the state had the ability and the desire to extract said child and rear it itself then it would be another matter.

            I’m pro self-defense because we have an “unalienable” right to life.

            Likewise pro assisted suicide because the right to life necessarily infers a right to not live.

            1. “I’m pro abortion because you can’t force a woman to keep a child.”

              You may be the only person I’ve ever interacted with who identifies as “pro abortion”.

              Your “right to life” extends precisely as far as other people are prepared to extend it to you, and no further.

        3. “People will protect themselves and what’s theirs regardless of endorsement by anyone. The only ways to prevent it are: (a) create and operate a justice system that does the job so individuals don’t have to or (b) institute brutal North Korea or Cuba-style government oppression.

          Progressives seem to want option B.”

          This is the conclusion you draw from “progressives are demonstrating against cops”.? What they want is more cops?

      2. SL,
        Why are you criticizing the Cho-Sen people?

      3. lathop, not that I am trying to disappoint you or anything. Because I appreciate your response and I know you’re trying to be positive and polite. Really, I appreciate that. But to be honest, I’d be Ok with the Korean shop-owner blowing away a looter. I mean, shoot the bastard in the leg if you think you can…but shoot that looting bastard regardless.

        1. Commenter_XY, one thing I try to be pointedly polite about, when talking about armed violence, is a tacit premise commonly offered on the pro-gun side. It is that everything will work out, good guys win, bad guys lose, and nothing unexpected (or wildly out of control) ever features. I don’t know where the confidence to presume that comes from, but I don’t think it could possibly come from actual experience of armed conflict.

          1. No. No one really believes that good guys always win. But concerted armed action does work better than doing nothing, or, in the environment we saw a year ago, the police did nothing too. You mentioned the crazy Koreans on top of their buildings with their M1 Carbines (handguns are worthless in that situations, while an M1 carbine, or an AR-15, are perfect for that sort of defense). What you skipped was that the rioting Blacks knew that the crazy Koreans were manning the roofs, with guns, and stayed away.

            An analogy I use is our local deer population. They seem to know exactly where the city limits are, and by hunting season have all migrated inside them. They seem instinctively know where they are safe. Similarly with rioters. They were busy rioting and burning a bit here in Spokane (heading back to a Free State tomorrow). A couple cars drove over to nearby Coeur d’Alene to see the lay of the land there. Nope. Your vigilantes were strolling around in pairs with front slung AR-15s. All over the place. One look, and they high tailed it back to the fun and action in Spokane.

            1. Maybe your deer move into the city in the fall because they had been going there since before the city was built on their wintering grounds. Mostly, western deer will keep that up until they die out, rather than try to change their seasonal migrations. It makes them vulnerable to development, either on their customary wintering grounds, or along the migratory paths from higher country down to where there is more water and better browse for the winter.

              About the riots and the Koreans. If the rioting Blacks were staying away, who were the Koreans in the video shooting at, just anybody they saw?

              1. Yeah, and maybe all the deer on my wooded 16 acres had been abruptly migrating to the horse boarding stable’s pasture next door every year for time out of mind, and had been doing it on what eventually became opening day just purely by coincidence.

                Or maybe prey actually notice when and where they’re subject to predation. Might be some evolutionary advantages to doing that.

                1. Nothing “migrates” on 16 acres.

            2. ” concerted armed action does work better than doing nothing”

              YMMV. Consider, for example, the three French colonies in South-East Asia in the second half of the 20th century.
              In the 1940s, France was unable to defend her colonies from the Japanese, because they were also not able to defend the homeland from the Germans. After the Allies crushed the Germans and the Japanese. France asserted its intention to resume those colonies. The locals, who had kept busy fighting to kick the Japanese out, announced a policy of fighting to kick the French out, if they tried to come back.
              Well, France tried to come back, and paid a price for it. The United States could have chosen to do nothing about this, of course, but we chose armed intervention, instead. Did choosing armed intervention work out well for us? Better than doing nothing at all would have? Starting in 1973, we gave doing nothing a try. Vietnam fell to the Communists, and the effect of this on American interests was… nothing.
              We also chose armed intervention to take away the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam had hidden away (hidden away so well that they have not yet been located). Do we put that one in the “win” column? After all, smashing the nation of Iraq made way for the creation of ISIS, which was a huge win for… well, not us.

              1. You’re comparing logistically and strategically complex and distant wars to defense of home or business? This is an argument that fails, for reasons beyond what I mentioned. It’s good and well to be against violence; it’s not to be biased to the point of being blinkered.

                1. “You’re comparing logistically and strategically complex and distant wars to defense of home or business?”

                  I responded to the quoted text.

                  ” It’s good and well to be against violence; it’s not to be biased to the point of being blinkered.”

                  So take off you blinkers.

      4. “What you may have overlooked is his apparent endorsement of potentially rival ethnically-minded armed vigilante organizations”

        You either have very poor reading comprehension or a very vivid imagination, or both.

        1. Or, the problem may lie in your writing.

      5. “good for you that you caught Professor Bernstein’s emphasis on private armed property protection. What you may have overlooked is his apparent endorsement of potentially rival ethnically-minded armed vigilante organizations, apparently united in a common goal to protect property, or at least whatever ethnically identifiable property they could take note of.”

        How’d that work out in Sarajevo? Beirut? Chicago?

  12. I suppose that from a practical, partisan perspective I should welcome the accelerating deterioration of this blog, but I wish it were not occurring.

    1. I come back to the comments after a few years and you are still noticing that?

  13. Not necessarily. To Hitler. what the Nazi storm troopers did WAS racial justice protest. Good Germans were being regularly brutalized and abused by Jews. The stormtroopers were merely protesting against it.

    Yoir critics might similarly regard rioting, arson, and looting as racial justice protest. There were people who openly defended it as such at the time. I would check your critics writings and see if they were among them.

    If so, they are at least being consistent.

    1. I strongly approve of this comparison of Antifa/BLM vs Nazis, both in terms of what they believe or claim to believe and how they use so-called peaceful protests as a cover for planned atrocities.

      1. Indeed, everyone needs to keep in mind the origin of AntiFA. They were an avowedly Communist organization, created and funded by the Soviets to compete with the National Socialism of the Nazis, in Germany. Their shock troops regularly clashed with those of the Nazis, until they were vanquished, and had to go underground for a generation. Always keep that in mind when they call themselves anti Fascists. What they mean is that they are relighting the war between Hitler and Stalin, and they are on Stalin’s side (except that the Soviet Union fell, and they transferred their loyalty to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)).

  14. It takes a special kind of crazy to look at a bunch of people rioting and think: “You know what would make this situation better? Guns!”

    1. No, all it takes is for you to be on the other side of the rioters.

      1. “Yes, if only we had guns! (But somehow not they!)”

        1. It’s true! Mobs never have members with guns unless their potential victims do too!

        2. Are you under the illusion that the rioters did not have guns?
          Or that the people on the other side of violent rioters who have knives/clubs are not better off having guns in such a situation? Are you familiar with the phrase ‘Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight’? Do you understand why Damon Runyon used the term ‘the old equalizer’ for a handgun?

          1. Mythbusters tested “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” and found that tha the guy with a knife had a substanital advantage, if he knew how to use a knife.

            1. By all means try that out in real life. With actual knives and actual guns, not balloons and foam knives.

              Or, if you care for about your body, try reading a little more carefully what Mythbusters actually found:
              “Even though Jamie could throw before Adam drew and fired, after several trials Adam was able to shoot Jamie and dodge the thrown balloon.” and “When Jamie ran at Adam with a foam knife from this distance {24 ft], Adam was able to shoot him; a second test at 20 ft (6.1 m) gave the same result.”

              Then picture a scenario where the gun owner is actually ready, and doesn’t have to draw and cock his pistol before shooting.

              Mythbusters nowhere conclude that “the guy with a knife had a substantial advantage, if he knew how to use a knife.” they conclude that in some exceptional circumstance (experienced knife user, close quarters, gun user being surprised and having to draw his weapon) he “could” have an advantage.

              1. Right, they didn’t find that the knife guy had a distinct advantage, they found that the knife guy had a distinct advantage, and no need to reload.

                1. No they didn’t. They found that in some contrived circumstances (which I have outlined above – experienced knife user, close quarters, gun user being surprised and having to draw his weapon) – they knife guy might be able to win the fight.
                  You don’t read very well, do you?

                  1. You made it up as you see fit. Arguing facts with you is a waste of time.

  15. I don’t see an open thread yet today, so I’ll sneak this in as semi-relevant here.

    I’ve now heard rumor from three unrelated sources that Biden intends to decree an additional year of lockdown, and will announce it August 11. They also say that he expects protest demonstrations by the Right, and intends to have FBI provocateurs spoil those protests just as they did January 6. So I advise my allies to stay home.

    1. I would certainly advise staying home if somebody proposes mass demonstrations, which is one of the reasons I wasn’t in DC in January, though I could have easily driven there.

      August 11th is when the July inflation numbers are scheduled to be released, I suppose he might want a distraction. Certainly, he’d have gotten a heads up about them by now.

      1. I remember when Republicans wanted expensive steel and were unhappy with low gasoline prices in 2016. 😉

    2. Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

    3. “Semi-relevant” is an extremely generous description of your facebook rumor.

      “Bullshit and lies” would be more apt.

    4. Don’t read LARPers.

    5. Won’t happen.

      Biden doesn’t have the power to shut the country down. We are still enough of a federation that that would require the help of the governors. He might get 20 or so Dem governors to buy in, but probably half will beg off, and try to arrest your instigators instead. Last time they were stampeded, and the Dems stole the election through massive ballot fraud facilitated by mail in balloting. The shutdown last year was stupid. One this summer would be idiotic. And the Free States know it. The federal government has little credibility left when it comes to national healthcare emergencies. The latest CDC masking is based on an unpublished Indian study using a known faulty Chinese vaccine, and a gay festival in Provincetown, MA, where a bunch of immune suppressed gay males were making out (etc) with strangers. Meanwhile the blip in COVID-19 cases, likely due to Delta, is flattening, and the death rate is falling even faster. Govs De Santa’s and Abbott seem to be pulling the lions tail, trying to outdo each other, in antagonizing the Biden regime, with much of the conservative half of the country egging them on. If CA, NY, etc follow the federal lead, in trying to shut the country, expect more ads in those states for people to move to lower cost, lower tax, safer states.

      1. “Biden doesn’t have the power to shut the country down.”

        He does, what he doesn’t have is lawful authority to use it. Which wouldn’t have stopped a Republican who wanted badly enough to do something, like, say, hold prisoners forever without bothering to give them a trial. And if the Presidency changed hands, the Republicans in Congress would probably react by stripping the President of the authority to charge them with crimes, to avoid having trials.

        1. Ha! Ha! Ha!

          Let me remind you that Biden just said that he didn’t have the power to reinstitute rent amnesty, then did it anyway this week, justifying it by noting that it would (maybe) be over by the time the Supreme Court could tell him “no”.

          1. If he did it, then he has the power to do it.
            QED

    6. “I’ve now heard rumor from three unrelated sources that Biden intends to decree an additional year of lockdown, and will announce it August 11. They also say that he expects protest demonstrations by the Right, and intends to have FBI provocateurs spoil those protests just as they did January 6. So I advise my allies to stay home.”

      So you concur with Biden that people should stay home.

  16. If you wanted to know who are a bunch of people that wished they had guns, talk to those who just faced a torrent of looting, rioting, and violence in South Africa.

    Citizens with guns are a real bummer for leftists that want to be able to maraud with free reign.

    1. If you want to maraud with free reign, the first thing you do is to shank the guy with the biggest arsenal. That way, YOU have the biggest arsenal.

      Guns are for people who don’ t know how to fight.

      1. “Guns are for people who don’ t know how to fight.”
        That is probably the most iodic thing you’ve written , and that’s saying a lot.
        I recommend watching this, and lettings go of your romantic notions of what it means “to fight”: https://youtu.be/vdnA-ESWcPs?t=126

        1. How iodic was it?

          1. Idiotic on a grand scale, as the little movie snippet should have illustrated even to a simpleton like you.

            1. Sorry, I just can’t be idiotic on your scale, even if I tried. Maybe you could try being less idiotic, and meet me in the middle.

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