US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

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Deacon
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by Deacon » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:56 pm

YES. Thank you. Finally someone points out the obvious.

And CS22, stop trying to analyze criminal behavior. You're trying to be a soldier (or an officer or whatever), and that makes it difficult for you to put yourself in the shoes of a burglar. First of all, relatively few homes have working alarms that are consistently set, and only a few of those are actually hooked up to any remote office, for whatever little good that does regardless. If you live in a residential neighborhood of single-family homes, do you call 9-1-1 every time you hear someone's house alarm going off somewhere in an indeterminate direction? Almost no one does, partially because almost no one is home during the day. Plus, it's not uncommon to hear it turn back off after a few seconds to a few minutes, when apparently the home owner manages to punch in the correct code this time.

Anyway, the point is that most people who are either high enough or hard-core enough to invade someone's home aren't really going to be deterred severely by house alarms if there's actually something they want in there. Maybe it hurries them up, I don't know, but it's not like they take off like in one of those stupid ADT commercials. I'm sure some do, but it's a little silly to think it's broadly effective. Can you imagine if it were truly all you had to do to prevent burglars was install an alarm? I'm not advocating abandoning alarms, as doing a little good in this case seems to still be worthwhile, but still.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:05 pm

Deacon wrote: Anyway, the point is that most people who are either high enough or hard-core enough to invade someone's home aren't really going to be deterred severely by house alarms if there's actually something they want in there. Maybe it hurries them up, I don't know, but it's not like they take off like in one of those stupid ADT commercials. I'm sure some do, but it's a little silly to think it's broadly effective. Can you imagine if it were truly all you had to do to prevent burglars was install an alarm? I'm not advocating abandoning alarms, as doing a little good in this case seems to still be worthwhile, but still.
I am fairly certain that this is just a better worded, more concise version of what I was trying to say. But I also don't think firearms would help much more because, again, most people aren't home during the day.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:27 pm

The more I think about it, the more I realize that firearms are regulated in the US, not on how safe they may or may not be, but on how scary they are. In D.C., certain COLORS of firearms are not allowed to be registered (and in effect, banned), namely anything in two-tone black.

In California, .50 BMG rifles are banned, yet despite the legislature's claim of a terrorist threat, as of 2009, there has been no terrorist attacks involving a .50 BMG. In fact, not only has the .50 BMG never been used to harm or kill anyone in California, there is no record of a .50 BMG rifle ever being used in the United States to commit a crime.

As a result of the ban, the Barrett Firearms Company announced it would no longer sell to or service any of its rifles in the possession of any California government agency. Also, a French company created the .510 DTC round (which is actually a modified shape of a .50 BMG round) to get around the restrictions in California, Europe, and Australia.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:18 pm

California legislators don't really think much about the effects of their anti-gun laws, going instead for publicity.

That said, .50 caliber rifles (presumably including .50BMG) have been used in violent crimes before, though only in very rare cases. An armored car heist in the 1990s used one, and the Branch Davidian cult reportedly had several that they used when the shooting started. The primary reason they're not used is that they're heavy, expensive, and hard for most people to shoot.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:37 pm

Regardless of the use of the weapons (and you are correct, but the Violence Policy Center is only able to document 4 actual uses of .50 BMG rifles by criminals, and only accounts for a total of 18 additional cases in which a .50 caliber rifle was recovered from the possession of a criminal without the gun having been used in a crime) it isn't right to ban a firearm because it may be usable in a crime. In that case, you would need to go so far as to ban pencils, as one kid in my high school (in CALIFORNIA, no less) was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for stabbing another student with a pencil multiple times.

Furthermore, I am made uneasy by any regulation that allows the police to use a weapon but bans it from the ordinary citizen and will ignore such a law on principle. The Amendment was to protect the right to defend oneself, including from a corrupt government in the event one arose. The only debate at the time was if the Amendment was even necessary, or if it was quite obvious. It becomes difficult to defend oneself against a corrupt government if they have automatic and high-caliber rifles and you don't.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by Martin Blank » Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:50 pm

I don't disagree with you on the inadequacies of the .50 caliber law. I was just pointing out that they have been used in violent crime before. In any debate, one's facts must be accurate.

I had a look at that link you provided before, and DC doesn't allow the two-tone guns because they're not on California's list of safe weapons. I'm not entirely opposed to the concept, as it resulted in the ban on sale of some pretty dodgy models. The safety requirements aren't terribly onerous, either. Each of the following tests takes place with three copies of a given model. All three must pass the test, and all testing is paid for by the manufacturer.
  • Firing test involving 600 rounds:
    • Sets of 50 rounds are used, with 5-10 minutes between sets for cooling, and performing cleaning and maintenance every 100 rounds
    • First 20 rounds must fire without a malfunction
    • Of the remaining 580 rounds, no more than 6 malfunctions are allowed
    • In the case of a round that does not fire, the testing starts over completely, with optional replacement of the gun at the manufacturer's request
  • Drop test:
    • Uses a primed case (no powder or projectile) inserted into the chamber, cocked and with any manual safety off (automatic safeties, such as Glock's trigger safety, may not be defeated prior to the test)
    • Conducted from a height of 1.01m (39.8 inches) onto a concrete slab of defined dimensions
    • Six positional tests must be performed (quoted from the law):
      • Normal firing position with barrel horizontal.
      • Upside down with barrel horizontal.
      • On grip with barrel vertical.
      • On muzzle with barrel vertical.
      • On either side with barrel horizontal.
      • If there is an exposed hammer or striker, on the rearmost point of that device, otherwise on the rearmost point of the weapon.
There are some other requirements, including a magazine disconnect mechanism that prevents the weapon from firing without a magazine present, and a requirement that the hammer on revolvers not rest on the cartridge primer when not firing. There should be an exemption for models that are different purely on color, but the law isn't written as such.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:26 pm

I have no problem with safety requirements. I have a problem with three things with the system.

1) A safe weapon may not be able to be registered purely on color. There shouldn't even BE a color requirement. If I want to get a weapon, it shouldn't matter what color it is.

2) Basing a list on what some other people banned is always a bad idea. Something tells me that no one in charge of the rule even read the California list.

3) DC also bans "assault weapons", which somehow includes semi-auto rifles that have removable magazines. I'm fairly certain those are most of them. And what is the real difference between removable magazines and non-removable ones? Reloads faster? We can't have that, for whatever reason, apparently.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:28 am

There is no color requirement. Weapons with different colors are almost always different models. Under a strict reading of the law, every individual model must be individually tested. If you're a manufacturer, and you have a pistol called an AP9 that comes in matte black, and a model AP9N that is nickel-plated, they are two different models. Strictly speaking, each model must be tested. If you only submit one but not the other, the unsubmitted model will not be considered safe because it has not been tested. It's pedantic, but it's how the law was written.

I can categorically deny that there's a ban on two-tone guns anyway. The Walther P22 is available in a two-tone coloring, and it's quite legal (and fun to shoot).

Using a list that someone else drew up, especially when they're larger and have more resources, is not a bad idea. Consider that if DC had adopted the same safety requirements, every manufacturer would have had to submit every weapon for safety testing yet again. More cost, more bureaucracy, more time.

I looked up the DC law on assault weapons. Aside from a list of specific models that are considered to be assault weapons (AKs, Uzis, MAC-10, etc), they have the following definition for assault rifle:
A semiautomatic, rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one of the following:
(aa) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;
(bb) A thumbhole stock;
(cc) A folding or telescoping stock;
(dd) A grenade launcher or flare launcher;
(ee) A flash suppressor; or
(ff) A forward pistol grip;
Source: DC Code § 7-2501.01

They modeled their law significantly on California's, because that is more or less the limitation here. Detachable magazines alone do not make it an assault rifle. Detachable magazines and one or more features from that list do. A quick reading of the law suggests that you could have a weapon that has all of those options but a fixed magazine and be perfectly legal.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by adciv » Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:33 am

That list would seem to include every semi-auto hand gun. Which, as I understand it, are classified as machine guns due to the capability of rapid fire. Seems DC classifies a machine gun as any gun that can fire more than X rounds per minute, regardless of you pulling the trigger each time or not.

By the way, I have a problem with that six point test. For one thing, it would seem to ban all revolvers. For another, treating a color difference as a different model is fucking stupid.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:01 am

adciv wrote: By the way, I have a problem with that six point test. For one thing, it would seem to ban all revolvers. For another, treating a color difference as a different model is fucking stupid.
Also, folding/telescoping stocks and pistol grips of any kind are things that do not affect a weapons function at all. A grenade/flare launcher is another weapon entirely - one that falls under the "Destructive Devices" portion of the National Firearms Act of 1934, and so is already banned. A flash suppressor is the only thing I agree with, as it is obviously only used to hide the weapon's discharge, and can easily be used by criminals to hide their location (say the DC Sniper, for example). However, just because a weapon can accept these devices doesn't mean it should be banned. Just ban the device if it actually modifies the function of the weapon in a way that is only foreseeable for use by a criminal. In effect, just the flash suppressor and the grenade/flare launcher.
A quick reading of the law suggests that you could have a weapon that has all of those options but a fixed magazine and be perfectly legal.
And therein lies just part of the problem.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by Martin Blank » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:08 pm

Folding and telescoping stocks allow a weapon to be made shorter, an advantage if one wished to carry it hidden under a coat or a seat (and maneuverability in vehicles is a very common reason for folding stocks to be added to weapons, especially carbines and SMGs issued to tank crews). This is quite common in crimes, actually, where a suspect uses something other than a handgun. Surprise is usually a factor, and pulling out a gun from under a coat helps to maintain surprise.
adciv wrote:For another, treating a color difference as a different model is fucking stupid.
Refer back to my prior hypothetical example of two pistols, one in matte black and one nickel-plated. One is called the AP9, one is called the AP9N. Are they not two different model numbers?

Yes, there should be an exemption for non-functional decorative differences such as etching and colors. But not understanding that a company will differentiate the same gun design but with different finishes as two different models because they use two different model numbers in their catalog doesn't seem to be the height of intelligence, either.
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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:38 pm

Martin Blank wrote:Folding and telescoping stocks allow a weapon to be made shorter, an advantage if one wished to carry it hidden under a coat or a seat (and maneuverability in vehicles is a very common reason for folding stocks to be added to weapons, especially carbines and SMGs issued to tank crews). This is quite common in crimes, actually, where a suspect uses something other than a handgun. Surprise is usually a factor, and pulling out a gun from under a coat helps to maintain surprise.
But they do not prevent action from being taken in the way that a flash suppressor or flare gun may, and they do not cause high destruction levels like a grenade launcher might. Folding and telescoping stocks also allow a weapon to be fitted to the person using it better, which is a major reason it is used by the US military in many situations.

Furthermore, it makes no sense to require this regulation if concealed weapons are legal, which they should be. If a handgun can be concealed and is legal, and a rifle can be concealed and is legal, then the ease of concealing the weapon is irrelevant.
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by raptor9k » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:01 pm

The DC sniper used a post-ban Bushmaster with no flash suppressor...

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by collegestudent22 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:49 pm

raptor9k wrote:The DC sniper used a post-ban Bushmaster with no flash suppressor...
The DC 'sniper' was not really a sniper, either. And wasn't caught due to his actual crimes in DC, but one committed in Montgomery, Alabama prior to his attacks in DC. Furthermore, the weapon used was stolen - which would mean the ban would likely not have prevented it, as a crime was committed just to get it.

Finally, none of the ban provisions would have prevented a similar weapon from being used. The only characteristics that mattered was that it was semi-auto, somewhat accurate, and had a sight. None of that was banned.

Truthfully, I wouldn't even call the potential use of the flash suppressor something that causes it to be 'bannable'. Nothing is bannable in the United States, at least by the Federal Government. The Constitution prevents it - or at least it would if the government followed it.
the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
That would mean not touched at all, wouldn't it?
Frédéric Bastiat wrote:And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Count Axel Oxenstierna wrote:Dost thou not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?

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Re: US Constitution Discussion, Part 13: Amendment II

Post by StruckingFuggle » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:01 am

collegestudent22 wrote:The DC 'sniper' was not really a sniper, either. And wasn't caught due to his actual crimes in DC, but one committed in Montgomery, Alabama prior to his attacks in DC. Furthermore, the weapon used was stolen - which would mean the ban would likely not have prevented it, as a crime was committed just to get it.
Depends. Where did he steal it from?

the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
That would mean not touched at all, wouldn't it?
Depends. Does it mean all arms, or just that arms can be kept and carried? It doesn't say that you have unlimited choice of weapons. Nor, particularly, are scopes or flash suppressors "arms". Banning certain characteristics from being manufactured into weapons or such - that's not infringing the right to keep arms.
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