(Page 3 of 10)
2. The Gatling style of full automatic, i.e. mechanically operated, is not regulated as a machine gun by the Federal Government.
3. Multi-barrel volley guns were in relatively common use in Revolutionary War times and were the era’s version of the machine gun.p>4. There were few laws against concealed carry until the late 20th Century. Indeed, concealed carry was common in both the US and England. br> — Bob R. /p> p> Robert VerBruggen replies: br> In an article yesterday, I wrote about a DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision that used several criteria for granting handguns Second Amendment protection: “The modern handgun — and for that matter the rifle and long-barreled shotgun…[is] a lineal descendant of [its colonial equivalent]….Pistols certainly bear ‘some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.’ They are also in ‘common use’ today.” /p>
I criticized a Bush administration brief arguing that, by these criteria, machine guns would have Second Amendment protection. I argued that the dividing line between a pistol/rifle/shotgun and a machine gun is automatic fire, making the latter not a lineal descendant of early guns. What’s more, they are not in common use today.
I have to say, I’m a bit puzzled that so many on the pro-gun side agree with the Bush administration. Many readers took the position that the appeals-court logic would legalize machine guns — and machine guns should be legal. (OK, they disagree with the administration on that last part.)
For starters, there’s the practical issue here. Whether or not legalizing machine guns would make for good policy, and whether or not the Framers would have wanted it, there is no way a majority of Supreme Court justices would go for it. Pressing that argument is political suicide.
But equally importantly, despite the developments between early and modern common guns, as the appeals court pointed out, the basic principle is the same: Pull the trigger, a single bullet comes out. Machine guns, by contrast, fire continuously and rapidly when one holds the trigger down. According to gun control expert John R. Lott, “The entire firing mechanism of a semi-automatic gun has to be gutted and replaced to turn it into a machine gun.”
Of course, virtually every weapon in existence comes somehow from another weapon, and if one forgoes the basic “that was a pistol then, and this is a pistol now, so it’s lineal” logic, he can indeed debate the meanings of “lineal descendant” for hours. It all depends whether he’s a lumper or a splitter — a lumper will say even machine guns are lineal descendants; a splitter will say even early cartridge-ammunition guns are not.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?