Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
JUSTICE BREYER’s assertion that individual self-defense is merely a “subsidiary interest” of the right to keep and bear arms, see post, at 36, is profoundly mistaken. He bases that assertion solely upon the prologue—but that can only show that selfdefense had little to do with the right’s codification; it was the central component of the right itself.I wonder if that left a sting?
Ben Winograd -
The Court has released the opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller (07-290), on whether the District’s firearms regulations – which bar the possession of handguns and require shotguns and rifles to be kept disassembled or under trigger lock – violate the Second Amendment. The ruling below, which struck down the provisions in question, is affirmed.
Justice Scalia wrote the opinion. Justice Breyer dissented, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg. We will provide a link to the decision as soon as it is available.
text of the majroity decision located here:
10:24Tom Goldstein - Quoting the syllabus: The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditional lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
First of all, what is open carry?
- Open carry is the carrying of a firearm that is visible and unhidden. More aptly stated, it is the exact opposite of concealed carry.
- Open carry involves the use of a holster that keeps the firearm in plain view.
- Open carry is usually the carrying of a pistol, some states prohibit carry rifles even if slung.
- Open carry is legal in a majority of the states, though there are some places where local laws will come into play.
- Open carry may be the only option for people that do not have a concealed carry permit or cannot get one (usually due to age).
- Open carry is much more physically comfortable than concealed carry in most cases.
- Most importantly, Open carry is a statement. By open carrying, you are declaring that you are a gun owner, that you are not dangerous and that you are not ashamed. You will receive extra scrutiny because of your decision, expect it and be prepared with facts and knowledge. Your carrying openly makes you a representative of the entire shooting world, with one simple statement you could create a new shooter, or you could drive someone away from the sport.
- Open carry is not for everyone
- Open carry is not brandishing. In most states open carry is completely legal.
- Open carry does not mean that you can walk around with a gun in your hand.
- Open carry does not make you a bad ass.
- Open carry is not any more likely to make you a target in a robbery than a gold watch.
- Open carry most likely will not get you in legal trouble.
- Open carry does not make you special or better than anyone else.
- Open carry is not a magnet for people to come up behind you and try to steal your gun. Think about that for a second, how brazen would you have to be to try to take a lethal weapon away from someone?
- Usually nothing. People are generally used to seeing objects attached to other people's belts, so most of the time it goes unnoticed.
The trick is, what you are doing when you are openly carrying is perfectly legal. The likelihood of you being arrested and actually charged or convicted of a crime is very low. In most situations where a law abiding gun owner is harassed by law enforcement for open carrying, the reason for the harassment is because the individual LEO does not know the laws pertaining to open carry. The other reason that people commonly get harassed by law enforcement for open carrying is that the officer believes that it isn't something you should do. We will get into LEO encounters in a bit.
Knowledge is your friend:
Here in NC, I have been informed that the open carry statutes are clearly discussed in the basic law enforcement training courses that all LEO's go through, but your mileage may vary. Having knowledge of the relevant laws in your area will go a long way in ensuring that you have a trouble free experience.
Another consideration is that the general public typically does not have any idea of the laws in their area. One of the most common things I hear about when it comes to open carry encounters is that someone gets asked "Do you have a permit for that?"
This is a teaching experience, in most cases the proper response will be "No I do not, no permit is required unless it is concealed." (Please keep in mind, some states DO require a permit to open carry.) Now, usually the conversation will stop right there, but occasionally that statement will open the flood gates for more questions.
Things like "Is it loaded?", "Why do you carry that?", "Why do you need a gun?", "Are you that worried about getting robbed?", "Are you looking to get into trouble?" And on and on.
Remember that the person asking these questions just had reality slap them in the face. They may have lived their entire life thinking that only criminals and cops carry guns. They might be someone that has always wanted to learn more about guns but wasn't sure where to start. They might also be someone that has serious anti-gun feelings. Again, be prepared to strike up discussion with these people. Use facts and laws instead of emotions.
You will also have people make comments to you and about you. Things like "I would never carry a gun.", "I don't believe in guns.", "Guns are too dangerous." etc... My typical response will be something along the lines of "Well, unfortunately for you, a criminal that might be looking to make you his next victim will not care one iota about your personal feelings about guns."
Give it some thought and come up with some good ways to respond to people. My favorite response to the question "Why do you need a gun?" is very clear. "I would rather live my entire life knowing that when I was forced to defend my family I was able to do so. Than to live my entire life knowing that I might have been able to save my family and I didn't." To anyone that has a family, that is a very powerful thought to have to chew on.
A few days ago a friend of mine started in on his kick that guns aren't needed to solve problems. In his words "Be a real man, use your fists." Now in the real world, cocky people that think they can handle a fight get killed quickly. Usually when their attacker pulls out a gun. All of us in the gun world know and embrace this philosophy, but non-gun owners may not have ever given it any thought. My response to him was simple. "You have a fire extinguisher in your house don't you? Or are you man enough to simply use your fists?"
Do not let this dissuade you from open carrying, just realize that you will be representing the shooting community as a whole. If that is not something you can handle, then don't open carry. Most importantly, with any encounter that you have, you must remain calm, cool and collected.
Know your laws:
As gun owners, we typically pride ourselves in being as law abiding as possible. Because of this, it is of the up most importance that you know every law that is relevant to your situation. Cities, counties can and sometimes do have differing laws so something that is legal in one city may not be in the next city. For example, here in NC there is only one city that has a carry ordinance. In that city, openly carrying a firearm with a barrel shorter than 4 inches is illegal.
Also make sure you know what places are prohibited places. Again these laws can and do different between city to city. There are the usual places where all weapons are prohibited. Post offices, federal buildings, schools (in most states) are all prohibited by federal law. Most states also restrict state buildings, banks and bars. Now here is where the interesting thing comes into play. What is prohibited for concealed carry may not be prohibited for open carry. For example, here in NC it is illegal to conceal carry into a bank, but open carry is permitted.
It is your responsibility to know the laws in the areas you will be in. If you do not know the laws, you risk going to jail, and that would be counterproductive.
Sign postings are the bane of every gun carrier. In almost every state there is some legal provision that allows property owners or businesses to post signs prohibiting the possession of weapons. In some states, those signs carry legal weight and not obeying them is a crime. In other states, the signs carry no legal weight, but if the owner asks you to leave, you must or you are trespassing. In other states if the sign isn't a specific size or doesn't have specific wording, it is invalid. It is worth noting that if a sign says "no concealed weapons" then openly carrying is not a violation of that sign.
Now, with few exceptions, most places do not post signs. I have personally carried openly into multiple gas stations, two different Wal-Mart stores, several restaurants and various other places. I have never once had a problem or even had someone say anything to me. Should I ever get approached by a store employee, I would ask for the manager. If the manager asked me to leave, I would comply and then I would notify the general manager and owner of my intentions to stop shopping at their establishment. There are several places on the internet that you can get form style letters that will fit your situation, check the links below. These letters do work, usually business owners can see reason when they are clearly informed about how law abiding gun owners really are.
Dealing with law enforcement:
Every person will eventually have a run in with a law enforcement officer. In some places these incidents will go much more smoothly than in others. Generally speaking, if you are not breaking the law you are fine. But you need to know the laws so that you know what your rights are. In most states, openly carrying a firearm is not a valid reason to detain you. You must be suspected of committing a crime, and openly carrying a firearm is not illegal.
Should you encounter a LEO, do not freak out, remember, you are not breaking the law. You should expect that the LEO will take your weapon and secure it for his own safety. You can also probably expect to get a quick pat down. Typically, the LEO is responding to a "man with a gun call" where some soccer mom saw you with a holstered gun and freaked out, calling the cops all hysterical about seeing a man with a gun. Remember, the LEO does not know the situation he is walking in to and has to assume the worst. There is no need to make his job harder.
After the initial encounter, which will probably include you being disarmed, asking "Am I being detained?" is a good thing to do. If the officer answers to the affirmative, then the next question should be "Of what crime am I suspected of committing?". If there is no clear answers to those two questions, then there is no valid reason for the LEO to continue to give you a hard time or to ask you further questions. You are free to go at that point.
Some states and/or jurisdictions have had cases in the past where officers have seized firearms without making an arrest, should that happen to you, don't freak out, demand that you get issued a receipt. If you are given a hard time about this or are told that your firearm is being seized permanently, contact a lawyer. You do have a constitutional right to be secure in your person and possessions and anyone that deprives you of that right without due process can be held liable for civil rights violations.
Again as with all encounters, you must remain calm, cool and collected.
Finally, I will go into some more personal things.
Why open carry?
Ok, I open carry for several reasons. First and foremost, I am a huge supporter of the second amendment. I feel that the second amendment is one of the very foundations of our society. And since the courts have ruled that states may regulate how concealed permits are issued from state, open carry is the one fundamental part that we have left of the whole "and bear arms" portion of the second amendment. Hopefully this weeks Supreme Court ruling will change that, but I doubt it.
Because of my beliefs, I am driven to advocate for what I believe in. In my experience wearing Glock T-shirts or Beretta hats does not work as well as wearing a gun. Gun related clothing is actually much more likely elicit a negative response from people than wearing a gun is. I suspect that people are much more likely to be impolite when they do not know for a fact that you are armed. I do not think of this as intentional intimidation on my part, but as the old saying goes; "An armed society is a polite society."
Lastly I open carry because to me it is much more comfortable than trying to conceal a 26Oz. hunk of metal and plastic. Plus, when I am carrying openly, there is no need for me to worry about who might see that I am armed. I have noticed that I am much more aware of my surroundings and the people that are near me. I suspect that it will be the same situation once I have my concealed carry permit, but since that will not happen for a few more months, I am left to open carry.
For a lot more information, advice, questions about the laws in your area and a good discussion forum to boot, check out www.opencarry.org
I hope this has been an entertaining and helpful read.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
All told the whole thing took about 45 minutes and was very painless... With any luck ill have my permit by this time in August...
So now I sit back and eagerly await Monday's SCOTUS ruling...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
The Mustang Ranch is back in private hands and open for business once again.
For those Gentle Readers who may be less-worldly than others, the Mustang Ranch was, at one time, the largest brothel in Nevada as well as being the first licensed bordello in that State.
However, while interesting, this is not the part of it's history that is really fascinating. What we're interested in is this little tid-bit buried way down in the article: after several years of tax shenanigans by the owner, the Mustang Ranch became the first (Official. Licensed.) brothel run by the United States Federal Government.
They lost money.
Let us allow that simple, yet profound, truth sink into our synapses, shall we?
The Federal Government of the United States can not run a bordello and make money.
One cathouse. Just one. Not "one in every state". Not "one whether you think you need it or not". Just one single legal bawdy-house with an already-established customer base.
And they couldn't keep it out of the red.
Now, this is just my opinion, but if your money-handling skills are so poor that you can't even make a profit selling sex, then you have absolutely no business getting involved in more complicated financial areas.
In other words, if "Slam, bam, thank you ma'am, here's a hundred bucks" is too complicated for you to make a profit, then you might just want to keep your meat-hooks out of, say -- health care.
So, the next time some bright-eyed little bit starts chanting about "Universal Health Care", I'm going to loudly and firmly opine that until the Federal Government is capable of running a profitable brothel ... they've got no business trying to run my health care.
yeah I know, this isn't a new story... But it is worth keeping in mind... Never forget that the government even was able to screw up the running of a whore house...
At least 80 percent of all of the weapons used by drug traffickers in Mexico to kill one another as well as police and soldiers come from the U.S., Mexican officials say. They’ve repeatedly asked the U.S. government for more help in stopping the flow of weapons from Texas and other border states into Mexico.And then they go on to cry about the super duper "cop killer" FN 5.7:
Particularly alarming to law enforcement was the seizure last year of an FN Herstal 5.7 mm pistol chambered to fire a bullet that can penetrate body armor.I guess they don't know that the ammo that penetrates the body armor is next to impossible to get... In addition every center fire rifle in the world will go right through standard police body armor... And we best not tell them about this fine piece of European history that will exactly the same thing... And we probably should also leave out the fact that they can be purchased for less than $200...
I have a suggestion for Mexico to fix the problem... How about they shut down the border!!!
I mean it is obvious that the US is either incapable or unwilling to fix the problem on our end...
RALEIGH - Citing additional insurance concerns, Wake County schools staff will wait until August before presenting draft revisions to the district's deadly weapons bans aimed at allowing student marksmanship teams to participate in approved firearms competitions.
In response to the public outcry after an East Wake High School club team was banned from competing in a state-sponsored marksmanship tournament, school board members asked staff to draft a policy to allow teams to compete.
In March, the team at East Wake was barred from competing in the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Hunter Education Tournament one day before a regional competition.
An area superintendent and an East Wake principal determined the school's 22-year participation in the tournament violated Wake's policy barring firearms and other deadly weapons from school campuses.
The last-minute ban garnered national attention. Several pro-gun groups protested the decision.
School staff members were expected to have a draft policy Tuesday but delayed another month to address requirements brought up by the school system's insurer.
Among the requirements:
* Create a master plan for a shooting range in line with the state's Hunter Safety Program. Students would be required to have supervised practices and competitions.
* Draft safety rules that would be approved by the school system's risk manager.
* Provide hand-washing stations to prevent students from being exposed to too-high levels of lead.
"It's not going to be on somebody's farm," said Ann Majestic, the school board's lawyer.
School board members Lori Millberg and Patti Head said they want the policy in place in time for the new school year.
"We need to be able to do this for this fall," Head said.
I'm thinking that its about time that we not only implement these kinds of programs nationwide, but that we make firearms training education mandatory parts of the curriculum in every school... I am fairly sure that we would see a noticeable drop in violent crime and general irresponsibility if safety, responsibility and values were once again taught in schools... Woops, there I go making sense again, can't have that.
I guess not wanting cops in your house is a crime in England... Sounds like they would benefit from a good old fashioned change of government...
A British man who was so amused with BBC1’s "Have I Got News for You" that he fell off his couch in a fit of laughter was not so happy when it got him arrested and pepper sprayed.
Christopher Cocker, 36, collapsed on the floor after laughing at a joke on TV, but his neighbor who heard the thud thought something bad had happened and called the police, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday.
According to police, Cocker initially was cooperative but quickly became "aggressive" when asked his name and personal information. Cocker tried to shut his door on the officers, at which point he was pepper sprayed through a crack in the door.
Cocker then was handcuffed, arrested and taken to court, the Daily Mail reported. An unidentified police spokesman told the Mail that, given Cocker’s aggression, they acted appropriately.
"Within the circumstances, we feel we used reasonable force," the officer told the Mail.
Cocker, of Blackburn, England, eventually pleaded guilty to resisting a police officer and was given a conditional discharge for six months following the May 20 incident, the Mail reported.
Cocker is shocked at the outcome of what he describes as minding his own business.
"I can't believe it — I was thrown in the back of a police van before being stripped naked and put in a cell," Cocker told the Mail. "I was handcuffed behind my back and my ankles bound with plastic ties before six of them carried me to the van."
Cocker told the Mail he never thought he would end up in court for laughing at his favorite comedian.
Though I suspect that there is more to this story, I've watched plenty of British comedy, and none of it is that funny...