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RSS icon Comments on Some Suggestions For Your New Individual Right to Bear Arms


"it's WAY too late for gun control in america" - steve earle

besides, you're going to need them to defend your stash of water filters & possum meat after society collapses.

Posted by max solomon | June 26, 2008 4:29 PM

Guns fucking rule and everybody knows it. That's why Obama is a little boy. Little boy!

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 26, 2008 4:29 PM

Here...let me adjust it for You...

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the militia to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Posted by Bruce Garrett | June 26, 2008 4:30 PM

Right On! And banning backyard swimming pools should be next! Don't forget cars!


A gun owner who grew up with guns (in a single parent household in a small town-which should make Charles Mudede's head explode that I am not dead.)

Posted by Charles_Mudede_Is_A_Latent_Racist | June 26, 2008 4:34 PM

This may win the award for Douchiest Slog post ever.

Posted by Trouble | June 26, 2008 4:36 PM

No, no, Jonathan you've got it all wrong!

We should be ENCOURAGING gun owners to play with their loaded weapons in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Go ahead, play with them to your heart's content; just make sure to leave enough money in your wills to cover burial costs for you and any members of your family who happen to accidentally off themselves in the process.

Wouldn't want you to be a "burden on society", if you know what I mean.

Posted by COMTE | June 26, 2008 4:39 PM

8 Year-old Accidentally Exercises
Second Amendment Rights

NORFOLK, VA - Gun owners are applauding the patriotic exercise of Second Amendment rights by 8-year-old Timothy Cummings. The incident occurred after Cummings returned from school and found his parents absent from the house. Cummings placed a pair of phone books on a stool to retrieve his father's loaded .38-caliber revolver from a closet shelf. After a preliminary backyard investigation of his constitutional rights claimed the life of Pepper, the family's cocker spaniel, Cummings fell on the weapon, causing it to discharge into his left thigh. The boy is in serious but stable condition. "The framers of the Constitution would be so proud of what my boy did yesterday," said Cummings' father Randall who originally purchased the handgun for home defense. (The ONION)

Posted by Tiktok | June 26, 2008 4:42 PM

One more suggestion: Resist the temptation to buy a Beretta 92 like the one pictured in Golob's post.

Yes, the U.S. military uses them.  Yes, they've been very popular in cop movies and media in general.  But seriously, they suck.  They're just as finicky and high-maintenance as the original M-16's that soldiers suffered with.

Learn enough to really appreciate the Beretta's POS-ness, and you might also pick up a few tips on how not to shoot anyone without meaning to.

Posted by lostboy | June 26, 2008 4:44 PM

"Someone expressed concern about the gun early Thursday [so] the man attempted to prove it was unloaded by pointing it at his face and pulling the trigger."

I'm always expressing concern about pathetic losers and their fucking guns. But do they shoot themselves in the face when I do? No way, not with my luck they don't.

Posted by elenchos | June 26, 2008 4:49 PM

actually supreme court got it wrong

lots of states ahve individual right to bear arms

didn't keep their state supreme courts from ruling it's okay to ban handguns

back in the 1800's

the courts said handguns are used by crooks while gents carry their long rfles openly so okay for state legislature to ban all hand guns

that's the original intent.

Posted by scholar | June 26, 2008 4:51 PM

Here's another yokel exercising his rights:

I'm with COMTE - give them more guns and booze so we can thin the idiot gene pool.

Posted by elrider | June 26, 2008 4:53 PM

Except you already had these rights under the Washington state constitution, so for you, nothing at all has changed.

Feel better?

Posted by tim | June 26, 2008 4:54 PM

It's interesting how the commas became so important in deciding this case. What a lot of people don't realize is that comma usage at the time the amendment was passed was not the same as it is now: in those days, commas were used to set all clauses apart from each other (sort of like how German still does it); the commas were not used so much to indicate pauses in speech as they are in modern English. (Similarly, at the time nouns were generally capitalized as they still are in German--note how it's "State," "Militia," "Arms.")

In a way, the comma placement should have been ignored in deciding the proper reading of the sentence since all the commas do is mark a clause boundary (a gerund clause and an infinitive clause here), nothing more.

To anyone with any kind of classical education, which includes ironically several members of the Supreme Court, the phrasing here is an imitation of a Latin "absolute clause," and it is supposed to be interpreted to mean "BECAUSE a well-regulated Militia is necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

Posted by Simac | June 26, 2008 5:00 PM

Do I really have a Constitutional right to blast away too many of my children, my neighbor, myself? It's too late for hyperbole to win anyone over, thinks I.

Posted by umvue | June 26, 2008 5:09 PM

Bare arms shall not be infringed? I assume plain puffy sleeves is OK?

Dumbass comment to serious subject. Mea culpa.

Posted by Spoogie | June 26, 2008 5:10 PM

so 43% of the 16000 figure is from recoil? its called scope eye you idiot, its actually funny if it happens to you, kind of like a badge of honor for taking the punishment of a hard kicking magnum rifle. sorry liberal whiners, but you will have to call on us gun owners now when someone wants to kick your queer asses.

Posted by wayneh | June 26, 2008 5:12 PM

also, ban paintball and videogames that use gun controllers. they ingrain instinctive patterns (grab, aim, shoot) that are likely inappropriate in emotionally-charged situations.

Posted by also | June 26, 2008 5:13 PM

Habeas corpus was suspended and gun owners did fuck all about it. The government illegally tapped everyone's phones and gun owners did nothing. I like to bring this up as a reminder of how useless gun ownership is to protecting anyone's rights. For decades gun owners have promised they were there to keep us all free, and when their chance came, they did nothing. Who needs them?

Posted by elenchos | June 26, 2008 5:24 PM

@16: what the fuck are you on about? we're supposed to call you up when we're getting gay bashed? and you'll hop in your ford fiesta & zip on down from Darrington?

Posted by max solomon | June 26, 2008 5:33 PM

Max Solomon,

I cannot stop laughing at your comment.

That's exactly what the Hill needs, a gigantic searchlight to project a confederate flag in the sky.

"Activate the second amendment signal!"

Posted by Jonathan Golob | June 26, 2008 5:47 PM

Now how many drinks is it legal for me to consume before I can shoot someone? or how old must I be before I can drive and shoot someone? and is it OK to shoot someone first, then get drunk and drive away? I am so confused with all of these choices that are sure to put me in an early grave. And when will someone finally open a big-ass gay bar called "The Armed Militia"?

Posted by BARE-ARMED LETITIA | June 26, 2008 5:47 PM

i'm with @4 and @5.
when i was growing up, my house contained about two dozen unsecured hunting guns, including a loaded one by the back door. one of my chores was to dust them.

and nothing ever happened to me, because my parents taught me what i should and should not do with them. i also saw them fired off. it never crossed my mind to play with them - because i knew that they were really loud and they could hurt and kill, for real.

Posted by ironymaiden | June 26, 2008 5:55 PM

ironymaiden @22, congratulations.  I'm happy for you, sincerely, that your parents were wise and responsible enough to effectively teach you gun safety.

Probably everyone here knows at least a couple people who think they have 1337 haxorx skilz but wouldn't know a man in the middle attack from a Jackie Chan move.  There's no shortage of the type in gun enthusiast circles, either.

And noone ever thinks they could be one of 'em.  Most young couples don't think their love will ever die, either.

It's time those of us who enjoy shooting started being the loudest advocates in favor of safety, instead of the knee-jerk opposition.

Posted by lostboy | June 26, 2008 6:20 PM

Habeas corpus was suspended and gun owners did fuck all about it.

Now, that's a point...

The government illegally tapped everyone's phones and gun owners did nothing.

Now, that's a point...

I like to bring this up as a reminder of how useless gun ownership is to protecting anyone's rights.

No. It's a reminder of how worthless the second amendment crusaders are. And the NRA in particular. They just don't seem to get that a government that trashes any part of the constitution, can't be trusted to respect...well...Any Part of the constitution, including their one Cherished part.

All their pious rhetoric about individual freedom, patriotism, respect for our form of's just a lot of hot air.

Posted by Bruce Garrett | June 26, 2008 6:45 PM

@4,5, 22: Exactly.

I grew up in the country around rifles and hand guns. My sister and I knew they weren't toys and respected them. My dad kept them unloaded and locked up. He was responsible and taught us to be responsible.

A couple weeks ago a rabid raccoon attacked his girlfriend's car as she was driving to his house. He got a gun, loaded it, then went back with her to where the raccoon was foaming at the mouth at the side of the road and and shot it before it could attack a human being or a pet and spread its rabies.

I know it can be a hard idea for city dwellers to grasp, but guns are a necessary tool in many parts of the country. Like any tool they're dangerous if used incorrectly. Instead of banning them let's aggressively screen people before they buy them and make sure they're trained in their use.

Posted by Dawgson | June 26, 2008 7:31 PM

I grew up in Alaska, where it's probably more common to have guns in the house than here (this is admittedly an assumption).

One summer when I was around 12 a boy I went to school with was shot and killed by his little brother (age 9 or 10?) who was playing with their dad's shotgun; their sister was also injured but not too seriously. My schoolmate and his sister were sitting on the couch when the little brother started playing with the gun and it went off. I don't remember much more than that. In high school the younger brother would drink way too much and get in fights, which people attributed to the guilt he felt about blowing his brother's brains out.

I don't trust all parents to teach their kids to "responsibly" handle guns, and I don't trust all kids who are taught to be "responsible" to follow those guidelines, even though I grew up in that kind of family and that kind of environment. We as a society should not assume people will be responsible with guns; we are Slog readers, after all. Guns should always be stored unloaded and locked, no exceptions, even if you never have kids in your house.

@25, your rabid raccoon story may sway the dense city dwellers, but if that example was to prove the necessity of guns you lose. Try again.

Posted by asteria | June 26, 2008 8:10 PM

You realize that regardless of how SCOTUS views the 2nd Amendment, locally it's the Washington State constitution that prevails, right?

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Didn't even have to move any commas around.

Posted by Stinky | June 26, 2008 8:14 PM

You realize that regardless of how SCOTUS views the 2nd Amendment, locally it's the Washington State constitution that prevails, right?

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

Didn't even have to move any commas around.

Posted by Stinky | June 26, 2008 8:14 PM

@26: Asteria, I'm sorry your schoolmate died. But they died due to their parents bad parenting and not because guns are legal.

Your heart-tugging anecdotal evidence may sway the bleeding hearts here, but their parents negligence doesn't justify banning guns or anything else.

The world can be dangerous, but you have to be responsible for yourself and your loved ones.

Posted by Dawgson | June 26, 2008 8:23 PM

Okay. What I don't get is, if you have to keep the ammo and the gun separate from each other, each locked up, how exactly is it that owning a gun helps you defend you home? If it takes you 1-2 minutes to get unlock the gun, walk to the ammo, unlock the ammo, and load the gun? Is that enough time if someone has broken into your house and is threatening your family?

The whole "I need a gun to protect my family thing" is just retarded.

Posted by Julie | June 26, 2008 8:26 PM

I don't need a ban. I'll be quite happy if people just remember the big four things that make a gun in a household much safer:

1. Store the gun unloaded.
2. Store the gun away from the ammo.
3. Lock up the gun.
4. Lock up the ammo.

And Julie, I agree with you.

Posted by Jonathan Golob | June 26, 2008 8:35 PM


Just curious, when your pops went back to dispatch the raccoon what type of gun did he chose?

I think many of us 'libs' would agree that most shot and long guns have legitimate functional uses. Handguns, on the other hand, rely on the self defense argument. I just don't recall seeing too many of my old neighbors dispatching coyotes with a Glock.

Posted by Steve Leonard | June 26, 2008 8:43 PM

True story - I heard some funny noises early one morning some years back, and thinking it was probably a friend of one of my roommates I let it go on for awhile before I checked on it.

When I finally went to investigate, I decided not to bring my SKS (which is a carbine - not an assault rifle - in case you had read otherwise) because I didn't want to scare the piss out of what I thought was probably a friend of a roommate - so I grabbed a baseball bat instead.

Lo and behold, what did I see but a guy with a screwdriver through the window in our back door trying to break in. Fortunately, he wasn't otherwise armed (and I was bigger than he was) so he beat a hasty retreat. But had he been armed, I would have been in a rather awkward position to say the least.

Now when I go to investigate a suspicious noise I bring my Smith and Wesson Model 10.

(and as it happens, I do so despite having had a pretty close friend kill himself with his dad's gun when he was 12 or 13).

Near as I can tell, except for the rights reserved to the states in the 10th Amendment, the Bill of Rights was about the rights of individuals - whether it's the 1st, 4th, 5th, or yes, the 2nd Amendments.

Posted by An individual with rights | June 26, 2008 8:51 PM

@32: Don't know the answer of the top of my head. I'd imagine it was some kind of long gun based on the situation.

To be honest, I do go back and forth on the need for hand guns. I just worry about the "slippery slope" of banning one type of gun and the fact that "the average politician" probably doesn't know the difference between shot gun, rifle, hand gun, and machine gun.

Posted by Dawgson | June 26, 2008 8:57 PM

Oh, and those who have written that rifles are OK for self-defense but handguns aren't perhaps oughta rethink that notion in light of the facts of ballistics - a round from my SKS carbine (let alone a real hunting rifle) will probably go through right someone and into your living room, whereas one from my revolver most likely would not.

Posted by An individual with rights | June 26, 2008 9:02 PM

Gun nuts, please ask yourselves these questions:

1. How many people, child or adult, accidentally shot themselves or a loved one last year?
2. How many people were shot by their spouse or a member of their family?
3. How many guns were stolen from people's homes?
4. How many people were victimized by their own gun in the hands of a criminal?
And finally:
5. How many crimes were aborted because someone used a gun in self defense?

I don't have the statistics, but we all know that the numbers in 1, 2, 3 and 4 dwarf the numbers in 5. The self defense argument is specious. It is a myth.

When a handful of children were injured by passenger airbags, the nation was alarmed and the entire auto industry changed their vehicle designs. When small amounts of heavy metals were found in children's toys, with no documented evidence of direct harm to a child, the nation trashed tens of millions of dollars worth of toys. Yet the shooting deaths and injuries go unabated, even though a gun is the most dangerous consumer product in the home. It's madness.

Europe has very strict gun laws but that doesn't stop them from hunting when they want to.

Gun control doesn't mean no guns; it means fewer people die.

Posted by grumpypants | June 26, 2008 9:09 PM

If you get a firearm and are a complete idiot


Posted by N | June 26, 2008 9:30 PM

Dawgson @ 29,

First, a clarification: I never said guns should be banned, just kept stored unlocked and unloaded. You projected that onto my story.

My comment is just as anecdotal as your comment and #22. Whenever I hear a story like yours, I feel like the person speaking is trying to prove that they are better than most other people and it comes across as condescending. I felt like I needed to give another perspective from a person raised in a home where guns were around, including a loaded handgun in my dad's nightstand.

We as a society have expectations for how parents take care of their children. Why is making sure children are safe from guns an exception? I would rather craft policy around the worst possible outcome than hope for the best when it comes to guns and kids.

Yeah, my schoolmate's parents should have made sure the gun was unloaded and locked up, so they were irresponsible in that regard. But everyone likes to think their kids know better than to play with guns, even though there is plenty of evidence to the contrary (see the study Jonathan linked to about the four practices).

Also, why do people trust kids with unlocked guns and accessible ammo in the house but not the right to vote or drive? Wouldn't trusting a kid around a gun imply that they are capable of making rational decisions?

Finally I have no idea how to implement some kind of preventative enforcement to make sure people are keeping their guns stored properly. I think better screening and mandatory training for gun owners is a good idea. Frankly, I like Chris Rock's idea of pricing bullets at $5000 each.

Posted by asteria | June 26, 2008 9:58 PM

I primarily rely on taking the measure of the gun owners I've personally known. You only have to talk to one of these guys for five minutes to realize they're not super bright, and once you get to know them a little more you find out the self esteem issues they carry around.

Even the ones who can frame a coherent argument for why they need a gun -- you keep saying to yourself "But dude, you've felt inadequate your whole life! You can't hide that." Deal with the insecurity and all those compelling reasons to have a gun somehow evaporate.

Posted by elenchos | June 26, 2008 10:05 PM

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a strong advocate of the Second Amendment, and they used their Second Amendment rights to defend themselves from a racist government that went to extreme lengths to deny African Americans their basic civil rights. It may be argued that firearms were not the most effective tool for that task, or that the Panthers took more harm than good from their use of firearms, but the fact remains that the Panthers used firearms exactly the way the Second Amendment intended. That choice was available to them and they, as free citizens, exercised their rights in that way.

Of course there was also MOVE which, while I wouldn't put them in the same category with the Panthers, did expose a heinous recklessness and disregard for human life and the property rights of African Americans on the part of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Just, you know, since nobody else seems to be bringing it up.

Posted by Judah | June 26, 2008 10:11 PM

@38: AND my point was that you "defeated" my anecdotal story with another anedcote... at best we canceled each other out. I wasn't trying to prove that I was "better" than anyone else, just that I actually had an opinion informed by facts and experience. In that respect I think my perspective is worth something as I have spent a lot of time around guns, unlike (I assume) most people here.

I just get really irritable when people project terms like "win" and "lose" onto arguments about people's lives and constitutional freedoms.

I know debating here is a game for most (all?) of us, but I'm sickened when it's so obviously pointed out. I'm not just here to score Slog points for cred at the next happy hour. I actually care about this topic.

Does that mean I automatically "lose?"

Posted by Dawgson | June 26, 2008 10:53 PM

p.s. your post @26 strongly implies you want some form of ban enacted

I don't trust all parents to teach their kids to "responsibly" handle guns, and I don't trust all kids who are taught to be "responsible" to follow those guidelines, even though I grew up in that kind of family and that kind of environment. We as a society should not assume people will be responsible with guns; we are Slog readers, after all.
I think you're being a little disingenuous when you say at @33 that you don't believe in a ban, just keeping guns "just kept stored unlocked and unloaded."

Posted by Dawgson | June 26, 2008 10:57 PM

Dawgson at 41/42:

I am not much of a debater, except for times like this when something I am very passionate about comes up. Then I feel it is important to add my perspective, so I don't really think of it as a game, esp because people's lives are involved. You are probably right that I shouldn't have used the win/lose language but I honestly don't think you or #22 made a good argument against gun control. Maybe that wasn't your point anyways.

I go back and forth about banning guns; at the minimum there needs to be some way to get people to keep their guns stored safely. I don't trust parents to store guns responsibly without some kind of consequence hanging over their head. Lots of people I knew growing up didn't make their kids use seat belts in the car, but I'm sure most people do now because it's against the law. But if a law was passed requiring guns to be stored locked, etc., would that mean mandatory inspections of gun owner's homes? That seems too invasive for my taste.

So sometimes it just seems easier to argue for banning guns, esp because I can think of thousands of ways guns get misused but not of any way they are used to protect our constitutional rights.

I was in a relationship long ago with a guy who decided that if I didn't want to spend all my time with him I must be sleeping with someone else, and so he decided to find this other guy and kill him. Guy A found me talking to guy B in the laundry room of the place we all were working and put a handgun to his head, all the while screaming irrationally. It was really late, nobody else was around, guy B took off as soon as he could. I was able to get guy A to leave the gun somewhere where the night watchman later retrieved it and kept it in a safe.

Then I was stalked by guy A for another month or two (felt like a year) with the knowledge that he also had a hunting rifle. In this case the irresponsible parent was the management of the company I worked for, who didn't do anything to stop the stalking or remove his other gun(s). It was in a remote area and I couldn't afford the plane fare to leave - the company paid for plane fare in and out unless you left early.

So maybe I am being disingenuous about banning guns, but I think I have valid reasons for feeling very, very biased against guns.

My next post will be a list of people I have known who were killed by guns or killed themselves with a gun. But it's too late for that tonight.

Posted by asteria | June 26, 2008 11:50 PM


Thanks for including that NCBI link in #5. Very interesting. Kids can't help but be fascinated...

Posted by Jamey | June 27, 2008 12:38 AM

@16: Badge of honor? This must be you around 0:40. That just screams 'badge of honor.'

I can't wait for all the new honorable YouTube clips of NRA-tards!

Posted by ben | June 27, 2008 6:58 AM

@5. How is this douchy? Research-based advice on how to not get your kids shot?

Posted by Julie | June 27, 2008 7:22 AM

@43: As I was typing my responses last night, there was a little voice inside my head that said "There's probably more going on here you don't know about, you should probably let it drop."

I'm sorry I got aggressive. I had stopped commenting here because I found myself engaging in the same angry, psuedo-troll-like behavior that upsets me when other people do it. I'm not accusing you of that behavior but it's definitely present in other threads about this topic.

I respect your perspective on this.

Posted by Dawgson | June 27, 2008 7:40 AM

How about adults with no kids? Can they be trusted to keep a handgun in the house? NO!, say the opponents, because that gun will naturally be stolen and used in crimes. Well, will a gun ban keep guns off of the streets? How's that workin' for drugs? I thought so. Law abiding citizens should have the right to keep a firearm in the home. Period. Just like a law abiding citizen should have the option to drink, or do whatever drug they want, as long as the person in question is not harming a neighbor. NO!, say the opponents, because the gun can not be stopped from harming someone at some point. Well, sorry to disappoint, but my mother has a pistol that has never been used to kill any human. Will it eventually? I highly doubt it. Yes, it has the potential, but so do automobiles in the possession of senior citizens (I am in favor of licensing firearms BTW). And ps, not all gun owners are unintelligent. All of my good friends and family that are gun owners are college graduates (Master's degree in counseling, in the case of my mom) and responsible parents. So, the argument that gun owners are stupid does not hold water. This is a decision made, like Roe, that we will all live with, gnashing of teeth aside.

Posted by P to the J | June 27, 2008 8:15 AM

In the era the Constitution was written, the term "militia" was a generic term for men of a certain age who could be called upon for service to defend the country. It's pretty clear the founders intended for people to have the freedom to own guns.

On another note, I find it bizarre how many liberal people who are aware of how useless drug prohibition is somehow think gun prohibition will work. When there's a demand for something, there's a market for it. Banning things doesn't make them go away, it drives them into underground economies.

Posted by AMB | June 27, 2008 8:36 AM

If your kids can't be trusted not to play with firearms, you should lock them up just as you would lock up your alcohol, your sharp-edged implements, your aerosol cans, and your drain cleaner as well.

The argument about kids playing with guns even after they went through the NRA's Eddie Eagle Safety Program might have been convincing had the kids actually gone through the NRA's Eddie Eagle Safety Program, and not an alternate program ginned up by a lifelong gun control advocate like Kellermann. Kellermann has had to backtrack several times when his passion has gotten the better of him when writing his NEJM articles.

Based on my experience, I would say half the households with children also have guns.

Posted by Garth LaPierre | June 27, 2008 1:20 PM

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