Wyoming Senator proposes ban on Federal Gun Control

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/wyoming-gun-control_n_2451438.html?ref=topbar

A Republican state lawmaker in Wyoming has introduced legislation to prohibit enforcement of federal gun control measures that Vice President Joe Biden is likely to recommend next week.

State Rep. Kendell Kroeker (R-Evansville) has put forward a bill making it a felony to enforce in Wyoming any federal ban on assault weapons or high-capacity gun magazines, two proposals that Biden's gun control task force is likely to present to President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The task force's recommendations, of course, would have to be passed by Congress and signed by Obama in order to become law.

Kroeker said his bill, which would hit federal agents with up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine for attempting to enforce such bans in Wyoming, is designed to be proactive in preserving gun rights.

"We want to get things ahead of the game," Kroeker said, pointing to opponents of the Bill of Rights two centuries ago who argued that the amendments were not necessary because there was no issue over those rights. "We take the Second Amendment seriously in Wyoming."

Kroeker's bill covers gun bans that the federal government passes after Jan. 1, 2013.

"I take an oath to uphold, support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of Wyoming," said Kroeker, who had previously sponsored legislation to return Wyoming to the gold standard. "I believe it is my duty to take that oath seriously. If the federal government is going to pass laws taking back our rights, it is our right as a state to defend those rights."

Underlying this legislation, Kroeker is making a controversial argument about the power of states to nullify federal law. He told HuffPost that Thomas Jefferson helped lead Kentucky and Virginia lawmakers in resisting state enforcement of the Alien and Sedition Acts in the late 18th century.

Jeffrey Fisher, a Stanford University law professor and former Supreme Court clerk, was not persuaded. "It is elementary that a state cannot pass a statute that blocks enforcement of an otherwise enforceable federal law," he said.

Under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal laws take precedence over state laws. States can only opt out of federal mandates connected to accepting federal funds, as the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed in declaring the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion program to be voluntary for the states.

Fisher said if Wyoming passed Kroeker's legislation, the federal government could ignore it and enforce any new gun restrictions in the state or the government could take Wyoming to court to overturn the state law.

This idiot has heard of the Supremacy Clause right?

Yo Dawg, I heard yo liek bans, so we put a ban on yo ban so yo can ban while you ban.
Or some such nonsense...

OT: Are they really making a states right issue over THIS of all things?
$10 says he got into power thanks to the Tea-baggers.

Well, the Assault Weapon ban is a bit of a joke anyway, may as well ban Assault Weapon bans.

(Alternatively, define Assault Weapon in a useful, meaningful way instead of "scary looking but don't worry about the mechanism or calibre or catridge or...")

Yeah, it'll be ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit.

MopBox:
Yeah, it'll be ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit.

Just like new, extremist gun control legislation will be, should any pull through in one egregious form or another.

Really don't like it when States end up validating the authority of the Fed by these silly maneuvers. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, it already invalidates a ton of federal law that should righteously be ignored by States.

He knows its not going to get signed by the president, just seems like a load of "look at me, look at me, 20 kids dies but im a cool conservative because i rigidly uphold a constitution that can and should be amended and i dont react to the events that happen in my country apart from to oppose changes, now to go CROSSBOW HUNTING with TED NUGENT"

edit: just realised it doesnt have to be signed by the president, sorry about that,im not very good at american politics

MopBox:
Yeah, it'll be ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit.

That might be the point, actually.

The Feds would HAVE to take it to court, so the Assault Weapon Ban itself could be brought under judicial scrutiny. Many times, when a judge want's to avoid presiding over a politically dicy issue, the judge or judges try to find any reason that one party does not have "standing" to file the lawsuit. That almost happened in DC vs. Heller, but five of the six defendants were found not to have "standing" on the issue. No loophole could be found that barred Heller, who was a police officer who wanted to be able to own a handgun that he could keep in his home.

By making this a law, no judge would not be able to prevent the case from being appealed on the grounds that the Assault Weapons Ban is unconstitutional.

Either the federal government brings the state up to the Supreme Court, with the same nine judges that sided with Heller, or allow the law to stand, encouraging other states to do the same.

I was already planning on living in Wyoming at sometime in the future. This? This is just icing on the cake. No state income tax, constitutional carry, low population density, and it's very red? Sounds great for me. I don't think this'll hold up in court, but at least I have all those other things.

thaluikhain:
Well, the Assault Weapon ban is a bit of a joke anyway, may as well ban Assault Weapon bans.

Perhaps congress will pass a law banning the ban of assault weapon bans.

MatParker116:
This idiot has heard of the Supremacy Clause right?

This "idiot" has also heard of the 2nd Amendment and the 10th Amendment.

Anyway, that "idiot" knows that the feds will have to take any firearm ban to court to get it upheld and it is the same for that state law. That means that the state of Wyoming has filed a sort of legislative injunction to the entire law before it was written and therefore the feds cannot do anything before the court decides.

Plus, Wyoming is a very pro-gun state and this is their way of saying that these efforts will not be popular and Wyoming's efforts might make other states do the same.

BTW- this is not the first time a state or local official has threatened to arrest federal agents. It is legal and it has worked before.

http://politicalvelcraft.org/2011/09/22/wyoming-sheriffs-told-federal-batf-irs-agents-to-abide-by-the-constitution-or-face-immediate-arrest/
http://politicalvelcraft.org/2012/02/08/new-mexico-sheriffs-threaten-to-arrest-obama-federal-agents-if-they-continue-to-violate-the-u-s-constitution/
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/guns/local-sheriffs-protecting-peoples-gun-rights-feds
http://politicalvelcraft.org/2012/04/17/tennessee-sheriffs-cracks-down-on-obama-federal-agents-gone-wild-ndaa-nullified-and-kidnapping-charges-against-feds/

CM156:

thaluikhain:
Well, the Assault Weapon ban is a bit of a joke anyway, may as well ban Assault Weapon bans.

Perhaps congress will pass a law banning the ban of assault weapon bans.

Though, what's to stop them passing a "rapid fire" weapon ban instead?

(Fire twice at half range, or stay still and fire once at full range, but you can't charge...unless GW has changed that for the next ed)

thaluikhain:

CM156:

thaluikhain:
Well, the Assault Weapon ban is a bit of a joke anyway, may as well ban Assault Weapon bans.

Perhaps congress will pass a law banning the ban of assault weapon bans.

Though, what's to stop them passing a "rapid fire" weapon ban instead?

(Fire twice at half range, or stay still and fire once at full range, but you can't charge...unless GW has changed that for the next ed)

This is almost certainly my fault, but I don't quite understand what you're saying here, at least with the "rapid-fire" weapon part

Also, as a side note, people from outside the US or who are otherwise unaware: Wyoming has the lowest population of any US state, though not the lowest population density.

My county has more people than that Wyoming.

CM156:

thaluikhain:

CM156:

Perhaps congress will pass a law banning the ban of assault weapon bans.

Though, what's to stop them passing a "rapid fire" weapon ban instead?

(Fire twice at half range, or stay still and fire once at full range, but you can't charge...unless GW has changed that for the next ed)

This is almost certainly my fault, but I don't quite understand what you're saying here, at least with the "rapid-fire" weapon part

Bad joke, in Warhammer 40,000, "Assault weapon" and "rapid fire weapon" are (or were) two of the types of guns...I'm always reminded of that when "assault weapon" gets used, as its US legal definition is so badly written.

Seriously, though, if assault weapon bans are banned, what's to stop a similar ban under a new name with almost, but not quite, the same effect?

thaluikhain:

CM156:

thaluikhain:

Though, what's to stop them passing a "rapid fire" weapon ban instead?

(Fire twice at half range, or stay still and fire once at full range, but you can't charge...unless GW has changed that for the next ed)

This is almost certainly my fault, but I don't quite understand what you're saying here, at least with the "rapid-fire" weapon part

Bad joke, in Warhammer 40,000, "Assault weapon" and "rapid fire weapon" are (or were) two of the types of guns...I'm always reminded of that when "assault weapon" gets used, as its US legal definition is so badly written.

Seriously, though, if assault weapon bans are banned, what's to stop a similar ban under a new name with almost, but not quite, the same effect?

Gocha now. I never did much understand Warhammer 40,000

As for that, I suppose Wyoming could state that they would prevent the enforcement of any law that put restrictions on semi-automatics. Just a guess. I'm skeptical a new AWB would make it through the house.

adamsaccount:
He knows its not going to get signed by the president, just seems like a load of "LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, 20 KIDS DIED BUT IM A COOL CONSERVATIVE BECAUSE I RIGIDLY UPHOLD A CONSTITUTION THAT CAN AND SHOULD BE AMENDED AND I DONT REACT TO THE EVENTS THAT HAPPEN IN MY COUNTRY APART FROM TO OPPOSE CHANGES, NOW TO GO CROSSBOW HUNTING WITH TED NUGENT"

edit: just realised it doesnt have to be signed by the president, sorry about that,im not very good at american politics

Massive Capsing? Yeah, going to get moderated. Tone it down, please.

OT: Not much to say. Maybe he's trying to score political-points by saying he's basically against 'big-government' telling the states what to do?

Not G. Ivingname:

MopBox:
Yeah, it'll be ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit.

That might be the point, actually.

The Feds would HAVE to take it to court, so the Assault Weapon Ban itself could be brought under judicial scrutiny. Many times, when a judge want's to avoid presiding over a politically dicy issue, the judge or judges try to find any reason that one party does not have "standing" to file the lawsuit. That almost happened in DC vs. Heller, but five of the six defendants were found not to have "standing" on the issue. No loophole could be found that barred Heller, who was a police officer who wanted to be able to own a handgun that he could keep in his home.

By making this a law, no judge would not be able to prevent the case from being appealed on the grounds that the Assault Weapons Ban is unconstitutional.

Either the federal government brings the state up to the Supreme Court, with the same nine judges that sided with Heller, or allow the law to stand, encouraging other states to do the same.

Yeah, that actually seems like it would be fairly plausible if the assault weapons ban hadn't already been rolled back in 2004. I'm not saying it's impossible that its a judicial ploy in anticipation of new gun control laws, but that seems unlikely because the appeals court could just decide not to grant certiorari and the whole mess just goes right into the toilet. It's more likely that a populist republican in Wyoming is throwing hopeless legislation around in order to appeal to a voting base.

Done, your right caps locks is a lot more fun when you use it sparingly

Could the Wyoming bill even be enforceable? If a federal agent (eg. the fuzz) is performing his/her duties in upholding a law passed by congress, surely he/she is protected from any such prosecution.

Oh man, this train from SocialUpheavalberg to Rebellionville is getting crazier and crazier.

KingsGambit:
Could the Wyoming bill even be enforceable? If a federal agent (eg. the fuzz) is performing his/her duties in upholding a law passed by congress, surely he/she is protected from any such prosecution.

Nope, feds enter the state on the grounds to confiscate them big scary assault guns, feds get arrested by state police.

KingsGambit:
Could the Wyoming bill even be enforceable? If a federal agent (eg. the fuzz) is performing his/her duties in upholding a law passed by congress, surely he/she is protected from any such prosecution.

He's not, The Federal Agent or State Trooper would stand down during the first enforcement effort and then the opposing side would immediately sue the opposite government in federal court and then Wyoming would lose because of the supremacy clause.

MopBox:

KingsGambit:
Could the Wyoming bill even be enforceable? If a federal agent (eg. the fuzz) is performing his/her duties in upholding a law passed by congress, surely he/she is protected from any such prosecution.

He's not, The Federal Agent or State Trooper would stand down during the first enforcement effort and then the opposing side would immediately sue the opposite government in federal court and then Wyoming would lose because of the supremacy clause.

And also call into question the new AWB.

It's basically Wyoming going onto a ship with a bomb, detonates it by passing the law and then going down with said ship when it sinks when they show up to DC.

Thank you for that clarification. So it's completely legal for any given State within the USA to have a law contrary to Federal law? Does that also mean, for example, that if a State should so choose, they could pass a law, enforceable within their own borders, that is contrary to the Constitution? For example, could New York pass a law effectively negating the Second Ammendment, in New York?

KingsGambit:
Thank you for that clarification. So it's completely legal for any given State within the USA to have a law contrary to Federal law? Does that also mean, for example, that if a State should so choose, they could pass a law, enforceable within their own borders, that is contrary to the Constitution? For example, could New York pass a law effectively negating the Second Ammendment, in New York?

No. That would not be possible. In light of the McDonald ruling, the second amendment is incorporated by the 14th amendment, and therefore, applies to the states.

There's still disputes over federal jurisdiction on some issues. Take, for example, states where cannabis is decriminalized

MopBox:

Not G. Ivingname:

MopBox:
Yeah, it'll be ruled unconstitutional in a federal circuit.

That might be the point, actually.

The Feds would HAVE to take it to court, so the Assault Weapon Ban itself could be brought under judicial scrutiny. Many times, when a judge want's to avoid presiding over a politically dicy issue, the judge or judges try to find any reason that one party does not have "standing" to file the lawsuit. That almost happened in DC vs. Heller, but five of the six defendants were found not to have "standing" on the issue. No loophole could be found that barred Heller, who was a police officer who wanted to be able to own a handgun that he could keep in his home.

By making this a law, no judge would not be able to prevent the case from being appealed on the grounds that the Assault Weapons Ban is unconstitutional.

Either the federal government brings the state up to the Supreme Court, with the same nine judges that sided with Heller, or allow the law to stand, encouraging other states to do the same.

Yeah, that actually seems like it would be fairly plausible if the assault weapons ban hadn't already been rolled back in 2004. I'm not saying it's impossible that its a judicial ploy in anticipation of new gun control laws, but that seems unlikely because the appeals court could just decide not to grant certiorari and the whole mess just goes right into the toilet. It's more likely that a populist republican in Wyoming is throwing hopeless legislation around in order to appeal to a voting base.

Didn't say it was a perfect plan, by any means. It also seems to be directed at the NEW Assault Weapon ban proposed by Dianne Feinstein that would have all of the all provisions of the old Assault weapon ban, plus even more restrictions: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/assault-weapons

(She has a more detailed description somewhere, but I can't find it).

So this is the same as the marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington right? I think even the gay marriage laws? Not really new when states tell the Feds to fuck off, by telling them to enforce the laws themselves when the state doesn't agree with them, though the Feds might run into a problem if other states started adopting Wyoming laws.

CM156:

KingsGambit:
Thank you for that clarification. So it's completely legal for any given State within the USA to have a law contrary to Federal law? Does that also mean, for example, that if a State should so choose, they could pass a law, enforceable within their own borders, that is contrary to the Constitution? For example, could New York pass a law effectively negating the Second Ammendment, in New York?

No. That would not be possible. In light of the McDonald ruling, the second amendment is incorporated by the 14th amendment, and therefore, applies to the states.

There's still disputes over federal jurisdiction on some issues. Take, for example, states where cannabis is decriminalized

Not knowing the specifics, but very interested in your particular example; is what you're saying here that although Cannabis is banned US-wide by a Federal law, those two individual States have passed their own laws making it State-legal?

If I understand that rightly, from what you say it is possible for a State to "overturn" or negate a Federal law, but nothing enacted by the Constitution? Are there any specific Federal laws that could not be negated in such a way?

Separate to the issue at hand, I'm of the understanding that if enough people wanted to ammend the Constitution even today, it could be done by majority vote. In the case of the "right to bear arms", it strikes me that it should therefore be possible to challenge and/or overturn it (by referendum?), unlikely though it is to happen.

Back on topic however, I don't see any reason why "gun control" as opposed to "gun ban" could potentially fall afoul of the 2nd Ammendment. It's not taking away people's right to bear arms, just making it restrivtive and significantly harder for them to do so in the hope that it will keep them out of the hands of loons (saying that, no amount of gun control would have prevented Conneticut). But then it's likely many of the same people that fail to see how ease of access to automatic and concealable firearms (that didn't exist at the time of the Forefathers and should therefore, not come under the remit of that law anyway) is responsible for the deaths of so many innocent lives in mass shootings. As long as they remain readily available and close at hand, people will die by them on a whim, a flipout, a mood-swing or sudden urge...especially by teenagers who are brimming with feelings they can't yet process, hormones, insecurity and idenity crises.

If I invented tomorrow, a small, handheld weapon so deadly that it was guaranteed to kill any person in whose general it was fired, perhaps not a firearms but something out of a sci-fi movie, would that automatically be permissible to an American market? Capable of taking out many people at once, without the need to reload, required little skill to use or accuracy to be effective?

I wonder if the 2nd Ammendment covers all arms. For example, do American's also have the right to carry machetes, katanas, cutlasses, scimitars, knuckle-dusters, spiked bats, claymores, morningstars, quarterstaves or Wands of Lightning Bolt?

KingsGambit:
Separate to the issue at hand, I'm of the understanding that if enough people wanted to ammend the Constitution even today, it could be done by majority vote. In the case of the "right to bear arms", it strikes me that it should therefore be possible to challenge and/or overturn it (by referendum?), unlikely though it is to happen.

It requires quite a bit more than a simple majoirity

Back on topic however, I don't see any reason why "gun control" as opposed to "gun ban" could potentially fall afoul of the 2nd Ammendment.

It highly depends on the type of gun control proposed. For example, both DC and Chicago tried to claim that their laws were simply gun control, which the courts didn't buy (Both cities banned handguns).

(that didn't exist at the time of the Forefathers and should therefore, not come under the remit of that law anyway)

I do want to address this.

"Some have made the argument, bordering on the frivolous, that only those arms in existence in the 18th century are protected by the Second Amendment . We do not interpret constitutional rights that way. Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, e.g., Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U. S. 844, 849 (1997) , and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, e.g., Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27, 35-36 (2001), the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding."- DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed.

If I invented tomorrow, a small, handheld weapon so deadly that it was guaranteed to kill any person in whose general it was fired, perhaps not a firearms but something out of a sci-fi movie, would that automatically be permissible to an American market? Capable of taking out many people at once, without the need to reload, required little skill to use or accuracy to be effective?

I wonder if the 2nd Ammendment covers all arms. For example, do American's also have the right to carry machetes, katanas, cutlasses, scimitars, knuckle-dusters, spiked bats, claymores, morningstars, quarterstaves or Wands of Lightning Bolt?

....

Those are really good question. I mean it. Really good. Would you accept that I don't have an answer for you? It's very hard to say

KingsGambit:

If I understand that rightly, from what you say it is possible for a State to "overturn" or negate a Federal law, but nothing enacted by the Constitution? Are there any specific Federal laws that could not be negated in such a way?

Separate to the issue at hand, I'm of the understanding that if enough people wanted to ammend the Constitution even today, it could be done by majority vote. In the case of the "right to bear arms", it strikes me that it should therefore be possible to challenge and/or overturn it (by referendum?), unlikely though it is to happen.

We have a thing called Federal Preemption, which means that Federal law superceeds State law, and State law superceeds County law.

In the case of California making marijuana legal while it's illegal at a federal level, there have been many, many arrests made by federal agents despite it being legal at a state level, which is well within their rights due to Federal Preemption.

Anyway, the Constitution can be amended, although it is a bit more difficult than a simple majority vote. Here's more info on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution. It would be possible to make an amendment saying that the second amendment is null and void, but good luck with that. Especially since to amend an 'entrenched' right (As the second amendment is, due to being part of the Bill of Rights), you need a significant supermajority.

Kopikatsu:
We have a thing called Federal Preemption, which means that Federal law superceeds State law, and State law superceeds County law.

In the case of California making marijuana legal while it's illegal at a federal level, there have been many, many arrests made by federal agents despite it being legal at a state level, which is well within their rights due to Federal Preemption.

Thank you for this, it's quite fascinating. On that basis then, is it fair to say that the Wyoming bill suggested up top is actually unenforceable therefore, on the basis that where the State law contradicts a Federal one (which in this example neither actually exists yet), the latter takes precedence?

And to touch briefly again on the gun control point in particular, could it not be reasonably argued by Govmt. that banning *some* guns, but not *all* guns isn't illegal, on the basis that the right to bear arms remains unchanged; the citizen may bear arms, just not every type of armament? eg. Citizens have a right to bear almost all types of firearm, except for those with no practical purpose outside the killing of other citizens.

Where does the US draw the line then, in what arms its citizens may bear? RPGs? Grenades? Tanks? Laser tripwire mines (if these are purchasable I'm totally getting a green card and buying some)? Maybe it's the lack of a defined point beyond which a weapon could be considered inappropriate in the hands of a private citizen, that is responsible for the "mess", inconsistent standards, refusal to budge (ie. all or nothing), etc.

I do not mean to disparrage anyone (please do not read this is as insulting, it is not intended as such), but I find the concept of having a document such as a constitution bizarre and frankly, a little foolish. An (effectively) unalterable set of laws, in the day and age of (supposed) democracy, whereby the majority rules. I hate to say it, but could one not fairly draw a comparison with fundamentalist religious folks in this regard? ie. strict adherence to a document written in historic times which could not have accounted for (and in some cases, runs contrary to) subsequent changes in science/technology, society, culture, education and attitude.

In Blighty, laws can always be changed and challenged by Parliament. We actually have issue now where some EU laws, to which (I believe) we are expected to adhere, contradict some of our 'local' laws. One example I can think of off-the-cuff; the right for serving prisoners to vote. UK law forbids them from voting, but (I believe) EU law states that every citizen/subject has the right to vote (or it could be that the right to vote cannot be taken away. The end result is the same).

I must admit I'm not certain what the deal is with this; does Britain need to change its laws, does the EU one take precedence, can Britain be part of Europe whilst enforcing a contradictory law? No idea. If we were lawyers we'd totally be getting paid for this discussion right now.

KingsGambit:
[quote="CM156" post="528.398265.16285535"][
Separate to the issue at hand, I'm of the understanding that if enough people wanted to ammend the Constitution even today, it could be done by majority vote. In the case of the "right to bear arms", it strikes me that it should therefore be possible to challenge and/or overturn it (by referendum?), unlikely though it is to happen.

There is a process to amending the constitution than 51% of Congress agreeing to it and the president signing it as a bill. It is hard to amend just so the constitution cannot be quickly turned into a tool to make the government all powerful without as many people agreeing that any given change is a good idea is reasonable.

Unlike bills or laws, amendment need a super majority (three fourths) of the votes in Congress, or two thirds of states having a National convention to agree to it (which to my knowledge has never, EVER happened).

After it has been proposed, it has to be sent to the states/remaining states who weren't part of the convention. It becomes an amendment when three fourths of the STATES agree that it is a good idea. Of the states constitutions (each state has their own constitution, highest law in any given state bar the US Constitution/Federal Supreme Court) 42 of them have amendments also stating the right to bear arms will not be infringed, so nullifying the second amendment isn't going to happen.

KingsGambit:
Thank you for this, it's quite fascinating. On that basis then, is it fair to say that the Wyoming bill suggested up top is actually unenforceable therefore, on the basis that where the State law contradicts a Federal one (which in this example neither actually exists yet), the latter takes precedence?

Actually, it's not unenforceable. They can very well arrest and hold federal agents in that case. Since the state courts won't rule against it, as it's a state law, this state law will be taken to the Supreme Court, where the gun ban will likely be ruled unconstitutional and be overturned. At which point the federal agents will likely be released, as that law will be longer be relevant and will be stricken from the books as it's served it's purpose. That's just my guess as to how it will go down though.

And to touch briefly again on the gun control point in particular, could it not be reasonably argued by Govmt. that banning *some* guns, but not *all* guns isn't illegal, on the basis that the right to bear arms remains unchanged; the citizen may bear arms, just not every type of armament? eg. Citizens have a right to bear almost all types of firearm, except for those with no practical purpose outside the killing of other citizens.

Here's the thing; guns as a whole are designed to kill things. Humans happen to be a thing, therefore it will be good at killing them. Compared to most other predators, humans are very squishy and vulnerable. Any weapon that could take down large game is going to easily turn any human into pink mist. (A bit of an exaggeration, but it's true enough.) For example; handguns are almost all made to kill humans. But good luck trying to take down a Croc or Bear with one of those peashooters.

Where does the US draw the line then, in what arms its citizens may bear? RPGs? Grenades? Tanks? Laser tripwire mines (if these are purchasable I'm totally getting a green card and buying some)? Maybe it's the lack of a defined point beyond which a weapon could be considered inappropriate in the hands of a private citizen, that is responsible for the "mess", inconsistent standards, refusal to budge (ie. all or nothing), etc.

In most states, you can own a fully working (and armed) tank. And drive it on the street even. If a weapon is not explicitly banned, then you can own and operate it.

I do not mean to disparrage anyone (please do not read this is as insulting, it is not intended as such), but I find the concept of having a document such as a constitution bizarre and frankly, a little foolish. An (effectively) unalterable set of laws, in the day and age of (supposed) democracy, whereby the majority rules. I hate to say it, but could one not fairly draw a comparison with fundamentalist religious folks in this regard? ie. strict adherence to a document written in historic times which could not have accounted for (and in some cases, runs contrary to) subsequent changes in science/technology, society, culture, education and attitude.

It's only effectively unalterable because not enough people see a need to change it; for it to be changed. Additionally, the Bill of Rights (And constitution itself) was unanimously agreed upon on it's inception. Why is there a problem with that? (I'm not someone who will say the Constitution is a strictly good thing, I just don't follow your logic)

Kopikatsu:
Here's the thing; guns as a whole are designed to kill things. Humans happen to be a thing, therefore it will be good at killing them. Compared to most other predators, humans are very squishy and vulnerable. Any weapon that could take down large game is going to easily turn any human into pink mist. (A bit of an exaggeration, but it's true enough.) For example; handguns are almost all made to kill humans. But good luck trying to take down a Croc or Bear with one of those peashooters.

You are right that practically any firearm *can* kill a human, but it is the ease and facility with which one can go about it that separates what is reasonable to own for the sake of say, sport, hunting, collecting, etc. and that which is not.

A double-barrel shotgun can do a lot of damage, but holds only two shots and takes time to reload. A bolt action rifle is slow to reload, and not easily concealed. An MP5 holds multiple rounds of ammunition which it can fire all of without the need to remove ones finger from the trigger. A pistol can be hidden beneath one's jacket or smuggled into a cinema beneath combat fatigues. I cannot see how it could be disputed that an assault rifle is overkill for the purposes of hunting or defending ones home. What separates it from a bolt-action rifle is the number of children whose lives it can take in the same space of time.

By supporting the right for all citizens to bear any type of firearm, it's to allow these tragedies to happen by putting the means to accomplish a mass shooting into the hands of anyone who wants one. Give a madman a six-shot revolver and the amount of damage he can do is limited. My point is that the amount of damage different weapons can do is quite varied, and that a private citizen who insists that they need to bear arms can do so, but to point. That point is assault rifles quite frankly :-)

Why not then allow people to own nuclear warheads? Or tomahawk missiles? They're arms.

Kopikatsu:

In most states, you can own a fully working (and armed) tank. And drive it on the street even. If a weapon is not explicitly banned, then you can own and operate it.

I'm totally moving over there and getting a tank. Would have to have some witty, private plate on it too, and maybe a few silly bumper stickers. That is genuinely cool, and I hope that if gun control does become more stringent, it doesn't affect tanks. Or laser tripmines.

Kopikatsu:

It's only effectively unalterable because not enough people see a need to change it; for it to be changed. Additionally, the Bill of Rights (And constitution itself) was unanimously agreed upon on it's inception. Why is there a problem with that? (I'm not someone who will say the Constitution is a strictly good thing, I just don't follow your logic)

Agreeing to a set of terms that are unalterable and unchallengable? Surely the issue is quite evident :-) In this specific case, it's an ages old document written before modern society, by people long-since dead, people who didn't consult with you or anyone else living today.

The problem is not with being bound by or adhering to a law which one didn't themselves have an input on, that's quite normal. It's the fact that the law in this case is ancient and is in reality, impossible to challenge. The same arguments that many modern-day atheists use to describe old religious texts and those who adhere to them, apply equally to a Constitution set in stone and a people who cannot alter it (the author is irrelevant for the purpose of the comparison).

CM156:

thaluikhain:

CM156:

Perhaps congress will pass a law banning the ban of assault weapon bans.

Though, what's to stop them passing a "rapid fire" weapon ban instead?

(Fire twice at half range, or stay still and fire once at full range, but you can't charge...unless GW has changed that for the next ed)

This is almost certainly my fault, but I don't quite understand what you're saying here, at least with the "rapid-fire" weapon part

Also, as a side note, people from outside the US or who are otherwise unaware: Wyoming has the lowest population of any US state, though not the lowest population density.

My county has more people than that Wyoming.

....less than Rhode Island? that is pretty impressive.

...holy crap wyoming only has a little over 500,000 people? cripes, NYC has 16x more people than wyoming

KingsGambit:

I wonder if the 2nd Ammendment covers all arms. For example, do American's also have the right to carry machetes, katanas, cutlasses, scimitars, knuckle-dusters, spiked bats, claymores, morningstars, quarterstaves or Wands of Lightning Bolt?

Those usually get restricted via state laws if they're restricted at all, and even then, most of the restrictions revolve around transporting with them (carrying a naked sword in your car is a bad idea, for example). However, any hardware store can sell you brush axes and machetes here. Such stores carry things that cut things much tougher than human beings.

KingsGambit:

Kopikatsu:
Here's the thing; guns as a whole are designed to kill things. Humans happen to be a thing, therefore it will be good at killing them. Compared to most other predators, humans are very squishy and vulnerable. Any weapon that could take down large game is going to easily turn any human into pink mist. (A bit of an exaggeration, but it's true enough.) For example; handguns are almost all made to kill humans. But good luck trying to take down a Croc or Bear with one of those peashooters.

You are right that practically any firearm *can* kill a human, but it is the ease and facility with which one can go about it that separates what is reasonable to own for the sake of say, sport, hunting, collecting, etc. and that which is not.

A double-barrel shotgun can do a lot of damage, but holds only two shots and takes time to reload. A bolt action rifle is slow to reload, and not easily concealed. An MP5 holds multiple rounds of ammunition which it can fire all of without the need to remove ones finger from the trigger. A pistol can be hidden beneath one's jacket or smuggled into a cinema beneath combat fatigues. I cannot see how it could be disputed that an assault rifle is overkill for the purposes of hunting or defending ones home. What separates it from a bolt-action rifle is the number of children whose lives it can take in the same space of time.

By supporting the right for all citizens to bear any type of firearm, it's to allow these tragedies to happen by putting the means to accomplish a mass shooting into the hands of anyone who wants one. Give a madman a six-shot revolver and the amount of damage he can do is limited. My point is that the amount of damage different weapons can do is quite varied, and that a private citizen who insists that they need to bear arms can do so, but to point. That point is assault rifles quite frankly :-)

Why not then allow people to own nuclear warheads? Or tomahawk missiles? They're arms.

1. Most crimes are not committed using military style weapons. Most crimes, where a weapon was used, are done with handguns, by a WIDE margin. ALL other guns types, which includes shotguns and any kind of Rifle, are used less often than KNIVES. "Military style" weapons kill less people a year than blunt objects.

2. Your double barrel shotgun might be able to take out an attacker, if you hit. What if you manage to miss twice? Or there are three people attacking you? When in a panic, which is to say, almost any time a person is attacked, people tend to unload there weapons at there attackers, not bothering to aim. Even trained police officers. The US has stopped making the M16 fully automatic just to avoid this in their heavily drilled soldiers. A person should have as many bullets as possible, not how much somebody else thinks they "need." Also, you cannot buy a fully automatic weapon as a US citizen without being a designer for firearms and firearm related equipment/get a special tax stamp and buy one of the extremely expensive pre-1986 legally transferable ones.

3. Worst mass killing in the United States history was done with three fertilizer bombs, not guns. One of the top ten was done with a home built flamethrower. Virginian Tech would of been a lot worse if the bombs set in the cafeteria went off, and the Aura shooter had rigged enough explosives rigged in his house to level his apartment block.

Not G. Ivingname:
1. Most crimes are not committed using military style weapons. Most crimes, where a weapon was used, are done with handguns, by a WIDE margin. ALL other guns types, which includes shotguns and any kind of Rifle, are used less often than KNIVES. "Military style" weapons kill less people a year than blunt objects.

Well, if by "military style" you mean "things that press calls assault rifles because they don't know any better".

Most militaries around the world issue some kind of handgun. Likewise, little difference between a hunting rifle and a sniper rifle, and hunting rifles are generally the type of weapon people don't object to, very much not the case with sniper rifles.

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