Federal Judges Rewrite the 2nd Amendment

The most confusing dependent clause in the history of the nation, at least as far as personal liberty goes, is the one that begins the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights. The full text of the amendment reads:

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

gun-control-cagle-cartoonTo understand what the Founders meant it helps to understand how much the former colonists disliked a standing army. As far as the Continental Congress was concerned the Revolution could be fought and won using an army composed entirely of citizen volunteers organized into local militia companies.

George Washington, the man actually in charge of the fighting, thought this was madness. He and the Congress had a running battle throughout the war over recruiting, equipping and paying a regular army. Washington believed only a professional, disciplined body of troops armed with military weapons could defeat the British.

Militia units simply wouldn’t stand up to line infantry. Civilians in the colonies usually owned rifles, not muskets. This meant a civilian could fire accurately at longer distances than a smooth–bore musket, but his rate of fire was not as rapid as the easier–loading musket.

Rate of fire, however, was secondary to the main problem with civilian arms: The inability to attach a bayonet to the rifle. Regular infantry charged with fixed bayonets and the men with spears always overwhelmed the men with clubs.

Militia members weren’t forbidden to buy muskets with bayonet lugs on the barrel. It was simply a matter of choice. Civilians would rather shoot a deer at 100 yds. and walk up to claim dinner, as opposed to chasing Bambi down and stabbing him with a bayonet.

As the war progressed militia units were used as skirmishers to pepper British troops with long range fire and then retire behind the regulars as the lines closed. So in the end both Washington and Congress were partially correct.

Once the war concluded under the Articles of Confederation the regular army languished, except for a remnant that manned frontier forts. State militias, again composed of volunteers bringing privately own weapons, provided defense against Indian raids and other disorder.

Before the outbreak of the Civil War there was private militia cavalry and even artillery companies operating without government control.

The role of civilian militia volunteers was codified in the Bill of Rights by the 2nd Amendment and the lasting rancor against a large regular army was found in the 3rd Amendment, which prohibited quartering troops in private homes.

The word “militia” in the 2nd Amendment means the “arms” citizens have a “right” to bear are by definition weapons of war. The Constitution doesn’t give us the right to own a BB gun or participate in paintball conflicts.

The Constitution gives us the right to own and bear light infantry weapons.

That fact escapes all leftist judges. They think government grants the right, when the Constitution obviously holds the right exists independently of government, which shall not infringe upon it.

The case that cannot be made by anyone reading the plain language of the amendment and knowing anything of history is that the 2nd Amendment does not cover weapons that are either military in nature or resemble military weapons.

Yet that is exactly what the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals did when it voted 10–to–4 to uphold an unconstitutional Maryland law that bans ownership of “assault weapons and large–capacity magazines.”

Ignoring “militia,” “arms” and “shall not infringe” the court sounded more like Chief Justice Oprah Winfrey when it concluded, “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war.”

Only the justices don’t have to extend anything, the 2nd Amendment already protects “weapons of war.” Their job was to stop an obvious infringement upon that right.

Evidently the justices equate a militia to a sort of colonial bowling league. Just as you wouldn’t want bowlers rolling a cannonball down the lane, you wouldn’t want civilians owning a “military style” rifle. The problem with that reasoning is the militia was designed and expected to function in place of a regular military and to fulfill that role civilians must, by necessity, have weapons of a “military nature.”

Enlightened judges may not like the language of the Constitution. They may think the language is outmoded and superseded by modern life. But it is a violation of their oath of office to re–write the document to their liking or ignore provisions with which they disagree.

The Founders wisely provided a mechanism to amend the Constitution. It involves Congress, the states and voting. It does not include 10 politicians in black robes.

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Are You Smarter Than a Supreme Court Judge?

Stevens' idea for amending the Constitution is a loser, too.

Stevens’ idea for amending the Constitution is a loser, too.

April was not a good month for Americans that still believe the Supreme Court is a font of legal wisdom. Former Justice John Paul Stevens authored an Op–Ed in the WaPost proving you can be ignorant of history, blinded by ideology and confused regarding the plain meaning of words and still get to wear the black robe.

Stevens’ essay was titled ‘The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment.’

And no, Stevens’ five words weren’t “you can’t have a gun,” but that’s a good guess.

He began his effort in problem–solving by using the left’s favorite technique: Use distorted statistics to shock the public and advance a disingenuous argument: “Each year, more than 30,000 people die in the United States in firearm-related incidents.”

That’s a big number. Almost as big as the total number of Americans killed each year in car crashes. What Stevens purposely leaves out is the fact that 19,392 — or six in ten — of those deaths were suicide!

Once the suicide is removed from the total, it become obvious that riding in a car driven by a cell phone–wielding woman is much more dangerous than living in Virginia where people are allowed to carry guns openly. And cell phones aren’t protected by the Constitution.

What Stevens should be calling for is federal suicide control. If Congress would stop listening to the mortuary lobby and pass an effective law banning suicide — or at least get the ball rolling by creating suicide–free zones (this alone would speed up Metro travel in DC) — we could eliminate almost two–thirds of the gun deaths overnight.

The rest of the country could experience the safety and tranquility that residents of Detroit and Chicago currently enjoy in their gun–free cities. Once suicide is outlawed only criminals will kill themselves, surely a win–win.

But suicide doesn’t generate much news coverage so publicity–seekers aren’t interested in this sensible step to prevent unnecessary death.

Stevens contends the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment was ‘settled,’ much like global warming science, until the NRA went rogue. “For more than 200 years… federal judges uniformly understood that the right…was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms.”

That’s accurate without being truthful, since for two centuries neither states nor the federal government were trying to ban types of weapons, restrict the sale of weapons or impose ownership restrictions. So who would file a suit to stop an infringement that didn’t exist?

As for not imposing a limit on state or local governments, Stevens proves his knowledge of the Constitution is limited. If what he wrote is true then the Bill of Rights wouldn’t prevent states and cities from limiting speech, searching without a warrant and shutting down the newspaper if it criticized Barack Obama.

Stevens then lurches from urging judges to butt out because, “Public policies concerning gun control should be decided by the voters’ elected representatives, not by federal judges.” To complaining that those same legislators aren’t doing enough to seize weapons from the law abiding in the wake of Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.

Before gracing us with his five–word prescription for domestic gun bliss, Stevens’ last contribution is to completely misrepresent the Bill of Rights and specifically the 2nd Amendment. He claims the amendment “was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated.” This is ludicrous on its face. The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect individual rights and without those 10 amendments the Constitution would not have passed.

The obvious plain language of the 2nd protects an individual right to own weapons, but that’s evidently too subtle for a retired Supreme Court justice.

Then Stevens graces us with his solution: His amended amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

If anything those five words would initiate an explosion of litigation.

In Athens a citizen was subject to military service until age 60. I figure I can pull a trigger until well into my 90’s. Sixteen–year–olds often served in militias, too, so many underage restrictions go by the board, thanks to Stevens.

As a serving militia member I will need my weapons at hand in case of a sudden call out. That makes militia members immune to any restrictions on carrying a firearm. I can carry in schools, courtrooms, national parks, football stadiums and even Toby Keith’s.

Stevens evidently believes the same legislators who aren’t passing the gun laws he wants are suddenly going to come down hard on militias. Historically militias were locally based and locally run without interference or control from the state government.

Each militia decided what weapons to carry, uniforms to wear, method of selecting officers and how often to meet. With Judge Stevens help you can think of the new militia as the Shriners with sidearms.

And as for what weapons to carry, let’s look at the world’s best–known militia the Taliban. The Talibs have RPGs, fully automatic rifles, grenades, heavy machine guns and donkeys. Everything the well–equipped American militia member could want, except for the donkey.

Stevens’ ‘solution’ removes age restrictions, expands the scope of weapons allowed for personal ownership and eliminates most geographic restrictions on where weapons can be carried. It’s the exact opposite of what Stevens wants, but not an unusual outcome for leftist social engineering.

If it weren’t for those boring monthly militia meetings, I would support him 100 percent.

Feeling Threatened? Borrow a Legislator!

Indians & Gun ControlThe reason the debate over the 2nd Amendment is so futile is that supporters of the amendment have two jobs — one expected, the other burdensome. Marshalling an argument for your position is only natural in a debate and if it’s not done, that side deserves to lose.

What’s burdensome is 2nd Amendment supporters also have to explain how guns function to opponents who are dangerously ignorant and basing their position on feelings, myths and MSNBC.

It’s like debating physics with Wile E. Coyote.

The gun control debate in Colorado is a perfect example. For years Rep. Diana DeGette (D–Space Cadet) has sponsored federal legislation to ban “high capacity magazines.” Naturally after Sandy Hook, DeGette began pontificating about her bill once again. She predicted that banning “high–capacity magazines” would reduce gun violence because “”the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”

This may have been true if DeGette was talking about a “high–capacity” lipstick cartridge, but not an ammunition magazine. This is the equivalent of fighting high school vandalism by banning “high–capacity” egg cartons sold at Costco. In the real world magazines are reloaded and can be reused over and over, just like purses!

Later DeGette sent her “spokeswoman” Juliet Johnson out to clarify her remarks, but unfortunately the ignorance in her office isn’t confined to the officeholder. Johnson explained, “The congresswoman has been working on a high-capacity assault magazine ban for years and has been deeply involved in the issue; she simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips,’ which cannot be reused because they don’t have a feeding mechanism.”

Wrong again. “Clip” is an inaccurate term for magazine and by any name the device is reusable as long as the spring holds up.

During hearings for state anti–gun legislation in March, State Sen. Evie Hudak told a rape victim testifying before her committee that it was foolish to think she could have stopped her attacker with a gun: “Statistics are not on your side,” Hudak explained.

For those residents who might want to pack more than a sheaf of statistics on their hip, House Majority Leader Dickey Hullinghorst offered solace. She claimed during an interview that firearms ownership is unnecessary because the state legislature protects citizens.

“As a woman, I have the right not to carry a gun and to feel safe on the streets,” Hullinghorst lectured, “and that’s what we provide for in the state legislature is for all of us in the state of Colorado — to feel safe on the streets without having to carry a gun.”

This could work. Here in the DC area we have a system called Capital Bikeshare where participants buy a membership and then borrow bicycles from stations scattered across the area when they need to go somewhere and don’t want to walk or drive.

I can see the same principle working with Colorado Legis–share. When a woman who doesn’t want to pack heat feels uneasy at the prospect of walking along a dark street, she simply borrows a legislator from a nearby station and the solon accompanies her. Residents can buy memberships from the nearest lobbyist.

Strong, assertive women like Hullinghorst would probably be in high demand, but any legislator is better than no legislator when you’re in a tight spot.

The Democrat–dominated state house then passed a series of anti–gun laws that resulted in a recall election for two prominent Democrat gun grabbers Sen. Angela Giron (Pueblo) and Sen. John Morse (Colorado Springs). The recall pitted the media, Democrats and billionaires like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Eli Broad against a plumber who had to borrow money from granny to start the recall drive.

Yet outspent 27 to 1 the plumber and conservatives in Colorado won! Both Democrats lost and will be replaced by Republicans.

Evidence of firearms fantasy is not confined to Colorado though. After a calm and courageous bookkeeper named Antoinette Tuff prevented a school shooting by talking the gunman into surrendering, I anticipated the gunphobics would be urging Congress to pass emergency funding to put a bookkeeper with a megaphone in every elementary school in the country.

Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak certainly didn’t disappoint. She crowed that there were no deaths in Decatur, GA in spite of the fact teachers weren’t armed, the NRA’s gun–toting police officers weren’t present and the school didn’t have “frightening ‘intruder drills.’”

Dvorak explains, “As soon as the man entered the school and fired one round into the floor, Tuff called 911 and stayed smooth and calm as a computer help line operator. She kept a conversation going among herself, the gunman and the 911 dispatcher…Her 911 call — listen to the whole thing; it’s riveting — is a portrait of poise, compassion and selflessness. She was exactly what America is forgetting to be.”

Unfortunately for Petula and all the lessons she would have America draw from this single incident, there is a stark difference between this attack and other shootings. The Georgia gunman shot the floor, while the high school, university and elementary school gunmen shot people. You’d think a highly trained reporter would notice that.

A school that prepared for a variety of contingencies and had a bookkeeper with a megaphone, along with an armed teacher or two, would have options for dealing with a gunman depending on whether the he shot the parquet or the principal. In Dvorak’s dream school the students and teachers would be out of luck in almost every case.

But that’s not an argument one can make with legislators, advocates and leftist journalists that live in a dream world. And even the Colorado recall results may bounce off their impermeable armor of ignorance and arrogance.

So for the rest of us the choice boils down to this: You can have “statistics” on your side or you can have Smith & Wesson. The choice is yours, for now.

The Interview: Terry McAuliffe & the Boston Attack

Intimidating pressure cookers like this will be a thing of the past after Democrat Terry McAuliffe becomes Virginia governor.

Intimidating pressure cookers like this will be a thing of the past after Democrat Terry McAuliffe becomes Virginia governor.

(A source within the McAuliffe for Governor campaign leaked a copy of this transcript from an interview with a New York Times Sunday Magazine reporter. I felt I owed it to my readers to give them an advance look at this latest development in the Virginia governor’s race.)

NYT REPORTER: Governor McAuliffe, ha, that’s a bit premature, Mr. McAuliffe I could not help noticing at today’s media event that you were surrounded by all the genders of the rainbow, all ages and all races. And what’s more, everyone was wearing jogging clothes and actually smelled a little sweaty. Do you think the symbolism was important for your new legislative agenda?

Terry McAuliffe (D–Flim Flam) candidate for governor in Virginia: (Laughs) Well President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg had already booked the famous Boston marathoners, so we made do with local volunteers and a few of the better kept homeless. I will say we had a few problems convincing the older gentlemen to put on those tiny running shorts, but everyone was a good sport and happy to do a few laps around my indoor track to get in character for the event.

 

NYT: Tell us about this new legislation.

McAuliffe: It’s very simple. This is a problem and I have a government solution. After I’m sworn in, during my first hour as Virginia’s new governor I intend to introduce legislation to implement what I call common–sense pressure cooker control that all American’s can support.

 

NYT: How will it work?

McAuliffe: The centerpiece of the legislation is a one–per–month limit on pressure cooker sales to civilians. Purchasers will be entered into a statewide Culinary Registry where their name will be matched against previous purchases. This is a painless process for shoppers, which we will begin in upscale department stores. If their name comes up as having purchased a pressure cooker less than a month previously, they will be directed to a nice toaster oven or blender. In fact, if they are willing to give us their email address, the state will notify them when they are eligible to again purchase a pressure cooker.

 

NYT: The program will be limited to Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus?

McAuliffe: Certainly not. I’m aware that good value can be found at Target and something called ‘Big Lots.’ In fact, I intend to close the so–called ‘second–hand loophole.’ We will regulate sales at flea markets and thrift stores. Just because you may ‘no hablo’ doesn’t mean you should not register your purchase. I’ll give the secretary of technology six months to come up with an ‘app’ that will allow Smartphone registration in smaller stores and at garage sales.

 

NYT: So the legislation is just a limit on the number of purchases?

McAuliffe: No, I should have said a comprehensive, common–sense approach. There will also be a limit on the size of pressure cookers. No one really needs one of those high–capacity pressure cookers. Herbert Hoover only promised a single chicken in every pot, not an entire flock. And at our house my cook, Consuela, has never had to use a high–capacity pressure cooker. And that includes the really big fund raising events Bill Clinton attended before he became a vegan.

My kitchen experts also tell me that with the shrinking size of the American family and the distaste professional women display toward cooking, pressure cookers of 3 or possibly 4-quart capacity will be sufficient.

In addition, we also have design guidelines for cookers sold in Virginia. We want manufacturers to cut down on the number of dials and vaguely threatening controls found on some pressure cookers. In my experience newlywed cooking is frightening enough without adding an ominous pressure device to the mix.

 

NYT: Will this legislation have any impact on the Virginia economy?

McAuliffe: Of course I don’t want to do anything that would harm job creation. That’s one of my most popular focus group tested talking points. We certainly don’t want an Obamacare situation here. So there will be a size limit exception for commercial establishments that may require a larger–capacity cooker for their clientele. Right now homeless shelters, soup kitchens, prisons and Old Country Buffett are exempt from both size and purchase limits.

 

NYT: But what about existing large capacity pressure cookers that are already owned?

McAuliffe: The size of the existing pressure cooker market is nothing like that of the gun market, thank goodness. Plus there is no National Cooker Association pressuring gutless legislators. I feel that as inexperienced newlyweds burn things in pressure cookers, divorce papers are filed and just the general wear and tear of moving occur, the large capacity pressure cooker inventory will be reduced to a manageable size.

 

NYT: What about the public health component of your program?

McAuliffe: That’s important, too. The director of the state department of health will be encouraging pediatricians to ask their minor patients if they live in a house that contains pressure cooker and if so where is it stored. It’s important to know who has access to the cookware. We are also considering including a few questions on the amount of salt used in cooking and the presence of trans–fats.

 

NYT: Do you feel these common–sense regulations will remove the threat?

McAuliffe: This will certainly reduce the threat that originates in the kitchen, but at the same time, I don’t want to overlook the delivery system used in the Boston attack. I think the day of large, military–style backpacks is over. Black, camo or other assault backpacks are simply not necessary for civilian transport. When we were all still reeling from the tragedy, I was leaning toward banning backpacks entirely, but when my daughter pointed out the crucial role backpacks play in our education system, I relented.

 

NYT: What backpacks will be allowed in the future?

McAuliffe: We are currently writing the new regulations, but I think most backpacks that feature licensed characters or come from OshKosh B’Gosh, REI or Victoria’s Secret will be allowed, particularly if the backpack has those sexy little stringy straps. I also intend for the state patrol to conduct “backpack buy back” programs where outlawed backpack owners can turn in illegal backpacks in exchange for reusable grocery bags.

 

NYT: How long before Virginians can expect to see a difference?

McAuliffe: As the War on Poverty has proved, no problem that government attacks is really ever solved, but I think this is an important first step. 

Umbrella Organizations Always Leave Taxpayers Wet

government wasteSen. Tom Coburn (R–OK), a truly great American, has released his annual report on waste, duplication and redundancy in federal programs. Evidently inspecting catfish is both a vital and difficult task, because it currently takes three different federal agencies to do the job. And as soon as someone can reliably map the location of catfish sex organs, TSA is interested in participating, too.

An editorial in The Washington Examiner has more detail, but what’s important for my purpose is the total figure. If the savings recommendations in Coburn’s last three waste reports had been implemented, taxpayers could have saved almost $300 billion. That’s enough to pay for Obama vacations and Joe Biden’s shotgun shells for the rest of their term.

The problem with figures that large is it doesn’t bother the spenders because it’s not their money and it depresses the taxpayer because he can’t imagine how one would obtain such a sum or make a dent in paying for it.

But don’t despair. We have a waste and duplication situation in Prince William County, VA — where I live — that is easy to comprehend, since it’s one thousandth the size of the fed’s situation, and will give useful training in the art of not wasting taxpayer dollars, because the situation is replicated all across the US.

Currently the county pays almost $300,000 in annual dues to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government. There are 22 governing bodies that participate and the organization is supposed to have a unified voice on area matters that include police, fire, transportation, homeland security, growth planning and environmental concerns. There is probably a similar organization near where you live.

The WaPost describes the group thusly, “Politically, the council’s members range from very liberal Democrats to tea party Republicans. It’s able to get things done by sticking to non-controversial issues. Those include collecting traffic data and improving communications among emergency personnel after shortcomings were revealed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

What this means is the only projects COG supports are those no one in their right mind would oppose anyway. So why are PWC taxpayers sending $300,000 a year to an organization that does what PWC elected officials are already paid to do anyway? Can’t our homegrown pols represent our interests?

These area umbrella organizations (there’s an apt metaphor: taxpayers get soaked while the organization employees are high and dry) only serve as resume builders for politicians who are eager to move up the electoral ladder and “showing leadership” on a regional basis looks impressive to gullible reporters. COG only serves to increase the size of government and the busybodies it enables.

Until quite recently, if a PWC politician wanted to adhere to a genuine conservative philosophy and withdraw from COG he would have been roasted as a know–nothing reactionary. But that was then, COG, thanks to the hubris of its leftist Democrat members, has now given conservative jurisdictions an excellent reason to withdraw and stop paying dues.

Last month the COG board of directors — with three leftist Dems in charge — voted in favor of calling for a federal ban on assault weapons and armor-piercing bullets, a firearm purchase waiting period and tracing of guns. In MD, DC and Alexandria supporters broke out in drum circles to celebrate. But PW, Loudoun and Frederick counties and Manassas leaders were outraged and collectively threatened to withhold more than $500,000 in dues.

These Virginians said the board had overstepping its bounds and the policy was “inappropriate and disrespectful” of the views of individual localities. Regional cooperation did not include passing federal law and revising the Constitution and was not why COG was created.

It makes you wonder doesn’t it? For that matter, what is COG’s position on Joe Biden’s warning shot or Michelle’s bangs?

The PWC Board of Supervisors was angry enough to pass a resolution opposing COG’s gun control advocacy, with only one member voting against. Frank Principi (D–Ambitious) is one of two PWC members of the COG board and the former COG chairman. Principi didn’t bother to attend the meeting where the gun resolution was passed, but he did find time to vote against the county’s resolution condemning it.

Principi claims he supports the 2nd Amendment — as long as it’s confined to a dusty old parchment — but he didn’t want the board to “pile on.” Principi — a noted profile in political courage in his own mind — blamed politicians who are angling for statewide office for making the COG resolution an issue. What Principi didn’t say was that if he had voted in favor of the county resolution it would have been the kiss of death in a Democrat primary, where the vote would be characterized as ‘caving in to the NRA.’

Feeling the heat, COG backtracked last Wednesday and rescinded the resolution and returned the issue to a committee for further study.  Principi was motivated enough to actually attend that meeting where he voted in favor of both. This is fine, a positive step, but PWC should still head for the door. There are plenty of areas in the county where 300 grand would be better spent.

Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D–Left), still surprised by the uproar, commented, “I’m hopeful we can find some language, some middle ground, where COG can be a voice on this issue of gun violence, gun safety, safety in our schools and mental health. All of these are appropriate subjects for COG to discuss and come to some consensus on.”

I could not agree more. How about passing a resolution honoring a Fairfax County organization called the National Rifle Association? It’s been doing excellent work on all these issues for years.

Surprised a Degraded Culture Produces Depraved Individuals?

gun control signLast Friday was evidently International Maniac Congruence Day. In Newtown a 20–year–old loser — whose newspaper photo bears a striking resemblance to the SS Totenkoph insignia — shot and killed 20 elementary school students and six adults. While in Chenpeng, China another maniac stabbed 22 children and one adult in an elementary school.

Yet there has been no outcry in China for more cutlery control and CNN International has not been broadcasting remote from outside the Henckels’ knife factory. In fact there has been scant coverage of the Chinese attack.

The obscure, knife–wielding Chinaman proves it’s not a weapon problem — it’s a maniac problem. For where there’s a maniacal will, there’s a maniacal way.

So in the wake of Newtown, I’ll endorse the first politician who designates schools as “maniac–free zones.” You may scoff, but this law will be just as effective as “gun–free zones” and has the added advantage of directly addressing the cause of the problem.

Banning “assault weapons” is a knee–jerk response from ideological jerks. It’s like treating a drunk for difficulties with his equilibrium, rather than talking about alcohol. What’s more, “assault weapons” have been banned in Connecticut since 1993 and a fat lot of good it did at Sandy Hook Elementary. The Bushmaster rifle used there was registered and legal. The only measurable effect discussions of an “assault weapon” ban have is increased gun and ammunition sales.

Another liberal bright idea is establishing a bag limit for mass shootings like we currently have for ducks. Duck hunters are often limited in the number of shells their shotgun magazine can hold. This encourages hunters to obey the law specifying the maximum number of ducks one is allowed to shoot.

The same logic applies to the limit on “high capacity magazines.” Unfortunately, limiting magazine size just means the shooter needs bigger pockets. Many semi–automatic pistols thoughtfully let you know when the magazine is empty by locking the slide back. One simply has to drop the empty and slap a full one in — a process taking under two seconds. Besides, I am unaware of any spree killing that ended prematurely because the gunman ran out of ammunition.

In 2011 there were 32,367 automobile deaths — more than three times the number of firearms murders. Based on gun control logic, we should also ban automobiles that look like racecars, because sleek design encourages drivers to go too fast.

No one bothers to ask why we have a rash of these mass killings now and not in the 60’s when there were no background checks and you could buy a handgun through the mail. As anti–gun legislation has become more pervasive so have spree killings.

An early WaPost article said the motivation for the murders remains a “mystery.” Maybe it’s a “mystery” for liberals, but not for those with common sense. If you’re a disaffected, disturbed loser, who wants the nation to feel his pain, you follow the template written by media vultures and go to the nearest sitting duck zone and start shooting.

The same saturation coverage that validates dollar store teddy bear memorials, validates the violence that inspires misguided bystanders to leave a mylar balloon as close to the bloodstains as the yellow police tape will allow.

An inconvenient element young spree killers have in common is violent, sadistic video games. Only a few years ago video game makers usually had a “gore filter” that a player could engage if he didn’t want to wallow in video dismemberment. Now popular and violent games have no way to turn down the violence or the language.

The only restraint the video game industry displays is a reluctance to design a “Columbine Shootout” game with a “Virginia Tech” add–on.

Bans on guns and magazine size are displacement activity. The Newtown shooter did not want for anything materially, but he was empty inside. These secular, suicide terrorists turn their video game room into a personal murder madrassah.

Liberals say censorship or even societal disapproval of violent video games is unnecessary because the vast majority of players simply use the games for fun and companionship — a justification that equally accurate when applied to the “assault weapon” owning community.

At its base this is a mental health problem and requires a mental health solution. Liberals aren’t afraid of crazy people, as long as they are confined to Occupy camps, but they are afraid of guns. In the 80’s liberals tried to ban the sale of cheap “Saturday night specials.” Now it’s expensive “assault weapons.” This demonization of guns transforms firearms into symbols of power, which only serves to attract the mentally unstable.

We live in a society where it’s now popular to take personal responsibility for carbonating your own beverages, but liberals demonize conservatives who wish to take responsibility for their own defense. If Mrs. Lanza had locked her guns away from her disturbed son, Newtown doesn’t happen.

All the liberals and all their laws can’t force people to exercise common sense.

Gun Control Laws Only Control the Law Abiding

Just like the majority of police officers who never have to fire their gun during the course of a career, most civilians will never be shot at while watching a movie, browsing in a shopping mall or attending school. But for those few that do have the misfortune to be an unwilling participant in an ambush here are a few rules of thumb you may find useful.

The police can’t protect you. The Aurora, CO police force is a fine, highly motivated department — I know because the police association was formerly my client. There were officers already at the theatre for the midnight showing of Batman to deal with the anticipated crowd. Only 90 seconds elapsed between the first 911 call and officer’s arrival on scene. This is a spectacular response time. Yet 12 people were already dead and 58 wounded. Which is why they are called “first responders” and not “first preventers.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D–Disarmed) won’t protect you. Feinstein wants Congress to renew her “assault weapons” ban. “Assault weapons” or “assault rifles” are no different from regular rifles, they only look scary. For example: the bayonet lug on the muzzle. (Yet, when is the last time you read of bayonet wounds during one of these attacks?)

“Assault weapon” is simply a propaganda term designed to alarm the public. Federal law already bans machine guns, which are authentic military assault weapons. The Washington Times points out FBI figures “show just 358 of the 8,775 murders by firearm in 2010 involved rifles of any type. By comparison, 745 people were beaten to death…but no one has called for outlawing fists.”

Cinemark won’t protect you. Colorado citizens with a permit are allowed to carry a concealed weapon. Cinemark corporate minions know themselves to be much wiser than a mere legislator, so they banned weapons inside the theatre. Sure enough not one of the law–abiding citizens had a gun, but the law–breaker had plenty. Cinemark is already being sued, but it’s the wrong lawsuit. What we need is for Cinemark know–it–alls to be sued by a permit holder left defenseless by their asinine policy.

Gun–Free Zones = Sitting–Duck Zones. When is it going to dawn on liberal gun–grabbers that gun–free zones only notify the shooter he won’t be subject to return fire? One gun owner in the audience could have made all the difference. At Columbine the police officer assigned to the school engaged those two shooters before they went inside.

During the brief gunfight, the shooters were so rattled they couldn’t even hit the cruiser the officer was crouched behind! These cowards don’t want to die, they want you to die. If the Aurora gunman had heard a round whizz past his ear it could have changed the entire complexion of the evening.

Unless you’ve been shot and can’t get away, avoid talking to the media. “Father of the Year” nominee Jamie Rohrs is a perfect example. During an interview with CNN, Rohrs described his reaction when the shooting started. “My son’s on the floor, as I turned to, like, find Ethan in the dark of the theater, with the gas, like, I’m so disoriented and I lose him, I just lose him. Then he opens fire again. So I jump, and I run.”

During the time three other men are dying while they shield their girlfriends from the bullets — and are consequently unavailable for interview— Jamie thinks, like, “feets, don’t fail me now” and leaves his 4–month–old rolling around on the floor, like, during a stampede. Safely outside he generously hopes his son and his girlfriend get out alive. Fortunately, his girlfriend only had a “small bullet wound” so Rohrs subsequently proposed to her in the hospital. I’m sure the ceremony will be fine unless when Jamie says, “until fear of death do us part” brings back bad memories for his girlfriend.

Only you can save you. I urge conservatives reading this to apply for a concealed carry permit and take the training necessary to use a gun to defend yourself and your family. Liberals, who believe merely being in the same room with a gun — let alone owning one — is sign of serious mental illness, are more difficult to advise. Progressives might try shopping at pawn brokers. Employees are usually armed, which deters shooters. Or stay at home and use Amazon. Always sit near the exit in theatres. Wear a bullet–proof vest. Avoid hip–hop concerts or events that attract hip–hop performers. Marry a police officer. Stay hydrated. (Whoops, wrong column.)