Wednesday, August 29, 2007

News from Norfolk...

Gun-rights advocates stage protest at Norfolk council meeting

Chet Szymecki, who was arrested in June at Harborfest, was joined Tuesday by his daughter Kiersten, 13, and his wife, Deborah.
Chet Szymecki, who was arrested in June at Harborfest, was joined Tuesday by his daughter Kiersten, 13, and his wife, Deborah. JOHN H. SHEALLY II | THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

By HARRY MINIUM, The Virginian-Pilot
© August 29, 2007


More than 100 gun-rights advocates, most carrying handguns on their hips and wearing buttons saying "Guns Save Lives," came to the City Council on Tuesday night to protest what they called harassment of law-abiding gun owners by city officials.

The protest was called by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a gun-rights group, after Chet Szymecki of Yorktown was arrested in June at Harborfest for carrying a gun.

Szymecki was arrested for violating a city ordinance banning guns at Harborfest - an ordinance that officials now acknowledge violates state law. City Attorney Bernard A. Pishko said city officials were unaware of a state law prohibiting localities from banning guns.

Carrying a weapon openly is legal in Virginia, even at a large gathering such as Harborfest. Once city officials realized their error, the charges against Szymecki were dropped.

"We made a mistake," Councilman Barclay C. Winn said. "It was unintentional."

Most who came to protest didn't appear to believe it was an innocent mistake.

"You know it was illegal," said Dave Vann, who drove from Falls Church to speak. "You arrested someone, and now it's going to cost you dearly."

Szymecki, a Navy veteran, said he was manhandled and hurt and that his wife, Deborah, his three children and two other children who accompanied them were traumatized. He said he has hired Norfolk attorney Stephen Merrill.

An emotional Deborah Szymecki told the council that after several police officers were done handcuffing her husband, she was left without money or the keys to the family car.

Others rose to describe incidents in which they said they were questioned and often handcuffed by police for simply carrying a firearm openly.

"Apparently you have some officers who don't understand the law," said the president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Philip Van Cleave of Midlothian.

The meeting drew more rowdy as it continued, with speakers receiving thunderous applause and some expressing disgust for the council. Some used unsavory terms to describe the police.

Councilman Paul R. Riddick left the meeting as gun-rights advocates began speaking, he said, in protest of their protest.

Kim Barton, who would not say where she lives, tried to speak but was told by Mayor Paul Fraim that she couldn't because she had not signed up to speak.

"I want to hear what she has to say," Vann said.

Fraim replied, "I'm running this meeting " and informed Vann his time to speak had expired.

Harry Minium, (757) 446-2371,

Thanks to The Geek with a .45.

Yes Virginia, Guns Really do Save Lives!

Found at Conservative Scalawag.

Tom Gresham & Clint Smith

...have a question for the Republican YouTube debate. It's an excellent question, let's see first of all if CNN will play it, and if so, what they're answers will be.

Now, do what I did and write to CNN and get them to play this video in the Republican YouTube debate. Click here for their contact page.

Thanks to The War on Guns for the heads up.

Words fail me...

Current NRA board member Joaquin Jackson talking to a reporter from KLRU in Texas. Mr. Jackson is a retired Texas Ranger and believes us mere citizens shouldn't have "Assault Weapons" or a gun that holds more than five rounds.

I really don't know what to say...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Jackson marches on Lake Barrington gun manufacturer

By Carolyn Starks | Tribune staff reporter
8:59 PM CDT, August 28, 2007

The plain gray building set back in a Lake Barrington industrial park never captured much public attention until Tuesday, when Rev. Jesse Jackson's entourage arrived aboard three buses.

About 200 activists, who marched in front of D.S. Arms, called for the northwest suburban community to vote the assault-weapon manufacturer out of town.

"Chicago is voted gun dry," Jackson said, his voice booming through a microphone. "We want [Lake] Barrington to vote gun dry."

Jackson used the company as a backdrop to a nationwide gun protest that he said was held in more than 20 U.S. cities to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic 1963 march on Washington. Jackson and Rev. Michael Pfleger, who stood beside him in Lake Barrington, have held rallies in recent months, criticizing gun laws for being too lax and calling for a ban on assault weapons.

Such weapons are banned in Chicago, but Jackson and Pfleger say the law is useless because people buy them at shops in the suburbs and bring them into the city.

D.S. Arms does not sell firearms to the public, but has about 20 clients, including law-enforcement and military distributors, said Michael Danworth, a company spokesman. The business has operated for about 20 years, the last seven in Lake Barrington with about 25 employees, he said.

Addressing Jackson's charge that the rifles end up on the streets illegally, Danworth said it is a culture of violence that's the problem, not guns.

"The firearms used in most homicides in Chicago are pistols," he said. "You don't see too many gangbangers on the South Side carrying rifles in their pants."

Village officials say the firm has operated in obscurity—but not illegally—for seven years in Lake Barrington. The large aluminum building has no signage.

Village President Kevin Richardson attended the rally, but was not aware of the business, said a spokeswoman.

"Everyone shares the goal of eliminating illegal drugs and illegal guns from our communities," Richardson said in a prepared statement. "Since these problems do not know any borders, it is up to all of us to work together to keep our communities safe."

More than 50 police officers were on hand to ensure a peaceful demonstration. While three busloads of demonstrators marched near the building, more than a dozen gun advocates carried signs that said: "You have the absolute right to defend yourself" and "Father, forgive Jesse. He leadeth down the wrong path."

"When is the last time you heard a crime committed" in the city with an assault rifle, said Rick Sherrell, 53, of Fox River Grove.

Three large posters of the front cover of author Ken Timmerman's book, "Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson" hung on the outside of the building.

Danworth said it was the company's statement about Jackson's "forever seeking another 15 minutes of fame."

Jackson and his group of children and adults were unfazed. Five teenagers in matching red shirts served as symbolic pallbearers, carrying a small casket adorned with a cross and a sign that read: 31 children killed.

Jackson said the number of children killed in Chicago over the last year is now closer to 40.

"We want a future, not funerals," the children chanted.


All in all a pretty balanced article, which is surprising...

If Jesse (Aren't his 15 minutes up yet?) was honest, he'd march on the real source of the violence, drug and street gangs, but confronting gangs would be dangerous, someone could wear the wrong color and get hurt! Law abiding gun owners won’t shoot without just cause, and he knows this. Therefore, the safest thing for him and his “misinformed” followers to do is to march on an innocent gun manufacturer, chant and pray a bit...and go home!

Yet another victory for feeling over substance!

-Yuri goes to the gun store...

I'm not making a statement for or against tobacco or smoking, I just thought this video was interesting.

I suppose it would have muddied the message if they'd told him about frangible and lead free bullets...

Well DUH!

U.S. Most Heavily Armed Country
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 2:27 PM

The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

"There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people," it said.

India had the world's second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military, though this represented just four guns per 100 people there. China, ranked third with 40 million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per 100 people.

Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country's overall civilian gun arsenals.

On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry behind the United States, with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38.

France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany were next, each with about 30 guns per 100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. Nigeria, for instance, had just one gun per 100 people.

"Firearms are very unevenly distributed around the world. The image we have of certain regions such as Africa or Latin America being awash with weapons -- these images are certainly misleading," Small Arms Survey director Keith Krause said.

"Weapons ownership may be correlated with rising levels of wealth, and that means we need to think about future demand in parts of the world where economic growth is giving people larger disposable income," he told a Geneva news conference.

The report, which relied on government data, surveys and media reports to estimate the size of world arsenals, estimated there were 650 million civilian firearms worldwide, and 225 million held by law enforcement and military forces.

Five years ago, the Small Arms Survey had estimated there were a total of just 640 million firearms globally.

"Civilian holdings of weapons worldwide are much larger than we previously believed," Krause said, attributing the increase largely to better research and more data on weapon distribution networks.

Only about 12 percent of civilian weapons are thought to be registered with authorities

What not to do...

...if you are prone to road rage and think that following and harassing other drivers is cool!

I can't speak to the authenticity of the video, but it looks to be real from what I can tell. Good thing we don't have Smell o' Vision because I'm sure the smell of urine was strong in the air at the end.


Good thing he didn't use a gun, isn't it...

Random Throat Slashing on Colorado Campus
Alleged Attacker Mentally Ill, Worked on Campus; Freshman Victim Expected to Recover

Aug. 28, 2007

The brazen throat slashing of an incoming freshman Monday shook the University of Colorado's Boulder campus on the first day of school.

Micheal George Knorps, 17, was leaving the university's student center around 9:30 a.m. Monday just days after arriving on campus.

At the same time, according to police and university officials, Kenton Drew Astin, a 39-year-old former campus employee with a history of mental illness, parked across the street from the building, exited his vehicle, began shouting incoherently and attacked Knorps.

The suspect grabbed Knorps from behind and sliced his throat, according to a release issued by the University of Colorado's Boulder. The injured student freed himself as officers from the Boulder Police Department and Boulder County Sheriff's Office responded, demanding that Astin drop his weapon.

Instead, he turned the weapon on himself. "The suspect began to stab himself with the knife and officers deployed a Taser to disable the suspect and then took him into custody," the release reads.

Both men were transported to a local hospital. Knorps, of Winnetka, Ill., underwent surgery Monday to repair a neck wound and is expected to make a full recovery, according to University Chancellor G.P. "Bud" Peterson, who has been in communication with Knorps' family. Astin remains in the hospital with serious injuries.

Astin allegedly was carrying a backpack at the time, but early reports suggesting he was carrying bomb-making materials turned out to be false.

The attack in Boulder happened less than five months after 32 students and faculty were killed at Virginia Tech by Seung-Hui Cho and just a week after the student body returned to Blacksburg, Va., for the first time since the massacre.

A Virginia Tech panel investigating the rampage last week recommended a series of security reforms in its internal report that included closer monitoring of mentally troubled students and improving campuswide communications during security incidents.

In the Boulder attack, the university sent out a text message at 10:20 a.m. to approximately 1,300 students, parents, faculty and staff enrolled in a service activated on the campus less than a week ago.

University administrators have urged members of the community to sign up for the text messages as a security precaution. After the killings at Virginia Tech, college campuses across the country established such messaging programs.

University of Colorado officials released as much information as possible to the public as details about the suspect emerged.

Late Monday, the university announced that Astin had worked without incident for the university as a temporary employee from October 2006 until April 2007. He was a cashier at the grill inside the building near where the stabbing occurred.

Astin had a criminal record and a history of mental illness. In 2001, according to the university, he was charged with larceny, assault and criminal intent to commit first-degree homicide. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to the state mental hospital in Pueblo, Colo. For the last two years, he worked under a Boulder-based release program, which referred him to the university for his campus job.

Peterson, the university chancellor, immediately ordered criminal background checks for all new employees, permanent or temporary, as well as checks of existing employees.

The university also suspended its relationship with the program that had referred Astin, as well as other similar agencies, and placed seven current campus employees referred from the program on suspension while conducting further background checks.

"All campus resources have been called into action to respond to this random incident and to ensure the safety of our students and everyone on campus," Peterson said. "We are relieved that the student was not more seriously injured."


This post remained at the top all day August 28th. Now that the day has concluded, I've dropped it back to the bottom.

Today is "Buy a Gun or Ammo Day" in counter-protest to Jesse Jackson, "Snuffy" Pfleger, "The Brady Bunch" and their hordes of misinformed anti-gunners.

Do what you can and buy something with which to exercise your second amendment rights!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Just a reminder...

Tomorrow is "Buy a Gun or Ammo Day" in counter-protest to Jesse Jackson and his ilk. Do what you can and buy something with which to exercise your second amendment rights!

Monument to Stupidity

"Those who beat their swords into plowshares will end up plowing for those who didn't. -Anonymous"

At the intersection of N Central Ave & W Roosevelt St in Phoenix, AZ stands the "sculpture" you see to the left. From their site:

"Envision a sculpture in the middle of Central Avenue, more than twenty-four feet tall, made from four tons of melted down weapons: hand guns, shotguns, Saturday night specials, knives, etc., all used in the perpetration of terrible crimes against our fellow human beings. This sculpture depicts actual weapons at its base, and as it rises upward, like the Phoenix from the ashes, the weapons fuse into a powerful human symbol soaring toward the heavens. It does create a stunning visual awareness that hate, fear and violence can be changed. It will serve as a tangible reminder that everything is possible in life through our own will."

In keeping with the anti-gun forces philosophy of feeling over substance, they plan on making more of these monstrosities at taxpayer expense. These weapons could have been sold to help support more policing of troubled neighborhoods, or given to poor people who can't afford to buy a weapon to defend themselves. As it stands now, the very people they claim to be trying to help are still in danger. How many at risk citizens have died because they were unable to defend themselves since this Monument to Stupidity was erected? How many lives has this "sculpture" saved?

Instead of spending so much money on meaningless crap like this, how about spending the money on actually helping current and potential crime victims?

When I see things like this, I'm left shaking my head in disbelief.

Yuri out...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More on the "English Experiment"

Weapons sell for just £50 as suspects and victims grow ever younger
Richard Ford, Home Correspondent and Philip Webster, Political Editor

Senior police officers have been warning for several months that a growing number of teenagers in big cities are becoming involved in gun crime.

The age of victims and suspects has fallen over the past three years as the availability of firearms in some cities has risen. Liverpool and Manchester are the cities where illegal guns are most readily available, with criminals claiming that some weapons are being smuggled from Ireland. Sawn-off shotguns are now being sold for as little as £50, and handguns for £150.

Despite a ban on handguns introduced in 1997 after 16 children and their teacher were shot dead in the Dunblane massacre the previous year, their use in crimes has almost doubled to reach 4,671 in 2005-06. Official figures show that although Britain has some of the toughest anti-gun laws in the world, firearm use in crime has risen steadily. This year eight young people have been killed in gun attacks: six in London and one each in Manchester and Liverpool.

“Illegal firearms have become increasingly accessible to younger offenders who appear more likely to use these firearms recklessly,” a report on gun crime commissioned by the Home Office cautioned last year.

The research supports warnings from police chiefs in Merseyside and London about the spread of gun use in gangs and among teenagers.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Chief Constable of Merseyside, said this year that although gun crime in the area had fallen there had been an increase in the number of teenagers involved in firearms crimes.

Figures from the Metropolitan Police show that the average age of gun crime victims in London fell from 24 to 19 between 2004-06 and that there was a similar trend among suspects charged in connection with shootings.

Mr Hogan-Howe said that youths were being protected by a wall of silence, and he demanded a new law to compel the public to give information about gun crime. He said that action must be taken to break down the power base of families involved in gun crime. “Families who do nothing to stop their children’s involvement in gun crime put society at risk and could find themselves identifying their child in the morgue,” he said.

The Home Office research highlighted how guns were an integral part of a gang culture in which guns were used to deal with disputes. “In the context of firearm ownership, even quite trivial disputes may result in shootings as the presence of guns elevates threat levels and the so-called ‘shoot or be shot’ scenario precipitates pre-emptive violence,” the study said.

Policies to help to deal with the problem were considered at a scheduled No 10 summit yesterday, chaired by Gordon Brown and attended by Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, Beverley Hughes, the Children’s Minister, Lord Hunt, the Justice Minister, as well as police chiefs and local government leaders.

It was the first of a series of meetings to tackle the issue. Mandatory minimum jail sentences for carrying knives and requiring people to give information if they are aware that people have illegal weapons are among the ideas under discussion. Mrs Smith has asked the Serious Organised Crime Agency to look atways to curb the importation of illegal weapons.

After the 90-minute meeting, the Prime Minister said: “Make no mistake about this — the people responsible will be tracked down, they will be arrested and they will be punished.” He said that the Home Office would be earmarking ten areas for an intensive campaign against gun and knife crime. The areas will be announced next week.

Mr Brown added that families would be offered greater support. “The vast majority of young people are decent and law-abiding. They too want to feel safe and secure on our streets. Where there’s a need for early intervention, we will work very intensively with those families so that young people are deterred from going into gangs and guns and knife crime,” he said.

Mrs Smith has outlined a range of measures, including the increased use of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and a crackdown on the sale of alcohol to under-age children. The Government has issued guidance to police and local authorities on how to use the contracts — written pledges to improve behaviour — effectively.

David Cameron said that social breakdown would be the central theme of the Conservative election manifesto. Sir Menzies Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats, called for a “change of atmosphere” in communities with gang violence, but said that there was “no simple solution”.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Who was James Puckle?

For every anti out there who insists that the second amendment doesn't cover machine guns because they didn't exist on July 4th, 1776, take a look at the following...

James Puckle was a London lawyer and was granted the following patent in 1718 for a Portable Gun. Notice the crank...

It would appear to be a "gattling" type gun in that it was cranked. Interestingly, he seems to indicate square bullets should be used for Turks and round bullets for Christians. I'm not really sure what the difference is/was, but that's what it says.

Go here to

Positive TV News Story

We could certainly stand to have a few more of these.

From Oleg Volk...

This is old, but it certainly bears repeating, and Oleg sure knows his way around a camera!

The link is here.

Victory in Missouri!

Missourians won’t need sheriff’s permit to buy concealable gun

The Kansas City Star

Residents of Missouri soon will no longer need a sheriff’s permit to buy a concealable gun, although a permit still will be required to carry one.

Missouri lawmakers changed the gun law earlier this year with little of the controversy that often goes with gun legislation. The change will be effective Tuesday.

“It’s something we’ve advocated for some time,” said Kevin Jamison, a Gladstone lawyer who is president of the Missouri Sport Shooting Association, the National Rifle Association affiliate in the state. “This makes it easier for people to buy firearms. They don’t have to get permission first.”

The gun-permit law for purchases dates to 1921, Jamison said. The sheriff has up to seven days to review a permit application and conduct a criminal background check.

So far this year, Jackson County has issued 4,150 permits to acquire a handgun, said Sgt. Judy Farnsworth of the sheriff’s office. The permits generated about $60,000 in fees for the general fund, she said.

Under federal law, gun dealers already do background checks on people who buy handguns from them, so the sheriff’s review is redundant, Jamison said. In addition, going to the sheriff’s office to apply for a permit and then to pick it up is a nuisance, he said.

The sale or transfer of firearms between individuals also will no longer require a criminal background check.

“There will not be any safeguards on that, individual to individual,” Farnsworth said. “It’s always a concern, but there’s not a lot we can do about it.”

Jamison said most sales of handguns are by licensed dealers, so background checks still will have to be done. Though illegal, the transfer of guns without a permit among individuals is already common, he said.

Jamison said gun-rights groups will advise individuals to have a dealer do a computer background check on gun buyers they do not know. The dealers will charge a small fee but have access to criminal records not available to individuals, Jamison said.

Jamison said there was no testimony against the bill this year when the change was made part of a larger, 20-page firearms and self-defense bill.

As word of the new law got out, however, some people mistakenly believed that permits would no longer be needed to carry a weapon, said Deputy Ronda Montgomery, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

In a news release this week, Montgomery said that “it is important to note this does not affect the concealed permit law.”

A 2003 Missouri law allowed carrying of concealed weapons, with permission of the sheriff and after training, background checks and other restrictions. All of those rules still apply, Jamison said.

“Buying a handgun does not make you qualified to carry it,” he said.

More PSH: Boy Gets Suspended for "Gun" Drawing

Chandler boy suspended for sketching gun

David Biscobing, Tribune

An East Valley eighth-grader was suspended this week after he turned in homework with a sketch that school officials said resembled a gun and posed a threat to his classmates.

But parents of the 13-year-old, who attends Payne Junior High School in the Chandler Unified School District, said the drawing was a harmless doodle of a fake laser, and school officials overreacted.

“I just can’t believe that there wasn’t another way to resolve this,” said Paula Mosteller, the boy’s mother. “He’s so upset. The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good.”

Payne Junior High officials did not allow the Tribune to view the drawing. The Mostellers said the drawing did not depict blood, injuries, bullets or any human targets. They said it was just a drawing that resembled a gun.

But Payne Junior High administrators determined that was enough to constitute a gun threat and gave the boy a five-day suspension that was later reduced to three days.

The Tribune isn’t publishing the boy’s first name at the request of his parents.

The suspension follows an unrelated incident earlier this month in which Gilbert police were called to Payne Junior High School to investigate a rumor of a girl bringing a gun on campus. No gun was found and a letter was sent home to parents.

In the letter, school officials told parents about the incident and indicated there would be a zero-tolerance policy toward gun threats.

Chandler district spokesman Terry Locke said the school is not allowed to discuss students’ discipline records. However, he said the sketch was “absolutely considered a threat,” and threatening words or pictures are punished.

The school did not contact police about the threat and did not provide counseling or an evaluation to the boy to determine if he intended the drawing as a threat.

The Mostellers said their son has no discipline record at the school because they just moved from Colorado this year.

The sketch was one of several drawings scratched in the margins of a science assignment that was turned in on Friday. The boy said he never meant for the picture to be seen as a threat. He said he was just drawing because he finished an assignment early.

School officials issued the suspension on Monday afternoon and notified the student’s father, Ben. He met with school officials and persuaded them to shorten the suspension from five days to three.

A second student was also suspended Monday for a sketch on his homework. However, that student and his parents could not be reached for comment about the nature of that drawing.

Ben Mosteller was allowed to see his son’s drawing at the school but was not permitted to make a copy to bring home to his wife.

Paula Mosteller said she has been unable to reach the school’s principal, Karen Martin, or the vice principal, Dave Constance, since Monday to talk about the suspension. Martin and Constance did not return several phone calls to the school for comment.

When Ben Mosteller came to the school to discuss his son’s punishment, he said school officials mentioned the seriousness of the issue and talked about the massacre at Columbine High School — the site where two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and injured 24 others in 1999 at Littleton, Colo.

The Mostellers said the Columbine reference was extreme and offensive. They have contacted the district’s governing board about the incident.

“We understand that there was zero tolerance and the sketch could look like a gun, but the way this was handled was so horribly wrong,” Paula Mosteller said. “Hopefully, when my son goes back to school on Friday this will all be behind him. But a school accusing a child like this can have a huge effect on a child for the rest of his life.”

Thanks to Sharp as a Marble for the PSH icon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gun of the Week: M1 Garand

Caliber: .30-06 (7.62x63 mm)
Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
Overall length: 1103 mm
Barrel length: 610 mm
Weight: 4.32 kg
Feeding: non-detachable, clip-fed only magazine, 8 rounds

The story of the first semi-automatic rifle ever widely-adopted as a standard military arm began after the start of the First World War, when the inventor John C. Garand (Canadian, then living in USA) began to develop a semi-automatic (or self-loading) rifles. He worked at the government-owned Springfield armory and during the 1920s and early 1930 developed a number of design. Early rifles were built using somewhat rare system of the cartridge primer blowback, but due to some reasons this system was unsuitable for a military rifle, so he switched to the more common gas-operated system. He filed a patent for his semiautomatic, gas operated, clip-fed rifle in 1930, and received an US patent for his design late in 1932. This rifle was built around then-experimental .276 caliber (7mm) cartridge. At the same time, his rifle was tested by the US Military against its main competitor, a .276 caliber Pedersen rifle, and was eventually recommended for adoption by US Army early in the 1932. But a little bit later an US general MacArthur stated that the US Military should stick to the old .30-06 cartridge. Foreseeing that, Garand already had a variation of his design chambered for 30-06. Finally, at the 6th January, 1936, the Garands' rifle was adopted by the US Army as an "rifle, .30 caliber, M1". Early issue rifles, however, showed a quite poor characteristics, jamming way too often for a decent military arm, so a lot of noise was raised that eventually reached the US Congress. In the 1939, the major redesign was ordered, and Garand quickly redesigned a gas port system, which greatly improved the reliability. Almost all M1 rifles of the early issue were quickly rebuilt to adopt a new gas system, so very few "original" M1 Garand rifles survived to present days, and those are extremely expensive collectors items. When the USA entered the World War 2, the mass production of the M1 rifles was set at the Springfield armory and at the Winchester. During the war, both companies developed about 4 millions of M1 rifles, so M1 Garand is a most widely used semi-automatic rifle of the World War 2. During the war, M1 Garand proved itself as a reliable and powerful weapon. There were minor attempts to improve it during the war, but these did not left experimental stages, except for two sniper modifications, M1C and M1D. Both were approved for service in the 1945 and both featured a telescope sight which was off-set to the left due to the top-loading feature of the M1. After the end of the WW2 the production of the M1 in the USA was stopped, and some rifles and also licenses to built it were sold to other countries, such as Italy and Denmark. With the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950 the production of theM1 for US forces was resumed early in 1952. Rifles were manufactured at Springfield armory, and also at Harrington & Richardson Company (H&R) and International Harvester Company. Those companies manufactured M1s until the 1955, and Springfield Armory produced the Garands until 1956. With the official adoption of the new rifle and ammunition in 1957, M14 and 7.62x51mm NATO, respectively, for US service, the M1 rifle became obsolete. It was still used during the later years, however, due to the lack of M14 and M16 rifles, and saw some service during the early period of the Vietnam war. Later, many M1s were transferred to the US National Guard, used as a training weapons by US Army or sold to civilians as a military surplus. Few M1 are still used by all branches of the US Military as a ceremonial weapons. Other than USA, M1s were used by Italy (where these rifles were lately redesigned and rebuilt into 7.62mm BM-59 rifles). Denmark, France and some other countries. There also were attempts to rebarrel the M1 for 7.62mm cartridge in the USA and to adopt a detachable 20-rounds magazines from Browning BAR rifles, but these were less than successful and haven't seen any significant service.

M1 is a gas operated, magazine fed, semiautomatic rifle. Original M1 were using the gas, that was tapped from muzzle by the special muzzle extension, but this was proven unreliable, and since the 1939, M1 rifles were built with gas system that used a gas port, drilled in the barrel near the muzzle. The tapped gas was directed into the gas cylinder, located under the barrel, where it operated a long-stroke gas piston, integral with the operating rod. Long operating rod housed inside it a return spring, and ended with the extension, that carried a bolt operating groove at the left and a charging handle at the right. The groove was connected with the rotating bolt, located inside the receiver. Bolt had two locking lugs that locked into the receiver walls. When gun was fired, hot powder gases were led to the gas chamber and to the gas piston, that drove back the operating rod. The bolt operating grove, interacting with the stud on the bolt, rotated bolt to unlock it and then retracted it to commence the reloading cycle.

M1 was fed from the integral box magazine, which was probably the weakest point of the whole design. The magazine was fed using only the 8-rounds clips, which stayed inside the magazine until all 8 rounds were shot. As soon as the magazine (and clip) became empty, bolt was stopped at its rearward position by the bolt catch, and the empty clip was automatically ejected from the magazine with the distinctive sound. The main drawback of the system was that the clips could not be easily reloaded during the action. However, there still was the possibility to refill the clip in the rifle, but this was not the fastest procedure.

M1 featured a wooden stock with separate handguards and a steel buttplate. The forwardmost part of the muzzle served as a bayonet mounting point. Sights of the M1 consisted of the front sight with dual protecting "wings", dovetailed into the gas block at the muzzle, and the adjustable peephole rear sights, built into the rear part of the receiver. Sniper versions (M1C and M1D) also featured scope mounts on the receiver, offset to the left from the axis of the rifle, so it was possible to load it with clips and also to use its iron sights with scope installed (in the case of the scope damage, for example).

There were some attempts to make a handier and more compact version of the M1 by shortening the barrel by some 6 inches (152 mm), with standard wooden or skeleton metallic buttstocks, but these attempts never left the experimental stages. Some short barreled "tankers" M1 rifles, appeared in the post-war period, are not the genuine designs, but the "sawed-off" variations of the standard "long" rifles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A New York State of Mind
by Fred Thompson

When I was working in television, I spent quite a bit of time in New York City. There are lots of things about the place I like, but New York gun laws don’t fall in that category.

Anybody who knows me knows I’ve always cared deeply about the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. So I’ve always felt sort of relieved when I flew back home to where that particular civil liberty gets as much respect as the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Unfortunately, New York is trying, again, to force its ways on the rest of us, this time through the courts. First, they went after U.S. gun manufacturers, seeking through a lawsuit not only money but injunctive control over the entire industry. An act of congress in 2005 blocked, but did not end, that effort.

Now, the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani’s administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers, has done it again. Last week, he created a bizarre justification to allow New York City to sue out-of-state gun stores that sold guns that somehow ended up in criminal hands in the Big Apple.

The lawsuit has been a lesson in out-of-control government from the get-go. Mayor Bloomberg sent private investigators to make “straw” purchases – illegally buying guns for somebody else. According to the ATF, NY’s illegal “stings” interfered with ongoing investigations of real gun traffickers.

Obviously, New York won’t get much cash out of the few dozen shops being sued in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia; so the purpose can only be political. Some of those sued have already buckled under the financial strain of legal defense and agreed to live by New York City rules.

Ironically, all of this comes at a time of historically low violent crime rates and historically high gun ownership rates nationally. States where it is legal to carry guns are also at an all-time high, up to 40 from 10 in 1987 by NRA reckoning.

While this attack by New York City on the Second Amendment reinforces the importance of appointing judges who apply the law as written, there is another important legal point. Federalism, though usually seen as a protection of the states from the federal government, actually grew out of the need to protect states from other states that interfered in free commerce beyond their borders – as New York is doing today. In this case, we need Federalism to protect states from a big bully in New York City.

Monday, August 20, 2007

New Pro-Gun Blog

The Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Club (ANJRPC) President Scott Bach has a new blog up at You may remember that this is the same NJ Voices site that hosts the sarcastic anti Bryan Miller.

Go over and show your support for a fellow gun rights proponent.

New Smart Gun Developed

TRENTON, New Jersey - NJ Governor John Corzine and the NJ Attorney General are pleased to announce that after millions of taxpayer dollars being given to NJIT, a Smartgun has finally been developed.

This new gun implements the NJ Smartgun law. Now the only handguns that can be sold in New Jersey are Smartguns pursuant to the Smartgun law. This is particularly good news for the Governor who desperately wants to blame guns for all of New Jersey's crime problems and finally the backdoor handgun ban (NJ's Smartgun Law) can take place.

From a reader. Hilarious! :-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Truth About the Right To Carry

This needs to be seen far and wide.

Thanks to Xavier Thoughts for the video.

Buy a Gun Day Redux

We're all familiar with April 15th as the original BAG (Buy a Gun) day. Now, in honor of Jesse Jackson and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership, I encourage everyone to buy a gun or ammunition on August 28th. Here's why:

RIVERDALE, Ill. (June 29, 2007)-- Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition, announced today he will organize a national day of protest in 25 cities on Aug. 28, 2007, to rally support for legislation to restrict gun sales...
Once again, if you can, please buy a gun or ammunition on August 28th as a counter protest against those who would strip us of our constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Microstamping Redux...

Newtown, Connecticut -- With the California Senate poised to take up AB 1471, legislation which would mandate the use of an unreliable, easily defeated, patented, sole-sourced technology to microstamp firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the firearm industry's trade association -- is calling upon lawmakers to heed the warnings of experts. The move by NSSF comes on the heels of a recently released study by the University of California at Davis that proves the technology -- called firearms microstamping -- is "flawed" and "does not work well."

The U.C. Davis study, which concluded, "At the current time it is not recommended that a mandate for implementation of this technology in all semiautomatic handguns in the state of California be made. Further testing, analysis and evaluation is required," was initiated at the request of the California legislature.

Firearms microstamping is the patented process that laser engraves the firearm's make, model and serial number on the tip of the gun's firing pin so that, in theory, once the gun is fired the information is imprinted onto the discharged cartridge cases.

"The U.C. Davis study confirms an earlier study on firearms microstamping," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane, referring to an independent, peer-reviewed study published last year in the professional scholarly journal for forensic firearms examiners. That work proved that microstamping firearms was unreliable, did not function as the patent holder claimed and could be easily defeated in mere seconds using common household tools.

Though researchers at U.C. Davis have stated that "more testing in a wider range of firearms is needed to determine the costs and feasibility" of mandating microstamping, the California Assembly pushed through the legislation earlier in the year by a vote of 44-29, largely along party lines.

A similar bill (AB 352) failed last year over concerns about reliability, cost and the fact that it is a patented sole-sourced technology. The patent holder, New Hampshire-based ID Dynamics and its owner Todd Lizotte, have been aggressively lobbying the legislature to pass AB 1471, despite opposition from the firearms and ammunition industry and law enforcement groups such as the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the Orange County Sheriff.

"The U.C. Davis study and earlier peer-reviewed research only serve to further validate our longstanding concerns that this technology is unreliable, that it simply does not work as advertised and can and will be easily defeated by criminals in seconds using common household tools," continued Keane. "We encourage the California Senate to do the right thing and reject this bill."

For more information on the facts concerning microstamping, please visit:

NSSF Backgrounder on U.C. Davis

NSSF Backgrounder on Krivosta - AFTE study

NSSF Backgrounder on Microstamping Costs

NSSF Backgrounder on Microstamping and Crime

More on "Straw Purchaser" Steve Bailey

by Dave Workman
Senior Editor

The alleged “straw purchase” that led to the now-infamous broadcast on Boston’s WRKO that landed anti-gun Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey and Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal in the focus of federal investigators may have been preceded by other attempts by the men to purchase guns at a Lebanon, NH, gun show in 2005.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opened an investigation into the transaction after the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and other gun organizations called for an inquiry.

Gun Week has learned from a source close to the investigation that the columnist and/or his companions at the Lebanon gun show in late 2005 apparently approached more than one dealer with inquiries about buying firearms. The dealer who finally sold them the gun asserted that he was not aware that the buyer was with Bailey—as both Bailey and Rosenthal have alleged—until about three months later, after reading a copy of Bailey’s Nov. 30, 2005 Globe column that circulated around the gun show. He promptly alerted New Hampshire state police to what he thought may have been a crime.

Meanwhile, in a battle of words with SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, Bailey portrayed himself as a victim of “gun lobby” bullying after the investigation was initiated. Gottlieb countered that Bailey is instead “a victim of his own big mouth” and the gun control laws he has supported.

Gun Week has learned that Bailey has been digging into the operations of SAF and its sister organization, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

Bailey had disclosed the purchase of a .38-caliber Charter Arms revolver at the gun show nearly two years ago during a July 10, 2007 on-air conversation he had with WRKO-AM talk hosts Tom Finneran and Todd Feinburg. Rosenthal joined the conversation via cell phone. In the aftermath, Gottlieb called for a criminal investigation of the purchase, and he said The Globe should fire Bailey for a “serious ethical breach.”

Bailey reported slipping $240 to a New Hampshire man identified as Walter Belair, a former prison guard now employed by the city of Manchester, so that Belair could purchase a handgun that Bailey had apparently asked about buying. The dealer turned Bailey down because he is a Massachusetts resident, so Bailey asserted that he asked if Belair could purchase the gun and the dealer allegedly said he could.

The dealer offered a different account, insisting that he did not know Belair was with Bailey and Rosenthal when Belair asked about buying the gun that the dealer would not sell to either Massachusetts man.

According to attorney Jerry Belair, Walter’s brother and the legislative director for Stop Handgun Violence, there was no crime because the gun never left Walter’s possession. Jerry Belair told Gun Week that he had asked Walter to accompany Bailey and Rosenthal to the gun show “to show how easy it is” to purchase a firearm that could be subsequently transferred illegally to someone else.

Jerry Belair also stated that there “must be intent” to violate the law for a crime to have occurred. Presumably, that is what the ATF investigation will determine. Jerry Belair defended his brother’s actions, and said he sent an angry e-mail to Gottlieb about demanding an investigation.

The WRKO broadcast ignited a firestorm in the gun rights community. Bailey wrote in a recent column that he is afraid of guns, so instead of actually taking the revolver back to Massachusetts—it would have been a felony for him to do so—he said that he left it in New Hampshire with Walter Belair. In an on-air chat with Feinburg July 20, Bailey asserted that Globe lawyers had assured him he is not in trouble because he did not actually take possession of the gun.

That gun is now in the custody of the ATF after two agents seized it on a search warrant they served on Belair at his place of work July 18. According to Bailey, “They had a search warrant and a tape of the radio interview.”

But then Bailey tried to blame “the National Rifle Association and all the NRA knock-offs out there” for trying to intimidate him over his views. It is not clear how Bailey confused SAF with the NRA, or why he brought that organization’s name into the debate. The NRA has not been publicly involved in this controversy.

“Dare to say we need fewer, not more guns in this country, dare to say we need a uniform system for monitoring gun sales in this country and you become a target to be hunted down,” Bailey asserted in his column.

Rebuttal Rejected
But Bailey also used the column to attack Gottlieb personally about a tax-related conviction more than 20 years ago. Indeed, the day before that column ran, Bailey called Gottlieb twice at his Bellevue, WA, office, focusing on the decades-old tax case rather than on the gun transaction. When the column appeared the following day, Bailey made light of the gun transaction.

Gottlieb quickly fired back with a rebuttal that the newspaper refused to print on its Op-Ed page, but promised to “pass along” to its letters editor. The Globe subsequently asked that Gottlieb’s initial remarks be reduced to a mere 200 words in order to be published in the letters column. Bailey’s column attacking Gottlieb ran more than 700 words. But the original Gottlieb column did appear on-line at both the SAF website ( and on

“Portraying himself as a martyr for gun control extremism does not trump the fact that Bailey is being investigated for violating a federal gun law,” Gottlieb wrote. “His on-air braggadocio brought that down, and being disingenuous about it is flimsy. The ‘gun lobby’ doesn’t dispatch federal agents to investigate people. The audio of his broadcast provided ATF with probable cause, and SAF doesn’t issue search warrants, judges do.

“Bailey’s worst enemy in all of this isn’t the so-called gun lobby,” Gottlieb concluded. “It’s his own big mouth, fed by a giant ego and an overdose of monumental stupidity. He argues that gun shows need tougher regulation. He may provide the example of how that might work.”

Bailey curtly declined to discuss the column with Gun Week, and Finneran did not return calls. Neither Belair, nor another man who was with Bailey and Rosenthal at the gun show, Boston police Officer Andrew Heggie, would return our calls either. Rosenthal did speak with Gun Week (See that interview elsewhere in this issue.)

Accounts Differ
Bailey’s and Rosenthal’s accounts of the transaction differ.

According to Bailey’s account in his 2005 column: “In the end, we settled on a .38-caliber revolver, a trashy little thing popular with thugs in cities like Boston. Made by Connecticut’s Charter 2000 Inc., in New England’s ‘Gun Valley,’ the revolver retails for $349, but…Belair, picked it up, cash and carry, for just $240. It took Belair, a former prison guard, less than 20 minutes to fill out the federal forms and get approved over the phone. It took me longer to buy a refrigerator at Sears a few weeks ago.”

But then, in the WRKO segment, Bailey described the transaction like this: “We finally settled on a .38 Special. To be fair we took a New Hampshire resident with us who was a guard, a prison guard. It would have been much harder; you would have had a waiting time if you were a Massachusetts resident…

“But he bought it for me,” Bailey continued. “I gave him a couple of hundred bucks. We expensed it to The Globe by the way. One of the first things I learned when I came to The Globe was I never saw a receipt I couldn’t expense.”

But here’s how Rosenthal described the transaction to Gun Week: “We went up to a table. We asked if we could purchase a handgun. I asked specifically, ‘Can I purchase a handgun’ and the dealer said no problem, I just need an ID, so I gave him an ID. He told me I’m from Massachusetts and he can’t sell me a handgun, but I can buy a rifle…Steve said he was most interested in seeing how the handgun purchase goes. I said, ‘Well, how about my friend here, he’s from New Hampshire. Can he do it?’ The dealer said ‘no problem.’ It was clearly a straw purchase…The gun dealer knew full well it was a straw purchase…The dealer knew full well that gun was not staying with the New Hampshire guy, I think.”

He gave a similar account while on the air, speaking from his cell phone.

It may have been that live discussion which provided ATF with probable cause to open an investigation and get a warrant to seize the gun. ATF spokesman Jim McNally told Gun Week that he could not discuss an on-going investigation, or even confirm that one is underway, but in broad terms, he acknowledged that no such investigation would occur without ample reason; that is, on flimsy circumstantial evidence. Given any serious allegation of wrong-doing, ATF would investigate to see if a law had actually been broken, and if any crime had been committed.

For example, McNally said that if two people went to a gun shop and one person handed the other person some money to buy a firearm, and the buyer actually kept the gun, “that’s not a straw purchase.” This is essentially how Jerry Belair described the gun show transaction involving his brother, Walter, and Bailey.

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Massachusetts Gun Owners Action League, was also briefly involved in that July 10 on-air segment, and he clearly believes a straw purchase took place.

However, an attorney interviewed by The Globe’s rival Boston Herald thinks otherwise. Randy Chapman, president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, told the newspaper that “I don’t see a criminal intent there. I just see someone facilitating a news story.”

‘That’s a Felony!’
The July 10 radio segment—which Gun Week has reviewed and was available on the WRKO website—heated up quickly when a caller, identified as “Tony,” demanded to know why Bailey and Rosenthal weren’t under arrest. That quickly got Feinburg’s attention, especially when “Tony” told them that federal gun laws had been violated.

When “Tony” came on the air, he immediately demanded to know when Bailey and the prison guard were going to be jailed. Finneran did not understand.

“It was a straw purchase,” the caller explained. “You cannot purchase a handgun without going through an FFL in your own state…He (Bailey) committed a felony, a federal crime. When’s he going to jail?”

Bailey and Finneran joked about the issue as if “Tony” were making a specious argument. Finneran even mockingly recited to Bailey his Miranda rights.

Other Massachusetts residents, with whom Gun Week spoke, are also convinced at least one or two federal gun laws were violated. Tom Rutherford of Westminster and Bob Young, president of the Hamilton Wenham Gun Club, were appalled at the segment. Both said independently that they believe a crime was committed.

The controversy has gained momentum since Gun Week began investigating. J.R. Labbe, deputy editorial page editor of the Fort Worth, TX Star-Telegram, did a column about the flap several days after the initial radio broadcast. Internet pro-gun chat groups and forums also debated the story as it spread across the country.

Studies Bust Myth
Pro Gun New Hampshire issued a statement about a week after the broadcast, noting that the state regulates gun sales to non-residents. The group also noted that the state requires background checks for all purchases from licensed dealers, even if the transaction occurs at a gun show.

Rosenthal and Bailey have argued that gun shows are an easy source of firearms for criminals, but a study done for the Department of Justice found that less than one percent (0.7 percent) of criminals obtain their guns from gun shows.

However, the fact that their on-air revelation kicked off an investigation might be construed to refute their claim about so-called gun show loopholes because they are now being investigated for the purchase.

Gun Week also reported on another study done for the FBI that focused on cop killers. That study revealed that armed criminals “laugh at gun laws.” One criminal interviewed for the study observed, “All these politicians are screaming about more gun laws, more gun laws. F— the gun laws. I never gave a s— about the gun laws that are on the books. And, the 8,000 new gun laws would have made absolutely (no difference) whatsoever, about me getting a gun. Why? Because I never went into a gun store or to a gun show or to a pawn shop or anyplace else where firearms are legally bought and sold and picked up a gun, ever.”

This study also found that none of the guns used by any of the study’s subjects were obtained at gun shows.

The Poop...

A more accurately titled "blog" I couldn't make up myself. This has so much wrong with it I've decided to just post it and let you the reader do your own fisking as you read along. It might help, I suppose, to understand this nonsense once you realize what part of the country this comes from.

Don't forget to follow the link and read the comments!



A farewell to arms: My boy is obsessed with guns

I just got shot with a baby bottle. Can anyone relate?

My 3-year-old is a sweet, cuddly boy -- who really, really, REALLY wants a gun for the holidays.

He's like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story," who tries to convince his parents and Santa that he should get that Red Ryder BB gun.

NRA Hall of Fame inductee Ralphie Parker takes aim.

NRA Hall of Fame inductee Ralphie Parker takes aim.

The weird thing is I have no idea where he got the idea. He doesn't watch violent TV. He watches documentaries about the first moon landing and Leap Frog alphabet videos. He has a few books about pirates, but they use swords and cannons.

About a year ago, he started aiming crayons at me instead of at paper. He made "shooters" out of Mega Blocks. I've also been shot with the hose from his little fire truck and with countless kitchen utensils.

Desperate, I turned to a book recommended by our preschool teacher, "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen. In summary, Cohen says you don't have to buy toy guns, and shouldn't, but you can't change a kid's desire to play with them. So don't bother stopping boys from pretending. And if you get shot, play the "Love Gun" game.

So I told my son, as he aimed a wooden spoon at me one day, "That's a love gun and if you shoot me, it will just make me love you more!" Then I chased him around like I was love-struck Pepe Le Pew.

We both thought I was crazy.

What he needed, I decided, was a toy he ABSOLUTELY could not turn into a weapon. A baby doll.

He'd shown no previous interest, but I wasn't worried because we know other boys who love their dolls (see Poop contributor Tanya Schevitz's earlier post).

First, I read him the book "William's Doll" to prep him. Then I gave him a doll, stroller and aforementioned bottle.

He spent about 15 minutes dressing the doll in his old baby clothes, racing the doll in the stroller through the house and racing stuffed animals in the stroller.

Then he picked up the pink bottle, the kind where the "milk" magically disappears when tipped, and said "I shoot you."

Nature? Nurture? I give up.

Is he too young for "Grand Theft Auto"?

Calls For Gun Bans

"Opponents of gun restrictions often argue that even seemingly modest restrictions are the first step towards total bans on all guns or all handguns.

Some proponents of gun restrictions mock this: No-one is talking about gun bans, they say -- the slippery slope concern is groundless. In the words of Martin Dyckman, associate editor of the St. Petersburg Times (Dec. 12, 1993, at 3D), "no one is seriously proposing to ban or confiscate all guns. You hear that only from the gun lobby itself, which whistles up this bogeyman whenever some reasonable regulation is proposed."

Who is right here? Is it true that no-one is seriously proposing broad gun bans? Is it true that the slippery slope concern is just a bogeyman? Here are a few relevant quotes on this point. (All of them have been verified by me, Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA Law School, with help from our excellent law library.)

1. Quotes from gun control proponents praising the slippery slope, and urging mild restrictions as steps toward a total ban.

2. Citations to laws that in fact ban all guns or all handguns.

3. Quotes from politicians urging gun bans.

4. Quotes from leading media figures and institutions urging gun bans.

5. Quotes from advocacy groups urging gun bans.

These are of course only a subset of all the material that's available."

The whole document can be found here, I strongly urge you read it and bookmark it for later reference.

"Well Regulated" Redux

What does “well-regulated” mean? Or, more to the point, what did it mean at the time that the constitution of the United States was being written?

Fortunately, many old writings have been digitized, and are available on-line, making it possible to research that question.

Practically all modern references to the term “well-regulated” refer to activities that are regulated by law, such as the airline industry, the fur industry, or the gambling “industry”. The contrast with writings from the 19th century was quite pronounced. Practically all the earlier references I could find had quite a different meaning, inconsistent with that interpretation. The clear meaning of the term in earlier texts was closer to “properly operating” or “in its ideal state”.

This is not too surprising, given that the emphasis of the earlier era was on individual responsibility, industry, and proper behavior being the foundation of a prosperous and orderly society, vs. our present indulgence in government regulation as a source of social good.

In Item 1, Anne Newport Royall commented in 1822 that Huntsville, Alabama was becoming quite civilized and prosperous, with a “fine fire engine” and a “well regulated company”. I suppose one could make the case that the firefighters were especially subject to rules and laws, but the passage is more coherent if read, “They have a very fine fire engine, and a properly operating company.”

William Thackary’s 1848 novel (item 4) uses the term “well-regulated person”. The story is that of Major Dobbin, who had been remiss in visiting his family. Thackary’s comment is to the effect that any well-regulated person would blame the major for this. Clearly, in this context, well-regulated has nothing to do with government rules and laws. It can only be interpreted as “properly operating” or “ideal state”.

In 1861, author George Curtis (item 5), has one of his characters, apparently a moneyhungry person, praising his son for being sensible, and carefully considering money in making his marriage plans. He states that “every well-regulated person considers the matter from a pecuniary point of view.” Again, this cannot logically be interpreted as a person especially subject to government control. It can only be read as “properly operating”.

Edmund Yates certainly has to be accepted as an articulate and educated writer, quite capable of properly expressing his meaning. In 1884 (item 6), he references a person who was apparently not “strictly well-regulated”. The context makes any reading other that “properly operating” or “in his ideal state” impossible.

One of the most telling items is from 1834, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine (item 8). Here we have a discussion of people who rose up against “encroachments of the Crown”, i.e., active rebellion, while maintaining or restoring their “well-regulated organization.”

Clearly, these were people who were actively shaking off government encroachment, not people in subjection to the rule of law. Yet they had, and maintained, a “well-regulated organization.” Again, the “subject to government laws and rules” interpretation is impossible. The passage must be read as “properly functioning” or “in its ideal state”.

In reviewing older writings, I have made no effort to select those that favor the “properly functioning” or “ideal state” interpretation. As nearly as I can tell, the items I have listed are a good representation of the old use of the term. They stand in sharp contrast to our modern use.


Anne Newport Royall 1822, regarding Huntsville, Alabama:

They have a very fine fire engine, and a well regulated company.

History of British Commerce and of the Economic Progress of the British Nation, 1763-1878 by Leone Levi, 1872, pages 238-239,M1

Regarding The East India Company, which had a monopoly on trade with China:

And it was assumed that, under such circumstances, the action of a well-regulated company, acting with honour and prudence, calculated to inspire confidence and encourage intimacy of relations, was of great benefit. But such allegations did not agree with the evidence that the Chinese have always been keen to engage in trade; wilst, as to the advantage of a well-regulated company over private traders, it was greatly neutralized by the fact that the Company had ceased practically to be a purely commercial company, and had acquired all the character of a military power.


The meaning of the phrase "wellregulated" in the 2nd amendment
From: Brian T. Halonen <>

The following are taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, and bracket in time the writing of the 2nd amendment:

1709: "If a liberal Education has formed in us well-regulated Appetites and worthy Inclinations."

1714: "The practice of all well-regulated courts of justice in the world."

1812: "The equation of time ... is the adjustment of the difference of time as shown by a well-regulated clock and a true sun dial."

1848: "A remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the Mayor." (other docs say “Major”)

1862: "It appeared to her well-regulated mind, like a clandestine proceeding."

1894: "The newspaper, a never wanting adjunct to every well-regulated American embryo city."

The phrase "well-regulated" was in common use long before 1789, and remained so for a century thereafter. It referred to the property of something being in proper working order.

Something that was well-regulated was calibrated correctly, functioning as expected.

Establishing government oversight of the people's arms was not only not the intent in using the phrase in the 2nd amendment, it was precisely to render the government powerless to do so that the founders wrote it.


William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair, A Novel Without a Hero

He did not like to own that he had not as yet been to see his parents and his dear sister Ann—a remissness for which I am sure every well-regulated person will blame the major. And presently he took his leave, leaving his address behind him for Jos, against the latter’s arrival. And so the first day was over, and he had seen her.

When he got back to the Slaughter’s, the roast fowl was of course cold, in which condition he at it for supper.

Knowing what early hours his family kept, and that it would be needless to disturb their slumbers at so late an hour, it is on record, that Major Dobbin treated himself to halfprice at the Haymarket Theater that evening, were let us hope he enjoyed himself.

Trumps: A Novel, Geo. Wm. Curtis, 1861, page 146,M1

Marriage is a most important relation. Young men can not be too cautious in regard to it. It is not an affair of the feelings merely; but common sense dictates that when new relations are likely to arise, suitable provision should be made. Hence every wellregulated person considers the matter from a pecuniary point of view. The pecuniary point of view is indispensable. We can do without sentiment in this world, for sentiment is a luxury. We can not dispense with money, because money is a necessity. It gives me, therefore, great pleasure to hear that the choice of my son has evinced the good sense which, I may say without affection, I hope he has inherited, and has justified the pains and expense which I have been at in his education. My son, I congratulate you. Mrs. Dinks, I congratulate you.

6. Edmund Yates: His Recollections and Experiences, Edmund Yates, 1884, page 68

Some of his friends blamed him, and some pitied him; but to a few good and staunch and true who knew the man, his affectionate disposition, his warm generous heart, he was lovable to the last. By those his memory is still cherished in the full feeling that they could far more readily have spared a more strictly well-regulated person.

7. The Jew and Other Stories, Ivan Turgenev, Chapter 4, 1846

One autumn day there were five of us, ardent sportsmen, gathered together at Piotr Fedorovitch’s. We had spent the whole morning out, had run down a couple of foxes and a number of hares, and had returned home in that supremely agreeable frame of mind which comes over every well-regulated person after a successful day’s shooting. It grew dusk. The wind was frolicking over the dark fields and noisily swinging the bare tops of the birches and lime-trees round Lutchinov’s house. We reached the house, got off our horses....

8. Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, 1834, page 71;lpg=PA71&dq=%22well+regulated+organization%22&source=web&ots=XqkmAomfDB&sig=PzKApjkhVbiOftQEIO0i2zwHsRE

The English have, in every age, as Mr Burke observes, been remarkable for their love of freedom, but never till recently actuated by the passion for equality: they were extremely solicitous that the public liberties should be maintained, but they had no wish that the order of society should be subverted in the struggle, or the privates elevated to the rank of officers, in combating the common enemy. They went forth to resist the encroachments of the Crown, in the natural order of society, headed by their landlords, their magistrates, or their leading citizens, and when the victory was gained, fell back to the same state of established and well-regulated organization. Even during the democratic fervor of the great Rebellion, the same order was preserved…

9. The Writings of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1896, page 292;lpg=PA292&dq=%22well+regulated+mind%22&source=web&ots=ViRKgH8XN-&sig=bNLVjDqfqjnLPZa4GNmmQbx9Yjg

“And there ’s no sort of reason, Betsey, why you should n’t exercise self-control and eat your supper,” pursued Miss Dorcas authoritatively. “A well-regulated mind”--- “You need n’t talk to me about a well-regulated mind, Dorcas,” responded Mrs. Betsey in an exacerbated tone. “I have n’t got a well-regulated mind and never had, and never shall have; and reading Mrs. Chapone and Dr. Watts on the Mind, and all the rest of them never did me any good. I’m one of that sort that when I’m anxious I am anxious; so it don’t do any good to talk that way to me.”

10. The Friends’ Library: Comprising Journals, Doctrinal Treatises, and Other Writings
of Members, William Evans and Thomas Evans, 1939, page 176

There is yet another precious advantage results from bringing up children in habits of well-regulated industry and economy; little business will then be found sufficient to bring up a family reputably, when our wants are confined to real comforts and conveniencies, which Truth allows, as far as ever our circumstances will warrant them. It is those things which have nothing to recommend them but show, and an appearance of what the world calls gentility, that are opposed by the Truth in each of our minds, did we but attend to it more faithfully; for want of this attention, how many have become slaves to appearances! And where this well-regulated industry and economy are wanting, and idleness and fulness of bread prevail, how little is to be observed in the conduct of such, of reverential thankfulness for the bounties they are receiving from heaven.

11. The New Harmony Movement, George Browning Lockwood, Charles Allen Prosser,
1905, page 172 in the original, page 170 in the online version.,M1

You should have honesty of purpose; devotion to the success of each and all communities; confidence in one another and submission to majority rule; well-regulated industry and wise economy; to make provision for the schools should be an object of first importance.
Both Sides Fear Firing Blanks if D.C. Gun Case Reaches High Court

Tony Mauro
Legal Times
July 30, 2007

The case of District of Columbia v. Heller is barely at the Supreme Court's starting gate, yet nearly everyone involved has a growing sense that this will be the Big One.

It is shaping up as the case that finally forces the Court to decide one of the most keenly debated issues in constitutional law: the full meaning of the right to keep and bear arms declared by the Second Amendment.

Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty is appealing a March 9 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that struck down the city's handgun ban on Second Amendment grounds. The Court has given the city until Sept. 5 to file, and the other side -- residents who want the ban overturned -- say they too want high court review. If the Court accepts, the case could be argued early next year.

But even as the case heats up, factions on both sides seem to be getting cold feet. The concern is that even after nearly 70 years of high court silence, the time might not be right for it to speak to the Second Amendment question.

On the pro-gun-rights side those worries, along with long-simmering rivalries, have relegated the National Rifle Association to the sidelines in a case that could fulfill its most fervent dream: a declaration by the Court that the convoluted wording of the Second Amendment ensures an individual's right to bear arms, rather than a collective right of state militias. If the right-leaning Roberts Court embraces that view, regulating firearm possession and use would become harder, though not impossible.

Alan Gura, the Alexandria, Va., lawyer who masterminded the challenge to the D.C. handgun ban, says the NRA has joined him "ever so grudgingly" only in recent weeks, after years of trying to wreck the litigation and avoid a Second Amendment showdown. At earlier stages, the NRA sought to consolidate its own case, which challenged the D.C. law on a "kitchen sink" array of rationales, with Gura's. In a 2003 filing, Gura called the NRA case "sham litigation" aimed at muddying his Second Amendment claim.

Even after the D.C. Circuit ruled in March, says Gura, the NRA lobbied for legislation to repeal the D.C. handgun ban as a way to keep the case out of the Supreme Court. "The NRA was adamant about not wanting the Supreme Court to hear the case, but we went ahead anyway," says Gura, a name partner in the firm of Gura & Possessky. "It's not their case, and they are somewhat territorial."


Gura insists that if the high court grants review, he will argue the case himself and won't defer to NRA lawyers, such as Stephen Halbrook, who have Supreme Court experience. "My decisions in the case have been the correct decisions. That's why I am arguing and he's not."

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam denies his group sought to sabotage Gura's case: "Our intent to file an amicus brief if the case progresses speaks for itself." He also noted that the NRA filed a brief supporting Gura with the circuit court.

Yet Charles Cooper of D.C.'s Cooper & Kirk acknowledges that when he reviewed the Heller case at an earlier stage for the NRA, "my concern was then, as it is now, whether our [individual rights] theory of the Second Amendment would command a majority of the Supreme Court." Even with recent changes in the composition of the Court, says Cooper, "that is still not as clear as I would like it to be, though I am much more calm." Nonetheless, Cooper says, if the high court declines to take up the D.C. case and lets the D.C. Circuit ruling stand, "that's not going to disappoint me."

Cooper's reluctance is based on legal strategy, but others say the NRA has less lofty reasons for not wanting the Supreme Court to decide what the Second Amendment really means. "The NRA would lose its loudest fund-raising drum if this question is answered," says Carl Bogus, a leading scholar who favors the militia rights view of the amendment.

The pro-gun-control side has also had misgivings about appealing to the Supreme Court. Other cities and states worry that if the Supreme Court upholds the circuit decision, their own efforts to regulate firearms will be in jeopardy. By not appealing, D.C. could have limited the damage to only its law.

"Obviously a lot of factors went into Mayor Fenty's decision to appeal. He wanted to do what he could to protect the city's laws," says Dennis Henigan of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a leading gun control strategist. "On the other hand, there have been some changes on the Supreme Court that could affect the outcome."

Addressing concerns about the nationwide impact of an adverse ruling, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer says, "Our obligation is to the residents of the District of Columbia." She also says, "We have a substantial chance of success on the merits" at the Supreme Court.

Singer indicated the case would not be argued by an outside Supreme Court advocate, but rather a lawyer on her staff, though she did not say which one.

A natural candidate, says Henigan, would be Alan Morrison, the former head of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, who is leaving a Stanford Law School teaching position to join Singer's staff as a special counsel beginning Sept. 4. "He's a huge talent," says Henigan, who also says the city's solicitor general, Todd Kim, is "a terrific lawyer."

Morrison, who has argued 16 cases before the Supreme Court, confirms he has been working unofficially on several projects including the gun case recently.


With the Roberts Court's increasingly sharp right turn last term, it might seem that the outcome of the case is predictable: a victory for the pro-gun forces and the individual rights view.

But things aren't that clear-cut, says Bogus, the Second Amendment scholar and a professor at Roger Williams University's law school. "It does not fall out clearly on the liberal-conservative divide," he says, noting that some conservative legal scholars such as Robert Bork oppose the individual rights view, while some liberals like Laurence Tribe back it.

The justices themselves have said remarkably little about the Second Amendment through the years, though at least two of them -- Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas -- have said enough to convince most analysts that they would support the pro-gun, individual rights view.

In a 1997 decision, Printz v. United States, Thomas said, almost wistfully, "Perhaps, at some future date, this Court will have the opportunity to determine whether Justice [Joseph] Story was correct when he wrote that the right to bear arms 'has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.'"

For his part, Scalia, in a book 10 years ago, described "my interpretation of the Second Amendment as a guarantee that the federal government will not interfere with the individual's right to bear arms for self-defense."

During their confirmation hearings, new Justices Samuel Alito Jr. and John Roberts Jr. were asked about their Second Amendment views.

Senators grilled Alito about his 1996 dissent in United States v. Rybar, during his tenure as a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In that decision, Alito said Congress had overstepped its powers under the commerce clause when it passed a ban on machine gun ownership.

But Alito said during his 2006 hearing that his was a "very modest position," adding that Congress could cure the problem by including in the law some statement or finding that asserted a connection between the ban and interstate commerce.

Roberts, when asked directly about his view of the Second Amendment, demurred on the grounds that the issue could come before him. But he did say in his September 2005 hearing that 1939's United States v. Miller had "side-stepped the issue" and left the meaning of the Second Amendment "a very open issue."

Miller marked the last time the Court dealt directly with the meaning of the Second Amendment. It upheld a restriction on sawed-off shotguns, asserting that the laws appeared to have little to do with "a well-regulated militia."

To Henigan of the Brady Center, Roberts' stated view of Miller was telling. "When he said that, it was a signal, to my ears" that Roberts would take the individual rights view. Most gun rights advocates also say Miller sidestepped the Second Amendment question, says Henigan, while "nine circuit courts have found that Miller did in fact decide the meaning of the Second Amendment" as a militia right.

Little is known about the other justices' Second Amendment views. As is often the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy might cast the deciding vote.

No matter what the outcome of the case, even the pro-gun-rights Gura believes it will be far from the last word the Supreme Court has on the subject of the Second Amendment.

"There's this incredible temptation, which I don't understand, to think that one Second Amendment case will resolve everything," says Gura. "It doesn't work that way." Even if the Court declares it protects an individual right, the scope of the right will have to be fleshed out, he says. "It will take an eternity to resolve."