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Bruce

So, we should ban this gun, according to Marty Meehan (et al), because if the criminals get hold of t, they can easily buy the armor-piercing ammo for it on the black market?

Where do these people think they're getting the guns in the first place? Not a lot of (read: any) gangbangers walking into gun shops and buying these through legitimate channels.

Banning this handgun will work as well as banning crack cocaine.

To think that laws can be passed to circumvent the power of the black market to fill any criminal's wants and needs is to dismiss reality and embrace ignorance.

But, damn, it feeeeeeeeeels so good.

Again, it looks like we'll have to agree to disagree on this one.

Erik

"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."

The 2nd amendment isn't about the rights of hunters or personal defense. The purpose of the 2nd amendment is to assure that the people have the power to overthrow the government if necessary. As the government gets better armed, the spirit of the 2nd amendment requires that the people do as well. Now one could argue that they (the framers) are implying that the militia needs to be able to overthrow the government, but if that's the case there is no individual right to bear arms. If the people lack the power to overthrow a repressive government, the state is not free.

carpundit

Bruce,
Gun bans generally don't work. Hell, anything bans usually don't work. But I'd like to see a ban on this weapon for the message value, to tell FN Herstal that decent people don't appreciate their making a weapon of murder freely available to anyone who wants it.
CP

carpundit

Erik,
A Second Amendment argument is a very strong position to take on gun regulation. Unexpected.
CP

Bruce

"for the message value"?

Well, there's a good reason to enact new laws.

"Well, it won't have any real effect on anything. It won't deter violent criminals from being, well, violent. It won't prevent a criminal who wants one from getting one. But it sends a message."

Yay for that.

Erik

I actually don't believe the 2nd amendment provides an individual right to bear arms. I believe it provides for a well regulated militia, just like it says. The bill of rights uses the word "the people" when it means the populous as a collective (for instance in 2 and 4) and "person" when it means the individual (as in 5).

The real problem was the Dick Act in 1903 and the National Defense Act of 1916 resulting in the federalization of the militia into the NG.

I have no problem with the states banning any particular weapon.

Bruce

Which orifice did you pull that interpretation of the Bill of Rights out of?

"I have no problem with the states banning any particular weapon.

So, I assume you'd also have no problem with individual states banning abortion.

And, how about banning certain forms of religion? Is that a collective right, or an individual one?

Erik

Hey Bruce,

Is Peyote legal? Is animal sacrifice? Is human sacrifice? The unitarian church lets gays marry, how does the state not? The state DOES ban certain forms of religious expression.

I have no problem letting states ban post viability abortion.

What does "well regulated militia" mean to you?

Frankly, the Peyote smokers (or whatever you do with it) have a much stronger constitutional leg to stand on than the gun nuts.

Erik

One other thing Bruce...

I assume you agree that I, as an individual, do not have the right to own atomic weapons (ok, we'll be less crazy and say one of these http://www.army-technology.com/projects/crusader/crusader1.html )?

Am I correct? You agree I do not have that right?

But why not? They are merely arms as defined in the 2nd amendment. Right?

So you do, in fact, believe in the governments right to regulate individual ownership of arms. Well guns are merely a subset of arms, the bill of rights says nothing about guns.

You agree with me, we are merely arguing about where to draw the line. But if we're merely arguing about where to draw the line, you lose the high horse you're trying to sit on.

carpundit

Erik,
When it comes to "people" v. "person," what do you do with the Fourth Amendment?
CP

Erik

It's clarified in the secondary clause...

"particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"

It is a right as whole that can be overidden on an individual basis "upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation".

WheelsTV

Here's my favorite justification for owning a nuclear weapon: http://www.theangryliberal.com/11-04-01.htm

K

This weapon is obviously needed to hunt all those deer and bears and rabbits that wear two inches of body armour.

I'm with Erik and some others about the individual right to own guns. The amendment says arms and some have noted that might allow an atomic bomb. The amendment is about militia.

The Constitution, which is almost worshipped by some, is unclear in several places. So the same cases, with minute variations, keep coming back. The first ten - the Bill Of Rights - are even more sacred due to their historical patina.

Congress should propose amendments to remedy what it can. But that is dull work. So decades or centuries pass while the courts guess at meaning and pile layer upon layer of new rules upon us.

The judges do a pretty good job but the Constitution clearly intends that it be amended by the people through a defined process.

carpundit

Erik,
That is without doubt the most tortured exegesis of the Fourth Amendment I've ever read.
CP

Windaria

The funny thing about this, is that whenever people say that the 2nd ammendment is a collective right, they completely misunderstand the nature of the militia. The militia was something that was 'called up' back then, not necessarily because it was already in existance and training, but because it was the citizenry, and they would call it up to serve. It was not compulsary, it was something that citizens did.

In fact, if people would only look up the definition of the word militia, it should all become quite clear:

1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

Now, they didn't have professional soldiers in the colonies back then, so the first definition wasn't what they used, and neither was the second.

Back when the consititution was written, the militia was the whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service. In other words, anyone who could serve... and since women couldn't serve back then...

If you really wanted to argue that it is a collective right, the only people that could freely carry arms would be able-bodied MEN.

Yes, that's right, the collective argument really just excludes people under 16 (as 17 year olds regularly signed up back then, though I am not sure about younger so I give the beneift of the doubt by saying 16), older men, and women.

But really, keep arguing that it is a collective right and you'll be lambasted as sexist, if people ever researched to figure out what the militia was back then... go figure.

Also, as for the phrase "well regulated militia", if you'll notice it merely states the importance of having one, it doesn't limit the ownership to the militia. It merely states that it is important; so the right of the people shall not be infringed. Well that makes sense, how can you have able bodied MEN (if you want to argue that it is collective even still) who can be called up to serve, if they can't shoot, therefore it is the people who need to know how.

As for the nuclear weapons argument, I grant that this is where I depart with some of the more die-hard 2nd ammendment supporters, as I read "keep and BEAR arms". Since to bear something means to hold or support, I do limit the arms that the people can hold to small arms, as they need to be able to carry them. I have heard people arguing for the right to own missles, but I don't see how they could bear them . Now shoulder-fired rockets, where can I get one?

Now for the whole "making them freely available to anyone who wants it."... Where do I sign up for that? Not that it would be my preferred handgun, simply due to ammunition costs and all, I wouldn't mind adding one to my arsenal, just for fun. Not a gun that I would want for carry or concealment purposes.

And finally, the whole "needed for defeating body armor" stuff. Who is to say that if someone tried to break into my house that they wouldn't be wearing body armor too? That is freely available to the public, you know. So who are you to say what I can and can't defend my family with? Thank you very much, but I pity the person who ever personally tries to get inbetween me and the defense of my family.

Erik

Windaria writes...

The funny thing about this, is that whenever people say that the 2nd ammendment [sic] is a collective right, they completely misunderstand the nature of the militia. The militia was something that was 'called up' back then, not necessarily because it was already in existance and training, but because it was the citizenry, and they would call it up to serve. It was not compulsary, it was something that citizens did.

Windaria, the militia and the minutemen where a lot more structured than you seem to know. How do you think the chose who would be minutemen from the body of the militia? It was when they mustered and drilled. There were ranks in the militia, there was structure, it wasn't a street gang. How did Captain Parker become Captain Parker? There's a reason the framers specified that the militia should be "well regulated".


I grew up with this shit, around the corner from the bloody angle, I went to school with the Merriam's (you know, of Merriam's corner (it's ok, you can google it)). It was 1975, we were inundated with 18th century American militia lore.

A few other historical inaccuracies which call into question your entire thesis...

"Now, they didn't have professional soldiers in the colonies back then, so the first definition wasn't what they used, and neither was the second."

There was not a professional army on 4/19/1775, the first American professional army was created on 4/23/1775. By the time the US constitution was written 12 years later there was most certainly a standing US army.

As for the nuclear weapons argument, I grant that this is where I depart with some of the more die-hard 2nd ammendment [sic] supporters, as I read "keep and BEAR arms". Since to bear something means to hold or support, I do limit the arms that the people can hold to small arms, as they need to be able to carry them.

Why were the British troops going to Concord on April 19, 1775? It was to seize stored stockpiles of muskets, powder and cannon.


As I noted in an earlier post, the 2nd amendment was decimated a long time ago with the passage of the Dick Act in 1903 and the National Defense Act of 1916.

TheFaz

Do any of you here actually know anything about the firearm, the ammo or its capabilities (other than Bruce)? Or do you just blindly accept whatever the Globe tells you? The FN 5.7 is not some amazing new design, it is a standard handgun that fires a small diameter cartridge (also of standard design) at high velocity. The cartridge was originally designed for the FN P90 PDW (Personal Defense Weapon), to give rear echelon troops a light, handy weapon that would provide more power than a handgun and be easier to use. Just for the record, that P90 is also available for commercial sales, (the horror!!).

The cartridge designed for the military had an armor-piercing bullet (same AP bullet design as all AP bullets for the last 80 years or so) as it had to be able to pierce Warsaw Pact body armor. It may interest you to know that the most popular hunting rifle caliber in the US - the .30-06, was originally a military cartridge and also had several armor-piercing rounds developed and issued in large numbers for it. As did the .308 Winchester (2nd most popular), the .223 Remington (the most popular varmint cartridge in the US), etc. - you get the point.

Most current handgun calibers (9mm, .45 ACP) also have armor-piercing rounds available for military/law enforcement use. The FN 5.7 is no different - commercially available ammunition will not penetrate body armor, while military/law enforcement restricted ammo will. I can do no more damage with an FN 5.7 pistol and the ammo I can buy for it than I can with any other pistol on the market.

TheFaz

Moving on....

The cannon, powder and muskets at Concord were bought by individuals. That's right, the most powerful weapons of the day (and still much more powerful than the puny FN 5.7) were purchased by wealthy businessmen, not by any town or state government. No paperwork or background check required.

And the militia is still all able-bodied individuals (originally males, changed later to individuals), btw the ages of 18-45, according to the same 1903 law that established the National Guard. Thus Bruce, I and most other folks are still militia members, whether they know it or not.

Oh and please drop the old "atomic weapons" argument - it's been beaten to death. If you look at the way in which the word "arms" was used at the time, it referred to small arms (rifles, pistols, shotguns), not to larger weapons like mortars and cannon (although as seen above they were also legal. As were warships - privateers and even commercial ships could be armed with cannon to protect against piracy). But just to scare you people a little more, hand grenades, mortars, cannon and tanks are all perfectly legal to own in the U.S. Flamethrowers aren't even considered a weapon and are totally unregulated! You should know that from all the flamethrowing incidents we've seen these past few years, right?

As for the collective-rights interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, you won't find any reputable constitutional scholars to support that position. Such arch-conservatives as Sanford Levinson and Laurence Tribe both subscribe to the view that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. That, and common sense tells you that putting one Amendment in to guarantee a right to states when the other 9 were designed to restrict government power and guarantee the rights of the individual doesn't make much sense.

carpundit

The Faz wrote, "it is a standard handgun that fires a small diameter cartridge (also of standard design) at high velocity."

Standard handguns don't fire "small diameter [rounds] at high velocity." That's what rifles do. That's why this thing is so scary: armor-piercing speed and size coming out of a readily-concealable weapon.

As for it's being designed for the military, great. Let's leave it in military hands. There's simply no good reason for this thing to be available in gun shops across the country.

Standard handguns don't fire small caliber rounds at high velocity? What about a .22 Magnum pistol? 7.62 Tokarev? 7.63 Mauser? .22 Jet? .30 Carbine? Every one of these rounds out of a pistol using standard commercially available ammo has more armor-penetrating capabilities than the 5.7x28. The 7.63 Mauser came out in 1896, so this performance is nothing new. Don't believe the hype.

Tim

I second the last post re:marketing hype. I did shoot through armor from an old AK-47 on range. Went through like it was butter. Don't understand whats all excitement about, last I checked AK's were freely available for sale (checked on a gun show, not in the store)

As far as what is a allowed/not allowed under the 2nd ammendment, the best example I can think of is Black Prince and Black Princess,pirate ships ran by Ben Franklin as his own private enterprise. Back then it was considered perfectly lawful for an individual to operate a privateering operation during a war. We are in a war now (or so they tell us) but I don't think American citizens are running pirate operation off the cost of djibouti.

My point is that the definition of arms, militia, etc has changed since the colonial times.

K

The right to bear meant a right to use outside and move from place to place. The question is who has that right - militia or individuals?

'bear' was needed because a militia's right to 'keep' is useless if arms can't be moved to a crisis.

I can't figure out how a person has a right to "keep and bear arms' unless it means 'any arms.' And who wishes to defend that? So, if you agree the second means 'some arms but not others' then the authority lies with government not with the person.

Again I believe the second concerns militia. And 'the people' - meaning a lower government - can maintain a 'well regulated militia'. But a higher level of government, the state or federal, can disband those deemed not behaving.

thorn

Do a bit more research.

The gun in question only penetrates body armor when firing bullets DESIGNED to penetrate body armor. IOW, armor-piercing rounds.

Which, incidentally, are only allowed to be sold to L/E and military. The rounds sold to consumers aren't piercing anyone's body armor.

thorn

Followup: here's what the ATF says about the issue.

(hint: not armor-piercing)

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/firearmstech/fabriquen.htm

carpundit

Thorn, thanks for the comments. Two points:

1. According to the helpful ATF link you provided (thanks), the classification of the round as NOT armor-piercing is based on research done by FN Herstal, the manufacturer. I don't trust FN Herstal. Not after their rifle killed Victoria Snelgrove.

2. Look at the rounds in the photo at the ATF link. I think those things are going through ballistic Kevlar, at least the thickness commonly worn by cops. As you surely know, the smaller and faster a round is, the deeper it penetrates.

I don't know if I'd really support a ban, but I am disgusted at the availabilty of that weapon to the public.

CP

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