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What I’ve Learned from Gun Nuts
Photo courtesy of Gun Owners of America.

What I’ve Learned from Gun Nuts

I’m not a gun nut. I’m a regular nut who owns guns, but only to hunt, not to defend my home and family, join the militia or fight the forces of tyranny.

Gun nuts don’t scare or intimidate me. Instead, I’m learning a few things from them. You can, too.

I don’t use the word, “nut,” lightly. I mean it as a sincere compliment–no different than somebody calling me a “fishing nut” and making my chest swell. (It might even the best thing I’ve been called lately.)

To me, a nut is a devotee, enthusiast, purist, the top dog in a cultural niche, a person with the level of passion most of us only see in our dreams and imagination. So, readers with guns, especially those with black ones, please do not be offended by what follows. Instead, just keep polishing your M4 and SIG P210, read on, and be proud.

Even though gun nuts–or “Bitter Clingers” as they now call themselves–have recently called me a “traitor” and “useful idiot,” I’ve always been a pro-gun guy. Now, after listening to the gun nuts, I’m even more pro-gun, but I’m sure, still not pro-gun enough.

I’ve owned guns for more than a half-century, going waaaay back to the days when I prowled around in shelterbelts with my single-shot .22 stalking cottontails, plinking gophers for the $0.03/tail bounty, and taking my bolt-action 16-guage to school with me so I could shoot pheasants on my walk home.

I consider my right to bear arms one of my basic freedoms, but not the only one, so buckle up, gun nuts. I happen to think other amendments to our constitution such as Number 1 (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition), 13 (abolishing slavery), 14 (equal protection under the law), 19 and 26 (right to vote for women and all citizens over 18) and others might actually be more important than Number 2.

Shoot, I wonder if the gun nuts have asked themselves this question. Would the Second Amendment even pass today?

I’ve learned that gun nuts are scared, and I am, too, but for a different reason. They’re terrified about our new president sending out a flock of black helicopters to confiscate their guns–or at least make it harder to buy them. That doesn’t scare me in the slightest, but I am terrified about the corporate greed that has assassinated our economy, the health care crisis, those trillions of federal deficit, a rapidly widening income gap, and escalating poverty and homelessness sweeping our country as we squander billions overseas to fight unwanted, unwinnable wars or for “aid” to countries that consider us the Great Satan.

That’s not all that scares me. I could go on, but the point is. Losing some of my gun rights doesn’t make my top twenty concerns. If that makes me a “traitor,” well, we have a pandemic of treason in this country.

Even after enduring the name-calling, I admire the dedication of gun nuts. Guns, guns, guns–that’s all that matters to these people. They’ve closed their minds to compromise. To them, there’s no such thing as a common sense gun law. Because of their single-mindedness, they get it done. Ask any politician who has proposed a “reasonable gun law.”

Every cause-carrier could learn from gun nuts. So successful have they been, in fact, that, legally and politically, I think they’ve already won the gun rights war, nationally and here in the West, but perhaps not yet in major municipalities.

The hundreds of pearls gun nuts have deposited in the comment sections of my columns have convinced me that we don’t need any more gun laws, common sense or otherwise, such as the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban. This would only trigger more political divisiveness and wouldn’t work anyway. It never did work because I’ve learned there’s no way, in legalese, to define, design-wise or ballistically, an “assault weapon,” nor would the law keep these firearms out of the wrong hands.

I’ve also learned that we have somewhere north of 200 million guns in this country. Nothing will ever change that fact, so, hello, anti-gun politicians. All the horses have left the barn. Forget guns and work something we need like immigration reform or increasing the minimum wage or putting a cork in our World Cop Complex or recapturing the billions looted from retirement accounts by hedge fund managers, unscrupulous CEOs and naked short sellers.

Even though I think gun nuts deserve our respect, I don’t always respect their tactics. Witness the recent Cooper Firearms fiasco. The gun nuts went on a mission to crucify Dan Cooper and destroy his company for expressing his support for Barack Obama. In their words, they “Zumboed him.”

Do such mean-spirited attacks further the cause of gun rightists? I doubt it. Instead, it soils the image of all gun owners and helps anti-gunners recruit the undecided.

I totally agree with our right to spend our money where we choose. Perhaps it should be the Twenty-eighth Amendment–the right to speak and vote with your pocketbook. But gun nuts have no right to destroy a person’s career and an entire company of innocent people because of one person’s political views. This is America, land of the free and the brave, where we don’t persecute people for their beliefs.

Many of us find bullying and boycotting distasteful, but like negative campaign ads, how can you argue with success? Nobody condones it, but anybody who has been on the wrong end of bullying at recess, like I have been, knows bullying works. That is the problem, isn’t it?

Gun nuts have also taught me how deep paranoia can go. It’s so overpowering at times that I wonder if some gun nuts have bumper stickers saying, “HELP, THE PARANOIDS ARE AFTER ME.” In fact, I’m sure that regardless of how sincere I try to be in this commentary, gun nuts will label it as some type of sacrilegious satire or gun-grabber’s plot. Despite the fear mongering I read in the comment sections and gun blogs, I believe President Obama is smart enough to keep his party from being again swept out of power because of the gun issue.

In fact, I suspect gun nuts aren’t even scared of our new president. They’re scared that the voice of reason might become popular.

As for our president-elect, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group for the firearms manufacturers, should put a statue of Barack Obama in front of its headquarters back in Connecticut because he has sold more guns than anybody in recent history. Even while repeatedly denying he had any gun control agenda, he caused a major economic stimulus in the firearms industry. Just think what would happen to gun sales if he actually favored gun control.

After reading the ramblings of gun nuts, I’m learned to be okay with black guns and oppose more regulation of them, but I agree with fellow outdoor writer Jim Zumbo that these military-style rifles taint the image of the hunter when used for hunting. But viola, the gun nuts have also taught me that the Second Amendment isn’t about hunting. Somehow, we need to separate the two issues, guns and hunting, which continues to my main criticism of the National Rifle Association (NRA). America’s most powerful lobby should stick to protecting our gun rights and not pretend to represent hunters.

I’m sure 99 percent of gun nuts belong to the NRA, but the group itself is too big and slow and politically gun shy to rush to the front line when a Dan Cooper or Jim Zumbo breaks ranks and needs to be quickly slapped down. Gun nuts can orchestrate an instant outing over the weekend while the NRA bosses occupy the golf courses. Gun nuts don’t wear the NRA flag into battle.

I’ve learned that most gun owners aren’t hunters and some have nothing but scorn for hunters because we’re soft and care about other amendments. So, they mock us, calling us Elmer Fudds. But the hunter’s revenge is the Pitman-Robinson Act, which mandates excise taxes historically paid mostly by hunters, but now mostly paid by gun owners who never hunt or even loathe hunters as turncoats. Back at you, buddy.

And then, we have the Great Enabler of the Gun Nut, otherwise known as the Internet. Cyberspace has given gun nuts superpowers, and they use it more effectively than any other interest group. Trying to save wilderness, historic buildings, or orphaned pets? Break up the two-party system? Spike the Electoral College? Study the cyber-tactics of gun nuts for a key to success.

Regrettably, one of these tactics is anonymity. It gives gun nuts the freedom to say things they’d never say using their real names. I say ignore anything said by snipers with non de plumes. They have something to hide.

One thing I haven’t learned–but I’m frantic to know–is how many gun nuts there are. Conservatively, America has around 80 million gun owners. How many are nuts? And how many nuts does it take?

I suspect we’d be surprised how few gun nuts it takes to do the job they’re doing for all gun owners. Not many people have the energy and demeanor to make dozens of calls and send a hundred emails when something like Jim Zumbo’s blog gaffe pops up on Friday afternoon. Based on the level of dedication I’ve observed, I wouldn’t be surprised if a single gun nut with a lot of guns and cowboy hats and multiple Internet names and email addresses could surround a whole wagon train all by himself.

In conclusion, I’ve learned a lot from the gun nuts, but here’s one thing they can learn from me. Don’t alienate the majority of gun owners. Don’t automatically dismiss gun owners with sincere suggestions because they don’t perfectly match your doctrine. Don’t instantly shoot this commentary full of freedom holes, which I’m sure you can do, at least until you think about it. Have you just read a mainstream strategy for growing the constituency willing to help you protect our right to bear arms?

Footnote: For more of my articles on guns and the NRA, click here.

About Bill Schneider

Comments

  1. Pete says:

    I keep seeing a common and perplexing theme muttered by pro-Obama firearm owners. That is, that it is somehow acceptable to give up “some” gun rights in exchange for all the “improvements” that Obama is promising.

    Sorry, I don’t get the connnection.

    Also, I don’t understand your subordinating the 2nd Amendment to the others. All amendments – the bill of rights and those that followed – share equal importance. Demands for adherance to one amendment are not mutally exclusive for demands to adhere to another.

    Maybe you would like to “reward” Obama for “changing America” by surrendering your 2nd Amendment rights, but I do not care to. If that makes me a “nut” in your book, fine.

    I am a gun nut.

  2. Gregory Morris says:

    Actually, the bloggers who were the biggest critics of Cooper author blogs under real names. One of the loudest, Sebastian, consistently preaches that “Fudds” and “Gun Nuts” need to work together in order to maintain our freedoms. He didn’t attack Cooper because he thought the man is anti-gun. He attacked him because all his blabbering to the media accomplished was to give anti-gun ammunition to those who actually would attack our rights. No reasonable gun owner would feel good about depriving a great riflesmith like Mr. Cooper of his hard-earned company. However, it isn’t too much to ask that he keep his donation and political rhetoric separate from his company.

    The constant bickering between the “shall not be infringed” absolutists and the guy who just keeps a shotgun in his closet for turkey season has been more detrimental to the political power of the gun rights movement than any nonsense perpetrated by the Brady Campaign. I think most “gun nuts” are reasonable people who are willing to compromise when appropriate. You hear wailing and gnashing of teeth over seemingly minor infringements because they are never compromises. We never get anything in return for surrendering our rights.

    I think it is unfair to paint us “gun nuts” as paranoid people who fear Obama’s black helicopters. Most of us just want to be left alone. We are very vocal in supporting our rights for a reason… when we stop being vocal, things get worse. When we keep the pressure on, things get better. Even the inflated rhetoric you see plastered across the internet has a purpose in that fight, even if it does give you the impression that we are all “extremists”. You’ll find that most of it is preaching directed at the choir.

  3. Tom Gresham says:

    “Compromise” carries the requirement of movement for both parties. Since 1968, all the movement has been to take away gun rights. “Compromise” for gun control folks means that we give up some rights, and they don’t take away all the rights they want to abolish.

    With 20,000 gun control laws on the books, and not a single one ever having been shown to reduce crime, a more worthwhile compromise is to repeal only half the gun control laws, rather than repealing all of them. A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control said they could find no evidence of any gun law which had reduced crime. A “commensense” move would be to repeal all the gun control laws, but in the spirit of being “reasonable” I’m willing to compromise at repealing only half of them. At this time.

  4. DDS -- NRA Life Member says:

    I would just like to mention that many of the letters we now know as “The Federalists Papers” were submitted anonymously or under a “nom de plume”. So that certainly is not a new factor in political debate, nor is it necessarily bad for the debate.

    And while I am on the subject of the founding fathers, please allow me to mention Benjamin Franklin’s comment that “we must hang together or we will surely hang separately.” The “brown gun” fans and the “black gun” fans and the handgun fans and the bench rest gun fans all need to remember that whether Obama keeps his campaign pledges to let us keep our guns or not, Sen. Diane Feinstein still wants them all. And she is not the only one. While Obama may not be pushing an anti-gun agenda, I certainly cannot imagine him vetoing an anti-gun bill sent to him by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

  5. Tom Gresham says:

    “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate for an out right ban, picking up every one of them… I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.” – Diane Feinstein on 60 Minutes discussing her position on guns

    “Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic – purely symbolic – move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation.”
    -Charles Krauthammer, columnist, Washington Post, April 5, 1996

    We’re here to tell the NRA their nightmare is true!… We’re going to hammer guns on the anvil of relentless legislative strategy. We’re going to beat guns into submission!– Rep. Charles Schumer on NBC Nightly News Nov. 30, 1993.

  6. Phastphil says:

    Keep voting for and electing Republicans and you won’t have to worry about your 2nd Amendment Rights because you won be able to afford a gun or ammunition.

  7. scott says:

    Bill,

    We KNOW the 2A wouldn’t pass today. Thats why we fight so hard to protect it now.

    We’ve “won” the gun-rights war? Don’t you know Obamas’ “office of the president-elect” website trumpets his desire to make the “expired assault weapons ban” PERMANENT (not the expiration part – the BAN part).

    Although I could go on I’ll only add this-

    Bill, YOU need us “gun-nuts” as much, OR MORE, than we need you. Yes, we need for there to be 200 million gun-owners, a few million “nuts” can make sure you 200m keep your rights to own a gun. But, you 200m won’t fight to keep ALL of our guns. You’re too willing to give up the guns you don’t like, like EBR’s (evil black rifles), .50 guns, “saturday-night specials”, or “assault weapons”.

    If it wasn’t for us nuts there probably wouldn’t be a 2A today. Remember Bill, or did you ever know, that Feinstein said on national TV that if she had the votes she’d tell America to turn them ALL in.

    You better be scared of Obama. He feels the same way. And any gun owner who thinks Obama wouldn’t ban ANY gun that gun owner owns given the chance (and I think Pelosi and Reid are going to give him that chance) is STUPID.

    Your guns may be the last to go, but if you don’t SUPPORT us “nuts” they will go too.

  8. Bill Schneider says:

    Actually, Tom. You made a good point I should have added to this commentary. I said I don’t support any more gun laws, but I should have said I also support taking a lot of our current gun laws off the books…..Bill

  9. Jungle Work says:

    Bill is just another self righteous Fudd who doesn’t have a clue about the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Maybe he will wake up when they come for his “Deadly Sniper Rifle” or his “Semi Auto Assault Shotgun”, but I doubt it.

    I have no inclination to argue those who do not have the guts to protect this Nation, it’s Constitution, Way of life of Freedom and Liberty. To me they are Sheeple who will be sheared by the Government. Sad, truly Sad………

    Jungle Work

  10. jedediah Redman says:

    To reduce the confusion, perhaps one could refer to NRA members as rightwingcrazygunnuts–remembering the now Alzheimeric Charleton Heston as a case in point..?

  11. gunnut.223 says:

    “I’m not a gun nut. I’m a regular nut who owns guns, but only to hunt, not to defend my home and family, join the militia or fight the forces of tyranny. ”
    What do you defend your family with? Do you have a cop that’s parked outside your house 24-7? Perhaps you will use your quick wit to reason with an attacker.

  12. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    Gun nuts. Magnum mouths with pea shooter brains! They make ALL gun owners look bad. Obama was right. In a terribly complicated world, they retreat to their rooms and fondle their guns, as if they were gonna shoot their way outta trouble. Sorry, boys, but Mulely Graves didn’t make it! (Oops. I forgot that they’re illiterate too.)

  13. jonesy says:

    I, personally am glad there are gun nuts. You need passionate people behind certain causes or they lose ground to moderation and compromise. As for the amendmants to the constitution its thinking like yours Bill that gets us into trouble. The amendmants should all share equal importance. Its when people decide to pick and choose which amendment carries weight, that the Consitution as a whole is weakened. The reason gun nuts exist is because the 2nd Amendment is the one under constant attack from the left. We as Americans should not have to give up ANY freedoms based on how the economy or any other part of our country is doing. Those freedoms are all we have when everything else fails and we are on hard times.

    Another point Bill: If you value your 1st Amendment rights, get ready to compromise some more for the economy. Obama supports the Fairness Doctrine. This basically says that TV and radio programs *must* give equal time for both points of view to any argument. While I don’t mind getting the liberal and conservative point of view in some instances, sometimes I want to only hear what interests me. If I was a station owner, having the GOV tell me that I have to spend time and money on comments I don’t agree with would get me red-arsed in a hurry. As a preface to this in the extreme, note that Obama tried to take legal action against stations for airing the NRA ads against him during the campaign. Regardless of your feelings towards the NRA, they do get a say under the 1st Amendment too. It will be interesting to see the new administration in action with regards to our rights.

  14. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    Wow! Talk about illiterate. That should be Muley Graves! Drink coffee before writing.

  15. fsilber says:

    The Dan Cooper thing mystifies me a bit. I read a couple of websites each day that give me links to articles like this, so I can enter pro-gun comments. Nevertheless, I heard nothing about Dan Cooper until after the deed was done, so I’m not sure who the people were who called for him to be fired.

    I wrote critical comments on Jim Zumbo’s blog as soon as I was told about it, but I never demanded that he be fired from his job, and I was perfectly willing to forgive him once he apologized. Nevertheless, I don’t think his treatment was any worse than that of Michael Richards for saying comparably obnoxious things about black people, or the treatment of Mel Gibson when in a drunken stupor he said comparably obnoxious things about Jews. There have been lots of other people fired for making politically-incorrect statements — Larry Summers almost lost his position as President of Harvard merely for noting that intelligence rates among females clusters more tightly around the mean than among males (whose intelligence rates tend to be more freely scattered between grossly defective and genius) — so let’s keep things in perspective.

    And no, I don’t hold the 2nd Amendment above all the others; it’s just that none of the other basic rights are being infringed as heavy-handedly as the right to be at all times armed.

  16. jonesy says:

    “Wow! Talk about illiterate. That should be Muley Graves! Drink coffee before writing”

    I’m sorry Larry. I type fast when I’m hungry. Were you trying to add something intelligent to the conversation or just enter the obligatory snide comment from the minority?

  17. Irwin Horowitz says:

    It is fascinating to watch Bill’s “gun nuts” bemoan the fact that the 2nd amendment is the one under the greatest threat of being infringed upon by our government given that over the past eight years, the current administration has managed to trash the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth amendments. It is true that no amendment should hold precedence over any other (including the second), but we have already seen that the second is far down on the list of threatened amendments compared to many of the others that guarantee our freedom.

  18. gwalchmai munn says:

    By jedediah Redman, 11-14-08
    To reduce the confusion, perhaps one could refer to NRA members as rightwingcrazygunnuts–remembering the now Alzheimeric Charleton Heston as a case in point..?
    ————————–

    Typical leftist class act. What’s next for you, making fun of paraplegic veterans because they can’t run fast?

  19. Dan Ferguson says:

    When it comes to gun laws – there is no COMPRIMISE! They want them ALL. They have said so PUBLICALLY. They even actually admitted that the Clinton Assualt Weapon Ban ( Assualt Weapon – is actually a Media lie ) did NOT work. It did not affect crime even in the slightest! Which by the way THEY also admitted. Our country was founded on Revolution and Rebellion. So, why would you let POLITICIANS take away our 2nd Amendment rights – Just like King George tried to do over two hundred years ago………it is not Quantum Mathmatics. If you really want to be SCARED just read about all of the MILLIONS of people that have been killed in my life time ( I was born in 1945) because they did NOT HAVE WEAPONS. Truth/Fact/Reality – end of story.

  20. tadski says:

    of all the things going on in the world right now you “gun nuts” are actually worried about people coming into your homes to take your guns? give me a break. i’m starting to think “gun nut” is synonymous with douche bag.

  21. Amendment II Democrats says:

    My name is Daniel, and I am a progressive pro-Second Amendment Democrat. And I am not alone. When I set up the Amendment II Democrats website back in 2005, I gradually came in contact with a growing number of Democrats who expressed the same frustration I do with our party’s overall approach to gun legislation. We are happy that Democrats such as Senators Jim Webb, Jon Tester, and Russ Feingold have stood up for us, but we still have a few Dianne Feinsteins, Chuck Schumers, and Frank Lautenbergs to deal with. So the struggle continues.

    I am not a member of either the NRA or the American Hunters and Shooters Association, but I have spoken with officers from both organizations, and I agree with both organizations on certain issues. That said, I see no need to ban semi-automatic firearms of any kind, whether it be an old Remington Model 8 or an M1 from WWII or a .50-caliber model from Barrett. I cannot afford compromise on this issue, and frankly, neither can America.

    But I also want to see environmental reforms that would ensure hunters have plenty of land available for their traditions and pasttimes. Cleaning up our air and water wouldn’t hurt, either, not to mention reversing man-made climate change that threatens our ecosystem. I’m certain that the majority of gun owners would agree with me on this one, even if some of them wouldn’t look favorably on me owning a Kalashnikov.

    There is room for discussion in the gun community, but there are also fundamentals on which we must never give ground, regardless of party affiliation. And again, I know a lot of my fellow Democrats who feel the same way. And if that puts us at odds with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, so be it. We’re used to adversity from our own party, so bring it on.

  22. Bill Schneider says:

    Please folks, refrain from personal attacks on each other and concentrate on the issue, which in this case, is how “gun nuts” and “regular nuts” can get together and protect the Second Amendment…..Bill

  23. scott says:

    Bill,

    We can get together when the “regular nuts” realize that they can’t sacrifice other groups of “nuts”, like those that like semi-automatic “assault weapons”.

    It is the gun-owners who are willing to “compromise”, or vote for anti-gun candidates like Obama who will let their right to arms be destroyed.

    It is not us “gun nuts” that need to reach out to the “regular nuts”. You need to get on the case and start helping us save the 2A. You’ll do that when you start telling the non gun-owners in the US that the 2A is not about hunting, or “sport” (of any kind). It is about defense, defense of self, defense of community, defense of the state, and defense of the US. It is a natural right, that existed PRIOR to the Constitution (see SC discussion of that in CRUISHANK) and ANY infringment upon that right is illegal, immoral, and may be resisted, with VIOLENCE, if necessary.

    NO REGISTRATION!

    NO LICENSEING!

    NO BANS OF (certain) UGLY GUNS!

  24. Dave Skinner says:

    Wow, Bill, yer in the big leagues now, with even Tom Gresham weighing in? Or is that a fake Tom?
    Again, I disagree completely with your central premise here, that gun rights are separate from hunting. No, they’re components of a whole. Guns are tools. On one hand, one uses them to take game. Or, on the other hand, one uses firearms as a crowbar for prying ones freedoms out of the clutches of those who would take freedom away.
    Further, I like the idea of being able to choose the firearm I hunt with without government oversight, with the possible exception of restrictions written by people on game commissions — hopefully they have more of a clue than Paul Helmke, Sarah Brady or Carolyn Moloney about what is appropriate. That concept applies to hunting as well as it does in terms of “nonrecreational” firearms, therefore, I feel it is completely appropriate for NRA to weigh in on hunting issues.
    Just because your view of “conservation” is different from that of the NRA in general is no justification. Why don’t you try JOINING NRA, and then maybe running for its board, Bill. Then we’ll see how much merit your arguments really have.
    Certainly, the NRA is slow to respond, but then again, the environment it operates in is slow as well. The Beltway is the epitome of sloth. Things happen, slowly, incrementally, but, once course and headway is set, almost inevitably.
    So some of us firearms owners, we perspicacious few million, choose to fuel NRA so it can keep operating as our battlewagon of the fleet. The other organizations, such as GOA, JFPO, MTSSA, NSSF are the cruisers and tin cans and PT boats. And the Net? Those are the coast watchers. They report where the action is, especially where enemy submarines may lurk.
    Finally, as for whether or not this buying spree is unjustified, just today I got a spam from Sarah Brady:
    “We have many allies in Congress. More than 91 percent of Brady-endorsed candidates won their races. And President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden are strong and consistent supporters of common sense gun measures.
    “But they need to hear from the Brady Campaign right now. Please contribute to the Brady Campaign to make sensible gun laws a top priority in this new Administration.
    “P.S. The Brady Campaign has so many allies in Congress now. Please donate today to help move quickly to pass sensible gun laws.”
    -end-
    So the DESIRE is there. Don’t forget that when asked, Obama didn’t say he opposed gun control, just that “we don’t have the votes.”
    How do the “votes” get there? When people like Dan Cooper spend money to put them in office. Duh.

  25. Fudd says:

    I’d join a gun lobby called Fudd. (but I won’t ever join the NRA.)

    I wonder how many more there are like me?

  26. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    Violence? There’s roughly two hundred and fifty million Americans, scootty. Who you gonna kill to protect your “moral” right to guns? Maybe you’ll be like the fella that walked into a Unitarian Church and opened up. Killed bout four or five people that time. Or maybe you’ll be like the guy that walked into Dem headquarters in Arkansas and murdered the head of the state Dem party. You see, scooty, YOU are the very reason that many of us don’t like to say that we like guns. Gunning down unarmed people in a church just doesn’t create a lot of sympathy for your arguments. When you DO decide to go ape sh*t and start blastin’ at people who disagree with you, do me a favor. Don’t be a little wussy about it. Shoot someone who’s armed and gonna shoot back. Me for example. I’m liberal as the day is long, and I’m always armed. Be a man ferchrissakes! Take out an ARMED liberal. You’ll be a hero if you succeed, and dead if you don’t!

  27. fsilber says:

    tadski: “of all the things going on in the world right now you gun nuts are actually worried about people coming into your homes to take your guns? Give me a break.”

    Actually, the bigger fear right now is that the “AW” ban will be re-instated. That’s why you don’t see people rushing to buy up all the bolt-action hunting rifles and double-barrel shotguns now in the stores.

    The Brady Center’s website expresses optimism that with Obama’s election “common-sense gun control will now be possible” — and they consider the “AW” ban to be common-sense gun control. So if the people buying up “AW”s and high capacity magazines are irrational, the people running the Brady Center would have to be equally irrational — because they believe the same thing about the implications of Obama’s victory. (It’s just that they assign to those implications a different value judgement.)

  28. jedediah Redman says:

    “Typical leftist class act. What’s next for you, making fun of paraplegic veterans because they can’t run fast?”
    Nope.
    I make fun of the entire constabulary crowd, Mr. Munn. Enforced regimentation is more abominable to me than the intellectual regimentation exemplified by those who seem to have flocked to the NRA…

  29. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    Good one, Jed. They are a bunch of flockers!

  30. Bob says:

    I am a gun nut. I am also a retired federal law enforcement officer.

    I have owned weapons of various sorts for over 30 years. These include many assault-style weapons. I am a danger to no honest person.

    I have yet to see any anti-gun legislation that was put forth to really do something useful – it always is submitted by people who dislike weapons for political reasons and is meant to make the ownership of weapons expensive and difficult. Because anti-gun efforts are always disingenuous, the gun nuts don’t trust any of them. Funny, isn’t it, that the “gun safety” anti-gun folks never submit legislation that requires that gun quality should be better so the guns work better. No, that would be focused on real gun safety and would be consumer friendly. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen.

  31. Certifiable Gunnut says:

    I don’t know who said it but there was a quote that went roughly, “Disarmament of the people is a mistake a free society gets to make only once.” When you look back over the last hundred years @ 56 million people were killed by their own governments. I am not so nieve to think that it could never ever happen here. Anti-guns folks please I beg you do some honest research into what happened around the world in the last hundred years before you judge us “gun nuts”. Maybe you’ll understand why we must be vigilant.

  32. Bill Schneider says:

    Larry–Please head my earlier requests and address the issue at hand. These type of responses do not further your cause….Bill

  33. Bill Schneider says:

    Oops. Sorry Larry. I meant Scott. Didn’t get enough sleep last night, I guess. Anyway, Scott and others, please address the issue, not the person….Bill

  34. Pat says:

    With unsafe numbers of attorneys in Congress & incoming Presidency, don’t trust any of them. In particular the Democrat
    party ones. They will not touch guns ; only they will attempt to limit or strangle-off ammunition for weapons in their view that fit the definition of a
    bad gun. Also look for a clever way by Democrats to ration,limit or strangle-off fuel for those vehicles they consider bad or wasteful. 2009 will usher in the Lifestyle Police.

  35. Amendment II Democrats says:

    Pat, that’s “Democratic,” not “Democrat.” Just want you to keep that in mind next time you post.

    Where in my previous post did I say anything about going after ammunition? I know that was a favorite tactic of folks like Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but people like him are in the past. People like me are the future of the Democratic Party, or so I believe. It’s just a matter of convincing our fellow Democrats that throwing away their control of the House and Senate because of a few guns they consider “icky” is a tremendously bad idea.

    And yes, I legally own a few armor-piercing bullets. Maybe I should stock up on a few more. It couldn’t hurt.

  36. scott says:

    uh Bill,

    Your remonstration was originally correct when aimed at Larry K.

    Since you changed it and directed it at me I begin to suspect that your tongue-in-cheek diatribe that has elicited all these comments is really a LOT more telling than you want to let on.

    I’ve addressed you twice now and you’ve ignored me, but you feel the need to chastise me and not Larry.

    If Larry K’s post in response to mine is somehow within the bounds and my response to him is not then there is some serious intellectual and moral confusion evident in you.

  37. Ann says:

    This statement must be a mistake or misprint. “This is America, land of the free and the brave, where we don’t persecute people for their beliefs. ” As some of these posters have proven.
    I am a NUT, USDA as a matter of fact, and a gun owner. I don’t hunt anymore, and I still have my guns. I don’t have them because of the four-legged animals out there but because of the two-legged. Strange how now-a-days, the people out there are breeding idiots. I’m not going to take any chances of one of those ‘idiots’ taking advantage of anything I have. I don’t care what weapon I use IF I have to use it. Who gives ANYONE the right to tell anyone what gun they can or can not have? More people are killed by drunks than by guns in this country, so if they really want to save lives BAN ALCOHOL. BAN CARS. There are many more things that ‘need’ banned but guns are not even in the top 100.

  38. Elaina nom de plume says:

    I am the wife of a career American soldier – who is in the middle-east. I am the mother of our three children. If you break into our home in the middle of the night, thanks to our founders and the second amendment, I will greet you with plus + hollow-points of the .38 variety. Posters here talking about hunting and target shooting are clouding the subject. Check King John’s Magna Charta. The people have a right to bear arms to protect themselves, their community, and their country. Other peripheral arguements and concerns mentioned here, in my opinion, have little to do with our Bill of Rights. Want to get rid of the second amendment – great. Just have Schumer and Pelosi amend the Constitution and get rid of that troubling clause. Which is the honorable way to accomplish their goal of a disarmed America. Which they’ll never do because they are not honorable, and wish to stay in the majority.

  39. Jim Fleischmann says:

    Fascinating exchange on a subject that inspires great passion. Many heartfelt views and the internet at its best.

    Couple of points:

    1) Those who feel that they need the second amendment as latent protection against a possible tyrannical government need to have their heads examined. The firearms that we own (yes, I’m a hunter) would be inconsequential against the military might and technology that our country’s military possesses. Anybody that has a vision of good citizens hiding out in the woods and resisting the military might of the U.S. government a la “The Patriot” has either been watching too many movies or needs to have their head examined.

    2) Headline News: The NRA has won! While a few members of Congress may make noises about gun control, collectively Congress has no stomach for any more gun control. Those of you that have repeatedly voted to mortgage your families’ futures by voting solely on a candidate’s position on guns are now free to vote for the candidate that will best provide your family with health care, insure that your children have access to the education they need, and make sure that we have a fair tax structure.

  40. jedediah Redman says:

    I am a danger to no honest person.
    Honesty as defined by yourself, eh, bob?

  41. Bill Schneider says:

    Scott,

    Sorry for some confusion there. I went back and read your posts.

    First, there is no hidden message. I support gun nuts and said you are doing a great job for all gun owners. Not sure what else you want from me on that point.

    I agree that 2A might not pass today, but who knows? Might be true with some other amendments, too.

    I also said I oppose any new gun laws and after Tom brought it up; I agree with him, that there are a lot of current laws that should be taken off the books. I don’t own any of the modern black guns, but I have no problem with you owning them.

    I also agree we have anti-gun politicians in Congress and President-elect Obama made anti-gun votes when he was in Illinois. Now, he’s moving into the White House, though, and everything is different. Talk is talk, but I happen to continue to believe that no national gun bill will even get a hearing in Congress because the leading dems, including Obama, want to stay in power more than anything else. When the AWB and other gun votes happened during the Clinton era, gun owners swept the dems out of power. Now after eight years of dismal performance by Republicans, they’re back in power. They are not going to make that mistake again.

    Stay tuned. If I’m wrong, I’ll admit it right here, but I continue to believe that with the exception of what some big city mayors might do, we no cause for concern.

    Voting in Obama had nothing to do with guns. It had everything to do with what a whole lot of people thought were more important issues. If it were a gun issue vote, well, he wouldn’t be president. McCain would be, and as you know, he made his own anti-gun votes such as trying to close down gun shows.

    If a real threat to the 2A comes along, I suspect the ranks of what I’m calling gun nuts will grow rapidly from the pool of regular nuts.

    Bill

  42. Pete says:

    Bill your head is in the sand.

    Obama doesn’t have to have Congress do his dirty work for him. He can do it himself administratively. He’ll put the squeeze on state legislatures by withholding federal funds from states that do not pass the gun controls he wants.

    This guy is a gun grabber through and through.

  43. Dave Skinner says:

    And I suppose Jim Fleischmann isn’t an NRA member, either.
    The fact remains that the most senior Democrat (ick) members of the relevant committees are long-standing urbanites that have always voted for gun control. They will in fact ramrod whatever they can through their committees and onto the floors of the respective bodies. They will, if presented with the opportunity, “earmark” gun control provisions into other legislation.
    Their political positions are unassailable within their home districts. If they think they can retain a majority and chairmanship power after passage of legislation, you bet they will try.
    As for Jim’s first clause…it may be true that our armed forces have all sorts of cool vunderveapuns. It may well be true that the way the Iraqi insurgents had to settle for car bombs makes the point that “resistance is futile.”
    Nonetheless, the Iraq experience also underscores that in order to be successful, a conquering army must hold and secure after taking.
    Furthermore, while it has not happened, I must ask if our armed forces will obey orders to fire upon fellow Americans. Or if they’ll be wondering why, as American armed forces, Americans are shooting at them?

  44. Bill Schneider says:

    Pete, Scott, et al…

    Okay, let’s make a deal. I’ve already made a commitment to fess up to it if I wrong. How about you guys doing the same i.e. telling all of us on the Internet that I was right when four years go by and no gun bill gets to first base in Congress. Deal?

    Bill

  45. Pete says:

    Bill, assuming I’m still alive after they come to take my guns, I’ll feel much better seeing your apology here on line. Sheesh.

  46. scott says:

    Bill,

    I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong in 4 years.

    But, IF I am right – it doesn’t do me A DAMNED BIT OF GOOD for you to admit you are wrong.

    This isn’t a bet about a football game. The outcome has REAL consequences.

    We “gun nuts” can’t win it anymore by ourselves (which we’ve done heretofor). You need to get on the bandwagon. And until you start defending us owners of EBR’s (aka “assault weapons”), or other politically incorrect guns we’ll keep badgering you.

    Another poster is correct Bill. You’ve got your head in the sand.

    Head my words, and ponder them. You may lose your guns LAST but you will certainly lose them if you don’t support ALL of us. Now thats reaching out. It doesn’t do me ANY good to reach out to compromisers that will sacrifice this group or that group of gun-owners.

  47. David says:

    I’m sorry Bill, you are a tool. You’ve sold out and beg others to let you continue with your toys and do not understand that they are rights. The 2nd is about stopping tyranny, killing people, and standing up for what is right. Not for pot-shooting blackbirds off a wire. You are bought and paid for.

  48. bo_stinks says:

    I’ve purchased 37 AR-15s in the last few weeks. About $32,000 worth of hardware, but cheap compared to a lot of things. Also have about 40,000 rounds of ammo in my storage locker – in suburban Chicago!

    Now when the Democrats DO bring back the “Assault weapons” ban, and they will – because they cannot overcome their fear of an armed, independent, and free populace, then I will sell these items to whomever wants them, for probably more than I paid for them. But more importantly, I would NOT have done this if BO had not been elected. So what is the ultimate result – MORE “assault weapons” on the streets BECAUSE an extremely anti-freedom Democrat is elected!

    Funny how these things work! Of course, WHEN the Democrat party moves to ban guns and take away freedom, as is their nature, then in 2010 we have another 1994, when 60+ House and Senate seats switched from Democrat to Republican.

  49. jedediah Redman says:

    This guy is a gun grabber through and through.” God!
    I hope so…

  50. Undivided says:

    If you’ll notice, this article is running concurrently with several others in Montana and around the country subtly suggesting that, if it weren’t for extremists, most gun owners would accept reasonable regulations on their weapons. It is the same old rhetoric, from the ’80s and ’90s, intended to divide and conquer. Oh, we aren’t after you nice little hunters (by the way, those extremist nuts are calling you names all the time, nana-nana-boo-boo), we just intend to restrict these psychotic types who have too many, or the wrong type, of weapons. The campaign is already starting, ladies and gentlemen. I have been a shooter my entire life, met countless dozens of shooters at the range, and almost to a man (or woman), I find that hunters and recreational shooters are almost the same thing. Can’t tell you how many guys (like myself) with a bolt-action Rem 700 at the back of the closet also have a “high-capacity” pistol or “military-style” arm. They are trying to convince us that this segment or that of the gun-owning public is the enemy, but we aren’t stupid, and it didn’t work before. I am a sportsman, I am a range-shooter, I own military weapons, I duck hunt. Let’s send ‘em packing in ’10.

  51. Frank Clarke says:

    “Conservatively, America has around 80 million gun owners. How many are nuts?”

    III %.

  52. Stevie T says:

    I want to thank Bill for writing this column. I’ve felt this way for years, especially since George W. Bush took the country into an unneeded war in Iraq. I suspect that there are quite a few of us out there that agree that other issues are more pressing currently than our guns being taken away. We should give Barack Obama a chance, he may do fine. I remember that when Clinton left office, we had a balanced budget, a growing economy and were respected in the world.

  53. Pete says:

    Stevie,

    Hey, thanks for offering to turn my guns in for me. “Oh Barry, if you end the war for us, we’ll turn our guns in.” What kind of crap is that?

    Yes, when Klinton left office, we also had the Brady Bill, the Assault Weapons Ban, the Lautenberg Amendment, etc, etc, etc.

    Sheesh

  54. Chas says:

    “Losing some of my gun rights doesn’t make my top twenty concerns. If that makes me a ‘traitor,’…”

    Traitor? Nothing so grand. Garden variety, worthless s***head is more like it.

  55. Patia says:

    Good column, Bill.

    I’m pro-gun, pro-hunting and pro-self-defense, but I am against guns being used by psychopaths to kill innocent people. For that reason, I support common-sense restrictions on gun sales and gun registration. (Just as we register our cars.) I think Barack Obama shares roughly the same ideas.

    Unless you’re a psychopath who’s planning to kill innocent people, why is this so damned threatening?

  56. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    THIRTY-SEVEN ASSUALT RIFLES?! Good LORD, boobstinks. I’m wonderin’, just HOW MANY guns can you SHOOT at one time? Gee, even as a Nam vet, I can only remember shooting one! You’re good! I get so sick of you little computer rambos. You’ve watched WAY too many action movies. It’s turned your brains to mush and made you very stupid, as if you weren’t that way to begin with. No one is gonna take your guns. All you’re doing is making yourselves look like idiots to people who disagree with you. Hence, you do more harm than good for the cause of guns rights. If you’re a wacko, you should really be quiet and allow the more articulate members of the gun community speak for you. When you start calling people traitors, you immediately excempt yourself and your arguments from rational discussion, and irrationality and wackiness are NOT effective argumentative techniques. I would advise a few courses in debate and logic for you boys, but somehow I suspect that education is NOT your strong suit. And really, it’s hilarious to be lectured to about freedom by people who write as if they’ve never used indoor plumbing! Please, explain in detail just WHAT your idea of freedom is.

  57. Ann says:

    I heard yesterday on the News that if you have had or still own a gun you will NOT be considered for Obama’s Administration. Strange that the people he wants to work for him are more severely screened than he himself. Even Ayers admits that Obama was a ‘family friend’. I personally am not concerned about my guns because we are so out in the middle of nowhere Obama hasn’t got time for us ‘little-folk’.

  58. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    No you didn’t, anny. Please list your source, or consider yourself a liar. BTW, do you have indoor plumbing?

  59. Ann says:

    Larry; As a matter of fact NO I don’t have indoor plumbing, and I have running water when it rains it runs off the roof. They didn’t have indoor plumbing when the homestead cabin I live in was built. Although the outhouse works well, and pumping from outside, until it freezes or hauling water from my Mother’s place, works fine and cuts cost. It was on the FOX news, and I don’t care what anyone says about FOX it has been proven to be the most fair and balanced of all the news stations. So dear LARRY I’m NOT lying. And I don’t appreciate somemone that THINKS they know it all calling me a liar.

  60. Sam says:

    This imbecile speaks volumes!
    Definitely knows nothing of the 2nd A.
    Hey dumba**, can you find the word
    hunting in Article 2 of the B.O.R.?

  61. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    First, anny, I didn’t CALL you a liar. I asked you to list your source, or consider yourself a liar. I seriously doubt that what you have stated is what you heard. Anny, let me state for you plainly, that there is NO litmus test on guns for O’Bama’s administration, REGARDLESS of what you think you heard. Either you or FAUX news is being very, very ridiculous. Now, please post something in writing to substantiate your claim or look very foolish for repeating nonsense. It’s called critical thinking, anny. Most FOX watchers don’t have that gene!

  62. Ann says:

    Well lawrence; Insult all you want, I’ve been insulted by WAY better people than you.
    Can you deny the fact that if Obama were trying for a position in his administration his record would keep him from being hired? Go ahead and listen to ABC NBC or CBS or any of the others, maybe you are like Chris Matthews and get a tingle running up your leg too. I don’t, although I’m willing to give him the chance to prove how much he really does/n’t know, or how many of his promises he really can/’t keep.
    Why wasn’t Obama at the Summit meeting about the Economy? why did he send a representative? Isn’t the Economy important enough? It seemed it was a surprise to many in Washington he wouldn’t appear.
    And Larry save your effort, I will no longer respond to your rhetoric.

  63. Dave Robertson says:

    I’m not willing to “compromise” my freedoms away when I am getting nothing in return. That’s not “compromise” at all. A “compromise” would be something like a ban on concealed carry nationwide, but open carry is made legal everywhere.

    And we know what sort of response that compromise would receive from the Obamorons and the Brady Campaign. “Blood in the streets! The horror!”

    Deep down inside, they anti-gun crowd doesn’t believe in compromise at all. Their tireless efforts for the past few decades has clearly shown that they want their way, 100%, Constitution-be-damned.

    With that sort of enemy, what other course of action can gun owners take to victory than total opposition at every instance of a threat to our freedom? Do people really think we’re stupid enough to just give up?

  64. Mr. Twister says:

    Well Bill you have done it again.
    When every other post includes naughty words such as poopy head and a- hole as well as traitor, liar, stupid, and idiot I know this will break 100.
    Whats up for next week, big dogs or wilderness?

  65. Kevin Tipton says:

    Bill, you don’t need a gun to defend your home and family? That’s scary. If someone broke into your house with a weapon while you and/or your family was there what would you do? You wouldn’t have any idea what he wanted. Money, property, to rape your wife after he murdered you? You simply woudn’t know. Would you dial 911 and wait one minute? Five minutes? Ten, twenty, thirty minutes? Depending on how busy law enforcement is at that time it could be a long and horrible wait as the intruder continues his assault. The police are not 1st responders, we are, they are 2nd. They show up most of the time after it’s all over. I hope you re-think this.

    If it weren’t for the 2nd Amendment there wouldn’t be any other Amendments.

    And the Militia was created exactly so the people could defend themselves from a possible tyrannical government. And the Militia is not the National Guard nor the Reserves like some like to say. They didn’t come about until the early 1900s.

  66. Gordon DeSpain says:

    I’ve been fighing this battle for most of my 67 years, and, it’s still not settled. The one thing that all should think about is that our Constitutional Rights were not created by either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. In fact they were never ‘created’ at all, they are a condition of your existence, attend your birth, travel with you through life, and, expire at the Grave.

    In fact, the first known iteration of the “Right to keep and bear arms” was penned by Ur Nammu, King of Ur (just about 300 Kilometers south of my present location, Baghdad), in 2300 BC, and, he claimed to be ‘re-instating’ the “Rights of Man,” handed down by his ancestors.

    My problem with anyone who would give up a right, any right, deserves none, and, will be rewarded with such for his choice (a somewhat paraphrase of a quote of Benjamin Franklin). The other thing that bothers me is a lack of knowledge of History or Historical precedent, concerning the most bothersome thing I can imagine, “The End of Golden Ages.”

    I won’t bother to list all of them, or, even more than two, because they are considered not politically correct in this age of rampant Socialism. But, number one on that list is something that drives Feminists into paroxisms of panic: About 150 years into the life of a Civilization Women, brandishing their weapons of Genderbat, begin rising to positions of great power, pushing their primal biological imperative to build safe, healthy, wealthy and secure nests in which to raise children, who will never be exposed to violence. To ensure this, they begin lobbying to “disarm the common man.”

    That’s Marker #1, strangely, Marker # 20 is when they finally achieve their goal, and, snatch the means of defense, of Nation or self from the hands of everyone except Police (City Guards), or, the now “Professional Military.” This always seems to coincide with the advent of a conqueror coming over the hill (i.e. -Alexander the Great), or, shoved up a hill, such as Obama climbing the Hill to Washington DC.

    FYI, all 20 of the Markers of the “End of a Golden Age,” are now in play, save the last. Somehow, I believe that the last marker is travelling with him.

  67. Ann says:

    Thank you Judge.
    But since I don’t have indoor plumbing I, according to some, have no rights, nor brains.

  68. Robert Ries says:

    “I happen to think other amendments to our constitution such as Number 1 (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition), 13 (abolishing slavery), 14 (equal protection under the law), 19 and 26 (right to vote for women and all citizens over 18) and others might actually be more important than Number 2.”

    Well, without a strongly defended 2nd Amendment, you will find it much more difficult to protect and keep all the rest. That was the point of it, after all. Or did you skip out of your history classes?

  69. jedediah Redman says:

    Homo sapiens’ only hope for survival is the second amendment.
    With it we can continue to be efficient in our use of violence in response to other homo sapiens.
    Without it we would be reduced to physical combat or ineffiecient weapons such as knives and clubs.
    Vote Republican.

  70. Dave Skinner says:

    Well, after seeing the riff-off between Larry and Ann, I want to put Larry in the context of these comments.
    He’s an “Environmental Ranger.” What is that? Well, some time ago after seeing his vitriol elsewhere, I did some poking about in the dark vaults of the Internet.
    Apparently, the Rangers, who actually had a website for a while, don’t know if it’s still there, hit the radar of the Daily Telegraph and Arena magazine in the mid 1990s:

    “We’re environmentalists, we’re treehuggers and we’re armed to the goddamn teeth.”
    – Ric Valois, Environmental Ranger.

    The Environmental Rangers (ER) were formed in the mid-1980s and are best described as an eco-militia. Staunch anti-racists and ‘heartfelt environmentalists’ they are mainly Vietnam War veterans who feel they owe their sanity to the healing influence of wild areas.”

    There’s more, but I can’t help but notice the rhetorical similarities between Ric and Larry.

    Bill Donahue of Outside interviewed Ric in 1996:
    Meet Rick Valois, commander-in-chief of the first eco-militia
    By Bill Donahue

    He’s probably the only environmentalist in the United States with camo-clad, gun-toting foot soldiers at his command, and his battle plan is pretty straightforward: If anyone attacks Ric Valois or the Environmental Rangers, as his tiny green militia is known, the auburn-haired, 44-year-old tree trimmer from Vaughn, Montana, promises to “disarm the enemy, strip them naked, destroy everything they leave behind, and use their ammo to win.”

    Or something like that. In real life, the Rangers are perhaps 20 motley combatants who haven’t changed the world just yet. Founded a few years back, they’ve spied on a Pegasus Gold Mine operation, stymied a group of bear trappers, and videotaped loggers illegally overcutting in Idaho’s Nez Perce National Forest. Here, on the eve of “big doings” for the Rangers this spring, Valois’s thoughts on what he believes is the coming green jihad.

    and this from the LA Times.

    Desperate Defenders of Nature
    Environmental activists are hardening their tactics — including some who don khaki and carry arms–in what they see as a last-ditch effort to protect the Northwest from a mining and logging boom.

    Los Angeles Times (LT) – TUESDAY January 9, 1996
    By: KIM MURPHY; TIMES STAFF WRITER
    Edition: Home Edition Page: 1 Pt. A

    LINCOLN, Mont. – Ric Valois knows the Blackfoot River. He knows where the deep pools lie and how the eddies swirl around the rocks. He knows some of the fish by name. Like legions of fishermen, he makes the pilgrimage from his home outside of Great Falls several times a year to stand along the cottonwood banks, scan the current of water over ancient stone and wait for a trout to rise.

    Valois roams Montana these days with a 9-millimeter sidearm holstered on his hip. When he fishes the Blackfoot, it is with a scout’s eye on the land near its confluence with the Landers Fork–where the Phelps Dodge Mining Co. and Canyon Resources Corp. want to blast a mile-wide pit, 675 feet deep, into the hills. It is the largest gold bonanza ever discovered in Montana, 3.7 million ounces worth at least $1.8 billion, and twice that much silver.

    A coalition of environmental organizations has unleashed a campaign to stop the mine, seen as an economic hope for nearby Lincoln, a source of 390 new jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenue, $45 million a year in goods and services–and, by some, the beginning of the end for a fabled river already devastated by decades of mining.

    Valois isn’t counting on the “Save the Blackfoot, Stop the Mine” bumper stickers and public hearing testimony organized by mainstream environmental groups. He sees his outfit of Environmental Rangers as the last line of defense, an army of citizens that will stand along the Blackfoot after the lawyers and the lobbyists and the peaceful environmental protesters have gone home in defeat.

    “That mine is not going in,” Valois said recently. “They’re not getting these places without a war. And I mean a real war. . . . We’re the ones who will put our lives on the line if that’s what it takes.”

    So, Larry, who is the mild-mannered one? And who should be freaking out about xx number of guns in someone’s possession?

  71. Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers! says:

    Dave, you don’t see no gold mine on the Blackfoot, do you? Yeah, we had some fun back then. We’re gettin’ a little long in the tooth now, be we still take on the bad guys when we have to. And you see, it’s not just the rightwing wackjobs that like guns. All the Rangers do! We armed to the teeth with state of the art. Ric is a class III dealer, so he has all the goodies. You know, full auto, etc. So, in a sense, we are allies. Rightwing wackos want guns, and so do we leftwing wackos. We don’t trust the government all that much either. It’s simply not about politics. That’s where gun nuts make their biggest mistake. To attack O’Bama is to insult most of the country. And that’s just plain stupid.

    And Judge, thanks for the link, but it didn’t work. Try again.

  72. AJMD says:

    By Jim Fleischmann, 11-14-08

    Couple of Points:

    1) Those who feel that they need the second amendment as latent protection against a possible tyrannical government need to have their heads examined. The firearms that we own (yes, I’m a hunter) would be inconsequential against the military might and technology that our country’s military possesses. Anybody that has a vision of good citizens hiding out in the woods and resisting the military might of the U.S. government a la “The Patriot” has either been watching too many movies or needs to have their head examined.

    ACTUALLY – there is a big difference between a war, where the object is to destroy/kill, and establishment of a totalitarian state, where the object is to control. The latter circumstance is rendered impossible with a decent percentage of anonymously armed citizens, whereas only the former requires military technology.

    2) Those of you that have repeatedly voted to mortgage your families’ futures by voting solely on a candidate’s position on guns are now free to vote for the candidate that will best provide your family with health care, insure that your children have access to the education they need, and make sure that we have a fair tax structure.

    ACTUALLY – the Libertarian and Republican candidates are consistently the best to do all the above, so it isn’t somehow a choice or trade-off. Huckabee even supported THE “FairTax!”

  73. Pete says:

    Yes indeed, insurgencies have no chance against a modern army.

    Look how badly the Taliban was beaten by the Soviets.

    Look how badly the Taliban is being crushed by the Americans.

    Look how badly the Viet Cong were crushed by the French and Americans

    Look how badly the Iraqi insurgents are getting beaten

    Granted, American citizens have neither the balls nor the ambition to wage an insurgency against threats – both foreign or domestic. But to categorically sat that insurgencies fail is stretching it.

  74. jedediah Redman says:

    Sounds as though the Montana Militia only temporarily disbanded until such time as the nation was threatened by the election of a person of color.
    The Militia’s credo seems alive and well among rightwingcrazy members of the NRA…

  75. Tom says:

    I have no interest the president’s color or religion or gender. I felt more threatened by Hillary, but now that she might become secretary of state, I feel safer because she’ll be out of the senate. Obama with a moderate congress wouldn’t scare me as much as the far left communist whackos that are in control now.

    History tells us of the of the euphoria the Germans felt when Hitler became chancelor of Germany. The entire world thought he was the best thing for Germany. Seems a lot like what’s happening now. He created class warfare, gave them all each other to hate,divided and conquered. Will the Montana Power Rangers be part of the Obama plan?

  76. jedediah Redman says:

    The past eight years were pretty much like Germany under Hitler, tom.
    I don’t think anybody here was very euphoric.
    Perhaps you may be straining a bit too hard for similes?
    Strong women and darkies worry you, eh?
    But not as much as those demonic commies..?

  77. Dave Skinner says:

    Jim F, I’m not sure what you are driving at.
    Our army could certainly level vast areas and “win,” no doubt. But that would only be in a tactical sense. Strategically, it would fail especially when it comes to the oath taken by every enlistee and officer — basically “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me,”
    Now, this nation depends utterly depends utterly on consent of the governed. All free societies do, all successful, non-totalitarian states. That’s what our Constitution is about…notice the Oath does not say “I will defend the government” — it says the “Constitution of the United States.”
    Faith and allegiance to. What happens when American soldiers are given unconstitutional orders? What happens when any officer of the law is given illegal orders repugnant to the Constitution? Boy, I bet that would make for charming barracks and ready-room discussions.
    Let’s not forget the KGB’s penchant for taking dissenters away in the dark of night, with those taken away never heard from again. I would hope that doesn’t become widespread practice in this country…and that’s at least one reason to stay armed.

  78. Tom says:

    I would be more worried about the President going to the UN and requesting NATO “peace keeping forces”.
    Can’t happen here? How many other countries have said that?

  79. Pete says:

    Tom,

    If you recall, after the 2000 elections, Jimmy Carter suggested that UN election observers be brought in to manage the 2004 elections.

  80. arthur says:

    Well,
    you strike me as either Naive or a Phony. Real hunters do not go about killing Blackbirds for sport. As for the rest of your whining:
    “I happen to think other amendments to our constitution such as Number 1 (freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition), 13 (abolishing slavery), 14 (equal protection under the law), 19 and 26 (right to vote for women and all citizens over 18) and others ”

    You apparently are not smart enough to realize that no one dares try to abolish or circumvent those other amendments. While there are national organizations and foundations whose goal is the destruction of the Second Amendment. And you miss the greater point…if someone would dare to infringe on such a plainly enumerated right…do you think they give a crap about the rest of your rights?

  81. arthur says:

    “of all the things going on in the world right now you “gun nuts” are actually worried about people coming into your homes to take your guns? give me a break. i’m starting to think “gun nut” is synonymous with ”

    Google Patty Coney and the New Orleans gun confiscations.

  82. jedediah Redman says:

    “If you recall, after the 2000 elections, Jimmy Carter suggested that UN election observers be brought in to manage the 2004 elections.”

    They would probably have helped in Ohio.

  83. Lukas says:

    Ann (and Judge), that question from the Obama job interview basically asks whether the applicant or a family member has ever owned unregistered guns or committed a gun crime/misdemeanor. Seems like a normal question to me. First of all, you would want members of the administration to obey the law, and second, you don’t want to deal with stuff like this after a person has been hired and the media/bloggers/Republicans dig it out.

    Another point (and probably I don’t understand it as an immigrant from Europe) is the continued insistence that the second amendment is a cornerstone of protecting all the other rights. This might have been true way back in past times, but can anyone tell me a convincing case where private gun-ownership has prevented the government from taking away rights in, say, the last 50 years? Face it (and be glad about it), the democratic process nowadays doesn’t need armed citizens, we have evolved beyond the times of the Wild West. (I am not talking about shooting people who trespass on your property, but I don’t think this was the original intent of the second amendment.)

  84. Tom Gresham says:

    >>”can anyone tell me a convincing case where private gun-ownership has prevented the government from taking away rights in, say, the last 50 years?”<<

    Hmmm. More than 50 million people were murdered by their own governments in the last century.

    (Think “ethnic cleansing.”)

    None of those populations was allowed to own guns.

    Just a historical tidbit one may want to chew on.

    Yes, I know. No one in any of those countries thought it could happen there, either.

  85. Dave Robertson says:

    “Another point (and probably I don’t understand it as an immigrant from Europe) is the continued insistence that the second amendment is a cornerstone of protecting all the other rights. This might have been true way back in past times, but can anyone tell me a convincing case where private gun-ownership has prevented the government from taking away rights in, say, the last 50 years? Face it (and be glad about it), the democratic process nowadays doesn’t need armed citizens, we have evolved beyond the times of the Wild West. (I am not talking about shooting people who trespass on your property, but I don’t think this was the original intent of the second amendment.)”

    Our country has not suffered a large-scale invasion on the continental US by any foreign nation in over 100 years. The Japanese made the very wise strategic decision not to invade California in WW2, because of “a gun behind every blade of grass.” Our freedoms are not now trampled excessively (though they are abused) by our government because we have guns and we vastly outnumber our military.

    We don’t need incidents of insurrection to support the need for an armed populace, as our being armed is a deterrent to tyranny. We, by virtue of being armed and able to defend our right to vote, are citizens. Those who cannot be armed vote at the whim of their rulers, and therefore are subjects.

  86. Nimrod45 says:

    “I support the 2A, but…” blah blah blah.

    You lost me at “black helicopters”.

    And the 2A just might pass if it said what it meant “The right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED”.

    Learn it. Love it.

    Peace out.

  87. Dave Skinner says:

    Well, my evil landlord and I went shopping to-day for the goodies that go with an AR-15. Got skunked on mags, and he paid an outrageous price for XM193 ammo. I succumbed to the panic and bought 1000 moly-coated bullets at a semi-outrageous price.
    Anyway, Tom brings up a good point here, about the 50 million killed by their own governments.
    I recommend highly that the doubters here go to the library and call up “The Black Book of Communism” — or maybe it’s “Socialism.” Think it’s the C word, anyway. But it’s a long, long dossier of savagery by Marxist governments worldwide. It makes one think very lowly of totalitarian government.

  88. Ann says:

    Prices shouldn’t affect hand gun ammo should it? Do I need to stock up?

  89. fsilber says:

    Lukas: “Another point (and probably I don’t understand it as an immigrant from Europe) is the continued insistence that the second amendment is a cornerstone of protecting all the other rights. This might have been true way back in past times, but can anyone tell me a convincing case where private gun-ownership has prevented the government from taking away rights in, say, the last 50 years?”

    Well, yes. Forty-five years ago many people in government had ambitions of creating a Swedish-style social democracy, but Americans did not want to pay the taxes. (It’s less attractive here because a third of our population is third-world. England would never have voted for socialized medicine if they had to fund it for their entire former empire.) So they tried to compel us to vote for higher taxes but increasing social services during the prosperous years and cutting back on police services during the lean years — telling us that if we wanted protection we’d have to agree to higher taxes. In state and national congresses, you had representatives from poor districts opposing spending on jails and law enforcement unless it could be coupled by increases in social spending.

    In other words, they were threatening us with criminal attack to make us give up our money. When we got a majority in congress we passed liberalized concealed carry laws and home-castle laws so that we could protect ourselves. Just a couple of weeks ago a columnist at Newsweek expressed curiosity as to why the crime issue did not play a role in the Presidential election like it had in the 1980s and 90s.

    Now we can tell them, “If you don’t want your precious robbers to die, keep them out of our homes and off our streets.”

  90. jedediah Redman says:

    The arguments appear to be repetitive anyway; so I hope nobody minds if I repeat that I hope Obama and the Democratic Congress are able to require registration of guns, long knives, and sharpened spoons…

  91. Dave Skinner says:

    JR,
    You’re a “Red” man to the core. Prosit, comrade!

  92. Freedom4All says:

    Thanks for another great, thoughtful piece, Bill. I think this line really sums it all up:

    “I suspect gun nuts aren’t even scared of our new president. They’re scared that the voice of reason might become popular.”

    I think Senator Obama’s landslide victory shows that it already has. This nation will be a better place when we all–gun owners and non-gun owners alike–reject the extremist and rigid dogma of those on the Far Right Wing.

    Here’s to 4 years of moving forward…

  93. scott says:

    It is Obama that is an extremist – a gun-ban extremist.

    He’s never met a gun control law he didn’t like nor a gun-owner that he would not prefer to disarm.

    Whether it be the poor people of Washington DC or his own crime-ridden Chicago – he doesn’t care that hundreds of innocents (note that MANY of them are black in DC and Chicago) die despite that they live in “gun-free” zones.

    I would point out that in Miami last month (Oct 2008) there were ZERO murders. Thats right, Miami, the home of drug dealers that prefer those evil assault weapons (yeah, right). Whats the difference between Miami and Chicago. hmmmm, oh yeah, in Miami you can own a handgun, and get a concealed carry permit just by filling out a form (assuming you have no criminal record).

    In Chicago, unless you’re a city councilman you CAN’T, period. They are on track for 400 murders this year. Yeah, I know, Chicago is bigger. So common size it. Miami still comes out better.

    So now, tell me again how its better that we “gun-nuts” compromise.

  94. Freedom4All says:

    Florida certainly doesn’t have anything to teach Illinois about reducing gun violence. According to CDC data, in 2005 Florida had a gun death per capita rate of 10.34 per 100,000 population. Illinois’ rate was 7.98 per 100,000 population, ranking it 43rd in the nation, WAY down on the list.

  95. Freedom4All says:

    Don Kates is a “liberal” academic? That was truly amusing. Please provide a single example (just one) of a paper that Kates has published that does not parrot the NRA’s policy positions to a ‘T.’ Kates is a regularly featured speaker during NRA-sponsored events at George Mason University, the site of their $1 million endowment.

  96. fsilber says:

    Freedom4All wrote: “Florida certainly doesn’t have anything to teach Illinois about reducing gun violence. According to CDC data, in 2005 Florida had a gun death per capita rate of 10.34 per 100,000 population. Illinois’ rate was 7.98 per 100,000 population, ranking it 43rd in the nation, WAY down on the list.”

    Illinois has the higher murder rate if you correlate for ethnic background. Nationwide, hispanic immigrants have a higher murder rate than Anglos, and the African American rate is much higher than that. Essentially, you’re praising Illinois for having less racial and ethic diversity than Florida.

  97. fsilber says:

    By Freedom4All: “Don Kates is a `liberal’ academic? That was truly amusing. Please provide a single example (just one) of a paper that Kates has published that does not parrot the NRA’s policy positions to a ‘T.’ Kates is a regularly featured speaker during NRA-sponsored events at George Mason University, the site of their $1 million endowment.”

    I recall early papers that said he did not oppose firearms registration. That goes against the NRA’s position. But more relevant to his liberalism is his work in other areas. His Wikipedia page says, “During the Civil rights movement, he worked in the South for civil rights lawyers including William Kunstler. Thereafter, he specialized in civil rights and police misconduct litigation for the federal War on Poverty program. After three years of teaching constitutional law, criminal law, and criminal procedure at Saint Louis University School of Law, he returned to San Francisco where he currently practices law, teaches, and writes on criminology.”

  98. AJMD says:

    Yes, Kates IS a “Liberal” – one of his first works is a compilation of fellow liberal’s views on gun control “Gun Control – the Liberal Skeptics Speak Out”

    The only reason I identified him as a “Liberal” is that I find most people who hate guns and/or gun owners are obsessed with labels and categorizing people, and since they can’t use facts to make a case for gun control, they typically refuse to read or view anything they label as “gun lobby” material. Of course, whatever the source, if the conclusion is against gun control, they will then label it “gun lobby” tainted. I find it fascinating that the mere fact Kates agrees with the NRA’s ‘side’ of the issue indicates he can’t be a “liberal” – since when is gun control truly a “liberal” concept. Oppression and tyranny and genocide are not possible in an armed society, but are facilitated by ‘gun control’ – these shouldn’t be things a true “liberal” would desire.

  99. DLN says:

    As for Cooper, he has the right to support whoever he wants. Just like how the president of PETA has the right to show up to work wearing a baby seal coat. Just be aware of the consequences. Dont like guns, dont buy one? That is your option as free people. No one is forcing you.

    How do you “compromise” on a Consitutional right thats explicitly stated.

  100. jedediah Redman says:

    All that being said, I am a bit disturbed that one of our number felt constrained to post a lot of information about another denizen of this benighted site.
    Dave Skinner’s expose` of Larry Kralj seems to me to have been little more than the act of a vandal. I am shocked that a person old enough to have access to a computer would find a reason to do such a thing. What was gained by such an act of pointless nastiness?
    Perhaps I am mistaken.
    It may be that a wide cross-section of New West readers may have found the post of value. If that is the case, I suppose there will be other such acts of irrational scholarship…

  101. scott says:

    Thanks Tom, I’ve read of the Battle of Athens before.

    If it happened near me patriots won’t have to depend upon finding arms in government armories. I’ve already got more Garands than the GI’s of Athens found! And I’d rather have an M1 than an EBR (but I”ve got a couple of those too).

    When the ballot box and the jury box fail to protect the lives and freedoms of man, the cartridge box becomes the only hope. So without arms freedom is living on borrowed time at the pleasure of tyrants already in office.

  102. Thomas says:

    Bill,

    I think you are mistaken in believing that us gun nuts only care about the 2nd amendment. We care about the WHOLE constitution. The second amendment is currently under attack, both overtly and covertly. So of course, that is where our primary defense must be.

    Without the second amendment, the constitution is simply another piece of paper. Defending the rest of the bill of rights would be impossible without it.

  103. the pistolero says:

    “I think you are mistaken in believing that us gun nuts only care about the 2nd amendment.”

    Well hell yeah, he’s mistaken. I’ll just go ahead and say here what I said elsewhere: Bill Schneider must not be a very well-read person, at least as far as today’s gun culture and gun bloggers’ representation of that culture goes. The fact is if you read just about any of the gun bloggers out there, it’s a safe bet that you’ll find 99 percent of them commenting regularly on violations of other constitutional rights and general civil liberties.

  104. Dave Skinner says:

    JR,
    Don’t take this personally, but stick it in your ear, okay?
    I was struck by Larry’s riffing on gun wackos and all that, given his history. I found it very ironic, and given Larry’s stridency both here and in other forums, perhaps this was the time to note that irony in this context.
    The fact remains, Larry K was in fact in an “eco-militia.” Still calls himself an environmental ranger, which the group called themselves.
    The only difference is that the Rangers are on the Left, which somehow, if you read the tone of the contemporary coverage, made them an “okay” kind of “militia.” There’s a double standard there.
    Just imagine if I myself had formed a “logger militia” to keep ecoteurs from wrecking logging jobs and tooted my horn about being locked and cocked with full auto toys.
    So I must ask, “Jedediah Redman,” why is it wrong for me to point out real stuff, over my real name, while it’s okay for you to say — under a pseudonym — I’m just being pointlessly nasty? Double standard there, too.
    Have a nice night.

  105. Ann says:

    Personally I would like to thank Dave for his ‘expose” on The ‘ranger’. It made more sense as to where, the Ranger is coming from. A little TRUTHFUL back ground on someone/thing is good information for both sides. I’m in no way saying I support the ‘Ranger/s’, but for the fact that I too am ‘armed and dangerous’ the two of us do have a common ground. But that, I think, is where the similarities end.

  106. Marion says:

    First of all, none of us really know anything about President-elect Obama, except that he does tend to say what is politically expedient. First he stated there should be gun bans imposed, then he stated he supported teh overturn of the DC gun ban, but said at the same time it was and should be up to cities and states to impose their own gun ban. Now he talks about 200+ “Administrative orders”, and a non governmental militia, those things make me nervous.
    The second ammendment makes hunting possible, not the reverse. It must be protected from liberal idealogues who would disarm a nation “to make it safer”.

  107. Freedom4All says:

    Don Kates supports NRA positions across the board.

    Charlton Heston was once a Liberal as well, but there’s nothing Kates has written in the last 20 years that would even remotely suggest he’s Liberal, must less moderate, politically. If I’m wrong, then prove it by linking me to a paper he wrote that demonstrates otherwise.

    The academics you guys cite (Kopel, Malcolm, Kates, Mauser, etc.) is the exact line-up that appears every year at the NRA’s annual Second Amendment conference at George Mason.

  108. Freedom4All says:

    “There is no freedom of speech without guns.”

    Just in case you were wondering why they called them “gun nuts”…

  109. scott says:

    You want LIBERALS?

    ok, Lawrence Tribe. It took him 3 tries but in his 3rd revision of his constitutional law book used at Harvard (and the MOST CITED book in SC decisions) he agrees that the 2A protects an individual rights.

    Also, Sanford Levinson (1989 – “The Embarrassin Second Amendment”). Embarrassing because as he points out, an intelligent reading of the 2A comes to the same conclusion that Tribe did 20 years later.

    But I suppose now because Tribe and Levinson have broken with the LIBERAL ORTHODOXY the frothing-at-the-mouth anti-gunners will not accept them as “liberals” either.

    It’s a joke to attempt to converse with people like that.

  110. Lukas says:

    scott: “ok, Lawrence Tribe. It took him 3 tries but in his 3rd revision of his constitutional law book used at Harvard (and the MOST CITED book in SC decisions) he agrees that the 2A protects an individual rights.

    Also, Sanford Levinson (1989 – “The Embarrassin Second Amendment”). Embarrassing because as he points out, an intelligent reading of the 2A comes to the same conclusion that Tribe did 20 years later.”

    I am no expert on constitutional law, and I suppose the recent Supreme Court decision pretty much establishes that the 2nd amendment grants an individual right to bear arms. The president can’t overrule the Supreme Court, so you gun owners can all chill out.

    I just question the often repeated argument that the 2nd amendment is the most fundamental right of all, because it somehow mystically protects all the others rights. There are many successful democracies which have no equivalent right and very strong restrictions on gun ownership. How do you explain them? Luck? Less corrupt politicians? I’d say the most straightforward explanation is that these two things (gun rights and other democratic rights) have nearly no correlation. This is not an argument for abolishing the 2nd amendment at all, it just puts it into perspective.

    And even though some here claim that “gun nuts” want to protect all amendments and the constitution equally, I’d bet that a poll would show a significant opposition among “gun nuts” to the 16th amendment (the Federal Income Tax one).

  111. fsilber says:

    Freedom4All: “Charlton Heston was once a Liberal as well, but there’s nothing Kates has written in the last 20 years that would even remotely suggest he’s Liberal, must less moderate, politically. If I’m wrong, then prove it by linking me to a paper he wrote that demonstrates otherwise. The academics you guys cite (Kopel, Malcolm, Kates, Mauser, etc.) is the exact line-up that appears every year at the NRA’s annual Second Amendment conference at George Mason.”

    What kind of liberals _would_ the NRA invite as speakers, if not pro-2nd Amendment liberals? Both Don Kates and Charleton Heston established their liberal credentials in the Civil Rights movement. Neither of them have given any indication _whatsoever_ that they’ve reversed their positions on the issues since then. Therefore, they remain liberals.

    Now, if you want to argue that most of the Democrats have become radicalized since then on many issues and these fellows haven’t followed — that’s a different issue.

  112. fsilber says:

    Lukas: “I just question the often repeated argument that the 2nd amendment is the most fundamental right of all, because it somehow mystically protects all the others rights. There are many successful democracies which have no equivalent right and very strong restrictions on gun ownership. How do you explain them?”

    I don’t know of _any_ democracies that have maintained strict gun prohibitions for more than a few decades so far, and those are seeing their other civil rights (e.g. privacy, right of the accused to face his accusor in court) gradually diminished now as well.

    I don’t know of _any_ gun-prohibitionist democracies which have stood the test of time WHILE IN THAT PROHIBITIONIST CONDITION. Most of the continental European democracies were not set up until the U.S. occupied Europe after WWII, and it was only twenty years ago or so that we withdrew our troops. Perhaps without our occupation and CIA meddling they might not even be democracies today. That’s what the Soviet Union claimed when we critized their control over eastern European satellite countries — they said western European countries were _our_ satellites, and maybe they were right.

  113. scott says:

    Lukas,

    I’ve not made ANY arguments here as to who would or would not believe each of the amendments is of equal value, or greater or lessor value.

    As with any discussion like this EVERYONE will have differing shades of opinion, and gun-owners are no different. And some may be either MORE interested in ALL the BofR (like I think I am) or less, as you think some of them might be.

    I tend to believe that on average, gun-owners are more likely to support ALL the BofR than are non-gun-owners, and particulalry the ANTI-gunners.

    I would point out that the BofR does NOT include the 16th amendment.

    I’ve also not made any comments about whether “succesfull” democracies around the world do or do not have restrictive or not gun-control laws. I pointed out Tribe and Levinson since the examples of Kates didn’t satisfy Freedom4All (and I doubt he really wants “freedom for ALL”).

    As for the president “over-ruling” the SC, of course he can’t, but Obama seems to think that an “assault-weapons” can be constitutional. I expect to see an “assault-weapons” ban out of Congress THIS YEAR, so I fully understand why many gun-owners including myself, are buying them as fast as we can.

    And of course the whole point of “wild Bill’s” original thread is that we gun-nuts need to calm down and compromise, and “not alienate” the rest of the gun-owners. Our argument to his is that even he “they” sacrifice “us” (the evil black rifle owning bunch) that “they” will probably lose their (traditional wood stocked hunting rifles) eventually.

    Despite that Heller says the 2A guarantees and individual right, I don’t think the battle is over. The Brady Bunch etal are still interested in restricting semi-automatic weapons along with a host of other desires. It’s still VERY possible for America to go down the road of the UK and one day Americans might wake up and find their “right to keep and bear arms” is still in the Constitition but virtually gone on a practical basis.

  114. Lukas says:

    fsilber: “I don’t know of _any_ gun-prohibitionist democracies which have stood the test of time WHILE IN THAT PROHIBITIONIST CONDITION.”

    Of course it depends on what you mean by prohibitionist, but I assume that the Netherlands would qualify. Obviously you’ve never heard of the Netherlands then? What about France? Ever heard of that? It’s a country, too.

  115. Lukas says:

    scott,

    I was not talking about crime and self-defense (and the quite speculative notion that this woman who was raped and murdered would have survived if only French gun laws were different), I was talking about using guns to protect the people’s rights.

    Talking about violent intimidation, anti-abortion groups and right-wing terrorists have done this for decades in the US. I don’t think the Islamists are even close yet. Funny enough, the most effective weapons against violent intimidation seem to be non-violent, like the lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center that brought down Aryan Nations.

  116. jedediah Redman says:

    Suffice it to say, skinner, I think you achieved the lowest level available for bottom-feeding.
    You have made it as a rightwingcrazy–and nowas a rat…

  117. scott says:

    oh yeah, right wing terrorists and abortion opponents have sure put a stop to – NOTHING.

    we are thru the looking glass folks.

  118. Dave Skinner says:

    As for whether we have nothing to worry about regarding an Obama Nation, turns out Mr. Obama has nominated Eric Holder, one of Janet Reno’s deputies, for US AG.
    Among other cuties in his resume, Holder is listed Number Three under Janet and one of Lyndon Johnson’s AGs as an amicus curae for former DOJ people putting forth a brief to the Supremes in the Heller case.
    The bottom line of that brief was, of course,
    “ARGUMENT The Second Amendment Does Not Protect Firearms Possession or Use That Is Unrelated To Participation In A Well-Regulated Militia.”
    Yeah, youbetchanothingtoworryabout.

  119. Lukas says:

    fsilber: “Neither of those democracies is even a single lifetime old (they were fascist 65 years ago), and their strict gun laws are even younger than that. That doesn’t qualify to me as “standing the test of time” — unless a few decades of democracy is good enough for you.”

    Yes, they were occupied by Germany for a while, but if you exclude all countries which suffered invasions/occupations for a few years, you make your sample size ridiculously small. Then only a few lucky democracies stood the test of time at all (no matter whether gun control or not), and what does this imply? Not very much at all.

    “In Holland, the penalty for making a film critical of Islam’s treatment of women is now death. Of course, it wasn’t the _official_ government that administered the death penalty to Theo Van Gogh, but if that makes it different we can arrange to have private parties administer the death penalty for various crimes here in America.”

    You would have a point if the government tried to cover up the crime or didn’t prosecute the murderer, but you don’t. This was an ugly hate crime, and unfortunately these happen all over the world all the time. (If you don’t believe that similar things happen/happened in the US, you are obviously not following the news.)

    “You were already given the example of the “Battle of Athens, Tennessee.””

    Actually, this seems like the only good example I have ever seen, and at least it didn’t happen too far in the past. Thanks for pointing this one out.

    “And I already told you of how our right to vote against higher taxes was infringed by opponents in government threatening violent retribution at the hands of criminals (via the removal of police protection) — until we acquired the ability to protect ourselves.”

    This, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have anything to do with gun rights. Or am I missing something?

    “And the guns of the government had nothing to do with that? If the government had had the same attitude towards the Aryan Nations as they have toward illegal immigrants and La Raza, the lawsuit would have accomplished as little as a lawsuit against the KKK in 1925.”

    I never claimed that I wanted to disarm the government. Laws always have to be backed up by force, sure.

  120. jedediah Redman says:

    It always seem to come down to the threat of death to make a case for conservatism.

  121. Ann says:

    Last I knew Death was the ONLY guarantee in this life.

  122. Mike Newton says:

    Ann, don’t forget taxes you wonderful hillbilly. Bill is a gun and a fishing nut and he really enjoys stirring the pot and I see nothing wrong with that. All opinions welcome what a novel idea. Obama and his socialistic followers have four years to make things better for all of us, I wish them good luck and if it helps our country as a whole, great. Do not try and take our guns or regulate them as far as government classification, trying to keep them out of the wrong hands is a nobel pursuit but not to realistic. As the old saying goes “if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns” and if you give them an inch they will take a mile. Please do not support anybody that is willing to mess with our Bill of Rights! I do agree if you are not willing to put your real name on your opinion then it is not worth reading.

  123. Bob Wire says:

    Hey, Mike, you forgot to say that Obama is a Muslim! And a terrorist!

  124. jedediah Redman says:

    Anybody putting his real name anywhere on the internet is taking a real chance of having his barn burned and his dog shot by the rightwingcrazies…

  125. Ann says:

    Mike you don’t HAVE to pay taxes. You may go to jail in this country if you don’t but you will breathe another day. I know lots of people that don’t pay taxes and they are still walking this planet. So Nope that doesn’t fly hillbilly or not.
    Jed. don’t you mean the leftwingnuts. Isn’t that what E.L.F. does? and PETA?

  126. Bill Schneider says:

    Oh no, I put my real name on the Internet. Tell me it isn’t true, rightwingcrazies, you aren’t really going to shoot my dog, are you? Just because I’m not pro-gun-enough and a NRA lifer and like the First Amendment, too. That’s terrible. I named my dog, Newton, after a new friend. He’s a really nice looking dog, and well behaved, too, except on days when he drinks too much cinnamon snoops, which, I admit, is far too often. Nonetheless, I do not want to see the poor mutt shot full of freedom holes. I know this gun biz is intense, but please use some restraint….Bill

  127. Ann says:

    Don’t worry Bill, I’m neither left nor right, But if I see someone taking aim on your dog, I will fill their hiney with Rock salt.

  128. Hyman Roth says:

    The Bill of Rights guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

    There is no constitutional protection for any right to kill wildlife.

    When PETA comes for Bill Schneider, will he go quietly to jail, or will he fight it? Will anyone raise a finger to help him?

    Mr. Schneider has no authority to waive my rights. He should stop pretending that he does. I won’t tell him to stop slaughtering animals for sport, if he will stop telling me that my 5’1″ mother doesn’t need a gun to protect herself.

    Does that sound fair, Mr. Schneider?

  129. Mr. Twister says:

    Still at it I see. 152 comments debating the finer points of the right to allow (my personal favorite) the continuation of 20 something idiots to shoot each other in the face with “unlaoded” pistols late at night. Drug testing children gets about no comment.
    Freedom lives.

  130. Kenneth David Hall says:

    A traitor, Mr. Schneider? Nah–you don’t have the moral consistency (twisted though it be) for that.

    You’re just another “eat me last, Mr. Crocodile” sunshine patriot.

    Good luck, sunshine. You’re gonna need it in this brave new world.

    III

  131. Hyman Roth says:

    “By Jim Fleischmann, 11-14-08
    1) Those who feel that they need the second amendment as latent protection against a possible tyrannical government need to have their heads examined. The firearms that we own (yes, I’m a hunter) would be inconsequential against the military might and technology that our country’s military possesses. Anybody that has a vision of good citizens hiding out in the woods and resisting the military might of the U.S. government a la “The Patriot” has either been watching too many movies or needs to have their head examined.”

    1) The Vietcong wore pajamas and sandals made out of old tires. Who won that war?

    2) Al Qaeda has no tanks, no navy and no planes (except the 4 airliners they hijacked) and yet we are still in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The Clinton administration conducted a survey of Marine recruits, asking them if they would comply with an order to confiscate guns from American citizens on American soil. Not surprisingly, nearly all said no (some more pointedly than others).

    But only a deluded fool thinks that the Left does not want a herd of compliant sheep to rule over.

  132. jedediah Redman says:

    I have met a lot of crazy people, in my long lifetime, skinner; but it has always been the rightwingcrazies whom I considered to be threats to my dog. It is of course because I have always thought they were the basic components of mobs…

  133. Bill Schneider says:

    Dear gun nuts,

    After 155 comments this thread is about out of bullets, I suspect, so I’m going to try to summarize what I see happening here.

    People seem to have a very serious problem with what I said, and I really don’t understand it. For example, I said….

    1. I’m pro-gun, pro-2A, but I like other amendments as much or more.

    2. We do not need any more gun laws and even agree we should take some existing laws off the books. We shouldn’t even try to reauthorize the AMB.

    3. If dems are stupid and bring gun control up on the agenda again, they will and should be swept out of power again.

    4. I respect gun nuts for what they’ve done for all gun owners, including we lowly hunters, and a lot of groups could learn how to do it from you folks.

    And for this I get nothing but grief and name-calling? Personally, I don’t care. If I did, I wouldn’t have written about guns in the first place. But I do care about my gun rights, and if this is how you treat people who are mostly in line with your thinking, we might lose our right to bear arms after all because regardless of how many nastygrams you send politicians, your voice will become more and more politically insignificant and gun control and registration might actually happen. So, as I said in the last paragraph, don’t alienate other gun owners just because they aren’t hardliners. Please think about this before you start shooting. We don’t want the loss of the 2A to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Bill

  134. Lukas says:

    fsilber, you make some good points, and even though I still don’t believe that there is any correlation between having a sustainable stable democracy and gun laws (at least not in modern times, in the past this was probably true), I can see your point.

    However, I suggest you drop the two ridiculous arguments, they just make you look stupid. I mean the following:

    “As for the Theo van Gogh incident, I view freedom of speech as the right not to be forced to choose between silence and death — not the right to hope that after I am put to death for speaking that my killer will spend a few years in prison.”

    If this is supposed to be an argument that there is no freedom of speech in the Netherlands, consider these facts:

    Between 1993 and 1998 seven people in the US were killed because they worked at abortion clinics. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion-related_violence#Murders

    The conflict in Northern Ireland has led to several politically motivated assassinations in the UK over time. Actually, since some of these were carried out by groups related to the government, this might even be an argument that the UK didn’t quite have all the democratic freedoms you would expect. Of course, the situation got better in 1998, just one year after Britain banned the personal use of handguns. Coincidence? (See, I can ask these suggestive rhetorical questions, too. Just for the record, yes, I think it is a coincidence.)

    Slice it any way you want, gun laws don’t have much discernible influence on terrorism, or on violent acts by religious fanatics. As much as I’d like an easy solution to prevent crimes like the murder of Theo van Gogh, there seems to be none.

    And this one is a complete non-sequitur:

    “Without gun rights, we were forced to vote the way others wanted us to vote, lest our only protection from muggers (the police) be diminished. With the shall-issue concealed carry laws, we could tell the government, “We will vote as we please. If you don’t want the muggers to die, then before they try to mug someone armed you will have the police arrest them and keep them in prison. Your choice. But we will vote as we choose, and we will not let violent criminals oppress us.””

    The government tried to blackmail you into paying taxes by letting criminals run loose, and then you said “OK, we’ll just shoot them ourselves”? This looks less like a rational interpretation of political history and more like a bad dream. Is there anybody outside of the circle of extreme gun lovers and anti-tax libertarians who subscribes to this theory?

  135. sco says:

    Bill,

    One thing you never did do is admit that you “non-hardliners” shouldn’t ALIENATE us also!

    You still haven’t figured out that the Brady Bunch etal are not going to stop at “assault-weapons” bans, closing the “gun-show loophole (whatever that is)”, “sniper-rifle (those look suspiciously like guns I’m guess YOU like), or “saturday-night specials”, and on and on.

    So, Bill, don’t write tongue-in-cheek DIATRIBES calling us names and then expect us to compromise with you and sell some of our rights down the river in favor of yours.

  136. Bill Schneider says:

    sco,

    It’s amazing how quickly you made my point. I never said, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise, that you need to compromise anything or that my rights are more important than yours (they’re the same, aren’t they?), but I did say I supported taking some of the current gun laws off the books.

    Bill

  137. Kenneth David Hall says:

    It’s amazing how loud you have to yell to shout down your own conscience, ain’t it, sunshine?

  138. deadcenter says:

    Bill you wrote:
    “Regrettably, one of these tactics is anonymity. It gives gun nuts the freedom to say things they’d never say using their real names. ”

    I’m guessing you’ve never heard of, or possibly forgotten about, a trio of fellows that wrote under the nom de plume of Publius. You need a remedial lesson on the history of the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.

  139. jedediah Redman says:

    My anonymity is in fact an act of [b]cowardice in the face of the enemy[/b] which in my case happens to be rightwingchristiancrazies who I am paranoid enough to think would otherwise burn down my house or kill my dog…

  140. Dave Skinner says:

    Ah, just one more.
    Thanks, JR, for being truthful for once, with your last message.
    Bill, you are wrong when you say us Second Amendment types don’t get upset when we see the First or Fifth stomped upon. But all the other rights will be indefensible if government is able to abridge any of them without any fear of retribution.
    I belonged to the ACLU for a couple of years, but realized that the organization is only interested in three amendments at best, one, four and maybe five…and can’t be bothered with four if it has to do with two. Or Five if there’s a “public good” involved. At least ACLU hasn’t gone over to supporting “hate speech” restrictions.
    As for the Fudds, Tom Gresham put it pretty well. If you have guns and haven’t had to beg government for permission to have them, then you are a passenger in the wagon. Maybe once in a while you need to pull and give us horses a rest. No wonder we lather.

  141. Marion says:

    Jed, could you provide us with some examples of attacks and riots by “rightwingchristiancrazies”? In fairness I will list some attacks by your side of the discussion: Ecoterrorists burning down houses, releasing animals form labs, thwoing blood on ladies who happen to walk down the street wearing fur. Then of course there are the gay protesters, knocking down old folks because they don’t like their Prop 8 sign, tearing up churches, interrupting services, knocking a cross out of the hand of another old lady and getting in her face threatening her. I suppose you could make the case these folks with that mind set might be dangerous with a firearm in their hands. On the other hand an armed potential victim might be able to disuade them from their destruction.

  142. DirtCrashr says:

    What’s his beef with golfers?

  143. jedediah Redman says:

    No, marian, I won’t.
    Just look up [b]mobs[/b] and/or scalawags.
    I admire people who openly protest against the government or industry–or any out-of-control similar force.
    Its the louts who gather together –or singly–take revenge on individuals in secret I abhor.

  144. Bart Snell says:

    Wow! Where’d all that vitriol come from, Bill? Stub your toe getting out of bed this morning?

    Your article made me want to ask what the point of hunting is anymore? Why do you feel the need to track and hunt an innocent and harmless animal? When you think about it, it makes you sound a little creepy – sort of gun nuttish, if you get my drift. Dressing up in camo and crawling around in the woods “tracking” that “Big Game”. You go, B’wana! You’re the Man!

    And please, don’t even try to tell me that you do it for food. Afterall, unless you live in the Outback, you’ve probably got burger joints and coffee shops on almost every street corner and no doubt at least a couple supermarkets within a few miles of your home.

    So what’s your true motive for the tracking and killing Bill? Are you really just a closet gun nut and afraid to come out for fear of facing the harsh reality of it?

    You see? It’s not so bad being called names. As a conservative I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t bother me much anymore. I find it serves to reflect the person doing the name calling for who they truly are.

  145. chuck reed says:

    so they want our guns?!
    next our cars?
    refrigerators?
    showers and commodes?
    knives, forks and spoons?
    irons and ironing boards?
    cars? (yeah they are clearly dangerous)
    bottles and glasses, glass windows?
    surely our money!
    lives?

  146. Ann says:

    The same to you and the SAFEST of New Years!!!!