March 30, 2017

January 5, 2013

The Gun Thing, Part II: Hunting

Second in a series of notes about the red herrings everyone should be on the lookout for over the next few months in the debate over the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It was assumed by the Founding Fathers that most people hunted, that hunting was as natural a thing as breathing. For most people, if you didn’t hunt, you didn’t eat. So when liberals say something “You don’t need a military rifle to hunt deer,” always remember to put it in the context of the First Amendment to see how stupid it is. It’s roughly the same as saying: “You don’t need a printing press to have conversation over dinner.”

The Second Amendment is not about hunting in the same way the First Amendment is not about dinner conversation.

The press component of the First Amendment is about the freedom of the people to publish things in the mass media, especially things that are critical of the government.

2A is about - and let’s get this very, very clear - it’s about the freedom of the people not to be tyrannized by the government because they are unarmed. Not only is it not about hunting, not only is not about depriving average citizens of military-style weapons… it is very precisely to secure their access to military-style weapons, so that they have a sporting chance at meeting force with force.

It’s true most of us can’t afford tanks and missiles, even if it were legal to purchase them, but just because that’s the case doesn’t mean we’re to be deprived of small arms. If small arms in the hands of a large number of people were of no consequence, then you wouldn’t see dictators and juntas all over the world and throughout history making citizen disarmament one of the first things they do when they seize power.

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Here’s a thought experiment.  What if the governor of some state were to get legislation enacted to reestablish a state militia, require training of all able bodied adults to include weapons training and regular training updates, require militia members to keep their weapons at home with them, grant them concealed carry permits if adequately trained, and also use the militia to respond to natural disasters and the like, as necessary?  Sort of like a National Guard auxiliary.  Would it have any noticeable effect?  Would any governor have the guts to give it a try?  Could the Switzerland model work here?  How many cases of St. Vitus’ dance among liberal progressives would it cause?  Instead of a tingling leg, I bet Chris Matthews would have seizures LOL

[1] Posted by Daniel on 1-5-2013 at 08:59 AM · [top]

“...roughly the same as saying: ‘You don’t need a printing press to have conversation over dinner.’”

Outstanding illustration.  Thanks for that. 

Touches as well on the substitution of “Freedom of worship” for the First Amendment’s actual “Freedom of Religion.”

Liberals like to define down and away the framers’ expansive understanding of human rights.

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 1-5-2013 at 09:06 AM · [top]


Look at the state of Israel, or again, closer to home Google Kennesaw Georgia, and look at their experiment with mandated fun ownership for all businesses and homes and compare FBI crime against person says for that period, about ten years ago, with the previous, unarmed, stats.

[3] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 1-5-2013 at 09:09 AM · [top]

#1: I might have seizures as well. That’s a lot of requiring, compelling citizens to do things. Much like the government was banned from quartering soldiers in people’s homes, requiring people to join an organization with substantial expensive and time-consuming commitments is an infringement on their liberties.

[4] Posted by paradoxymoron on 1-5-2013 at 09:12 AM · [top]

Danial, read my post on militias and some of the various militia laws.  There already exists legislation such as you describe.  It’s just not used.  Most states have a semi-organized militia called the State Guard which can be called up when the National Guard is federalized.  The National Guard is not the militia because it is part of the Army of the United States.  In addition you have the “unorganized militia” which consists of all able bodied citizens when you combine the federal and state militia laws.

As an example professors at VMI are uniformed members of the Virginia Militia.

[5] Posted by Br. Michael on 1-5-2013 at 09:24 AM · [top]

Greg, I think you’re on a roll here.  Keep it up!

[6] Posted by aggie on 1-5-2013 at 09:48 AM · [top]

Thanks aggie - there are 4 more, one per day through Wednesday. Looking forward to some spirited debate.

[7] Posted by Greg Griffith on 1-5-2013 at 10:16 AM · [top]


I guess volunteering would be a better idea.  Too much like the bad old draft when most all able bodied men had to serve in the military.  I do think, however, that some type of service that binds us together as Americans (not just hyphenated Americans) could do some good to reestablish what it means to be an American and to teach the lesson that freedom is never free.  On the minus side, the progressive liberals control so much of our government, media, and children’s education that I doubt we can ever recover a truly American ethos that stretches across the vast majority of our citizens.  I fear that too many people are trading a false sense of security for the illusion that the state will meet their needs, make them feel good, and punish the “bad” group du jour, which right now seems to be law abiding gun owners.  The reality is that we are increasingly living in a semi-totalitarian state that dictates more and more of the details of how we live our lives.

[8] Posted by Daniel on 1-5-2013 at 11:27 AM · [top]

We may indeed see unorganized or semi-organized militias in our time.  The progressive left is pushing against the foundations of this country as hard and as fast as they can, we are seeing it everywhere.  Good folks somewhere are going to decide enough is enough and push back as hard as they can.  Then we will see what the next step is.

And I would not be surprised to find out that there are some far-left folks in Washington DC kind of hoping that will happen.  The folks in power look at their opponents as the enemy now.  That is not good.  Someone has gamed the case for when to lock down the country and how to do it.  Just been too many stories from different directions for there not to be something in the works just under the horizon.  We just saw DHS purchased another 200k rounds of hollow points…..don’t really need those for training or target practice, which is always the claim.  TSA is stepping up Viper patrols, and even the IRS and Dept of Education went out for a bunch of tactical shotguns last year.  Obviously the Dept of Ed shotguns aren’t going to the schools, so what are they for?

With the internet and social media, lots of people are connecting the dots as fast as the dots appear.

[9] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-5-2013 at 04:01 PM · [top]

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Greg, I can come up with absolutely <i>no</v> examples where the residents of, say, Fairfax County, Virginia would ever have to grab their assault rifles and assemble to defend the State against an incoming hoard running across the Roosevelt Bridge from DC, that wasn’t an invasion by a foreign power, as in 1812, or to put down an insurrection, as in 1861. 

If a foreign invasion were to happen, come on, do you really think that a bunch of untrained yahoos with AR-15s would do anything more than kill a lot of innocent people?  I am a veteran, albeit peacetime, but I can tell you that there is a lot a training and leadership required to pull that feat off.  I don’t see it happening.  So, where is that well-regulated militia?

As to the example of the tyranny of the federal government - that was resolved in 1865, unfortunately.  I am a southerner, but I understand the lesson.

[10] Posted by Paul B on 1-5-2013 at 04:58 PM · [top]


10,000 men armed with muskets, defending their homes and families, constituted a fearsome force in the years between 1776 and 1865.

10,000 men armed with modern semi-auto assault rifles would constitute an equally fearsome force today.

Not to diminish the training that goes into an effective military force, but you have to remember that a militia force can make up in zeal determination much of what it lacks in training.

You have to remember that for a militia to be “well-regulated” in its correct sense (“properly functioning”, not “overseen by government bureaucracy”), firearms are a necessary, not a sufficient, ingredient. A militia without arms is simple a Rotary Club. A militia doesn’t necessarily have to be highly trained to be effective, but they do have to be armed first.

I frankly find it distressing that you’d offer the “what do you really think you could do?” argument against armed citizens.

[11] Posted by Greg Griffith on 1-5-2013 at 05:46 PM · [top]


I do not mean to distress you.  However, those 10,000 men with muskets where the Continental Army

A militia without arms might just be the Rotary Club, but a bunch of people with guns and no training and no leadership is not a militia.  Where is the militia?  Today, we have the United States armed forces.  We have the reserve component.  We have the National Guard.  If a superior force annihilates them, and you think that a bunch of office workers and tradesmen are going to defeat that invading force, you have watched Red Dawn too many times.

The United States is the greatest country on the planet that ever existed.  It is truly the land of opportunity.  I just don’t see the need for ordinary citizens to be able to own assault rifles.  They are weapons of war, and so far, they have only been used against US citizens.

[12] Posted by Paul B on 1-5-2013 at 06:05 PM · [top]

Please Paul, let’s get some terminology corrected here:  what assault rifles are you talking about?  The AR-15, Remington 700, Remington 1100? Ruger 10/22, Henry 45/70?

Tell me, which ones are the assault rifle[s]?  And why?

Each one of these long guns shoots one round everytime you pull the trigger.  Only one round.  So what makes one or more of these an assault rifle?

The AR-15 and Remington 700 can each be fitted for the .223 Rem and .308 win rounds….are they both assault rifles, or neither?

People hunt deer with all the above rifles….is that what makes them assault rifles?

The truth is, an assault rifle is whatever a Liberal says it is.  That is what an assault rifle is.  A trained sportsman, hunter or target shooter knows that none of the above rifles is an “assault rifle”.

I am the Chaplain for a local NRA affiliated shooting club of over 1,000 members.  Let someone invade our communities, homes, and endanger our families; they may vanquish us, but they will pay with a tremendous amount of their own blood to do so because there are folks amongst us who have significantly more time on a rifle than the vast majority of people in the armed forces.  If you aren’t in the infantry in the army or the marines you have very little real time with your hands on a gun.  We have folks at the range several days a week.  And as Greg mentioned, people defending their homes have a zeal no occupying force can match. 

Finally who do you think the Continental Army was?  Read about what Washington had to deal with in terms of training, moral, hunger, no payment of the “troops” who had been farmers, shop owners, school teacher the year before.

[13] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-5-2013 at 07:27 PM · [top]

Paul, there are several problems with your line of thinking, notably:

- This idea that “you don’t see the need for ordinary citizens to own assault rifles” is exactly why the Second Amendment exists: It is not up to you to decide for me what I may and may not own, and it is certainly not up to the state to decide it. This is what “shall not be infringed” means. My position on 2A in regard to people like you who “don’t think I should be able to own ___” is, frankly, “screw you.”

- While it may be true that a bunch of office workers and tradesmen armed with assault rifles wouldn’t stand a chance against an invading force strong enough to annihilate the army and national guard, it definitely is true that bunch of office workers and tradesmen kept disarmed by the state wouldn’t stand a chance. Part of the point of the Second Amendment is to preserve the dignity of individual liberty: You may die against a superior force, but at least you’re given as much of a chance as you’re willing and able to afford, and willing and able to train for. For most men, dying in a pile of empty brass is far preferable to dying on one’s knees begging for mercy.

[14] Posted by Greg Griffith on 1-5-2013 at 07:51 PM · [top]


Let me get this straight.  I am politically conservative, religiously conservative and orthodox.  I am a veteran, always qualified expert on my M16, loved qualifying on my M60 machine gun.  I support the Second Amendment - I support the entire Constitution.  I fully acknowledge that the Second Amendment allows people to have guns under most situations for the purpose of a well regulated militia.

BUT, I don’t see a “well-regulated militia” anywhere.  That’s my point.  The Second Amendment talks about gun ownership for the purpose of a “well regulated militia”.  Where is that part of the 2A?  All I see is innocent people being slaughtered, sacrificed at the altar of gun ownership.

[15] Posted by Paul B on 1-5-2013 at 08:18 PM · [top]

A bunch of armed civilians would not stop a military invasion or a domestic military coup.

But they would make it impossible to maintain and administer the occupation.

[16] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 1-5-2013 at 08:37 PM · [top]

Cain slew Able.  No assault rifle, just murderous intent.  Should we outlaw rocks?

More people are killed by automobiles than by guns.  Should we outlaw cars?  should we limit all cars to 15 miles per hour?. 

Remember the outcry about private militias in the 70’s and 80’s?  They existed and were viewed with great alarm…  Were they within their rights?

[17] Posted by RalphM on 1-5-2013 at 08:45 PM · [top]

While I cannot provide the citations to specific news articles, I heard a TV news discussion the other night that gave examples of when so called “assault rifles” were used in a reasonable manner by ordinary citizens.  Case one was the Los Angeles riots where the police abandoned the area and shopkeepers, many of them Korean-Americans trying to run small stores, were only able to fend off bands of looters with assault rifles.  In the second case, the absence of New Orleans police after Katrina led to a number of cases where gangs of looters were only deterred by homeowners brandishing assault rifles.

In the case of a civil disaster, or a “man made disaster,” a semi-automatic rifle may be the only thing that keeps you from being a victim; and, if you are lucky, you may only have to brandish it and never fire it.

And, finally, as to innocents being slaughtered on the altar of gun ownership.  If we follow that analogy, we should immediately reinstate Prohibition, ban abortion, and incarcerate anyone texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, as well as driving while high.  All of these activities slaughter far more innocents than a tiny number of sociopaths with guns.  What I find amazing is the miniscule number of killings committed with guns as a percentage of gun owners, as opposed to the mass mayhem perpetrated by other means on a daily basis.

I guess it must be related to the relatively higher percentage of progressives who absolutely must use their smart phones at all times, consume however much alcohol and drugs they desire, and demand absolute control over the life in their own bodies, no matter what.

[18] Posted by Daniel on 1-5-2013 at 08:45 PM · [top]

Paul, you admit you don’t see. We all regret your myopia. Feel free to surrender your rights on the altar of your own making. We do not surrender the rights that have separated us from the fascism of the rest of the world and that have been the oil that has fueled the beacon of freedom that the Bill of Rights has been.

[19] Posted by Stefano on 1-5-2013 at 10:27 PM · [top]

I don’t see a “well-regulated militia” anywhere.  That’s my point.  The Second Amendment talks about gun ownership for the purpose of a “well regulated militia”.  Where is that part of the 2A?  All I see is innocent people being slaughtered, sacrificed at the altar of gun ownership.

2A doesn’t require a pre-existing militia in order for citizens to enjoy the right to own firearms. I dealt with this in Part I:

Militias are ad-hoc by definition: They are formed at a particular time, to do a particular task. Militias have been mustered at various times throughout American history to meet a number of threats and pursue a number of missions.

The wording of 2A in no way requires every person who owns a gun to be part of a militia. Indeed, the very notion makes no sense, because again, militias are not standing armies. You can’t wake up any day of the year and just go sign up for a militia, like you can go volunteer for the US Army. Militias are mustered in response to specific threats or needs, and they disperse once the threat or need is gone.

Also - don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t saying “Screw Paul B”... I was saying “Screw you” in regard to anyone who would presume to tell me - or you, for that matter - what weapons I “should” and “should not” be allowed to own.

[20] Posted by Greg Griffith on 1-5-2013 at 10:42 PM · [top]

I have been a reader and supporter of Stand Firm for many years because you stand for the Episcopal Church that I used to know and the theology that makes sense to me.  I am no longer an Episcopalian having fired the Presiding Bishop and my Dioscean Bishop as unqualified.  I have noted though of late, and this post is an example, that Stand Firm posts and the commenters to the posts are more secular right wing political than religious.  Whether it is unquestioned support for Israel or gun rights, the tone is secular not religious and I have a problem with that.

[21] Posted by little searchers on 1-6-2013 at 12:36 AM · [top]

little searchers - I see a lot of explicit reasons to support Israel and Jews, and many times authors have defended themselves and even cited scripture while doing so.

As for these 2A arguments, please check your premises.  There are numerous biblical references to being courageous, admonitions against pacifism and many justifications for the open rebellion to tyranny (Pharoah, hello!). 

Plenty of the pro-Israel articles I’ve seen cite scripture.  If you want more scripture and tradition cited in defense of the second amendment, you can nicer than just declaring the tone is secular and that you have a problem with it.

Were you aware that American preachers would give sermons during the revolutionary war, then take off their black robes and be in full militia dress and then run out to the battlefield?  They were called the Black Robe Regiment.

[22] Posted by Seanny Rotten on 1-6-2013 at 02:17 AM · [top]

Timothy Fountain - excellent point on comment 2.  I’d like to add that the whole “freedom of worship” and “freedom of conscience” is an OLD Leftist canard.  Lenin enshrined the “freedom of worship and conscience” in the USSR’s constitution only to systematically persecute every organized religion and every practitioner of every religion in the country.  This continued with much gusto under Stalin.

Paul B - George Washington also commanded the state militias.  Yorktown wasn’t just the Continental army, it was the French and a handful of state militias.

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising was about 9 determined Jews with a few hundred rounds of ammo and about twenty guns who held off the Wehrmacht for two weeks!  It took the Nazi’s gassing, flooding and then finally burning down where the resistors were.

Also, you mentioned how an AR-15 is a military style rifle and has no business in private hands.  Pre 1934 NFA and pre Miller decision all of America realized that it was every American’s right, as the last defense against tyranny to own military style weapons to protect the citizenry against a tyrannical state.

I agree with Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, the whole Federalist Papers that covered this and also Ice T,

the second amendment is about the defense against tyranny!

[23] Posted by Seanny Rotten on 1-6-2013 at 02:27 AM · [top]

Part of a “well regulated” militia means having the basic arms.  It’s part of the regulation.  And militias can be required to use their private arms.  They may be armed out of a central armory, but initially it’s what they themselves have.  Now personally I would like to see the unorganized militia called up for periodic drill and used for civic purposes, such as guarding schools.  There are an awful lot of us who are prior service, police etc that would be willing to serve.

Let’s be very clear, the weapons that Obama seeks to ban are not military grade weapons, they are common semi-automatic firearms using a detachable box magazine.  If they felt they could get away with it they would ban all private ownership of firearms period.

It is interesting how liberals talk out of both sides of their mouth on this issue.  They wanted to ban a sawed off shotgun because it was not suitable for the militia and they want to ban semi-automatics with detachable box magazines because they are.

[24] Posted by Br. Michael on 1-6-2013 at 06:11 AM · [top]

Little searchers - we explained in detail the reasons for our shift in focus last March, in conjunction with the redesign of the site and the change in the organization’s legal status. You can read the post here

[25] Posted by Greg Griffith on 1-6-2013 at 09:45 AM · [top]

RE: “For most men, dying in a pile of empty brass is far preferable to dying on one’s knees begging for mercy.”

Hear hear!  And many of us women too!

One of the things that I marvel over from libs is the deliberate consigning of the weak [ie most women] and helpless to total destruction by the strong and powerful with guns

Why must women be deprived of one of the few useful tools that make the battlefield between nasty violent people who wish to do us harm and the rest of us closer to equal?

I don’t care if somebody says “well, we don’t think your having a gun would really help you all that much”—*I* wish to make that decision, thank you.

[26] Posted by Sarah on 1-6-2013 at 10:13 AM · [top]

And the Constitution says you have the right to make that decision!

[27] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-6-2013 at 10:19 AM · [top]

Hi Little Searchers—I’m responding off-topic on this post, and promise Greg that I won’t derail this excellent thread.  But I wanted to point out that one reason why we have these helpful categories now [Anglicans, Protestants, RCs, America and the World, Sexuality, Abortion, etc, etc] is so that people can happily skip to whatever topic they are interested in—it’s a way of categorizing and allowing people to get to what they’re interested in within the mass of information at StandFirm.

Thus, for Anglicans, since the beginning of 2013, we have posted:

—an article about abstinence and the need to support such efforts across the board

—a highly substantive analysis article on the legal issues within the Diocese of South Carolina

—a post by the IRD [defenders of orthodoxy in all the mainlines] on church news predictions

—the latest news from the Diocese of SC

—an excellent encouraging article about a COE priest who has revealed himself to be a faithful, conservative, and abstinent gay man

—and a report from an Episcopal priest on what he and his ministry are doing for and with the people of South Sudan.

All, only in the Anglican section!

One reason why we’re able to do this is because we now have seven writers working with Stand Firm

God has truly blessed us and I’m continually amazed over the abundance that we have here at SF, for people of so many interests.

[28] Posted by Sarah on 1-6-2013 at 10:25 AM · [top]

In the Lord of the Rings movie Eowen had a excellent line when Aragorn found her sword.  She says something like,  “Our women learned long ago that those who do not have a sword can still die on them.”

A firearm like the AR-15 can be excellent for women, and smaller men, because the recoil is much less than that of rifles shooting a high-power (30-.06) for example.  One reason semi-automatics are nice to shoot is that your sight alignment is not disturbed as it is if you have to work a bolt or otherwise manually manipulate the weapon.

[29] Posted by Br. Michael on 1-6-2013 at 02:17 PM · [top]

A firearm like the AR-15 can be excellent for women, and smaller men, because the recoil is much less than that of rifles shooting a high-power (30-.06) for example

Not much has been said about different types of shotguns here, so I found this video that will illustrate some of the different applications for shotguns of different calibers which have different levels of recoil…....

[30] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 1-9-2013 at 10:24 AM · [top]

One of the amazingly cool things about being a citizen of Virginia is that I am automatically a member of the Virginia Unorganized Militia, as defined by the current Virginia Constitution:

§ 44-1. Composition of militia.The militia of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of this Commonwealth and all other able-bodied persons resident in this Commonwealth who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States, who are at least sixteen years of age and, except as hereinafter provided, not more than fifty-five years of age. The militia shall be divided into four classes, the National Guard, which includes the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard, the Virginia State Defense Force, the naval militia, and the unorganized militia.

§ 44-4. Composition of unorganized militia.The unorganized militia shall consist of all able-bodied persons as set out in § 44-1, except such as may be included in §§ 44-2, 44-3, and 44-54.6, and except such as may be exempted as hereinafter provided.


[31] Posted by Chazaq on 1-12-2013 at 01:15 AM · [top]

It is a little-known fact that in the maritime states, there are also naval militias, such as that of my native state of New York…..the New York State Naval Militia, which can be called out by the governor in addition to the New York State Militia.  Both are completely separate from the New York National Guard, and both are uniformed and have the same rank structure as the Regular Active and Reserve forces.  We in California also have the California State Militia…..a fact little known or publicized here.

[32] Posted by cennydd13 on 3-14-2013 at 12:29 PM · [top]

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