Bill Whittle’s latest Firewall:
Bill Whittle’s latest Firewall:
However, I was fascinated to see this piece at Slate: Red Summer. Excerpts:
In his new book, 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back, David F. Krugler, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, looks at the actions of people … who resisted white incursions against the black community through the press, the courts, and armed defensive action. The year 1919 was a notable one for racial violence, with major episodes of unrest in Chicago; Washington; and Elaine, Arkansas, and many smaller clashes in both the North and the South. (James Weldon Johnson, then the field secretary of the NAACP, called this time of violence the “Red Summer.”) White mobs killed 77 black Americans, including 11 demobilized servicemen (according to the NAACP’s magazine, the Crisis). The property damage to black businesses and homes—attacks on which betrayed white anxiety over new levels of black prosperity and social power—was immense.
While there is a notable cluster of examples of black communities fighting back in the racial conflicts of 1919, the history of armed self-defense goes back even further. Law professor Nicholas Johnson points to fugitive slaves who armed themselves against slave-catchers as some of the earliest examples of the practice. In another dark period of racial violence at the end of the 19th century, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a journalist and investigator of lynching, advocated “boycott, emigration, and the press” as weapons against white aggression, outlining the rationale in her 1892 pamphlet Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases. When those peaceful strategies failed, Wells-Barnett thought a more active strategy was the answer, observing: “The only times an Afro-American who was assaulted got away has been when he had a gun and used it in self-defense.” For this reason, she wrote, “[A] Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”
Worth your time to read. And the top-rated comment:
Anyone who found this article interesting should immediately read Justice Thomas’s concurrence in McDonald v. Chicago, a gun control case wherein Thomas argues very persuasively that the right to bear arms was intended to be one of the “privileges” protected by the 14th Amendment, specifically aimed at giving newly freed slaves in the South the right to carry weapons to protect themselves from whites.
I am by no means a gun enthusiast, but Thomas’s concurrence makes some excellent points and had it been the majority opinion, American jurisprudence would have been the better for it. – John Marshall Alexander Jr.
I am a gun enthusiast, but I too have made that argument repeatedly here in this blog. I concur with Mr. Alexander – American jurisprudence would have been better had the “privileges and immunities” clause been resurrected.
From that concurrence:
I agree with the Court that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the right to keep and bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment “fully applicable to the States.” I write separately because I believe there is a more straightforward path to this conclusion, one that is more faithful to the Fourteenth Amendment’s text and history.
Applying what is now a well-settled test, the plurality opinion concludes that the right to keep and bear arms applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause because it is “fundamental” to the American “scheme of ordered liberty,” and ” ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,’ “. I agree with that description of the right. But I cannot agree that it is enforceable against the States through a clause that speaks only to “process.” Instead, the right to keep and bear arms is a privilege of American citizenship that applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Privileges or Immunities Clause.
The notion that a constitutional provision that guarantees only “process” before a person is deprived of life, liberty, or property could define the substance of those rights strains credulity for even the most casual user of words. Moreover, this fiction is a particularly dangerous one. The one theme that links the Court’s substantive due process precedents together is their lack of a guiding principle to distinguish “fundamental” rights that warrant protection from nonfundamental rights that do not. Today’s decision illustrates the point.
(A)ny serious argument over the scope of the Due Process Clause must acknowledge that neither its text nor its history suggests that it protects the many substantive rights this Court’s cases now claim it does.
I cannot accept a theory of constitutional interpretation that rests on such tenuous footing. This Court’s substantive due process framework fails to account for both the text of the Fourteenth Amendment and the history that led to its adoption, filling that gap with a jurisprudence devoid of a guiding principle. I believe the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment offers a superior alternative, and that a return to that meaning would allow this Court to enforce the rights the Fourteenth Amendment is designed to protect with greater clarity and predictability than the substantive due process framework has so far managed.
I acknowledge the volume of precedents that have been built upon the substantive due process framework, and I further acknowledge the importance of stare decisis to the stability of our Nation’s legal system. But stare decisis is only an “adjunct” of our duty as judges to decide by our best lights what the Constitution means. Moreover, as judges, we interpret the Constitution one case or controversy at a time. The question presented in this case is not whether our entire Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence must be preserved or revised, but only whether, and to what extent, a particular clause in the Constitution protects the particular right at issue here. With the inquiry appropriately narrowed, I believe this case presents an opportunity to reexamine, and begin the process of restoring, the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment agreed upon by those who ratified it.
Which is what Alan Gura argued for and was told to shut up about by people on our side. But the Court dodged the opportunity, not (I believe) wanting to upset the mountain of bad law that a century of stare decisis has created.
Simply put, gun control cannot survive without an accompanying sea of disinformation. – Anonymous (But accurate.)
And The Other Side™ follows the mantra of “repeat the lie and it will eventually be believed.”
SayUncle points to another example of this, from today’s Washington Post, America has more guns in fewer hands than ever before. Opening paragraphs:
You’ve probably heard by now that the Obama administration has been a boon to the U.S. firearm industry. Gun manufacturers boosted production by 31 percent between 2011 and 2012. National tragedies from Newtown to Ferguson are accompanied by stories of surging gun sales.
But data released this week from the General Social Survey, widely regarded as the gold standard for social science survey research, shows that in 2014, the number of American households owning guns remained at 40-year lows.
Except I’ve been there, fisked that before. May, 2013: DECLINING GUN OWNERSHIP!!
Yes, the General Social Survey says a smaller percentage of households contain guns than at some time in the past. However, Gallup says gun ownership is up. Either way, the total number of households has increased over time, resulting in the TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS CONTAINING GUNS INCREASING, so there are MORE guns in MORE hands than ever before – the exact opposite of the WaPo headline.
But that doesn’t fit the Narrative of gun owners as The Other, a declining demographic of middle-aged overweight white men with “low sloping foreheads” that will eventually die off and can therefore be dismissed.
The Left and the media (but I repeat myself) depends on the general population’s stupidity.
From What Scares the New Atheists, an op-ed piece by author John Gray in the UK’s Guardian:
It has often been observed that Christianity follows changing moral fashions, all the while believing that it stands apart from the world. The same might be said, with more justice, of the prevalent version of atheism. If an earlier generation of unbelievers shared the racial prejudices of their time and elevated them to the status of scientific truths, evangelical atheists do the same with the liberal values to which western societies subscribe today – while looking with contempt upon “backward” cultures that have not abandoned religion. The racial theories promoted by atheists in the past have been consigned to the memory hole – and today’s most influential atheists would no more endorse racist biology than they would be seen following the guidance of an astrologer. But they have not renounced the conviction that human values must be based in science; now it is liberal values which receive that accolade. There are disputes, sometimes bitter, over how to define and interpret those values, but their supremacy is hardly ever questioned. For 21st century atheist missionaries, being liberal and scientific in outlook are one and the same.
It’s a reassuringly simple equation. In fact there are no reliable connections – whether in logic or history – between atheism, science and liberal values. When organised as a movement and backed by the power of the state, atheist ideologies have been an integral part of despotic regimes that also claimed to be based in science, such as the former Soviet Union. Many rival moralities and political systems – most of them, to date, illiberal – have attempted to assert a basis in science. All have been fraudulent and ephemeral. Yet the attempt continues in atheist movements today, which claim that liberal values can be scientifically validated and are therefore humanly universal.
If the topic interests you, RTWT.
My favorite Merchant O’Death emails from his position on the front lines:
The statement has been made and the Kool-Aid has been drunk. In the wake of the ATF statement about the impending ban on any 5.56mm/.223 ammunition that is loaded with the 62-grain, SS109 LAP bullet (the one cartridge specifically named by the ATF&E being the M-855) known colloquially as “green tip”, the masses have laid siege to my shop, buying large quantities of any and all 5.56/.223 ammo, the most common statement from the aforementioned group being: “I can’t believe you guys still have any two-two-three ammo on the shelves! The government is going to ban it!” or words to that effect. The fact that Rush Limbaugh stated that the government was going to ban .223 ammo on his radio show last week has had the expected result. I shudder to think what the lines in front of ammo vendors at gun shows will look like in the foreseeable future, though thankful that I will not be one of those folks standing in those lines.
We don’t have any limits on .223 ammo nor have we increased our prices. Despite the predictable reaction from the “masses”, we aren’t worried about running out of 5.56/.223 ammo anytime soon though our stock of 62-grain, “green tip” ammo is quite low. Not everyone has fallen for the misinformation. The vast majority of those individuals scampering out of the shop with an arm-load of .223 are of the “tacti-cool” variety. There are a goodly number of folks that actually ask: “What is the deal with the ban on two-two-three ammo?” And I happily explain it to them. Strangely enough, while the sales of ammo have spiked, the sales of “black rifles” have not. I find that a bit amusing actually.
It does indicate that pretty much everyone who wants an AR has an AR, doesn’t it?
Just by coincidence I recently purchased 500 SS109 projectiles when they went on sale at one of the major mail-order vendors. I don’t shoot M855 (I handload) but these were such a good deal I thought I’d give them a try and see how they compare accuracy-wise against my normal Hornady 75 grain BTHPs.
What I told Merchant O’D was, I’m waiting for the DoD to take a second shot (so to speak) at making once-fired military brass unavailable to reloaders. After all, the mantra of The Other Side™ is, “The philosophy cannot be wrong! Do it again, ONLY HARDER!!“