Poking fun at enemies of the 2nd Amendment

At Catholic Vote someone has taken the mickey out of the enemies of the 2nd Amendment and particular out of the opponents of concealed carry weapon licenses.

No, wait.  Let me correct that.  Stricter gun-control advocates generally don’t actually think about the 2nd Amendment, they generally don’t really know anything about concealed carry weapon licenses, and it is not the guns, the licenses and the amendment they don’t like… they don’t like the people who like their 2nd Amendment rights.  They don’t like the people.

That said Catholic Vote takes the mickey out of the enemies of the 2nd Amendment.

Jesus Supports Concealed Carry, Settles Gun Debate

Did Jesus really support concealed carry? Absolutely he did.

Look no further than the Bible. All four gospels report the violent episode that takes place when Judas and the soldiers come to seize Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus of course is prepared to go along peacefully. Peter, meaning well but unclear on the concept, draws his sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s slave.

Okay, uncalled for – nobody’s disputing that. And of course, after putting the ear back where it goes, Jesus reprimands Peter, telling him, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?”

I’m not what you would call a Bible scholar in the strict sense (or really, any sense), but I think a few things jump out right away. First, Jesus expresses no surprise of disapproval that Peter has a sword. Second, he does not tell Peter to get rid of the sword or to hand it over to the soldiers. Third, he tells Peter to keep his sword, albeit with the admonishment to be less hasty in its use – “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword.” Sound advice, no doubt. If you go around cutting off ears or holding up gas stations, your chances of arriving in the hereafter with a couple extra holes in your own hide increase dramatically. And this is what Jesus seems to say to Peter: Keep your weapon, carry it around even, but be judicious in how you use it.

In fact, we can learn as much from what Jesus didn’t say as we can from what he did say. Let’s look at this for a minute from the perspective of all the different things Jesus could have said to Peter, but chose not to. To list but a few:

1. “Peter, you have a sword?! What are you doing with that? How can you call yourself my disciple?”

2. “Oh no, a sword! Quick, call the authorities! Oh yeah, heh heh. Hi, authorities.”

3. “Peter, it’s okay that you have a sword, but you should have kept it locked up at your house…what do you mean homeless? Well then, at least you should have kept it tied to the donkey.”

4. “Peter, that sword is too long. Who needs a sword that long? You don’t need a sword that long to go hunting.”

5. “Peter, I’m disappointed in you. You should have traded that sword in last month when they had that exchange program at Herod’s palace. A gift certificate to Galilee-Mart could have gone a long way.”

6. “Dude, Andrew! Did you catch that on your iPhone? No, keep it on. Check this out what I do with the ear.”

So you see, if Jesus was opposed to Peter having a sword, or keeping it on his person, there a several things he could have said. But he didn’t. Scriptures opened, case closed.

And if it’s okay with Jesus, shouldn’t it be okay for America?

Just to stick to images of parts of the head, this was clearly tongue in cheek.

But, even in the humor, there are a couple good points.  For example, the Evangelists do not say that Jesus told Peter to get rid of the sword.  As a matter of fact, as I pointed out elsewhere, as the Last Supper concluded Jesus told the Apostles to buy swords, even if they had to sell their clothing.  When he saw that they already had a couple, He didn’t say that he was kidding, He didn’t then rebuke them and explain a parable.  He said “It is enough.”  So, apparently, Jesus wanted his disciples to be armed with swords.  Why?  I’m not sure. Always?  I don’t know.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Marianna says:

    Concealed carry? How modest. Take a leaf out of the book of Bishop Odo, who is depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry carrying… a club. “Hic Odo Eps Baculu(m) Tenens Confortat Pueros”.

    It is thought that as a cleric, he was banned from carrying a sword…

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Brilliant, and remember the Anglo-Saxon bards got chain mail, as they were in the front rows of the fighting. Why? It was an honour to defend your king and patron.

  3. Andrew Mason says:

    Something tells me that a sword is a little different than a machine gun. I wonder if Jesus would have told his disciples to procure AR-15s if they had been available at the time. Self defense does not require the capability to saw a person in half with gunfire. There is a sane middle ground between banning all guns and allowing complete, unregistered access to them, and it is the NRA rather than the government that is categorically opposed to such a compromise. There are many things that I find objectionable about the current administration, and I certainly think it strange that they’ve found their “won’t somebody please think of the children” moment on this when they’ve been seeking unrestricted abortion on demand for decades. Still, I certainly don’t think that taking away people’s firearms is high on President Obama’s list of priorities. Just because he’s a bad president doesn’t mean that he’s the worst one imaginable, and just because he’s a little bit dictatorial at times doesn’t mean that he’s Hitler (or Herod, or any other historical type for that matter). He’s Barack Obama, no better and no worse, and we should oppose the bad things that he’s actually doing rather than succumbing to hyperbole and accusing him of all sorts of horrible stuff he’s not doing. To do so is to take energy away from other important stuff, for instance abortion which we should certainly be focusing on in this 40th anniversary year of the tragedy that is Roe v. Wade.

  4. Johnno says:

    Bishops staffs are weapons.

    Sooner or later the liberals will insist we regulate them down to tamborines.

    The noise alone should hopefully scare off any animal attacking the flock.

  5. Bruce says:

    Time for some Ainsley Hayes quotes:

    “You think because I don’t want to work here it’s because I can get a better gig on Geraldo? Gosh, let’s see if there could possibly be any other reason why I wouldn’t want to work in this White House? This White House that feels that government is better for children than parents are. That looks at forty years of degrading and humiliating free lunches handed out in a spectacularly failed effort to level the playing field and says, ‘Let’s try forty more.’ This White House that says of anyone that points that out to them, that they are cold and mean and racist, and then accuses Republicans of using the politics of fear. This White House that loves the Bill of Rights, all of them – except the second one.”

    “You don’t like people who do like guns. You don’t like the people. Think about that the next time you make a joke about the South.”

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    A “baculum” is a rod. Being the guy to whom the flock could say, “Your rod and your staff comfort me” is very fitting for a bishop and shepherd.

    Though of course our real defender and weapon-user is God.

  7. Bill Foley says:

    from Bill Foley

    I think that the following incident from the life of St. Gabriel Possenti (1838-1862) is most appropriate.

    The Savior of Isola

    In 1860, a band of soldiers from the army of Garibaldi entered the mountain village of Isola, Italy. They began to burn and pillage the town, terrorizing its inhabitants.

    Possenti, with his seminary rector’s permission, walked into the center of town, unarmed, to face the terrorists. One of the soldiers was dragging off a young woman he intended to rape when he saw Possenti and made a snickering remark about such a young monk being all alone.

    Possenti quickly grabbed the soldier’s revolver from his belt and ordered the marauder to release the woman. The startled soldier complied, as Possenti grabbed the revolver of another soldier who came by. Hearing the commotion, the rest of the soldiers came running in Possenti’s direction, determined to overcome the rebellious monk.

    At that moment a small lizard ran across the road between Possenti and the soldiers. When the lizard briefly paused, Possenti took careful aim and struck the lizard with one shot. Turning his two handguns on the approaching soldiers, Possenti commanded them to drop their weapons. Having seen his handiwork with a pistol, the soldiers complied. Possenti ordered them to put out the fires they had set, and upon finishing, marched the whole lot out of town, ordering them never to return. The grateful townspeople escorted Possenti in triumphant procession back to the seminary, thereafter referring to him as “the Savior of Isola”.

  8. Clinton says:

    “I wonder if Jesus would have told His disciples to procure AR-15s if they had been available
    at the time. Self defense does not require the capability to saw a person in half with gunfire.”

    Mr. Mason, a few things occur to me re: your remarks above. 1) Swords were the AR-15s
    of 1st century Judea. 2) A sword, just like an AR-15, has the capacity to saw a person in half.
    3) My understanding of the 2nd Amendment having such a prominent place in our Constitution
    is that it concerns not our right to self defense so much as our right to have the means to resist
    tyranny. For that purpose, Mr. Mason, a handgun is better than nothing, but an AR-15 is better
    than a handgun.

    The kings of France formerly imported their guards from Switzerland. Our Popes still do. Ever
    wonder why? Sweet little Switzerland, the neutral land of chocolate and cuckoo clocks, has a
    proud martial history, and to this day all Swiss serve a stint in the army. All households are
    required to house and maintain at least one so-called ‘assault rifle’. Think of it– every pretty
    chalet houses a machine gun and at least one person who’s been trained to use it. Even the
    nazis left those folks alone.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    The Viet Nam generation, which is mine, and the seminary training of the past 50 years have inculcated pacifism into priests, so that defensive military or personal action is seen as sinful.

    This is a travesty of Catholic thinking, and we need to remember that the Maccabees are saints on the calendar.

    So, too, are David and Joshua saints.

    Where are the men, like Fr. Z.? I actually know men in their 50s and younger who have told me they would not use force to defend their wives or children. How did this happen?

    Of course, Peter had a sword and knew how to use it. There were Catholics in the Roman army, as this was not condemned.

    St. Paul refers to soldiers and uses the title as a metaphor for spiritual warfare.

    Second Letter to Timothy:
    “3 Labour as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No man, being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses; that he may please him to whom he hath engaged himself. 5 For he also that striveth for the mastery, is not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6 The husbandman, that laboureth, must first partake of the fruits.”

    From the Letter to Philemon: “our fellow soldier Archippus”

    I am convinced that if a man cannot think of fighting, he cannot fight in spiritual warfare either.

    There are soldiers who are saints. A lay person is not a monk….

  10. Scott W. says:

    Something tells me that a sword is a little different than a machine gun.

    Yes, but the point of the 2nd Amendment is only tangentially related to personal self-defense but it’s main point is that the people have some means to resist a rapacious and tyrannical government.

  11. MichaelJ says:

    Andrew, if you are seeking the “sane middle ground”, perhaps you should avoid using rather nonsensical hyperbole.
    When you used the phrase “capability to saw a person in half with gunfire” it became rather clear that you have little understanding of the issue.

  12. pmullane says:

    ” Self defense does not require the capability to saw a person in half with gunfire”

    Its a bit difficult to say exactly what ‘self defence’ requires. Self defence from what? What about self defence from a mob? From an animal? From a burglar in the middle of the night? And who gets to say what ‘you need’ for self defence? Whose best placed to decide who can effectively defend a family, the father, whose one and only concern is to make sure no harm comes to his wife and children? Or a polititian who is thinking about how the decision will focus group, how much the pro and anti lobbies will donate to his reelection campaign? Whether his party leaders will appoint him to plum roles and help futher his career? And why does the government get to decide? In America, the power comes from ‘We the people’. Is it not a mockery of the principle of limited government of citizen legislators for someone else to decide what you need for your family?

  13. The Egyptian says:

    Liberal, “do not judge” synapses frying in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,

    love the smell of overloaded liberal brains in the morning.

    Oh and btw wasn’t Jesus vegetarian too? ;>)

  14. The Egyptian says:

    Andrew Mason says: I wonder if Jesus would have told his disciples to procure AR-15s

    a good Roman sword was the AR-15 of it’s day, most only had knives at best

  15. PostCatholic says:

    “… they don’t like the people who like their 2nd Amendment rights. They don’t like the people.”

    And you don’t like them.

    I think that you’re right on this point; a difference of political opinion too often leads people to encamp themselves in emotional positions where they fail to the decency and innate human worth of their opponents. Shouldn’t clerical ministry be (at least in part) about facilitating reconciliations?

  16. wmeyer says:

    Walter Williams makes the point that citizens misunderstand the purpose of the 2nd amendment; it was written to give the citizens the means to defend themselves against tyranny by their own government. Williams says: “And I would ask the question: Are we under any less a threat of tyranny from Washington than we were in 1787? And I would say no.”

    Tyranny is the direct threat, but we are under indirect threats from the government, through their failure to adequately police our streets, and their utter failure to defend our borders. We are rapidly approaching the point where I think that a gun visibly on the hip of each citizen may almost be necessary to public safety.

  17. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Swords were the AR-15s of 1st century Judea.”

    Not really. The AR-15 would have been the Sagittarius – a type of compound bow. The came into use in the 1st century, B. C. and would have been known in the time of Christ. They are long-range weapons capable of multiple firing.

    “Oh and btw wasn’t Jesus vegetarian too? ;>)”

    No. He ate the traditional Passover meal, including roasted lamb.

    The Chicken

    P. S. I know you are joking about the vegetarianism, but still, must make sure people don’t misinterpret.

  18. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The Viet Nam generation, which is mine, and the seminary training of the past 50 years have inculcated pacifism into priests, so that defensive military or personal action is seen as sinful.”

    Perhaps the seminary training, but the Viet Nam generation is composed of students and people who were drafted. Most of the students are pacifists, but those who served are not. The defense of the Country is still strong in them, although they have been hurt, miserably, by the War and by society.

    The Chicken

  19. dominic1955 says:

    “Andrew, if you are seeking the “sane middle ground”, perhaps you should avoid using rather nonsensical hyperbole. When you used the phrase “capability to saw a person in half with gunfire” it became rather clear that you have little understanding of the issue.”-MichaelJ

    Amen, brother!

    What I want banned as part of the “sane middle ground” is assault speech. We are constantly bombarded by vacuous bloviation that somehow passes for intellection at every turn. Thinking people are assaulted in this way CONSTANTLY-its like going over the top at the Somme. Is it any wonder our children turn out as basement living mooches or debauchers that vote for free stuff from Big Daddy Gub’mint?

    Guns scare me, lets “ban” them so no one dies any more. Brought to you by the same people who think a platinum curling stone can fix our debt problems and two dudes can actually get married…

  20. Yes, even to such a foreigner as myself the 2nd Amdmt looks perfectly sensible: a well-ordered militia is obviously a useful thing in a hostile world, and allowing it to be full of volunteers makes sense, too. What I don’t understand are the corollaries: why is the right to bear arms synonymous with the right to privately stockpile arms?

    And what is the legal foundation of concealed weapons at all? For all that the Gospels do not have our lord command Peter to discard his weapon, neither do the temple guards say “he’s got a sword! Run away!”, so in what sense was Peter’s sword “concealed”, and how does it become so? I will also alude to those remarkable O’Brien novels, that against all multifarious manner of subterfuge and disguise employed by the sailors of Sophie and Surprise etc., to a fault they will not open fire unless flying the Union Flag, the officers in uniform. How does it become legitimate for an non-uniformed civilian to take up arms against a civilian, in peacetime? It certainly has been noisily illegal for non-uniformed civilians to take up arms against their own army on foreign soil in the last ten years, which I mostly agree is as it should be.

    And, lastly, how exactly are civilian arms useful against a tyrannical state, if that tyranny is democratically installed, and wields the US Armed Forces?

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Andrew Mason,
    “Saw a person in half”? Really? Please! This is a .22 caliber rifle, far less powerful than your average deer rifle – in fact in many states it’s not legal for deer.
    The number one problem with the gun rights debate is that (1) gun control advocates are lying about almost everything to do with guns; (2) the media – whether in ignorance or in complicity – back them up completely; and (3) the average Joe actually believes nonsense like this.
    I suggest you go to Fr. Z’s admirable post: Getting some terms and issues right in the gun control debate and READ it. All three parts. Then you won’t sound like you haven’t the foggiest notion what you’re talking about.
    But here’s the Reader’s Digest version: the 5.56 NATO round was adopted precisely because it is smaller and less powerful than the .308 Win/ 7.62 NATO round that it replaced. The .308 is itself smaller than the .30’06 round used in full size battle rifles such as the M1903 Springfield and M1 Garand. The military adopted the smaller rounds because (1) an individual soldier can carry more ammo; and (2) draftees were afraid of the larger, heavier full size cartridges. The .223 Rem (the civilian version of the 5.56 NATO) is actually downloaded from the 5.56 NATO and has lower chamber pressure – .223 rounds will not always cycle a 5.56, and 5.56 ammo can mess up your .223.

  22. Allan S. says:

    Fr. Z. asked “So, apparently, Jesus wanted his disciples to be armed with swords. Why? I’m not sure. ”

    Answer: Because guns hadn’t been invented yet.

  23. mibethda says:

    Andrew Mason,
    The AR 15 is not a machine gun and should not be confused with the military M 16 and its variants ( which are generally restricted from civilian ownership) which do have burst and automatic fire capability as well as semiautomatic fire. The AR 15 in its various forms is only capable of semiautomatic fire (and because of its shorter leade, should only be fired with a civilian Remington .223 round rather than the military 5.56mm). Semiautomatic rifles – of which there are hundreds of models besides the AR15 – are preferred by many hunters because of the reduced felt recoil (a feature particularly popular with women) and the ability to more easily and accurately place a second shot on a game target which has only been wounded by the first shot (making it less likely that an animal will needlessly suffer). While the AR 15 with its very small calibre bullet is not allowed to be used in some jurisdictions on deer and larger game, it is used on smaller game – it should be noted that most semi-automatic hunting rifles are much more powerful than the AR 15. In any event, to characterize it as a machine gun is simply incorrect and rather simplistically confuses looks with performance.

  24. The Egyptian says:

    Brought to you by the same people who think a platinum curling stone can fix our debt problems and two dudes can actually get married…
    Amen, Amen

    to quote Pravada, of all people

    “The excuse that people will start shooting each other is also plain and silly. So it is our politicians saying that our society is full of incapable adolescents who can never be trusted? Then, please explain how we can trust them or the police, who themselves grew up and came from the same culture?”

  25. gracie says:

    As a retired history teacher I can tell you from experience that the main problem with teaching the subject is to get the children to stop judging older societies by the norms we live by today. In Jesus’ time, personal safety when traveling around was more of an issue than it is for those of us living in first world countries. We have car doors we can lock, security systems we can turn on, alternate routes we can take to get from point A to point B. Yes, there’s still danger which is why we need guns but we are far better able to avoid danger than people in the past were.

    Jesus and his apostles travelled all over the place in an age where banditry and highwaymen were rife. They couldn’t always get together 50 people to travel with them. Think of the story of Emmaus which has just two people walking together between towns. Think of the 2 or 3 or 5 days it often took to get from Galilee to Judea or up to the Decapolis or over to Caesarea. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? That man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho which is 5 miles and HE got jumped and Jesus could tell that story because it was the reality for his listeners. Think also of the nights people had to sleep out on the side of the road during their journeys. Of course people carried knives to protect themselves. I’m sure Jesus carried a knife – he was a man in all things but sin, right? Well, when is it a sin to protect yourself? Yes, He didn’t pull a knife on the soldiers arresting him but that’s because it was the time He chose to give up his life for us.

  26. PostCatholic says:

    Anyone need a ploughshare?

  27. Some_guy_on_the_street,

    You asked:

    …how exactly are civilian arms useful against a tyrannical state, if that tyranny is democratically installed, and wields the US Armed Forces?

    In reply I would simply suggest that you Google the Posse Comitatus Act. There is a wealth of information available on it on the web, and perhaps a little reading on the topic will answer your question. It places some strong limits on the ability of the U.S. government to use the military services for the purpose of enforcing the law.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR, USN [ret]

  28. MAJ Tony says:

    Clarification on AR-15s and like armaments. Various versions of the AR15 exist. Some of the original versions were, in fact, fully automatic. It was only when the US Army type-classified it as an M-16 and standardized the 5.56x45mm ammunition did it become a different weapon and ammunition system from the AR-15.Colt would use the trademark “AR-15” for the semi-automatic version of the weapon for civilian sales after The .223 Remington cartridge was designed as a varmint rifle round based on the older, smaller .222 Remington. The 7.62x51mm NATO standard round (.308 Win in civilian form, albeit slightly different), although considerably shorter than the older .30-06 Springfield round, had, at the time of it’s introduction, roughly the same ballistics as it’s older brother, due to improved propellants available in the 1950s.

    For reference standard, a .22 Long Rifle bullet (the lead part at the tip of the brass cartridge) weights generally about 40 grains (about 1/10 oz.). M-16A1 rifles fired a 55 grain FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) bullet. M-16A2 and M4 carbines fire a 62 grain bullet. M-14s fired a 150 grain .30 cal (7.62mm bullet). .30-06 bullets range from 150-180 ideally. HUNTING bullets are generally expanding type Jacketed Hollow Points or Pointed Soft Point bullets. Most military ammunition, for legal and functional purposes is some sort of FMJ, although the newer stuff is complex, expensive bullets designed to both penetrate body armor and light-skinned vehicles, and distrupt body tissue by becoming unstable upon impact, as well as be lead-free for enviro purposes.

    So, having said that, somebody tell me how even a fully-automatic M4 SOCOM variant carbine is going to “saw someone in half.” An M249 SAW (somewhat appropriately named 5.56mm light machine gun from FN Herstal) MIGHT do that at close range, but there are very few of those in civilian hands, as our gov’t decided in 1986 to outlaw the sale of newly manufactured automatic weapons to private civilians. Frankly, the M4 is known in gun circles as a “poodle shooter” due to it’s seemingly weak terminal ballistics compared to, say, a Mauser-style bolt-action Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 firing hunting bullets.

    Honestly, some of the crap spewed by the anti-gun left is borderline hilarious. Even “true” military assault rifles were not “designed to kill lots of people in a short period of time” or whatever the exact quote should be. They were, in truth, designed to allow a small unit to have the capacity to overwhelm an enemy position or formation with a superior base of firepower from organic individual weapons, or alternately, be able to defend itself with the same ability to lay down sufficient firepower (a “base of fire” in military terms) to either break the enemy attack or allow itself to break contact with the attacking enemy.

  29. MichaelJ says:

    gracie, be careful. Some reading your post could come to the conclusion that you are suggesting that the Gospel accounts are not pertinent to those of us living today.

  30. Imrahil says:

    Dear @AnAmericanMother,

    draftees were afraid of the larger, heavier full size cartridges, and this in a voluntary army? Are you, erm – no offense – kidding?

    Just thinking of the sadness which the ongoing replacement of the MG 3 (7.62) with the MG 4 (5.56) in the German army causes among virtually all enlisted people, and I guess many officers… And that includes conscripted draftees.

  31. AnAmericanMother says:

    (and Martial Artist),

    Another answer to the question:

    What use is a handgun against an army?

  32. AnAmericanMother says:

    You said, “the main problem with teaching the subject is to get the children to stop judging older societies by the norms we live by today.”
    So true. C.S. Lewis covers it pretty well: On the reading of old books (Introduction to Athanasius on the Incarnation)

  33. thepapalbull says:

    For whatever its worth, it is said that under Innocent II, the Second Lateran Council banned the usage of crossbows.

  34. Tim Capps says:

    The USCCB news release on Newtown cites two documents. (They’ve been pushing that one poor footnote since 2000; they only have the two dubious cites, that and the 2006 Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace paper on international arms control that includes small arms, which draws support from another of its documents, The Compendium of Social Justice (508), that states eventual disarmament remains the goal of the Church.) So the USCCB statement goes to the famous footnote from the 2000 USCCB document on Crime and Criminal Justice that calls for the elimination of handguns. These were the same documents cited by the absurd 2011 CNS article, “Gun Control: Church quietly, firmly opposes firearms for civilians.” Anyway, we are now also assured that a handgun ban ” would certainly not infringe on the rights of anyone.”

    Unless you happen to be an American.

    The United States Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010) has said gun possession is a personal right that cannot be taken away by the states. Even the Seventh Circuit recently (if unenthusiastically) put the last holdout, Illinois, on notice to stop thumbing its nose at the Second Amendment and get a concealed carry law passed. I do not see how the USCCB can read their country’s current law in good faith and make such a statement.

    The Swiss Guards carry Glock 19 pistols and Heckler & Koch MP-7 submachine guns that use rifle ammo (instead of pistol) for greater killing power. Those picturesque halberds were designed to inflict some of the most gruesome battlefield injuries of their day. The Vatican has not disarmed. Granted the Pope is head of state and a symbolic target. (Which is why he is protected by armed guards. Good, right?) On the other hand, I am probably at greater risk to be killed for my flat screen TV by meth heads.

    The CCC is clear on self defense, and one need not be concerned more for an aggressor’s safety than one’s own. Query, as head of my rural family, far from the assistance of law enforcement, do I not have the obligation for the safety of my children sleeping in their beds? (CCC 2255).

  35. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: Why does the right to bear arms include the right for private people to own arms?

    1. Because when seconds count, our founding fathers didn’t have time to run to town.

    2. Because every successful American pioneer settlement (barring the Quakers in Pennsylvania, who had their own strategies for getting things done) generally had at least one gun per cabin. And even the Quakers had stuff for dealing with dangerous wild animals, btw.

    3. One of my relatives on my mother’s side, who suffered being part of a Sioux attack in Iowa, had his entire family slaughtered except for one survivor. Also the neighbors. Also the neighbors’ neighbors’ neighbors’ neighbors. Some of them were taken by surprise and others ran out of ammo. There were plenty of soldiers and law enforcement officers in nearby towns, but that didn’t help.

  36. wmeyer says:

    It is also worth noting that violent crime rates in locales which provide for concealed carry are lower than those which do not. Even violent criminals consider the risk to their lives before they act, though clearly, this doesn’t apply to those possessed or otherwise deranged.

  37. Andrew Mason says:

    Clinton et al:

    The sword is a close-range weapon, and can indeed cut a person in half but only at close range. On the same day as the Newtown shootings, there was a mass stabbing at a school in China. Nobody died, although many were wounded. How many died at Newtown? The difference between close-range and long-range is important here, because being able to kill at a distance can significantly increase the number of fatalities. A person with a semi-automatic weapon could easily kill multiple people before anybody could respond, while it would be difficult if not impossible to do the same with a knife or sword (unless you’re a ninja, of course). Think about the states that have had mass shootings, states like Colorado, Virginia, Kentucky, and New York State. Are these strict gun law states or lax gun law states? I’m not sure about Connecticut, but New York is right next door and (aside from the City of New York) their laws are on the lax side. The same problem existed in DC before Heller, where the gun laws were rendered moot because a criminal just had to cross the bridge into Virginia and could get a gun with few if any questions asked.

    I’m not sure how well even an automatic weapon would do if you were fighting the government. The military has unmanned drones and laser-guided missiles, not to mention satellite surveillance and all sorts of other cool technology that would make it nearly impossible for even well-armed and disciplined anti-government forces to survive any kind of confrontation with government forces. Think about the militia groups and other assorted groups that have gone up against the government, and think about how that ended for them.

    By all means, require large amounts of training for those who own firearms. Make them pass an exhaustive test of gun knowledge and marksmanship. While you’re at it, create laws that prevent criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining guns, and make sure that they can’t circumvent those laws. Of course, doing so would make the NRA quite upset because they want there to be no obstacle to any person obtaining any firearm for any reason.

    My “saw in half” comment may have been hyperbole, but it was designed to prove a point. Perhaps I failed in that regard. There is a huge difference between a handgun (or a .22, which I have fired) and a semi-automatic weapon, just as there is a difference between attacking people with a gun that has a 10-bullet clip and doing the same with a 30-bullet clip. If we have to legalize all weapons because criminals might obtain them anyway, then where does it end? After all, terrorists have RPGs and all sorts of other heavy weaponry. Should we legalize those, because a person might conceivably come up against terrorists at some point in the future?

  38. AnAmericanMother says:


    “My ‘saw in half’ comment may have been hyperbole, but it was designed to prove a point. Perhaps I failed in that regard. ” You did indeed fail. That was not hyperbole, but fact-free nonsense, and so are your attempts to revise and extend your remarks. Let’s examine.

    1. An edged weapon is more deadly than you think, and the dreaded firearm less so. Both are more effective at close range, but an experienced swordsman or knife fighter can close the distance very rapidly (I used to be a collegiate varsity fencer, and you would be surprised at the speed of a flèche.) I stand ready for correction from our law enforcement friends, but it is my understanding that protocol calls for immediate response before a blade-wielding subject gets within 15 feet. And while the Chinese school knife attack you mention did not result in any immediate fatalities, there has been a spate of such attacks in China over the last several years, many of them fatal, with knives, box cutters, meat cleavers, and similar edged weapons.
    2. “There is a huge difference between a handgun . . . and a semi-automatic weapon.” No, there is not. Many handguns are semi-automatic, and all handguns of course are weapons. Many rifles use the same caliber round as many pistols. The semi-auto technology itself is at this point over 100 years old and is found in numerous handguns, rifles, and shotguns of all calibers. You cannot articulate this supposed “huge difference” because the attempted distinction between ordinary firearms and “assault weapons” is entirely fictitious and consists of mere cosmetic and meaningless differences such as flash hiders, bayonet lugs, grip configuration, etc.
    3. All that gee-whiz technology worked so well against determined, widespread insurgency movements in other countries such as Afghanistan and Vietnam, didn’t it?
    4. The difference between a 10 round magazine and a 30 round magazine is about 3 seconds for a change-out. Faster if you tape two end-to-end. When a person is encountering no opposition because of a “gun-free zone” this is wholly irrelevant. By the way, Connecticut gun laws are extremely strict, but none of them had any effect on the perpetrator.
    5. “Of course, doing so would make the NRA quite upset because they want there to be no obstacle to any person obtaining any firearm for any reason.” Demonstrably false. Even the far more absolutist gun rights organizations such as GOA and JPFO do not hold that view.
    Before I list for you the numerous firearms-related laws that have been enacted with the support of the NRA, do you have a basis for this statement or is it just more of your “hyperbole”? (I suppose we should be grateful that you didn’t resort to the “you want to possess nuclear bombs and chemical weapons” argument.)

    One of the most frustrating things about discussing firearms issues with people who reflexively attack shooters, firearms, and the NRA is that they know so very little about the subject. If you can’t even get the terminology or your facts straight, how can you hope to do anything but throw insults and misstatements around?

  39. Andrew Mason says:

    1. How many people can kill somebody with a sword from the other end of a hallway? How about kill an entire room of people in a matter of seconds? I don’t care how fast you can close the distance, not having to close the distance is still a huge advantage. Just because cops respond to knives with deadly force doesn’t mean that they’re exactly the same as guns. As for China, I wonder how many people died in those fatal attacks. Was it akin to the death count at Newtown?

    2. A semi-automatic handgun would be a “semi-automatic weapon,” and would therefore fall into the second category rather than the first. Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that. Would you consider an Uzi and a Beretta to be akin in terms of killing power?

    3. How’s Osama bin Laden doing? Not good? How about all those Al Qaida leaders we’ve killed in Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere? The government’s advantage would be even better here, where it has familiarity with the terrain and a well-established, long standing military infrastructure.

    4. Three seconds is an eternity in a situation like Newtown. Incidentally, nobody’s trying to take guns from cops. Post some in the schools, and your problem goes away. Giving the guns to lightly trained teachers will likely make things worse. I already explained why Connecticut (and DC) have such a hard time with their guns laws. Having easy access to guns just across the border renders strict gun laws somewhat moot.

  40. Andrew Mason says:

    5. The NRA supported gun control legislation before 1977. I’m not sure what they would support now. Are you saying that the NRA supports bills like the Federal Assault Weapons Ban or the Brady Bill? Do they support the right of states to have strict gun regulations or bans on concealed carry? That hasn’t been my observation, although I’d be happy to be wrong.

  41. AnAmericanMother says:


    In the legal biz, this is known as “showing somebody a weasel.”
    You make a statement, it is shown to be false, you make a different false statement and claim that it was what you meant the first time.
    Comparing an Uzi and a Beretta just displays your complete ignorance of the subject.
    I’m tired of trying to deal with willful ignorance.

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