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jdberger
05-08-2007, 11:52 PM
From MetroActive (http://www.metroactive.com/), which bills itself as News, music, movies & restaurants from the editors of the Silicon Valley's #1 weekly newspaper. Serving San Jose, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Campbell, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Fremont & nearby cities.

The Byrne Report

No Right to Bear Arms (http://www.metroactive.com/bohemian/04.25.07/byrne-0717.html)
By Peter Byrne

In the aftermath of murderous news from Blacksburg, Va., the possibility of banning handguns has once again become a topic of heated public discussion. After all, 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Cho Seung-hui purchased his weapons of mass destruction as easily as buying packs of chewing gum. But given the clout of the National Rifle Association, rational cries for increasing domestic control of arms proliferation will continue to go unheard by federal and state legislators as they pocket campaign contributions from the gun-and-bullet crowd.

Drawing exactly the wrong lesson from Blacksburg, writer David Kopel of the Wall Street Journal proclaimed that if Virginia Tech had allowed its 26,000 students to carry concealed handguns on campus, 32 people would be alive today. Just think: millions of style-crazed teenagers carrying loaded handguns into the classroom. Goodbye, Mr. Chips. In the real world, the burning question for nonviolently-inclined residents of the North Bay is, what can we do at the local level to stop death by gun? It is axiomatic that when guns are not legally available, homicides and suicides decrease dramatically.

Gun-huggers are fond of hiding behind what they claim is their constitutional right to bear arms. For a century, the United States Supreme Court has shot down argument after argument based on that mythology. According to all reputable legal scholars, the Second Amendment protects only the right of a "well-organized militia" to bear arms; it does not extend to individuals. This from the website of the Legal Community Against Violence: "Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger once characterized the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment as 'one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.'"

Gun lovers are wimps and losers. Do they really think that in some scarily near future when President Jeb Bush orders United States Northern Command troops into Sonoma County to arrest libertarian secessionists they will effectively wage armed struggle against legions of soldiers supported by fighter jets and cruise missiles and tear gas? Not likely! Most of the "Do Not Tread on Me" Second Amendment freaks will be hiding under their chicken coops pissing on their pistols or trying to join the storm troopers. The others will be hunted like rabbits.

Last year, the Superior Court, responding to an NRA lawsuit, struck down a San Francisco law that banned firearms, period. Because state law regulates guns, said the court, localities cannot ban them; only the State Legislature or a statewide ballot initiative can regulate firearms. In truth, California has some of the best gun-control laws in the country, but we still have far to go to wipe out the sanctification of guns by the news-entertainment culture and the legal system.

The NRA chants about protecting our homes, but for every homeowner who pops a burglar, dozens of teenagers shoot themselves with their parents' bedside weapon. I would take away those guns. And I would take away the guns wielded by police, too. There is no good reason why trained law enforcers cannot do their job with nonlethal weapons, including chemical and rubber projectiles and stun machines.

The Legal Community Against Violence points out that many of California's gun-control laws started out as local ordinances that "trickled up" to the state legislature. In an interview last week, one of the national group's San Francisco-based attorneys, Sam Hoover, said that Sonoma County already prohibits the possession of firearms and ammunition on all county-owned property, and prohibits firearm dealers from operating in residential areas. But the county can pass laws to prohibit gun dealers from operating near schools, parks and other "sensitive" areas, and require dealers to obtain liability insurance (and thereby be held accountable for misdealing). Local governments are free to prohibit minors from entering a dealer's store and to mandate dealer inventory inspections.

Without falling afoul of state or federal laws, North Bay counties and cities can limit handgun sales to one per person every six months. The voters or the governing bodies of these jurisdictions can require ammunition sellers to be licensed and to maintain ammunition purchaser records. They can require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms. They can prohibit the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines and 50-caliber cartridges. They can require firearms to be stored safely in the home.

And in light of the "spate" of law-enforcement slayings in the North Bay during recent weeks, the public has another important gun-control option: conditioning the funding of law-enforcement agencies upon the prohibition of peace officers carrying lethal weapons and requiring them to carry only nonlethal weapons. Attorney Hoover says that California law will support such a decision if it is made by ballot initiative or by a local government body.

Let's do it.

Contact Peter Byrne (http://www.metroactive.com/contact/byrne-report.html) or send a letter to the editor (http://www.metroactive.com/contact/bohemian.html)about this story.

jdberger
05-08-2007, 11:55 PM
And, because I'm a bit of a spaz....I wrote a reply...

Mr. Byrne,

Thank you for your recent column, "No Right to Bear Arms." It was an interesting read. Unfortunately, you seem to be gravely misinformed.

1) I don't know where you live, but in the rest of the nation, you don't need to fill out federal forms, swear under penalty of perjury and pass a criminal background check to buy a pack of chewing gum. Perhaps your municipality is more restrictive.

2) It is an axiomatic fiction that when guns are not legally available, homicides and suicides decrease dramatically. The data just doesn't support your assertion.

3) The United States Supreme Court has not addressed the issue of whether the Second Amendment applies to individuals. The Miller case cited by LCAV deals with the utility of certain weapons in a militia.

4) Reputable legal scholars disagree on the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. Scholars such as Harvard's Laurence Tribe favor an individualist view. Further, the 5th District Court of Appeals and most recently the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the 2nd Amendment guarantees and individual's right to bear arms. Please see Parker v. DC, available with a simple internet search. The debate is far from settled.

5) You may be correct that some gun lovers are wimps and losers. But many gun lovers have managed to serve in the military and the police, voluntarily exposing themselves to danger and death. Your demeaning characterization is the worst of infantile arguments.

6) It isn't necessary for a homeowner to shoot a burglar for a firearm to be an effective defense. Peer reviewed surveys estimate between 100,000 and as many as 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year. The vast majority of them without firing a shot.

7) Finally, municipalities and counties cannot restrict buyers from buying more than one gun every 6 months. Besides, why would they want to? The consumer that is willing to jump through the multiple hoops required to purchase a handgun in California isn't dangerous. He or she is abiding by the law. Strangely enough, you mention this fact earlier in your editorial, but jettison it when it suits your purpose.

Your editorial is rife with inconsistencies, ad hominem attacks, half truths and contradictions. Your arguments are half-baked and laughable. Perhaps you should spend more time doing research.

Respectfully,

JDBerger

jumbopanda
05-09-2007, 12:49 AM
You give him more of your time than he deserves. Why bother trying to educate someone with the intellect of a brick? Besides, it's very obvious that he's not even trying to use logic and present a rational argument. When someone resorts to using childish insults like "wimps and losers", it's hard to take them too seriously.

aileron
05-09-2007, 12:08 PM
I think you should of agreed with him, said he was spot on.

Because law enforcement needs to use ONLY non-lethal weapons. And because its cruel and unusual punishment to shock people. For gods sake, they should only be allowed to use sling shots. Cheap wooden ones from Mexico. With rubber plugs, that are bigger than an eye so they don't poke anyones eye out when protecting the public.

I'm sure proper training on what to do when being shot at while wearing bullet proof vests will keep us all safe.The officer training would consist of how to weave while running the other way.

Also it would probably be best for them to run the other way when the thugs have knives too. Because they shouldn't even be able to have clubs to protect themselves. A good pair of jogging shoes will do the trick to keep us all safe. They will probably need to change their uniforms to some spiffy spandex running shorts for summer, and running slacks for winter.

They'll need a slogan. IF IN DOUBT RYAOTOW.

Pronounced RAWTOE.

Run Your A Off The Other Way.

I'm feeling safer already.



Sorry couldn't resist.

fatirishman
05-09-2007, 3:18 PM
Well, in fairness, at least he wants to ban the police from having guns too. Actually, I would a hundred times rather deal with someone like that: pure idiocy and hoplophobia, but at least consistant. I'll make him a deal, kind of like the Brady's always want: we restrict handguns, etc. to civilians and take them away from police and the military.

6172crew
05-09-2007, 4:01 PM
Well, in fairness, at least he wants to ban the police from having guns too. Actually, I would a hundred times rather deal with someone like that: pure idiocy and hoplophobia, but at least consistant. I'll make him a deal, kind of like the Brady's always want: we restrict handguns, etc. to civilians and take them away from police and the military.

I will pass on that deal;)

The guy is typical in his wing nutty media way, he just cant understand why people choose to bear arms so he attacks them.

Ol Rosie does the same thing with the churches, she doesnt like them and has attacked anyone involved with them every chance she gets.

Nothing new here but a great response by the OP imo.:)

Solidsnake87
05-09-2007, 4:01 PM
Gun lovers are wimps and losers?????????

WTF, hmmmmmmmmmmm. Let's see. Marine corps, hot girlfriend, tough school degree, extremely good job opportunites for civil engineers, and enjoys time with friends and family by spending time together at the local range.

If that makes me a puss and a loser lets see what this panzy does with his life. Heck, all of the firearms I own are pieces of historical significance. Thats most of the reason I purchased them!! Does he collect ceramic dolls or something? Is his boyfriend his right hand?

I HATE COMMUNISTS!!!

James R.
05-09-2007, 4:13 PM
The guy is a total @$$ but it's nice to see him shred on DiFi

http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sonoma/02.02.05/byrne-0505.html

He probably doesn't get along with anybody ;-)

Regards,

James R.

Creeping Incrementalism
05-09-2007, 4:24 PM
3) The United States Supreme Court has not addressed the issue of whether the Second Amendment applies to individuals. The Miller case cited by LCAV deals with the utility of certain weapons in a militia

Excellent rebuttal, but I was wondering--why would the Supreme Court argue what weapons are useful to a militia if it is not assumed the person on trial is already a member of one?

anothergunnut
05-09-2007, 4:41 PM
That the Supreme Court remanded the case back to the lower court to determine whether Miller's weapon (a sawed off shotgun) was a militia weapon is the main reason people cite Miller as being pro individual right. If the 2nd amendment was about the state's right, SCOTUS would have simply dismissed Miller's case.

Unfortunately for us, Miller was a low-life criminal who was killed in jailed before the lower court could determine whether the gun was appropriate for a militia. You got to wonder what would have happened because they almost certainly would found it a militia weapon since the US military had issued short barreled shotguns in WWI.

Everybody should read the actual text of the decision of Miller to see what it says. On an unrelated note, reading the text of Roe V Wade would be an eye opener as it is nothing like what is portrayed as in the media.

Solidmch
05-09-2007, 4:48 PM
Byrne would be the first one to say he does not trust the Bush administration or the police. Yet he wants to let the government be the only ones with guns. I cant even talk to idiots like this. My grandfather always told me to "Never argue with an idiot, people might not know the diffrence. " Ill just give my money to the NRA, they know how to handle guys like this.

Creeping Incrementalism
05-09-2007, 5:35 PM
Unfortunately for us, Miller was a low-life criminal who was killed in jailed before the lower court could determine whether the gun was appropriate for a militia. You got to wonder what would have happened because they almost certainly would found it a militia weapon since the US military had issued short barreled shotguns in WWI.

The only shotgun I am aware of the military issuing in World War I was the M1897, which had a 19.5 inch barrel length--which exceeded the 18 inch NFA minimum. What short-barreled shotgun are you referring to?

I know the U.S. military has issued rifles with <16" barrels, but have they ever issued shotguns w/ <18" barrels? Have U.S. special forces ever used short-barreled shotguns?

Yet he wants to let the government be the only ones with guns.

No, he said the police should only have non-lethal weapons.

6172crew
05-09-2007, 5:41 PM
The only shotgun I am aware of the military issuing in World War I was the M1897, which had a 19.5 inch barrel length--which exceeded the 18 inch NFA minimum. What short-barreled shotgun are you referring to?

I know the U.S. military has issued rifles with <16" barrels, but have they ever issued shotguns w/ <18" barrels? Have U.S. special forces ever used short-barreled shotguns?



No, he said the police should only have non-lethal weapons.
The Force guys that I worked with had ones that fit into a back back for knocking doorknobs clean off, they used a powdered lead type shot and the barrel looked like no more than 14 inches from what I can remember.

M. Sage
05-09-2007, 6:46 PM
I know the U.S. military has issued rifles with <16" barrels, but have they ever issued shotguns w/ <18" barrels? Have U.S. special forces ever used short-barreled shotguns?

Yes, there are under-barrel shotties for the M4, and IIRC, SEALS were using a short 870 as an entry tool for a while.

Then again, you can never tell what SF is using.. they can go buy stuff from outside the "normal" channels and have it modded for their purposes in-house.

blacklisted
05-09-2007, 6:59 PM
The Force guys that I worked with had ones that fit into a back back for knocking doorknobs clean off, they used a powdered lead type shot and the barrel looked like no more than 14 inches from what I can remember.

I found a picture of this somewhere...

It was a recon training exercise IIRC and the shotgun was obviously <18".

NRAhighpowershooter
05-09-2007, 8:57 PM
Gun lovers are wimps and losers?????????

WTF, hmmmmmmmmmmm. Let's see. Marine corps, hot girlfriend, tough school degree, I HATE COMMUNISTS!!!



you is a wuss...... :p

jdberger
05-09-2007, 9:09 PM
Thanks for the encouragement. I did get a nice little message from the editor, pretty standard fare, but she did acknowledge that she read my email.

Hi,
Thanks for taking the time to so thoroughly respond to our publication. This is
to confirm receipt of your letter.
best regards


<*>*<*>*<*>*<*>*<*>*<*>
Gretchen Giles
Editor, North Bay Bohemian
216 E St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
707.527.1200, ext. 202
gretchen@bohemian.com