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Old 11-18-2009, 4:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jnojr View Post
There is no "Second Amendment right to bear arms for hunting" and it's pretty scary that any such language might ever be in any way associated with a higher court ruling.
I swear, I don't know if it's more frustrating to have to yell at hunters for not supporting black rifle shooters or the reverse.

In a way there is a secondary one, and you should be wary of losing sight of it. You also miss the fact that hunting is already legal, the question is whether the state can arbitrarily take away the ability to do it and not whether hunting should be legal at all.

The fact that Self Defense is the core of the right does not mean it is the entirety of the right. And the 2A is derived from the right in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which states several conditions on the right, one of which is "self-defense."

The American version is notable for deleting all the conditions, and the only reason for doing so is that they do not limit the American legal right. Why would they do this? The answer is in the prefatory clause. "Well-regulated" meant "well-trained." How is the militia, every man from around 17 to around 45 (I think the former number may be a year or so off in the eighteenth century and I'm quoting the 1903 law), to be well-trained when the unorganized militia will rarely if ever do military drill? Because it is hoped they are proficient riflemen, practiced through civilian use of arms. Note that Thomas Jefferson recommended that boys hunt and shoot as exercise.

Thus the 2A secondarily protects the use of arms for "every lawful purpose," not because they are the primary usage in need of protection but because they promote it. When the NRA was founded in 1871 the reason was the same--to promote civilian marksmanship so that if a man needed to protect home or country he would already have certain skills.

But there is an even more practical reason you should be wary of the "every lawful purpose" goal. The right was explicitly limited to self-defense in England, and enforcement of the game laws became the avenue by which creeping incrementalism took it away completely. Even in the late eighteenth century American observers understood that this was happening--I've seen the quotes, though I'm not sure where now. It took two hundred more years, but it was taken completely in our lifetime.

The decision seems to have a reasonable take on that situation--the judge declined to apply strict scrutiny, as he indicated might be appropriate for self-defense, but did apply an intermediate level of scrutiny. That makes a kind of sense--the state does have an interest in preserving the game herds, but should not be able to arbitrarily deny someone the ability to hunt when it is already generally legal.

Perhaps someone can show that this is not how the law is supposed to work, but it doesn't appear inconsistent with what I observe from the outside.

The final issue relates to the maintenance of the gun culture. One of the most effective and enduring attacks on guns is to chip away at the legal uses of them, and I expect we'll see a greater emphasis on this in coming decades as an incorporated 2A becomes a stumbling stone to direct attacks. Each use which is denied means we lose active shooters whose connection to the 2A is gone, and in the long run we lose them as gun voters. Once you whittle it all away, self-defense itself is at its weakest because it has the least support.

Hunters probably singlehandedly saved the 2A in certain dark years, and in the future self-defense oriented handgun and rifle shooters will probably do the same with their greater urban penetration. Over the long term, each of those can be a single point of failure which, if missing, may allow gun-banners to push us over a tipping point where the slide cannot be stopped. A real 2A jurisprudence makes this less likely, but every aspect is a measure of insurance. The law alone does nothing without shooters passionate enough to fight for the rule of law itself.

Every. Single. Shooting. Sport. Must. Be. Protected.

They must all be protected for the same reason the founders deleted the self-defense limitation of the purpose. The only thing that will preserve the RKBA is an active, alert, shooting community which passes on the positive, constructive Anglo-American gun culture to children who also love the sport. We need every person who loves any one shooting sport, and we need them wise enough to stand behind every other gun owner in every other sport. Nothing short of that is good enough.


What do you need guns for if you are going to send your children, seven hours a day, 180 days a year to government schools? What do you need the guns for at that point?-- R. C. Sproul, Jr. (unconfirmed)

Originally Posted by bulgron View Post
I know every chance I get I'm going to accuse 7x57 of being a shill for LCAV. Because I can.

Last edited by 7x57; 11-18-2009 at 9:54 PM..
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