Of Arms & the Law

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Rochester, NY, mayor Lovely Warren has been indicted on gun charges, not long after her husband was busted for drug and gun violations. More detail on her husband’s arrest here. He was busted with $60,000 in cocaine, $100,000 in cash. In their home, police found three unregistered handguns and a banned “assault rifle.” The mayor’s excuse was that she knew nothing of what her husband was doing. Sure….…
The other day a friend and I were discussing foreign cyberattacks and probes that appeared to be, if not government-launched, at least made with government protection and immunity. Prominent among these being Russian and Chinese hacking. My friend suggested an imaginative use of letters of marque and reprisal, as authorized by the Constitution. These were the basis of privateering, perhaps the ultimate in privatization. The government would authorize the captain of a civilian vessel to seize enemy shipping, and sell it for his own profit. The letters ensured that if he was captured, he would be treated as a POW…
In NYSRPA, a group of public defenders just filed this amicus. I cannot find words to describe it. You don’t need to know 2A law or Supreme Court standards to feel its impact. It’s “Why We Fight” in brief form. The NY gun law is a stupid law, stupidly and zealously applied, so as to destroy good people’s lives. Implicit message: if you feel compunction about striking it down, don’t. You’ll be doing humanity a favor. Just reading the table of contents is enough to sway a reader.…
The Court’s docket is here; skim down to nearly the end for today’s filings. The brief that I filed is here. I’m too tired to add more, but arguments I and II are the most important. Yes, “bear arms” was understood to mean “carry weapons,” if you were writing a constitutional amendment.…
Opinion here. It starts, “When do constitutional rights vest? At 18 or 21? 16 or 25? Why not 13 or 33? In the law, a line must sometimes be drawn. But there must be a reason why constitutional rights cannot be enjoyed until a certain age. Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.”…
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a Congregationalist clergyman and a prominent abolitionist. He and his church shipped so many Sharps rifles to anti-slavery settlers in Kansas that the Sharp rifles became known as “Beecher’s bibles” and his church as the “Church of the Holy Rifle.” He was a rifleman, no doubt. I own his copy of Cadamus Wilcox’s book, Rifles and Rifle Practice.” I just located a book he coauthored, a sort of spiritual self-help book, “Life Thoughts” (1858). In it he reflect, “True aiming, in life, is like true aiming in marksmanship. We always…
Here’s the amicus brief I just filed, for Firearms Policy Coalition and Firearms Policy Foundation, supporting the petitioner. At this stage, you aren’t trying to persuade the Court that the good guy should win, you’re trying to persuade it that it should take the case (it takes about 70-80 cases per year out of maybe 10,000 petitioners, I haven’t checked the recent numbers). The best argument for it taking a case is that the lower courts have split on an issue or issues. One law applies in part of the country, another in another, the Court must resolve the question.…