scalia on civilian-legal stingers: no longer limited to the likes of osama bin laden?

Michael Feld points out that “to the extent that the 2d Amendment authorizes citizens to arm themselves against a potentially tyrannical government, whether Federal or State, it simply confounds reason to restrict such arms to small arms, and not to include the shoulder-mounted anti-helicopter missle launchers that drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan; and like that”.

The prevailing understanding of the Second Amendment is that it protects an individual right to keep and bear those, and only those small arms that are commonly used for self-defense and appropriate for service in the militia. Thus brass knuckles and sawed-off shotguns—ungood; handguns and machine guns—doubleplusgood. This is consistent with gun control, e.g. through licensing concealed carry of handguns or registering the ownership of machine guns. But outright bans on ownership and carry have been off the table since Heller and McDonald. Accordingly, I support and expect the reopening of the NFA registry, closed since May of 1986 for newly manufactured machine guns. It never got closed for destructive devices, but the Constitutional bounds of regulating civilian ownership of recoilless gun and rocket-propelled grenade launchers remain to be litigated. I for one do not wish their official distribution to civilians to proceed along the lines whose most prominent success story began with Ronald Reagan’s approval of providing Stingers to Osama bin Laden’s mujahedin confederates in March of 1986, pursuant to the original program finding signed six years earlier by Jimmy Carter.

7 thoughts on “scalia on civilian-legal stingers: no longer limited to the likes of osama bin laden?”

  1. “Michael Feld points out that “to the extent that the 2d

    Amendment authorizes citizens to arm themselves against a

    potentially tyrannical government, whether Federal or

    State, it simply confounds reason to restrict such arms to

    small arms, and not to include the shoulder-mounted anti-

    helicopter missle launchers that drove the Soviets out of

    Afghanistan; and like that”.”

    Indeed. For those who claim the reason for the 2nd amendment as the defense against tyranny, this should be a no brainer.

    Nothing has more ‘ROA’ than man portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

    “The prevailing understanding of the Second Amendment is

    that it protects an individual right to keep and bear

    those, and only those small arms that are appropriate for

    service in the militia.”

    Yes, that is the prevailing understanding.

    “Thus brass knuckles and sawed-off shotguns—ungood;

    handguns and machine guns—doubleplusgood. This is

    consistent with gun control, e.g. through licensing

    concealed carry of handguns or registering the ownership

    of machine guns.”

    Brass knuckles were commonly utilized during WW1 in military service. So why ungood?

    Does one need a license to own a brass knuckle?

    Why need a license for doubleplusgood, machinegun? when one doesn’t need a licence for ungood, brass knuckle?

    “Accordingly, I support and expect the reopening of the

    NFA registry, closed since May of 1986 for newly

    manufactured machine guns. It never got closed for

    destructive devices, but the Constitutional bounds of

    regulating civilian ownership of recoilless gun and

    rocket-propelled grenade launchers remain to be

    litigated.”

    Indeed.

    “I for one do not wish their official distribution to

    civilians to proceed along the lines whose most prominent

    success story began with Ronald Reagan’s approval of

    providing Stingers to Osama bin Laden’s mujahedin

    confederates in March of 1986, pursuant to the original

    program finding signed six years earlier by Jimmy Carter.”

    Why do you not wish?

    1. Registering and/or licensing certain kinds of weapons is presumptively Constitutional, as are restrictions on their carry and use. Banning small arms that are commonly used for self-defense and/or appropriate for service in the militia, for keeping and/or bearing, almost certainly isn’t. You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you. Here is an
      “>old synopsis of long-standing rulings
      :

      BRASS KNUCKLES OR KNUCKS.
      “Brass knuckles” as used in a statute prohibiting the carrying of brass knuckles, include knuckles made of steel, which are similar in shape, size, use, etc., to brass knuckles. “Brass knuckles” is the name of the weapon, and is not intended to designate the materials of which it is made. Harris v. State, 3 S. W. 477, 478, 22 Tex. App. 679.
          An indictment charging the carrying of “brass knuckles” does not necessarily mean that the knuckles must be made of a metal known as “brass,” but includes knuckles made out of any hard metal. Morrison v. State, 43 S. W. 113, 38 Tex. Cr. R. 392; Harris v. State, 3 S. W. 477, 478, 22 Tex. App. 677; Louis v. State, 35 S. W. 377, 378, 36 Tex. Cr. R. 52, 61 Am. St Rep. 832.
          “Brass knucks,” as used in the statute, means “knucks” that are made of brass or other metal. It is the weapon, and not the metal, which is condemned by the law. Patterson v. State, 71 Tenn. (3 Lea) 575.

      My analysis is based on thorough reading of Heller and McDonald, along with selected progeny. If you are interested in the subject matter, you should do likewise. Second Amendment jurisprudence framed in the terms of a fundamental individual right is barely five years old, but the study of First Amendment case law, originally not ruling out much public and private regulation beyond prior restraint of speech, would yield a good feel for where it’s headed. Content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions in speech make for good concepts to ponder in this regard.

      1. Brass knuckles…

        “You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you.”

        So ‘local’ case laws would precede the Constitution?

        “Here is an old synopsis of long-standing rulings:”

        Aren’t those ‘local’ laws? I was thinking in terms of Federal laws.

        Depending on ‘locality’, one doesn’t need a licence to own a brass knuckle. I certainly didn’t in ‘liberal’ Oregon back in 80’s. I am suprised in ‘Pro-Gun’ Texas and Tenn., it’s illegal to own a brass knuckle.

        I don’t think I will find something drastically new from my own understanding of 2nd amendemnt by studying Heller & McDonald case in detail, but I’ll take a look.

      2. Brass knuckles…

        “You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you.”

        So ‘local’ case laws would precede the Constitution?

        “Here is an old synopsis of long-standing rulings:”

        Aren’t those ‘local’ laws? I was thinking in terms of Federal laws.

        Depending on ‘locality’, one doesn’t need a licence to own a brass knuckle. I certainly didn’t in ‘liberal’ Oregon back in 80’s. I am suprised in ‘Pro-Gun’ Texas and Tenn., it’s illegal to own a brass knuckle.

        I don’t think I will find something drastically new from my own understanding of 2nd amendemnt by studying Heller & McDonald case in detail, but I’ll take a look.

      3. Brass knuckles…

        “You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you.”

        So ‘local’ case laws would precede the Constitution?

        “Here is an old synopsis of long-standing rulings:”

        Aren’t those ‘local’ laws? I was thinking in terms of Federal laws.

        Depending on ‘locality’, one doesn’t need a licence to own a brass knuckle. I certainly didn’t in ‘liberal’ Oregon back in 80’s. I am suprised in ‘Pro-Gun’ Texas and Tenn., it’s illegal to own a brass knuckle.

        I don’t think I will find something drastically new from my own understanding of 2nd amendemnt by studying Heller & McDonald case in detail, but I’ll take a look.

      4. Brass knuckles…

        “You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you.”

        So ‘local’ case laws would precede the Constitution?

        “Here is an old synopsis of long-standing rulings:”

        Aren’t those ‘local’ laws? I was thinking in terms of Federal laws.

        Depending on ‘locality’, one doesn’t need a licence to own a brass knuckle. I certainly didn’t in ‘liberal’ Oregon back in 80’s. I am suprised in ‘Pro-Gun’ Texas and Tenn., it’s illegal to own a brass knuckle.

        I don’t think I will find something drastically new from my own understanding of 2nd amendemnt by studying Heller & McDonald case in detail, but I’ll take a look.

      5. Brass knuckles…

        “You could make a case for brass knuckles falling in one or both of these categories, but case law would be against you.”

        So ‘local’ case laws would precede the Constitution?

        “Here is an old synopsis of long-standing rulings:”

        Aren’t those ‘local’ laws? I was thinking in terms of Federal laws.

        Depending on ‘locality’, one doesn’t need a licence to own a brass knuckle. I certainly didn’t in ‘liberal’ Oregon back in 80’s. I am suprised in ‘Pro-Gun’ Texas and Tenn., it’s illegal to own a brass knuckle.

        I don’t think I will find something drastically new from my own understanding of 2nd amendemnt by studying Heller & McDonald case in detail, but I’ll take a look.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *