This federal appellate court decision is significant for several reasons. One, the decision itself: the AR-15 assault weapon is not constitutionally protected. Two, other semiautomatic assault weapons are probably also not protected, if the reviewing court applies the standard applied by the 4th Circuit in this opinion. Three, the court that issued the opinion is known to be conservative. Four, the opinion is clear, with no room to legitimately find wiggle room or support for a a “yeah, but….” outburst from the right.
We have to remind ourselves that the constitutional checks and balances include the judicial branch. Sometimes we don’t agree with the judges, sometimes they piss us off, and sometimes we’re pleased. But the judicial system presents, right now, the most likely source of resistance to an out-of-control executive branch and a gutless, spiteful, vindictive, destructive legislative branch.
Another example emerged today of the judicial system stepping. A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the state from removing Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, at least until an underlying lawsuit is settled.
See, it works. (Sometimes not so much, such as when Bush became president instead of Gore.)
AR-15s and other assault weapons with large magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment and can be lawfully banned, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday.
The federal appeals court – based in Richmond, Virginia, and known for its conservative bent – upheld a Maryland prohibition of assault weapons in unvarnished language, writing that “the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not constitutionally protected arms.”
The Fourth Circuit ruling re-affirms previous court decisions that also placed assault weapons outside the scope of Second Amendment protections of gun ownership. But this ruling – decided 10-4 – goes further by addressing the AR-15 by name, tracing the weapon’s military pedigree from the M-16 rifle and finding that the AR-15 can be banned based on the plain language of the Supreme Court’s infamous Heller decision. (That ruling, written by the late activist conservative justice Antonin Scalia, discovered a constitutional right for individual gun ownership.)
The Heller Court had ruled that “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like – may be banned.” The Fourth Circuit picks up that language and runs with it, judging that the semiautomatic AR-15 retains key military characteristics that make the M-16 a “devastating and lethal weapon of war” and that the AR-15 can likewise be banned. “Simply put,” the Court ruled, “AR-15-type rifles are ‘like’ M16 rifles under any standard definition of that term.”
BREAKING NEWS: Seventy-Two Killed Resisting Gun Confiscation In Maryland
National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.
Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.
Gage blamed the extremists for recent incidents of vandalism directed against internal revenue offices. The governor, who described the group’s organizers as “criminals,” issued an executive order authorizing the summary arrest of any individual who has interfered with the government’s efforts to secure law and order.
The military raid on the extremist arsenal followed wide-spread refusal by the local citizenry to turn over recently outlawed assault weapons.
Gage issued a ban on military-style assault weapons and ammunition earlier in the week. This decision followed a meeting in early this month between government and military leaders at which the governor authorized the forcible confiscation of illegal arms.
One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, pointed out that “none of these people would have been killed had the extremists obeyed the law and turned over their weapons voluntarily.”
Government troops initially succeeded in confiscating a large supply of outlawed weapons and ammunition. However, troops attempting to seize arms and ammunition in Lexington met with resistance from heavily-armed extremists who had been tipped off regarding the government’s plans.
During a tense standoff in the Lexington town park, National Guard Colonel Francis Smith, commander of the government operation, ordered the armed group to surrender and return to their homes. The impasse was broken by a single shot, which was reportedly fired by one of the right-wing extremists.
Eight civilians were killed in the ensuing exchange.
Ironically, the local citizenry blamed government forces rather than the extremists for the civilian deaths. Before order could be restored, armed citizens from surrounding areas had descended upon the guard units. Colonel Smith, finding his forces over matched by the armed mob, ordered a retreat.
Governor Gage has called upon citizens to support the state/national joint task force in its effort to restore law and order. The governor also demanded the surrender of those responsible for planning and leading the attack against the government troops.
Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and John Hancock, who have been identified as “ringleaders” of the extremist faction, remain at large.
And this fellow Americans, is how the American Revolution began, April 20, 1775.
Given how my “Ring Of Fire” Post is taking off like a Ba 249 “Natter”, let’s do a double feature with another classic cheap gun.
This is a TEC-DC9, specifically this is the version used by spree killer and absolute edgy teen idol Dylan Klebold in the infamous 1999 Columbine School massacre. And now we’re gonna see how a weapon intended for police and military sales became one of the firearm world’s twist of fate and one of the most iconic criminal guns.
The story begins with two men, George Kellgren and Carlos Garcia. Kellgren was a designer who worked for Husqvarna and Interdynamic AB and designed the TEC-9′s beginning, the MP-9. With milled and stamped steel components, horrible folding stock, foregrip and selector switch killed it on the absurdly tight Swedish market, so Interdynamic moved to Miami, Florida. Kellgren leaves to work with Grendel and founded Kel-Tec, explains a lot of Kel-Tec’s quality problems while Garcia tweaked the MP-9 and began selling it as the KG-9.
The first alarm bell rang and that was that the KG-9 was a semi-auto pistol with an open bolt. For those who don’t know, that meant that any illegal gunsmith could simply fiddle with the sear and make it a full-auto machine pistol, and that they did. KG-9′s were bought in spades, set to full auto and matched the MAC-10′s ludicrous 1,000 RPM in a caliber easily obtained with a number of magazine sizes from tiny 10 rounders to ridiculous 50 round stick mags.
In 1982, the ATF ordered Intratec to revise the design to a closed bolt system, and they did and renamed the gun the KG-99. At this time, Interdynamic changed names to the now infamously tainted Intratec, and the kingpin was born. The KG-99 was modified with better sights and dubbed, the TEC-9.
From 1985 to 1990, the TEC-9 was made, with a number of version with long and short barrels, satin nickel or black finishes, a slew of magazine sizes and muzzle extensions and suppressors for every need. The TEC-9 became common with Jamaican and Cuban gangs across Florida for it’s size, large magazine capacity and it’s similar look to the full-auto MP-9. And with the rise of modern crime dramas and gangster rap, they immortalized the TEC-9 as a powerful gat with stopping power.
And with a large magazine and the rise of the spree killer came it’s usage in mass shootings. On January 27, 1989, 6 people were killed in the Cleveland Elementary School shooting, committed by drifter Patrick Purdy. With this, California passed the Robert-Roos Assault Weapon Control Act of 1989, banning a lot of guns more on name than actual criminal usage and the TEC-9 was one of them.
Intratec circumvented this by making the TEC-DC9, DC standing for Designed For California. With the only difference being a change in sling attachment point, the TEC-DC9 lasted until 1994. When it and the original TEC-9 were named in the now famously bad Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Intratec continued with the AB-10, similar looking to the TEC-9 “mini” but with no thread for a muzzle cover or suppressor as those were too “threatening” for 90′s politicians.
And here comes the big two nails in the Intratec coffin, the Columbine shooting and the 101 California Street shooting. 101 was on July 1st of 1993 when 55-year-old failed entrepreneur Gian Luigi Ferry walked through the 34th floor of law firm Pettit & Martin and after being told to seek legal council with a firm in the Midwest, walked into an elevator, donned ear protection and drew out 2 TEC-DC9 pistols as well as a Norinco made 1911 copy. He then shot 8 people at the firm and then himself. This attack prompted the Crime Bill of 1994 and the AWB.
Columbine High School in 1999 is devastated when two student, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shoot 13 students before killing themselves. In their arsenal included a Hi-Point 995 Carbine, sawn off Savage 67F pump shotgun and 311R double barreled shotgun, around 99 pipe bombs and one TEC-DC9, that was famously captured in a CCTV image in the hands of Klebold following their shooting of the school’s cafeteria. This shooting devastated the nation, and whether it was news reports, documentaries made by fat waste of space or countless leaflets, the TEC-9 shows up.
With publicity due to these shootings, Intratec attempted to diversify with a number of other designs, such as the Glock style compact CAT-9 pistol, TEC-22 and TEC-38. But the media frenzy grabbed Intratec and soon every politician was claiming the CAT-9 was “a cross between an assault weapon and a saturday night special” over a tiny compact pistol. Typical politician bravado, Intratec folded in 2001 from infamy and a ton of lawsuits from the Clinton administration.
And that ends the tale of the TEC-9, from police SMG to gangland paradise to media sensation, whether it’s at a gunshow’s pistol rack, a Dominican drug runner’s gun of choice, a video game bullet hose or in a Biggie Smalls song, the TEC-9 will remain a gangster’s piece.
I got this in an email from a well read relative
And thought I’d share it
There are 30,000 (33,636) gun related deaths per year by firearms. What is never shown, though, is a breakdown of those deaths to put them in perspective; as compared to other causes of death.
• 65% of those deaths are by suicide which would never be prevented by gun laws - 21,175 o4 63%
• 15% are by law enforcement in the line of duty and justified
• 17% are through criminal activity, gang and drug related or mentally ill persons - 11,208 or 33% including law enforcement.
• 3% are accidental discharge deaths - 505 0r 1.5%
So technically, “gun violence” is not 30,000 annually but drops to 5,100. Still too many? Well, first, how are those deaths spanned across the nation?
• 480 homicides (9.4%) were in Chicago
• 344 homicides (6.7%) were in Baltimore
• 333 homicides (6.5%) were in Detroit
• 119 homicides (2.3%) were in Washington DC (a 54% increase over prior years)
So basically, 25% of all gun crime happens in just 4 cities. All 4 of those cities have strict gun laws so it is not the lack of law that is the root cause.
This basically leaves 3,825 for the entire rest of the nation or about 75 per state. That is an average because some States have much higher rates than others. For example, California had 1,169. Alabama had 1.
Now, who has the strictest gun laws by far? California of course but understand, it is not the tool (guns) driving this. It is a crime rate spawned by the number of criminal persons residing in those cities and states. So if all cities and states are not created equal, then there must be something other than the tool causing the gun deaths.
What about banning assault weapons. In 2010 there were 358 homicides by rife or 5.6% of all gun deaths (not all were assault rifles although the term is quite vague) and 6,009 or 94.4% were committed with hand guns. In other words, over 95% of gun deaths were not committed by assault rifles.
Are 5,100 deaths per year horrific? How about in comparison to other deaths? All death is sad and especially so when it is in the commission of a crime but that is the nature of crime. Robbery, death, rape, assault; all are done by criminals to victims and thinking that criminals will obey laws is ludicrous. That’s why they are criminals.
But what of other deaths?
• 40,000+ die from a drug overdose – THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THAT!
· 36,000 people die per year from the flu, far exceeding the criminal gun deaths
• 34,000 people die per year in traffic fatalities (exceeding gun deaths even if you include suicide)
• 200,000+ people die each year (and growing) from preventable medical malpractice. You are safer in Chicago than you are in a hospital!
• 710,000 people die per year from heart disease. Time to stop the cheeseburgers!
So what is the point? If Obama and the anti-gun movement focused their attention on heart disease, even 10% a decrease would save twice the lives annually of all gun related deaths (including suicide, law enforcement, etc.).
A 10% reduction in malpractice would be 66% of the total gun deaths or 4 times the number of criminal homicides. Simple, easily preventable 10% reductions!
So you have to ask yourself, in the grand scheme of things, why the focus on guns? It’s pretty simple. Taking away guns gives control to governments. This is not conspiracy theory; this is a historical fact.
Why is it impossible for the government to spill over into dictatorship?
Why did the Japanese not even attempt to attack California in WWII?
Because as they put it, “there is a gun behind every blade of grass”.
The founders of this nation knew that regardless of the form of government, those in power may become corrupt and seek to rule as the British did. They too tried to disarm the populace of the colonies because it is not difficult to understand; a disarmed populace is a controllable populace. Thus, the second amendment was proudly and boldly included in the constitution. It must be preserved at all costs.
So the next time someone tries to tell you that gun control is about saving lives, look at the facts and remember these words from Noah Webster “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed”. “The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States”.A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power.“
is how Australia reacted after a mass shooting in 1996 that killed 35
people. They banned assault weapons, collected the guns and destroyed
them. We have seen no mass shootings since. In the past 164 days, the
USA has sadly seen 133 mass shootings. With now 50 people dead from the
Orlando shooting, mass shootings now account for 207 deaths in the USA
this year alone. This statistic doesn’t even account for homicide and
suicide. Freedom isn’t held in the barrel of a gun America, death is.”
But where do they stand on the issues? While the candidates often agree on substance if not style, here’s a look at five areas where they differ - not just from each other, but from their presidential predecessors, as well.
Bernie Sanders promises he will reduce income inequality through changes to US through tax policy. He has called for a 10% tax surcharge on billionaires, raising the top three tax brackets and creating a new top rate, boosting capital gains and estate taxes, extending Social Security taxes, going after income made abroad by US corporations, and creating a new 0.2% tax on all earners to fund a paid family leave programme.
Hillary Clinton’s tax plan is basically Sanders-lite. She wants a 4% surtax on income over $5 million, an increase in capital gains taxes, the closing of “tax loopholes” for the wealthy, taxing hedge fund managers’ “carried interest” income at higher rates and increasing the estate tax rate.
Bernie Sanders has set the bar when it comes to higher education policy in the modern Democratic Party, with his call for free college for all Americans funded by taxing Wall Street financial transactions. He points to the runaway costs of higher education as one of the driving forces behind growing income inequality in the US.
Hillary Clinton supports a plan to make two-year community college free, but her higher education policies are more modest. She has called for lowering student loan interest rates, providing $17.5 billion to improve the quality of higher education and encouraging colleges to set affordable tuition rates that don’t require student loans.
For Bernie Sanders, however, that particular half-loaf is far from enough. He wants to institute a single-payer government-run health insurance system fashioned on Medicare. He has also called for allowing the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies in order to lower prices and permitting Americans to import medication from Canada, where it is less expensive.
Hillary Clinton has said Mr Sanders is advancing an unrealistic proposal that threatens hard-won healthcare reforms made during Mr Obama’s tenure. Instead she wants to expand existing law to improve coverage for prescription drugs and allow the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers for better prices.
Hillary Clinton is the first prominent Democratic presidential candidate to openly run on a gun-control platform since Al Gore’s losing campaign in 2000. She supports holding gun manufacturers liable for deaths caused by their products, expanding background checks and prohibiting those on no-fly list from purchasing firearms. She has also supported reinstating the ban on semi-automatic “assault” rifles.
Bernie Sanders, a senator from the rural state of Vermont, has a more moderate position on guns - although he has moved to the left over the course of the campaign. He supports expanded background checks on gun purchases and an assault weapons ban, but opposes holding gun manufacturers liable for deaths. He voted against a gun purchase waiting period multiple times in the early 1990s and for allowing guns in national parks.
Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, was one of the more hawkish members of Mr Obama’s cabinet. It’s no surprise then that as a presidential candidate she is well to the right of Mr Sanders and even Mr Obama. She has called for greater US involvement in the Syrian civil war, including enforcing a no-fly zone, and supports a continued US military presence in Afghanistan.
Bernie Sanders generally agrees with Barack Obama’s foreign policies - limited involvement in Syria and an emphasis on working with US allies. He contrasts himself with Mrs Clinton by noting the past US military action that she supported and he opposed - in Libya and Iraq. He supports a full US withdrawal from Afghanistan and no US training of rebels in the Syrian civil war.
My conclusion - I believe in the future with Bernie Sanders. Hillary’s measures I consider not enough. This is when we forget that she’s a liar, racist and was involved in a number of political scandals. And we must remember her sponsors from the Wall Street. I wanna say “I trust you, Mr. President”. And that’s why I’ll #Go Bernie.
Romanian AK that is often just referred to as the WASR for short, although they have many other names due to different models and importer designations. There are a couple of things to look for when buying a second hand WASR. After the original assault weapons ban sunset in 2004, some Romanian AK’s which used single stack 10 round mags were hastily modified to use standard 30 round mags to cash in on the buying frenzy. Canted front sights are also something to keep an eye out for. (GRH)
Romanian AK variant widely found on the U.S market. Considered a cheap entry level AK that for the most part will work but still carry the stigma of poor quality. This was due to the the whole sunset of the original Assault Weapons Ban. With the restrictions lifted, Romanian AK’s that were originally single stack only, were modified to use standard double stack mags. This led to either very loose or very tight magwells and reliability issues as importers and even some gun shops tried to get rifles back into their original configurations to meet the demand. (GRH)