Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Judge Gorsuch Doesn't Give Me Warm Fuzzies

John Richardson over at No Lawyers - Only Guns and Money has a video from the confirmation hearings for Judge Gorsuch.  You can watch either the 5 minute version or a 2 hour 40 minute version.  I watched the short one.

The video is of Babs Feinstein* questioning Judge Gorsuch and trying to get him to commit that he'd overrule Heller and declare AR-15s as being illegal.  Gorsuch is no fool and is not going to be cornered by someone of her dubious intellectual abilities.   
Does he answer properly?  I would say he does say the right things but he doesn't fill me with warm fuzzy feelings that he's really filling Scalia's chair properly.  He does say Heller is the law of the land, and that it gives certain tests that he's to apply.  He doesn't address anything about those tests.  He doesn't address how he might interpret those going forward, which, I suppose, is the game all supreme court nominees go through. 

Justice Scalia said that the 2nd Amendment is certainly subject to regulation.  One thing I recall him saying was that right to bear arms for an individual implies that there is no right to weapons that an individual can't carry.  Examples of what might be forbidden could include crew served guns, a cannon, or perhaps anything larger than a BAR or M2 (and that's my interpretation, not what Justice Scalia said).  You certainly wouldn't have the right to have an Abrams tank, and by extension, I would think you wouldn't have the right to an M2 mounted in a pickup truck.

I'd like to see some indications gun rights are going to expand and not be reduced.  I'm one of those self-identifying fools who signed that White House petition to repeal the NFA of 1934.  I'd like to see that, the GCA of 1968, and to be honest pretty much all of it, thrown onto the junk pile of history.  I see no clues that Neil Gorsuch is such a guy.  Maybe that's the way they want it to be.

* to those who think "Babs" is too disrespectful, I'd say I'm trying to be respectful.  Ordinarily, I would call her "Back seat Barbie".

Edit 03/22 @0800 EDT: Judging by the first couple of comments, I suffered from my usual unclear writing.  My point is that while Justice Scalia was the high water mark of recent Supreme Court justices, he was not a perfect supporter of the second amendment and left a lot to be desired.  I was hoping that Neil Gorsuch would be better but I don't see any signs of that.   [SiG]


  1. SiGrey, not sure that I agree with Scalia nor you on the weapons that an individual can carry nonsense. If my history memory is correct some of the crew served weapons of the revolutionary and the civil wars were supplied by well to do civilians as were the canons for the privateers. Without those 'crew served weapons, where would we be?

  2. Justice Scalia said that the 2nd Amendment is certainly subject to regulation.

    I suppose since 2A claims a smoothly operating militia is necessary, you could argue for training and practice requirements for the militia, and maintaining a standardized weapon. Some early colonial towns had those laws, and Switzerland still does.

    One thing I recall him saying was that right to bear arms for an individual implies that there is no right to weapons that an individual can't carry.

    So if we substitute 'transportation' for 'weapons', the individual right to own and operate transportation machinery only extends to machines the individual can carry, like bicycles. Automobiles are verboten.

  3. I agree that he does not come across as a "Scalia". But IMHO what I think we see as a wiser man who does not show his hand. No one can predict what someone/anyone might do when given more power than just about anyone in history, especially a lawyer. But based on what we know he should be a believer in the constitution and that should be #1 for a Supreme Court justice.

    I have to say that I honestly believe that our many problems are so bad at this point that the next justice pales in comparison. I am not sure we aren't on a fast track to destruction. Many/most would argue not simply because so many things are still OK. We still have jobs, still have food in the pantry, still have police, fire and medical available, etc. I read recently that in WW II that in excess of 20 million Europeans were killed by military action. Not Russia where perhaps even more civilians were killed. Not the military where about 22 million European soldiers were killed. That is a lot of civilian deaths. For many/most people in Europe life was normal before the war, but things change quickly. I think we are on the cusp of change. I fear the left in this country. A lot of what they are doing goes far beyond being the loyal opposition and deep into being seditious and traitorous. I think during the Obama years they succeeded in their agenda so much that they think there is the chance of a final push to completely destroy the constitutional republic. I thin we are in that push and it may well get out of hand. Having a constitutionalist appointed to the Supreme Court is a good thing; better than the alternative, but in the end may be inconsequential. I think we are in the pre-WW III stage and just don't know it.

    1. I think we're in the opening phases of the second civil war right now. These masked protesters we see everywhere trying to take down the US - ANTIFA for example - these aren't college kids out protesting. Any college kids out there like this are simply useful idiots. The core of these protesters are professionals, mercenaries if you will, paid for by Soros and possibly other globalists. Several groups have written about this and published the links.

      When it all goes Tango Uniform, I can't tell you. I'm in the "any day now" camp, but I've been thinking that for years as it is.

    2. Predicting timing is hard, but here are some thoughts.

      Technological singularity. Kurzweil graph predicted 2020 as the year human brain equivalent quantites of cpu cycles would be available for $1K. I think CPU growth will not meet that target in 2020. However, Kurzweil graph shows performance growth is sometimes flat for a while, then quickly pops up to the trend line. Quickly. Consider what happens when IBM's Jeopardy-playing computer system doubles in its ability to understand the human world every two years. What is the NSA really doing in that data center in Utah? Tracking your porn habits? Or building a general officer with an IQ of 500?

      National bankruptcy. Denninger says 4 years until Medicare cost growth eats too much of the national budget, then something different will happen. Social Security revealed its actuarial bankruptcy in 2011. Banker's meeting chart shows that reserve currency status, the opinion of which country has the most stable fiat currency, lasts for an average of 100 years. Previous countries with reserve currency status were Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, France, Britain. USA is now due.

      On the bright side, I can imagine a better Bitcoin and Silk Road appearing, which ends tax collection and thereby removes logistics from under bad people.

    3. All well put, I'd just add that I've lived through at least one of those singularity predictions already (2005? I think that was one) if not more, and I wouldn't be surprised to live through the 2020 prediction as well.

      I can't claim any special insights, just questions.

  4. I read the entire Scalia opinion. I do not remember him saying anything like "M-16s and the like, could be banned".

    I'll look at it again, but I think Feinstein is lying (surprise!)

    Anyone got a direct quote from the source?

    1. I recalled it being in an interview on TV and not in the ruling. I see something here

      “We’ll see,” he answered. “I mean, obviously the (Second) amendment does not apply to arms that cannot be hand-carried. It’s to keep and bear — so it doesn’t apply to cannons.

      “But I suppose there are handheld rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes that will have to be … decided.”

    2. I forgot. Re: your first sentence, I assume you're referring to Feinstein's talk at about the 2:00 mark in that video. She doesn't specifically say Scalia said that in the Heller ruling, but the way she says it seems to make the distinction that it could have been in some other thing he wrote.

      There was that idiot in the fourth circuit, J. Harvie Wilkinson, who said that the most common rifle in America is uncommon.

  5. One of the powers that Congress has is the power to grant letters of Marque. Letters of marque were granted by naming the Captain of the vessel and describing the vessel by naming the number of guns (cannons) that it had. If these warships, owned by private individuals, were not covered by the 2A, then how could Congress grant the letter of marque?