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Old May 11, 2009, 02:23 AM   #1
maestro pistolero
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Defining Dangerous and Unusual

The phrase 'dangerous and unusual weapons' ought to be interpreted as weapons that aren't small arms. Dangerous and unusual means grenades, mortars, RPG's. etc. on up the dangerous scale.

Here's why I think this to be true.

Dangerous and unusual cannot generally include small arms, because in reality, any one of them is nearly as dangerous as the next. A head shot from almost any small arm, in almost any caliber, is predictably lethal. Hit a major artery with a .22 long rifle and it's a life threatening matter.

For the distinction 'dangerous and unusual weapons' to be meaningful, the threshold for dangerous and unusual must rise significantly above the basic level of danger present in any small arm.

We don't need to classify our handguns, pistols, and shotguns beyond the category of small arms. One possible exception could be F/A, although I'm not convinced that F/A small arms ought not be covered under some set of criteria. In other words allowable, but with a higher degree of training, etc.
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Old May 11, 2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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Even a Blank gun can kill. Actor Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, unfortunately lost his life to a blank gun. So does dangerous and unusual cover handguns that aren't supposed to fire a projectile?
Just playing devil's advocate here.
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Old May 11, 2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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I think it is clear that things like rpg's, bombs, and grenades etc. Are dangerous and unusual.

I think the line will be drawn soemwhere around machine guns. I think everything up to them will not be considered D/U but which side of the line machine guns fall on is open for debate.
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Old May 11, 2009, 10:16 AM   #4
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Where machineguns fall may be up for debate as an intellectual exercise or a debate on what the Founders would have wanted; but as a practical political matter, I think there is a strong likelihood machineguns are going to be classified as dangerous and unusual weapons.

For one, the Second as an individual right was only a 5-4 decision. I don't see any Justices going for machineguns as protected by the Second Amendment right now.

Two, Gura recently suggested that if he had advanced that argument in Heller or tried to tiptoe around it, he would have lost 9-0. Gura strikes me as a sharp guy and if his assessment is that there is nobody on the Court who would support deregulation of machineguns, that is something to keep in mind.

Realistically, machineguns are way down the list right now. Gura is rightly targeting cosmetic bans and carry issues right now and gaining some ground there will be a huge advantage for later fights.
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Old May 11, 2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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Everything besides a 12 ga pumpgun is dangerous and unusual. A man can do everything he needs to with a 12 ga bump gun
The argument my grandson will have to fight against the 2A crowd, which will have decided that they can afford to compromise on everything else, as long as they keep their 12ga pumps.
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Old May 11, 2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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Want to parse that?

Do you mean that supporters of the 2nd Amend. will be satisfied if only they could keep pump shotguns?

I thought that line was O/U shotguns and bolt action rifles. BTW, in Switzerland (our ideal paradise - there is a move against pump shotguns).

I think most of us think the bright line is full auto. That will be a hard barrier to break. The best might be to allow new ones to be purchased under the current system. However, the risk is that someone will buy one cheaply (as new manufacture) and go VT or Columbine and the blowback will be a superharse AWB.
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Old May 11, 2009, 12:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts
Two, Gura recently suggested that if he had advanced that argument in Heller or tried to tiptoe around it, he would have lost 9-0. Gura strikes me as a sharp guy and if his assessment is that there is nobody on the Court who would support deregulation of machineguns, that is something to keep in mind.

Realistically, machineguns are way down the list right now. Gura is rightly targeting cosmetic bans and carry issues right now and gaining some ground there will be a huge advantage for later fights.
I think this is exactly right. Use Heller to hold the line on cosmetic bans, on semi-auto weapons generally, on magazine capacity... Extend carry rights if possible, but first work to secure what we have now. Once those issues are clearly established as being under 2A protection, think about extending the argument to the sale of F/A weapons under the current system. Arguing for incremental changes will work better than going for the whole wish list right now.

I think Maestro's point about what counts as dangerous is well taken. It's the interpretation of "unusual" that seems, if anything, more promising to me, especially in light of the way all those so-called "assault weapons" have been flying off the shelves lately. There were a lot out there before, now there are even more out there, so how, exactly, does anyone make the case that they should be banned as "unusual?" And pump shotguns must be about as "unusual" as F150's...
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Old May 11, 2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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there is nobody on the Court who would support deregulation of machineguns, that is something to keep in mind.
But if there could be be a compelling case in a lower court that was irresistible to the scotus . . .?

If we are to get full auto at all, I think we may need to propose/accept some conditions that satisfies or offsets concerns about how dangerous and unusual they may be.

I'm just thinking here, but perhaps we ought to be prepared to acknowledge, that, yes, F/A does rise to the top of the permissible list in terms of performance, and may require a higher level of scrutiny as to who is not disqualified from keeping them, how they are stored, what level of training and background check may be required, but that banning them totally, so that no-one can have them under ANY circumstances, falls outside of 2A, because it eliminates their use for the security purpose of the amendment. (Which Nordyke re-invigorated in dicta)

Last edited by maestro pistolero; May 11, 2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old May 11, 2009, 12:39 PM   #9
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Full auto is only unusual because it's been so restricted for so long and AR/AK type rifles weren't as common prior to the '86 ban.
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Old May 11, 2009, 01:31 PM   #10
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I agree with Glenn and would draw the "bright line" at full auto. My reasoning is that FA was designed purely for military use for fire suppression and area denial. Neither of which is suitable or appropriate for civilian self defense.

I concede problems with the use of words like; "lethal" "dangerous" and such when perhaps efficacy (very high rate of fire for FA) would be better.

I do see also the anti's point about large capacity magazines. I do not favor banning them but I see the point the anti's make about them again because of efficacy. In my mind and opinion the most we can go without a lot of regulation is the AR/AK types with high capacity magazines which are very good for self defense.
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Old May 11, 2009, 01:39 PM   #11
maestro pistolero
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One could easily argue the F/A is unnecessary in any typical civilian self defense situation, but the argument falls apart if extended to the purposes of repelling a foreign invader, or other scenarios pertaining to the security if the (free) state.

Foreign invaders would almost certainly not concern themselves with an F/A ban, putting the citizenry at a disadvantage. The purpose and effectieness of 2A, in that scenario, would have been undermined by an outright F/A ban.
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Old May 11, 2009, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
My reasoning is that FA was designed purely for military use for fire suppression and area denial. Neither of which is suitable or appropriate for civilian self defense.
Those are entirely suitable and appropriate for civilian use against groups of attackers, which in the case of riot situations such as the '92 LA Riots, hurricanes or other natural disasters, and protests gone wrong are entirely within one's right and interest of defense. Rare, granted, but far from nonexistent and in many locations increasingly likely. Also the situation of gang attacks and/or home invasions make for situations of multiple armed attackers for which every advantage is useful. Maritime defense is another common use for which civilian use is entirely appropriate.

Further, it's not only military. LE and security/executive protection makes use of select fire or at very least insist they have the option on what they carry. Why? Multiple hits on target fast bring down attackers faster, and when in tight situtations you want them down IMMEDIATELY. Note the ads for Thompsons in the 20's and early 30's: they were marketed for guarding banks, railroad cars, and ranches (the latter against wolves!), hardly what I'd call paramilitary use.

Lastly, a core purpose of the 2nd Amendment is parity. You want military/LE/feds to have an edge over the civilian population? I for one don't. The entire point is to prevent a government going Castro-esque and the only thing that keeps them from doing so is how difficult it is made for them to do so. We should want that to be as absolutely difficult as possible. The political conditions we see now make it crystal clear just how much separation we need from it.
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Old May 11, 2009, 03:21 PM   #13
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I have a tater cannon w/a rifled barrel.

Is that dangerous or unusual?
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Old May 11, 2009, 03:28 PM   #14
maestro pistolero
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I hear if you use frangible potatoes, you can make potato chips with that thing.
A delicious and unusual weapon.
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Old May 11, 2009, 06:06 PM   #15
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Dangerous or Unusual

Those (2) words can describe many of the users on this forum.
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Old May 11, 2009, 06:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maestro pistolero
but the argument falls apart if extended to the purposes of repelling a foreign invader,
If that happened (which IMO is impossible due to our possession of nuclear weapons) and our military and police forces are overwhelmed then there will be plenty of FA weapons to be handed out. However, I deem such TEOTWAWKI scenarios too unlikely to consider seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowfin
Those are entirely suitable and appropriate for civilian use against groups of attackers,
Not when you are financially and criminally responsible for every bullet you fire if you hit an innocent bystander. No mob would likely advance against most regular civilian rifles when threatened with them. Your TV ain't worth dying for, they would run as they did in LA in '92 when faced by the armed Korean business owners who did not have or need FA weapons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowfin
Lastly, a core purpose of the 2nd Amendment is parity. You want military/LE/feds to have an edge over the civilian population?
That is the Insurrection theory which is anathema to Constitutional Law (see article 1 section 8 COTUS). This is kooky stuff.

The parity you speak of for the 2A was for the states to arm their miltias as a balance to any standing army. It was not to simply arm Joe Sixpack individually.

The edge I have over the military and LE is the rule of law, the courts and elected officials. My possession of FA will not matter while those are in place and if those things are not.

See my statement about TEOTWAWKI scenarios which rank alongside martian invasion.
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Old May 11, 2009, 06:47 PM   #17
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'Guys, it can't happen here. The US is special. It is better than any country and Americans are better than any people in history.' -Tennessee Gentleman

BTW, I made some grammatical corrections on my previous post. Maybe it will make more sense now.
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Old May 11, 2009, 07:52 PM   #18
maestro pistolero
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which IMO is impossible due to our possession of nuclear weapons
How in the world does a nuke prevent a land invasion on our own soil? This is absurd. If a bunch of terrorists want to sneak in from our southern border, or land in small crafts and assemble to wreak havoc (to paraphase Nordyke), the last thing we need to repel that is a nuclear weapon.
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Old May 11, 2009, 08:25 PM   #19
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This thread started as a rim shot. Could have actually made a good discussion. However, when we start going into TEOTWAWKI territory, I draw the line.

Closed.
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