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Old January 8, 2013, 10:44 PM   #26
sigcurious
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In the early days of the republic, Congress closely regulated the privateers (privately owned warships), their operations and movements were highly infringed. Congress did away with them completely after a short time... within the lifespan of many of the founding fathers. Did Jefferson, Adams, or Madison speak out against disarming the privateers, denying them the RKBA? Uh... No.
This is a flawed interpretation...yes privateers were regulated...however privateers were regulated by virtue of being government agents, not because they owned boats with cannons. There is a huge difference.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:46 PM   #27
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Georgia had a naval militia. They even have a nice little plaque on the side of the road down on Saint Simon's Island.

You could get .50 cals post WWII as well. I'm sure someone, especially with the amount of USAAF armores mustered out of the war could have made that work.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:48 PM   #28
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Do I want the right to have a brand new full auto??? in a word yes.... M240 machine gun (7.62).... What would I do with it.... Make pumpkins and watermelons around the world fear my name...

As a practical matter too expensive to shoot very often, still I should be able to have one...
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:48 PM   #29
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And if we ever again found ourselves in a war on American soil, Congress could certainly authorize private ownership of tanks and missiles.

But tanks and missiles as a protected 2nd amendment right? No court would agree to that, and the vast vast majority of American voters would disagree with it as well.

If (by fantasy), the Supreme Court found that the 2nd DID protect the right to own powerful war weapons, a new constitutional amendment could / would be passed in record time. The thought of private legal ownership of war weapons would tend to energize people.
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Old January 8, 2013, 10:54 PM   #30
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So btmj, you're arguing that a full auto/select fire is basically the same as a fully armed tank or warplane? Really?
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:20 PM   #31
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Hmmm, I haven't looked at it that way. Perhaps it is my upbringing coming back at me here being surrounded by anti'. I really don't know about this matter, part of me believes that FA firearms does need to be regulated to some degree, but the other half of me thinks to keep in line with what I believe the 2A stands for, it should allow you to own them as easily as a semi auto rifle.

I don't know, I'm very conflicted on the entire subject there.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:24 PM   #32
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No, but I am saying there must be a line, the founding fathers believed there was a line, and no possible court in a hundred years would say that there is no line.

So where do you think the line is? Or do you think there is no line?

I have no idea where the line "should be" from a legal constitutional perspective. I am no lawyer. But for all intents and purposes, in my lifetime the line ends at full auto, and it ends at 50 caliber. That is the line that has been in effect for a long time. For me, that works fine. I have lived with it my whole life, I am able to enjoy my AR-15 and all my other firearms.

So I ask again, do you think there is a line? and if so, where is it?
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:33 PM   #33
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Too much never happens

Right now the anti-gun folks are assaulting our rights. It is vile, un-American and needs to be stopped immediately. With the recent incidents by people with deranged thoughts, we are then being told categorically we are deranged for having these firearms. To be honest, they want us de-ranged, de-gun show, and de-gun ownership.

Because the battle is strong right now, as these vicious, heartless people pray on the slaying of children by a maniac and point that at each of us that own an ar or m type modern sporting rifle are just a finger pull from doing the same thing, we need to unit.

All of this talk is good. All of the debate is fine. But the fact is, we are the strongest and most determined members in our country. We are prepared to defend each and every one of ourselves, our families, and if need be, I would defend the people trying to pry the gun from my hands, because that is truly what an American does ( and did ).

I heard the most recent argument that they would like us to register every firearm (knowing it would be for some day when they want to confiscate) and that parents have the right to know if their children are coming into our homes whether there is a gun in there. That's ridiculous. I don't know any gun owner that just leaves their weapons laying around loaded and ready for a kid to pick up. Besides, whatever happened to asking, whatever happened to also asking if there are video games available and booze available (not that these two inanimate objects make people use them inappropriately, I'm just trying to be as ridiculous as our opponents). Somehow, we're the criminal element, when we are obviously better people because we passed a background check to get our guns.

Nuff said.
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Old January 8, 2013, 11:52 PM   #34
sigcurious
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the founding fathers believed there was a line,
Really where was that line? Your understanding of privateers is completely flawed...so please tell us where that line was.

Odd that you lump full auto/select fire(federally regulated to near prohibition) and .50 cal into the same category. Heck If I had the money I could have walked out of the LGS with the .50cal on the wall today. Also while generally speaking calibers above .50 get classified as destructive devices, there are are examples (such as .600 nitro express) which are not strictly DDs. Furthermore the lesser(compared to full auto) regulation of DDs means that it would be relatively easy to get a stamp for a DD, versus purchasing one of the limited and dwindling number of full autos/select fires due to the registry being closed.

Where do I see the line? Somewhere around nuclear weapons. Practically speaking the destructive ability of someone who can afford a 747, or a fully equipped tank or warplane is pretty similar. The number of people who could afford these things are relatively few. With their resources if their intention were to cause destruction on a large scale, they would not need a tank or a warplane or any other weapons of war as you would put it. They could do so with legitimately purchased materials and/or materials purchased legally under false pretenses.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:14 AM   #35
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If the line is not drawn on full auto, where is the line separating Arms from Weapons of War? It sounds like some of you are saying there is no line... Is that what you are saying?
The "line" as I see it should not be drawn at full auto and >50 caliber, but at explosives and weapons of mass destruction. The test for how far a right can be reasonably regulated is how much public interest does said regulation serve vs. how much liberty does it take away. In my opinion, the current level of regulation on full auto and large-caliber weapons does not represent a large enough increase in public safety to justify the degree of liberty that it strips away.

For example, since the passage of the NFA there have been numerous violent crimes committed with full auto firearms, but of all those crimes only one murder was committed with a legally registered machine gun. The fact of the matter is that most classes of weapons regulated by the NFA are easy enough to either obtain on the black market or fabricate that it does not act as an impediment to an even mildly resourceful criminal. No more graphic example can be found than the North Hollywood Shootout as the two bank robbers in that incident used not purpose-built machine guns, but illegally modified semi-automatic rifles. Criminals can illegally obtain or manufacture machine guns easily enough that only people who abide by the law are affected by the NFA.

The reason that explosives and weapons of mass destruction belong in a different class is because their destructive power is so great that they're extremely difficult, if not impossible, to use without causing extraordinary amounts of collateral damage. There is almost no way that a person could use a hand grenade or canister of VX nerve gas in self-defense without posing a significant risk to the safety of innocent bystanders. With a moderate amount of training, however, a machine gun can be used without representing a significantly greater risk to bystanders than most other common firearms.

Honestly, I think that the difference between a machine gun and a weapon of mass destruction is pretty obvious to most people. In fact, I view the mention of such extreme examples of "arms" in such a discussion to be something of a straw man.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:17 AM   #36
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Where do I see the line? Somewhere around nuclear weapons.
While I find your faith in your fellow man commendable I can not share it. My view of risk/ reward does not extend to the easy threat of annihilating cities.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:18 AM   #37
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I meant in the sense that weapons of that magnitude shouldn't be in the general publics hands, not in the sense of up to and including.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:19 AM   #38
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What about private corporations and citizens owning nuclear power plants? Should they be allowed to?
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:30 AM   #39
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What about private corporations and citizens owning nuclear power plants? Should they be allowed to?
No. If it were up to me there would not be any nuclear power plants.

Quote:
I meant in the sense that weapons of that magnitude shouldn't be in the general publics hands, not in the sense of up to and including.
So an MLRS is ok then? That could wipe out a city in no time.
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Old January 9, 2013, 01:53 AM   #40
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I'm glad there are other strongly pro gunners out there that understand the necessity of the line. We can have different opinions of where the line should be, but there does need to be one. I've seen a little side-stepping of the issue in this very thread-- Most pro gunners would not argue that felons or minors should own firearms. Others disagree, and say "shall not be infringed means shall not be infringed".

Quote:
My personal belief is there should be absolutely NO restrictions on a law abiding person to own a weapon they can keep and bear. Period.
There are restrictions built directly into this statement. "Law abiding". The 2nd amendment says nothing about law abiding, doesn't specify misdemeanors or felonies, nor does it have age requirements. So you actually do draw a line. Not to pick on you, but I think the point needs to be made. Most pro 2A people do agree with some regulations even though none are enumerated specifically in the Constitution.

There are a few people who feel that any restriction of any kind cannot be conceded, because it creates precedence for the erosion of the 2nd amendment. I think that while we should be vigilant in this regard, the right of an individual to bear arms is not unlimited, just like the freedom of speech is not unlimited.

The right to swing your fist ends where the next man's nose begins. There has to be a line. Otherwise, a 7 year old could own a landmine and a billionaire could have an arsenal of ICBMs and a fleet of stealth bombers.

Both of those scenarios are unacceptable, and should be completely illegal for any reason (although if you ask enough people at the gun show, some buffoon will tell you why you're wrong). As you move down the spectrum (and I'm not sure if that spectrum should be classified as "comfort of the American public", or something else), you move into the realm of "legal, but heavily regulated" (currently full auto, silencers, transferring firearms across state lines), then to virtually unregulated (private sales, possession of typical firearms, ammunition purchases).

We are never going to agree completely on where the line should be. We just need to come to a consensus. The Fed is trying to move the line. For starters, let's do everything we can to keep it where it is.
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Old January 9, 2013, 02:42 AM   #41
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"The test for how far a right can be reasonably regulated is how much public interest does said regulation serve vs. how much liberty does it take away. In my opinion, the current level of regulation on full auto and large-caliber weapons does not represent a large enough increase in public safety to justify the degree of liberty that it strips away."

This right here, this has helped me a lot actually, thank you Webley. I was honestly having a hard time justifying a full auto in my head, I never thought of trying to compare it to how we defend semi auto firearms as well.

It makes sense really.
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Old January 9, 2013, 03:20 AM   #42
sigcurious
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So an MLRS is ok then?
Had to look that up, but yes. That's essentially explosives with a fancy delivery system.

I'll explain my rational. When you talk about things like an MLRS(or fully armed tanks warplanes from the previous example) you're talking about something that even if it were available to those who could afford it it would be a limited number of people due to sheer cost(historic comparison, a wealthy person(s) could have bombarded <insert coastal city> with a frigate or man of war, when that was the pinnacle of massed mobile artillery), because of this cost these same people could achieve similar results via other currently unregulated means or regulated but achievable under false pretenses if they were determined to cause harm.

The average person or persons determined to cause harm may not be able to achieve the same level of destruction as the wealthy,but take the OKC bombing for example. Granted some of the materials(blasting caps and the small amount of prefab explosives) used in that instance would be difficult to acquire legally(under false pretenses) or illegally, but even then it still happened. The information contained in a high school chemistry book and/or sources from the internet is more than enough for a person of average means to cause widespread harm.

Do I think that people should just be given explosives etc or that they should be completely unregulated? no... However, I do believe that if someone is intent on causing harm on a large scale lacking access to pre-fabricated implements of destruction will not stop them, and the tools(knowledge) needed to do so simply cannot(and should not) be controlled at this stage of civilization. I also believe that even if explosives and the such were less regulated, not everyone would run out and buy them making them pervasive. Tannerite is a good example of this, being freely available in many locations, people have done some dumb things with it but nothing maliciously criminal AFAIK.

TL;DR
Simply put, there are clearly some things(nukes & other true WMDs(what constitutes this is debatable)) that shouldn't be in the hands of the public. However most things that people perceive to be too dangerous would either be too costly to pose a real threat or similar levels of harm could be caused by alternate but readily available means.

I don't expect the line to be moved greatly and there definitely is one, but in the context of full auto that barely registers to me as something that's worthy of high regulation because of its danger to the general public.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:01 AM   #43
Hal
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Hmmm... so violent felons and minors should be able to own them?
Yes...
Any law that assumes guilt, just by mere posession of an inanimate obeject is immoral.
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Old January 9, 2013, 04:08 AM   #44
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Somehow this moved from full auto weapons to tanks and jets and bombers.
One in the United States what individual would you think rich enough to amass a force of tanks or jets or bombers, keep it running, buy munitions and fuel for it for any length of time? What would one do with it? Rob a bank? Mug the locals? Not much chance of getting away with it in a tank. Not a lot of drive bys and bad drug deals being settled on the street with tanks and F22 Raptors.
Nobody really but the government can afford to have modern war machines like that anyway in any numbers that count for any use they would be good for. Not like some radical farmer can hide a submarine in his stock pond either. That sort of thing pretty much regulates itself just on practicalities.



Back to the OPs question or closer to it. Regulation of full auto is like regulation of any other reasonably portable firearm. If the BGs want them they get them. Its the whole downfall of the regulation. Only folks that will follow the regulation are affected by it. So the BGs outgun the good guys. By law.
If a citizen wants full auto weapons he should be able to get one at the hardware store. If said citizen commits a crime with it then jail him execute him depending on what he did and by the commission of that crime he pretty much did away with his own rights to much of anything anyway as far as weapons go.
However turn that same person loose depending on the blessed regulations to keep him from getting another weapon of choice? If he wants he will get it and do it again and no reg is gonna stop him.
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:12 AM   #45
Hal
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Took me a bit to dig this up - but - regarding guns & kids:

Quote:
Date: 1999-05-20 12:44 Pacific Daylight Time
NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY
2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.lp.org/
> =======================================
> For release: May 21, 1999
> =======================================
> For additional information:
> George Getz, Press Secretary
> Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
> E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com
> =======================================
>
Do guns turn children into criminals?
Myth-shattering federal study says: No

WASHINGTON, DC -- Want to dramatically reduce the chance that your child
will commit a gun-related crime or -- heaven forbid -- go on a shooting
spree? Here's a surprising suggestion from the Libertarian Party: Buy your
youngster a gun.

"The evidence is in: The simplest way to reduce firearm-related
violence among children is to buy them a gun and teach them how to use it
responsibly," said Steve Dasbach, national director of the Libertarian
Party.

"When it comes to preventing youthful violence, the Second
Amendment apparently works better than the so-called solutions being
proposed by politicians, such as a ban on assault weapons or mandated
'child-proof' safety locks on guns."

Says who?
Says a detailed study by the federal government entitled "Urban
Delinquency and Substance Abuse."

The study was conducted from 1993-1995 by the U.S. Department
of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In an
attempt to determine the relationship between "problem behaviors" like
drug use, teen pregnancy, and crime, child psychologists tracked 4,000
boys and girls aged 6 to 15 in Denver, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, NY.

The findings were a slap in the face to "conventional wisdom"
about children and guns, said Dasbach -- and a sharp rebuke to the
recent vote by the U.S. Senate to enact new gun-control laws that
impact on teenagers.

According to the study:

* Children who get guns from their parents don't commit gun
crimes (0%), while children who get illegal guns are very likely to do
so (21%).

* Children who get guns from parents are less likely to commit
any kind of street crime (14%) than children who have no gun in the
house (24%) -- and are dramatically less likely to do so than children
who acquire an illegal gun (74%).

* Children who get guns from parents are less likely to use
drugs (13%) than children who get illegal guns (41%).

"Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of
delinquency and drug use [than boys who own illegal guns] and are even
slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns," the study reported.

If the federal government knows that children and guns are not -- in and
of themselves -- a dangerous combination, why are so many politicians
demanding that new laws be passed to "protect" children?

"Politicians are apparently more interested in demonizing guns -- and
repealing the Second Amendment on the installment plan --than they are in
facts," suggested Dasbach. "But as this study shows, if gun ownership by
kids is not the problem, banning gun ownership by kids can't be the
solution." > So are Libertarians saying that every parent should buy
their child a gun?

"Of course not," said Dasbach. "Deciding whether to give your son or
daughter a gun is a serious decision that every parent will have
to make. Many parents may decide that their children are not mature
enough to responsibly and safely learn how to use a gun, and you have to
respect that decision.

"But the point is: Parents are better able to make that decision than a
bunch of poll-driven politicians in Washington, DC. Parents seem to
understand that the best way to reduce gun crimes by juveniles is to
promote more responsible gun ownership -- not more irresponsible gun
bans."

And also regarding the felons...

Until 1968 that wasn't an issue....
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Old January 9, 2013, 10:51 AM   #46
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I find that full auto is not all that usefull. There are only a few times that it is needed by anyone. Even the military uses three round bust now and issue full auto weapons only to a few squad members.
I think that semi-auto fire is more deadly in about 99% of situations.
So as far as full auto goes; I realy don't care.
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:27 AM   #47
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That is a great article, Kraig. And it matches my own experience seeing kids exposed to and trained in firearms at an early age.

If someone were to argue before the court that the NFA was unconstitutional, the court would ask if any limitation on firearm ownership was permissable.

This could be answered in one of two ways. The petitioner could answer "No", there is no permissible limit allowed under the 2nd. The court would then ask the same questions that have been raised here... "what about flame throwers, what about bombers, what about nukes... what about restrictions on felons, children"... I don's see this line of argument being very effective, even among the most conservative of judges.

The other way the question could be answered is "yes, there is a limit, but the limit on full auto weapons is too restrictive under the 2nd. The court would then ask... well, what is the limit? What is the basis, the rationale, for establishing a limit? How does the language of the constitution permit an M240 but not permit a weapon of mass destruction? Again, this is the same question I am asking in this thread. What I have heard so far is various opinions on what the limit should be, but I have not heard anything that resembles a legal basis. Again, I am not a lawyer, but I can recognize legal-reasoning when I see it... And I have not seen it yet.

The great threat we face is a new AWB, one with more teeth than the old one. Politically, an AWB will be a challenge for the anti's to enact, but it is within the realm of possibility. A more likely threat to us is a ban on high capacity magazines. The anti's have a better shot at this, and if they restrict themselves to just this, they have a reasonable chance of success. I would guess that a ban on high capacity magazines has maybe a 50-50 shot at success.

Given the threats, why would we want to squander our political capital trying to make full auto weapons more accessable? Why would we want to risk alienating more of the public?
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Old January 9, 2013, 11:35 AM   #48
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Quote:
How does the language of the constitution permit an M240 but not permit a weapon of mass destruction?
It sez "Keep and Bear ..... that means "carry"..... that would be a sensible, defensible limit.
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Old January 9, 2013, 12:15 PM   #49
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Up until 1986 they were about $200 more than a semi-auto. Why didn't everyone have one in 1985?
Pick up an old issue of Gun Digest and you'll figure it out quickly. Most guns that were offered in a select-fire version in 1985 were already expensive, and you have to take inflation into account.

If you ignore the effects of the current buying frenzy, the inflation-adjusted price of your average run-of-the-mill AR has gone down by about 30-40% between 1985 and today, and a $200 premium plus a $200 tax stamp also cost more in terms of real buying power. In today's dollars, imagine a $1,200 AR plus a $400 premium and a $400 tax stamp and you're in the general ballpark, and that's for the cheapest one. Relatively few shooters were willing to pay the price of admission, particularly given the government strings that were attached. Also remember that the Cold War was in full swing, so there were no cheapie "parts kit" AKs on the market to push prices down.

IIRC there were a few abortive attempts in the early 80s to market Sten-like inexpensive compact FA rifles for the home-defense market, but they fizzled.
Quote:
I find that full auto is not all that usefull. There are only a few times that it is needed by anyone... I think that semi-auto fire is more deadly in about 99% of situations... So as far as full auto goes; I realy don't care.
I believe that this attitude was equally prevalent in 1985 and it goes a long way towards explaining why they weren't very popular.

To use an automotive analogy, it's like asking why more people didn't buy more of the really powerful top-end late 60s and early 70s muscle car variants- the ones with sales figures in the double digits, and collector values well into six digits today. The reasons were quite simple in concrete, practical terms: the more basic versions were already expensive, their power was already ample, and most buyers didn't see the need to shell out an additional 50% premium for one that was even more powerful but also came with much higher operating and maintenance costs.
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Old January 9, 2013, 01:00 PM   #50
btmj
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Quote:
It sez "Keep and Bear ..... that means "carry"..... that would be a sensible, defensible limit.
That definition would mean that limits could be placed on the ownership of a Cival War era canon, since it is too heavy to be carried by a man... But that ownership of an advanced MANPADS could not be limited, or infringed, by the government.... MANPADS = man portable air defense systems, i.e. shoulder launched surface to air missiles. At least 7 commercial jet airliners have been attacked with MANPADS by terrorists in the last 40 years.
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