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Old December 9, 2004, 01:35 AM   #22
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Join Date: June 7, 1999
Posts: 3,844

I believe that your understanding of America, it's laws and traditions, as well as your understanding of automatic weapons is unfortunately sparse. Years ago, I worked in what was then West Germany for a while, Weisbadden, please pardon my possible misspelling, so I knew, or had learned something of Germany, at least at that time.

Regarding automatic weapons, in the 70 years since the enactment of the National firearms Act of 1934, there is no record of the illegal use of a legally owned machinegun in this country. American machine gun owners seem to be particularly law abiding types, possibly due to the expense, the time and the effort expended in legally acquiring examples of the genre.

I noticed that you had mentioned "Miller v. state". Actually it was Miller v U.S., heard in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1939. It dealt with the possession and transportation across state lines, of an unregistered "short barreled shotgun". Automatic weapons or machine guns weren't involved at all. In the original case, two gentlemen, Miller and Layton thought to have been operating an illegal whiskey still, were found in possession of a short barreled shotgun which had been transported across state lines. They were charged with violation of the 1934 Act. At District Court level, the case was dismissed, the trial judge having found the 1934 law unconstitutional. The federal government appealed to Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. The court ruled that a short barreled shotgun was not a "militia arm", therefore posession of such was not constitutionally protected. Strange to note, tis finding flew in the fact of historical fact, for short barreled shotguns had been issued by the military, to U.S. troops and had seen service in World War 1, as well as other military acctions between WW 1 and WW2. Such fact, if brought to the attention of the court might well have caused them to reject the governments case. Interestingly Miller neither appeared before the Court, nor was he represented by legal counsel before The Court. The court heard only from government attorneys, people who clearly would not bring to the courts attention, evidence that would weaken or possibly destroy the case they were presenting. Therefore, The Court lacked "offical legal notice" as to historical fact, and individual members of the court, men who had possibly had military service, chose not to consider what they themselves might have seen or personally experienced. The 1934 Act was upheld, though argument about what the court actually meant carries on to this day.

Respecting your reference to "spraying the countryside with bullets", while I myself am not a machine gun owner, I have fired light automatic weapons, including the MP-5, the Thompson Sub Machine Gun, and the U.S. M-16, selective fire service rifle, one of such is owned by a friend of mine. I fired it once, first with a "short magazine", 5 rounds, for familizarition, with selector set on semi-automatic. After that I fully loaded a 20 round magazine, put the selector on automatic and fired 5 bursts from one 20 round magazine, an average of 4 rounds per trigger press. The countryside was hardly sprayed with bullets.

Finally, one hears a great deal of comment to the effect that "nobody needs those things". Re this, I submit that "need" doesn't even come close to entering the equation. What is involved re automatic weapons is desire to own the things, the abilityand willingness to pay quite high prices, and the ability of the individual to obtain government clearance for the purchase of such arms.

Porsche automobiles are high performance vehicles, some models capable of attaining speeds in excess of 150 MPH, correct me if I'm wrong. How many people "need" to own such automobiles, racing drivers excepted, and they usually drive rather than own the cars. Anyone who can pay the price can buy one, no? "Need" is simply not a factor, same as is the case where the individual or individuals lawfully acquire machine guns. "Need" plays no role whatever, though wants or desired obviously do.

When next you find the odd moment, consider the foregoing. Meanwhile, seasons greetings to you and yours. By the way, one needs to remember that the laws and traditions in one country will differ from those of another country. This is not to say that one set is superior to the other, but rather to note that they are "different". Let others determine or argue as to which is "better", for the final decision there depends on how one spells "better".
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