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November 10, 2013

Gun Thread (11-10-2013)

Happy 238th Birthday, USMC

Every Marine is a rifleman, and there's probably no more famous Marine in the gun world than the late WW II ace and Medal of Honor recipient Joe Foss, whose long resume included a couple of years as president of the NRA.


The Dick Metcalf / Guns & Ammo Brouhaha

I really hadn't intended to say much on this at all since Maet did such an excellent job summarizing the root of the problem on the ONT, but then I saw some pearl clutching about "scalp hunting" on the right and thought I'd add some commentary.

Look, if Dick Metcalf chooses to fall for "common sense gun safety laws" or whatever the latest leftist line is, that's fine. He can believe whatever he wants. But gun owners don't have to provide him a platform to to broadcast these beliefs, and it's an entirely reasonable response for Guns & Ammo subscribers to threaten to cancel their subscriptions over it. After all, there are plenty of gun enthusiast publications smart enough to know not to furnish the Brady campaign with talking points.

Here's the apology letter from G&A announcing Metcalf's sacking:

Dick Metcalf’s “Backstop” column in the December issue has aroused unprecedented controversy. Readers are hopping mad about it, and some are questioning “Guns & Ammo”’s commitment to the Second Amendment. I understand why.

Let me be clear: Our commitment to the Second Amendment is unwavering. It has been so since the beginning. Historically, our tradition in supporting the Second Amendment has been unflinching. No strings attached. It is no accident that when others in the gun culture counseled compromise in the past, hard-core thinkers such as Harlon Carter, Don Kates and Neal Knox found a place and a voice in these pages. When large firearms advocacy groups were going soft in the 1970s, they were prodded in the right direction, away from the pages of “Guns & Ammo.”

In publishing Metcalf’s column, I was untrue to that tradition, and for that I apologize. His views do not represent mine — nor, most important, “Guns & Ammo”’s. It is very clear to me that they don’t reflect the views of our readership either.

The problem with Metcalf's views, as Maet pointed out, is that he supports them with an complete misinterpretation of the prefatory clause in the second amendment. He's correct that the bill of rights has been interpreted, restricted, etc. over time ... for example, the constitutional guarantee of a right to free speech doesn't preclude laws against slander ... but the "well regulated" clause in the second amendment isn't the basis for such laws as they pertain to the right to keep and bear arms.

The meat of Metcalf's article was his support of a "reasonable" mandatory 16-hour training for class for Illinois' new CCW law. First of all, Illinois is now nominally a "shall issue" state but a law with a mandatory training class isn't really "shall issue" at all. I live in Massachusetts, and to get a CCW here (called an LTC for License To Carry), one is required to take a training course too. The one I did took a few hours on a Saturday in one of the most anti-gun states in the country.

My first reaction to hearing that Illinois requires 16-hours of training is that it's arbitrary, excessive and designed merely to be an impediment to getting a CCW. There's simply no way to divorce it from the context ... Illinois (and Massachusetts) would eliminate private ownership of firearms if they could, and the tools they use to do that are incrementalism and "reasonable restrictions".

If you want to see a good snapshot of Massachusetts' history on this issue, this month's Gun Owners' Action League newsletter (pdf) details the horrors of the Commonwealth's ridiculous LTC processing delays where my second amendment rights continue to be subordinated to bureaucratic foot-dragging. Maybe it's just me, but I doubt such processing delays plague the EBT system or other pet programs of the left here in the Bay State.

The very same leftists who believe requiring voter ID is the modern day equivalent of poll taxes and literacy tests, even when the ID is provided at no charge to the same people who curiously manage to be able to deftly navigate the welfare benefits maze, support all sorts of "reasonable" "common sense" restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. And these restrictions have an effect contrary to the one they purport to ... in MA crime rates soared after politicians made it harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns.

At the end of the day, Metcalf wasn't kicked to the curb so much for his views as for his ignorance. And I'm fine with that.

Gun Of The Week


(answer below)

Marksmanship Award

Gun Of The Week - Answer

That's the 1895 Winchester. Speaking of which, ...

Hickock45 on Winchester Lever Actions

In response to a reader question on good ways to learn more about guns, I suggested, among other things, the Hickock45 YouTube channel. I went over there to make sure I had the right URL and wound up sinking ~40 minutes into this very good history of Winchester's lever actions.


If there are topics you're interested in seeing in the gun thread, please send them to AoSHQGunThread at gmail. You can also send them to me on Twitter at @AndyM1911.

The owner's manual for your concealed carry permit: The Law of Self Defense

Defend the Second Amendment. Join: The National Rifle Association * Gun Owners of America * The National Shooting Sports Foundation * Your state's second amendment org.

Celebrate America's firearms heritage: participate in Project Appleseed.

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posted by Andy at 10:46 AM

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