Stop, Or I Will Start Assembling My Handgun

Unlike many libertarians, I don't blog about gun rights much.  Some think this odd, but in my mind this is like saying it is odd that a female blogger doesn't blog much about abortion.  I have always thought it was pretty clear that the 2nd amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, but it's just not a subject for which I have much passion  *shrug*

However, I did find this hilarious.  Megan McArdle passes on the District of Columbia's petulant response to the Heller decision:

Here's what they're proposing:

* Allowing an exception for handgun ownership for self-defense use inside the home.
   
* If you want to keep a handgun in your home, the MPD will have to
perform ballistic testing on it before it can be legally registered.

* There will be a limit to one handgun per person for the first 90 days after the legislation becomes law.

* Firearms in the home must be stored unloaded and disassembled, and
secured with either a trigger lock, gun safe, or similar device. The
new law will allow an exception for a firearm while it is being used
against an intruder in the home.

* Residents who legally register handguns in the District will not
be required to have licenses to carry them inside their own homes.

OK, so I can have a handgun in the home solely for self-defense, but this self-defense weapon must be stored unloaded, disassembled, and locked.  The only time it can be unlocked and assembled and loaded is "while it is being used against an intruder".  Jeez.  In the time it would take to unlock, assemble, and load the gun, I could probably build some McGyver device out of dental floss, a TV remote, and a couple of Thin Mint Girls Scout Cookies to just blow them up.

Postscript: I have never been that confident in my ability with a handgun.  TV portrayals notwithstanding, I find them very difficult to handle accurately, and they require a lot of practice which most casual owners don't pursue.  In my case, I find this a more realistic home defense weapon.

  • Franco

    Scalia ripped the DC attorney a new one on the uselessness of having a gun that needs to be assembled, unlocked, etc. when an intruder comes into the home. This is going to do nothing but p*ss off the justices.

  • It cracks me up that the shotgun to which you linked is called the "persuader." Heh. I think I'd find being on the business end of that thing pretty persuasive...

    I'm thrilled with the Supreme Court decision, and hope that the DC government will act reasonably, and recognize our individual right to own firearms. As AE vanVogt said, "the right to own weapons is the right to be free."

  • Michael Miller

    A Chicago homicide detective I know recommends the pump action shotgun as his weapon of choice for home defense. Often just hearing the click, click of a round being chambered is enough to scare a burglar into running for his life. A handgun is really a back up weapon, and is best used for concealed carry situations. A nine shot pump action shotgun loaded with slugs is a very formidable weapon, that almost anyone could quickly learn to use.

  • Rolo Tomasi

    I'd rather have a pump shotgun for home defense over a hand gun. Just chambering a round may be enough to fend off an intruder (everyone recognizes that sound no matter how dark it is).

  • rmark

    Not slugs, just birdshot. Just as deadly at point blank range while minimizing the danger distance. The sound of a shell being chambered is all the warning anyone needs.

  • davidcobb

    When I lived in a apartment in a bad part of Houston I kept a .357 under my pillow. Three rounds of rat shot and three wadcutters. The rat shot gave me a better chance of hitting him without killing my neighbors and the wadcutters would finish him off if he kept coming.

  • Leonard Huff III

    I am three generation of a pioneer family that started a family in the wild of South Texas in 1913. To the people that don't know where South Texas is, just THING where the KING RANCH got its start in 1853. Guns where a tool of everyday life like needing a tooth brush today in the United States in 50 plus or minus STATES depending who is the United States PRESIDENTAL running candiated in 2008. It could be a weapon now or used as a everday tool. Goverments (local) or national (States) or big guys (US), the PEOPLE have to have something to be able to reason with them. Moral of the story? I don't have the correct answer, but! I like Charles what his name is answer was , I think he was President of the NRA at one time?

    PS: This is first time that I have ever commented on a blog> First time for everthing in this short period of life. Have a good day1

  • Stew

    Well I grew up in prescott, AZ hunting, fishing, camping, and definitley shooting guns regulary. I own quit a few rifles and I do own a hand gun for multiple reasons. I think it is ridiculous to tell someone to what to do with their property inside the comfort of their home. I just recently moved to California (possible the worst state ever), and they have some ridiculous controls on handguns, rifles, and ammunition.

    P.S.
    Anyone intrested in purchasing a weapon for PD I recommend at .38 special or .357 mag. The 38 is probably one of the best calibers ever made, and both the 357 and 38 would put someone down for good in a couple shots, if not one. Do not get a 9mm unless its the new S&W Military and Polic model and be sure to by either soft point or hollow point rounds. Most 9mm are high velocity rounds and will enter and exit (why police stopped using them), you just want the round to enter in the case of PD, or killing (hunting in general). One more note on the 9mm, it has very cheap ammo (just dont get it a Big 5). Also if those are little scary, a .22 will do the trick.

  • Leonard Huff III

    Would someone like to paste my comment on this subject to the Huffington Post? I am slow about paste and send. Ya'll (South Texas language) have a go at it.

    PS: Mr. Coyote

    We have alot of your friends down here in South Texas. If you ever get down here, Look me up, to listen to them on a FULL MOON night singing in the wind. PEACE! The orginal PEACE SIGN!
    ( Not the new hand bump SIGN according to the DEM> NEW
    CHANGE of (?) candiated running in 2008.

  • Scott

    The most telling part is the ballistic testing they want to do. What they mean is the gov't will fire a bullet from everyone's gun and keep the bullet and case to match in future crimes. It's like them saying all residents need to give fingerprints and DNA samples just to live in the neighborhood because they are presumed suspects. Plus, it'll be expensive, making it tough for people to exercise their newly won right.

  • lpcowboy

    Balistic testing a new firearm also wouldn't help solve crime, if a criminal wanted to register their weapn for some reason they could just get a new barallel, or put a few thousand rounds through it which, would change the balistics signifigantly.

    Personally I prefer rifles as the ultimate defensive weapon for both power and accuracy. Chambering any weapon has a distinctive sound, although some laser sights can project a defensive appearance. Or you can get a dog, the guns and dogs combo works well against most intruders.

    I'm not sure how the safe law would work, since any observer other than the owner would be considered an intruder for purposes of the statute. Kind of like Hisenberg.

  • I too would use a shotgun for a home defense weapon. A friend, former Special Forces who has fired everything there is, keeps a 12 gauge pump for his weapon - he would much rather have it than an MP5 or Uzi or other submachine gun - any of which he or most of us could legally own.

    What I don't know is the proper shotgun load. To stop somebody quickly, you need to do very serious damage - most importantly to the nervous system. You can blow somone's heart out and they still have 10-15 seconds of action in which they can kill you. So on the one hand, you want a penetrating load, but on the other hand, you don't want it to kill your neighbor after going through the wall.

    As for DC.. well, not my choice of a place to live. OTOH I'd love to live in San Francisco and they have a total handgun ban. Why do the idiots end up in some of the best (along with the worst) places to live?

  • Will H

    For a good personal defense weapon try a PS90, a semi-automatic version of the P90. For those unfamiliar with the P90 it's the weapon used in Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis

  • I would humbly suggest that, upon the signing of the bills into law, the relevant DC government officials be placed under arrest for violations of 18 USC 241-242.

    How does a private citizen go about swearing out a Federal criminal warrant?

    M

  • ccoffer

    I'm pretty sure the second amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to keep and bear a pile of handgun parts. I'm also quite certain that a pile of metal parts is not a firearm anymore than I can drive a box of shit from Autozone.

  • greg

    excellent point Mark. And I don't think it is semantics at all. How disassembled is disassembled? Are they suggesting I pull the firing pin? or something more. For me, second amendment translates into the "right to defend myself", not the "right to own a specific arrangement of wood/plastic/metal parts referred to as a gun". The former being much broader.

    What is technically the definition of an "arm"?

  • skh.pcola

    ccoffer deserves a gold star and a round of applause for that concise, humorous refutation of this foolishness. Kudos!

  • Dan

    I'm not against people keeping a handgun around their home for personal protection (if they really think it will help - statistics show that most handguns are never used against home invaders and are far more likely to be used in suicides or by children who end up accidentally firing them); but I have to laugh when I hear people say they think guns are an essential part of keeping government in check.

    Maybe that was true in the the 1790s, when a group of townspeople could hold off federal troops with their muskets, but in today's world, it's not going to happen. If we ever have a government truly bent on establishing a dictatorship and they come to confiscate everyone's guns, they're going to be coming in tanks. Somehow, I don't think a rifle or pistol will have much of a chance. It's a nutty scenario, anyway. I think the country would be better off if all 200 million guns disappeared tomorrow.

  • Michael Miller

    So Dan, if you feel that strongly about the issue, why don't you dedicate yourself to lobbying for repeal of the 2nd Amendment ?

    Personally, I feel it is vitally important for the individual to be empowered, rather than government. In essence, thats what the Bill of Rights is all about. The 2nd amendment empowers the individual with the authority and means to defend both one's person and property from violent attack or confiscation.

    I think thats a very good right to have in any meaningful Bill of Rights in a 'free' society.

  • Reformed Republican

    I agree with Dan about the uselessness of rifles against tanks. That is why I do not think any sort of weapon should be banned.

    If I want a tank, and I can afford it, I should be able to have one.

  • Dan

    I believe the second amendment protects the rights of Americans to own weapons to protect themselves. However, the weapons the founders envisioned were weapons of the 18th century. I don't think they imagined people "owning" tanks, as Reformed Republican (facetiously?) suggests.

    I also think there's nothing in the Constitution that prevents states and local governments from providing sensible regulation on dangerous products (including guns, cigarettes, automobiles) and restricting their use to those who prove they can use them responsibly (anyone out there against driver's licenses?). I grew up in Chicago and am well aware of the carnage caused by guns, not only by gangbangers but also at Northern Illinois University last year and in Winnetka back in 1987 when a deranged woman killed a little boy at his school. Sensible laws to keep guns out of the hands of maniacs were not overruled by the Supreme Court's recent decision.

    I stand by what I said before - that society would be better off without guns. But I wouldn't launch an effort to repeal the Second Amendment -guns are too ingrained in American culture and it would be quixotic to try and change that. It's just my opinion.

  • Bob Tinker

    Amid the general merryment and validation of the Second Amendment, most people are not aware of the exquisite Catch-22 that DC residents face. There are no licensed firearms dealers in DC (after all, who could they sell to previously). The DC government has no intention of allowing any dealers either. It is against Federal law to buy a firearm in another state. Because all handguns were banned previously, no DC resident may possess a handgun today or purchase one tomorrow. The only source for handguns (legally) is new residents who already own a firearm in their previous state of residence. I will wager that the inflow rate of gun owning citizens is really small. Of course, the criminals have a ready supply of weapons to use on the, still, defenseless residents.

  • Will H

    Tanks don't work well in pacifying a Urban area. Gasoline in a glass bottle and add some soap flakes hit the tanks with them from upper floors and roof tops, that solves the tank problem. That's why they need dismounted troops and that's where the personal weapon helps. You use your weapons to get their weapons. BTW, do you want the job of being that solider going house to house confiscating guns? I don't. FYI, there was only 2300 M1 tanks made, new one are not currently being made, they republish old ones. That's not enough to pacify America.

    The founding fathers envisioned the citizens owning weapons that would keep them free.

    Dan if you want to protect society from itself then ban the car, it's by far the largest killers of Americans. BTW, deranged people has used cars to kill by driving them into crowds. As for suicide the Japanese ban of guns doesn't stop them. Also the UK has made the people more vulnerable to violent criminals.

    The saying goes "God made men and women; Sam Colt made them equal." A five foot 90 pound woman with a handgun can take out a 6ft 250 lb man, take away the gun, the man wins every time. Read John R. Lott book "More Guns Less Crime". The facts doesn't bear out that society would be safer without guns.

    Is it safe to say Dan that the military and law enforcement would still have guns if you had you way? If so there would still be guns around, if not then only the criminals would have guns since they would just smuggle them in by putting them inside their drugs. Making something illegal doesn't remove the demand for it. Prostitution and drugs come to mind.

    For those who want to own automatic weapons you can, you need to apply to the ATF and get a license. Check out the machine gun shoot held in Knob Creek Kentucky every year, you can go their and shoot all types of weapons owned by private individuals (if you have enough money and they only take cash) including mini guns, cannons and flame throwers.

    You can also buy and own (not in California) a M89 50 caliber sniper rifle. With one of them you could do damage to many armor vehicles. I saw on for sale with a $8000 price tag, I wanted it as a Christmas present but couldn't talk my wife into it. 🙂

    Reformed Republican, you can own a tank if you want one. Maybe not a M1 Abrams, there are people out they that restore tanks and armor vehicles, they even have War World II reenactments.

    Americans just don't own handguns, shotguns and hunting rifles. Also a high power hunting rifle is design to kill large animals and have more range and stopping power than the average military weapon and will penetrate body armor.

  • ccoffer

    The popular canard that goes, "Statistics show that handgun ownership does not improve public safety.", is based on the bullshit manner in which these stats are gathered. If you break into my home and manage to escape without me blowing your head off (i.e.,I missed),then it does not make it into the category of a gun preventing a violent crime. I have to shoot you for it to count.

  • Mike C.

    Well, I must say I'm surprised that nobody pointed out that Coyote's choice of a home defense weapon is illegal under the new DC regulations. The DC rules state shotguns have to have a minimum barrel length of 20", eliminating all police-style shotguns I know of.

  • Dan

    The biggest canard of all is that having a gun in the home protects you and your family. The New England Journal of Medicine, in a controlled study, found that the risk of homicide in the home is three times greater in homes with firearms than in homes without. Suicides are five times more likely in homes with guns, according to the same publication.

    The Journal of Trauma finds that guns kept in the home are 22 times more likely to kill or injure a family member or someone known to the family than to be used in self defense. The FBI said that in 1999, there were 154 "justifiable" homicides committed by private citizens with guns compared to 8,259 firearm murders. I'm sure the 8,259 murder victims' families understand the importance of keeping guns legal in order to protect the 154 people who actually used guns to protect themselves that year.

    I have two kids, and I choose not to keep a gun in my house. Unfortunately, I have no control over their friends' parents, and if they keep a gun in their home, and my kid decides to play with it, he might be wounded or killed. I guess that would be one more death chalked up to our "freedom to bear arms."

  • Solar Lad

    The biggest canard of all is that having a gun in the home protects you and your family.

    The point is that having a gun in the home protects ME and MY family, since I'm neither sui- or homicidal.

    I don't care if other people use their weapons to take out themselves or their families; I only care if Nurse Ratched busybodies attempt to stop me from using my weapon to keep my family safer, simply because there are incompetent weapons owners.

    As Will H points out, nobody's advocating banning cars because some people are bad drivers.

  • ccoffer

    Hysterical anti-gun twits never get on their little soap boxes about the documented disastrous consequences that befall children as a result of living in a home with a swimming pool............or a bathtub. They far outweigh firearms in terms of the innocents they have wiped out.

    Where is the outrage? hoho

  • Dan

    Gee whiz - I'm not trying to take anyone's gun away. Just trying to point out the facts. (Which I notice none of you denies).

    Yes - cars are dangerous, too. That's why there are lsws regulating who gets to own and operate them. But any maniac can go to a gun show and buy a gun with no questions asked. Where is the outrage for that?

  • Dan

    I meant "laws," of course, not "lsws." I wish there were an editing function. Guess I should have pressed "preview."

  • ccoffer

    Thats why we can't allow just any ole body the unnecessary privilege of having a swimming pool...or a bathtub before they demonstrate they are of sound character. I'm not saying we should take away anyone's "right" to be in the water. I'm just saying we shouldn't allow our appointed/elected overlords to get carried away with a whole lot of irresponsible permissiveness in this arena.

    Lives are at stake.

  • dan

    Not sure why I keep posting on this conversation - maybe I should just let go. But comparing bathtubs to guns is idiotic. A bathtub is not designed to kill people. Guns are.

  • Leonard Huff III

    Dan,

    According to the one Document that the people WITH ENOUGH WISDOM & FORESIGHT , WHO STARTED A "SMALL" COUNTRY IN 1750 + OR - ( WHICH HAPPENS TO BE "BIG" & POWERFUL! COUNTRY NOW ,BUT HAPPENS TO HELP FEED A FEW BILLIONS PEOPLE YEAR & YEAR OUT AS OF TODAY! AND A FEW OTHER LITTLE THINGS).

    Please Listen! I have to go the well location now! to help & solve a little problem. ( In the oil & gas envirnoment, that means could be solved in 5 seconds with RED ADAIR & HALLIBURTON ON SITE ( CURRENT Vice -PRESIDENT CHENNEY'S OLD EVIL COMPANY), OR IT WILL BE A MAJOR BLOWOUT! WHICH MEANS IT WILL BE ON CNN, ABC, ECT. NEWS TODAY, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE THE PROS ON SITE (ANY SITE, CONSTRUCTION, SHUTTLE LANDING ECT. ) THE PROBLEM BECOMES ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE, SO back to orginial comment,

    WE THE PEOPLE, ECT. ECT. ECT.

    THAT MEANS - "WE THE PEOPLE" HAVE THE RIGHT TO OUR "OPIONS" AND "NOBODY" NOT EVEN HILTER ( WHO KILLED SIX MILLION PEOPLE! + OR -) OR JAPAN ( WHO KILLED WHO KNOWS HOW MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE!) A FEW SHORT YEARS AGO , HAS A RIGHT TO TAKE AWAY "MY RIGHT" "TO PERSONAL PROTECTION" (NOT NATIONAL GUARD, ARMY ECT.) WHICH I WILL USED IF UNDER THREAT!!!! (HAPPEN TWICE IN MY LIFE, NOT HAPPY ABOUT THOSE TWO SHORT DAYS) - (1)WIFE BEATER,(2) CHILD RAPIST TO A CLOSE FRIENDS LITTER GIRL (10 YRS OLD), ONE TALKING TO GOD OR DEVIL THE #(1) SITTING IN FEDERAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES FOR THE REST OF HIS NATIONAL BORN LIFE!

    THAT WHY I LIKE CLINT EASTWOOD MOVIES (COWBOYS MOVIES) BECAUSE HE PLAYED A INDIVIUAL IN THE FILMS WHO SAID VERY LITTLE BUT! WHEN HE SPOKE IT WAS BEHIND THE TRIGGER OF A GUN!!!!!! GUESS WHO USUALLY WON THOSE BATTLES?

    HAVE A NICE DAY! , GOT TO GO TO WORK TO PAID THE LIGHT BILL.