Friday, February 24, 2017

So, it would appear that the Fourth Circuit can't read

There is no other way to reach the conclusion reached recently by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals holding that "military-style" weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment:
The full 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Virginia found that military-style assault weapons—like those used in the Newtown; Orlando, Florida; San Bernardino, California; and Aurora, Colorado, massacres, among others—and large-capacity magazines are not protected under the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. Assault weapons are a class of semi-automatic firearms; large-capacity magazines can hold as many as 100 rounds of ammunition. Maryland’s measure prohibits the possession, sale, transfer, purchase or transportation into the state of assault weapons, including assault pistols and assault long guns.
This decision, like the law it rules upon, is based entirely upon appearance, not function, of the weapons in question. There are no, repeat no, weapons offered for sale to the general public (without difficult-to-obtain, very expensive licenses for firearms dealers) that are even close to "military-style assault weapons." Those weapons, unlike the civilian look-alikes, do not offer the single-shot option, and the civilian look-alikes do not offer the three-shot burst or fully automatic options the way the military versions do. There simply is no comparison between actual assault rifles and the civilian look-alike counterparts that the media insist upon calling assault rifles. The two simply are not the same. The Fourth Circuit apparently is too stupid to see the difference:
“We are convinced that the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are among those arms that are ‘like’ ‘M-16 rifles’—‘weapons that are most useful in military service’—which the Heller Court singled out as being beyond the Second Amendment’s reach,” the court said in its majority opinion. “Put simply, we have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage.”
That is possibly the worst misreading of the Heller decision to date. The AR-15 semi-automatic rifles in question here are nothing like M-16 rifles in function and are the most popular civilian purchase among all makes of semi-automatic rifles. The Heller court specifically included such commonly used rifles in the protections of the Constitution:
While Heller established a constitutional right to own a gun, Jennifer Baker, director of public affairs for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, said this case “flips Heller on its head.” The majority opinion, she added, ignores the Supreme Court’s guidance from Heller that “the Second Amendment protects arms that are ‘in common use at the time for lawful purposes like self-defense.’”
Thus, it would appear that at least 10 members of the Fourth Circuit -- Obama appointees all -- can't fucking read and don't care about the law. This will be appealed to the Supreme Court. The current nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will be confirmed by then and this ludicrous decision will be overturned.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"My" issued M16-clone does, in fact, have both the single shot (semi auto) and the full-auto option. But yes, civilian M16-clones have only the semi-auto option. (Which is all you really need or want, anyway.)

Not that this changes your point: Banning firearms on cosmetic grounds is stupid.

/Your reader in Denmark.