Homeowner Shoots and Kills Teen Who Entered Wrong Home After Party

HOMEINVASION11363639571This weekend, Caleb Gordley, 16, was shot and killed in a home that he mistook for his own after sneaking out for a party. The homeowner confronted Gordley on the stairs inside the home and said that the teenager ignored a warning shot. The shooting occurred after the failure of a “Castle Doctrine” law in Virginia’s General Assembly — a law that we have discussed previously on this blog that gives homeowners protections in the use of lethal force with anyone illegally entering their domicile. Ironically, the bill was shot down by gun groups that felt that the common law offered more protection.

Caleb was told that he could not go to the party because his room was not cleaned up. He decided to sneak out and his friends helped him get back in through a window. He had mistaken a similarly constructed home for his own. He had been drinking. The home is owned by Donald West Wilder II.

The scene is all too familiar to critics of Castle Doctrine laws. We have seen a long line of mistaken shootings of neighbors and others who go into the wrong house in developments with similarly constructed homes. There are also cases of standard home and workplace disputes that lead to fatal shootings.

In this case, there is the questioning of whether the first shot was a warning shot or a miss. However, in these circumstances, there is no alternative account to rebut the homeowner and police are left only with the trajectory of the bullet to confirm the account. The strongest case would be a round in the ceiling where there was clearly no attempt to aim at the suspect. When you add that the teen was drunk, the homeowner is unlikely to be charge presuming the forensics do not conflict with his account.

The Castle Doctrine law proposed in Virginia failed due to opposition from gun groups which did not like the requirement of an “overt act” by the intruder to justify a shooting. The gun groups felt that such a requirement is more restrictive than the common act and opposed the requirement that the intruder show aggression or threatening behavior.

Source: Washington Post

139 thoughts on “Homeowner Shoots and Kills Teen Who Entered Wrong Home After Party

  1. A drunken teen (and probably a large kid given the BB picture) in the dark of night? Yeah, this one is not going to move anyone to condemn the homeowner unless that second shot was in the back. Even then there will still be a lot of ‘he had it coming’ from the usual suspects. This is just something we have to come to accept as long as we as a nation love our guns more than our safety

  2. I bet the homeowner has great remorse…. But come on… It’s not just the castle doctrine in place…. It’s breaking and entering an occupied dwelling…that says it all….

  3. As tragic as this story is, I can’t really fault either the law or the homeowner here. I don’t (and wouldn’t) own a gun, but if I discovered an adult-sized male (of any race–I think “male” is a much more powerful trigger for me) in my home I would be instantly terrified. If someone has climbed in a window of your house, I think it’s completely reasonable to assume criminal intent on their part, and to feel that time is of the essence in protecting your own life.

    That the boy entered the wrong house by mistake is a monstrously sad error–but it would have been equally tragic had he fallen off an overpass or walked in front of a car. He was impaired, and in that state made an error in judgment that cost him his life.

    If I were the shooter, I would feel sick and horrified, and might never get over it. But I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing.

  4. I’ve got to go with AY on this one. Unless forensics paint a different picture? I staggered home many a night when I was young. Several times I ignored my parents yelling at me and went to bed. I was, however, never so drunk a warning shot would not have gotten my attention or being yelled at by a stranger for that matter. And I was pretty damn drunk by any definition. No, while I’m sure the home owner feels remorse for killing a kid? As tragic as this incident might be? Barring proof that there was a miss instead of a warning shot and evidence the kid was shot trying to flee? This is the proper use of a gun for home defense in light of an “ongoing B&E” and/or the law of natural selection at work.

    Yes, yes, I know I’m a “gun crazy nut” and a “callous b@stard” over a young man’s death, but if this hadn’t been a tragic confluence of mistaken identities, this wouldn’t even be a news story other than “home owner kills intruder”.

    I would like to see the forensic evidence before decrying what would otherwise be a legal exercise of lethal force.

  5. Is a warning shot necessary under these circumstances?
    In my imagining this, I don’t know if I would have the discipline to think that altruistically. Timing, location, closeness of the intruder are all factors to a disciplined mind.
    Hearing an intruder, arming myself, going into MY hallway, or top of MY stairs and being confronted in MY home, I don’t ever want to be put to this test.
    I agree with Mel. I would be devastated, I believe strongly I would have and or could have reacted the same way. Tragedy all the way round.

  6. Screw warning shots.
    Warning shots are for movies not real life.

    Soldiers are taught to confirm their target, and remove the threat, no warning is given.
    Cops are taught shoot, then see if it was their target, no warning given.

    Why on earth does it matter if the homeowner tried to ventilate his roof prior to stopping the intruder.
    Yes, it is sad this young man was shot, but the owner has, no need, nor duty to surrender his safety for this mans mistake.

  7. “Why on earth does it matter if the homeowner tried to ventilate his roof prior to stopping the intruder.”

    It goes to show intent.


    “Replay those circumstances while thinking about it being your own child’s error.

    There just aren’t ANY other alternatives to him/her being dead are there? Right? RIGHT?”

    None that don’t involve an unconstitutionality. With that argument, you are arguing ab absurbum and appealing to emotion, both logical fallacies.

  8. Truly tragic but as many have pointed out, this kid made a dumb mistake that cost him his life. I feel for his family, friends, but mostly for the homeowner that shot him. He was put in an impossible situation, intruder in his house at night that didn’t respond to the first shot.

  9. How about waiting for the completion of the investigation before deciding who was right or wrong? Jumping to conclusions can create a tragic mistake.

  10. @ Paul

    “this kid made a dumb mistake that cost him his life”

    Why give it a second thought eh? It’s no-one you knew. There’s really no difference to him breaking his neck riding his skateboard, for example.

    You would have done the same thing, and if it had been your own drunk son/daughter you’d have wanted them shot dead, you know, given the “impossible” situation.

    Yeah, c’est la vie.

    (Time to take a long hard, critical look at yourselves USofA).

  11. ZVYO:

    did the homeowner have children?

    This was bad all around.

    This is why people need to own a big dog with a bite as good as his bark. Dog grabs kid, guy turns on light, guy sees drunk kid with big dog around his arm, guy tells kid to lay on ground and not move, guy calls cops, cops take big dog off kid, cops take kid to hospital to suture wounds, kid explains mistake, homeowner grateful he didnt kill kid, kid grateful he isnt dead, dog gets hamburger for breakfast.

    Dog is first line of defense, gun only if dog doesnt work. Dog separates real threat from drunk kid without harm to anyone.

  12. I think that he was shot because he was a person of color. We need greater gun control. I think the shooter should be prosecuted for homicide with premeditation.

    I hope Obama can prevent gun ownership. I support Obama because of this and women’s issues. He is the most progressive democrat I have voted for.

  13. This is the classic unavoidable accident brought on by alcohol and youth. Like Gene implies, there but for the grace of God goes many of us. I am a great believer that intent should rule the day when we can divine it. This homeowner has said nothing yet, but his reputation is good, he volunteers as a fireman, and he is, by all accounts, a responsible citizen. At this point, I see no reason for criminal charges — just sympathy for all involved.

  14. @ Bron

    I like your alternative.

    @ Gene H

    Let’s say Gordley thought he was in the right home, but shot and killed Wilder because Gordley thought Wilder was the intruder? I don’t see the difference, it’s just a mistake after-all.

  15. “Let’s say Gordley thought he was in the right home, but shot and killed Wilder because Gordley thought Wilder was the intruder? I don’t see the difference, it’s just a mistake after-all.”

    Then as now, intent would be at issue. However, because of the effective B&E it would be harder to prove intent in that way. It would probably be easier and more effective to argue diminished capacity.

  16. there aren’t enough facts to make a judgment on the “warning shot” issue. what kind of firearm? how far away were the shots taken? If possible, confronted with the same circumstances, my .12 gauge would have blown him back through the window with a basketball size hole in his midsection. the “warning” would have been me racking a round into the chamber.

  17. Bron has the right solution for home defense. I live out in the country, and my next door neighbor had a guy with Alzheimers break into his house at night, thinking it was his home. Fortunately, Joe did not shoot the guy, but he would have been more than justified in doing so. The cops came and took him away. My guns are there for backup for my dogs. They first warn, and then will attack if a person is stupid enough to keep on coming in. Then I will find out if they are armed or dangerous if they fight the dogs. If they do, I will be more than happy to kill any person who harms my dogs, NO regrets.

  18. I suspect there are more than traces of the drug testosterone, in here. Time for a DUI check. Do you really think that someone who drools about this situation, should be allowed to own a firearm?

    Too much fantasizing about how wonderful it would be to justifiably kill someone. Show of hands, please. How many of you have ever actually confronted an armed intruder in your home? Oh boy, didja get to kill ‘im?

    Must happen to everyone, judging by the plethora of firearms in this country.

    How about saving your fantasy time for something that doesn’t involve killing people? No one needed to die, here.

  19. This could happen anywhere. There have been many comments on blogs about racism being a motive. IMHO, racism was not the key factor. Homeowner shoots intruder who will not stop coming at him in a dark house. That scenario has been played out a lot.

    I have a suggestion for anyone who plans to have a firearm for home defense. Plan a two-level line of defense. Have your firearm, but also invest in a tactical flashlight. I am not talking about a Maglite you can get at a sporting goods store or Walmart. What I am referring to takes it to a whole different level. I bought one for my daughter recently at the local police supply store. Never paid $140+ for a flashlight in my life, but got her a Streamlight Stinger DS LED. That is a small flashlight to carry on her tactical belt. It is about the same size as a regular pocket flashlight that uses two AA batteries. They sell them a lot bigger than that. Link takes you to information on that flashlight.


    There is no way to describe how bright it is on high beam if shined in your face at close range. When she first got it, one inmate wanted to see how bright her new flashlight was, and begged her to shine it at him. She told him repeatedly he really didn’t want to go there. He insisted until she gave in to get him to stop pestering her about it; “OK, but don’t complain I didn’t warn you.” He was looking out of the glass panel in his cell door when she pointed it at him from a distance of two or three feet. He staggered backward, yelling “I’m blind!” covering his eyes with his hands. He was still complaining of seeing spots the next day. 24,000 candela (converts to 24,500 candlepower) at close range.

    When clicked to the strobe setting, it is not only blinding, but can cause disorientation and vertigo.

    The reason I bring this up is the fact if the homeowner had a good tactical flashlight, he would probably have stopped the kid, and seen who he was as well. My business partner has a pistol for home defense. He has a laser designator, and a small tactical flashlight attached to the pistol.

    Expensive flashlight, but well worth the money if you are using it for self defense. I recommend one for anyone who might be out alone in a dangerous area and don’t wish to carry a firearm. Unlike Tasers, pepper spray, and knives, a flashlight is legal to carry just about anywhere.

  20. This was an alcohol related accident. It’s horrible and two lives have been destroyed in different ways. But blaming this on guns or castle doctrine is ridiculous.

    “If possible, confronted with the same circumstances, my .12 gauge would have blown him back through the window”

    No it wouldn’t have.

    “with a basketball size hole in his midsection.”

    No. Maybe you were using hyperbole for effect, but this is gun physics borne of video games, not reality.

  21. It is important to recognise what information the homeowner had available to him at the time of the incident. It was at night, a back window was entered and these are common methods burglars employ to enter homes. There is a high probability of harm to the homeowner or death from assault by burglars. Attempting to second guess that the homeowner would have been able to ascertain, putting his life potentially on the line for being wrong, that the burglar was actually a drunken 16 year old who snuck out of his house and reentered the wrong one is not at all practical. I know it turned out badly, but not every situation has someone to “blame”.

  22. There is no requirement in the law to fire a warning shot if deadly force is authorized. An intruder in your home after dark in circumstances such as this is a reasonable belief that serious bodily harm or death could ensue thus deadly force is justified. The law does not require you to be a trick shot artist or warn an intruder so that he might flee. If the intruder withdraws an argument could be made that the threat to the homeowner’s safety is likewise withdrawn but the odds of convincing a jury of that is quite slim.

  23. Darren,
    We have had two home invasions in our area in recent months. Meth fueled armed druggies looking for something to steal. Both homeowners were men in their 80s, and both had 12 gauge shotguns. One druggie hit in center mass at close range and dead instantly. The other was hit in the groin. That one survived, but the shot eliminated any chance he will reproduce.

    Neither elderly gentlemen were charged. Both the District Attorney and Sheriff complimented them on being able to remain cool while protecting themselves in the face of great danger.

  24. Well, well Mr. Wilder … here’s some of what you may expect:

    Good luck in ever selling your home, people tend to steer clear of committing money on a house where blood has seeped into the floor boards … especially when that blood came from a sensationalized killing.

    Now, I doubt you have kids for what kind of fool fires warning shots in a confined area where his kids are sleeping …but if you do then you may find that fewer and fewer children are allowed to play at your house or yours at their’s. Other parents will take the view known as “better safe than sorry”.

    And … 16 year old boys are fairly well known for not considering consequences and pranking so it might be wise to sit in a lawn chair on your front porch on Halloween … holding your gun, of course.

    And then there is that whole “after-life” thing … if you are a believer in the all knowing deity that is.

    Yep, sucks to be you.

  25. I had a world class martial arts expert smash down my front door thinking his girlfriend was inside (drunk). I stood at the top of the stairs with a fireplace poker telling him I had called the police ( I did and they told me if he did not have a weapon they would not show so I dialed my home alarm system backwards indicating distress). He never left the bottom landing of the stairs and the police did arrive hauling him away. I had to clean up the damage and blood. I often wonder what would have happened if I had a shotgun.

  26. ** Caleb was told that he could not go to the party because his room was not cleaned up. He decided to sneak out and his friends helped him get back in through a window. He had mistaken a similarly constructed home for his own. He had been drinking. The home is owned by Donald West Wilder II. **

    The trouble with these type news articles is all the hear say evidence.

    Not that it is the case, but what if Caleb was Wilder’s former gay lover, would it be a hate crime then?

    Or while we’re pulling maybes out of thin air, did Wilder have daughters, wife or cougar for a mother-in-law sleeping over? ( a Ms Robertson) LOL;)

    Maybe God caused all this mess for a Jobe type test for Mr Wilder?

    The most likely case was it was Demonic Angles sent from Wallst’s JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon cause if I can’t get him on the millions of real Frauds/Murders he’s caused the satanic conspiracy case maybe the public will buy into, like Sandy Hook, Colorado & Arizona cases ?



  27. This story below I’m going to change it from 2 women’s lives saved by man passing by with a *Gun*, (ewwww.., that Scary word gun again when Stakeholder owners of USA citizens have them.)

    The story headline could have been: Home owner’s best friend & loyal guard dog was Murdered today while protecting the home owner’s castle/property from religious lunatics & a gun nut.

    The point being is, there’s always at least 2 sides….

    BTW: I have No Trespassing & Beware of Dog signs up on my property’s fence/building, as was suggested from Sheriff office, to protect strangers & my dogs from each other.

    Posted: 5:29 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Passerby shoots dog that attacks two women
    Victims in critical condition taken to Tulsa hospital



  28. Seriously though… who just shoots a person who enters their home? If I shot everyone who entered my home/apartment unannounced and startled me, I’d have quite the body count by now.

    Anyone that has lived in a college town has had a drunken young person wander into the wrong house or at least make startling noises outside.

    How are people so quick to defend this reckless person who killed a teenager who was so drunk he didn’t even recognize his own home!!!

    I served in the US military, own guns, and support gun rights. I do not support gun owners who recklessly fire shots at shadows in the dark.

  29. **

    Mel Johansson (@H_E_Sarah) 1, March 20, 2013 at 8:33 am

    As tragic as this story is, I can’t really fault either the law or the homeowner here. I don’t (and wouldn’t) own a gun, but if I discovered an adult-sized male (of any race–I think “male” is a much more powerful trigger for me) in my home I would be instantly terrified. **


    Just something to think about when you’re posting/talking about your personal security systems.

    If you were in the wild nature you’d be prepared to defend yourself from wild animals, but in the USA for the most part the wild animal predators are human, some of them gang members with the Bloods, Crips, Badges & the most dangerous/violent ones, the Mafia at Wallst Banks/Insur Co, the same ones Jesus ran off with a Bull Whip.

    None of us know exactly where all the threats could come from, but we can show caution & be prepared the best we can.

    For example, you tell the world you are unarmed on this blog read by who knows.

    Now consider some predator is looking for trouble & he/she comes to a neighborhood like here in Oklahoma that has say 1000 houses. That predator had better know at least 2/3rds of those 1000 homes are armed.

    The other 1/3rd of the homes are completely defenseless just waiting to be victims.

    But unless you are one of the 1/3rd of the homeowners let it known they are unarmed victims in waiting the predator is only left guessing who is armed & who isn’t.

    The key point is that people who choose to be unarmed receive protection from the armed neighbors because it keeps the crooks guessing.

    I suggest people try to keep their personal security measures quite as possible to increase their security.

    Another thing, why are we wasting time debating this Armed Population/2nd Amd stuff when Jefferson, Madison, George Washington won the debate 200+ years ago against people like King George,Hitler,Stalin, Mao, Obama, Pol Pot.

    The founders gave us all the “Right” to own Guns, Knives, Cannons, Wagons full of Gun Powder, etc..

    (Yes, there are people right now the have privately owned “Legal” Cannon’s & remember the Philippine People made guns out of pieces of pipe & bailing wire to defend themselves from the Fascist Japanese.)

    And Founders gave us not a Police State, but that each Stakeholder Citizen was/is the Local Police Force, it is written/called the Militia, aka: citizen police/military, with the Constitutional Office of Sheriff policing the local area & the militia under the Sheriff’s/State control & not Federal control.

    If we go back to the US Constitution’s Objective, Plan, Intent, that everyone is expected to be their own US/State law enforcement with limited County/State oversight, I believe crime rates will drop nationwide just as the mostly armed Tulsa area has far less crime then the murder capitals of the world, Chicago & New York City.

    Some interesting crime stats I seen. Either 2011 or 2010 about 450 people died falling out of bed, almost the same number killed by AR type rifles.

    Sugar drinks kill 180,000 a year, I think it was 400,000 a year killed by doctors/hospital screw ups & no telling the numbers of the Dr’s/Hospital & the millions of collateral damaged people.


    And what was the average yearly gun death rate? 40-60,000? I remember their stats says 2/3rds of those people used a gun to comment suicide instead of say dope, a car, a rope, etc,.. Then of the 1/3rd left dead by gun most of them were gang members in the govt’s run failed drug war.

    So the real number of innocent people killed by guns is very small & we’d be incompetent if we didn’t attempt to find out somewhere close to the number of people saved every year by honest citizens with guns.

  30. The last sentence is a contradiction in terms. They meant “common law”, which is law based on decided court decisions. Common act would mean some statute. Never heard of a common act other than say Lindsey Lohan drinking and driving.

    The kid was supposedly drunk, helped into a window by friends and thought it his own home. Duh. Well he got killed for being stupid. That is ok. What looks like a burglar to me in my home late at night will be treated like one. I am surprised that they did not dig out his baby photo for the article as in Trayvon the baby.

  31. rafflaw,

    Here’s a reason you shouldn’t have a phone around either.


    Teen Texter In Massachusetts Guilty Of Vehicular Homicide


    And here is one as to why you should be opposed to the crime/corruption that Wallst/London Banks/Insr co are causing here/everywhere.


  32. Raff,

    You got it. Do you really want to wake up terrified, in the middle of the night, and shoot one of your family members? That’s what guns are used for, primarily, in this country.

    I don’t want my first thought to be, “Well, I’ve always got muh gun.” That thought changes your attitude and behavior.

    I’d rather ask someone who they are, and why they’re here, than just blow them away “because I can.” We owe human beings that much. If you ever kill someone by accident, you’ll NEVER forgive yourself. NEVER is a very long time. That man who killed his neighbor’s kid? Sucks to be him.

    Late 60s, some guy, late at night, came looking for a bootlegger “friend” of his who once lived upstairs in the duplex. He put 5 or 6 .38 slugs into the door jamb.
    I opened the door into the hallway, and asked him what he was doing.
    Told him the guy had moved out. He got scared, apologized, and left.
    I could’ve just blasted him with me trusty S&W .38 Special, but he was a human being, entitled to explain himself. He didn’t shoot me, either.
    Nobody needed to be shot. As a result, it’s an amusing story, not something I’ll never forgive myself for.

  33. Bob K. I hope that you were kind enough to him to give him the forwarding address too. While it might make YOU feel good, I guess you figured the intended victims have it coming to them. I suppose that is one way to get rid of the less productive members of society. Personally, I would have opened fire on the SOB and saved some lives down the road, and not to mention saving the criminal justice system some money if you are a good shot. I hope that you at least had enough civic sense to call the cops and give them a good description and volunteer to work with an artist to get a good likeness of the criminal.

  34. Arthur,
    No, i gave him YOUR forwarding address. Has he shown up, yet? Bootleggers…didn’t normally leave forwarding addresses.
    Yes, I’m very aware that you fantasize that you would have opened up on him. Doing it, and fantasizing about it, are very different things. I wasn’t scared, so I didn’t do it. He wasn’t aware that I had a gun, down at my side.
    We did not call the cops, in those days. The cops and my roommates avoided each other. “YOU CALLED THE COPS?” Enough said about that.
    I also never saw the man, since it was pitch-black in the hallway. If his gun wasn’t empty, he could’ve picked me off easily, standing in the doorway, with the room light behind me. But I did not snuff it. Otherwise, I would not be here to tell thee the tale. He was either outta ammo, or he decided his quarrel wasn’t with me. Just as well, I suppose.

    No big stones, just big stupid. Probably better not to answer the door, if someone’s out there shooting.
    “Bang!” “Bang!” “Candygram.” “Land Shark.”

  35. Some commentor above mentioned the notion. But think about what would have happened had homeowner owned a Dog. A loud, snarling, barking dog, of say Rottweiler breed. The kid would not have gotten in the window, or up the stairs and when doggie barked as he opened the window the kid would have known either that his folks had not gotten a dog since he left home or that his own dog was not the dog biting his arm. This is why Dog is Man’s Best Friend and Women’s Best Freund. God created Dog on the Eighth Day to watch over man. Nuff said.

  36. Yes Bob, you DO call the cops in such situations. Sorry to burst your bubble, but when my friends and our headquarters were bombed and shot up by the KKK, we did call the cops. Even though we knew the cops were crooked, and knew who did it, we still forced them to follow the law. That is simple. I never did and never will expect the cops to protect me, my family, or my home. THAT is why I have guns and know how to use them and am very willing to use them.

    In fact, the Bologna family in San Francisco had their suit against the ctiy thrown out of court. The father, and two sons were murdered by an illegal alien gang banger who had a long criminal record as a juvenile and as an adult, yet the city protected him from ICE and sheltered him. The result was rather predictable. The court from what I recall stated it is not the job of the city to keep citizens safe from criminals. The fact is that it is YOUR responsibility to keep you safe. period.

  37. This 16 year old didn’t know where he lived? Oh, yes. That’s right. He had been to a party and was drinking.

  38. No, Arthur, don’t second guess me from 46 years ago. I’ll give myself your message, if I ever go back there.
    We already discussed how willing you think that you are to use firearms. So that means, that if Obama shows up at your door, asking for your guns, you won’t soil yourself and hide under the bed?
    Please cite the court statement that it’s not the job of the city to protect you from criminals.

  39. I wish Obama would show up at my front door since I voted and gave a fair amount of money to his campaign. He is more than welcome to ask for my guns, in fact, we could go out back and shoot some skeet since he appears to enjoy that. He can even ask to take my guns away if he is so inclined, but I doubt he would, but he is free to ask. I too am free to decline.

    If you wish to see the court statement you can go on line to check out the case of the Bologna family in San Francisco. I am sure you will have NO problem finding it. Here in Houston, the ICE arrested a SF deputy for trying to smuggle out an illegal alien minor against the law. They were escorting him back to El Salvador so that ICE would not have a record of him being here illegally and making it harder for him to return. ICE got the kid anyway, and one has to ask why the taxpayers in SF have to pay such a large amount of money to accomodate such folks.

  40. I am a Liberal.
    That said, I am sick and tired of people trying to change the Bill of Rights because it does not suit their personal beliefs. You know what? If you do not like the Bill of Rights, MOVE. Move to another country that does not allow guns. Take Obama and the other anti-2nd clowns with you. But keep your gd hands off of the Bill of Rights which is the very foundation of this country.

    Somewhere in the last 30 years the Democratic party went to hell. Taken over by a bunch of Fascist liars, hypocrites and crooks for Wall Street and Corporate America.

    Obama is not even close to a Liberal, so spare me that one. He is a flat out lying crook though.

  41. anon,
    Well, that’ll leave just me and thee, and I’m not so sure about thee. The meaning of the Bill of Rights is changed at least once a decade, to reflect whatever party hacks are sitting on the Supreme Court.
    In regards to the 2nd amendment (1 whole sentence long), if you’d like to join a well-regulated militia, be my guest. No, you can’t take the sentence apart and analyze what every clause means, separately. The sentence wasn’t written like that. Bring James Madison back, and ask him what the hell he meant by it.
    It won’t matter, because James Madison lived in an agrarian time that has nothing in common with our urban environment. We, not the slaveholding founders, get to decide how we want to live.
    If we say “weapons of mass murder have no place in a decent society,” then we can ban them. We’re living now, not in the 18th century.

    I’m very familiar with the Bologna case. I’m not going to scour right-wing conspiracy blogs, looking for a court statement that doesn’t exist. I asked for a source. Where is it?

  42. Bob K.,

    I agree with what you say in principle, but scenarios don’t always play out in a way where exchanging words is either possible or practical as the very action can lead to your death or the death of another. For example, I caught a bunch of kids trying to break into my shed a few months ago. I had advantage and could observe them a bit before I did anything. It didn’t look like any of them were armed, so I slid out my house from the opposite side with a shotgun. The first round was rock salt. The other rounds were not. I got the drop on them and asked in my most threatening voice, “Can I help you boys with something?” except you can replace the question mark with the sound of a shell being chambered. They about crapped themselves. The gun was never pointed at them, just ready if needed. In the end, what they got was a stern lecture and a promise to call the cops on them next time if I didn’t shoot them first and I sent them on their way. Not gangbangers, or professionals, just teenaged neighborhood boys with too much testosterone and time on their hands. One of them was even forced by his father to come down and apologize when the parents overheard the kid talking on the phone to one of his lil’ cohorts.

    The counter example doesn’t involve a firearm, but it illustrates the point. I was attacked by someone with a kitchen knife once. I had a gun in the house, but no time to get. No words were exchanged, no verbal threats exchanged. This person was intent on stabbing me, probably to death. Fortunately, they were crazy, untrained, and drunk and I was the exact opposite. The scenario ended with them disarmed and choked out. It might not have ended that way if I had been a fraction of a second later in seeing them coming.

    If I’d had a gun on me though? I’d have shot them without compunction. Or much guilt. Wouldn’t have wanted to do it, would have tried to wound instead of kill if possible, but if I had killed them? That is the price they paid by presenting a lethal threat.

    I can outline many dozens of ways a scenario unfolds where giving a chance to surrender or stop is simply not an option unless you are willing to risk severe injury or death. Not all threats are equal and not all scenarios present the same options for your personal safety.

    A gun for self/home defense is like a bottle of Cipro in the freezer.

    It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it and if you don’t know what you are doing with either you can accidentally kill someone – including yourself – with either. The key to winning any confrontation is to do so with as little force as possible. As Sun Tzu said, “[V]ictory over your adversary without battle demonstrates the height of excellence.”

  43. Madison explains in the Federalist 46 what the meaning of the 2nd was all about. He clearly states that the citizens of the United States need to have the weapons to be able to throw out the Federal Government should Tyranny form. He makes this quite clear in the 46.

    The Bill of Rights is pretty much infallible. Time or era does nothing to change it. In fact I would argue that the Bill of Rights as Madison and Jefferson, intended and desired, is more relevant than ever before.

    As Madison said…..

    ‘A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”- James Madison

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”- James Madison

    Or finally, as Franklin put it in one of the greatest quotes ever

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”- Ben Franklin

    The question is, who among us is for Liberty and who among us wishes to give up that Liberty so they can feel safe?

    Well people like Lindsey Graham are telling us they do not feel safe from Terrorists. To that I say, if you do not feel safe, move to another country. I am quite serious. I am very fed up with people wanting to take away or weaken our Bill of Rights so they can sleep easier at night.

    Btw the reason our country even experienced Terrorism is because we were sticking our noses where it didnt belong.

  44. Wow, this does sound like a horrible pile-up of mistakes. I’d like to see more of what the autopsy shows. It doesn’t sound like a deliberate killing, to me, but it sounds horrible squared. Awful.

    When I was young I lived in a development of “cheesebox” houses and one time I did go right in the front door of the wrong house (unlocked and in fact open, summertime and no air conditioning) late at night (had a part-time night job). I stood disoriented for a minute because the credenza was gone. Then I regained my awareness and got very frightened: WHERE THE HELL AM I? I turned, saw the front door (still open, screen different from my house, though) — and it hit me: WRONG HOUSE.

    I was actually two houses down from my own house, but in my fatigue I had turned in the driveway seeing a similar porch light in the shadows. Lucky for me those neighbors had no guns.

  45. You might have a point about Madison, but wasn’t that Franklin quote said in reference to the thousands of colonials who just didn’t want to be involved in any conflict on any side? He was contemptuous of them because they tried to sit on the fence during the revolution.
    And Madison’s writing seems to dwell more on the danger of a standing army making it too convenient for government to get us into war. Some of the constitutional scholars who read and comment here may have more recently studied the material.

  46. Yes, I’ve read Madison’s number 46, every word. He simply does NOT say what was the purpose of writing the second amendment. If you read the entire thing, he’s using the existence of the a well-regulated militia to qualm fears about government tyranny. He starts out saying that “this could never possibly happen in a republic, but…” Number 46, like the rest of the Papers, is an argument to persuade naysayers to adopt the Constitution. Nowhere in it, is the original purpose of the second amendment stated.

    Iconoclast has it correct. The idea of a standing army was anathema. The only remaining possibility is a “well regulated militia.” The “well regulated militia” did play a significant, but small, part in the Revolutionary War. It has not since. It’s now been replaced by the National Guard, police, sheriff, Marshals, on and on. We have a standing army, which, by the way, would roll over an armed citizenry, without noticing it. Biggest defense budget in the world, remember?
    As I said, if you want to join the National Guard, be my guest. You can bear all sorts of war-weapons. But you have to put them back in the armory, for safe-keeping, not take them home to kill drunk kids and family members.

    No, if the court said something that stupid, and everyone knows where it is, just tell me, instead of avoiding the subject.

  47. The Post didn’t mention that the kid was Black. His family had lived in the neighborhood for a year, but apparently the two neighbors didn’t know each other well. the Post has a lousy history on race issues–not racist, per se, as simply clueless and this seems to be yet another example.

  48. Gene H.,
    Thank you for using restraint, and not killing someone. Thank yourself, also. You don’t want to be second-guessing yourself, years later.

    My issue is with males who salivate at the prospect of killing some nameless, faceless opponent. “All I need is an excuse to fire my manhood. Walk into my house, and you’re dead.” What in the world is their problem? Can’t say “hello,” first?

    Fantasizing about killing is for adolescents. The kind that should never have access to firearms. Killing someone or something should be done with great regret, as a last resort. Not as a glorious Klingon rite of ascension. Not as a way of evening the score against an unfair world. We don’t live in John Wayne’s, or Clint Eastwood’s world. John Wayne didn’t live in John Wayne’s world. It’s just an act, but a whole bunch of us seem to be stuck there.


  49. Bob K.,

    You’re welcome. That restraint comes from martial arts training. Hurting someone, let alone killing them, is serious business. I’d rather not do either, but I’m fully prepared to do either if and when required. Required being the operative word. It’s not to be done lightly or hastily. I’ve even let someone hit me uncontested before to win a fight. Sure, I got a bloody nose from it (which is no big deal, I get a bloody nose if you look at me wrong), but he went to jail because he was both insanely belligerent and unaware of his environment while I remained calm and alert fully realizing that a local PD and a Deputy Sheriff had come up behind us. They had cuffs on him before he could get in a second swing. And that is what MA training does for you in addition to teaching technique: it teaches calm in stressful confrontational situations and situational awareness. Anger clouds judgement just like fear can and both can blind you to what is going on around you. I firmly believe that the world would be much better place if all kids took martial arts from a respectable instructor who didn’t just teach technique, but consequences combined with the philosophy of self-defense first/attack last. You’d see a lot fewer kids coming home saying “there was a fight at school today” and a lot more saying “there was a heated exchange of words at school today but nobody got hurt”.

  50. Bob,
    I have had many conversations with my daughter about this issue. She has said several times that she does not know if she could bring herself to use deadly force if put in that situation.

    I tell her the same thing I tell others. Strangely enough, for the average officer, it is easier to use deadly force if your buddy or vulnerable civilian were being threatened than yourself. Of course, there are some who almost look forward to being able to use deadly force, but thankfully, those are in the minority. One of her co-workers posted this picture on her Facebook page a few weeks ago.

  51. And I’m glad that this conversation has veered toward sanity. It was touch-and-go there, for a while.

  52. Bob K, you are completely and utterly wrong about the 2nd amendment.

    Madison in the 46 which was written well before the 2nd left no question that the intention of the 2nd was to have armed citizens capable of taking physical control of the government should they need to do so.

    The only lack of sanity is the gun grabbers who seek to revoke the 2nd and remove guns from citizens hands. If you do not like the Bill of Rights, then you simply need to move to another country. There is no polite way of putting this. I have simply lost all tolerance for fascist fools.

    It is ironic that the gun grabbers choose to hide behind others who are armed. Reeks of hypocrisy. I am embarrassed to be associated with many Democrats these days. It is repulsive what the party has turned into.

    Btw, the kid should not have been moving around in the dark in another persons home. Its a tragedy but in no way should it have been prevented by removing guns from peoples homes.

    Feel free to buy a one way ticket to England.

  53. Anon,

    Thank you for writing your comments above, I just didn’t have time to do the same.

    Bob K, if he really believes that way he should move to gun free, more violent England, Mexico, North Korea or Saudi Arabia & take Obama, Micheal Moore, Como, Bloomberg & the rest of their America hating trash with them.

    We know the govt is has been hiring people to come on these blogs & post PR crap, maybe Bob K is a paid shill? I don’t know but that’s what one sounds like.

    So sorry Bob K, there’s no way to say what needs said in a nice fluffy feel good way.

    Bob K, ABM & people pushing their type policies are really the ones responsible for shootings like Sandy Hook, etc..

    IE: Alex Jones/ Infowars, etc…


    Bob K, you are completely and utterly wrong about the 2nd amendment.

    Madison in the 46 which was written well before the 2nd left no question that the intention of the 2nd was to have armed citizens capable of taking physical control of the government should they need to do so.

    The only lack of sanity is the gun grabbers who seek to revoke the 2nd and remove guns from citizens hands. If you do not like the Bill of Rights, then you simply need to move to another country. There is no polite way of putting this. I have simply lost all tolerance for fascist fools.

    It is ironic that the gun grabbers choose to hide behind others who are armed. Reeks of hypocrisy. I am embarrassed to be associated with many Democrats these days. It is repulsive what the party has turned into.

    Btw, the kid should not have been moving around in the dark in another persons home. Its a tragedy but in no way should it have been prevented by removing guns from peoples homes.

    Feel free to buy a one way ticket to England. **

  54. Well, Anon,
    Thanks for that. So refreshing to see the conversation go adolescent and psychotic again, after the adult posts by Gene H. and OS.
    Nope. Read 46 again.

    How is it possible, since 46 was written before the second amendment, for Madison to attribute what he says in 46, to the second amendment? That’s a rhetorical question, so I’ll answer it: 46 can’t possible apply to the second amendment, any more than it can to the 14th amendment.

    If you love fantasizing about murdering kids who walked into the wrong house, I suggest YOU move to Somalia. I’ll stay here, thanks.
    Would you care to be a bit less mealy-mouthed, and tell us all just who the fascist fools are?

    Who, exactly, is hiding behind gun owners? Are you referring to yourself in lofty terms, as if you are protecting me from your fantasy enemies? If so, thank you so much! Next time I see an imaginary threat, I’ll call you!

    I don’t really need you to protect me with your artificial manhood. I already have my own manhood, and it came with the territory. No need for fantasy fetish objects. Thanks, anyway.

    You know, you’re right. If the paranoid homeowner hadn’t had a gun, he would’ve still killed the poor lost kid, just by yelling “BANG!” The presence of firearms obviously made no difference. The bullet would’ve still come out of his index finger, and killed the kid.

    By the way, what kind of decent human being would fire a gun at an unidentified movement? The kind of human being who needs to be in a mental institution, away from firearms?
    Did you forget your meds, today? Just trying to be helpful.

    I saved the best for last.
    Wow, no flies on you! I am a paid shill, tasked with debunking the fantasies of cracker teabilly rednecks. Speaking of Alex Jones, how’s that working for him?

    You seem to have lots of fascinating travel plans for anyone who thinks, or speaks, a different opinion from yours. Did you know, in your trailer-park wisdom, that there are many other amendments, besides the second? For instance, there’s the first amendment, which I believe applies. I provide the text here, since it’s obvious you don’t get out much:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Now, I know it says “Congress,” Bubba, but it pretty much applies to everyone else, including deep medieval thinkers such as yourself.
    So, all these countries that you’ll pay to send us to? Have you ever been outside of this country, which, for your future reference, is named “The United States of America,” not “America,” or “Merka”? You’re welcome.
    You seem to know so much about geography, just asking.

    I, and the ABM (? Anti-Ballistic Missile) and some other unnamed folks, are responsible for the plethora of mass-murder weapons in this country? Wow, all that credit for me? You could save some for the gun manufacturers and their surrogate, the NRA, who provide murder weapons to criminals. Save some for yourself, and your drooling, knuckle-dragging, pistol-packin’, good-ol’ boy buddies.
    So sorry, Earl-Bob, there’s no way to say what needs said in a nice fluffy feel good way.
    Feel better now, my little troglodyte? I certainly do.

  55. One thing that should be kept in mind is that the right to bear arms was in English common law since the reign of King Henry II in 1181. Both Federalist 46 and the 2nd are written in response to the disarming of Colonials by King George and that the British proclivity for disarming the populace of the commonwealth started just before the American Revolution as a method of both oppressing the Scots and to keep people of the Commonwealth from using weapons against the Brits (who were often viewed as occupiers by members of the Commonwealth) that they had acquired during the Napoleonic Wars. Often the excuse was to “preserve game”, but the British effectively disarmed their peoples effectively contemporaneously to our creating the right to bear arms. The intention of the 2nd applies not only for the purpose of keeping militias armed as standing armies were viewed by the Founders as an anathema to democracy but as a final bulwark against tyranny by the state – also an anathema to democracy. The wording of the 2nd is clear although binary in construction:

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Watch the comma. The first part of that sentence is not a qualifier, but a rationale. It is a rational based on the then existent reliance upon militias for military actions. It is part of what allows states to maintain National Guards to this day as an implicit right to the states.. However, the right itself as it applies to citizens comes after the comma and it is clear and unambiguous: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    While I agree with Bob K. that a lot of people in our culture are essentially overly aggressive jackasses with a fixation on getting to kill someone because they think it is fun or manly, the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed”. The jurisprudence since then has crafted exceptions to this right that society deems wise such as disallowing violent felons to own firearms, but in itself, the 2nd is as close to an absolute right you find in the Constitution next to Freedom of Speech and Free Exercise of Religion (which also have rational restraints upon them). However, as we see from recent examples that appear on this blog, the erosion of these rights and the rest of the Bill of Rights is conjoined with the rise of oppression.

    The 2nd, despite some of the dire consequences, is both necessary and the last resort bulwark against tyranny. And if the Declaration tells us anything, sometimes “in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” One cannot do this armed only with their opinions no matter how just they might be.

  56. Gene,
    Yes, one cannot dissolve political bands with a government armed only with their opinions.
    By force of arms, one could do that with a government, based thousands of miles away, in the 18th century. Took months to get a response.
    One will not do that with a democratic, republican government of your fellow citizens, which you voted for, based in your home country, which has the largest defense budget in the world.
    Communications were still pretty slow last time someone tried acting out that fantasy. It took about 5 years or so, but the folks who tried armed insurrection still haven’t recovered, 140 years later.
    To think that your guns are for resisting the “tyranny” of your elected government, is fantasy. A very dangerous fantasy, that leads deluded paranoiacs to hoard weapons.
    The Constitution is a very specific set of rules with which to govern peaceful, orderly change. It does not contain an amendment allowing citizens to bear arms, so that, if the citizens didn’t like the last democratic vote, the government can be overthrown violently. Those sort of actions are referred to in other sections of the Constitution. They are referred to as “treason,” and “sedition.” We vote in this country. If the vote didn’t go your way, too bad. Try again, maybe.
    Response time to armed rebellion (treason), in this century, would depend on how quickly someone dials 911. After that, it’s dependent on police response time, then say, sheriff response time, then the National Guard response time. There will be no rebellion, after that. Those tanks and F-16s bearing down on you, don’t really care whether you think you have the right to shoot at them because of some really bad interpretation of an amendment.

  57. Bob K.,

    I never said all fights are fair, however, that does not change one of the major intentions behind the 2nd – a bulwark against tyranny. Under optimal conditions, our transitions of power are orderly and by in large the arc of ethics has been in the favor of increasing civil liberties and human rights. That arc is formed from a part of a pendulum. What goes up, comes down, only to rise again. This is the nature of political progression throughout history. I’ve said all along we need to address the issues of ever increasing tyranny as peacefully as possible and within the confines of the system our Founders created. I am not, however, so Pollyana-ish in my view of history or so trusting in human nature to say it is time to abandon this last line of defense against state oppression simply because it comes at a cost that is human nature and the potential enemy outguns the populace which on balance greatly outnumbers them.

    This guy killed a kid with his gun under bad circumstances. It could have just as easily happened with a knife or a ball bat or a shovel. 2/3 of all gun violence is suicides according to the statistics. 95-98% of that is done with handguns. Even if you wanted to take a half-measure and ban handguns? They are a technology that has been “out of the bag” for so long and they are fairly easy to make with a minimum of machining knowledge and a decent set of tools that you would never get the cat back in the bag. What you would do is create a black market more substantial than the one that already exists for weapons and usher in the conjoined rise in ancillary crimes that black markets inherently foster.

    You may think my interpretation of the 2nd is “really bad” but yours is based on wishful thinking. I have history and jurisprudence on my side. You have a desire to make things better for humanity. The two are not always compatible. Guns are too easy to make. Nothing changes that. Even if you were to somehow “un-invent” them, people would still kill others on purpose and by accident. The tools in your garage? Half of them are weapons derivatives. The kitchen? Knifes and mallets kill as surely and with only slightly more difficulty than pulling a trigger. I agree with your principle and your goal of a better world. I wish that the world were such a place that the idea of disarming the people would not only do nothing to deter tyranny but actually encourage it. Hell, just look at how tyranny is on the rise with them. If it does come to the point of revolution? It won’t be like the American Revolution. Not by a long shot. But history is filled with examples of a better armed, larger army falling to a smaller, lesser armed force by better strategy and more responsive tactics.

    The urge to ban guns is noble in intent, but unwise in strategy and a practical impossibility in addition to requiring a Constitutional amendment that has no chance of passing under this or any foreseeable political climate in the near future.

    A more practical goal to make the world a safer place? Both in scale and complexity?

    Get rid of nuclear weapons.

    They are hard to make, there are comparatively fewer of them, they inflict damage on a scale so much larger most people cannot truly comprehend the difference, they are indiscriminate, scientific study shows that even a limited nuclear war (less than a dozen simultaneous multi-megaton blasts) would likely screw the atmosphere so badly that our ability to grow food (already strained by global warming and overpopulation) that millions if not billions would die of starvation in the aftermath even if they were nowhere near blast and radiation zones, and we know who all the major holders are.

    One must do what one can to better the world. That is the ethical obligation of all people of good will. It should not be misdirected to efforts impractical or doomed to failure or at odds with the realities of human nature and our inherent proclivity for violence as a species. The only way to deal with that last problem is enlightenment. And at the species level, that is a long slow road of winning one mind at a time complicated by the fact that some minds are not winnable by any amount of evidence and persuasion.

  58. BRUNSWICK, Ga. — “A Georgia woman said Friday a teenager trying to rob her at gunpoint asked “Do you want me to kill your baby?” before he fatally shot her 13-month-old son in the head.”

    Georgia Baby Dead: 13-Month-Old Antonio Shot By Young Boy In Front Of Mother, Sherry West, Police Say (UPDATE)



    Police have arrested two teenagers suspected in the shooting death of a baby in a stroller and the wounding of the baby’s mother.

    Brunswick Police Chief Tobe Green said Friday that 17-year-old De’Marquis Elkins is charged with first-degree murder as an adult.

    The 14-year-old is also charged with murder, but he was not identified because he is a juvenile.

    The chief said police were still investigating the motive and searching for a weapon.

    The mother, Sherry West, said she was walking near her home Thursday morning with her baby, Antonio, when she was approached by two boys who demanded money. She was shot in the leg and a bullet grazed her ear.

    Original Story:

    BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A Georgia woman said Friday a teenager trying to rob her at gunpoint asked “Do you want me to kill your baby?” before he fatally shot her 13-month-old son in the head.

    ( Using Thomas Drake’s words: “Is this the country we want to keep?” )

  59. I might also provide an addition to Gene’s position with the second amendment as it relates to history.

    All one has to do is look at the Third Amendment to get a sense of the intent behind the founding fathers.

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Under the Quartering Acts of 1765 the colonists were required to pay for the costs of housing the British soldiers stationed wtihin the colonies and if space was insufficient to provide housing in inns and other public houses. After the Boston Tea Party, the British Parlaiment passed the Quartering Act which forced the colonists to be required to house soldiers in private homes.

    The two amendments, the second and the third, stem from the same political conditions that led the founding fathers to provide protection for the citizenry against the tyrrany and offenses to the privacy and liberty of individuals.

    So I believe it is clear that the intent of the founding fathers was to protect the rights of the individual given the histories that were mentioned.

  60. Bob K.,

    Indeed. Until you can enlighten all of humanity to realize and possibly agree that mud wrestling isn’t a legal and necessary option to retain despite the ancillary costs and that the best way to avoid tyranny is engineered (legal) systems combined with keeping sociopaths and psychopaths out of positions of responsibility and power. We may reach that point in our development as a species and I certainly hope we do sooner rather than later. Because as Carl Sagan once said, “The sky calls to us and if we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.”

  61. On the matter of the Second, one might wish to give serious consideration to the purpose behind Madison’s rewording of that Article and the changing of one word, country, to state. That would mean understanding slave patrol militias and the fact that slavery could only exist in the context of a police state (escaped property recovered, property rebelling or planning rebellion or up-risings… property of course being slaves), and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the southern colony’s/state’s militias.

    Reassuring the south that the new Constitution they were being asked to ratify would not infringe on the ability of their militias to maintain their slave patrols was the whole purpose behind Madison’s rewording of the Second and changing that one crucial word, country (the word in his original text), to state.


  62. Blouise,

    Then the rationale of the modifying clause giving state’s the implicit rights to maintain militias is at question (although there is the legitimate use of militias instead of standing armies at the time to consider). “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”. It does not change the basic right conferred by the operative language. “[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    To say that the 2nd was ratified to preserve slavery though? Is an argument by incomplete comparison (a logical fallacy) in light of the other considerations which applied to legitimate concerns of the North and non-slave owners as well. It’s also cherry picking propaganda from the anti-gun lobby. It does not address the operative language of the 2nd. Slavery was not the reason the 2nd was ratified in toto. Madison himself said “Disarm the people – that is the best and most effective way to enslave them.” Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Concerns and statements that go to the operative language, not the appeasement of the South in assuring local control of militias instead of Federal control by changing “country” to “state”. This also needs to be considered in the light of 9th (“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”) and the 10th (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”). The right enumerated in the operative language is specifically reserved to the people. That the right was rationalized in the 2nd as being necessary for maintaining militias does not change that essential relationship and the clear wording of the operative language would still create the right if everything before the comma was completely omitted.

    The Massachusetts Compromise was about a lot more than slavery. It was a fundamental battle about consolidation of power and the extent of Federalism. To narrowly claim it was based on slavery paints an incomplete picture at best.

  63. Blouise,
    The article you cite is from a blog, and not from a scholarly source. Not to mention that the basic premise of the story is based on speculation and not historical record. One of the most authoritative articles I have found to date comes from a peer-reviewed law journal. Originally published at 28 Val. L. Rev. 1007-1039 (1994), it was republished in the Valparaiso University Law Review.. The author is law Professor David E. Vandercoy.

    In his highly documented piece, Professor Vandercoy does not mention slavery or any other such malignant reason to have the right to bear arms. They were concerned about tyranny and having a means to protect themselves. They did not want the militia to be controlled by a central government. The National Guard is now controlled, directed and financed by the Federal government, which takes it out of the realm the Founders envisioned, and into territory they feared. The prefatory statement of the 2nd Amendment is, curiously, the only amendment to have such a preface.

    I think where people get hung up is on the one word, “regulated.” We have had a running joke on this blog based on the movie line, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” This is one of those cases. Well regulated. The best solution is to look for the definition and common understanding of the word as was used in those days.

    As used in and about the year 1690 (source: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1989). They are:

    1) To control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.

    2) To adjust to some standard or requirement as for amount, degree, etc.

    3) To adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation.

    4) To put in good order.

    In other words, it means in good working order. The word was applied to a type of clock mechanism known for its accuracy in keeping time. When I was in elementary school, every classroom had a Regulator Clock on the wall. BTW, that is not a brand of clock, but refers to the mechanism. Two Englishmen, Benjamin Vulliamy and James Harrison, invented two versions of the earliest regulators between 1760 and 1780. That was just before the Constitution was drafted and gives some insight into how the Founders viewed and used the word.

    The notion was that from the Founder’s point of view, the militia was literally every able bodied person who could keep and maintain a firearm. As somebody once wrote, an armed society tends to be a polite society. The states had a vested interest in the militia being well regulated in the archaic sense, as used in the late 18th century. That meant they should keep their firearms in good working condition and be competent in using them. If the militia were to be mustered (think Paul Revere), they needed to be ready to pick up their weapons without any delay, so they could head out and fact the threat. The slavery matter seems to be a red herring thrown into the argument many decades after the ratification of the Bill of Rights, as a calumny against the 2nd Amendment.

    I am not going to copy and paste Professor Vandercoy’s excellent journal article. Here is the link. Note it has a substantial list of references at the end. I liked it so much I not only bookmarked it, I downloaded it as a PDF file and saved in my lecture notes.


  64. Otteray,

    It’s true that the article Bouise cites is from a blog. Still, the author of the article cites an article from UC at Davis Law Review.



    In his article, The Bill of Rights as a Constitution, Akhil Amar argues that the Bill of Rights was “[o]riginally a set of largely structural guarantees applying only against the federal government.”[505] “Like the original Constitution, the original Bill of Rights was webbed with structural ideas,” he writes.[506]”Federalism, separation of powers, bicameralism, representation, amendment ¾ these issues were understood as central to the preservation of liberty.” Though he has not yet fully appreciated it, the Second Amendment provides a striking example of Amar’s thesis. Its parentage is in the English Declaration of Rights of 1689. Although to twentieth century American eyes the right to have arms provision of that document appears at first blush to provide an individual right, the provision is in fact quite a different animal. It is a structural provision. It does not mean that Protestants may have arms, but that Parliament, and not the Crown, has the authority to regulate the matter.

    This was the template that Madison, the quintessential structuralist, used when he wrote the Second Amendment, and this was the model in the minds of the members of the First Congress and the state legislatures when they proposed and ratified the Amendment. Like English legislators a century earlier, Madison wrote the Second Amendment to resolve a structural problem. The Constitution had given Congress the power to organize and arm the militia. Focusing on this provision, the anti-Federalists sent a chill down the spine of the South: would Congress, deliberately or through indifference, destabilize the [Page 408] slave system by “disarming” the state militia? Whether Madison personally shared this fear cannot today be known, but there is little doubt that after Richmond this specter plagued many Southerners, including many of Madison’s constituents.

    What does the hidden history mean with respect to how the Second Amendment should be interpreted? I do not in this Article take any position with respect to “original intent.” Nevertheless, two items of significance ought to be mentioned. First, the Second Amendment was written to assure the South that the militia ¾ the very same militia described in the main body of the Constitution ¾ could be armed even if Congress elected not to arm them or otherwise attempted to “disarm” them. From our perspective today, this may seem like a small matter since Congress retained exclusive authority to determine the composition of the militia, and, thus, who could enjoy the right to bear arms. However, in the context of the concern and circumstances of the time, it was significant. The Amendment deals with keeping and bearing arms in the militia, subject to federal and state regulation. Therefore, to the extent original intent matters, the hidden history of the Second Amendment strongly supports the collective rights position.

    Second, the Second Amendment lives two lives: one in the law and the other in politics, public policy, and popular culture. The hidden history has ramifications in the second realm as well. The Second Amendment takes on an entirely different complexion when instead of being symbolized by a musket in the hands of the minuteman, it is associated with a musket in the hands of the slave holder.

  65. Otteray,

    In his Truth-out article, the author also cites Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (Harvard Historical Studies), a book written by Sally E. Hadden.

    Here are Hadden’s credentials:

    Ph.D. 1993 Harvard University (History)
    J.D. 1989 Harvard Law School
    M.A. 1985 Harvard University (History)
    B.A. 1984 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (History)

    Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Law (secondary appointment),
    Florida State University

    for colonial legal cultures project:
    National Endowment for the Humanities/Library Company of Philadelphia postdoctoral
    fellowship, 2005-06
    Library Company of Philadelphia/Historical Society of Pennsylvania fellowship, 2003-04
    New England Regional Consortium Fellowship, 2002
    American Philosophical Society, Library Resident Research fellowship, 2001-2002
    Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund, Harvard Law School, research grant, 2001
    Council on Research and Creativity Grant, Florida State University, 1999-00
    W. B. H. Dowse Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1998-99
    for slave patrol research and related projects:
    Archie K. Davis Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society, 1997
    Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellow, American Antiquarian Society, 1994
    Research Associate, Humanities Institute, University of Toledo, 1993-94
    Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1992-93
    Josephine de Kármán Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1992-93
    American Historical Association, Littleton-Griswold Legal History Research Grant, 1991-92
    Virginia Historical Society Research Fellowship, 1991
    Charles Warren Center for American History research grant, 1990, 1991
    Mark DeWolfe Howe Fund, Harvard Law School, research grant, 1990, 1991
    Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 1991, 1992
    Phi Beta Kappa, 1983

  66. Elaine,
    This is not being argumentative, but more one of technology of the time. By the time the Constitution was drafted, the musket was well on its way out. Rifles were being used almost universally by all sides. Highly accurate. A musket is a smooth bore barrel, while a rifle has ‘lands and groove’ to give the bullet spin. Because a musket does not spin the bullet, muskets shoot the equivalent of a knuckleball. You see the effect off spin when a quarterback throws a ball downfield. Spinning utilizes gyroscopic effect to make the bullet (and football) stable in flight.

    Major Patrick Ferguson, a Scotsman and possibly one of the smartest men in the British Army, had invented the breech loading rifle.It did not see wide use because manufacturing technology at the time could not build enough of them to supply the Army. Additionally, the first repeating rifle was invented by an Austrian, Bartholomäus Girandoni. His rifle was an air rifle, using air compressed by a pump on the rifle. It was a powerful rifle for the time, and had the advantage of no puff of smoke when fired as well as no loud muzzle report. The Austrian Army used Girandoni’s repeating rifle from 1780 to 1815. Both sides were aware of these evolving technologies.

    I am aware of the frequent argument the Founders could not have envisioned repeating rifles, and that guns back then were all muzzle loading muskets. That is simply not true. Inventions were outpacing manufacturing technology, but they had already been invented.

    Speaking of rifles being more accurate than muskets, the military sniper would not have been possible without the rifle. An Irish-American soldier in the American Revolution was the first known American sniper. Timothy Murphy climbed up into a tree to make his historical shots. Murphy made the first sniper kill(s) at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777. Timothy Murphy killed Sir Francis Clerke with his first shot. Murphy’s second kill shot was General Simon Fraser. Those shots were at a 300 yard range, the length of three football fields. That would have been impossible with a musket.

  67. As I recall, those shots that killed those two key officers were the turning point of the battle of Saratoga. Which in turn led to the French openely supporting the Revolution. A good shot in time saved us and our country.

  68. Otteray,

    I wasn’t looking for an argument. I was just pointing out the fact that the author of the Truth-Out article cited knowledgeable sources. That’s all.

  69. Elaine,
    I am well aware of Sally Hadden and her theories. I agree there were some slave patrols at the time of the American Revolution. There were not very many of them until near the beginning of the civil war. These patrols typically consisted of a group of a half-dozen or less men who tracked down fleeing slaves. They were drawn from the militia, but how could they not have been? The militias were made up of virtually every person able bodied enough to care for and shoot a firearm. The militias were NOT formed to create slave patrols. Slave patrols were small groups of people who happened to be militiamen.

    Thom Hartman wrote an article based on Hadden’s theories. Paul Finkelman, Ph.D., is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy at Albany Law School. Finkelman saw Hartman’s article and lambasted it. He is a well known historian and legal scholar with many scholarly books and peer-reviewed articles published.

    Dr. Finkelman writes:

  70. “The article you cite is from a blog, and not from a scholarly source.” (OS)

    Oh please … as Elaine pointed out several sources are quoted in that article and I have tons more in my research of the Second. I choose that particular article because it was well pulled together and well sourced.

    The point being made has nothing to do with the actual firearms available to militia members but to the change in wording to satisfy the real concern of the Southern colonies/states that the “Country” government would work to eliminate slavery by disarming the colony/state militias. Once those militias were disarmed, the police state necessary to maintain and contain a slave population would no longer exist and the institution would suffer.

    Letters from all sorts of influential folk at the time exist if you want to check the validity of the claim. Madison thought the boys were being paranoid but in order to get them to go along he promised appropriate wording to allay their fears. He then changed country to state and everybody was happy.

    Like it or not, it is part of our history and very much a part of the evolvement of the Second.

  71. The Second Amendment was not passed to protect slavery, the wording of the Second Amendment was modified to allay the fears of the Southern colonies that a Federal Government might disarm the militias … use the word state instead of country and the South could maintain control over their militias and thus their slave patrols.

  72. speaking of Thomas Jefferson, I found this brilliant letter. What a fantastic mind he had.

    Thomas Jefferson to Justice William Johnson 12 June 1823

    … I learn … with great pleasure that you have resolved on continuing your history of parties. Our opponents are far ahead of us in preparations for placing their cause favorably before posterity. Yet I hope even from some of them [for] the escape of precious truths, in angry explosions or effusions of vanity, which will betray the genuine monarchism of their principles. They do not themselves believe what they endeavor to inculcate: that we were an opposition party, not on principle, but merely seeking for office. The fact is, that at the formation of our government, many had formed their political opinions on European writings and practices, believing the experience of old countries, and especially of England, abusive as it was, to be a safer guide than mere theory. The doctrines of Europe were that men in numerous associations cannot be restrained within the limits of order and justice but by forces physical and moral, wielded over them by authorities independent of their will. Hence their organization of kings, hereditary nobles, and priests. Still further to constrain the brute force of the people, they deem it necessary to keep them down by hard labor, poverty, and ignorance, and to take from them, as from bees, so much of their earnings as that unremitting labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable life. And these earnings they apply to maintain their privileged orders in splendor and idleness, to fascinate the eyes of the people and excite in them a humble adoration and submission, as to an order of superior beings. Although few among us had gone all these lengths of opinion, yet many had advanced, some more, some less, on the way. And in the convention which formed our government, they endeavored to draw the cords of power as tight as they could obtain them, to lessen the dependence of the general functionaries on their constituents, to subject to them those of the states, and to weaken their means of maintaining the steady equilibrium which the majority of the convention had deemed salutary for both branches, general and local. To recover, therefore, in practice, the powers which the nation had refused, and to warp to their own wishes those actually given, was the steady object of the federal party. Ours, on the contrary, was to maintain the will of the majority of the convention and of the people themselves. We believed, with them, that man was a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an innate sense of justice; and that he could be restrained from wrong and protected in right by moderate powers confided to persons of his own choice and held to their duties by dependence on his own will. We believed that the complicated organization of kings, nobles, and priests was not the wisest nor best to effect the happiness of associated man; that wisdom and virtue were not hereditary; that the trappings of such a machinery consumed by their expense those earnings of industry they were meant to protect, and, by the inequalities they produced, exposed liberty to sufferance. We believed that men enjoying in ease and security the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted by all their interests on the side of law and order, habituated to think for themselves and to follow their reason as their guide, would be more easily and safely governed than with minds nourished in error and vitiated and debased, as in Europe, by ignorance, indigence, and oppression. The cherishment of the people, then, was our principle, the fear and distrust of them that of the other party. Composed, as we were, of the landed and laboring interests of the country, we could not be less anxious for a government of law and order than were the inhabitants of the cities, the strongholds of federalism. And whether our efforts to save the principles and form of our Constitution have not been salutary, let the present republican freedom, order, and prosperity of our country determine. History may distort truth, and will distort it for a time, by the superior efforts at justification of those who are conscious of needing it most. Nor will the opening scenes of our present government be seen in their true aspect until the letters of the day, now held in private hoards, shall be broken up and laid open to public view. What a treasure will be found in General Washington’s cabinet when it shall pass into the hands of as candid a friend to truth as he was himself! When no longer, like Caesar’s notes and memorandums in the hands of Anthony, it shall be open to the high priests of Federalism only, and garbled to say so much and no more as suits their views! …

    The original objects of the Federalists were, 1st, to warp our government more to the form and principles of monarchy, and, 2d, to weaken the barriers of the state governments as coordinate powers. In the first they have been so completely foiled by the universal spirit of the nation that they have abandoned the enterprise, shrunk from the odium of their old appellation, taken to themselves a participation of ours, and under the pseudo-republican mask are now aiming at their second object and, strengthened by unsuspecting or apostate recruits from our ranks, are advancing fast towards an ascendancy. I have been blamed for saying that a prevalence of the doctrines of consolidation would one day call for reformation or revolution. I answer by asking if a single state of the union would have agreed to the Constitution had it given all powers to the general government? If the whole opposition to it did not proceed from the jealousy and fear of every state of being subjected to the other states in matters merely its own? And if there is any reason to believe the states more disposed now than then to acquiesce in this general surrender of all their rights and powers to a consolidated government, one and undivided? …

  73. I especially liked this:

    “Still further to constrain the brute force of the people, they deem it necessary to keep them down by hard labor, poverty, and ignorance, and to take from them, as from bees, so much of their earnings as that unremitting labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable life. And these earnings they apply to maintain their privileged orders in splendor and idleness, to fascinate the eyes of the people and excite in them a humble adoration and submission, as to an order of superior beings.”

    Things never change.

  74. and this part is shear brilliance:

    “We believed, with them, that man was a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights and with an innate sense of justice; and that he could be restrained from wrong and protected in right by moderate powers confided to persons of his own choice and held to their duties by dependence on his own will. We believed that the complicated organization of kings, nobles, and priests was not the wisest nor best to effect the happiness of associated man; that wisdom and virtue were not hereditary; that the trappings of such a machinery consumed by their expense those earnings of industry they were meant to protect, and, by the inequalities they produced, exposed liberty to sufferance.”

    Rational animal indeed.

  75. The 2nd was purely put in to keep citizens armed to prevent Tyranny in government. Any other suggestion is a desperate straw man attempt to associate gun ownership with slavery which has become standard tactics of the leftwing these days. It is greatly disappointing to engage in such an intellectually dishonest or ignorant propaganda. It is also a dangerous path to follow down.

  76. One has to also consider the history involved concerning slaveholders. For us the history is 200 + years old, for them it was yesterday. The British had offered emancipation to all slaves who left their plantations (also encouraged active uprisings) and joined in the fight on the King’s side. Many did. Eventually Washington even let free black men join the ranks. Southern politicians worrying that a Federal government would/could emancipate their slaves was not an unfounded fear … they’d experienced that very thing during the war and we all know that that very thing did eventually occur. Assuaging that fear was important at the time of ratification and Madison did it, as he did so many other things, brilliantly. Voilà … erase country, write in state.

  77. Now I could also write about the “fear” of standing armies and thus a reason for an armed citizenry that would enable the “country” to raise a militia. That particular point goes back to before the “Glorious Revolution” and beyond … and fortified with that documented history, put forth the stance that it is upon those experiences that the Second relied.

    But it is Saturday and one shot across the gun culture bow will suffice …

  78. State:

    5. A political body, or body politic; the whole body of people united under one government, whatever may be the form of the government.

    Madison did not mean anything but what it meant. The founders were well versed in the classics and studied all manner of constitutions to learn how to comprise one. That ours is a Republican form is not coincidence or good fortune but was rationally conceived by these men based on their study of history. Based on that study they concluded a well-armed populace is an impediment to tyranny by the state or an individual.

    These men thought in principles not concretes, that is why the text does not say rifle, pistol, sword, musket, etc. but uses the word arms which means:

    1. Weapons of offense, or armor for defense and protection of the body.

    The very word arms, leaves open the type of arms which may be owned. If the Constitution were written in 1187 we would be arguing if the founders meant it was Ok to own a longbow or a standard bow which was less powerful and less accurate.

    Slavery is a distraction to the real debate. And I might also point out if Africans had been armed with European weapons in the early 17th century, we would not be having a conversation about the 2nd amendment in relation to slaves on this blog.

  79. It should be pointed out that it was illegal for slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries to own weapons whereby they could challenge the authority of their masters. Slave owners feared their slaves and did all manner of psychological and physical torment to keep them in line. A favorite was to divide the slaves into house slaves and field slaves-divide and conquer was as useful then as it is today.

    Maybe our government fears the population? And like those slave owners of yester year they desire to keep arms from the hands of those who would restrain their desire for unlimited power.

    Blouise, I think you have a point. Thanks for bringing that to the debate.

  80. Born,

    Blouse brings a breath of fresh air to this blog…. I’ve said the same thing to Mike S., (btw how’s he doing) in that there’s very little difference between the slave days and today…. We all work for the man…. In one way or the other…..

  81. The only Americans who want to take guns away are fascist nazis. They should be exiled. They deserve neither liberty nor safety and do not deserve the protection of the bill of rights as they seek to rewrite it one step at a time. I am a liberal but I will admit that the left fascists are every bit as dangerous as the rightwing fascists are.

  82. They should. That is how our govt was designed. To fear the people. Only over the last few decades they stopped fearing the people as much.

    I personally cannot believe that anyone after the last 12 years could possibly have ANY trust in our government. During the Bush years the Liberals were melting down. Cries of Fascism and Totalitarianism were everywhere. People were outraged at Bush sending us to war. They were up in arms with the Patriot Act. Democrats everywhere were stroking out over ‘the loss of freedom’. There was endless comments over Bush outlawing dild0s while governor of Texas. The outrage over the US Govt lying to the American people and the world about WMD’s. Remember that? Remember every effin Democrat voter in the country claiming we COULD NOT TRUST THE GOVT?!?!?

    Guess what. The Liberals were right. Bush was all of that. He was a tyrant.

    Obama ran on the principle of overturning all of that. He claimed the Patriot Act was unconstitutional. He claimed that he was against Tyranny. He claimed he was against the persecution of medical marijuana etc. He claimed he was against wars and wanted to end them immediately. He claimed that he felt gitmo was unconstitutional and would be closed.

    He has lied every single step of the way. But now the blind foaming at the mouth zealots on the left are too ignorant and arrogant to admit that their guy is no freakin better than the guy before. That Obama is just as much a War Mongering liar who strips freedoms even MORE than Bush did.

    Why is that? Well we know that the rightwing is filled with Hypocrisy but for those not paying attention, the left is even worse. The Democratic party disgusts me at this stage and that is coming from a Liberal. It has become a party of cowards, hypocrites and crooks. Just like the Republican party.

    Liberal USED to mean freedom. Now its a label being applied to Fascist hypocrites. That pisses me off.

    I will not ever tolerate or excuse Rightwing fascism. I sure as hell will not accept it from the left.

    Anyone against American citizens being well armed is either badly uninformed and uneducated…. or an absolute fool.

    Anyone who would trust President George W Obama is an idiot. There is no polite way to put it. Yes that name was intentional because they are one and the same. Both were lying crooks who are destroying our Constitution.. Open your d*mn eyes. Jesus, even Michael Moore is realizing what a abomination and liar Obama is. Now all he has to do is put 2 and 2 together and then he will finally understand WHY we MUST fight tooth and nail for the 2nd Amendment.

    Answer this, with all these standards Obama is setting as far as Drones, govt spying on US Citizens, how will you react if in 4 years we have another Bush as President and he starts talking about invading some country or another?

    If you are a Liberal/democrat or whatever and you disagree, then there is something wrong with you and you are incapable of admitting you were WRONG. You are nothing more than a disgraceful hypocrite…and guess what? When the day of reckoning comes and it will eventually come, there are plenty of Liberals like me who will NOT defend you when you find your azzes being shipped off the island. In fact, ill be waving Bon Voyage. Id rather live with Tea Party people and argue over things like social security and socialized health care but who can respect the Bill of Rights, than with Democrats who cannot. Those Democrats can go to hell. Because they do not deserve a bit of safety or security. Let them cower in fear in another land.

    I have gotten a real eye opener to the hypocrisy of the left. I have personally now witnessed exactly what the right calls ‘elitist arrogance’. I now realize that partisan politics is destroying this nation by dividing us to keep us from holding the govt as a whole accountable.

    I absolutely will NOT support anyone who undermines the Bill of Rights in any way shape or form. If you are willing to throw away the 2nd amendment then you need to get out of this country. Just leave. You do not deserve to live here.

    “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    watch this.

  83. The commercials promoting background checks will be starting soon. I understand $12 million will be spent.

    More angst for the gun culture. Who will pass? Who will fail?

  84. Who is paying the 12 million
    ‘Gun Culture’ Nice.
    I prefer to call it ‘Supporting the 2nd Amendment’

    But its safe to say that the gun grabbers are ‘Fascist Nazis’ who are going to cause a war they will lose and badly.

  85. Hi Blouise, Are you just up late or early or do you have a totally disrupted sleep pattern as I do? Thank doG I’m retired, it was a witch to start feeling tired about 4:30am and have to be at work at 6:30am. I thought my last several months at work were going to kill me. I added a link in the last posting on the India Police Spokesman Blames…” thread which you might find appalling and awe inspiring, or awe inspiringly appalling actually. Just when one thinks one is too jaded to be surprised by anything…:-)

  86. Hey lotta,

    Just having a nice, quiet night. I’ve been retired forever and am glad to welcome you to the late night, don’t have to worry about the morning world.

    I’ll check out the link tomorrow as I need to be fortified with caffeine before getting the jade on.

    Think about setting up that fake facebook page and joining in our scrabble matches

    luv ya

  87. Hey lady, I just found this too (yes, this is what I do in the later part of the middle of the night, maybe have a rum and coke or snack and surf the net; just shoot me) and what a great picture. You can be jaded and then delighted tomorrow.

    I did not know that the First Lady was going to have a Vogue spread (I don’t follow that mag.). Boy-o-boy, the right wing pundits are going to go nuts when that comes out. She is quite lovely, and sexy. That’s kind of refreshing in a First Lady. And the eye-roll she gave Boehner (and I think by implication the President) for their schmoozing while she tried to eat cemented her ‘grounded-ness’ in my book. Have a great night.

  88. lotta,

    Wow! That is one beautiful picture. We have come a looong way, baby.

    When I think back … 45 years ago … red faced, vein popping, sweaty, angry white guys swearing at the top of their lungs that everybody who supported civil rights was going to die … bombing churches, shooting down little kids in cold blood … kinda reminds me of the gun culture angst now.

    Look at her. Absolutely gorgeous and our First Lady to boot. Thanks for the link … I don’t follow Vogue either 😉

  89. Thanks Blouise, The whole picture is really an excellent photo. Framing her with the door, playing the cream color frame off against her black dress worked very well. She isn’t dwarfed by the room but becomes its focal point and dominates the room. Very nicely done.

    I used to check out Vanity Fair every so often if they were doing special photo spreads because the photos were always superior. They were a delight, some avant guard but many were costume portrait type spreads that resonated with centuries past- with a twist. They were sumptuous, like a grand meal for the eyes, filed with detail you could longer over. Thanks again, that was a fine and generous link.

    Looooooong, long way indeed. It just pushed a lot of people over the edge. The same behavior you speak of and I also remember is playing out again only updated, and cleaned up a bit when the cameras are on. It’s still shocking.

    We live in interesting times. I hope they get even more interesting with a viable woman nominee next time around.

    Gotta’ feed kitty his breakfast and then bedtime for me. Ciao.

  90. Bloomberg is a Fascist dictator.
    People like him are a threat to the US Constitution. They are just like the Nazi’s

    The Democratic party is becoming filled with foaming at the mouth crazies.

    They are irrational, arrogant, obsessive and completely incapable of being objective. They are like the Religious Nuts who hijacked the Republican party. They are insane and typically gutless cowards with a pack mentality. They are not far off the KKK. Speaking as a Liberal I can tell you that many MANY Democrats are closeted bigots. Many love minorities, as long as they dont have to live around them and can stay in sheltered areas. They are hypocrites of the worst kind. Absolutely repulsive people.

    Anyone with an ounce of sense will have to seize control of the nomination process or be forced to abandon the Democrats and republicans. They are both too far gone for any slow long term changes.

    Herr Bloomberg, Fraulein Feinstein, Herr Graham etc etc…
    These are the politicians who are destroying our Freedoms. Heil Obama/Bush

    We have to end partisan politics in this country as they exist. We need to reorganize the party system. Get the lobbyists and money out of the system.

  91. … and shoot anybody who tries to regulate our guns.

    Bloomberg should be right up your alley … he’s been both a Republican and a Democrat showing loyalty to neither party.

  92. Blouise, I do not think we should shoot someone that wants to regulate guns, well lets be honest, confiscate you mean actually….. But I do think they should move out of America because clearly this country is not for them.

    Btw lets stop pretending you want to stop at ‘regulate’. You are not fooling anyone. We all know the end goal is to confiscate. Btw to grab a gun you have to first reach for it physically. Good luck with that.

  93. Anon,

    Based upon experience…. The gun rights issue is very regional…. It does not have a chance in hell of getting passed with the key state senators nd congress folks…. Being up for reelection…. Especially if Obama seeks to regain control of the house nd not lose the senate in the process…. Which could very likely happen if any drastic measures are put in place…. Then we will be stuck with the likes of Ted Cruz…. More so…. And Obama knows it… So do the people who stand to lose the elections…..

  94. Anon,

    Don’t get lost on this “one off” gun grab attack. Bloomberg/Moore are just actors in a much large attack against the “Owners” of this country, the “Citizens” & our “Rights”.

    So while Bloomberg is out bull sheeeting the public with his Joseph Goebbel type campaign, Bloomberg’s mafia connections with the modernize NY Genovese Mafia are likely out murdering innocent people at random to install a sense of fear into some remaining idiots in the US.

    Bloomberg/Moore/Obama/etc… their plan seems to be just the latest version of CIA/Natos old operation Gladio when they went of a killing spree across Europe.

    Check your news sources & you will see the Nazis Obama/Wallst’s Cockroaches seemly senseless murder of innocents everywhere. They have a purpose & it’s not meant to help any of us, but enslave us.

    The reason they are attacking so hard right now is that they know their power is in free fall collapse as their total corruption is be exposed to peaceful people everywhere.

    Background on Bloomberg/Moore/Some Repubs/Obama’s plans:


    Gladio, remember John Perkin’s book: Confessions of an Economic Hitman?

    Forget the personalities, for the content this was on over the most telling interviews of our current condition:

    Paul Craig Roberts: Triple Bubble Implosion Coming


  95. Confiscate? That’s a good one.

    Anyone with any knowledge of history can review the effects of Prohibition and know that confiscating would drive the whole industry underground and set up a new empire for criminals to rule.

    Nope, I support regulation, licensing, back ground checks, and taxation … lots and lots of taxation. You want to play with your peashooter, fine with me … but you pay to play, Bubba, pay to play. There’s nothing unconstitutional about that.

    Oh yeah, no more free passes on “accidental” gun deaths … nice long prison terms for all those whackos who don’t know how to handle a gun or secure it from falling into the hands of others who don’t know how to handle a gun. We can start with Dick Cheney. (What a pleasant thought!)

  96. Blouise,
    The only confiscation going on concerning guns is confiscating the lives of poor innocents in order for our gun crazy culture to hang on to their weapons of individual destruction. Words like confiscation are used by the NRA and gun supporters to scare people. Background checks for all sales and transfers of guns is not confiscation. If I have to have a background check to get a job these days, why should gun owners be frightened? Of course, they need those guns to stave off an invasion from Iran!

  97. Stop & take a short look back, Reagan, GHW Bush,Clinton, Newt Gingrich, GWB, Dem/Repub polcats passed into law/regs to allow Wallst/London to loot/destroy the US.

    US MFG moved to China anyone?

    The citizens, rightful outraged for our govt looting us to pay for Wallsts/London crimes, so we backed/started the Teaparty.

    The Teaparty was then co-opted & taking over by Wallst’s goons/puppets, Glen Beck/Palin/Koch Brothers/etc…

    They get some reps into office. They don’t do a full assault against/clean up the corrupt Wallst/London bank/insurance/energy scum as we hired them to do.

    Instead their 1st major action was to have Gov. Scott/Wisconsin do a full out assault on Workers.

    So many of us then abandoned those creeps/slime people.

    AKA: Peaceful Occupy Wallst. They had snippers at the ready…. unbelievable!

    Now that gives the now known/exposed Nazi Obama a 2nd bite of the power apple.

    Instead of Obama/Senate Dems doing a full assault against/cleaning up the corrupt Wallst/London bank/insurance/MIC/PIC/energy scum that’s at the root of all these problems, as we hired them to do, instead they go on a full out assault of the US Constitution & it’s “Bill of Rights”.

    I suggest no one give an inch to those Nazi B*stards & go on a full out peaceful offensive against them in every manner you can. IE; Your Finances/Food/Energy/Jury Nullification/Grand Juries/Shunning them/etc….

    Call them out among your friends/public for the Nazi Azzholes they truly are!

  98. rafflaw/Blouise

    When did you two & people like you join Alqaeda & assocated Alciada forces attacking the USA?

    Really, you people need get yourselves on the road out of here & over somewhere else where they hate Liberty & Freedom.

    It truly is eye opening to see all you Nazis going public lately.

  99. Oky1,
    I guess standing up for victims makes one a Nazi in your mind. I love the freedom and liberty of everyone in the country. Not just those that believe in unlimited gun ownership and use. Even Justice Scalia stated that reasonable gun restrictions would be acceptable. Is Scalia a Nazi in your mind too?

  100. Here is a pretty nice piece explaining the govt’s long running mind control/brain washing programs that some of you are apparently suffering from:

  101. rafflaw,

    Scalia = Bush V Gore!

    Duck hunting with Dick Chaney to discuss matters coming before the courts.


    Ya, completely compromised/discredited.

    Ya, he should be arrested & hauled in front of a Grand Jury & Charged, awaiting a fair trial.

    And if Anyone interferes they be charged with Obstruction of Justice.

    I’m not posting for your amusement. Their premeditated actions are killing/harming billions of people.

    Do an ounce of Phriken research, Geezus.

    Watch the videos if you’re tired of reading….

  102. For whatever reasons the piece explaining the govt’s long running mind control/brain washing programs that some of you are apparently suffering from it didn’t post correctly.

    It’s see if it post correctly this time.

    The Open MKULTRA Drugging of James Holmes

  103. Blouise,
    Agree in part and disagree in part. Let’s take the agreement first. Prohibition not only doesn’t work, it can make a problem worse. Tell people they cannot have something they want, and they will ignore the law to get it. The 18th Amendment gave us the Mafia, untold numbers of deaths from contaminated liquor, and smuggling on an epic scale. It more or less turned J. Edgar Hoover into one of the most powerful men in America. The “war on drugs’ has created huge crime cartels with the money to take over whole governments. It has made “criminals” out of so many people, jails and prisons are overcrowded, and we have seen the rise of the prison-industrial complex. Furthermore, I doubt anyone knows how many people have been murdered or injured as a direct result of the “war on drugs.”

    As for taxes, or as you put it, “..lots and lots of taxation.” There reaches a point where there is no difference between excessive taxes and confiscation. Most criminals ignore tax laws anyway, and excessive taxes only injure the poor. Excessive taxation created the smuggling industry. If you recall, the original Boston Tea Party incident was about taxes. NASCAR racing was literally created because of liquor taxes. Moonshine delivery drivers had fast cars to outrun the law. Groups of moonshine drivers started getting together once in a while to race and see who had the fastest car. Before long they organized and created NASCAR when they figured out they could charge admission to their races.

    The US Coast Guard began as a revenue service to intercept smugglers.

    The Coast Guard’s official history began on 4 August 1790 when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels, referred to as “cutters,” to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Known variously through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the “revenue cutters,” the “system of cutters,” and finally the Revenue Cutter Service, it expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.

    Source: http://www.uscg.mil/history/

    That’s the ultimate effect of high taxes. Human nature being what it is, increasing taxes simply creates a new industry.

    BTW, there was another home invasion in our community last night. The armed home invaders were looking for prescription pain medication and while they were at it, they took his wallet. The homeowner was injured with lacerations and was taken to the emergency room. He is lucky they did not kill him. There were two home invasions recently where the octogenarian homeowners met the home invaders with 12 gauge shotguns. One was killed when shot in the chest, and the other was wounded. Actually, the second one was shot in the groin, and his ability to reproduce was eliminated.

    Felons ignore laws. That is the main reason they are felons. Furthermore, felons are not allowed to have firearms, or even live in the same residence as anyone who does. Being a felon in possession of a firearm is a felony in most states, by state law. In the federal system, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) states that a felon may not possess a firearm. Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(a)(2), such possession is a class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Note that is “possession,” not necessarily owning.

    As for penalties for causing death or injury by careless and negligent acts, those laws are already on the books. Such acts are not limited to firearms. Yesterday, I spent five hours in a continuing education class on this very subject.

    For example, there is a woman in jail right now awaiting trial on capital murder charges. She let her small child run into traffic because she was allegedly paying more attention to a text message than the child. He ran into the street where a dump truck ran over him. The indictment is for the death of a child caused by an act of dependency and neglect. That is not just an ordinary charge, it is a death penalty charge.

    There is also the fact that technology outstrips laws and Congress. 3-D printers can make almost anything you want, it is just a matter of materials at the moment. Materials are an emerging technology as well. Guns are not as hard to make as some people think. I have several pistols in my gun case I made myself. Mikhail Kalashnikov was a tank mechanic and tinkerer who invented his famous rifle while recovering from wounds he suffered in WW-II. There was a story in the news recently about a guy who bought a shovel at a yard sale for $2.00 and made an AK-47 clone out of it.

    When passing laws to control or restrict anything, one must always beware The Law of Unintended Consequences.

  104. Thank God the women’s rights groups have President Obama. He will certainly restrict you gun toting nuts to the place that you belong. Obama only cares about women’s rights and gun control.

  105. Otteray Scribe,

    Why go to the trouble of making an AK out of a shovel when one can go anywhere in the US where GW/Obama/Holder are working night/day letting illegal aliens out of detention prisons & no doubt handing them an Ak, extra mags/ammo, Welfare Card,Whiskey/Dope, cash & Obama phones.

    Just showing up, tell them you hate the USA & they’ll give all the weapons/supplies you need just like they’ve been doing for Al Qaeda in places like Iraq, Libya, Egypt, now Syria & across Africa.

    Prolly calling it Operation Fast n Furiously Destroy Amerkia 4 dee Wallst Bankers 2.0


  106. Oky1,
    You can LOL all you want. In the famous words of Queen Victoria, “We are not amused.”

    Bless your heart.

  107. “There reaches a point where there is no difference between excessive taxes and confiscation. ” (OS)

    Well now … what’d ya know about that.

    The Boston Tea Party was about taxation without representation (really it was the Stamp Act which placed fees on all sorts of documents and importation etc) and the gun culture has loads of representation in today’s
    Congress but the pendulum is swinging, OS, the pendulum is swinging.

  108. Otteray,

    I thought you would have recognized my sarcasm.

    Where are these gun grabbin citizens outrage?

    The very small number 40-60k gun deaths a year by comparison to other hazards, most of them gang bangers selling Bush/Obama’s dope, most of the rest suicides on Big Pharma’s suicide pills, the so called anti-depression pills, who just happened to choose a gun as the tool of choice.

    Look at the last 5-10 minutes of that Paul Craig Roberts/AJ video up above. It shows us what the end of this current mess will likely look like.

    The Bill of Rights grabin haters so concerned about the kids, where is their outrage about this on going bio-weapons attack against us all by Monsanto?

    Senate Passes Monsanto Protection Act Granting Monsanto Power Over US Govt


  109. Otteray,

    I read that whole Barry Seal case you posted days back.

    Very interesting& it dovetails right in with much of the recent decades of evil I’ve been posting for decades about.

  110. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my
    4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell
    to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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