Proving his point that judges are too ignorant to make reasoned decisions about gun control, Justice Stephen Breyer demonstrates his complete ignorance about guns:
Does the right to possess weapons for self-defense extend outside the home? To the car? To work? What sort of guns are necessary for self-defense? Handguns? Rifles? Semiautomatic weapons? When is a gun semi-automatic?
Any textualist would tell Justice Breyer to read a basic firearms manual. Any gun owner would tell Justice Breyer that a vast number of the guns owned in America are semiautomatic. A semiautomatic gun is one which dispenses precisely one round with each press of the trigger and loads the next round by mechanical pressure. Semiautomatic firearms are owned by millions of law-abiding hunters and homeowners, and even by policemen. God only knows what J-Dog would tell him.
Perhaps Justice Breyer, and his equally ignorant clerks, meant to raise the specter of fully automatic firearms, which dispense rounds in multiple bursts or until exhausted of ammunition, as with machine guns, squad automatic weapons, and the like. There is no reason to believe that the five Justices who held for the petitioners in McDonald v. Chicago, one of whom I have it on good authority hunts and knows the difference, will ever overturn the federal ban on civilian ownership of machine guns. At least not until they're made obsolete by blasters and phased plasma rifles, in forty watt range (which I'm assured are ideal for home defense).
Perhaps our most serious constitutional defect isn't the Second Amendment, but Article III, which grants astonishing power for life to highly educated men and women, even when those people prove, again and again, that their educations don't mean a damned thing.
But I doubt Justice Breyer would go that far.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
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