Mr. Burns vigorously stirred the pot with this column about how the subjects of motorcycles and guns commingle. This piece was followed one week later by another MO columnist, Chris Kallfelz, who has a different perspective about how issues surrounding guns and motorbikes exist in the sphere of personal responsibility. Read his column here. —Ed.


Say, I’m a little pressed for time on this week’s column and need a quick and easy topic that won’t offend anybody. How about guns, and “gun violence,” a term that by itself set one of my Facebook friends off on a rant a few days ago? (He says “gun violence” is a phrase recently invented by gun-control forces to inculcate the insidious idea that guns are violent. Which they’re not until somebody pulls the trigger, I believe was his point.) All I know is there seems to be a tremendously high correlation between being a motorcycle person and a gun person. Many of the people who get misty eyed at the sight of a nice original Katana turn positively weepy when presented with a lever-action Winchester 30-30 like grandma used to shoot.

120915-whatever-guns-motos-woman-rifle

As I write this, the most recent mass shooting (massacre, unfortunate incidence of gun-related violence, whatever you choose to call it) took place last week in San Bernardino, California: 14 dead and many wounded. The week before that, another armed nut shot up a Planned Parenthood in Colorado. Every time one of these happens, our President expresses sadness and a wish to pass stricter gun regulations, which leads to an avalanche of people saying what a jerk he is for even thinking about restricting their Second Amendment rights, followed by the other side saying what a bunch of crazies the gun nuts are for not wanting to do anything to stop the killings except arm people with more guns, the same predictable responses from both sides of the firing line.

The solution, as always, lies somewhere in between. Even though it’s sad we’re unable to accomplish anything meaningful as a nation anymore, it’s at least always good fun to watch people’s brains fill up with hot magma as they dig deeper into their mental foxholes. I actually like guns myself and own a couple, but I’m nothing like the serious enthusiast some of my friends are, most of whom agree with me that beefing up background checks and making guns a bit more difficult to obtain might not be a bad idea if for no other reason than to soothe the general public that something’s being done. In fact, it seems obvious (to me) that the public’s had about enough gun massacres. But compromise is a dirty word when it comes to the Second Amendment. All or nothing.

Sort of reminds me of all the noise about motorcycle noise here in the Golden State, where everybody (more a vocal minority) insisted on their right to have their lives saved by loud pipes, right up until the public had enough and passed SB435, which pretty much bans nearly all aftermarket pipes on bikes produced after 2013. Loud bikes and exhausts that say FOR CLOSED COURSE USE ONLY have always been illegal on the street, of course, but if nobody enforces a law, does it exist? I haven’t really noticed motorcycles getting any quieter, and California’s pipe benders have found creative new ways to market their products anyway, within the law. It wasn’t the end of the motorcycle world after all, or hasn’t been yet. And when people call the police to complain about those loud motorcycles, the person at the desk can say in all seriousness they’re doing all they can do to fix the problem and have a nice day. Squads of men in assault vehicles (is that pejorative against vehicles?) did not swoop into everyone’s garage to confiscate the Kerker pipes off their old GS1000s, life goes on.

The gun crackdown, not if but when it happens, will be like that. All my gun-toting pals point out that they’re law-abiding gun nuts. As such, none of the proposed enhanced background checks would really affect them. Assault weapons bans are already here, for full-auto guns anyway – which plenty of people own anyway, more than there are RG500 Suzukis and RZ500 Yamahas in the U.S., which also aren’t supposed to be here. (“Assault weapons” is another term my staunchest Second Amendment pals say is pejorative, since they’re only assaulting squirrels and targets. This of course ignores the opinion of bleeding-heart liberals watching the 6 o’clock news that AR-15-style military-derived rifles are the go-to choice of massacrerers everywhere, and bear a striking likeness to the guns people carry into war on the same 6 o’clock news.)

Maybe you just have to have been around long enough to observe a little history, but we seem to have a case of collective amnesia when it comes to certain hot-button issues in the U.S. I found some old George Wallace for Governor buttons in a box of old stuff I “inherited” from my folks the other day, the guy famous for standing on the Alabama capitol steps in 1963 and proclaiming, “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

120915-whatever-guns-motos-wallace-president

I was three. The next year, the U.S. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. The South was making progress, though: A hundred years before that, Jeff Davis, speaking from the same courthouse steps, decided it was a good idea to go to war to defend our right to own other people, which is quite a bit more egregious than not allowing their kids into the best schools.

With my limited knowledge, I don’t pretend to know the right and wrong of any of these complex issues, but I do know a little compromise might’ve saved quite a few lives and dollars. Clark Gable pointed out the same thing in Gone With the Wind and was shouted down. What if Jeff Davis and them had just reported in to Washington as usual, taken the floor and and said, “Y’ know, we’ve been thinking and decided you all may have a point about this whole slavery thing. What say we form a committee to look into it? Maybe we can start talking about a “rent-to-own-yourself” program or something, using federal subsidies of course … and now I’d like to buy everybody a mint julep.”

We’d probably be still in the negotiating stage today, much like with the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Sadly, that’s not how it usually works. The zealots always drag the rest of us, who don’t care all that much one way or the other but only want to be home in time to watch Hee Haw, into some big conflagration where everybody loses and/or has their ass shot off. And in the end, the same zealots with the open pipes who refused to wear a helmet always wind up partially muffled and in a non-DOT beanie helmet or Nazi replica one, with Worn Under Protest, NRA, and Stars and Bars stickers, bent but not broken, looking for adventure and the next conspiracy whilst holding up traffic in the left lane.

120915-whatever-guns-motos-south-park

  • Erik

    I’m from CA and about 2/3 off all harley’s have ridiculously loud aftermarket pipes. I’m totally ok with someone having an aftermarket exhaust on a supersport race bike where weight reduction and performance are critical, of which they ride on the weekends. But if you’re riding a harley or a commuting on a motorcycle with an aftermarket exhaust, you’re just a jerk. I’m still of the opinion that everything that is wrong with motorcycles in the US can sourced directly to harley and majority of their owners.

    • Old MOron

      In another post, you indicated that you are of the younger generation. I don’t have a son, but if I did, I hope he would be like you. Sniff.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      The majority of big bikes in the U.S. are Harleys, so everything good and bad can be sourced to Harleys. Some biker types have loud pipes, and so do some sport bike riders, so you cannot generalize. What exactly do you think is “wrong with motorcycles” in the U.S.?

    • DickRuble

      I’d say there is a stronger than average correlation between Harley ownership and a certain “have-you-seen-me” attitude intelligent people find offensive. Of course, that’s just statistics and every HD owner should be judged on his/her own merits.

      • Ser Samsquamsh

        That’s pretty much the marketing for both Harley and Victory. The sheer fake machismo of it is pretty hilarious.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        Harley ownership may correlate with a higher level of testosterone, but it doesn’t obviate intelligence. Many Harley riders are doctors, lawyers and engineers who ride on the weekend to relax from their stressful work week. Most Harley owners have a higher level of disposable income to be able to afford their $25K to $35K bikes. HD ownership and gun ownership both correlate with self-sufficiency.

  • Old MOron

    Best Southpark episode ever! – well okay, except for the one where Jesus and Santa Claus tell Brian Boitano, “Come back here, you fucking pussy!”

  • http://www.motou.info Gabe Ets-Hokin

    It’s funny, JB–I was just engaged with a discussion with a pack of gun…enthusiasts…last week, and man! They sure do get riled up at any suggestion the gun-enthusiast community needs to take some responsibility for gun-related death and injury in the country, because we have a lot of gun-related death and injury. They said I should take responsibility for motorcycle-related death and injury, but I do! I’m a CMSP riding instructor, started my own non-MSF riding school, and loudly advocated for examining the MSF’s model of rider training that seems more interested in churning out licensed riders than reducing fatalities.

    Anyway, the first part of the solution, as you write, is to get the sides to the table, as there is a notable lack of empathy on both sides–it’s a wash as to who’s less empathetic. But the other part of a possible fix is to just reduce the total number of guns over time. Reduce gun sales and get people to start destroying surplus guns. And there are plenty of surplus guns!

    • mooner

      There are plenty within the gun culture that do just as you do – teaching people new to firearms about safe, responsible handling. I would wager that this happens at least as much (probably much more) within the gun culture as it does in the motorcycling culture (I am an MSF instructor as well).

      These types of events are perpetrated by evil people. I am not quite sure how anyone in the gun community has anything to do with what an evil person does. Suggesting that they need to take responsibility is absurd. If an evil person was to drive their car into a group of kindergartners, should the “car enthusiast” community take responsibility? My point is – there are many ways that evil individuals can inflict harm. The method they use is not the problem.

      • mooner

        And another thing. A more apt comparison to gun owners taking responsibility for gun crimes would be the motorcycle community taking responsibility for the violence, and crime that the motorcycle gangs – Hell’s Angles, Sons of Silence, Outlaws, et al. – have committed over the years.

        • Hammerli

          Mooner, If I agreed to take responsibility for motorcycle related violence and crime what would happen to me?

          • mooner

            You tell me. Do you feel you are in any way responsible for motorcycle related violence?

          • Hammerli

            No, but you’re comparison between gun violence, biker violence and wider responsibility is not a good one. Following the recent Waco “Biker Shootout” what should we do to prevent that from happening again? a) Hold motorcycle culture responsible and restrict the use of motorcycles (absurd) or b) Hold gun culture responsible and restrict the use of guns (not so absurd).

          • mooner

            You obviously did not comprehend the purpose of the analogy. The absurdity of the two scenarios you presented above is equal. Even if you do not agree with the statement, I think the intent was obvious.

            “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

          • Hammerli

            Please help me understand. What legislation could be introduced with the intention of curtailing the activities of violent motorcycle gangs that would also be prejudicial to motorcyclists in general?

          • notfishing

            Simple Ban Motorcycles especially the Evil Assault Harley.

          • Hammerli

            Banning Harleys would not be detrimental to the interests of motorcyclists.

  • spiff

    I think we need to take care of our young. If we do, then when they grow up it is most probable that they won’t be douche bags. Most of these problems steam from douche bags.

    Hang out with the young and be a positive influence. Those I grew up around were, and we rode motorcycles and shot gun. Invest in the youth, and many problems will correct themselves.

    • spiff

      Then again my exhaust does say “off road use only”.

  • Alexander Pityuk

    “…a quick and easy topic that won’t offend anybody…”
    Please help me find a single truthful word in this quote :)

  • mooner

    Oh boy. Here we go. Well, considering you have some friends that are gun enthusiasts, I am sure you have heard this before, but here goes anyway…

    This notion of compromise is a complete false flag. The gun rights side has a history of compromises stretching back nearly 100 years. Each time there is compromise, we loose and they (anti-gun nut jobs) win. Your own Kalifornia has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country and not a one of those laws – nor any of the supposed “compromise laws” will stop any of these shootings.

    Meanwhile we have leftist politicians dancing on the graves of the deceased before the bodies are cold so that they can push their agenda. The media then colludes (look up journolist) to berate politicians on the right for daring to offer prayers and sympathy. What kind of upside down Alice in Wonderland world do we live in where this makes sense?

    When was the last time anyone advocated for a 7 day waiting period on pipe bombs for Christ’s sake?

    OK I’ll stop before I really get going here….

    • pennswoodsed

      Is there a body count on the pipe bombs? home defense , shot gun or pistol .

  • Mike

    This “article” is a simple minded, anti 2nd amendment propaganda hit from Political Left. Bye bye “motorcycle.com”.

    • Johnny Blue

      Oh, you’re so smart! I’m really sad to see you go! Don’t let your browser hit you in the ass on your way out.

    • Ian Parkes

      Not sure why you singled out Muslims when the overwhelming majority of gun massacres in the states are carried out by nominally, at least, Christians. Apparently these horrors are only classed as terrorist attacks when carried out by non-white folks. Actually, to be honest, I do know why you singled out Muslims.

      • Buzz

        Christians? Are they invoking Jesus before shooting the place up? The Mass shootings by “Whitey” are typically people who are mentally ill.

        With Blacks it’s gang violence in gun free zones.

        With Muslims it’s Slay the Infidel Where he Lays.

      • Jim Jones

        No gun massacres by Christians, but often by a dysfunctional white.

    • Jim Miller

      How about Smith & Wesson taking some responsibility for supplying the two AR-15s the San Bernadino junior jihadis used in the massacre? Oh, that’s right, guns don’t kill people, people do–right?

      To quote Eddie Izzard, “I think the gun helps.” Especially in this case, when they’ve got a pair of assault rifles with 50-round magazines.

  • TC

    California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Gun rights are in the Constitution of the United States for a reason. You would like to see ‘some compromise’? How about some compromise on the 13th Amendment, maybe we could own just one or two slaves? Or let’s enact some ‘commonsense laws’ regarding the 19th Amendment. You don’t really think that women should be able to vote on the issues that are too complex for them to understand, do you? Mr. Burns, you are the classic anti-gunner, posing as a reasonable gun owner. Save your anti gun rants for the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page, I’m sure they’d give you some space.

    • Old MOron

      Now that you mention it, it has long been argued that we do employ a compromised 13th Amendment. Google up wage slavery to get an idea.

      • TC

        It’s called the Bill of Rights, not the Bill of Compromises, Or the Bill of Popular Opinions.

  • RevD

    Just stick to bikes. Seriously, why are you even going in this direction? I really thought you guys were better than this.

  • Pushr0d

    The biggest problem, of course, is that the laws and restrictions only affect law-abiding citizens. If I heard right, the guns used in the SB incident were legally purchased by the dude’s 3rd cousin.

  • Billy

    “With my limited knowledge, I don’t pretend to know the right and wrong of any of these complex issues”

    After making such an admission, you’d really be ill-advised to make an uninformed comment like,

    “Jeff Davis, speaking from the same courthouse steps, decided it was a good idea to go to war to defend our right to own other people”

    That war was NOT about slavery. I won’t say that it had nothing to do with slavery. It did, but that was not the primary catalyst. It was, like all wars, about power and money. Slavery was part of that power & money equation. As others have said, you really should stick to motorcycles. You addressed two hot-button issues here, and demonstrated your ignorance in both of them.

    • john burns

      Agreed, it was about power and money. And a huge chunk of the South’s money took the form of slaves. They weren’t cheap.

    • BDan75

      Just keep tellin’ yourself that, buddy…

    • panthalassa

      revisionists and apologists who minimize slavery’s role, citing instead states’ rights and economic oppression, seem to ignore a mountain of primary sources from the mouths and pens of the players themselves.
      http://www.civilwarcauses.org/quotes.htm

  • Starmag

    Hitler, Stalin and Mao all thought gun confiscation was a great idea, 100 million killed or so later, I disagree. It’d probably be better to stick to bikes as opposed to unicorns. Cali’s gun laws didn’t save anyone. Neither do Chicago’s. In America you are way more likely to be shot by a “officer of the peace” than a terrorist. Ben Franklin Quote “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    • Kevin Duke

      Who said anything about gun confiscation…? Then Burns would have threaten to shoot his editor with arrows instead of bullets. 😉

      • John B.

        Those of us who live in “flyover country” realize gun control is a total non-start.

    • Jim Miller

      That’s also a lie. Hitler actually relaxed the gun laws in 1938, after the Treaty of Versailles called for the confiscation of weapons in 1919, after the end of WWI. Mao and Stalin never banned guns of any kind–in the case of China, they didn’t need to, no one could afford them.

      If you’re going to offer counterpoints, it’s best to find some that are actually true.

      • pennswoodsed

        There is a dearth of research and truthfulness here. It is my opinion that the NRA is an advertising collective for the manufacturers .

        • Jim Miller

          True enough. Despite its howling about protecting the 2nd Amendment, the NRA’s primary job is to protect the profits of Colt, Interarms, Smith & Wesson, et al. It’s been nothing more than a lobbying group for the arms industry for decades, thanks to the NRA’s whacko whore in chief, Wayne LaPierre.

    • DickRuble

      Yeap, if we give up the right to a peaceful life (essential liberty) just to indulge gun nuts to play out their fantasies, we don’t deserve that liberty or the safety.

      • John B.

        Dick where in the Constitution does it say you have a right to “a peaceful life,” and why do you refer to your compatriots who own guns as “nuts?” Talking out of your ass doesn’t add much to the conversation.

        • john burns

          life, liberty, pursuit of happiness

          • John B.

            Hey John, I apologize for our war of words a couple weeks back. Our disagreement over ideas became unnecessarily personal, and I went too far. I hope you will accept my apology.

            Yes, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but not “a peaceful life.” I’m not sure “a peaceful life” exists anywhere. Surely, the Constitution does not guarantee one, or I have one hell of a civil rights lawsuit against our government.

            Gun ownership and motorcycle ownership are remarkably similar. Someone needs to write an article on that topic.

  • DickRuble

    Well written, the right amount of humor and an interesting correlation, though not a surprise. Where do I upvote articles?

    • john burns

      I can retire now. Who do i speak to about my MO pension?

      • DickRuble

        Write your application on a $3 bill and send to the NRA chapter nearest to your home.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Not much to do with motorcycles, though.

  • sigp238

    If people felt safe they wouldn’t need guns. Obama has been the best salesman the gun industry has had for 7 straight years. Why? because of the things he has done to make people feel less safe. Siding with Trayvon Martin, the rioters in Ferguson and OWS are just a few examples.

    • john burns

      Pretty good, only one Obama mention so far.

      • Scott

        Lol, no kidding. You could read an article about broccoli and half the comments would be political. Who are these people?

    • Sayyed Bashir

      People were only buying guns because the gun lobby scared everyone into thinking he was going to ban guns. Gun shops sprouted everywhere like mushrooms. Now they are slowly dying out.

  • Old MOron

    If people want to own guns, I’m okay with it. I strongly support Constitutional rights. Go to the shooting range. Go hunting. Fine. But if people want to carry guns in public, no way! I have two reasons.

    Reason number one: cops.

    The only large group of people who carry guns in public are cops. And guess what: they can’t shoot straight! Google up “police shooting accuracy statistics” and you’ll see that they have a dismal hit ratio. Dismal.

    We’re talking about professional gun wielders here. Carefully trained, retrained, evaluated, and cleared for duty. And they’re dismal.

    Reason number two: illusory superiority
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority

    Most people think they’re better than average. They’re not. Most gun handlers think they’re better than average. They’re not.

    Put those two reasons together and you get a bunch of morons who can’t shoot straight and who can’t wait to be the next Bruce Willis. No thanks.

    • John B.

      You’re right OM, but there’s more to the story.

      It’s important to keep in mind why we have the right to bear arms. I recently researched the world’s greatest genocides. In each case, a government led by a genocidal maniac (Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc.) took guns away from their victims and slaughtered millions with little resistance. If those victims had firearms, millions fewer would have been killed.

      The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting. The right to bear arms is an imperfect solution for the reasons you enumerated, among others. Undoubtedly, people die unnecessarily because we have gun rights in America.

      The question is whether on balance gun rights make us more or less safe. In terms of suicide, domestic violence, and accidental death, guns make us less safe on balance. With respect to resisting an oppressive government (especially one led by a genocidal leader) guns make us more safe.

      Obviously, reasonable people differ as to how to strike the right balance. Whenever we give people access to a dangerous instrumentalities (firearms, motorcycles, automobiles, fireworks, ladders, smartphones, etc.) deaths and serious injuries occur.

      I am worried about the political climate in our country, and the open hostility among our citizens. We need a great leader, but I don’t see one on the horizon.

      • DickRuble

        “If those victims had firearms, millions fewer would have been killed.” — It would have made no difference. Whether you have a gun or fifty or 100 makes no difference when 100 government agents show up to your door step. The second amendment was meaningful December 1791, in the political context and considering the guns of the day. Today, if you own a gun, I would ask you; what well regulated militia are you part of?

        • BDan75

          It’s interesting to me that after a decade-plus of watching the world’s most powerful military duke it out with a bunch of guys with AK-47s and homemade bombs, people still make the argument that there’s no way anybody could take on the US government.

          At the end of the day, if you’re talking about really banning guns–like, really making them hard to get hold of–all the policy in the world doesn’t matter. This isn’t Australia. There must be a couple hundred million unregistered firearms in this country. Even if you somehow repealed the 2nd Amendment and passed a law banning/confiscating all firearms, how would you ever find them all? The day after said ban is announced, probably 70% will disappear. And the day agents start showing up and seizing them will be the first day of the Second Civil War.

          Lest you think I’m hoping for that…believe me, I’m not. But having grown up in Red State America, I can tell you that if there’s something that would actually lead to a mass armed uprising in this country, that’d be it…

          • mooner

            Dan, to further your point – that is exactly how our country was founded. A bunch of farmers vs the greatest military of the time.

            I would add that the main point to having a 2nd amendment is to avoid the civil war type situation as you describe above. Even a tyrannical gov’t will only initiate such a confrontation if they know it will be an easy win.

          • Jason

            “that is exactly how our country was founded. A bunch of farmers vs the greatest military of the time”

            That is the condensed version taught in US History classes but not nearly the whole store. It leaves out the fact that the other two world powers at the time entered the war in support of the Colonists. England suddenly had to defend territory all around the world and keep troop reserves at home to defend against a planned invasion of England by France. We focus on the war in North America but land and sea battles took place all around the world: North America, Europe, Africa, Asia

          • Ian Parkes

            I don’t think anyone who favors gun control thinks it will happen overnight, but the majority of citizens could start to change the environment by thinking that democracy should have a role here and rejecting the assumption they are hostage to the NRA. And as for the assumption that whoever drafted the Second Amendment envisioned a situation where any nutjob can stockpile or buy automatic weapons in a fit of rage and use them on anyone and everyone is disrespectful to their view of society. Maybe it should be updated? It is, after all, already an amendment.

          • BDan75

            A couple of thoughts on your comment, Ian. Agree that “baby steps” is the way things will change…but then again, that’s exactly what the NRA says, isn’t it? Baby steps that eventually lead to universal registration, and then eventual confiscation. Hence the hardline approach to “sensible” restrictions.

            As to the citizenry being hostage to the NRA…well, perhaps, but no more than our system of government, coupled with a constitutional amendment, makes possible. If it were only 10% of the country that shared the NRA’s opinion on guns, I suspect we wouldn’t have a 2nd Amendment much longer. Blaming an interest group for having a strong lobby won’t get you anywhere.

            Second: this may seem a small point, but it’s often missed. With a few, limited exceptions, automatic firearms are illegal in this country. Semi-automatic firearms, a very different thing, are legal….but that covers everything from innocuous-looking hunting rifles to full-on military-style AR-15s. That’s why pro-gun people tend to scoff at “assault weapons” bans…which are mostly based on cosmetics (though I do think they tend to underestimate the appeal the military styling has to the mind of a psychopath). It’s a little like outlawing an S1000RR for being too fast, while saying that an S1000XR is fine because it looks like an ADV bike.

            In the end, like everything else these days, this seems to be about the culture wars. I imagine the situation changing eventually, as the demographics of the country continue to shift and as fewer people live in rural areas. Over roughly the same timeframe, I’d imagine we’ll find ourselves in a situation in which it truly WILL be impossible for a group of citizens to mount a successful armed campaign against a modern government (imagine what AI-powered drones and other advanced weaponry will look like in 20 years). At that point, this will all be moot.

          • Ian Parkes

            I like your moot point – well the humor in it anyway. And I agree its not so much the citizenry being held captive but the politicians. I’m just saying moderates should recognise they are in the majority. The majority of people should simply get their representatives to value their opinions more than payola from the NRA. I’m not blaming the NRA for being good at its job.Of course the NRA is opposed to baby steps, not because they think it will lead to confiscation of all weapons – which would be the polar opposite of their views – but because any moderate measure is now an outrage to them. They really carry on as if the loss of a single gun from anyone’s arsenal would be like the loss of a limb, even though every day innocent people are losing far more than that. And as for the constitution, the people have amended it before. Let them do it again. It’s obvious the NRA is not really defending the constitution. They are simply using it to defend their guns.

          • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

            Actually in colonial America it was legal to own cannons 😜 The fact remains that the right to KEEP and BEAR arms was and is designed as a fundamental check on government. Look at the Federalist arguments re establishing a central government. It’s in the bill of rights. Unless you wish to amend the constitution it’s a right just as free speech is a right.

        • Declan Dillman

          10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes: (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

          (Title 32 governs the National Guard, in case you are wondering.)

          • DickRuble

            How could I wonder. The definition you are using (which by the way refers to UNORGANIZED militia, henceforth not well regulated) is taken from the Militia act of 1903 also known as the Dick Act. I bet you knew that. That “National Guard” referred to is also not the same as the National Guard of the US, in case you wondered. Interestingly, your militia act paragraph does not mention women. We should conclude that either a) women are not allowed to possess guns since they cannot be members of the militia or b) the act is unconstitutional. Your choice.

          • Declan Dillman

            Your comment is fatuous. This is the US Code referring to Militia…it is what it is. I provided it in an attempt to educate you in some small way. Your “belief” in your personal definition of organized vs unorganized is solely yours alone, without legal standing. Go ahead and provide citations to your information, if you can.

          • John B.

            Dick doesn’t understand how one deduces the law related to a given issue. The interplay between the Constitution, Federal and State statutes, and reported case law (especially from SCOTUS), among other sources, describes current law on a given subject.

            Nevertheless, Dick, and others like him, merely read an Amendment or statute and think they know the law related to a given subject. He sees the word “Militia” in the Second Amendment, so he asks where’s your Militia?…. Stupefying!

          • Old MOron

            Ah, now we see the lawyer condescend as he plays his trump card. In this case it’s not stupefying. Unfortunately, it’s all too predictable. You’d better have another look at Illusory Superiority. Maybe some of those Buddhist tenets you professed, too.

          • John B.

            If Dick were as reckless about the laws of physics as he is about the laws of our country he would have lived about 30 seconds riding a motorcycle. When I read Dick’s legal analysis, I better understood how David L. Hough feels when riders tell him counter-steering isn’t real or helmets are dangerous because they cause neck injuries.

            Knowledge is a “trump card” I highly recommend OM, as it confers “Actual Superiority” in many situations. The inverse is also true. Lack of knowledge (i.e., ignorance) is an obstacle and a hazard. As such, “Illusory Superiority” is inapposite in this context because I possess education, training, and experience in the law that qualifies me as an expert. Dick, on the other hand, doesn’t know how to read law, and is oblivious to basic civics. He can, however, cut and paste verbatim from Wikipedia, which is invaluable to those unable to do so for themselves.

            Yes, I aspire to Buddhist tenets, but I need more practice. You will find few perfect people in this world OM.

          • Old MOron

            Oh yes, this is the enduring fallacy, isn’t it? The laws of our legal system are just like natural laws of science (physics in your example). Judges and lawyers don’t make the Law. They discover and deduce it. My, what a superior crew.

            Anyway, I’m not perfect, either. Welcome to the club!

          • John B.

            In at least one important way the laws of our legal system are similar to the laws of science: Ignorance with respect to either can cause great hardship.

            Law gets made several different ways: Constitutional Amendments, new statutes enacted the usual way at the federal or state level, regulatory commission rules, opinions issued in cases that interpret statutes, lawyers arguing for certain interpretations in cases, and law professors and other experts writing treatises that judges sometimes rely on in opinions, to name a few. As such, at any given moment the law is dynamic and amorphous in certain areas and well settled in others. Similarly, in physics laws related to how big things move is well understood, but laws related to the quantum world not so much.

            With respect to Second Amendment rights, it’s important to understand the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of constitutionality with respect to any statute; i.e., the Supreme Court has final say on whether a given gun law is constitutional.

            If you want to know more about this subject take a look at “Reading Law” by Antonin Scalia. Even legal commentators who don’t like Scalia’s position on various issues respect his incredible legal mind, and his book is excellent.

            Cheers!

          • Old MOron

            The key word here is “made”. Laws get made. But cheers back atcha! And if you want to consider an alternative perspective, take a look at “The Interpretation Game” by Robert Benson.

          • john burns

            too true, OM. If my folks came back from the hereafter, and I told them gay marriage was legal, they wouldn’t believe me. (After I told them what gay means now.)

          • DickRuble

            The Militia Act of 1903 (32 Stat. 775), also known as “The Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903”, also known as the Dick Act,

            [1] Act of Jan. 21, 1903, 47th Congress, 2nd session, chapter 196, 32 Stat. 775-780.

            Today, the term militia is used to describe a number of groups within the United States. Primarily, these are:

            The organized militia defined by the Militia Act of 1903, which repealed section two hundred thirty-two and sections 1625 – 1660 of title sixteen of the Revised Statutes, consists of State militia forces, notably the National Guard and the Naval Militia.[2] The National Guard, however, is not to be confused with the National Guard of the United States, which is a federally recognized reserve military force, although the two are linked.

            The reserve militia[3] are part of the unorganized militia defined by the Militia Act of 1903 as consisting of every able-bodied man of at least 17 and under 45 years of age who is not a member of the National Guard or Naval Militia.

            I am not going to qualify your comments. As for education, you can only educate someone less educated than yourself. That one’s going to be hard to find.

            Former members of the armed forces are also considered part of the “unorganized militia” per Sec 313 Title 32 of the US Code.[2]

        • John B.

          Dick you need to take a second look at the Holocaust and other genocides. It was not 100 government agents coming out to arrest one person. The victims had no guns and hundreds of people being led to the slaughter were controlled by a few soldiers with guns.

          I own guns, but I don’t belong to a well regulated militia. You need a constitutional law lesson. Under current law, a person does not need to belong to a militia to lawfully own guns. You have to read and comprehend more than the Second Amendment to understand gun law, which you don’t. Do some research and then think a little.

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            You need to take a second look at the Warsaw uprising. Even a well armed and extremely motivated irregular force can not stand up against a regular army.

        • Sayyed Bashir

          100 government agents show up only if they know you are armed. If you are unarmed, they send a couple of guys. If everyone was armed, they could not send a 100 government agents to every door step.

        • pennswoodsed

          Answer , you are not any part of a well regulated militia.Or frankly a well regulated any thing . The only armed persons with any kind of constraint are law enforcement . Actual “militia” or USA military personnel are rarely encouraged or allowed issued firearms outside of combat areas. I believe that the framers of the constitution had in mind ,at most civilian soldiers with weapons at the ready for instant call up and defense. Israel and perhaps Sweden have or have had similar statues . NOT so that borderline personality disorder individuals could go to KrispyKreme with an AR15..

          • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

            Actually the US code specifically defines militia as men of fighting age.

        • Ser Samsquamsh

          I agree. The government has tanks and attack helicopters with thermal sights, delta force, satellites, and prisons. What am I going to do with my M-14 against that?

          This article had less scatology but certainly wasn’t very focused on bikes!

          • DickRuble

            The article provided a brief respite from discussing DCT and ABS…

      • Ian Parkes

        Drat. Seems my original reply didn’t stick and I was so much more eloquent and unanswerably compelling then but I’ll try again. Just picking up on the point that guns make people feel safer because the second amendment was added to resist oppressive government. I think this misses the point – indeed the main point – of the constitution, that it set up the world’s best system of government at controlling political hegemoney by separating justice from legislature; guaranteeing freedom of religion (because aligning state and specific religions is simply a recipe for unbridled persecution) and of course creating two ‘parliaments’ – the house and senate; all of which taken make together make for the best system of political checks and balances yet devised. Sure it’s big and its expensive, but it’s surely exercised far more subtle and effective control over the politically over-ambitious than the knowledge a lot of people have guns. Maybe the second amendment was for – and still is for – people who put more faith in guns than in a silly old constitution. They don’t make me feel more safe.

        • John B.

          You really underestimate those who negotiated and drafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They know exactly what they were doing, and would not agree the Second Amendment somehow conflicts with the Constitution’s intended purpose.

          • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

            Amen

        • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

          Funny how those who wish to opine for gun control think it will make them safer. This is hoplophobia at its finest. There is not a single instance of more restrictive gun laws making anyone safer. Australia post ban has had a sharp rise in armed crime. Canada has an occupied dwelling burglary rate four times higher than the US and England has a severe problem with knife wielding thugs. Gun restrictions make everyone vulnerable. When seconds count the police are minutes away. As for borderlines getting assault weapons it is rather rare. I should know as I’m a psychiatrist.

      • evildoctor

        Yes there is a leader on the horizon: Hillary. She will lead your country into the abyss, and the rest of the free world will follow as the whole stinking lot of “leaders” in my country (Canada), the UK, France, Germany are feckless incompetents that can’t or won’t deal with the economic nor Geo-political challenges that threaten our way of life. Hold on to your weapons my American friends as I’m afraid you’re gonna need them.

      • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

        Switzerland has every man of fighting age a weapon. No standing army. Hitler never dared invade. Your premise is untrue.

    • Scott

      Illusory Superiority… I didn’t know it had a name. Cool.

      I was reading a newspaper in the South maybe 20 years ago. The article was about requiring hunter education classes for children before allowing them to hunt. Of course the main guy in the story was against it, because his daddy taught him and his daddy taught him and he knew all about gun safety and by God he could teach his little girl just fine.

      My daddy taught me, too, and i immediately noticed in the picture accompanying the article that the little girl was strolling along beside her expert father with her rifle WITH HER FINGER ON THE TRIGGER. She was clearly walking–one foot was off the ground when the picture was snapped. I sort of laughed and shook my head. What irony! It was then I realized maybe her daddy was no expert, after all, since my expert daddy taught me to never put my finger on the trigger while walking (or at any other time until I am ready to shoot) no matter if the gun is thought to be unloaded and safetied. And then I realized maybe my dad didn’t know everything either, and that I could probably use more education myself.

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      Also, two thirds of gun fatalities in the US are self inflicted. Good mental health and, as you infer, training keep you alive. Neither are glamorous subjects, sadly.

    • BDan75

      Truth is, we’ve had concealed carry in many states for a long time now, and we don’t have a wild west (or Bruce Willis) situation because of it. The people who cause the problems are generally not the ones who jumped through the hoops to carry legally.

      As for the skills (or lack thereof) of a person attempting to stop a shooting in progress…I’m sorry, but if I’m trapped in a room and there’s a guy with a semi-automatic rifle at the door picking off people one by one, I’ll take my chances with any wannabe Barney Fife who tries to shoot back. If he screws up and hits me in the process…well, that sucks, but I’ll still thank him if I’m alive to do so.

  • Hammerli

    John, I have no idea what you thought you might gain from writing this piece, but thanks anyway. 2nd Amendment Fundamentalists seem to forget that they are a minority and they live in a democracy and in a democracy the will of the people, as normally represented by the majority, wins when it comes to the crunch. The more they distance themselves from the majority by taking an extreme, no compromise stance, as typified by many of the comments on your article, the bigger their eventual fall will be.

    • mooner

      I have two issues with your comments (that I’m going to share here anyway).

      The biggest problem is your erroneous statement about the USA being a democracy. We live in a Representative Republic – go ahead, look it up. Indeed, if we lived in a democracy (mob rule), emotion, rather that intellect would rule the day and we may well see more infringement on many of our natural rights. I believe it was Ben Franklin who said: (paraphrasing) Democracy is two wolves and a sheep arguing over what is for dinner.

      The second is your assumption that people who support the 2nd amendment (nigh, the Constitution) as written are the minority. Craftily worded polling questions from am agenda driven press has given many less informed individuals that impression.

      • Hammerli

        Whatever you want to call it, should an opportunity present itself, as it did in Washington State with I-594, the side with the most votes wins.
        There is no proof that voters would divide on gun ownership lines, but if you were sympathetic to the claims that firearms are essential to protect individuals and families from the threat posed by mass murderers, home invaders, rioters, terrorists, flesh eating zombies and your own Government (f’christ’ssake!) wouldn’t you already have an arsenal?

        • mooner

          Whatever I want to call it?

          Nevermind….

    • John B.

      “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” – Ben Franklin

      • DickRuble

        “Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote” — According to this definition all African and South American putsch and military coup leaders are the big daddies liberty.

        • John B.

          Read Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin biography, and then get back to me.

          • DickRuble

            Sure, in the meantime why don’t you go fly a kite in a storm.

          • John B.

            Peace be to you my American brother!

    • Sayyed Bashir

      It doesn’t matter if you are a minority. If you are a vocal minority and fight for your rights and throw enough money at it (look at gays, NRA, farmers, etc) no laws are going to be passed against you. Most of the majority are like sheep. They don’t care about anything. Most don’t even bother to vote. Only the motivated vote.

      • Hammerli

        True. The other side only has the potential to beat you at the polls. But you can’t win the moral argument: you can’t say that American society is so screwed up that we all need to own and carry guns, when, apparently, 2/3rds of the population don’t feel that threatened.

    • John B.

      The pure democracy (majority rules) you describe ensures tyranny for the minority. In a majority rules (pure) democracy, the majority imposes its will on minority viewpoints. The beauty of the American system (a representative democracy) is it’s not a majority rules system. This is why our Constitution requires a supermajority in many contexts such as adding Amendments to the Constitution.

      Our country would not have lasted very long if we had a majority rules system. In fact, the reason each state has two senators was to enable Slave States to stop the federal government from outlawing slavery. The House of Representatives passed legislation to abolish slavery three (3) times prior to Civil War, however, the Slave State Senators blocked the legislation. We did not have majority rules with respect to slavery.

      The people who drafted and adopted our Constitution studied Locke and Hobbs, and abhorred the majority rules system. If these subjects interest you, I would recommend, “How Democratic is Our Constitution” by RA Dahl.

  • JMDonald

    If gun control worked Chicago and Mexico would be the safest places on the planet
    There seems to be a statistcal correlation between loud pipes and low IQ.
    There also seems to be the same correlation for those that choose not to wear a helmet.
    A Disease in the Public Mind by Thomas Fleming does a very good job of explaining why we fought the Civil War.
    How many mass shootings would justify new gun control measures? Answer: none.
    These comments and opinions are my own and are not meant to purposely offend anyone.

    • Ian Parkes

      I think you misunderstand gun control. Try Australia. A country with very similar values and lifestyles. Except their politicians had the courage to automatic weapons after a mass shooting 20 years ago. The reactionary right reacted saying it was their right – but the guns were crushed anyway. Since then they have had how many mass shootings? Zero. Zip. Nada. Of course gun control works.

      • JMDonald

        It is you sir that misunderstand gun control. Look at Australia’s crime statistics. The lack of mass shootings is not the only benchmark. Gun control did not stop the terrorist attack in Sydney now did it?

        • Hammerli

          NRA = No Reasoning Ability

          • JMDonald

            Ford- fix or repair daily. Found off road dead.
            Hammerli = not capable of coherent argument. Feeble minded confused by reality.

          • Buzz

            I haven’t seen any mention of the two, recent Paris mass shootings. In a country where guns are banned and totally illegal to posses.

            Love the Southpark photo. Everyone here should watch the episode called “the F Word.” It is hilarious.

          • Hammerli

            It may be of some comfort to you that you think along the same lines as Donald Trump. He wondered what would have happened if a few Parisians had been armed and able to fight back.
            The answer of course is that if the French, as a whole, were armed to the same extent as US citizens, a dozen or so more people may have survived the mass shootings at the expense of thousands lost to US style day-to-day gun violence.

            By the way, would it hurt you to do the slightest research before sounding off? According to “The truth about Guns” website, “While France consistently ranks among the top countries for per capita civilian gun ownership worldwide….”

          • notfishing

            Recent studies have proved your hypothesis wrong.

            “The article concludes through multiple examples of crime rate statistics that criminals tend to migrate across areas with greater frequency when concealed carry laws are implemented. This migration has a greater effect as related to concealed carry than just increased arrest rates, meaning increased law enforcement techniques which lead to more arrests are still less effective at reducing crime than the deterrent effect of having concealed carry laws. This spillover effect of crime is noted as immediate and increased over time, with counties that implement such laws continually seeing a decrease in crime and counties that don’t have concealed carry continually seeing a growth in crime. Taken as a whole, the projection is that aggregate crime reduction can be better achieved through the adoption of concealed carry laws in all states throughout the country18”

            http://www.researchgate.net/publicat…Based_Modeling

          • Hammerli

            Since you are a disciple of an organization that opposes or prevents real research and that twists, manipulates or invents statistics in an attempt to overturn the overwhelming evidence presented by the rest of the world, that gun control DOES work, you are not allowed to mention the words “research” or “statistics” in any of your arguments.

        • john phyyt

          Precisely. If you think there is low level of gun crime there. Just ask a local. As for reactionary right ? Typical misinformation.

        • Ian Parkes

          Okay, let’s go there. Australian homicides per 100,000: 1.3. USA: 5. Violent crime in USA is SIX times the rate in Australia even though the USA has more police. And if you look at violent crime including murder (and it’s guns’ casual efficiency at ending life that makes them the issue here) the USA’s score is 57 times greater than Australia.
          Re terrorist attack – what does that have to do with anything? An armed citizenry doesn’t prevent that. And the argument here is about the hundreds, even thousands of deaths deliberately (ignoring accidentally) caused by armed American citizens. Can you explain what I’m misunderstanding?

          • JMDonald

            A ban on guns does not eliminate violent crime. Are you saying that if we could ban guns criminals would not get them? The world would be a better place without them? It doesn’t seem to be working in Australia or anywhere else guns are banned. If statistcal analysis appeals to you I suggest you read More Guns Less Crime by John Lott. The world is a dangerous place. If you find yourself in a Your fear of firearms does not trump my right to protect myself.

          • Hammerli

            Sorry for repeating this, but it goes for you too JMDonald…….

            Since you are a disciple of an organization that opposes or prevents
            real research and that twists, manipulates or invents statistics in an
            attempt to overturn the overwhelming evidence presented by the rest of
            the world, that gun control DOES work, you are not allowed to mention
            the words “research” or “statistics” in any of your arguments

          • JMDonald

            I must have missed it. What organization am I a member of? Tu es morionem.

          • notfishing

            Rate of homicides in US by other than firearms is 30% of the total you quote.

            So homicides by something other than a firearm is TWICE the rate of all weapons for Australia.

            Nice Spin

            As to Armed Citizenry and attacks well there was this little Terrorist Attack in the late 1700’s by British Mercenaries that was defeated by an Armed Citizenry.

      • Lisa Glover

        You are as likely to be struck by lightning as be killed in a mass shooting. Don’t touch my tools for everyday defense… Didn’t occupied home invasions in Australia go up after the gun ban? I don’t like the thought of saying “Shoo, shoo” to intruders. Guns are tools; people are the problem and the lack of a pistol would never stop those that want to do evil. A trip to the hardware store can yield many destructive devices.

  • John B.

    Interesting article John. I am glad to see MO is not afraid to wade into muddy waters.

    One difference between helmet laws and loud pipes on the one hand, and gun rights on the other, is gun ownership is a hill many gun owners are willing to die on. I frequently hear people in the heart of gun country say they will never turn in their guns, or discard large capacity magazines etc. I don’t hear the same vehemence from people who don’t want to wear helmets and/or insist on loud pipes. (Admittedly, I don’t socialize much with people who oppose helmet laws or enjoy loud pipes.)

    I ride in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, and ride solo most of the time. On long motorcycle excursions, firearms, like a helmet or ABS, constitute safety equipment. I don’t need to explain this to anyone who has taken a long solo motorcycle trip. To carry legally and safely on a multi-state motorcycle trip is not simple however.

    Although the states in which I ride have reciprocity with Texas for concealed carry license holders, out-of-state license holders must comply with each state’s firearms laws. Also, state law related to use of deadly force and self defense varies from state to state (stand your ground etc.), and certain resorts prohibit firearms altogether. Moreover, it’s difficult to unholster and fire a firearm quickly and accurately while wearing all the gear all of the time; especially while wearing winter gloves. (I would note motorcycle journals don’t normally write articles related to concealed carry while riding.) My guess is few people who ride and carry bother to research state law before they set out on a multi-state motorcycle trip.

    I am exhausted from debating gun control issues, and have come to believe this country will never reach a consensus on guns or gun control (or a myriad of other issues). With reference to slavery, Abraham Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand. The question today is whether a house divided should stand. In the world’s history there has never been a country with a diverse population over 300 million people, and a vibrant representative democracy that values personal freedom. Our country had 4 million people in 1776, and I am not sure our system functions well with a population over 300 million citizens from diverse backgrounds.

    In my experience, it’s far more difficult to operate a motorcycle safely than it is to safely carry a firearm. Both require education, training, and practice, however, and mistakes often have deadly consequences. Admittedly, I have been very afraid in the presence of certain people with guns and when around reckless motorcycle riders. There are no easy answers.

    • Hammerli

      John B Wrote, “On long motorcycle excursions, firearms, like a helmet or ABS, constitute safety equipment. I don’t need to explain this to anyone who has taken a long solo motorcycle trip.”
      The reason you don’t need to explain this is not because anyone agrees with you, but because the reasons are doubtless the same as those used to justify carrying guns in public at any time and we’ve heard them all before.

      • John B.

        In most states I have the right to carry a concealed firearm, and in many states the right to open carry. How did I get that right if no one agrees I should have the right to carry in public and/or there is no reason to do so? I’m your countryman, not the enemy, and my guns have never killed anyone. If you don’t want me to carry on long motorcycle trips change the law.

        • Hammerli

          John, You implied that most others who make long motorcycle trips would agree with you that carrying a firearm is good idea. I was just saying that I don’t think that is the case.

          • John B.

            I should have been more clear, but did not want to get into the reasons why I carry on long rides. Anyone who has taken a long solo motorcycle trip understands that you inevitably run into situations where no one else can help you if you run into trouble.

            I’ve run into drug dealers at rest stops and gas stations, got lost and ended up in very bad neighborhoods, won several thousand dollars playing poker and walked out carrying a motorcycle helmet and jacket, got a flat at dusk 30 miles from the next exit, etc. To take a long distance solo motorcycle ride is to be, on occasion, vulnerable.

            I understand not everyone agrees it’s a good idea for me to carry. If the law changes I will not carry, and I do not carry anywhere I am not permitted to carry (e.g., bars, schools). In the meantime, I will do everything I can to ride and carry safely.

          • Sayyed Bashir

            On long motorcycle trips I have only found the most friendly and helpful people when I got in trouble. It is not healthy to be paranoid all the time. Everyone is not out to kill you. Neither should you be.

          • John B.

            Salam Alaikum! You’re dope!

  • JMDonald

    The second amendment is as important today as it was in 1791. Those of us that conceal carry in the Great State of Texas are not looking to be the next Bruce Willis. It is a protection we afford ourselves because we know that when seconds count the police are minutes away at best. It is a fallacy to believe the Police exist to serve and protect. They are agents of the State. A tyrannical State will not hesitate to use force to against its citizenry armed or not. As evidence look to the number of assaults by swat teams mistakenly against innocent citizens. It happens all the time, those mistakes are common. No one I know thinks for a second they will be able to defend themselves against a well armed swat team. In today’s climate of terrorism it is common sense for those that are willing and capable to carry a firearm. I for one want to go down swinging if I am unfortunate enough to be put into a situation like the one in San Bernardino. Discretion is always the better part of valor. Like riding motorcycles I have been shooting since I was twelve. Not everyone that carries or rides is a yayhoo. I carry concealed. Open carry does nothing but identify you as a target. I carry to protect myself.

  • http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/ cg

    Just a clarification: Full Auto firearms are legal to own in most States but some States do have full auto bans and rifle bans. Remember “assault” is a behavior not a rifle and the Black Rifle is the most popular rifle in the world along with the many thousands of versions of the AK. I’ll keep my M2HB for the next generation!

    • notfishing

      Presently to own full auto you need a special license and pay a fairly large “fee”. Prior to 1938 this was not true, anyone who could afford a full auto could buy one. The gangsters and their sensationalized actions changed all that. So once again the actions of a very few compromised the rights of everyone.

      • http://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/ cg

        Actually you don’t need a license per se. Just you’re transfer and acquisition form (usually a form 4 sorry been awhile) issued by the ATFE and your $200 tax stamp showing you paid the tax. Other “fees” vary but they are charged by the Class 3 Dealer who is the only authorized full auto sales licensee not the ATFE BUT it varies as to what States allow and possible fees they have. The only thing expensive about full auto firearms is the purchase price and the tremendous amount of ammo you can go thru! Always wanted WW2 military Enfield mc but the Thompson rig on the handlebars is worth 10x what the bike is worth nowadays.

  • pennswoodsed

    JB,
    my math makes you 1 year younger than I .There are a lot of games with high stakes “on” at the moment . The people who have millions and billions of dollars to lose , gun manufacturers, war industries and the 1% ers. They are playing to win and will seemingly stop at nothing to do so. Those misty eyes and engorged amydalas are targets of carefully crafted and researched advertising. Tying aggressive and warlike youth culture to personal autonomy leads to willing cannon fodder. And parents/taxpayers willing to send generations lives and spend futures on pointless wars that safeguard extra territorial interests and enrich the owners of the means of production.

  • Scott

    I’m a strong supporter of my right to bear arms, but I’m not so sure about the rest of you.

    Seriously, though, lets just assume that in the future, however long it takes, somehow, guns will be effectively banned for the most part. I accept that is inevitable. I just wonder how it will go down. A full frontal assault on the Constitution seems unlikely. The best–only really–arguments there have been tried and failed. Perhaps time will change opinion of the Justices, like with gay marriage, but I doubt it.

    So I have to think it will be some kind of end-around–like go after ammunition, liability, insurance..something. I think it will just become too expensive to own them, or will put you just too much at risk of financial ruin. I know some of that has been tried already, but they stand a much better chance of finding an angle there IMHO. When it gets too expensive hardly anyone will even bother, and the politicians will have to devise new ways to manipulate us.

  • John B.

    The simple solution for those who oppose gun rights is to pass a Constitutional Amendment to repeal the Second Amendment, or to convene an Article V Constitutional Convention to rewrite the Constitution. Either option should be simple enough since “right thinking” Americans don’t believe in gun rights. Lol!

  • aircraftmech

    Exactly what was the point of this article? It looked like an attempt to be intelligent and throw a bunch of words around.
    Trying to pull together motorcycles, firearms, segregation, the Civil War and using slavery as the cause of said war, was amateurish if anything.

    Stick to the subject of motorcycles, your attempt to appear academic fell flat on its face.
    Good thing I’m not reading this article in a magazine, otherwise I would’ve asked for my money back.

  • john burns
    • DickRuble

      Well, to reprise someone else’s argument, what was missing there were a few good citizens exercising their second amendment right to carry.

      • John B.

        What’s missing is a 7th Grade Civics lesson.

    • Lisa Glover

      John, I started riding 10 years ago… and my parents still think that this is the kind of activity I engage in. I show them pictures of bikes in the woods on dual sport rides, I show the bikes in front of restaurants, I show pictures of ATGATT riders with me… but they can not separate motorcycles from tatooed, leather vest patch, 1 percenters. Damn shame, really.

  • Martin Buck

    OK John, I’ll bite. There is a strong correlation between motorcyclists and gun owners because… Well, everyone loves a well oiled piece of machinery. Whether a crisp bolt action rifle, or a sweetly idling V Twin. All we need is the opportunity to enjoy these wonders of modern technology, without interference or condemnation from those who neither understand nor enjoy these pastimes. If you don’t like guns, stay away from them. Likewise, there are many similarly timid and fearful souls who will never entrust their lives to a motorcycle. Is the world a poorer place for this? Not really. To each his own. First rule: Harm nobody. Be safe. Be responsible.

  • notfishing

    For nearly 200 years the US had no real “Gun Control” laws. Now after 50 years and 20,000+ laws these mass shootings are all to frequent and far to lethal yet there are still those who ask for more laws.

    I find it funny how one portion of US Citizenry state that “All Muslims are not to Blame and should not be Punished for Islamic Terrorism.

    But all Gun Owners are responsible for every mass shooting and their rights should be Restricted.”

    Just like with motorcycles……

    • Hammerli

      1) Gun owners don’t have rights. The rights belong to the American people.
      2) There is no clear right to gun ownership. The Issue is open to interpretation because of the “Militia” bit.
      3) Even if it were agreed that the 2nd amendment did establish rights to ownership, it does not preclude regulation. The first thing the well regulated militia needs to know is who they can count on and what they can bring to the fight.

      Since gun ownership rights are the business of all American people: gun owners and non-owners, the notion that many non-owners have, that there is a significant downside to the current gun culture, is relevant. It would be perfectly reasonable and democratic for the American people to vote for increased gun control.

      • notfishing

        So all rights are Equal but some are more Equal than others?

        I doubt there would be a general acceptance of the infringement of any other right. Try applying the same language to Free Speech, Assembly, Religion and the “common sense controls” restrictions will quickly become apparent.

        • Hammerli

          “So all rights are Equal but some are more Equal than others?”
          Well yes, exactly. The 2nd amendment is a cryptic anachronism and a killer to boot. You’ll find plenty of people willing to do away with it, by democratic means, of course.

    • pennswoodsed

      20,000 laws ? thought it was 200,000 laws . And very few semi automatic rifles were in production 50 years ago.

      • notfishing

        My Grandfather had a 1914 Remington model 8 Semi-Auto, magazine fed hunting rifle. Actually the AR15 was first built in 1959 and one of the reasons that the Gun Control Act of ’68 was enacted. LBJ didn’t like Black Panthers (or any people of Color for that matter) having guns.

  • John B.

    District of Columbia v. Heller provides a thorough discussion of the Second Amendment’s meaning, and shows how the sausage (law) gets made. http://tinyurl.com/DOCvHeller

  • doityourself

    Joining this late. John you sure know how to light it up ! LOUD pipses and GUNS; WOW I’m a gun owner as well, and think there is room for some compromise on firearms, background checks in particular. But those are so easy to circumvent, as you pointed out with pipes. Bottom line I think is freedom as we know it will disappear as quickly as civility and respect of others. Seems some person on note said something similar, can’t remember

  • Jeffrey Leon Jennings

    I own a few pistols and have been professionally trained more than your average cop. ( 40 hrs a year every year one on one ) France has had more mass shootings THIS year than the US has had in seven. Yet France has strict gun control. Semi auto long guns with mag capacity over three are not legal for civilian ownership there. Ak-47s certainly aren’t legal. A person has to be a special kind of stupid to believe criminals and suicidal jihadists care a rats butt about gun laws. The first person was shot in San Bernardino bc the perps had a gun. The next 25 were shot bc no one else had one. Police response time 3-4 minutes. One shot to the head every 5 seconds. You do the math. Now I ask the question. We are at a meeting. Two armed nuts start shooting the place up. Would you rather I be with you carrying my 1911 or the author of this article? Bang bang bang three more dead