April 15, 2008, Second Amendment Project newsletter

Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Project is based at the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.

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Please visit Dave Kopel's website, containing articles on the Second Amendment and other freedom topics.

Table of Contents

  1. Kopel on Heller, Blogging, Video, and Interviews
  2. Kopel on the 2008 Election: Dave unearths Obama's Other Pastor; the Democratic Candidates; Recent Polls
  3. International: Bulgaria; Canada; India; Russia; American Activist in Britain
  4. Accidents: U.S. Air Accidental Discharge; British Bobbies Can't Shoot Straight
  5. Culture: New Pro-RKBA Gallup Poll; Painted 'Toy' Guns
  6. Politics: Sportsmen for Obama? Porn Shops, Not Gun Shops; Self Defense Sense; Barr tests the Presidential Waters; Clayton Cramer for Idaho Senate; Mayors Against Illegal Guns Summit in D.C.
  7. Home Invasions: Boston; D.C. Communities resist Warrantless Searches
  8. Greed and Corruption: Dossier on Anti-Gun Activists; 'Always Think Forfeiture'
  9. Courts: Armed Illegal Aliens; Ohio Home Rule; Restoration of RKBA Rights
  10. The States: Colorado; Georgia; Hawaii; Minnesota; New Jersey; South Carolina; South Dakota; Utah; Virginia; Wyoming
  11. Research: New England Journal of Medicine and Constitutional Law; Hemenway; SWAT Softened

New by Kopel

Kopel on Heller: Articles

Oral argument in DC v. Heller: The view from the Counsel Table

David B. Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
March 31, 2008

"The counsel table has four seats, and there were three lawyers representing Mr. Heller, so Alan Gura, the lead lawyer in the case, invited me to sit with them at the counsel table."

What are the Anti's thinking? Analysis of the Anti-Second Amendment Amicus Briefs in District of Columbia v. Heller

David B. Kopel
America's 1st Freedom
April, 2008
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Dave analyzes the arguments and the though underlying the amicus briefs filed in support of the D.C. gun ban by anti-RKBA scholars and lawyers.

A (Really) Brief History of the Collective Right to Keep and Bear Arms

David B. Kopel
America's 1st Freedom
March, 2008
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

All of the Supreme Court's 19th century cases involving the Second Amendment recognize a broad right for all law-abiding citizens, not a "collective" or militia-only right.

Ready to shoot

David B. Kopel and Ed Nowicki
The Baltimore Sun
February 27, 2008

The legal availability of handguns makes for a better-prepared police force and a safer citizenry.

Kopel on Heller: Audio/Video

iVoices Interview about the Oral Argument in D.C. vs. Heller

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
March 27, 2008

Dave, again, was at the Counsel Table when these arguments were presented.

Press Conference after the Oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller

David B. Kopel
Real Audio
MP3 Audio
March 18, 2008

The first half of the press conference is Mayor Fenty and other D.C. spokespersons. Kopel appears in the background at about 11:24, and speaks from about 18:20 to 19:33. The first link is to Real Video, the second to an MP3 audio recording of the pro-Heller portion.

Kopel Telephone Interview

David B. Kopel
Down Range TV
March 18, 2008

Down Range TV here interviews Dave discussing the day's oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. This is an MP3 Audio recording.

American Constitution Society panel on DC v. Heller

Dahlia Lithwick, Moderator
The American Constitution Society
March 13, 2008

Dahlia Lithwick of Slate moderated the panel discussion with John Payne, formerly of the D.C. Corporation Counsel's office, now attorney of record on the Brady amicus brief, and currently head of the NAACP LDF; Carl Bogus (Prof. of Law at Roger Williams, and lead author on a pro-DC amicus brief of some historians) and Dave Kopel. The debate was held at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C. The video and audio are available here.

Nelson Lund explains the Second Amendment

David B. Kopel with Nelson Lund
March 4, 2008

Dave interviews George Mason Law Professor Nelson Lund, author of the Second Amendment Foundation brief in DC v. Heller. Lund explicates the grammar and vocabulary of the Second Amendment.

Interview with Amy Oliver

David B. Kopel and Amy Oliver
The Amy Oliver Show
February 22, 2008

Kopel discusses the Independence Institute/Law Enforcement brief in DC v. Heller, on the Amy Oliver Show. The interview is in two parts.

Academics for the Second Amendment brief in the Supreme Court

David B. Kopel with Joe Olson
February 21, 2008

Dave interviews Law professor Joe Olson regarding the brief that A2A wrote regarding the drafting and original meaning of the Second Amendment. This is a 44 minute MP3 audio recording.

Polls on Handgun Bans

David B. Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
March 16, 2008

Dave here analyzes the results of the Gallup and CBS News/New York Times polls on the meaning of the 2nd Amendment and individual firearms ownership in the light of Heller.

Kopel on the 2008 Election

Obama's Other Spiritual Mentor: Rev. Michael Pfleger

David B. Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
April 8, 2008

The man whom Obama described as one of his three spiritual mentors is a Farrakhan devotee who hates the Second Amendment. Dave broke this story and created quite a stir througout the Blogosphere and the Punditocracy.

Gun Rights and Election '08

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
February 26, 2008

Kopel analyzes McCain, Clinton, and Obama in this MP3 audio recording.



Bulgaria's Interior Minister Calls for Changing Gun Law

Xinhua News Agency
March 15, 2008

"According to the minister, stricter rules are required, because 90 percent of the appeals against the Interior Ministry over rejections for arms permits are accepted by the court while permits are then issued." The issue arose after a 67 year-old man with a criminal record shot dead a 15 year-old orphan and injured two more children from a local orphanage before shooting himself with a legally owned rifle.


Miller unveils Video, Launches Petition to Ban Handguns

Vanessa Lu
The Toronto Star (Canada)
April 8, 2008

"Toronto Mayor David Miller is taking his campaign to ban handguns to the Internet, asking people across Canada to sign an online petition."

Urbanites' call for Ban on Guns Hits a Deaf Ear in Ottawa

John Barber
The Toronto Globe and Mail (Canada)
April 10, 2008

16,000 signatures later, Miller's attempt to force the issue through the Canadian parliament will depend upon who is in control at the time. There is also a movement to deprive anyone found lacking a license for a given firearm to lose that individual's driver's license as well.

Bruce Montague in Jail

Pierre Lemieux
Liberty in Canada
March 24, 2008

"A participant in the Canadian movement of civil disobedience against the latest gun controls was jailed on March 18, 2008." Bruce Montague has been sentenced to eighteen months in jail, six months for the firearms violation.

Verboten for an Oppressed Minority

Pierre Lemieux
Liberty in Canada
March 22, 2008

"The judge explained that 'a message must be sent' to the effect that this 'is verboten!.' No kidding: he really said 'verboten!'"


India offers Firearms Permits for Vasectomies

Rhys Blakely
The Times Online (UK)
March 21, 2008

"A scheme that trades one male status symbol for another has achieved a large rise in the number of men undergoing vasectomies in a bandit-ridden region of central India."


Russian Priests Consider Guns to Fight Crime Wave
Dmitry Solovyov
Reuters News (Russia)
March 19, 2008

"In a central Russian region, the government has advised priests to apply for firearms licences so they can defend their churches from marauding thieves who have been stealing religious icons at gunpoint." The Russian Orthodox church is resisting the idea, citing the Biblical injunction, 'thou shalt not kill.'

United Kingdom

What Do We Expect when We Sell Bullets by the Bucketload, No questions Asked

Rebecca Peters
Bebruary 16, 2008

In this strikingly emotional and factually inaccurate piece, 'Rebecca Peters U.S. Anti-Gun Campaigner' excoriates the United States for its firearms policies before a British audience.


Faulty Rules Blamed for Gun's Firing

Audrey Hudson
The Washington Times
March 28, 2008

"Inadequate handgun rules designed by Department of Homeland Security officials are to blame for last weekend's accidental discharge of a pistol by a commercial pilot during landing preparations, a pilots association said yesterday."

Gun Injuries Soar as Police 'Experts' Blast Themselves and Colleagues by Mistake

Martin Smith
The Mail on Sunday (UK)
March 16, 2008

"Now, nearly half of all injuries caused by police shootings are the result of officers blasting themselves or a colleague, often during bungled training and demonstrations."


Public Believes Americans Have Right to Own Guns

Jeffrey M. Jones
Gallup Poll Incorporated
March 27, 2008

"A solid majority of the U.S. public, 73%, believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. Twenty percent believe the amendment only guarantees the rights of state militia members to own guns."

Which is the Real One?

Sam Wood
The Philadelphia Inquirer
March 20, 2008

"In a trend of growing concern to police, more and more real guns are being painted in fluorescent colors that make them look like toys. At the same time, growing numbers of toy guns that fire pellets are being produced to look just like lethal weapons."


Sportsmen for Obama?

Informational Web Page
April 4, 2008

"This Site Would Never Be Paid For Or Authorized By Barack Obama." It offers a broad spectrum of the candidate's initiatives and positions on the ownership of firearms, which do not seem to jibe with some of his more recent campaign rhetoric.

Obama: No Gun Shops Within Five Miles of Schools; Porn Shops Okay

Jim Geraghty
The Campaign Spot, National Review Online
March 3, 2008

Geraghty cites some of Dave's research here: http://volokh.com/posts/1203747566.shtml and finds that Barack Obama advocated a federal law forbidding licensed gun dealers from operating within five miles of a public school, but opposed a similar exclusion zone for dealers in pornography.

Isn't Self-Defense Common Sense? Barack Obama's Second Amendment is all about Hunting and Target Shooting

Jacob Sullum
Reason Magazine
February 27, 2008

"Responding to criticism that Obama has since changed his position on gun control, his campaign declares that "Obama has been consistent." If so, consistent civil libertarians—the ones who do not mentally skip from the First Amendment to the Fourth—should be worried."

Barr Forms Presidential Exploratory Committee

The Macon Telegraph
April 6, 2008

"Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr said Saturday he has formed a presidential exploratory committee and may seek the Libertarian party nomination."

Clayton Cramer for Idaho State Senate (District 22)

Informational Website
April 12, 2008

Cramer's entry into the Republican Primary for Idaho State Senate District 22 was prompted by the Republican Incumbent's tepid 'C' rating by the NRA on firearms issues.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

2008 National Summit - April 14 in Washington, DC
Informational Web Page
April 14, 2008

On Monday, April 14 this coalition of Mayors from both parties of cities across the nation met in Washington to discuss a legislative and advocacy agenda. The site offers video access to the Summit itself, and the organization's ads and plans.

Home Invasions

Police Limit Searches for Guns

Maria Cramer
The Boston Globe
March 25, 2008

"Boston police officials, surprised by intense opposition from residents, have significantly scaled back and delayed the start of a program that would allow officers to go into people's homes and search for guns without a warrant."

D.C. Gun Crackdown Meets Community Resistance

March 24, 2008

"Community leaders went door to door in Ward 8 Monday to advise residents not to invite police into their homes to search for weapons."

Greed and Corruption

Corruption In The Anti-Gun Crowd

Informational Web Page
The National Shooting Sports Foundation
April 12, 2008

The National Shooting Sports Foundation here presents a rather long litany of prominent opponents of the individual right to keep and bear arms--and the charges and scandals involving them.

ATF stands for "Always Think Forfeiture"

Powell Gammill
Freedom's Phoenix
March 20, 2008

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) ordered 2,000 Leatherman Micra pocket tools engraved with "ATF-Asset Forfeiture 'always think forfeiture.' Although the contract page itself is now down, the record of the contract is the second URL above.

The Courts

Federal Judge Revokes Gun Law

Brett Barrouquere
The Associated Press (KY)
March 16, 2008

"A federal judge has stopped enforcement of a Kentucky law barring non-citizens from carrying concealed deadly weapons." The law's purpose was to ban non-citizens of the United States from receiving concealed carry permits.

Ohio Justices to Enter Fray over Gun Laws

Jim Provance
The Toledo (OH) Blade
April 7, 2008

"The court must decide whether the state can tell local governments whether they can regulate guns on their own property, the latest battle in the wider war over local home-rule authority."

Justices Agree to Consider Firearms Case Involving Domestic Violence Issue

Associated Press
March 24, 2008

"The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider the case of a man who successfully challenged firearms possession charges that were linked to alleged domestic violence."

Court Hears Gun Debate

Ben Neary
The Casper (WY) Star-Tribune
March 20, 2008

A lawyer for the state of Wyoming asked a panel of federal judges on Wednesday to uphold a state law that allows people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to regain their firearms rights.

The States


Colorado: Mandatory Storage Defeated in Committee!

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action
April 11, 2008

Senate Bill 49, sponsored by State Senator Sue Windels (D-19), Colorado's mandatory 'safe' storage bill, was defeated by a vote of 9 to 1 in the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB49 would have forced adults to store all their firearms under lock and key or face an undetermined misdemeanor penalty if a firearm was later used in a suicide or crime. Assiduous reading of the local papers provided no information about the bill's defeat at all.


Chambers Send Governor Gun Bill with Looser Limits

Andrea Jones
The Atlanta (GA) Journal
February 5, 2008

"An amended version of House Bill 89 allows holders of concealed weapons permits to carry guns into restaurants, state parks, and on MARTA trains and other public transportation. The legislation, which gun-rights proponents hailed as a major victory, also allows employees to leave weapons in parking lots as long as it's okay with the company."


Bill to Ban .50-caliber Rifles Fails in House

Derrick DePledge
The Honolulu (HI) Advertiser
February 29, 2008

"Police have argued that the weapons are not useful for recreational target shooting and hunting, and that they could pose a threat to civil aviation. 'I think it's more of a potential thing,' said HPD Maj. Gregory Lefcourt. 'You'd hate to wait for something to happen.'"


Legislators Reject Bill to Broaden Right to Use Deadly Force in Self-defense

Mark Brunswick
The Minneapolis-St. Paul (MN) Star-Tribune
March 14, 2008

"A bill that supporters say would have broadened citizens' rights to defend themselves -- and opponents say would have encouraged a Wild West mentality -- failed in its first test in the Legislature on Thursday."

New Jersey

Buy it Yesterday, Ban it Today, Get 10 Years Tomorrow

Scott L. Bach, Esq.
New Jersey Voices
March 9, 2008

"If you buy a lawful product that is later banned, should you go to jail for 10 years, even though you didn't know it was banned, and the government that banned it now criminalizes any method to dispose of it?"

South Carolina

SC Bill Awaiting Governor's OK Would Lower Handgun Buy Age to 18

Jim Davenport
Associated Press
March 28, 2009

"Gov. Mark Sanford has not yet decided what he'll do with a bill awaiting his signature that lowers South Carolina's minimum age to buy and sell guns from 21 to 18, spokesman Joel Sawyer said Friday."

New Handgun Purchasing Law Drops Minimum Age to 18

Jenny Sinkoe
The Daily Gamecock(SC)
April 8, 2008

"Federal law still prohibits firearm retailers and dealers from selling handguns to people younger than 21. But the state law now allows individuals to sell handguns to anyone 18 or over." Sanford signed the bill.

South Dakota

Mentor Hunting Bill Signed Into Law by South Dakota Governor

U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
March 17, 2008

"This legislation allows those aged 10 through 15 to hunt without a license if they are accompanied by a licensed hunting mentor."


Utah Governor Signs Emergency Powers Bill!

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action
March 20, 2008

"...this legislation will prevent government authorities from confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens, such as occurred in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina."


Virginia Bites Back at NYC Mayor Bloomberg

Joanne Kimberlin
The Virginian-Pilot
March 4, 2008

The commonwealth of Virginia has passed legislation outlawing 'stings' such as those used by NYC Mayor Bloomberg to intimidate and harass gun dealers in the state.

State of the Gun

Special report: Guns in Virginia
The Virginian-Pilot and PilotOnline.com
March 2-5, 2008

This is the home page for a four part series of stories about firearms ownership in the Old Dominion, particularly in the light of the Virginia Tech Massacre.

Senate Fails to Override Vetoes on Gun Bills

Dena Potter
The Associated Press
March 5, 2008

"Senators came up short Wednesday in an attempt to override Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's vetoes of bills that could have resulted in more concealed weapons in cars and restaurants."


Governor Signs Gun Confiscation Bill

Jackson Hole Star-Tribune (WY)
March 10, 2008

The Headline writer does NOT earn praise, the bill Governor Freudenthal signed PREVENTS confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms during a time of crisis. Wyoming also has 'castle doctrine' legislation pending.


Guns, Fear, the Constitution, and the Public's Health

Garen J. Wintemute
The New England Journal of Medicine
April 3, 2008

"Dr. Wintemute is a professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento." Dr. Wintemute bewails recent relaxation of some firearms and self defense laws, framing his argument with an incident that happened long ago, in 1992.

Interpreting the Right to Bear Arms —Gun Regulation and Constitutional Law

Mark Tushnet
The New England Journal of Medicine
April 3, 2008

"Mr. Tushnet is a professor of law at Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA." Tushnet's article considers the arguments and the consequences of District of Columbia v. Heller if the court decides, as he expects, that the 2nd Amendment does, in fact, ensure an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Handgun Violence, Public Health, and the Law

Gregory D. Curfman, Stephen Morrissey, and Jeffrey M. Drazen
The New England Journal of Medicine
April 3, 2008

This 'summary' article mostly hearkens to Dr. Wintemute's appeals and concludes that the Supreme Court "we hope that the justices will consider not only the intricacies and ambiguities of language in the Second Amendment but also the potential public health consequences as outlined by Hemenway in a Journal audio interview, of a decision to uphold the lower court's ruling."

Interview with David Hemenway on Gun Violence in the United States and the Likely Effects of the Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller

David Hemenway with Rachel Gotbaum
The New England Journal of Medicine
April 3, 2008

"David Hemenway is a professor of health policy at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston."

David Hemenway, Ph. D.

Investigators And Their Project
Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Here is an updated biography and bibliography of Professor Hemenway's activities and writings. He has been a strong advocate of firearms confiscation as a prophylactic public hygiene measure for over a decade.

Harvard Continues Assault on Gun Ownership

Jeff Soyer
Alphecca Web Log
January 12, 2007

Here is Alphecca's critique of the methods used by Hemenway and other Harvard researchers in reaching their conclusions about civilian firearms ownership and the effect of that on public health.

Report Urges LAPD to Change SWAT Unit

Joel Rubin
The Los Angeles Times
March 18, 2008

"A panel of law enforcement experts convened by Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton to examine the department's elite SWAT unit concluded in an undisclosed report that the rigorous testing to get into the unit should be changed to make it more open to women, called for tighter supervision and criticized officers for relying too heavily on force over negotiations."

Is a SWAT Team the Place to Get PC?

'Jack Dunphy'
Pajamas Media Web Log
March 26, 2008

The reaction of this pseudonymous author, a member of the LAPD force, is predictably pungent.

This newsletter is compiled with help from Dr. Rob S. Rice. For more on this recalcitrant, yet ameliorative individual, see here: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rrice/rrice_hd.html. Favorable reviews, if not sales, of Dr. Rice's curious novel continue to mount, see http://tinyurl.com/5u75c5

Al Qaeda delenda est!

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