Rebuilding a Mauser Weekend

!{border:1px solid black;} (The Mauser at the Rivannah Range)!

I spent Memorial Day weekend down outside of Charlottesville as the guinea pig for Jack Landers and Paul Fritz’s new class on rebuilding an old Mauser into a modern deer rifle. Starting off with a K-98, we basically stripped it down to the receiver, got rid of the cosmoline and junk and rebuilt it with a new stock, bent bolt, scope, and trigger. After testing it at the range, we realized the throat erosion meant we were going to have to rebarrel it the following weekend. We just finished that and Paul Fritz emailed us an awesome range report about how his rifle performed.

I’ll be taking mine down to Lafayette Gun Club or the NRA range in the near future to sight it in and see how she shoots. I’m hoping for something similar to Paul’s results.

Thoughts on DC v. Heller

For those of you who do not follow large sweeping news stories, DC v. Heller is a Supreme Court case currently being heard that challenges that the District of Columbia’s firearms ban is in violation of the Second Amendment of the Constitution in the Bill of Rights. There’s been a lot of argument on both sides of this case, but reading Jack Landers’ Rule .303 Blog, he put for a good point last month:

DC’s gun ban is different from these other issues. This isn’t a grey area. This isn’t a question of regulations intended to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals. The question is whether a local government can completely ban a right which is explicitly granted to the people in the Constitution.

Some would attempt to argue that when the founders wrote ‘the people,’ they were really referring to ‘the government.’ The idea is that the 2nd Amendment was only intended to establish that the government is allowed to have some kind of collective defense. However, this is a pretty scary type of logic if you apply it consistently. If we’ve decided that rights granted to ‘people’ in the Bill of Rights were actually granted to governments rather than to the people as individuals, then you can kiss your freedom goodbye.

‘The right of the people peaceably to assemble’? Nah, that just means that the government can hold meetings. They can arrest you for standing in a group and waving signs around.

How about the 4th Amendment?

‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.’

Huh. I guess that was just establishing that the government cannot be audited? Yeah, that’s it. The founders just wanted to prevent any of that pesky transparency in government.

It’s all pretty stupid, isn’t it? But this is where you end up going if you claim that the words ‘the people’ actually refer to the government rather than, you know, the actual people.

That is one of the best arguments I have heard to the definition of how the Bill of Rights was intended. If it is in fact a governmental right, then the entire premise of the Bill of Rights (which was based on the Virginia Bill of Rights ) is out the window.

Considering the brisk assault on personal liberty since 9-11, it’s not surprising that the interpretation of people to mean “state-regulated militia” has been put forth. It’s an argument of commas and intent. Is “a well regulated militia” a modifier or a separate statement?

Regardless of the outcome, I expect the justices to rule so narrowly as to only effect the legality or illegality of the DC regulation and avoid widespread chaos that would ensue from what many would see as an affront on their God-given rights.

Gun regulation doesn’t work. If someone wants to get a firearm, they will. Black markets have always existed for contraband. And then you have a populace scared and unable to defend themselves. Look at history to be your guide: one of the first things revoked in totalitarian regimes is the right to bear arms.

Obama's Speech and Michigan Shenanigans

!{border:1px solid black;} (Barack Obama, Photo by Justin Hankins)!

I’m on my way back from SXSW in Austin, somewhere between New Orleans and Atlanta on day 2 of our 4 day drive back. A lot of other blogging and links to post, but I couldn’t wait on this.

This morning Sen. Barack Obama gave a speech in Philadelphia about race and the concerns surrounding his former pastor’s sermons that were considered racist. I read the transcript during brunch in the French Quarter this morning and it gave me chills. The speech is absolutely phenomenal and eloquent. I can’t imagine many other politicians giving a speech like this, even if one was written for them. Watch the video and/or read the transcript.

Follow up: it appears as the overall consesnus is that Obama saved his campaign with the speech

The Michigan Debacle

In other election commentary, the Michigan revote issue is starting to build up steam, with the Clinton campaign stumping that Sen. Barack Obama is the hold up. They are also saying that if they do hold a re-election, anyone who voted in the GOP primary would be barred from voting. While I understand the logic in this as a national party rule, in Michigan it causes concern. Since the Democratic Primary was seen as a fluke due to the violation of the DNC rules (by moving the primary forward for purely promotional gains by the State), many candidates, including Sen. Obama, removed themselves from the ballot in order to not upset traditional primary states such as New Hampshire and Iowa. 1 Therefore, many independents and Obama supporters might have voted in the GOP primary, since the Democratic one was dead on arrival.

Michigan Democractic Chairman Mark Brewer, in a completely idiotic statement regarding why people who had voted, said

I regret that that might be the case, but it’s a national party rule and we have no choice but to follow it.

Huh, so, Mark, when it behooves your ego and your grand plan to increase media attention and therefore potential tax revenue in Michigan, the National party rules are more of a suggestion as opposed to the law. We get it. You’re just an ass.

If you’re going to have a revote, that’s fine. But since you’ve disenfranchised half the voting populous of your state by blatantly ignoring the rules, maybe you can re-enfranchise them by bending a little bit.

1 Talking Points Memo

Photo of Sen. Obama by Justin Hankins. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.