Quote of the day—David Kopel

The 2nd Circuit took the opposite approach: Guns that are more accurate and easier to use for “deadly” purposes (whether against home invaders or while hunting) are exactly the guns that may be banned. This is in tension with Heller.

By the 2nd Circuit’s reasoning, inferior guns that are less accurate, less comfortable to use and less useful supposedly enjoy greater constitutional protection. That is a Bizarro Second Amendment.

David Kopel
October 21, 2015
2nd Circuit upholds N.Y. and Conn. arms bans; contradicts Heller and McDonald
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]


6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—David Kopel

  1. Nope, this is the California ammo regulation game.

    All ammo that does not have a lead core is illegal because it’s “Armor Piercing “, regardless if it performs differently from similar lead ammo against various types of ballistic armor.

    All ammo WITH a lead core is illegal because toxic lead can poison condors, regardless of how much lead ammo a condor might consume in it’s lifetime, and the bio-availability of said lead.

    Super-accurate, well-functioning guns make it too easy for criminals to do bad things, regardless of the legality of criminals owning guns, or the acts they are committing, so they must be banned.

    Sub-standard, inaccurate, and unsafe firearms are a danger to the user of the gun, regardless of how many people are killed or injured by the most crappy potmetal guns on the market, so they must be banned.

    Again, ties into your running theme. THEY ARE COMING FOR OUR GUNS!

    • And as you pointed out in your link, the difference being that Goldilocks did find a bed that was “just right”.

  2. Kopel raises good points. His full article is worth reading. The Supreme Court in ruling on District of Columbia v. Heller reiterates the Constitutional validity of “prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’” (55).* The Court goes on to evaluate the nature of “unusual” in terms of “common use” (52–55) but doesn’t elaborate on the limits of “dangerous.”

    “Since this case represents this Court’s first in-depth examination of the Second Amendment, one should not expect it to clarify the entire field,” it acknowledges. “There will be time enough to expound upon the historical justifications for the exceptions we have mentioned if and when those exceptions come before us.” (63)

    All guns are obviously dangerous to a degree. Kopel reasonably argues that improved handling and accuracy make them less dangerous, which I take to mean, less prone to inadvertent harm. (We might think of sawed-off shotguns in this regard.) Indeed, the Court spends a paragraph accounting for handgun popularity. “It is easier” in many ways then a long gun, they observe — easier to handle, easier to point (57).

    How the highest Court might square this with government’s antecedent interest in public safety (right to life), cited by the Appellate Court, will be interesting to see.
    * District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)

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