America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 30

I L A

F E A T U R E

THE TROJAN DUCK
The court noted that at the time of
the Second Amendment's ratification,
"the militia" was understood to
comprise "all males physically capable
of acting in concert for the common
defense." When called for service, "these
men were expected to appear bearing
arms supplied by themselves and of the
kind in common use at the time."
Thus, Miller's actual participation
in an organized militia was considered
irrelevant to the resolution of the
case. Rather, the court focused on the
character of the firearm Miller possessed
and whether it could be considered
among the "arms" protected by the
Second Amendment. Such arms, the
opinion indicated, include those in
common use at the time which are
either "part of the ordinary military
equipment" or the use of which "could
contribute to the common defense."
Because Miller had not put forth
evidence on any of these matters, and
because the court could not say as a
matter of common knowledge that
a short-barreled shotgun met these
criteria, it ruled against Miller on the
Second Amendment claim.
Nevertheless, what is clear from
the court's opinion is that to be
considered within the scope of the
Second Amendment, a firearm has to
be of the sort that an ordinary person
summoned to defend the community
would be expected to own and could
use for that purpose. While "sporting"
arms are not necessarily excluded from
this category, the suitability of a firearm
for deer hunting or trap shooting is
not the controlling inquiry. Rather, the
test hinges on the firearm's usefulness
in defense.
The Supreme Court's opinion in
District of Columbia v. Heller reinforced
this message. There, the court held that
"the right to keep and bear arms" means
"the individual right to possess and
carry weapons in case of confrontation."
The sort of confrontations the court was
referencing are not those involving big
game or occurring between contestants
at the National Matches. Rather, they
involve resistance against lawless acts of
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violence, whether that involves repelling
invasion, suppressing insurrection,
opposing tyranny, or protecting one's
home or person against a dangerous
criminal. While the Heller court reiterated
that preserving the militia justified
including the Second Amendment in
the Bill of Rights, it also emphasized
that purpose did not limit or confine
the scope of the right itself. The right to
keep and bear arms, the court wrote, is
derived from and embodies "the natural
right of resistance and self-preservation"
and "the right of having and using arms
for self-preservation and defence [sic]."
The Heller court determined that
handguns were among the arms
protected by the Second Amendment,
not because they are used for Bullseye
or silhouette competition, but because
the people themselves choose them to
defend life and property. The "American
people have considered the handgun

transferrable to the "real world" use of
firearms in a confrontation. Yet when
a bureaucrat takes so narrow a view
of "sporting purposes" that the term
excludes arms or features specifically
because of their suitability for protective
purposes, Congress must intervene.
That's exactly what Bishop's bill
would do. By removing "sporting
purposes" as the governing standard in
various provisions of the Gun Control
Act and the National Firearms Act,
the legislation would accomplish a
world of good for gun owners. The bill
would eliminate batfe's authority to
reclassify popular rifle ammunition
as "armor-piercing ammunition."
It would ensure the same types of
firearms and ammunition already
commonly available to Americans from
domestic manufacturers could also be
imported. It would protect shotguns,
shotgun shells and larger-caliber rifles

WHEN A BUREAUCRAT TAKES SO
NARROW A VIEW OF "SPORTING
PURPOSES" THAT THE TERM EXCLUDES
ARMS OR FEATURES SPECIFICALLY
BECAUSE OF THEIR SUITABILITY FOR
PROTECTIVE PURPOSE, CONGRESS
MUST INTERVENE.
to be the quintessential self-defense
weapon," the court stated. Accordingly,
"a complete prohibition of their use
is invalid."
Two years later, in McDonald v.
Chicago, the Supreme Court reasserted
that "[s]elf-defense is a basic right
... and ... individual self-defense
is 'the central component' of the
Second Amendment right."
Against this backdrop, the idea that
federal firearm law should draw the
line of legality at "sporting purposes"
is clearly not sustainable, at least not
when batfe insists on making artificial
distinctions of the sort I discussed
in May between the "sporting"
and practical uses of firearms. The
fundamentals of marksmanship and the
proper handling of firearms developed
in a sporting context can certainly be

from arbitrary classification as highly
restricted "destructive devices."
Bishop's description of the bill
speaks volumes: "The Founding Fathers
recognized that the right to bear arms is
fundamentally tied to self-defense. This
is as true today as it was more than
two centuries ago when the Bill of Rights
was ratified. The batfe has exploited
vagaries present in federal gun law
to chip away at basic rights. This
legislation will slap the over-reaching
hand of the federal government and
restore some of the freedoms our
grandparents enjoyed."
Reform of this sort is long overdue,
and we thank Bishop for his leadership
in this vital effort. It's time for batfe
to stop gaming your rights. It's time
for Congress to blow the whistle on
"sporting purposes."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - August 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 51
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 52
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - August 2015 - Cover4
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