The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 4, Issue 33

Week of September 8, 1997


Gun Laws Can't Change Human Nature

by Charley Reese, The Grand Rapids Press, Sept. 5, '97

The Los Angeles Times has published an article, the gist of which is that gun manufacturers are evading the assault weapons ban passed by Congress. The truth is the politicians who drafted and passed the assault weapons ban were either stupid or ignorant. They based their ban on purely cosmetic features.

So you won't be as ignorant as politicians and many journalists about firearms, an assault weapon is a military rifle that can be fired either in a semiautomatic mode (one shot per one pull of the trigger) or in a fully automatic mode (the gun continues to fire as long as you hold the trigger). All weapons that can be fired in a fully automatic mode have been regulated since 1934, so the assault weapons ban, in fact, did not ban any assault weapons. No rifle that can only be fired in a semiautomatic mode is an assault weapon, no matter what it looks like or what journalists and politicians choose to call it. Every weapon banned was available only in a semiautomatic mode unless, per the 1934 law, a buyer obtained special license from the U.S. Treasury Department, to buy an automatic model from a specially licensed dealer.

Rate of fire (most people can fire a revolver as rapidly as a semiautomatic) is rarely a factor in crime. The only bullets that can hurt you are the ones that hit you. The capacity of the weapon (the number of bullets it holds) is likewise rarely a factor in crime. Most crimes of violence involve only a few shots. In these cases in which some nut kills a number of people, it isn't the capacity of his weapon that is the fatal factor. The fatal factor is that his victims are unarmed and are too busy trying to run or hide to attempt to overpower the shooter.

Of course, the real brainlessness of this anti-gun business is that it amounts to nothing more than superstition. Guns are inanimate objects. In the history of the earth, no inanimate object has ever done anything but obey the law of gravity. To suppose that by regulating objects you can change human behavior is like supposing that you can have a successful life by wearing a rabbit's foot around your neck. Crime is a people problem, not a hardware problem. It is the human being you should fear, not some inanimate object. Human beings were committing murder long before the invention of the firearm. If our politicians had any sense, they would be encouraging honest people to acquire firearms, learn to use them and keep them handy. The real difference the firearm made was to allow a weaker, untrained person to have a chance against a stronger, trained aggressor.

One of the American folk sayings is that God created men, but Sam Colt -- inventor of the six-gun revolver -- made them equal. Indeed, he did, for a 105-pound woman with a Colt is more than a match for a 200-pound rapist. Of course, in this silly society, where reason and common sense are mere relics of the past, the government is more concerned about preventing the 105-pound woman from owning a Colt than it is about controlling the 200-pound rapist.

Well, you can rely on the government to protect you and your family if that's your druthers. As for me, I will rely on Colt, Smith and Wesson. They are more reliable than the Clinton administration and more accurate than most news stories about firearms.


A Small Victory !

Jeff from Kent county sent me the following communication:

I'm not sure if you are aware of it or not, but Tom and I were working on starting a libel lawsuit against an organization called HateWatch who maintains a webpage on hate groups. They had MMC listed as a hate group. I gave them notice last week that if they don't remove our name and apologize, we will sue them. Here is his reply!

You can read more about the story at http://militia.gen.mi.us/hatewatch.html.

Dear Sir:

Thank you for your email of Wednesday September 3, 1997. We have discussed this matter and wish to avoid litigation. We will post the following apology to the Michigan Militia Corps on our page for a period of 10 days, the time designated by your letter. I have reworked the page links into Klanwatch's list of active hate groups. - http://http://www.splcenter.org/klanwatch/kw-2.html. The Michigan Militia corps is not listed here either. Please let us know if this is acceptable.

Sincerely,
Sam Macy
Hatewatch

---

I, Samuel Macy, as director of HateWatch, wish to apologize to the Michigan Militia Corps and all its members.

HateWatch listed the Michigan Militia Corps as a hate group when indeed there was no evidence that the Michigan Militia Corps is. We define a hate groups as, "an organization or individual that advocates violence against or unreasonable hostility towards those persons or organizations identified by their race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender also including organizations or individuals that purposively disseminate historically inaccurate information with regards to these persons or organizations." Neither I nor any staff members of HateWatch believe that the Michigan Militia Corps meets these criteria. We apologize for our failure to distinguish the Michigan Militia Corps and other militia units from hate groups. We believe that militia organizations are not equivalent to hate groups and we regret this misunderstanding.

Samuel Macy,
Director of HateWatch


Suitcase Nukes -- Loose

Reuters News Service
Lebed: Russia Missing Scores of Nuclear Bombs

NEW YORK (Reuter) - Former Russian National Security Adviser Alexandr Lebed said in an interview that the Russian military had lost track of more than 100 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs, any one of which could kill up to 100,000 people.

In the interview with CBS News ``60 Minutes'' program, to be aired Sunday, Lebed said the devices ``are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia.''

Last May Lebed said at a private briefing to a delegation of U.S. congressmen that he believed 84 of the one-kiloton bombs were unaccounted for. In the interview with 60 Minutes, conducted two weeks ago, Lebed said he now believes the figure to be more than 100. He said the devices, made to look like suitcases, could be detonated by one person within half an hour.

"Can you imagine what would happen psychologically, morally, if this weapon is detonated in a big city? ... About 50-70,000 people, up to 100,000 people would be killed.'' Lebed said he did not know what had happened to the missing bombs, but he was certain they were not under the control of the Russian military. "I'm saying that more than a hundred weapons out of the supposed number of 250 are not under the control of the armed forces of Russia,'' Lebed said in the interview. ``I don't know their location. I don't know whether they have been destroyed or whether they are stored or whether they've been sold or stolen, I don't know.''

Asked if it were possible that the authorities did know where all the weapons were and simply did not want to tell Lebed, he said, ``No.''

Lebed, a former top general and national security adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, speculated that the missing weapons could be ``somewhere in Georgia, somewhere in the Ukraine, or somewhere in the Baltic countries. Maybe outside those countries.''

U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, Republican of Pennsylvania, led the congressional delegation in May and reported Lebed's information to the CIA. He told ``60 Minutes'' the revelation ``should be troubling for everyone in the world, because any military officer who had access to those devices could get a very large sum of money on the black market for that device.'' "Terrorist groups would love to have that. We know they've been trying to buy long-range offensive weapons and nuclear capability from Russia. That's a fact,'' Weldon said.

In Moscow, Russia's Defense Ministry on Friday denied remarks by former presidential security adviser Alexander Lebed that the Russian military had lost track of some of its nuclear weapons. ``As a representative of the Defense Ministry I declare -- there are no nuclear bombs in Russia out of control of the Russian armed forces,'' Vladimir Uvatenko, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, said by telephone.

This statement by Alexander Ivanovich (Lebed) can cause nothing but a smile -- he never dealt with nuclear security questions and cannot know the situation,'' Uvatenko said. Uvatenko said there was no chance that the nuclear devices could be stored without being properly registered or had been used or destroyed and not accounted for.

Nuclear experts with international think-tanks have said in the past Russia had strict control over its military nuclear sites, and said they viewed nuclear bomb and missile theft as extremely unlikely. But they have said there have been cases of theft of nuclear materials from power plants and scientific laboratories.


Hint of Supreme Court Decision on Personal Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

US Supreme Court: JAY PRINTZ, SHERIFF/CORONER, RAVALLI COUNTY, MONTANA, PETITIONER 95-1478 v. UNITED STATES RICHARD MACK, PETITIONER 95-1503

on writs of certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit

[June 27, 1997]

Justice Thomas, concurring.

The Court today properly holds that the Brady Act violates the Tenth Amendment in that it compels state law enforcement officers to "administer or enforce a federal regulatory program." See ante, at 25. Although I join the Court's opinion in full, I write separately to emphasize that the Tenth Amendment affirms the undeniable notion that under our Constitution, the Federal Government is one of enumerated, hence limited, powers. See, e.g., McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819) ("This government is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers"). "[T]hat those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written." Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803). Accordingly, the Federal Government may act only where the Constitution authorizes it to do so. Cf. New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144 (1992).

In my "revisionist" view, see post, at 3, the Federal Government's authority under the Commerce Clause, which merely allocates to Congress the power "to regulate Commerce . . . among the several states," does not extend to the regulation of wholly intrastate, point of sale transactions. See United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549, 584 (1995) (concurring opinion). Absent the underlying authority to regulate the intrastate transfer of firearms, Congress surely lacks the corollary power to impress state law enforcement officers into administering and enforcing such regulations. Although this Court has long interpreted the Constitution as ceding Congress extensive authority to regulate commerce (interstate or otherwise), I continue to believe that we must "temper our Commerce Clause jurisprudence" and return to an interpretation better rooted in the Clause's original understanding. Id., at 601; (concurring opinion); see also Camps Newfound/Owatonna, Inc. v. Town of Harrison, 520 U. S. ___, (1997) (Thomas, J., dissenting). Even if we construe Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce to encompass those intrastate transactions that "substantially affect" interstate commerce, I question whether Congress can regulate the particular transactions at issue here. The Constitution, in addition to delegating certain enumerated powers to Congress, places whole areas outside the reach of Congress' regulatory authority. The First Amendment, for example, is fittingly celebrated for preventing Congress from "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion or "abridging the freedom of speech." The Second Amendment similarly appears to contain an express limitation on the government's authority. That Amendment provides: "[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This Court has not had recent occasion to consider the nature of the substantiveright safeguarded by the Second Amendment. [n.1] If, however, the Second Amendment is read to confer a personal right to "keep and bear arms," a colorable argument exists that the Federal Government's regulatory scheme, at least as it pertains to the purely intrastate sale or possession of firearms, runs afoul of that Amendment's protections. [n.2] As the parties did not raise this argument, however, we need not consider it here. Perhaps, at some future date, this Court will have the opportunity to determine whether Justice Story was correct when he wrote that the right to bear arms "has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic." 3 J. Story, Commentaries 1890, p. 746 (1833). In the meantime, I join the Court's opinion striking down the challenged provisions of the Brady Act as inconsistent with the Tenth Amendment.

Notes

1 Our most recent treatment of the Second Amendment occurred in United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), in which we reversed the District Court's invalidation of the National Firearms Act, enacted in 1934. In Miller, we determined that the Second Amendment did not guarantee a citizen's right to possess a sawed off shotgun because that weapon had not been shown to be "ordinary military equipment" that could "contribute to the common defense." Id., at 178. The Court did not, however, attempt to define, or otherwise construe, the substantive right protected by the Second Amendment.

2 Marshaling an impressive array of historical evidence, a growing body of scholarly commentary indicates that the "right to keep and bear arms" is, as the Amendment's text suggests, a personal right. See, e.g., J. Malcolm, To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo American Right 162 (1994); S. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed, The Evolution of a Constitutional Right (1984); Van Alstyne, The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms, 43 Duke L. J. 1236 (1994); Amar, The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment, 101 Yale L. J. 1193 (1992); Cottrol & Diamond, The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro Americanist Reconsideration, 80 Geo. L. J. 309 (1991); Levinson, The Embarrassing Second Amendment, 99 Yale L. J. 637 (1989); Kates, Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment, 82 Mich. L. Rev. 204 (1983). Other scholars, however, argue that the Second Amendment does not secure a personal right to keep or to bear arms. See, e.g., Bogus, Race, Riots, and Guns, 66 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1365 (1993); Williams, Civic Republicanism and the Citizen Militia: The Terrifying Second Amendment, 101 Yale L. J. 551 (1991); Brown, Guns, Cowboys, Philadelphia Mayors, and Civic Republicanism: On Sanford Levinson's The Embarrassing Second Amendment, 99 Yale L. J. 661 (1989); Cress, An Armed Community: The Origins and Meaning of the Right to Bear Arms, 71 J. Am. Hist. 22 (1984). Although somewhat overlooked in our jurisprudence, the Amendment has certainly engendered considerable academic, as well as public, debate.


If you would like to submit an editorial, commentary, or news story from your perspective on something you have been keeping an eye on, please e-mail it to xxx and it will be evaluated for entrance. Thanks.

To subscribe to the Weekly Update, put out weekly by Michigan Militia Corps 5th Division command, simply send a message to majordom@lists.cns.netwith the phrase "subscribe militia" in the BODY of the message. The Weekly Update is archived at the Michigan Militia Corps web page at: http://militia.gen.mi.us