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NYT’s ‘Gun Control That Works’ Just another Disarmament Zealot Wish List Attack on RKBA

If The Times were really interested in “what works” as far as machine guns are concerned, they’d admit that access to  the weapons is “necessary to the security of a free State.”

“For more than 80 years, the United States has enforced a tough and effective gun control law that most Americans have never heard of,” Alan Berlow claims in The New York Times. “It’s a 1934 measure called the National Firearms Act, and it stands as a stark rebuke to the most sacred precepts of the gun lobby and provides a model we should build on.”

Alan Berlow? So is this going to elaborate on some actual solutions, or does the guy have an agenda?

You tell me.  First, note his forum. Yeah, The Times. There’s an honest broker. They’re the ones who  offered a lame excuse for not reporting on Fast and Furious. Then they did their utmost to run interference for Eric Holder. Still, it was instructive taking on an entire panel they stacked against me on Virginia Tech in  a “How Many 5-Year-Olds Can You Take in a Fight?” kind of way.

And Berlow? He seems obsessed with going after NRA (not always a bad thing, but for the wrong reasons) in anti-gun “progressive” Mother Jones. And it’s not his first time up to bat at The Times.

Still, as much as the medium and the messenger may raise eyebrows, what is it he’s really promoting this time out?  After all, ad hominem argument is a logical fallacy.  We need to instead examine what he’s advocating.

“Leaders of the National Rifle Association rarely talk about the firearms act, and that’s probably because it imposes precisely the kinds of practical — and constitutional — limits on gun ownership, such as registration and background checks, that the N.R.A. regularly insists will lead to the demise of the Second Amendment,” he offers.

Actually, NRA rarely talks about NFA ’34 because they had a strong hand in the abomination. It’s hardly in Fairfax’s interest to have people reminding them of that (this is what I meant above by “not always a bad thing”).

And as for it being “constitutional,” the reason the feds went after a transfer tax instead of a ban is they knew they didn’t have authority to try for the latter. And as for that registration and tax, the district court in the Miller short-barreled shotgun case agreed that it was a violation of the Second Amendment. It was only after the government appealed to the Supreme Court and no attorney showed up to argue the case, and only the government’s side was heard, that the opinion cited in subsequent cases was issued.  And even that had to concede a weapon was protected if it had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia [or] that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”

The function of the militia, defined as “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense [and] bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time,” was — and is — to field citizen soldiers. And these citizens must bear arms that are suitable for that purpose, “ordinary military equipment” intended to be taken into “common defense” battles. The militia in the War of the Rebellion did not assemble on the green bearing clubs and spears.  They came with the intent to match and best the professional military threat of the most powerful empire of the time.

This is what the American people have allowed to be scammed from them, and what the slick professional wormtongues at The New York Times and other subversive agitprop outlets are counting on the ignorant and the cud-chewers remaining ignorant about.

So here we have this citizen disarmament hack telling a readership he reckons has never heard of NFA ‘34 that we need to extend similar infringements to apply to all gun purchases, and to do that, he pulls another bit of misdirection. He’s also got good reason to be confident most of his readership will never notice that correlation does not imply causation.

Sure, “legal” machine gun owners are extraordinarily “law-abiding.” They filled out the forms, jumped through the hoops and paid for the permission, didn’t they? And with the extreme expense of such firearms due to the limited supply made inevitable by the post-’86 ban, we’re talking a strata of society that can afford individual firearms artificially valued more than the entire collections of many gun owners.

But it’s not just the absence of “machine gun crimes” where such folk prove their trustworthiness. You can bet they also have non-existent rates of rapes, stabbings, liquor store robberies, and you name the violent crime.

So isn’t that proof that only individuals with clean records in that regard should be “allowed” to have guns?  That’s already the case.  There are all kinds of existing disqualifiers designating people “prohibited persons,” and the gun-grabbers are doing their utmost to expand them to include everyone they view as an ideological threat to their collectivist end game. It’s either that or admit the truth that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.

Then, once they have everything down to a small and compliant subset of elite owners who have shown a willingness to submit to prior restraints, be registered, pay fees, obey “requirements” and submit themselves for approvals, inspections, permissions and revocations, all the monopoly of violence needs to do is change the rules. (Curious the spokesman for the NFATCA collector’s group tells The Times “You’re not giving up any rights.” Curious, but sadly, not surprising. Such an appallingly oblivious assertion about rights practically begs for an Inigo Montoya response.)

Give the gun-grabbers a few more years morphing the electorate with that “pathway to citizenship” they’ve been paving and adding lanes to, and they’ll have the legislative and judicial confirmation juice to enact and uphold whatever they want, declaring  anyone defying them an “outlaw.” And there’ll be no shortage of hive insect propagandists convincing the dull and the uninformed that not only works, but it’s both desirable and “constitutional.”



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. David,
    Part of the problem today is that WE along with the NRA have allowed the anti’s to control the narrative with two simple words, “gun control”. Gun Control is proper grip, sight alignment, breathing and trigger squeeze. Replace any of their arguments with Gun Owner Control and the whole narrative changes to expose the real truth. All of their laws and suggestions have no effect on crime or criminals, they only put more restrictions and burden on Gun Owner’s who are by definition law abiding citizens.
    Give it a try. Anytime you hear them mention gun control. replace it with what it is they are actually talking about, gun owner control.

    1. Note when it is used here, it is part of a quote. When I use the term myself, I typically follow Aaron Zelman’s practice of putting quotation marks around the term to emphasize that it’s what the antis call it. That said, I like your suggestion and will make a point of adding “gun owner control” to the mix, so thanks.

      1. L. Neil Smith coined the term “victim disarmament”, which is closer to the truth. It’s the term I use whenever I can remember to do it.

    2. I thought that the mantra Leftists are increasingly using is “gun safety”; you know, for “the children” (and all other “citizens” who might be inclined to eventually defend their freedom under the real purpose for the 2nd Amendment). Meanwhile, two huge industries out there — video games & movies — promoting dispatch of (virtual) “enemies” with, uh, guns. But potentially doing it for real? Oh no no no no no!

  2. “Then, once they have everything down to a small and compliant subset of elite owners who have shown a willingness to submit to prior restraints, be registered, pay fees, obey “requirements” and submit themselves for approvals, inspections, permissions and revocations, all the monopoly of violence needs to do is change the rules.”

    A practice perfected in Australia, Britain, and Canada by the Soro’s Marxist empire and his favorite emotional actress; Rebeca Peters.

    The Second Amendment is not negotiable (neither are the others).

  3. And, just exactly why do you believe we all own our guns in the first place? The “supreme power” in 1776 was the British government, and they refused to listen to, and accommodate, the American public. The “supreme power” of today is the American government, and they are refusing to listen to, or accommodate, the American public. Ready for the “second shot heard ’round the world”?

    1. “The “supreme power” of today is the American government, and they are refusing to listen to, or accommodate, the American public.”

      I disagree and here is why.

      Those who SERVE WITHIN our government have no authority of their own. They are ALLOWED to use the authority delegated to the branch, or to an office within a branch. It does not go with them when they leave the office, it is not handed down to their children, and it is NOT theirs to sell, give away, trade, borrow, etc and they are in writing for all to see and know.

      But that authority was not just thrown out there for those that serve to use as they wanted, it comes with strings that are put into writing that defines when and how they are allowed to use that delegated authority. Plus before they are allowed to use it, they are bound to the contract, and it is made stronger and their own PERSONAL responsibility by the Oath they have to TAKE and KEEP. That is how the service – and all other oath takers – can be held accountable for only following lawful orders, doing lawful duties – it has become their own personal responsibility to know the difference.

      The only supreme government we have is a document – the Constitution of the United States of America. Every Executive Order, etc says by the Authority vested in me by the Constitution of the United States of America… – even when that “authority” being used was NOT delegated (vested) to that position or branch, which is usurpation, maladministration, etc, etc, etc.

      So what is the real problem?

      Let me answer that with a question, what are the three branches of the American government?

      If answered with “legislative, executive, judicial branches”, then one is propagandized way too much. The three branches of the American government is First branch – “We the people of the united States”. Second Branch is the states. The Third Branch is the general, what we call federal, government. All the branches of the governments are in writing, and use the delegated authority from the First Branch, and they are called Constitutions. The US Constitution was made the supreme law of this land.

      They were created for specific purposes which is also in writing.

      So if the first branch is not doing its duties – and they are also found within the US Constitution, do you (generic “you”) think that might be our problem? Do you think that it was deliberate on the part of the other two branches to encourage the First branch to ignore, then forget its duties?

      Those who serve within the state and federal governments are REQUIRED to use the militias (First Branch – our duty) to
      — Enforce the US Constitution and each state’s Constitution,
      — Enforce and keep the “Laws of the Union” (which are constitutional laws ONLY),
      — Protect the country against all enemies both domestic and foreign, and
      — “to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions”

      “Gun control” means that the weapons are in the hands of the people, that they are to be well trained in their use and knowledge. It was never meant to be in the hands of those who serve within our governments. By the requirement to use the militias for those things, they are FORBIDDEN to use any other agency.

      Tench Coxe: “Who are the militia? are they not ourselves. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and EVERY OTHER TERRIBLE IMPLEMENT OF THE SOLDIER, ARE THE BIRTH-RIGHT OF AN AMERICAN…THE UNLIMITED POWER OF THE SWORD IS NOT IN THE HANDS OF EITHER THE FEDERAL OR STATE GOVERNMENTS BUT, WHERE I TRUST IN GOD IT WILL EVER REMAIN, IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.”

      When you also consider that it is those who serve within our government that is revolting, changing our government unlawfully and often with force. That our actions are in DEFENSE of our legitimate government.

      That it is our constitutionally assigned duty to be trained as the congress requires the military to be trained, and with those weapons of war. That we are required to know the US Constitution and the Constitution of our state because we are bound to them, and because we must enforce them.

      That “We the people…” are the Grand Jury, and the jurors, and that it is we who decide if a law is good or bad, guilt of innocence – that is NOT delegated to those that serve within our governments, but retained by us – OUR DUTY. That Grand Jury Investigations are our tool, and that we can send them out as we wish to gather evidence or to make sure that what is being said is truthful. (No, those that serve within our governments are NOT allowed to lie to us, hide things from us, etc.) The Elections are our voice and we are REQUIRED to keep them honest and ours.

      We caused this, or our parents, our grandparents, through our naivety, and our belief in the goodness of our government. We did not really take into account that the people drawn to power usually are not good people. They crave power for a reason. Our framers and forefathers warned us to never blindly trust them.

      Consider this, compare it to what is going on now.

      Justice William O. Douglas, Terminiello v. City of Chicago (1949): “The vitality of civil and political institutions in our society depends on free discussion… It is only through free debate and free exchange of ideas that government remains responsive to the will of the people and peaceful change is effected. The right to speak freely and to promote diversity of ideas and programs is therefore one of the chief distinctions that sets us apart from totalitarian regimes.”

      Justice William Brennan, Texas v. Johnson (1989): “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”

      Basically those that serve within the federal government may not lawfully circumvent the U.S. Constitution by treaties. It may NOT do by Treaty what it is NOT permitted to do by the U.S. Constitution. Those that serve within the position of the US President and within the Senate get the Authority they use to act from the US Constitution. The objects of their lawful powers are listed within the Constitution. This means that the President and Senate both must be authorized in the Constitution to act on an object before any Treaty made by them on that object qualifies as part of “the supreme Law of the Land”. If the Constitution does not authorize the President and Congress to act on an object, the Treaty is not “Law” – it then becomes a usurpation, and deserves to be treated as such. (Federalist No. 33, last para). Because the Constitution is “fundamental” law (Federalist 78), it is The Standard by which the legitimacy of all Presidential Acts, all Acts of Congress, all Treaties, and all Judicial Decisions is measured (Federalist 78 again).

      When we start carrying out our responsibility things will get better or the traitors will wipe most of us out. If they win they will wipe out over half of the worlds population, if not more. We are not just defending America, though we are, but we are also defending people on earth. The choice is the same as it has always been, freedom or slavery.

      Thomas Jefferson: “When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.”

      Thomas Jefferson: “The several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes — delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party (the people) has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.”

  4. First, let me thank you for calling out the NRA for its part in the 1934 gun control act. The NRA has been responsible for other, should I say, underhanded acts with their ‘friends’ in legislatures around the country. Here in NJ, we had the assault weapons ban beat back in the early 80’s until the NRA stepped in and gave the legislature the go ahead.
    The next thing we have to do is to convince the so-called pro-2nd community that the first Thirteen words of the amendment should have due force of law. I have been writing and speaking about this for a few years now with little success. I even petitioned the governor for a position in the militia in accordance with state statutes. I presented this as a way to move the debate forward, but pro-2nd groups and summer patriots want nothing to do with Militia. The primary intent of the 2nd was to make militia “impossible to take away, or give up”. When we are all on board with revitalizing the Militia, then we can show how media and the likes of Alan Berlow have worked to subvert the right of the people to reclaim their sovereignty.

  5. Nick,

    Re: “The next thing we have to do is to convince the so-called pro-2nd community that the first Thirteen words of the amendment should have due force of law.”

    Those Thirteen words, and all other words within the US Constitution are law, the supreme law of this land, and it REQUIRES that all law/codes/regulations/treaties/etc be in Pursuance thereof it.

    The US Constitution and each state Constitution are LAW. Again, every word within them. The US Constitution requires that EVERY type of legislation – law/codes/regulations/treaties/etc – be produced by the House of Representatives and the Senate (not their lackeys, any other branch, their grandma, etc) in order to be lawful and binding on the American people.

    The problem is not laws – remember most are not really laws, just color of law, pretend laws. The problem is getting together and trained enough Militia within each state so that we can flat out tell those that serve within the federal and state governments that they, by our supreme LAW, and by the contract(s) that they are under will resume using them for the duties that they are required to use them for. That if caught using any other agency, etc for those duties listed within the US Constitution it will be an act of *terrorism against the people. That those actions will be handled appropriately and LAWFULLY as constitutionally required.

    *28 C.F.R. Section 0.85 Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

    “The constitution of a state is the fundamental law of the State.” Ware v. Hylton, 3 Dall. 199.

    “What is a constitution? It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain first principles of fundamental laws are established.” Van Horne v. Dorrance, 2 Dall. 304.

    “A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from their representatives, subject to limitations prescribed by the superior authority.” Ellingham v. Dye, 231 U. S. 250.

    “The basic purpose of a written constitution has a two-fold aspect, first securing [not granting] to the people of certain unchangeable rights and remedies, and second, the curtailment of unrestricted governmental activity within certain defined spheres.” Du Pont v. Du Pont, 85 A 724.

    “The constitution of a state is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon the temper of the times, not to rise and fall with the tide of events. Notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immoveable, as a mountain amidst the strife and storms, or a rock in the ocean amidst the raging of the waves.” Vanhorne v. Dorrance, supra.

    Cooley, The General Principles of Constitutional Law, 3rd. ed. (1898), pp. 386-387. (Little & Brown Co.).: “In the construction of these instruments the following rules are actually observed:
    1. The practical construction must be uniform. A constitution does not mean one thing at one time and another at some subsequent time.
    2. The object of construction is to give effect to the intent of the people in establishing the Constitution; it is the intent of the law giver that is to be enforced. But the intent is to be found in the instrument itself. . .”

    Plus a bit on property and defending it.

    “To say that one may not defend his own property is usurpation of power by legislature.” O’Connell v. Judnich (1925), 71 C.A.386, 235 P. 664.

    “Owner has constitutional right to use and enjoyment of his property.” Simpson v. Los Angeles (1935), 4 C.2d 60, 47 P.2d 474.

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