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Presented for your amusement -- or horror -- is an honest liberal law professor who complains that the US Constitution is ancient text that is longer applicable to life in modern day USA.

The fact based stuff, I.E. gunz and ammo is after this presentation:


Here we go again. With 12 dead bodies at Washington's Navy Yard, not including that of the shooter, Americans are back to the usual handwringing: Why, oh why can't we stem the tide of gun violence?

People, this is not rocket science.
True. If it was rocket science, you still wouldn't get it.
For a start, we have too many guns sloshing around. A recent Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) backgrounder notes that "The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world's population, has about 35-50 percent of the world's civilian-owned guns." Reading the news, you might imagine that Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or some other conflict-ravaged nation would be leading the most guns-per-capita race, but nope: That's us. We're No. 1.
Woohoo! Numero Uno! Not for nothing we are called the Arsenal of Democracy!
But guns don't kill people, you say, people do. That's true. Last I checked, guns just lying around all by themselves don't spontaneously start shooting at elementary-school children or random passersby. With rare exceptions ("I dropped it on the floor and it just went off ...."), it takes a finger on the trigger to get them going.
Thx for the 411
But while guns don't kill people on their own, they sure make it easier for people to kill people. This, incidentally, is why our troops carry guns, instead of slingshots or brass knuckles: If you need to be able to kill quickly and surely, guns will do the trick.

How likely are you, though, an ordinary citizen, to have a need to kill quickly and surely -- keeping in mind that a gun kept in the home is 12 times more likely to kill a family member or guest than an intruder?
First fallacy: That a free men keeps a gun so he can kill. It's called self defense for a reason.
Since 2003, America has lost more than twice as many kids 19 and under to firearm homicides than it has lost soldiers and citizens to two wars and global terrorism combined. Between 2003 and the end of 2010, 7,027 Americans died in Iraq and Afghanistan and from terrorist attacks, while 35 times as many Americans, or 247,131, were killed by guns in the United States.
How many of those killed were involved in a criminal interaction, on one or the other side? How many of the killers' guns were illegally rather than legally acquired? Those numbers are out there, my dear. Please run and fetch them.
Doing so would ruin a perfectly good emotional appeal...
Solid data are not yet available for the years after 2010, but if recent trends have continued, U.S. firearm deaths since March 2011 will come within spitting distance of the number of deaths caused by Syria's bloody civil war.
Uh, we are in a civil war in the United States. A hostile elite is trying to disarm its citizens. It has been bloody with the ruling elite's personal army causing all the bloodshed, so far.
Moral of the story for all you national security types out there? If you're concerned about saving American lives, gun control would be a good place to start.
Second faulty premise: That those who uphold the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) believe saving lives is a goal. The goal is to fight tyranny. I was thinking maybe we could start with disarming police forces of all those icky EBRs.
Americans currently have lousy gun-control laws, meaning hopelessly, pathetically inadequate, especially when compared to other countries' laws. Yes, those countries with fewer guns and fewer gun deaths -- they have much tougher gun-control laws than the United States does.
And those places suck much worse than the United States does.
Not to mention that some of them, like Russia, have more deaths per capita. It turns out that people really do kill people.
Right again, NRA friends, this could be a coincidence. The fact that the sun appears to rise every day in the east could also be a coincidence.
Or a liberal spreading lies with questionable statistics. Oh wait, you said coincidence..
And why do we have lousy gun-control laws? Because of the Second Amendment, which gives Americans a constitutional right to lousy gun-control laws. That's why we fought a war against the British: We wanted to the right to kill each other, instead of being killed by foreign enemies.
Hey, give her some credit. She 1) admits we have a second amendment and 2) that it is stopping her from disarming us.
Ah, now we're getting to the real culprit. Why, oh why are so many Americans killed by guns? In the end, I blame the U.S. Constitution and our weird quasi-religious worship of that antiquated text.
The text upon which you have, by virtue of Marbury, acquired your personal power.
For its time, the U.S. Constitution was a pretty impressive document, if you leave aside certain small details such as slavery, which was considered OK by the Founding Fathers, and women's rights, which were considered not OK. But let's give the Constitution's authors a break; they lived at a time when slavery was widespread not only in the United States but around the globe, and women were still considered semi-chattel in most of the world. For its time, the Constitution was not bad at all.

But for our time, it stinks.
It does stink, but for all the others, which are much, much worse.
Whenever I teach constitutional law,
Oh lord. Those poor students. Can they get their money back?
I ask my students if they're happy that they live in a nation with the oldest written constitution in the world. They all nod enthusiastically.

Then I ask them if they'd be equally pleased if our neurosurgeons operated in accordance with the oldest anatomy book in the world, or our oil tankers steered using the oldest navigational charts in the world, or NASA's rocket scientists used Ptolemaic astronomy to chart the path of the Mars Rover.
So, what do they say? Just kidding.
Frankly, having the world's oldest written constitution is not something to be proud of.
Strange, lots of Americans are very proud of an enduring, flexible constitutional system that has survived civil war, slavery, world war, and totalitarian movements...
As my Georgetown colleague Mike Seidman wrote in a 2012 New York Times op-ed,

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.
He meant it has saddled liberals, leftists and other forms of maladaptive tyrants with restraints, just as it has always been intended to do.
Betcha he (and she) despise Plato as well, as bringing nothing useful to the modern table. This, my darlings, is the result of a narrowly tailored education and an incurious mind. Had she only chosen one of the two, she would not now be falling so deeply into error.
The writer doesn't want to argue about what is to be done in the modern age, she wants to impose what is to be done (based on the delusions of a third-rate nineteenth century German philosopher), and for us to shut up and do as we're told...
I'm not very good at that, I'm afraid.
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years,
That's a hellaciously large number of miseducated lawyers. Y'all might want to check with yours to make sure he/she got their degree elsewhere, just in case.
I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official -- say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress -- reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country.
Now, I understand the term Constitutional Law: It's an oxymoron!
Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: A group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
One assumes she doesn't read literary classics, either. What has Jane Austin or Chekhov to say about the universals of the human condition that could possibly apply to the computer age?
The word "divination" is appropriate, because much of what passes for constitutional debate in this country has more in common with theology than law. Americans spend an inordinate amount of time arguing about how best to interpret the Second Amendment, but the real question -- the one we should be asking -- is this: Why are we so fixated on a 226-year-old piece of paper?
Nor our tradition, inherited from England, of relying on legal precedents to buttress current legal arguments all the way up to the Supreme Court. Why, in the name of all that's holy, did this person go into the law, and how can she bear to spend her days teaching what she must view as an abomination?
Political theory has advanced a good deal since 1787. We now have decent social science research on the pros and cons of different voting systems and different judicial systems; we can now measure and evaluate the impact of different political and legal regimes in ways the framers could not.

Most other nations have had reason to develop new constitutions over the last two centuries, for the simple reason that structures and rules that once made sense often make far less sense when circumstances change.

And boy, have circumstances changed lately. To return to gun deaths, the framers could never have imagined weapons technologies like those used in Newtown, Conn., or the Navy Yard. But because the U.S. Constitution is amazingly difficult to amend (incredibly, women still have no text-based constitutional guarantee of equal rights), Americans are stuck with gun rules from more than two centuries ago.
Which suggests that, unlike you, the citizenry of the country are satisfied enough with the status quo that they have no interest in the great exertion needed to change it.
This may help explain why the U.S. Constitution no longer gets much global respect. Just a few decades ago, the overwhelming majority of nations around the globe modeled their own constitutions on it.
They did? Who?
Today, that's no longer true. As a recent study by David Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia found:

The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere. . . . Among the world's democracies, constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s. The turn of the 21st century, however, saw the beginning of a steep plunge that continues through the most recent years for which we have data, to the point that the constitutions of the world's democracies are, on average, less similar to the U.S. Constitution now than they were at the end of World War II.
There's no rule saying that other countries have to do things the way we do them. Since their culture is different, modeling their constitution on ours might not be a good idea. We put a lot of thought into ours in the 1780s. You don't reproduce that in a day, and certainly not in a Georgetown Law School recitation...
Just why other democracies are losing interest in the U.S. Constitution as a model is an interesting question, and there are undoubtedly a thousand and one reasons.
The author then discounts a thousand of them...
But I'll bet the Navy Yard shootings just added 12 more.
Intelligent people can separate crime perpetrated by a mentally ill person and governance in a population. Only the socialists seem to conflate the two...
Rosa Brooks is a self-entitled elitist law professor at Georgetown University and a fellow at the New America Foundation. She served as a counselor to the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a State Department senior adviser. She wrote this for Foreign Policy.

Rantburg's summary for arms and ammunition:

Despite renewed noise for even more Draconian gun laws from our indigenous fascists in the wake of the Washington DC shooting, ammunition prices for nearly all classes including rifle and pistol ammunition were steady, and either lower or unchanged from the previous week.

Prices for all classes of weapons were lower for all but two classes of guns. An AR ban in Maryland takes effect October 1st.

Pistol Ammo

.45 caliber, 230 grain, From Last Week: -.04 each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: Selway Armory, HSM reloaded, .34 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 500 rounds: Selway Armory, reloaded, .34 per round

.40 Caliber Smith & Wesson, 180 grain, From Last Week: -.03 each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: Selway Armory, BVAC, reloaded, .29 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1000 rounds: LAX Ammunition, reloaded, .27 per round (w/ ammo can)

9mm Parabellum, 115 grain, From Last Week: -.02 each
Cheapest, 50 rounds: Cabelas, Herter's Select Grade, .28 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1000 rounds: Georgia Arms (all brass), Canned heat, .25 per round

.357 Magnum, 158 grain, From Last Week: -.04 each

Cheapest, 50 rounds: Glenn's Army Navy, CCI Blazer, .46 per round
Cheapest, Bulk, 250 rounds: BulkAmmo, MagTech, .78 per round

Rifle Ammunition

.223 Caliber/5.56mm 55 grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Alamo Ammo, Brown Bear, steel cased, .35 per round
Cheapest Bulk 1,000 rounds: LAX Ammo, TulAmmo, steel cased, .33 per round

.308 NATO 145 grain, From Last Week: -.06 each
Cheapest, 20 rounds: MunrilUSA, Prvi Partizan, brass, .67 per round
Cheapest Bulk, 1000 rounds: Sportsman Guide, MFS, .56 per round

7.62x39 AK 123 Grain, From Last Week: +.01 each
Cheapest, 20 rounds: Ammo Supply Warehouse, Wolf Polyformance, steel core and case, .26 per round
Cheapest, Bulk, 1000 rounds: BulkAmmo, Wolf Polyformance, steel core and case, .25 per round

.22 LR 40 Grain, From Last Week: Unchanged
Cheapest, 50 rounds: Ammo Fast, Eley Target, 10 per round
Cheapest, Bulk, 1,000 rounds: Smokey Mountain Munitions, Remington Thunderbolt, .14 per round

Guns for Private Sale
Rifles


.223/5.56mm (AR Pattern Semiautomatic) Average price: $815 Last Week Avg: $990
California: Smith & Wesson M&P: $675
Texas: DPMS: $850
New York: Bushmaster C-15: $950
Maryland: CNMG: $900
Florida: Mixed Build: $700

.308 NATO (AR-10 Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $1,363 Last Week Avg: $1,320
California: DPMS: $800 (Same Gun)
Texas: Diamond Back DB-15: $915
New York: Core 30 MOE: $1,200 (Same Gun)
Maryland: DPMS LR-308B: $2,500 (Same Gun)
Florida: Bushmaster MOE: $1,400

7.62x39mm (AK Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $890 Last Week Avg: $730
California: IO Inc: $900
Texas: Saiga: $1,000
New York: Saiga: $750 (Same Gun)
Maryland: AK-47: $900 (Same Gun)
Florida: WASR AK-47: $900

7.62x54mm (Dragunov Pattern Semiautomatic) Average Price: $1,350 Last Week Avg: $1,350
California: Romak PSL: $1,650 (Same Gun)
Texas: Romak PSL: $1,200 (same Gun)
New York: None
Maryland: None
Florida: Romak PSL: $1,200 (Same Gun)

Pistols

.45 caliber ACP (M1911 Pattern Semiautomatic Pistol) Average Price: $583 Last Week Avg: $716
California: Rock Island Armory: $475
Texas: Colt (Hybrid build): $525
New York: Sig Sauer Compact 1911: $885
Maryland: Metro Arms: $580 (Same Gun)
Florida: Bersa-Eagle: $449

9mm Beretta 92FS Semiautomatic Average Price: $495 Last Week Avg: $507
California: $550 (Same Gun)
Texas: $475 (Same Gun)
New York: None
Maryland: $500
Florida: $455

.40 caliber S&W (Glock and other semiautomatic) Average Price: $455 Last Week Avg: $405
California: Glock 23: $499
Texas: Glock 23: $500
New York: Glock 22: $350 (Same Gun)
Maryland: Smith & Wesson 4006: $450 (Same Gun )(I think)
Florida: Steyr M40-A1: $475
Note: Maryland's Draconian AR ban goes into effect October 1st, so I may be forced to find another upper east coast state for my data.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com and BorderlandBeat.com. He can be reached at grurkka@gmail.com


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