Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Federalism and firearms

An interesting case:
Montana's staunchly pro-Second Amendment Governor, Democrat Brian Schweitzer, has signed Montana HB 246, the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. The bill declares that a firearm which is manufactured in Montana, and never leaves the State of Montana, "is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of congress to regulate interstate commerce. It is declared by the legislature that those items have not traveled in interstate commerce."
Presumably Wickard v. Filburn, or something like it, will be made to apply. Our courts don't like it when elected officials get uppity, and try to challenge their right to be the sole and final arbiters of the meaning of the constitution. Even so, it is interesting to see the people, acting through their representatives, questioning what the limits of federal jurisdiction are.
Categories > Courts

Discussions - 3 Comments

Following the Tea Party rallies, we need to be on guard for the Obama administration to begin its assault on the Second Amendment.

The Tea Parties were made up mostly of people that had never participated in a protest before. If Obama is going to succeed in changing the United States into a more Socialist country, he will have to silence these opponents. With the show of strength yesterday, the President will probably be fearful that if he doesn't control guns, He will be unable to enforce his changes.

Kudos to the MT Governor. Some Democrats 'get it.'

A good anology is the events in CA which led to the SCOTUS case Gonzales v. Raich. There Federal agents and county sherriffs got in a standoff because the federal agents wanted to seize medical marijunia legal under state law but illegal under federal law. I forsee a similar standoff in MT over guns instead of pot.

I was thinking the same thing Jamie, but along the lines that without executive power the lawyers are meaningless. Why can't Mass be the state for gay marriage, California be the state for Pot, and Montana be the state for weapons? I suppose because eventually folks will want to cross state lines, the reasoning in Wickard v. Filburn is solid, but especially solid in cases where production quotas are in effect, in order for production quotas to stand the demand side of the equation has to stay constant so that Filburn would have had to buy the wheat he was permited to grow.

Thinking about the Unibomber, why was he so bothered about the state of industrialization in New York, can there not be states where you can live in your own private Idaho?

There has to be a natural limit to the law that exists in the difference of loyalties between those who think in terms of court cases(Chateau General) and those who struggle and must risk taking a bullet to enforce laws they might even personally find to be ridiculous. This is to say that the law is bound by the executive branch as much as it is bound by the judicial branch, but most considerations I hear discussed only deal with the Supreme Court legistlating from the bench.

My guess is that in terms of popular appeal you might do better discussing not just legistlating from the bench but the problem of legistlating(or thinking up economic schemes) that are difficult if not impossible and sometimes ridiculous to enforce.

Of course I think the Chicago school lawyers/theorist/economists work on this. Still it is always a different ball of wax thinking it up vs. enforcing it.

The theoretical speed limit is 55 miles an hour but it is actually closer to 62 miles an hour because anything above this increases your chance of being pulled over...but in bad economic times speed limits fall because people can't afford tickets or increased insurance costs and municipalities give more tickets to cover costs, of course it is also the case that some people can't afford to pay tickets.

In a recession does crime go up drastically or does enforcement of the law bring it closer to the theoretical? Gun ownership goes up(albeit these numbers look like Obama fears in the sector) Home security system sales are prediction is that Detroit/Fairborne is in danger, it could be that Obama is making things safer...without a Democrat we might have had a serious riot by now...and we might also have had fewer guns purchased, which might make things safer in a sort of MAD way.

A question I am wondering about how does having Obama as an executive play out not in terms of upper-middle class whites(liberal or conservative) but in terms of the relationship between law and executive enforcement. I guess it makes Compton, Chicago and Detroit somewhat safer.

In some sense liberals should embrace the tea parties because it allows folks in Detroit to behave with greater civility. The thing is, if you hang around Detroit you probably wear jeans, but come to think of it even Detroit is not that dangerous, you could probably dress like Fred Astaire and they would be more than happy to see someone with money to spend.

Not all neighborhoods are perfectly safe, and the rule of law is never at its theoretical level, but I am not sure things aren't much more optimal than some may think.

Still I am annoyed at lawyers who wish to make laws that others have to enforce in neighborhoods they don't want to frequent themselves.

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