Tanks, Bazookas and Fighter Jets -- Pseudo-Historian David Barton's Interpretation of the Second Amendment

Categories: Guns

david barton.jpg
David Barton
The Founding Fathers were farsighted men. They were wise enough to write iron-clad protections of individual liberty into the Bill of Rights and wise enough to craft those protections with just enough wiggle room that, three centuries on, they would still be relevant.

Take the Second Amendment:

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.

Note that they didn't say "muskets," which were eventually rendered obsolete by rifles and handguns, among other weapons; they say "arms." Exactly what this means in modern times has been and continues to be a subject of debate among constitutional scholars, but the prevailing view, laid out in the Supreme Court's 2008 decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller, is that it applies to weapons "in common use at the time" for individual protection.

David Barton, the Aledo-based author and pseudo-historian, has a more expansive view of the Second Amendment -- much more expansive. He detailed it today on "Wallbuilders Live," a portion of which was transcribed by Right Wing Watch:

The belief of the Second Amendment was you as a citizen have a right to defend yourself whether it be against a thug, an aggressor, a crook, or against your government.

Now this is where a lot of liberals go through the roof; are you saying that you think individual citizens have a right to own a machine gun?

Yeah. And an Abrams Tank, and a bazooka, and a F-16 because you've got a right to defend yourself with the same size of weapons that might be brought against you ... You have a right to fight back with whatever you can get your hands on to defend your life, your property, your possession, your family, your whatever.

And chemical weapons? Biological? Nuclear? Barton didn't mention those specifically, but why the hell not?

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30 comments
rek_4384
rek_4384

What they don't know, won't hurt them!  Or will it?   ha ha ha.............

susanwilliams407
susanwilliams407

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lecterman
lecterman

What was it that country comedian said, "You can't fix stupid."?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I can't help but make the observation that it looks like the recoil from a .410 would knock Barton on his ass.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

There are already restrictions in place for owning the more realistic of the weapons Barton lists.  To own a 'machine gun' or fully automatic rifle, one must pay exorbitant licensing fees and undergo an extensive background check.  The weapon is registered and must remain so regardless of method of transfer.  There is no gun show loophole on those weapons.

For the so-called assault rifles, an AR15 is a beefed up .22 semiautomatic rifle.  No need for any more restriction there.  An SKS or AK is a weak deer rifle that has atrocious accuracy.  No need for any more restriction there.  Jets and tanks and howitzers, illegal and should most likely stay that way.

It's been shown that further legal restrictions to firearms ownership does nothing to curb violence committed with illegally owned and obtained firearms.  Criminals, for some reason, are somewhat unenthusiastic when comes to following the law.  I don't think stricter gun control laws are going to curb gun violence.  It hasn't happened in Chicago or DC, why does anyone think it will work elsewhere.

leave the restrictions we already have in place.  Enforce the laws, go after the criminals with guns and leave the law-abiding gun owners alone.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

There's not any valid logic in Barton's read, after all there always has been limitations on many of the rights enumerated.

what is the most troubling of his comments is how a citizen has the "right to fight back with whatever you can get your hands on to defend your....whatever". I wonder what his "whatever" could possibly be?

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

When Cheney was prez, this guy would have been disappeared to Cuba.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Even if a civilian could own an armed F-16 what the hell would they do with it?

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 Since it was A-OK for private citizens to own WARSHIPS at the time of the constitution's writing (the tech equivalent of say the USS Ohio) then why shouldn't we be able to buy tanks?  Cannons were legal, why are modern howitzers illegal?

Let's face it, no nutjob is looking to spend a few million on a tank just to take out his noisy neighbor.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@RTGolden1  

The big impediment to jets, tanks and howitzers is cost.

An M1 Abrams has an original purchase price of ~$5 million, with the upgrades and inflation, it is probably ten times that now.


Assuming you could get a complete hulk of say an M60 (or an M24, M4 or M551), the cost to make it operational would probably be on the order of several million dollars since every single repair part would have to be custom manufactured.

A howitzer would probably be easier to refurbish, but it is likely that the gun tube is probably worn out and could not be used with anything other than an empty display load (makes a big noise and smoke comes out the muzzle).  Making a new gun tube could be done although at an extremely high cost.


As far as aircraft is concerned, just about all of the jet warbirds would be out of reach of just about everyone, except maybe Dr. Eeeeevil, or Dr. No and his friends at SPECTRE.  The cost of training to be able to competently fly any of the older jets much less the newer ones would take several years and cost millions of dollars.  Lets assume that you could find an airframe that still had at least 100 hours left on it, it would take on the order of $50M to $100M just to get all of the necessary equipment on it to get it to fly, much less drop ordinance accurately.  Just look at Iran, they were barely able to keep their F16s in the air after the 1978 revolution.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Now hang on. When they renamed the Bullets the Wizards all gun violence stopped in DC. Likewise when then the Red River Shootout was renamed the Red River Rivalry Fair Park became a peaceful oasis.

bmarvel
bmarvel

@P1Gunter What a dumb question. Fly it, of course. Saw an P-51 land at Addison a few years ago. It taxied to the ramp, the pilot got out and opened the ammunition bay on the wing, which was packed with ice, and pulled out a cold beer.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@P1Gunter  

Mmmm, inside loops, barrel rolls, immelmans, split -s's, ballistic flight, stampede cattle  ...

Catbird
Catbird

@P1Gunter 

I usually take mine up on Sunday mornings and patrol the Rio Grande between Eagle Pass and El Paso....its a blast!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@P1Gunter Sure couldn't park that thing in HP. Streets are too narrow.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps 

Hary Macklowe and Matha Stewart spent a few $million over a dispute on landscaping

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/26/nyregion/in-a-nasty-neighborly-dispute-it-s-power-vs-power.html

Ellison was ready to spend $15M to get rid of the trees blocking his view in SF

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576343763766328484.html

don't underestimate the lengths a spoiled, wealthy person might go....and just because sonmeone has immense wealth doesn't mean they couldn't also be a "nutjob".

bmarvel
bmarvel

@everlastingphelps"Let's face it, no nutjob is looking to spend a few million on a tank just to take out his noisy neighbor."

Speak for yourself, Phelps.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@Cliffhanger @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @RTGolden1  

And a cheap MIG would be the most expensive thing that you ever bought.  A civilian can own and operate a MiG-15 and a MiG-17 provided that the armaments have been removed and dummy weight inserted to maintain balance.  There is a Polish Mig-15 on display in Forney (or at least used to be).

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