Grab Bag 5

Israel and, of all places, Russia back armed self-defense, and Open Carry Texas imagines what other rights would look like behind gun control regulations. Plus a “law school professor” discusses repealing the Second Amendment. (Stay with me.)

1.) Programming notes. First off, there have been more Grab Bag updates than usual as of late. I do try to find a running theme through the week’s news, but it is turning out that the larger the Run, the harder it is. It’s kind of a cop out, but for the naming conventions the Run has had for over a year now, it’s the best I can manage.

Also, there will be no Midnight Run next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I can’t/won’t/never would consider speaking for my InSov Network colleagues, but I’m taking the occasion of Thanksgiving as a chance to breathe and focus on things neither online nor (entirely) firearms related.

But until that point, let’s take a look at just about everything that is firearms related.

2.) Russia. Would you have ever considered gun control getting weaker in Russia? Breitbart News has a story out this week saying that the Russian government now recognizes self-defense as a legit reason for people to carry guns. The news agency also notes Russia’s much higher murder rate:

In addition to concerns over the skyrocketing murder rate, it is important to note that Russian legislators are also grappling with ways to confront Russia’s growing terror threat and the tensions that continue to exist between Russia and the Ukrainian population. A well-armed Russian citizenry may be a pre-emptive response to both these matters.

It is worth repeating that INTERPOL called for armed citizens as an anti-terror method shortly after the Kenya mall siege in September of last year.

3.) Israel. Responding to a series of terror attacks in Jerusalem (among other places), Israel has decided to loosen its gun laws as well. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said “The decision to ease the restriction stems from recent events and the need to strengthen the sense of security among the general population and due to the recent terrorist attacks that have struck us.”

Much like the US state of Texas, the gun-friendly reputation Israel has is almost completely opposite of what their actual laws state. The Jerusalem Post writes:

As opposed to the United States where gun ownership is a right, in Israel it is a privilege given to people who meet certain requirements.

The licenses have only been issued to those who work in security or law enforcement, or who live in settlements or other places where the state has an interest in them being armed.

As of earlier this week, criteria included that the applicant be over 21, an Israeli resident for more than three years, have passed a mental and physical health exam, background checks by the Public Security Ministry and shooting exams and courses at a licensed gun range. If given a permit, the holder is allowed to order a single firearm with a one-time supply of 50 bullets from a licensed dealer. He is required to retake the licensing exam and undergo testing at a gun range every three years. He also has to prove he has a safe at home to store the gun.

4.) Texas. Speaking of, let’s discuss a thought experiment from Open Carry Texas (who have thrown their weight behind a Constituional Carry bill in the state, as discussed last week in Midnight Run: Remnants). OCT posted to their blog an experiment where the other rights recognized in the Constitution are put behind regulations/licensing schemes similar to the ones places on firearms. For example:

The $200 Criminal Prosecution License recognizes that you are entitled to an attorney, that the state doesn’t hold a secret trial against you five years after you’re falsely arrested (assuming you don’t have a SSPL). Witnesses against you are protected cross examination unless you have a current CPL.

After being trained on the duties of jurors and proving that you haven’t ignored a jury summons in the past five, you can go to your nearest courthouse to obtain a $200 Jury Trial License that recognizes your right to a trial by jury.

Imagine if whether you spent the rest of your life in prison or were given a death sentence relied on whether you were licensed to have a public trial by jury.

5.) Repeal It. A Texas A&M law professor floated the idea of repealing the Second Amendment. TX A&M’s Mary Penrose framed her argument as follows:

“I think I’m in agreement with you and, unfortunately, drastic times require drastic measures. I think the Second Amendment is misunderstood and I think it’s time today, in our drastic measures, to repeal and replace that Second Amendment.”

Good luck with that.

6.) Ben Carson. Potential 2016 GOP Presidential Candidate Ben Carson “clarified” his now infamous remarks to talk show host Glenn Beck. Let us reset what happened, and work from there. In 2013, in a conversation on Beck’s television program, Carson said that he would rather people in urban areas “in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”

In October of this year, he told radio host Dana Loesch that his remarks were “inartful” and that he supports the Second Amendment….and also smart gun technology.

Two days ago, according to

Carson said that he could have been more precise in his answer to Beck.

“Perhaps I didn’t convey it appropriately,” he said. “I wanted to convey that, you know, I’ve lived in urban areas. I’ve worked in urban areas. I’ve seen a lot of carnage, and I’d prefer a situation where the kinds of weapons that create that kind of carnage don’t fall to the hands of criminal elements or insane people. But that is secondary to the desire to always defend the Second Amendment.”

Carson said that “under no circumstances” would he “allow a bureaucrat to remove any law-abiding citizen’s rights for any kind of weapon that they want to protect themselves.”

If he were in a position of national leadership, Carson said he would seek to allow people to possess any kind of weapon they can legally buy, including “automatic weapons and semi-automatic weapons.”

Asked by one call participant whether he would support convicted felons being allowed to possess guns after serving their time, Carson said it would “depend on what kind of criminal activity they were convicted for.” He added, “Is this somebody who is still considered a danger to society? If that’s the case, they probably still should be in prison.”

Carson said a “mental patient” or someone with “history of violence” shouldn’t be able to own “anything” to “wreak havoc on society.” That, he said, could be part of a “reasonable” gun-control law. The government also shouldn’t “retrospectively” go back to make once-legal guns illegal, he said.

It’s not my place to tell you whether to trust him or not. I’d like to hear if you do or don’t, regardless.

Happy Thanksgiving, people. Next Midnight Run is in two weeks. Until then:
Stay informed. Stay alert. Stay free.

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