The solution to 922(o) will have to be political in the end. The fact is, outside the gun community, the concept of privately owned machine guns is intolerable to American society and 100% of all federal judges. If I had suggested in any way — including, by being evasive and indirect and fudging the answer — that machine guns are the next case and this is the path to dumping 922(o) — I’d have instantly lost all 9 justices. Even Scalia. There wasn’t any question of that, at all, going in, and it was confirmed in unmistakable fashion when I stood there a few feet from the justices and heard and saw how they related to machine guns. It was not just my opinion, but one uniformly held by ALL the attorneys with whom we bounced ideas off, some of them exceedingly bright people. Ditto for the people who wanted me to declare an absolute right, like I’m there to waive some sort of GOA bumper sticker. That’s a good way to lose, too, and look like a moron in the process.
I didn’t make the last 219 years of constitutional law and I am not responsible for the way that people out there — and on the court– feel about machine guns. Some people in our gun rights community have very…. interesting…. ways of looking at the constitution and the federal courts. I don’t need to pass judgment on it other than to say, it’s not the reality in which we practice law. When we started this over five years ago, the collective rights theory was the controlling law in 47 out of 50 states. hopefully, on next year’s MBE, aspiring lawyers will have to bubble in the individual rights answer to pass the test. I know you and many others out there can appreciate that difference and I thank you for it, even if we can’t get EVERYTHING that EVERYONE wants. Honestly some people just want to stay angry. I’m glad you’re not among them.
You want to change 922(o)? Take a new person shooting. Work for “climate change.”
Hat Tip to SIH: http://www.snowflakesinhell.com/2008/03/20/alan-gura-on-the-mg-issue/#respond