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Gentlemen’s Weapons Only Please

A California court rules that there’s no Second Amendment protection for someone carrying a “billy.” In this case a baseball bat with a hole hollowed out and a bolt put through it, presumably for bashing in skulls with greater ease than one can accomplish with hickory alone.

Instead, it appears to us to be a weapon which, by its very nature, increases the risk of violence in any given situation, is a classic instrument of violence, and has a home-made criminal and improper purpose. Likewise, it appears to be the type of tool that a brawl fighter or a cowardly assassin would resort to using, designed for silent attacks, not a weapon that would commonly be used by a good citizen.

This strain of thinking has a long history among the courts in interpreting the right to keep and bear arms. There’s always been a strong bias against the types of weapons you might find wielded by the lower classes.

12 Responses to “Gentlemen’s Weapons Only Please”

  1. wfgodbold says:

    One wonders what weapons Californians would consider appropriate for good citizens.

    • Scott says:

      I think lawsuits are the only proper weapon for those in California….

    • Jack says:

      Like many places, especially the more progressive, a good citizen is a landed gentleman (or woman) or at least a courtier.

      So as long as the weapon is expensive and exclusive enough to be a privilege (this includes any grace granted to bear it by the local baron or magistrate) then it is by definition appropriate.

      Of course some lords known for their eccentricity do indulge in the weapons of the noble savage. But that is oft seen as a bit of indigenous art. Are we not all familiar with the summer manor house with walls bearing trinkets acquired on Safari?

      The same holds true for the gentry of the Golden State.

  2. James Felix says:

    Indeed, long before “assault weapons” were the boogeyman of choice the anti-2A folks were demonizing “saturday night specials” (now known as “junk guns”). These vague, subjective terms really have only one consistent meaning: they’re guns that people without six-figure incomes can easily afford.

  3. Ron says:

    Kalifornee is the place you oughta be,,,,,,,,,

    Sombody needs to take a giant chainsaw and cut Kalifornee OFF of the United States of America. Piss on em,,,,,,, let em float free.

    On yet a serious note, it remains laws just as this, that slowwwwllllyyy errodes at our rights to lawfully defend ourselves. As stupid as this may be,,,, and given that the law does not attack any firearms,,,,,, a slowwwww errosion continues.

  4. The language is reminiscent of State v. Barnett (W.Va. 1890).

  5. MattW says:

    So carrying an unmodified baseball bat would be OK, but not a modified baseball bat?

    I also fail to see how a weighted, full-sized baseball bat would be the weapon of choice for a “cowardly assassin”. I would imagine cowardly assassins would use something that wouldn’t make them get their hands dirty…

    Btw, I read the “cowardly assassin” line as the Court saying that it was a weapon used by “super serious assassins with awesome nunchuk skills” for some reason…

  6. oopsy says:

    Isn’t it interesting that assassins and snipers are always cowardly unless the work for the government? In which case they are hailed as heroes. Curious.

  7. “a weapon which, by its very nature, increases the risk of violence in any given situation”

    Like these?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_mace

  8. Mininerd ISH says:

    Now, a nice teflon-coated, kevlar-core truncheon like our fine lads in the police use… that’s a more elegant weapon, from a more civilzed age.

  9. mikee says:

    I know an older gentleman who carries in his car a 2 foot length of iron gas line pipe, commonly used to help him with levering the lug nut wrench should he have a flat tire.

    He also has used it to inform unruly people accosting him in public that he was about to change a tire, and that they should vacate his immediate vicinity lest it hit their heads.

    Is that a cowardly weapon, likely to incite violence, or a tool?

  10. Bryan S. says:

    Oddly enough, that law did not prevent that weapon from existing or from being used. Huh. Imagine that.

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  1. SayUncle » No second amendment right to a “billy” - [...] No right to bear a baseball bat with bolt through it. [...]
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