Hamblen Says He’ll Appeal

According to this article in the Christian Science Monitor:

Hamblen says he’s not surprised that he lost at the appeals court. But he says he is surprised that he’s received no help from gun-rights advocates. “They are treating me like I’m a skunk at the picnic,” he said.

As for his case, he plans to fight on. He says his lawyer is preparing a final appeal, a petition to the US Supreme Court. “Why stop now? I’ve already done the hard part. I’ve already done my time,” Hamblen says. “All they can do is say no.”

My prediction is that the Court will refuse to take the case, leaving the Sixth Circuit decision on his conviction in place. Hamblen will remain a convicted felon. He shouldn’t be surprised being treated like a skunk in a picnic, because that’s generally what I would call someone who puts everyone else’s legal rights at risk because he’s right dammit.

I’m not outraged because I believe it’s correct to exclude fully automatic firearms from the Second Amendment, but because I think it’s wrong. If someday public and judicial opinion on the topic changes, we’ll need circuit courts where that issue is undecided in order to move a case forward. Wayne Fincher has already sealed up the Eighth Circuit with a bad ruling, and now the Sixth Circuit is closed off as well thanks to Mr. Hamblen. Others may venerate these men as heros, but I don’t believe they are. We all know what the law is, and if you’re going to force your case in front of federal judges, you owe it to everyone else who’s passionate about the issue to prepare a careful, thorough, and well put together case. Dick Heller is a hero. Otis McDonald is a hero. These men did it correctly. Skunks at a picnic? I can’t think of any analogy more apt.

Another Mass Shooting in Europe

Once again in Finland, as GunPundit reports. Finland is has more guns per capita than many European countries, but handguns are pretty heavily restricted, especially after several high profile school shootings, which caused Finnish authorities to deny permits for handguns larger than .22 caliber. Apparently the gunman used a 9mm pistol. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

UPDATE: Interesting commentary by Claude Cartaginese, who says the gun was illegally obtained:

This time, however, politicians in Finland, instead of focusing on how Shkupolli—who had a criminal record—was able to obtain an illegal handgun in a country that already has strict gun-control laws, are now considering a further tightening of those restrictions.

Finnish politicians will now begin to debate how these “deranged loners,” under the hypnotic spell cast by the “Americanization of Finnish society,” can be prevented from carrying out such attacks in the future.

Ah yes, the American gun-culture rears its ugly head once more, this time shattering the peace in a bucolic Finnish town which would have been spared the carnage caused by Mr. Shkupolli, if only the gun-control laws had been made even stricter.

You can’t make something more illegal.

He Did the Right Thing

It might surprise Robb, but I don’t think this incident that SayUncle linked to is an example of why open carry is a bad idea. The gist is that a store security guard attempted to remove a man’s openly carried gun from its holster. While I think the possibility of being disarmed is real, based on the account, this guy appears to have responded quickly and correctly to the attempt. The security guard is guilty of assault, and the open carrier used reasonable force to defeat the assault against him. He did everything right. This isn’t an example of open carry being a bad idea, but it is an example of the importance of retention training if you’re going to open carry.

Tops of 2009

I decided to do a little year-end review of things here at Snowflakes in Hell to see what people liked and who you people are. I don’t know if Sebastian cares or not, but I figured I’d compile the data and let the facts speak for themselves.

First, you guys love a story on crappy history teachers who can’t keep basic facts straight – like who wrote the Bill of Rights (Washington?). It’s the number one post of 2009, followed by the rest of the top 10:

  1. Look Who’s Teaching
  2. Bloomberg’s Blueprint
  3. Ruger SR-556
  4. Holder Calls for New Assault Weapons Ban
  5. An Interview from Matt at Kel-Tec on the RFB
  6. MAIG in PA Just Lost 16 More Mayors
  7. The Real Tea Party Protest
  8. Setting Political Sights on Bloomberg’s Anti-Gun Mayors, Part I
  9. World Turned Upside Down
  10. Hypocrisy Much?

Now as to who you people are, well, you’re a mixed bunch from all over. The top 10 states sending visitors to this site:

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. Virginia
  5. New York
  6. Florida
  7. Illinois
  8. Ohio
  9. Arizona
  10. New Jersey

Other quick facts:

With that, I’d like to say thanks to all of Sebastian’s readers and the few who have stuck around to read my pathetic attempts at humor and analysis. I think we can all agree it’s been an interesting 2009, and we’re looking forward to 2010.

Hamblen Appeal Failed

SayUncle is reporting that the sixth circuit affirmed Richard Hamblen’s conviction for NFA violations. Pray that Hamblen lets this one rest, and doesn’t appeal to the Supreme Court. Also pray that if he does, they won’t take the case. Hamblen was a case premised on the collective rights theory of the Second Amendment, which by this point is well and truly dead. In short, the case can’t really do any favors for us at this point, and actually has significant potential to inflict damage. That’s aside from the fact that Hamblen is a kook of the first order.

If you are looking for evidence of that, you can follow a thread about his case over at Calguns.net, where Hamblen appears himself, and where he answers many forum members’ perfectly good questions with an ever increasing amount of lunacy. I’m afraid I agree with this poster here, and also here. This is the kind of guy Alan Gura warned us was a bigger threat to the future of the Second Amendment than any of the gun control groups.

Hamblen is one of those guys who’s right, and needs to have his rightness validated, and will pursue that validation no matter how many other people’s rights it hurts. It’s an addiction that afflicts many in our community, but it just as destructive as other addictions.

UPDATE: The court opinion can be found here, and it’s brief. The court addressed his membership in the State Guard thusly:

We note, as a preliminary matter, that Hamblen’s possession of nine unregistered machine guns was not only outside the scope of his duties as a member of the State Guard, but also directly violated State Guard policy. Therefore, this case does not present a novel issue of law regarding the Second Amendment’s prefatory clause.

So much for that argument. It goes further to rule there’s no constitutional right to a machine gun:

Hamblen’s challenge to his conviction for unlawful possession of unregistered machine guns has been directly foreclosed by the Supreme Court, which specifically instructed in Heller that “the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes.” Id. at 2815-16. Moreover, the Heller Court expressly rejected Hamblen’s reading of United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), when it opined that it would be a “startling” interpretation of precedent to suggest that restrictions on machine guns, set forth in the National Firearms Act, might be unconstitutional. See Heller, 128 S. Ct. at 2815. Thus, whatever the individual right to keep and bear arms might entail, it does not authorize an unlicensed individual to possess unregistered machine guns for personal use.

It would be interesting though, to know what would happen if the State of Tennessee authorized their state guard members to obtain and possess machine guns.

My ESB Is Nearly Ready

My Extra Special Bitter is nearly ready to be bottled/kegged. It’s been in secondary fermentation for nearly two weeks, and it’s developing a clear, amber color. I can’t think of anything to go better with a good English Ale than some fish and chips. Of course, Fish and Chips are probably a good bit less English. Apparently chips (fries) come from Belgium or France, and fried fish was brought in by Jewish immigrants. Nonetheless, Brits are passionate enough about their fish and chips that they nearly went to war over it. Trouble cooled once Iceland started giving up fishing for the fast paced world of International Finance. Now that ship has sunk, and Icelanders have gone back to fishing, so perhaps things will heat up once again.