Let’s Ban Handguns. (How Democratic State Legislators Should Respond To The Supreme Court’s Decision On The Texas Abortion Ban)

Texas’ abortion ban has a novel enforcement mechanism:

Usually, a lawsuit seeking to block a law because it is unconstitutional would name state officials as defendants. However, the Texas law, which makes no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from incest or rape, bars state officials from enforcing it and instead deputizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs the procedure or “aids and abets” it.

The patient may not be sued, but doctors, staff members at clinics, counselors, people who help pay for the procedure, and even an Uber driver taking a patient to an abortion clinic are all potential defendants. Plaintiffs, who do not need to live in Texas, have any connection to the abortion or show any injury from it, are entitled to $10,000 and their legal fees recovered if they win. Prevailing defendants are not entitled to legal fees.

The Supreme Court hasn’t yet ruled on the constitutionality of this law. But the conservative justices (minus Roberts) ruled that, while we await a ruling, no injunction against this enforcement mechanism is possible.

So maybe the Texas law will eventually be found unconstitutional (which it is, blatantly) – but in the months or years it’ll take for that to happen, abortion providers in Texas will be driven out of business, and many Texans will suffer enforced childbirth.

Okay, then.

Here’s how I’d like to see Democratically-controlled states respond.

Democratic states should ban all privately-owned handguns, with the enforcement mechanisms taken word for word from Texas’ abortion ban.

A private handgun ban would be blatantly unconstitutional under D.C. vs Heller, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the civilian-vigilante style of enforcement would make the ban immune to injunction while the inevitable lawsuit proceeds.

Throw in an assault rifle (broadly defined) ban, a high-capacity magazine ban, and trigger locks requirements for all firearms.

Actually, why stop at banning guns? Let’s have a $10,000 bounty for unvaccinated adults.

Sure, it’s probably unconstitutional, but with no injunction possible, we could force a lot of people to turn in their guns and get vaccinated before there’s a final ruling. A lot of gun dealers might be forced out of business, too.

Seriously. If they want laws enforced by citizens going after $10,000 bounties, let’s give them what they want.

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41 Responses to Let’s Ban Handguns. (How Democratic State Legislators Should Respond To The Supreme Court’s Decision On The Texas Abortion Ban)

  1. 1
    Polaris says:

    Punishing people who don’t live in Texas for actions of Texas politicians would not only be petty but childish.
    Also assault rifles are already banned in most US states.
    What you mean is assault weapons.
    One is a objectively defined term and the other one is not and does not even exist in several languages.

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    For casual conversation, “assault rifles” and “assault weapons” are interchangeable terms. If a term is commonly used to mean “X” by native speakers, then the term exists and means “X.” That’s how English works.

    And I’m not suggesting “punishing” anyone. A private handgun ban would be good policy. A trigger lock requirement would be good policy. Mandatory vaccinations (with exceptions for rare cases of medical need) would be good policy. Far from punishing people, these would all be good policies – and they would be overwhelmingly popular in most blue states.

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    What is terrible policy, however, is rewarding states for thinking of novel and transparent schemes for doing an end-run around the Constitution. Reminding conservatives that they don’t actually want that to be how the law work isn’t petty or childish; it’s a necessity.

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    This is a very good Twitter thread to read for a more detailed description of how Texas’ new law works.

  5. 5
    Schroeder4213 says:

    It is such a bizarre law. It’s like the kind of thing that you bat about in law school (“But what if…”) to which people respond, “Yeah, but that would never happen.”

    An aspect of the law that I haven’t heard commented on much: It expressly forbids defendants from recovering their fees under the provisions of the Texas rules meant to punish frivolous lawsuits.

    You can sue anyone for anything. For instance, I could sue Trump seeking a judicial declaration that he’s a “dummy head.” I wouldn’t actually do this, though, because, if I did, I would likely get sanctioned and have to pay his legal fees. For this law, though, the court is not allowed to award attorneys’ fees and costs to the defendant for any reason. So, you could sue a Texas legislator (for instance) for paying for an abortion without any factual predicate. They would have to hire an attorney to answer the suit. But the worst that could happen to the plaintiff is that the suit gets thrown out. (An attorney might get punished for an ethical violation, potentially, if the attorney knew there was no factual basis. But you don’t need an attorney to file a lawsuit.)

  6. 6
    Polaris says:

    For casual conversation, “assault rifles” and “assault weapons” are interchangeable terms. If a term is commonly used to mean “X” by native speakers, then the term exists and means “X.” That’s how English works.

    Incorrect. By definition assault rifles are not assault weapons.
    If some people start referring to fish as a vegetable it doesn’t mean that they are correct.

    And I’m not suggesting “punishing” anyone. A private handgun ban would be good policy. A trigger lock requirement would be good policy.

    It is a bad policy for those individuals who suffer from it as is a abortion ban.
    It’s kind of funny how Americans stance on individual freedoms swaps almost systematically depending on their party affiliations.

  7. 7
    Schroeder4213 says:

    So, I read a little bit more, and I’m not certain it would prevent attorneys’ fees as a sanction for frivolous lawsuits. But it certainly puts all of the risk on the defendant.

  8. 8
    Görkem says:

    “It is a bad policy for those individuals who suffer from”

    Just because some people are objectively worse off under a policy, doesn’t make it a bad policy. Every policy, whether it is good, bad, or mediocre, is going to have some losers.

  9. 9
    Bob Smith says:

    While I like the idea of blue states trying to use this precedent like this the fact remains that the Court would simply issue an injunction against such a law without even an attempt to explain how it differs from the Texas law. The only way to stop this is to show the Court that their Lords and Masters would be negatively effected by this law. The language of the statute dealing with aiding and abetting reads, “Knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion… regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion would be performed or induced.”
    In other words, if you knowingly do something, that later aids someone to get an abortion, you are liable.
    So, given that abortions are now effectively outlawed in Texas, the only way Texas women can get one is to leave Texas and pay for one elsewhere.
    Therefore any Company that sells cars in Texas, any company that supplies cars to companies in Texas, any company that flies out of Texas, any company that sails airplanes to companies that fly out of Texas, any cruise ships that sail out of Texas, hell, any company that employs people in Texas are all liable under the aiding and abetting language.
    Start suing some of these companies and see how long the Court lets this law stand

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    Incorrect. By definition assault rifles are not assault weapons.

    You’re mistaken. There’s more than one definition at play in common usage. Both definitions are correct. No one has made you the King of English who gets to determine that some common usages are correct and others aren’t based on your personal preferences.

    A similar case from the left: A lot of people of the left will claim that racism is defined as “prejudice plus power,” and therefore only white people can be racist. But that’s just one definition of the word “racism”; there’s another definition in common usage, and we don’t get to declare that definition incorrect by fiat.

    If a significant portion of the English speaking population uses an English word to mean “X,” then by definition “X” is that word’s meaning, or one of its meanings. That’s just how our language works.

    Unfortunately, this means that people who use “literally” to mean “in effect, virtually” are not wrong, even though it grates on my ears to hear it.

  11. 11
    Ampersand says:

    So, I read a little bit more, and I’m not certain it would prevent attorneys’ fees as a sanction for frivolous lawsuits.

    That’s interesting, and the opposite of what I’ve heard elsewhere. Can you expand on this a bit?

  12. 12
    Celeste says:

    It is a bad policy for those individuals who suffer from it as is a abortion ban.

    Banning rape punishes rapists. Banning slavery punishes slave owners. Banning public dumping of toxic waste punishes people who really want to get rid of toxic waste and don’t want to pay to do it.

    Banning anything harms someone.

    It’s true and meaningless.

    It’s kind of funny how Americans stance on individual freedoms swaps almost systematically depending on their party affiliations.

    There are disagreements on which “individual freedoms” ought to be prohibited for the good of the public, yes. I assume you are opposed to rape, slavery, and the public dumping of toxic waste?

  13. 13
    Schroeder4213 says:

    Ampersand,

    That’s interesting, and the opposite of what I’ve heard elsewhere. Can you expand on this a bit?

    No problem!

    Usually, Texas follows the “American Rule,” which says that each party pays their own attorneys’ fees, unless otherwise provided by statute, rule, or contract.

    SB8, however, creates an exception to this rule. It provides that, “[i]f a claimant prevails in an action brought under this section, the court shall award . . . costs and attorney’s fees.” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.208(b)(3).

    It also provides that, “[n]otwithstanding any other law, a court may not award costs or attorney’s fees under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or any other rule adopted by the supreme court . . . to a defendant in an action brought under this section.” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.208(i). The law does not provide any other mechanism for a court to award attorneys’ fees to the defendant, so the American Rule kicks in with respect to a defendant’s seeking fees..

    When I first read this, I thought it meant (as I first commented) that a defendant could not recover attorneys’ fees even for a frivolous or groundless claim. After all, Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 13 provides that

    [t]he signatures of attorneys or parties constitute a certificate by them that they have read the pleading, motion, or other paper; that to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry the instrument is not groundless and brought in bad faith or groundless and brought for the purpose of harassment. . . . If a pleading, motion or other paper is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, after notice and hearing, shall impose an appropriate sanction . . . upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both.

    And the law expressly says that a court may not award attorneys’ fees for the defendant “under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or any other rule adopted by the supreme court[.]” Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.208(i).

    BUT Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 10.001 provides that

    The signing of a pleading or motion as required by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure constitutes a certificate by the signatory that to the signatory’s best knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry:

    (1) the pleading or motion is not being presented for any improper purpose, including to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;

    (2) each claim, defense, or other legal contention in the pleading or motion is warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;

    (3) each allegation or other factual contention in the pleading or motion has evidentiary support or, for a specifically identified allegation or factual contention, is likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery; and

    (4) each denial in the pleading or motion of a factual contention is warranted on the evidence or, for a specifically identified denial, is reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.

    And Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 10.004(a) provides that “[a] court that determines that a person has signed a pleading or motion in violation of Section 10.001 may impose a sanction on the person, a party represented by the person, or both.” “A sanction may include . . . an order to pay to the other party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred by the other party because of the filing of the pleading or motion, including reasonable attorney’s fees.” Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 10.004(c)(3).

    Because Chapter 10 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code is a statute, not one of the “Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or any other rule adopted by the supreme court,” so I don’t think it’s covered by Tex. Health & Safety Code § 171.208(i).

    So that’s why my thinking changed!

    That said, motions for sanctions are *very* rare. I’ve never seen one granted in my practice. So, you would have to have a situation where the plaintiff (say, on social media) basically admitted making up the suit or something. A good faith mistake would likely not cut it.

  14. 14
    Görkem says:

    “A lot of people of the left will claim that racism is defined as “prejudice plus power,” and therefore only white people can be racist.”

    Point of order: Even if we accept this definition, it does not follow that only white people can be racist. This whole “only white people can be racist” pretty much ignores the existence of huge areas of the world where there are no significant white populations – even if we 100% accept this definition, it still allows the racism of a Latinx Brazilian towards an indigenous Brazilian, or a black South African towards a black Zimbabwean refugee, or a black Ugandan towards an Ugandan Asian, etc etc. But even these examples don’t fully capture the fallacy, because even though white people occupy the top of the power pyramid in countries like the USA, UK, France, Canada, Australia, etc etc, that doesn’t mean that there are no other racial power gaps. For example, a British Asian person who is biased towards Syrian refugees is racist, since, even though the British Asian person may have less power than a White British person, they still have more power than the Syrian refugees due to their being citizens while the others only have precarious refugee status, a very well defined and obvious power gap that transforms the prejudice into racism. Etc etc.

    If we accept this definition of racism as “prejudice+power” (which I am not at all certain we should, but let’s say) it doesn’t prove that white people are the only ones that can be racist. It doesn’t even prove that white people cannot be the target of racism, since there are power gradiations between white people (e.g. the prejudice of a white German business owner towards a white Albanian immigrant working illegally in that business clearly actuates a major power gap). The only thing this definition really proves is that non-white people cannot be racist towards white people (and even that requires us to further read into the definition of racism+power as purely racial power, as opposed to generic power – even if institutional racism means that non-white people generally have less power, and that no non-white person is sufficiently powerful that they will never encounter prejudice, it doesn’t follow that every white person is less powerful than every non-white person – a black teacher with white students, or a Latinx cop policing a neighbourhood with white homeless people, clearly enjoy more power).

  15. 15
    Ampersand says:

    Gorkem – Sure to all of that. (Generally speaking. The particular context of a specific usage might moot some of your objections.)

    However, I don’t think that’s germane to the point I was making, which was that ordinary English words and phrases can have more than one meaning.

  16. 16
    Ampersand says:

    Schroeder, thanks very much for that explanation! I appreciate it.

  17. 17
    Polaris says:

    You’re mistaken. There’s more than one definition at play in common usage. Both definitions are correct. No one has made you the King of English who gets to determine that some common usages are correct and others aren’t based on your personal preferences.

    No you are the one who claims that your personal preferences should overrule the objective definition.

    The earth didn’t use to be flat because people said so and it will not become flat if flat earthers become the American majority.

  18. 18
    RonF says:

    Based on analyses I’ve read elsewhere, the refusal of the Court to grant an emergency stay against this law seems to have a reasonable legal foundation.

    OTOH, the law itself, while quite ingenious, looks rather specious to me. For the very reasons that you put forward here, Amp, I’d like to see it overturned.

  19. 19
    Schroeder4213 says:

    Based on analyses I’ve read elsewhere, the refusal of the Court to grant an emergency stay against this law seems to have a reasonable legal foundation.

    Ron, I haven’t read all the briefing yet, but here are a couple things I know already.

    (1) Whether or not the majority’s holding was “reasonable,” four very smart justices (including the very conservative Justice Roberts) would have enjoined the defendants from enforcing the law. So, I am confident that there was also a reasonable basis for doing so.

    (2) The law is literally unprecedented, and it would be wild if there were no mechanism to preserve the status quo ante while it is litigated.

    (3) The Supreme Court has an opportunity to overturn Roe/Casey in June. If you oppose abortion, the Court could do it then after full merits briefing. But by allowing SB8 to go forward, the Court has done permanent damage to the rule of law, not just to legal abortion.

    Practically, under the Supreme Court’s order, in order to assert their rights, the opponents of SB8 have to wait to get sued, assert Roe as a defense (in state-court with elected Republican judges, mind you), then appeal all the way to the state supreme court and, likely, to the United States Supreme Court.

    I know a guy who *successfully* defended against a lawsuit and his legal bills were over $500,000. And that was just at the trial court. Want to recover your legal fees? Sorry, that’s impossible!

    But wait, it gets worse. Suppose they go all the way to the Supreme Court, and it declares (as everyone knows) that the law is unconstitutional. The Texas Legislature could simply pass another nearly identical law and just change a few words (say, make it a seven-week ban). Wouldn’t such a law be totally unconstitutional, you say? Well, yes. But so is SB8. Don’t like the new law? Well, feel free to assert it as a defense to the new law and appeal. (Lather, rinse, repeat.)

    “Who cares!” you say, “I don’t think abortion is a real right anyway.” But the Supreme Court’s recent decision didn’t say that abortion isn’t a real right! Contrary to some commentators, the Court didn’t actually overrule Roe v. Wade. In fact, the decision would be less chilling if it had. Instead, the Supreme Court said that, if you invent a complex, Rube Goldberg device to evade immediate review… congratulations, go for it!

    So, do you like guns? Do you like criticizing Biden? Going to church? Feel free to continue doing all those things. All you have to do is spend millions of dollars defending yourself all the way to the Supreme Court without the possibility of getting reimbursed.

  20. 20
    Ampersand says:

    No you are the one who claims that your personal preferences should overrule the objective definition.

    The earth didn’t use to be flat because people said so and it will not become flat if flat earthers become the American majority.

    The shape of the earth is an objective, changeless fact. The meaning of particular English words is not. Do you really not see this?

    The Earth is not and can never be flat. In contrast, word meanings can and do change. Centuries ago, the word “awful” meant something amazing, admirable, awe-inspiring. But over time, most English users have come to use the word to mean “terrible.” Do you deny that this change ever happened?

    Before “terrific” meant “excellent,” it meant “something that inspires terror.” “Nice” used to mean “stupid or weak.”

    “Smart” used to mean – and still means – a stinging sensation. (“Ouch, that smarts!”) But over time, it gained an additional meaning, “intelligent,” and now it has both those meanings. Do you deny this change ever happened?

    There are even contronyms – English words that not only have two meanings, but the two meanings are actually opposites. For example:

    to cleave

    Definition 1: to join or adhere closely; cling. Example 1: The shy baby rabbit cleaved to his mother’s body.

    Definition 2: to split or divide, especially by cutting. Example 2: The hunter uses a Swiss Army knife to cleave the rabbit’s meat from the bone.

    to dust

    Definition 1: to remove dust. Example 1: My mother asked me to dust the window shades before the party.

    Definition 2: to sprinkle with soil or dust. Example 2: I watched my mother dust my birthday cake in a thin layer of white sugar.

    to overlook

    Definition 1: to monitor or inspect. Example 1: Our teachers overlook our academic progress.

    Definition 2: to fail to notice or choose not to emphasize. Example 2: Because they are tired, my teachers often overlook the spelling errors in my homework.

    to sanction

    Definition 1: to permit or grant approval. Example 1: In some countries, the government sanctions the ownership of guns by private citizens.

    Definition 2: to condemn or penalize. Example 2: In some states, the government imposes sanctions on the ownership of guns by private citizens.

    You can’t possibly deny that English words can have multiple meanings, and can even change meanings. So why do you think “rifle” can’t possibly be such a word?

  21. 21
    Schroeder4213 says:

    The shape of the earth is an objective, changeless fact. The meaning of particular English words is not. Do you really not see this?

    You give away too much. Thomas Friedman wrote a bestselling book called The World Is Flat, and many seem to find his insights useful and true.

    I think reading Wittgenstein (especially Philosophical Investigations) can really help with conversations like this. A lot of disputes we think are about philosophy are actually just about words.

  22. 22
    Polaris says:

    The shape of the earth is an objective, changeless fact. The meaning of particular English words is not. Do you really not see this?

    The definition of a assault rifle is not limited to English or the present day.
    If the definition is wrong in English then it is wrong in other languages and history books as well.

    Assault rifle and assault weapons are separate categories like hybrid and electric.
    Should one be renamed as the other then the other one would have to be renamed as well.

    Also referring to hybrid cars as electric on purpose is being wilfully ignorant.

  23. 23
    Corso says:

    Polaris @ 22

    The problem is that, particularly when discussing policy, we should probably have terms set with the same meaning. I can’t think of anything less useful than having a discussion on gun control where everyone is saying “assault rifle” while everyone around the table is thinking of an entirely different class and configuration of firearm.

  24. 24
    Ampersand says:

    Polaris, do you agree that in English, words can have more than one meaning?

    Yes. Or no. Please answer the question.

  25. 25
    Ampersand says:

    The problem is that, particularly when discussing policy, we should probably have terms set with the same meaning.

    If the context is writing a law, definitely. Laws should (and do) include definitions explaining what terms mean within that law.

    When discussing issues in casual conversation – like, say, on a blog – I think it’s more useful to acknowledge the reality that not everyone uses the same meaning for every term, and to use discussion to communicate to each other what we each mean by terms (especially if we suspect or discover that we’re using different definitions of a term), and then maybe arrive at a consensus of what terms to use in this discussion.

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    TikTokers flood Texas abortion whistleblower site with Shrek memes, fake reports and porn | Texas | The Guardian

    I don’t think this will work – the main intent of the law, I think, is to reduce abortions by scaring doctors out of providing them, and this won’t prevent that.

    Still funny, though.

  27. 27
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    I can’t wait to hear how the words “hot” and “cool” don’t mean the same thing when combined with “That’s”. I’m also looking forward to the forthcoming arguments as to the correct meaning of words like “gay”.

    Seriously, though, the English language does have static and correct definitions of words. That’s why we all still speak the same Old English one finds in Beowulf. I’m off to pick up my flivver, so Ƿesaþ hāle.

  28. 28
    Polaris says:

    Polaris, do you agree that in English, words can have more than one meaning?

    Yes. Or no. Please answer the question.

    If we talk about a objectively defined term like car, airplane, oxygen, water, assault rifle, ect then no it doesn’t have more than one real meaning.

    So why do you think that the definition of assault rifles is incorrect and what should we call assault rifles instead of assault rifles?

  29. 29
    Saurs says:

    Those aren’t objectively defined terms, Polaris, and not a one lacks multiple definitions.

    What counts as a car depends on the setting, context, and culture (were you thinking of a personal automobile or motorcar manned by a single driver and seating a limited number of passengers, a section of a passenger train housing an even greater number of ticketholders, a compartment or wagon on wheels, a people-mover on rail, the seated portion of a balloon, or what?).

    Airplane/aeroplane for laypeople—who make up the majority of all Anglophones—is the term everyone first opts for when trying to identify nearly any aircraft. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

    Oxygen in idiomatic, non-specialised English invariably refers to “air.” Again, playing dumb about this is not constructive.

    This is important when discussing things like public policy and polling voters about legislation, yes, of course. It does matter, is deeply relevant how we define our terms when it comes to laws governing the purchase of guns (another allsorts generic term), their ownership, licensing, and use. Yes, slippery laws regulating weapons do, in fact, avail themselves of these word games and convenient definitions to flout public will, mislead voters, and avoid oversight, regulation, and punishment.

  30. 30
    Grace Annam says:

    Polaris:

    If we talk about a objectively defined term like car, airplane, oxygen, water, assault rifle, ect then no it doesn’t have more than one real meaning.

    This takes me back. I remember my linguistics professor inviting us to define “chair”. Easy, right? But he poked holes in every definition, giving examples which we, native speakers of English, all recognized as correct uses of the word, but which did not fit our definitions.

    Car: meaning depends on context. Are we talking about highway traffic, or a tramway, or an elevator? In Britain, it can also mean a towed, open-topped vehicle like a farm wagon.

    Airplane: meaning depends on context. This is the second most specific of the examples you attempted, but it can mean any of a number of self-propelled, fixed-wing aircraft, and in some contexts also a glider, with no self-propulsion.

    Oxygen: meaning depends on context. This is the most specific of the examples you attempted. It can mean an atom with 8 protons, or it can mean diatomic oxygen, but it doesn’t usually mean triatomic oxygen, for which we have a different word in most cases (ozone). It can also mean a quantity of gas mainly comprised of diatomic oxygen, but acceptably containing variable amounts of assorted impurities, depending on use case.

    Water: meaning depends on context. For instance, in some spoken English, “making water” is a polite euphemism for pissing, and therefore the “water” means urine. Even the base form can mean any of a number of things, and so must be qualified: spring water, seawater, swamp water, drinking water, still water, etc. The very fact that it must be qualified shows that the “one real meaning” has limited utility.

    Rifle: meaning depends on context. Technically, it’s any portable longarm with a rifled barrel. But that definition would encompass a larger submachinegun, which no one calls a “rifle”.

    Assault rifle: meaning depends on context. To most military people, it’s a lightweight rifle firing a relatively light round, capable of both semiautomatic and some degree of automatic fire. To most politicians, it’s any lightweight rifle with an automatic or semiautomatic action.

    As always, the devil is in the details, which is why, as Amp observes, lawyers often define things in a law. That doesn’t solve the problem, but it narrows the scope and nature of the arguments about the meaning of the law.

    In language, context always matters. I’ve heard motorcyclists refer to their motorcycles as “sleds”. That’s not what you envision if you find the word on a cue card, but in context, the meaning is clear enough.

    Point being, and I’m not going to take the time to re-read why this point arose, it’s best to define your terms, in any given conversation, if a precise shared meaning is essential to a fruitful conversation.

    Grace

  31. 31
    Dianne says:

    @1: Banning guns is in no way punishing people who live in the jurisdiction where they are banned. On the contrary, it is rewarding them with lower homicide, suicide, and accidental death risk.

  32. 32
    Ampersand says:

    If we talk about a objectively defined term like car…

    “Car” can mean “a four-wheeled road vehicle that is powered by an engine and is able to carry a small number of people.” (Although I see ways to quibble with the specific wording of that definition, but let’s put that aside for now.)

    But car can also refer to some components of a train (“the train has 20 cars” “meet me in the dining car”).

    Or car could mean the compartment of an elevator where passengers ride (“the car is stuck between floors”).

    Or car could mean the part of a dirigible balloon where passengers ride.

    All of these are correct, real definitions of “car.” Even if you pretend that they don’t exist, they do. It is objectively true that “car” has multiple correct meanings, and your refusal to acknowledge that this is how the English language works is bizarre.

    So why do you think that the definition of assault rifles is incorrect and what should we call assault rifles instead of assault rifles?

    I’m not saying your definition of “assault rifles” is incorrect. I’ve never said that.

    I am saying that words can have more than one correct meaning.

  33. 33
    Polaris says:

    Banning guns is in no way punishing people who live in the jurisdiction where they are banned. On the contrary, it is rewarding them with lower homicide, suicide, and accidental death risk.

    You are a bit late with this argument.
    US law enforcement has partially fallen to third world country level effectiveness since 2020.
    People may have to rely on themselves alone which is why you have what 17 million new gun owners in 2020 alone?
    And several bullet manufacturers are already sold out for 2022.

    I’m not saying your definition of “assault rifles” is incorrect. I’ve never said that.

    So you admit that you used the term incorrectly to describe weapons that don’t fall under said category?
    Also not my definition, originally it was Hugo Schmeisser who came up with it as he designed the first assault rifle that went into serial production.

  34. 34
    Ampersand says:

    So you admit that you used the term incorrectly to describe weapons that don’t fall under said category?

    The very next sentence of my comment, in boldface, said “I am saying that words can have more than one correct meaning.” So obviously, I was neither saying Schmeisser’s definition is wrong, or that other common usages are wrong.

    Either you’re a total idiot – which I do not believe – or you’re trolling, rather than arguing in good faith. For that reason, you’re banned from making any more comments on this thread.

  35. 35
    Kate says:

    Hi Amp, I see that Polaris is banned, but I am uncomfortable letting this assertion, which he made @33, stand:

    US law enforcement has partially fallen to third world country level effectiveness since 2020.
    People may have to rely on themselves alone which is why you have what 17 million new gun owners in 2020 alone?

  36. 36
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    @35…

    You’re right about how we shouldn’t be letting that stand. It’s a laughable assertion with the word “partially” doing a lot of the heavy trolling.

    I mean, it’s equally true to say that US law enforcement has partially risen to Nazi German levels of crime against humanity since 2020. It being equally true is precisely the reason I’d never make that claim.

    Both of those claims should not only be laughed at, neither should be forgotten until the person making the claim has admitted they were outrageously wrong and apologized.

    I admit that my claim is outrageously wrong and I apologize for making it.

  37. 37
    Kate says:

    This link contextualizes the recent rise in homicides in the U.S. very well: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/30/us-crime-rate-homcides-explained
    It is NOT part of an overall rise in crime. It’s also NOT as bad as the early 1990’s in most places.

  38. 38
    Ampersand says:

    Hi Amp, I see that Polaris is banned

    Just to clarify, Polaris is threadbanned. He’s still welcome to post elsewhere on “Alas,” just not on this thread.

  39. 39
    RonF says:

    People may have to rely on themselves alone which is why you have what 17 million new gun owners in 2020 alone?

    Not exactly. Looking this up I find that the 17 million number probably comes from news stories based on the NSSF reporting back in late 2020 that NICS data indicated that the FBI ran 17.1 million background checks for the purposes of buying firearms were run in the first 10 months of 2020. Now that’s lower than the actual number of background checks, which do get run for other firearm-related purposes (e.g., obtaining a Concealed Carry Weapon permit). OTOH, one background check can be related to a sale of multiple firearms. The total number of NICS firearm-related background checks that the FBI ran was almost 40 million for all of 2020. The actual estimates that I found for first-time gun purchasers in the U.S. in 2020 was about 8 million. I do not know how the NSSF determined how many NICS background checks were specifically for a purchase of a firearm or how many of them were first time buyers. I should think the FBI can tell if they’ve ever run a background check on someone before. It does not seem an unreasonable to me; firearm dealers have been talking about the extraordinary number of new firearm purchasers all year in the media. Here is one report I read; it has some primary sources and you can look for others.

  40. 40
    Fibi says:

    I have seen this suggestion elsewhere, but don’t think it would work. What makes SB8 effective is the chilling effect it has on the small handful of abortion providers. There are tens of thousands of Texans who would gladly break the law but they can’t because the handful of providers have been chilled. If nobody can break the law, nobody can get sued. If nobody gets sued, nobody can assert their rights in a defensive posture. If nobody can assert their rights in a defensive posture the courts can’t rule (or at least the USSC won’t rule).

    But if a blue state passed a law allowing bounties for handgun ownership, the tens of thousands of people who were willing to be the test case would not need the help of the local gun store. There would be a lawsuit on Day 1, the constitutional rights would be asserted defensively and there would be a VERY short window where the law had the desired chilling effect.

  41. 41
    Corso says:

    Going to say at the top of this that I think that this law is abhorrent, not only in what it does, but in how it does it. And while I’m disappointed that SCOTUS didn’t immediately kick it to the curb, if for no reason other than because it might encourage future attempts using a similar enforcement device, legally, it was the right call.

    As I understand it, and to simplify, SCOTUS ruled that an injunction was impossible because the petitioners couldn’t identify a relevant defendant. The petitioners in this case tried listing some titles, but because of the way the law was written, the people they listed weren’t connected in any material sense. Even the dissents in this case read like the “liberal block” of the court knew that they didn’t have a whole lot of room to act, but they were outraged by that on top of everything else, and dissented more out of spite than as a matter of law.

    All that said, this *is* blatantly unconstitutional, so I don’t think there’s much chance of it surviving long term. I’m not going to mitigate the damage it does in the short term; There are doctors who will abide by this, either out of a positive bias towards the outcome or out of an abundance of caution. But I think the first penalty applied will be deathknell of this law.

    Also going to say; I remember when we were talking about the nuclear option, how I said that American Democrats were famously short sighted for rules lawyering loopholes only to be flummoxed when those rules were exploited by their opponents. That Democrats were “good” at making new rules, and Republicans were “good” at industrializing those new rules. Going to have to eat some of that. This enforcement device is legitimately new and awful, the Republicans own it, and I really… REALLY… hope that it doesn’t normalize.

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