Month: May 2024

Ask The Right Question

As we have discussed, multiple times, the courts are only allowed to act when there is an active dispute. This is most often seen in “The Question” put to the court.

The formation of those questions can make or break a case.

As cases move through the appeals process, the parties will state the question in the most favorable light to that party.

The state might say: The question is whether the state has the authority to regulate the sale of dangerous implements?

The People might phrase it as: Does the Constitution protect The People’s right to acquire arms?

Part of the problem is that we all fall into the trap of using the enemy’s language. When we do, we have lost at least part of the battle, and maybe the war.

Judge VanDyke wrote a powerful dissent in Duncan. In that dissent, he wrote about how the courts should analyze Second Amendment cases. His answer, to the Ninth Circuit, was that they should use strict scrutiny.

We have learned that the correct answer is we use the text and this Nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulation.

When we use text and history, we win.

What this means, is that we should never be fighting for strict scrutiny. Any level of scrutiny is a request for the judiciary to balance away our rights.

Questions Presented

  1. Whether the Constitution allows the government to prohibit law-abiding, responsible citizens from protecting themselves, their families, and their homes with semiautomatic firearms that are in common use for lawful purposes.
  2. Whether the Constitution allows the government to prohibit law-abiding, responsible citizens from protecting themselves, their families, and their homes with ammunition magazines that are in common use for lawful purposes.
  3. Whether enforcement of Illinois’s semiautomatic firearm and ammunition magazine bans should be enjoined.

Harrel v. Raoul

The question(s) should not have are in common use for lawful purposes. The reason is simple, that is not what the plain text of the Second Amendment says. It says, “shall not be infringed.”

Remember, it is text first. Does the conduct of the individual, wishing to possess semiautomatic banned by Illinois, implicate the plain text of the Second Amendment and if so, has the state provided examples of firearms regulation in keeping with this Nation’s historical traditions?

Now, my phrasing isn’t the best. I hope you get the idea. When we simplify the question (K.I.S.S.) then it becomes clear that this isn’t about “lawful purposes”, nor is it about “law-abiding”, nor “responsible” citizens. It is text, and historical tradition of firearms regulations.

The state has not met their burden of proving that historical tradition.

For context, here is the state’s response:

Question Presented

Whether petitioners are entitled to a preliminary injunction on their claim that state and local laws restricting civilian possession of assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices violate the Second Amendment.

Notice that the question presented by the state has nothing to do with the constitutionality of the law in question, it is about the interlocutory state of the case.

Smoking is hazardous to your health.

And being stupid too does not help.

An SUV parked in a Van Nuys parking lot on Thursday night suddenly exploded after the driver lit a cigarette next to some propane canisters he stored inside.

Firefighters and police rushed to a supermarket parking lot in the 7200 block of Van Nuys Boulevard after receiving a call about an SUV that exploded around 10:30 p.m., police said. When first responders arrived, the man told them he had been trying to light a cigarette when the explosion happened. Investigators said he was living in the vehicle during the explosion.

He suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.


SUV explodes after man tries to light a cigarette near propane canisters – CBS Los Angeles (



“Nah, I am done with handguns for a while. There is nothing that I really like out there ”

And earlier today I heard Michael Bane’s podcast and a new gun being introduced.

One of the painful holes in my small stash of sidearms is a snubby and I am not much into the modern look at all. And the old cool guns are priced into the four figure sky, so forget about it

But the Roscoe? A 2″ .38 Special +P? super old school snubbie retailing for $360? Oh! hellyesIwantsoverymuchthankyou.

Heritage Roscoe 2″ Wood (

Being followed by criminals


I have seen multiple news stories of criminals following people home from banks, jewelry stores, casinos, even fancy restaurants.

Places criminals know you are likely to be coming from with cash or valuables.

You need to be cognizant of this.

First, be aware of your surroundings. These people are criminals, not KGB agents. Be aware if a car is following you, especially if you travel on more rural or out of the way roads to get home.

If you are concerned or suspicious, don’t go straight home. Go park where there is a lot of security. The parking lot of a municipal building or hospital would work.

Don’t let the bad guys follow you home.

Most of these crimes could be avoided with situational awareness.

Don’t let it happen to you.

Friday Feedback

It has been a wonderful shop week. I squared up a 3.5x6x1.5 using a homemade fly cutter. Very nice results. Tried to mill a slot with a 3/4 roughing end mill, but it didn’t sound good, so I switched to using a face mill.

Finished cutting the slot to depth, pleased as punch, found out that the slot was too wide. Measure at least once!

This led to me doing still more organizational work in the shop. That includes 12 strong magnetic hooks, so I can hang clipboards almost anywhere.

Turns out that I can mill that face down level and then cut the slot again, with an end mill.

The result was beautiful. I’ve milled a slot 1.406 wide, 0.420 deep in the center and 4.005 deep on the edges. I started cutting the dovetails. It looks beautiful.

My dovetail cutter is too small.

Oh, well. I can’t stop there, I’ve got a larger dovetail cutter on its way.

Meanwhile, the missing parts to the dividing plate accessories arrived today. I do have to cut a grove for the spring washer to hold the sector arms in place. I am also going to turn and thread the eccentric to take a threaded ring for tensioning.

I should be able to cut my first gears this weekend! I’m looking forward to it. I do need to take a picture of the 3-jaw chuck holding another 3-jaw chuck with a backplate bolted on for facing. That worked better than I should have expected.

One of the things I’ve started doing since my cast iron mistake is that I am actually looking at and working with the right feeds and speeds. It makes a difference.

In court cases.

The Supreme Court held a conference yesterday, they will release their order list on Monday. During this conference, they discussed Harrel v. Raoul. This is the lead case in the cases out of the Seventh Circuit court over PICA. The Illinois semi-auto and magazine ban cases.

In my opinion, this is the case to be watching. Given the opinions that were issued yesterday by the Supreme Court, the justice that will be writing the opinion is Rahemi will be one of the conservative justices. It could even be Thomas, himself.

Thank you for all the feedback I received regarding being fat. I will continue to work the problem.

The comments, of course, are open. Please let us know what is on your mind, what you’d like to hear about, or just pick your best meme of the week and share.