Sunrise Mayor: Tally Gun Lobby Ties Our Hands





Since last Friday’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, many have asked me “What are you going to do to make difference?”

I say, “We are pushing for increased security at our schools, including a Full-Time School Resource Officer program for all public schools.”  That answer is satisfying, to a point.

Inevitably, someone asks, “Yea, but I meant about the guns.  What are you doing about guns, ammunition and high capacity magazines?  Don’t you get it?”

My response “It is illegal for me to do anything about guns.”

“But you are a Mayor.  You and the Commission passed laws protecting us from synthetic drugs, rogue Oxycontin-pushing pharmacies and unscrupulous tow truck companies leaving people stranded at 4 am.   Sounds more like you are scared of the NRA.  If you wanted to do something, you would at least try.”

Their response is logical.  How could it be illegal in a democratic society to pass laws trying to protect our residents?

Under Florida Statute Section 790.33, not only are local elected officials unable to pass local laws related to guns and ammunition, if they dare do so, there are draconian consequences imposed on the individual elected officials voting for change:

  • The Governor is empowered to remove the local elected officials from office and strip them of their duly-elected status.  Moreover, unlike the bribe-taking elected official caught on video who is somehow found “not guilty”, the elected official voting to protect residents will never be re-instated because there is no defense;
  • The elected officials are each fined $5,000;
  • The fine and the defense of that fine cannot be paid from the public coffers.  In contrast, when a jury finds a bribe-taking-elected-official-caught-on-video “not guilty”, we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees for the defense;
  • When the NRA or any other organization sues claiming the law “adversely affects” their membership, and you know they will, the “guilty” elected officials must pay THEIR legal fees, up to $100,000;
  • There is NO defense.  You can’t say “I was just trying to help”, or “I was acting in good faith”, or “The city attorney gave us a legal opinion that we could pass this particular ordinance.”

Maybe, when it comes to guns, there is little we can do locally.

Maybe it is truly a national issue beyond the capacity of any local elected to really impact the problem.

Maybe there are good reasons not to have a patchwork of potentially inconsistent gun laws (even though it is really for the Courts to tell us what can be legally passed).

But, there is something dangerously authoritarian, dictatorial and anti-democratic about treating your local democratically elected officials like criminals for doing nothing more than trying to protect residents, businesses, visitors, and employees.

Welcome to the world of the gun lobby in Florida, where their single vote means MORE than all of your votes combined.

34 Responses to “Sunrise Mayor: Tally Gun Lobby Ties Our Hands”

  1. Joe Rosado says:

    I do NOT favor political knee-jerk reactions that do nothing to keep guns out of the hands of criminals or psychos. Think of PROHIBITION … it didn’t work. It only created new criminality and new criminals. Not only do these “gun laws” don’t work but, In our country, there is something called the Second Amendment to our constitution. It may be inconvenient, but it is inviolate! This issue has simply been “politicized” by Liberals who just want what they want.

  2. this guy loves himself says:

    Hey Mayor,
    While your at it, why not create your own currency, military, and have international ambassadors…. You are the mayor of a small city, not the President, Governor, or even a State Representative. I believe your residents elected you to represent them with city issues, so why don’t you leave the “big” issues to people who were elected to handle them in the first place. You are the biggest attention whore in broward. Stop trying to politicize the death of children, and go back to handling things like pot holes, parks, and pensions. Leave the other stuff to the big boys!

  3. John Henry says:

    Still beating the anti-gun drum? LOL. Why not when guns are the easiest thing to blame and scapegoat this incident on.

    The people that need to be blamed are the shooter and the shooter’s mother for leaving the guns lying about.

  4. Fort Dotson says:

    “But, there is something dangerously authoritarian, dictatorial and anti-democratic about treating your local democratically elected officials like criminals for doing nothing more than trying to protect residents, businesses, visitors, and employees.”

    Your trying to protect residents by taking away a means to protect themselves from preying criminals????? LOL. Sunrise has quite a few of them. Now I know why you are mayor of a dump city like Scumrise.

    These state gun laws aren’t being changed anytime soon—that issue was already tried after TreyTrey’s shooting.

    Speaking of Authoritarianism—What do you think Obama will do after congress refuses to pass any of his committee’s recommendations?????? Executive Order. How is an action like that democratic?

  5. disinterested says:

    the blame lies primarily with the shooter and to a degree with the mom, but why are the easily available guns and extra long clips and semis , not to bear some of the blame. i know boys and it seems girls will have their toys but are these things toys.

  6. Ryan Fan says:

    The mayor is right. A group of right-wing gerrymandered crackers shove a law down our throats forbidding any restrictions on guns. The penalties are tougher than an ethics violation. It shows you where Tallahassee’s priorities are, which is to kiss the ass of the NRA. You rock, mayor.

  7. Edwards With NRA says:

    Miss Katie Edwards, the state rep elected a month ago, is the darling of the NRA. She hid is carefully during her campaign. Edwards solicited an endorsement from the NRA and used it to raise money from the gun lobby nuts. Edwards is not with Broward on this issue.

  8. Sam The Sham says:

    I am proud of Florida being so bullish on our second amendment rights. Mayor Mike, stop trying to negate our God given rights. Yes God given, not man given.

    Who has the most at stake in protecting school children? The parents, naturally. Here is the way to solve the problem. Revise the gun free school zone law. Set up special training and certification for parents and let them volunteer as security or what ever you want to call them. Let them conceal carry or open carry if they wish.

    This should cause all the liberal gun grabbers heads to explode. Bonus!

  9. Marilyn Gerber says:

    Thank you, Mayor Ryan, your comments and leadership are excellent.

    The 2nd Amendment was written in 1789 when there were no mass attack weapons nor were they even dreamed of. We should restrict guns that are used by the public to the type of guns used in 1789 except for our police and armed forces. That sounds like it would protect our 2nd amendment and also protect our population.

  10. lms says:

    To the fool commenting as ‘This guys loves himself”… Here’s a news flash you pinhead…A City with nearly 100,000 residents that deals with an annual influx of over 25+million visitors and is home to a 20,000 seat public arena can hardly be considered a “small city”…In fact, Sunrise ranks among the top 300 largest cities in the USA- that’s out of nearly 40,000 cities.

    Taking action and raising awarness of issues that impact the health, safety, and quality of life for residents of any community (large or small) is something every Mayor in the Country should be doing!Kudo’s to Mayor Ryan for his continued leadership on the tough issues that touch the lives of those that call Sunrise home….Think globally & act locally is more than just a bumper sticker slogan….It’s the best way to bring about meaningful change in our communities….One of the things we could certainly use more of are local officals like the Mayor of Sunrise and a lot less of the worthless pea brain cynics like “this guy loves himself”

  11. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Get back to work fixing the extensive problems the City of Sunrise faces

  12. I'm missing something says:

    Where exactly did Mr. Ryan mention anything about implementing local gun control? Or are the readers just misinterpreting what is written and responding with their own fighting words? It seems to me, that the article is explaining exactly what he cannot do as a Mayor. Maybe his hidden message is that he want the citizens that he serves to understand that he hears their concerns but is legally prohibited to act. Whether Mr. Ryan agrees with gun control or not appears to be irrelevant to this article. Furthermore, the hateful and derogatory comments towards Mr. Ryan and Sunrise are so out of place in response to this article that they scream personal vendetta.

  13. Independent voter says:

    I hope that’s true about Katie Edwards. If so, it’s refreshing to see a Democrat who thinks independently on the gun issue. Maybe it has something to do with her being a lawyer and that pesky Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    Mayor Ryan is a good guy, but he’s misguided on this issue. Keep pushing for the SROs in the schools – just about everyone I know is supportive of that effort. You lose a lot of us though when Sunrise wants to go beyond that and wants to regulate guns contrary to state and federal law and the Second Amendment. You are well aware that 790.33 was passed to avoid the “death by 1,000 cuts” of each municipality trying to overwhelm the 2A through a patchwork of contradicting regulations.

    PS – Nice job #s 2,3 and 4.

  14. Independent says:

    F.S. 790.33 provides, “by enacting or causing to be enforced any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation impinging upon such exclusive occupation of the field shall be liable as set forth herein.”

    I don’t see that a City Commission can’t do a Resolution in support of gun control, or directing the Legislation on this issue. You just can’t make it have any force of law.

  15. Family Amendments says:

    Dear Joe,
    I do not think this is a knee jerk reaction. I think we are much too late! I cannot even count on how many families too late. However, we cannot go back in time and change what has already happened. I will assert my right of freedom of expression and will respect yours as well.

    I hear most of you speaking about the right to bear arms and you are correct. I will not question your Constitutional rights, however I will ask you, where is my right to nurture and raise my children, then send them to school, a supposed safe haven, and have them feel safe.
    Why are so many people afraid of change?
    People question Mike Ryan as a Mayor and say he has no right to speak on an issue that has greatly affected his community, as well as the parents in it. He has the ability to say many things that many of us may not be able to articulate, or formulate in a way that is accepted or understood. Stating that he does not have that right as the Mayor or as a parent is completely unjust.
    Why is it so easy to attack someone who is looking for solutions to the problems that every person is facing in their communities? Personal attacks are not necessary, I for one am happy that the Mayor in my city is questioning the very fiber of this issue.
    Here is how I would say it, stop making guns that are killing our babies and families so accessible to society! Stop putting dollars signs on people’s lives then, only to hide behind the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. I like my freedoms just as much as everyone else does but, truly, can everyone honestly say we do not need do something differently?
    This is not about politics or being a controlled society. This is about what can we do next to prevent things like this from happening? I am employing my right, to speak freely as a mom! Should my child, who is innocent to the world around her, have to come home from school and say, “Hey mommy, we have codes for fires, bombs, tornados, and even a good day but, we do not have a code for a shooter”?
    Therefore, to all you gun owners who are saying that it is unconstitutional to change gun laws for the betterment of society. I ask you this, is it truly as the saying goes, “It is the people who kill people not the guns who kill people”? These same people that say do not “question our rights”, or “threaten to change our rights, we have the Constitution”. Are you saying it is fair to take my child’s right to be innocent away from her because of the Second Amendment? I would like to know where is the amendment that says she gets to live her childhood without fear of it being stolen by a GUNMAN.

  16. Bush Appointed Me And I say says:

    “Last month, I sentenced Jared Lee Loughner to seven consecutive life terms plus 140 years in federal prison for his shooting rampage in Tucson. That tragedy left six people dead, more than twice that number injured and a community shaken to its core.

    Loughner deserved his punishment.

    But during the sentencing, I also questioned the social utility of high-capacity magazines like the one that fed his Glock. And I lamented the expiration of the federal assault weapons ban in 2004, which prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain particularly deadly guns, as well as magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
    The ban wasn’t all that stringent — if you already owned a banned gun or high-capacity magazine you could keep it, and you could sell it to someone else — but at least it was something.

    And it says something that half of the nation’s deadliest shootings occurred after the ban expired, including the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. It also says something that it has not even been two years since Loughner’s rampage, and already six mass shootings have been deadlier.

    I am not a social scientist, and I know that very smart ones are divided on what to do about gun violence. But reasonable, good-faith debates have boundaries, and in the debate about guns, a high-capacity magazine has always seemed to me beyond them.
    Bystanders got to Loughner and subdued him only after he emptied one 31-round magazine and was trying to load another.

    Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter, chose as his primary weapon a semiautomatic rifle with 30-round magazines.

    And we don’t even bother to call the 100-rounder that James Holmes is accused of emptying in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater a magazine — it is a drum. How is this not an argument for regulating the number of rounds a gun can fire?

    I get it. Someone bent on mass murder who has only a 10-round magazine or revolvers at his disposal probably is not going to abandon his plan and instead try to talk his problems out. But we might be able to take the “mass” out of “mass shooting,” or at least make the perpetrator’s job a bit harder.

    To guarantee that there would never be another Tucson or Sandy Hook, we would probably have to make it a capital offense to so much as look at a gun. And that would create serious 2nd Amendment, 8th Amendment and logistical problems.

    So what’s the alternative? Bring back the assault weapons ban, and bring it back with some teeth this time. Ban the manufacture, importation, sale, transfer and possession of both assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Don’t let people who already have them keep them. Don’t let ones that have already been manufactured stay on the market. I don’t care whether it’s called gun control or a gun ban. I’m for it.

    I say all of this as a gun owner. I say it as a conservative who was appointed to the federal bench by a Republican president. I say it as someone who prefers Fox News to MSNBC, and National Review Online to the Daily Kos.

    I say it as someone who thinks the Supreme Court got it right in District of Columbia vs. Heller, when it held that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to possess guns for self-defense. (That’s why I have mine.) I say it as someone who, generally speaking, is not a big fan of the regulatory state.

    I even say it as someone whose feelings about the NRA mirror the left’s feelings about Planned Parenthood: It has a useful advocacy function in our deliberative democracy, and much of what it does should not be controversial at all.

    And I say it, finally, mindful of the arguments on the other side, at least as I understand them: that a high-capacity magazine is not that different from multiple smaller-capacity magazines; and that if we ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines one day, there’s a danger we would ban guns altogether the next, and your life might depend on you having one.

    But if we can’t find a way to draw sensible lines with guns that balance individual rights and the public interest, we may as well call the American experiment in democracy a failure.

    There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden.

    It speaks horribly of the public discourse in this country that talking about gun reform in the wake of a mass shooting is regarded as inappropriate or as politicizing the tragedy. But such a conversation is political only to those who are ideologically predisposed to see regulation of any kind as the creep of tyranny. And it is inappropriate only to those delusional enough to believe it would disrespect the victims of gun violence to do anything other than sit around and mourn their passing. Mourning is important, but so is decisive action.

    Congress must reinstate and toughen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

    Larry Alan Burns is a federal district judge in San Diego.”

  17. Floridan says:

    Unfortunately, nothing will change — too many Floridians value a 30-round clip over a classrooom full of first-graders.

  18. NRA IS WRONG says:

    The NRA is wrong. We do not need assault weapons to go hunting. In fact, how many people in Broward go hunting? The founding fathers gave us the right to bear arms so that we can make sure that the government doesn’t take away our first amendment rights.

    They wanted us to be able to take up arms against an oppressive government. They didn’t care about hunting. The hunting arguement is bullshit. And while they didn’t envision assualt weapons, they also didn’t envision tanks, missles, military aircraft, and many other arms that our government controls.

  19. Gun toady says:

    God given rights? God gave you the right to bear arms? Wrong.

    Politicize a tragedy. That’s how we govern. We govern by crisis. Not the most effective means, but that’s the way it is.

    Parents stand guard? Who says parents are sane? You just armed them.

    How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys?

  20. For Marilyn #9 says:

    Great reasoning in your post. Let’s do the same thing for that ridiculous first amendment that guys like Buddy are always hiding behind. Here’s how it looks:

    The 1st Amendment was written in 1789 when there was no television, radio or internet, nor were they even dreamed of. We should restrict freedom of speech to the type of speech used in 1789. That sounds like it would protect our 1st amendment and also protect our population.

  21. Mayor Mike Ryan says:

    When I wrote this piece, I predicted my words and purpose would be misunderstood at best, twisted at worst. I also predicted I would be vilified with a level of personal attacks reserved generally for the criminals in our society.

    Nowhere in this piece did I suggest banning guns, yet, to some, that is the legacy of this piece. Nowhere in this piece did I offer a localized solution, yet some have said I am proposing such. I even offered the observations there may be no local solution and potential mischief caused by a patchwork of local laws.

    Through this piece I was explaining to those who have asked me, and have asked their own local elected officials, why we are not able to even consider implementing proposals. Believe it or not, residents talk of these things with their local municipal officials because they see us at the soccer park, at the store, at the gas station and at events.

    But those who have attacked me on this blog have proven the point I feared – a discussion on the power of the legislature to remove from office a duly-elected official who has committed no crime and without due process will be utterly ignored because the topic includes guns. Change the topic from guns, and everyone would agree that such power is a dangerous encroachment on representative democracy.

    Instead, everyone is suddenly transformed into a constitutional scholar.

    These constitutional scholars suggest there can never be exceptions to the 2nd Amendment, even though every other Amendment has limits, including the precious 4th Amendment. What could be a greater protection against tyranny and abuse than the protections of the 4th Amendment (though some I suspect will suggest with a straight face an armed private militia in our midst). Yet, there are robust exceptions to the 4th Amendment which have evolved and which we accept as necessary in a modern society.

    The right to vote for women and anyone other than a white male was unthinkable in 1787, just as a semi-automatic-musket that could shoot 30 or even 100 musket balls without reloading.

    Our inability to engage in a meaningful dialogue without vilifying those who suggest the need for such engagement leaves us wondering – what is really at stake here? Constitutional rights or gun sales?

    Let me be clear. For those who suggest removal of guns from the street, that is neither feasible nor logical. There are too many guns already out there and in the hands of those who are irresponsible; this has resulted in an arms race to protect ourselves. No single proposed law would stop violent crime by those who are intent on harming us. Eliminating high capacity magazines may mean someone hell-bent on destruction has to carry more magazines. Banning new assault weapons does not mean we will never hear of another massacre by such, because there are so many already on the streets. Requiring background checks for ALL sales requires a real commitment from state and federal authorities to fund enforcement, and does not stop the illegal sales. We already question the current funding commitment for laws currently on the books. There is no single panacea and no matter how loudly the anti-gun groups proclaim any one of these ideas will fully protect us, they will not. For those criticizing me, read that paragraph again.

    On the other hand, the massacre of 20 students at Sandy Hook Elementary happens throughout out the year … one day at a time. Last year, the equivalent of 6 Sandy Hook massacres occurred with estimated 120 children under age of 12 murdered by gunfire. In the past decade, tens of thousands of our families attended funerals for those who were murdered by those using guns – murdered by those who illegally obtained guns and those who legally obtained guns.

    Do we do nothing because there is no single solution?

    Like it or not, we have an epidemic of gun violence and the ease with which one can purchase and trade a highly dangerous weapons, legally and illegally, is at the core.

    Responsible gun owners rightfully resent those who demonstrate the worst in our human existence and the evil of gun violence caused by those with evil in their heart. Responsible gun owners recognize there must be some protection to prevent the worst in our society from obtaining the most destructive weapons. Responsible gun owners do not proclaim that registration is the first step to rounding up weapons. How we find the balance and solutions is worthy of a national discussion.

    Dialogue includes recognizing that banning all guns or a group of guns at this point will not stop all gun violence. Yet, we have a moral obligation to slow or impair those with evil in their hearts from easily committing massacres and murders with the most dangerous weapons available. All sides of this debate need to be heard, not drowned out, to find functional, pragmatic and meaningful solutions.

  22. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    In the 62 mass-murder cases over 30 years examined recently by the magazine Mother Jones, not one was stopped by an armed civilian. We have known for many years that a sheriff’s deputy was at Columbine High School in 1999 and fired at one of the two killers while 11 of their 13 victims were still alive. He missed four times.

    People like Mr. LaPierre (NRA) want us to believe that civilians can be trained to use lethal force with cold precision in moments of fear and crisis. That requires a willful ignorance about the facts. Police officers know that firing a weapon is a huge risk; that’s why they avoid doing it. In August, New York City police officers opened fire on a gunman outside the Empire State Building. They killed him and wounded nine bystanders.

  23. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    @ Gun toady says:
    How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys?

    According to the La Pierre (NRA), the good guys are the ones with guns.

  24. s only says:

    When women are finally in the majority in statehouses and national congress, then you will see real change on these matters. Until then, women can either sit back and wait for the men to do nothing, or they can start to put pressure on our lawmakers to curb our violent society. Only women will have the insight and balls to do this.

  25. Mike Ryan says:

    Sorry, I mean Mayor. Don’t forget my title, I mean, I don’t. I know everything like Chaz Stevens (who should follow his name with irrelevant). But I have him beat, because now I even know the future. I am the true genious!

    FROM BUDDY: This is not the real Mike Ryan, mayor of Sunrise.

  26. Sam The Sham says:

    To paraphrase an old saying, “God made man and woman. Samuel Colt made them equal.”

    In Australia, where most guns have been confiscated, there is now even more gun violence because only criminals have guns. Women are left unprotected. The Australian woman is twice as likely to be raped as the American woman, a statistic which has changed since their gun ban.

  27. Chaz Stevens, irrelevant says:

    1. There has been zero incidents of mass murder in Australia since the weapons buy back program

    2. Australian citizens do not (and never did) have a constitutional right to own firearms — even before the 1997 buyback program, handgun ownership in Australia was restricted to certain groups, such as those needing weapons for occupational reasons, members of approved sporting clubs, hunters, and collectors. Moreover, the 1997 buyback program did not take away all the guns owned by these groups; only some types of firearms (primarily semi-automatic and pump-action weapons) were banned. And even with the ban in effect, those who can demonstrate a legitimate need to possess prohibited categories of firearms can petition for exemptions from the law.

    3. An examination of statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) reveals that the overall violent crime rate in Australia has changed little over the past decade and actually dipped slightly after the 1997 gun buy.

  28. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    Brian Craig of the cheap AM talk radio Steve Kane show has given us the solution to the recent slaughter of the innocents in America.


    The REAL victims are the NRA and gun owners of America who listen to their show with Obama in the White House.


    Allen West should replace the current NRA head and become the national voice of the NRA and gun owners in America.


    Please check out my medical sponsors like Steve does who all seem to have great businesses by taking Medicare Gumint socialist ObamCare money.


    Buy Brian’s book which details his Crusade to overturn every health care reform law which would help his wife with her preexisting health conditions and remove every bit of woman’s health benefit mandated coverage.

  29. Hallandale Beach Blog says:

    BBC News in September of 2012:
    “Comparing crime rates across countries is fraught with difficulties – this is well known among criminologists and statisticians, less so among journalists and commentators.”

  30. Ha Ha Ha says:

    @ HBB – let’s consider the relevant part, which you didn’t quote:

    […] you’d think it would be straightforward to analyse murder rates across different countries – just count up the dead bodies, and compare and contrast.

    If only, says Enrico Bisogno. “For example, if I punch somebody and the person eventually dies, some countries can consider that as an intentional murder, others as a manslaughter. Or in some countries, dowry killings are coded separately because there is separate legislation.”

    What’s more, a comparison of murder rates between developed and less developed countries may tell you as much about health as crime levels, according to Professor Chris Lewis, a criminologist from Portsmouth University in the UK.

    The statistics are to some unknown degree complicated by the fact that you’re more likely to survive an attack in a town where you’re found quickly and taken to a hospital that’s well-equipped.

    In this particular case, we are comparing incidents of mass murder. Those situations (or anything resembling those situations) are very widely reported by the mass media, thus non-reporting is not a meaningful risk. And Australia’s number of incidents since the 1997 gun control legislation is ZERO. Where non-reporting is not a significant risk, it’s pretty hard to misinterpret zero. That’s a very solid result.

  31. TB Times says:

    A Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Florida’s “stand your ground” law is being used in ways never imagined — to free gang members involved in shootouts, drug dealers beefing with clients and people who shot their victims in the back. Who goes free sometimes depends more on where a case is heard than its merits. 

  32. Plantation Working Mom says:

    If you don’t think that times have changed in the last 200+ years, then you are a complete idiot. The right to bear arms did not include assault weapons because they didn’t exist. They should be banned and all the ammunition and magazines that go with them should be outlawed. Only the military should have authority to hold such weapons. Handguns and hunting guns are the only guns that should be in private hands, period. Eventually, there will be enough of us with the balls to stand up to the NRA and fanatic gunners.

  33. 2nd Amendment says:

    […] When the Second Amendment is discussed today, we tend to think of those “militias” as just a bunch of ordinary guys with guns, empowering themselves to resist authority when and if necessary. Nothing could be further from the founders’ vision.

    Militias were tightly controlled organizations legally defined and regulated by the individual colonies before the Revolution and, after independence, by the individual states. Militia laws ran on for pages and were some of the lengthiest pieces of legislation in the statute books. States kept track of who had guns, had the right to inspect them in private homes and could fine citizens for failing to report to a muster.
    These laws also defined what type of guns you had to buy — a form of taxation levied on individual households. Yes, long before Obamacare, the state made you buy something, even if you did not want to purchase it. (The guns required by law were muskets, not pistols. The only exceptions to this general rule were the horsemen’s pistols that dragoons and other mounted units needed.) […]

    Many people think that we have the Second Amendment so that we can take up arms against the government if it overreaches its authority. If that interpretation were correct, it would mean that the Second Amendment had repealed the Constitution’s treason clause, which defines this crime as taking up arms against the government. In reality, in the first decade after the Constitution, the government put down several rebellions similar to Shays – and nobody claimed that they were merely asserting their Second Amendment rights. […]

  34. steve says:

    This whole thread reminds me of that quote, “nobody I knew voted for Nixon!”