I was, of course, pleased to learn of the huge, unprecedented number of legislators signing the amicus brief in favor of Heller.
Fifty-five senators and 250 representatives have signed onto a brief that urges the justices to strike down the ban and assert that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns for their protection.The brief itself, by the way, can be found here (pdf).
"The Supreme Court has the perfect case to affirm ... a Second Amendment right to own a gun for self-defense," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, said at a Washington news conference Thursday.
Nine Democrats in the Senate and 68 in the House joined much larger Republican contingents in signing the brief, which is expected to be filed Friday.
What I did not find so pleasing, however, was this little tidbit:
Hutchison and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who also signed the brief, agreed that some restrictions are valid, citing their support for banning assault weapons.Hmm . . . I guess that "shall not be infringed" part is trickier for some folks than I had thought.
Something else that would seem to be tricky, at least for Senator Tester, is consistency. The November 2006 elections weren't all that long ago, and during that Senate campaign, running against Conrad Burns (with whom he was competing for the pro-gun vote) in Montana, Jon took a much different tone:
Both said they oppose a ban on guns in the nation's capitol. Burns said he opposed a ban on any kind of ammunition, a stance Tester has also voiced. Tester said he opposed the Brady Bill - a federal law that requires a background check for everyone buying a handgun.So, not only did he (at least then) oppose banning so-called "assault weapons," he favors (or should it be "favored"?) repealing the Hughes Amendment to the FOPA, and thus allowing the great unwashed masses (that would be us) to jump through the labyrinthine NFA hoops to get a post-1986 machine gun; and he favors (favored?) repealing the Brady background check (that's funny--I don't remember him objecting to passage of an expansion of the NICS program).
Tester said he would oppose any efforts to bring back bans on assault weapons.
Both men also said they favored doing away with a 1986-passed cap on the number of fully automatic weapons available for sale. At that time, Congress limited the number of fully automatic guns - guns that will fire as long as the trigger is pressed - to those in circulation in 1986. [my emphasis]
Jon seems to be exhibiting symptoms of some kind of split personality disorder. He claims to be an avid shooter--it certainly would be a shame if his mental condition made him, under the NICS "Improvement" Act, ineligible to own firearms.
UPDATE: Just found out that Senators Tester and Hutchison can be seen (or just heard, if you prefer) dancing around the issue here--thanks, HH.