What happened to Robert Levy? Back in 2007, the chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute was the organizer and financier behind District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court Case that established the Second Amendment as affirming an individual right to gun ownership.

Today Robert Levy is waxing ridiculous about Second Amendment compromises gun owners and gun rights advocates should consider.

The short answer to that CATO Institute report inviting Americans to consider grounds for compromise on gun control is a simple, short “No.”

Universal Background CheckAs if we haven’t been compromising and getting our rights shredded for decades!

Second Amendment rights are not absolute, Levy says.

Yeah? What does “shall not be infringed mean?”

“Everyone understands that children can’t carry automatic weapons to school,” he claims.

Yeah? “Can’t” and “shouldn’t” are different things. And if a child carries an automatic weapon to school, but harms no one with it, threatens no one with it, and merely bears this particular arm, as specified in the Bill of Rights, whose right is being violated, other than the child’s? This reductio ad absurdum is stupid and unworthy of a libertarian scholar.

“Assault rifles” are common and regularly used for hunting and shooting sports. Attempts to buy them back would backfire, like they did in the past, he admits. But yet, Levy identifies these rifles as a major area for possible compromise.

us-murder-rates-1980-to-2010Now about NO! We tried that whole ban thing once. You know what happened during it? Columbine! Law abiding citizens dutifully stopped purchasing these weapons. Murderers intent on causing harm got them anyway.

Homicides with firearms were already on the decline prior to the implementation of the 1994 ban, and they continued to decline during and after the ban.

No! There’s no compromise that is acceptable to relieve people of their rights – especially for absolutely no benefit.

Some weapons can be banned, Levy says. After all, machine guns have been banned for all intents and purposes since 1934, right? No, you clueless traitor to the Constitution, who has never owned a gun. People still own them. They just have to jump through a myriad of expensive, bureaucratic hoops to legally do so. And they’re barely ever used in crimes. Again, what part of “shall not be infringed” is not clear?

And yes, the courts did say some regulation is legal. But if, according to Levy, “the government bears a heavy burden to justify its regulation. Government must show (a) public safety requires the proposed restrictions, (b) they will work, and (c) they are no more extensive than necessary,” show me where the hell these three requirements are being met!

Maybe we should compromise on high-capacity magazines, Levy says.

How about NO!

According to Gun Facts, The number of shots fired by criminals has not changed significantly even with the increased capacity of handguns and other firearms. The average magazine swap time for a non-expert shooter is 2-3 seconds. In the case of the Newtown Sandy Hook massacre, the murderer performed 10 magazine changes before the police arrived. A 10 round restriction would have saved nobody.

So why compromise away the right, if it will help no one, save no lives? Once again, none of the requirements to meet the government’s burden to justify its regulation – the test that Levy puts forth as grounds for regulation.

And then there are the universal background checks, which Levy admits felons easily avoid by either purchasing firearms illegally or stealing them, but still thinks gun owners should compromise on.

…even staunch Second Amendment proponents might be receptive to background checks for private (non-dealer) sales at gun shows, over the Internet, and through published ads. The key is quid pro quo — concessions to gun rights advocates in return for closing the “gun show loophole.” That was essentially the deal offered by the 2013 Manchin-Toomey bill, which garnered 54 Senate votes, but not enough to meet the 60-vote threshold.

How about HELL NO?

There is no “gun show loophole,” since less than 1 percent of guns used in crimes are sold there.

There is no such thing as a “legal” Internet purchase without going through a federal firearms license holder, who is obligated to run a background check before handing you that gun you just purchased on the webz.

What they’re really talking about is outlawing private purchases. Period. (Which, by the way, will disproportionately affect the poor, who will have to pay more than they normally would to legally purchase a tool of self defense from another individual, because they would have to absorb the cost of an FFL performing a background check.)

Oh, I’m sorry. Rich lawyers don’t care about the poor.

Since when does CATO have so little respect for private property that it advocates abolishing it for a specific set of purchases – constitutionally protected ones?

I suspect my buddy Miguel is correct when he says that the libertarian intelligentsia is so desperate for relevance, they’re willing to take a large, steaming dump on the rights they once held dear. I guess they’re tired of being known as “extremists,” and they would rather compromise on their basic principles than be waved away as some radical zealots who are unwilling to negotiate away their fundamental rights.

Rights? Meh. They’re anachronistic, antediluvian tripe.

Looks like CATO would rather be taken “seriously” by those who despise individual rights and freedoms and would sacrifice them at the altar of “common good” in hopes that the alligator will eat them last than stand up to protect what is right.

What a damn shame.


16 thoughts on “No”

  1. I know I feel dumped on. The libertarian party allowing themselves to be co-opted by Johnson and Weld, Weld a known anti second amendment guy. I could not believe they were chosen to run. Now I believe Johnson wants to end his run and work against Trump and promote Hillary .Like all the other never Trumpers. Trump although not ideal is not the instant death of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that Hillary would like to impose. Even Ron Paul would not vote for the libertarian ticket saying he would rather endorse Jill Stein.
    Now hearing that Levy is turning his back on liberty makes Me feel betrayed. (sorry if I strayed a little off subject)

  2. The problem with the RELENTLESS string of infringements and bans is that there comes a time where the second amendment is EFFECTIVELY REPEALED! There is no point to a second amendment that “allows” the same limited low capacity sporting arms enjoyed by individuals around the world who have no second amendment protections. REINTERPRETATION is the tactic of the day, the second amendment “not being an unlimited right”, the line being drawn by progressive socialist democrats crosses to effective repeal. As evidenced by the proclamation of NY governor Andrew Cuomo, “NO ONE NEEDS 10 BULLETS TO KILL A DEER!” The second amendment in NY was immediately transformed to nothing more than a right to hunt a deer within the time frame of hunting season – in areas allowed by law – while in possession of a valid state issued hunting license. And with that, non-law-enforcement citizens were limited by law to NO MORE THAN SEVEN ROUNDS IN A MAGAZINE by the new NY SAFE Act gun control law, which also required REGISTRATION OF ALL NEWLY DECLARED “ASSAULT WEAPONS”. (This was an attempt to outlaw ALL FIREARMS CAPABLE OF ACCEPTING MORE THAN SEVEN ROUND MAGAZINES, AND BUILD A CONFISCATION DATABASE!)


    A capability, through ownership of effective firearms that enable the ability to collectively ENFORCE the keeping of our God given freedoms! Can’t do that with BB guns – or POP-GUNS – or LIMITED LOW CAPACITY SPORTING ARMS that the politician-of-the-day feels comfortable “allowing” to insure that you, though armed, are “HARMLESS ENOUGH”.
    This day in age the MINIMUM STANDARD OF FIREARM that enables the capability of keeping secure our freedoms – is AR15 TYPE SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLES AND STANDARD FULL CAPACITY MAGAZINES!

    All gun control is an intent to tip the “BALANCE OF POWER” firmly to government advantage! Whatever excuses they give, that’s all it is, and they are settling for getting there incrementally. The majority of citizens who are ignorant about firearms and ballistics can not see gun control for what it is. American gun owners SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS – That is why the NY SAFE Act has a 4% COMPLIANCE RATE!
    NY gun owners see a confiscation list for what it is.
    Once EVERY transfer goes through government scrutiny – the complete confiscation list will be built.
    Every incremental regulation that limits further our right to arms is just a push down one more step in the staircase of citizen disarmament. It is a one way staircase, going down.

    1. Kuetsa, all you speak of is the truth. For years before many gun owners thought of gun control as being a real issue. I found out that, unknown to Me, My local police were going to gun stores at closing time and picking up copies of receipts of gun sales for the day. All gun stores had to comply. This was even in the 1960’s . So big brother has been making underhanded lists of gun owners for a long time. I can only think these were shared with other agencies. Now I found that the state police in my state has co-mingled carry permit info base with the drivers license base so they know when they ask for your license whether you are armed or not this is also illegal ( a third class felony) but not for them? So the rights we love are slipping away taken by those elected and appointed who swore an oath to protect them. G*D help us all.

  3. Well, as to spelling, in this case, it should be “Capo”.
    Second, the poor old 2nd guarantees a right that is NOT limited.
    Owning, carrying, trading in or rightfully using a firearm is a right. Murder is not a right, assault is not a right, theft is not a right. Neither is suppressing the right and duty of self defense.
    Goodness save us from fools who don’t know the difference.
    And by the way Cato isn’t getting my money I will support TZP.

  4. The key is quid pro quo — concessions to gun rights advocates in return for closing the “gun show loophole.”

    Right. Except that ever since I’ve been involved in gun rights (1968) “concessions to gun rights activists” have equaled “we won’t ban this this time, we’ll wait until next time.” And “next time” starts about the same moment the signatures dry.
    Get back to me when “concessions” are like “national reciprocity including federal installations,” or similarly serious offers.

    That was essentially the deal offered by the 2013 Manchin-Toomey bill…
    Um, no, it wasn’t.

  5. 2016 will be the year that not only put the final nail in the coffin of the Republican party but also allowed the libertarian party to self-imposed itself to eternal obscurity.

  6. Nobody died at Sandy Hook, there were no magazine changes performed by any killer, that is a bogus line of reasoning, and the author should have known better.

  7. No, I haven’t studied any other historical massacres, have no opinions on them.

    I did study 9-11 and Sandy Hook, along with a few others. No question, look at the evidence. All your opinions currently indicate is that you have not looked at the evidence.

    As for the ‘thorazine drip’, I base my opinions on reality, the evidence. Obviously you do not.

      1. Conspiracy theorists are a hoot at first, but then you discover there’s no “off” switch to shut them off when you’ve had enough.

  8. Love your hasbara style of argument! Never deal with evidence, only make silly comments that have zip to do with the evidence.

    You guys are trivial to deal with for anyone who knows the evidence. So geniuses, explain the nanothermite that was in the dust of the WTC explosions. For that matter, explain the dust and the fact that everything in all of those buildings was born into very small pieces, bodies also. The steel girders of the building were all cut into the same lengths, many cut on the 45 degree angle that the demolition companies use in imploding a building.

    Evidence. You must deal with the evidence, your interpretations of my character and mind are not evidence, they are standard hasbara attempts to distract the argument about the evidence.

    Because you can’t deal with the evidence, never have been. There are no refutations of any of that scientific evidence.

    Some more evidence here, physicists looking at the issue :

    The nanothermite, for example, has been reported in 2 peer-reviewed journals.


  9. [MODERATOR’S NOTE: All commenters, please review the title and topic of this post. This really isn’t the place for debates over conspiracy theories regarding Sandy Hook, 9/11, the moon landings, or the face on Mars. a quick web search will lead you to appropriate sites for such discussions

    And as a suggestion for discussions of that: If you wish to persuade people to your view, provide actual facts yourself. Links to hours of video discussion that themselves offer more speculation than fact DO NOT COUNT.

    Any more off-topic conspiracy discussion and I close comments. -Bear]

    Just a little bit:

    This is the final report on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) investigation of the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers, conducted under the National Construction Safety Team Act. This report describes how the aircraft impacts and subsequent fires led to the collapse of the towers after terrorists flew jet fuel laden commercial airliners into the buildings; whether the fatalities were low or high, including an evaluation of the building evacuation and emergency response procedures; what procedures and practices were used in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the towers; and areas in current building and fire codes, standards, and practices that warrant revision. Extensive details are found in the 42 companion reports. (The final report on the collapse of WTC 7 will appear in a separate report.) Also in this report is a description of how NIST reached its conclusions. NIST complemented in-house expertise with private sector technical experts; accumulated copious documents, photographs, and videos of the disaster; established baseline performance of the WTC towers; performed computer simulations of the behavior of each tower on September 11, 2001; combined the knowledge gained into a probable collapse sequence for each tower; conducted nearly 1,200 first-person interviews of building occupants and emergency responders; and analyzed the evacuation and emergency response operations in the two high-rise buildings. The report concludes with a list of 30 recommendations for action in the areas of increased structural integrity, enhanced fire endurance of structures, new methods for fire resistant design of structures, enhanced active fire protection, improved building evacuation, improved emergency response, improved procedures and practices, and education and training.

    and if that’s not enough;

    The NIST WTC investigation team members feel that since our study of the World Trade Center building (WTC 1, 2 and 7) collapses ended in 2008, there has been no new evidence presented that would change our findings and conclusions, and therefore, nothing new that we can contribute to the discussion. NIST firmly stands behind its investigation results, and that the body of evidence still overwhelmingly leads to the following scenarios:

    The WTC Towers collapsed because aircraft impact damage and debris dislodged fireproofing from critical steel components, jet fuel-initiated fires burned very hot for long duration when fed by debris and office materials, and the heat eventually weakened the exposed steel until it lost integrity and led to a global failure; and
    WTC 7 collapsed because damage caused by debris from the falling WTC 1 ignited fires on multiple floors, the heat expanded and dislodged a beam connecting a key perimeter column to both a long-span central beam and a critical internal support column, and the column’s failure set off a chain reaction of failures across the building’s steel infrastructure.

    lew; methinks your efforts would be better spent finding one of these, don’t ya know?

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