In a February 2012 fund-raising appearance, President Barack Obama expressed his desire to keep America’s assembly lines humming. “I want to make sure the next generation of manufacturing isn’t taking root just in Asia or Europe,” he told a crowd of supporters. “I want it taking root in factories in Detroit and Pittsburgh and Cleveland and California.…I want to reward companies that are investing here in the United States and creating jobs all throughout this country.” Perhaps because the president was speaking in San Francisco, where most of the local factories had long ago been converted into luxury condos for venture capitalists and software designers, he was short on specifics. Or maybe he just couldn’t think of any American manufacturing industries that still seemed salvageable.
Two weeks earlier, however, a federal agency had released a report that suggested at least one component of the manufacturing sector was not only still making stuff in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, California, and thousands of other places in America, but making more of it than it had in decades. According to the “Annual Firearms Production and Export Report” from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE), American manufacturers produced 5,459,240 handguns, rifles, shotguns, and miscellaneous ordnance in 2010. (To comply with the Trade Secrets Act, the BATFE waits one year to publish these data; numbers for 2010 therefore are not published until January 2012.) It was the second year in a row the industry had attained numbers not seen since the glory days of the late Carter administration.
A little more than a decade ago, the domestic firearms industry was staggering like a villain on the wrong side of Dirty Harry’s .44 Magnum. “The future has never been more uncertain for America’s oldest manufacturing industry,” a Businessweek cover story reported in 1999. Flat sales, the specter of more stringent regulation, and dozens of lawsuits filed by cities and counties seeking damages for the costs associated with gun violence threatened to destroy a uniquely American business. U.S. companies were going bankrupt, foreign competitors were claiming a bigger piece of the action, and even industry executives were expecting the market to “steadily shrink over the long term.”
These statistics don’t count guns manufactured by foreign companies and sold in the US. Total gun sales for 2011 amounted to about 11 million units. Another statistical anomaly not noted in total gun sales are undocumented private sales. Those would probably add at least another million or two to the total units sold. As they say, Obama has been the gun industry’s top salesman of the year since January, 2009.
The next good news for gun owners and bad news for anti-gun activists comes from lawyer and constitutional scholar Publius Huldah who says that although Congress can’t force you to buy health insurance, they can force you to buy a gun and ammunition and learn how to use it;
By Publius Huldah.
Harvard Law School was embarrassed recently when one of its graduates, the putative President of the United States, demonstrated that he was unaware that the supreme Court has constitutional authority to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional.1
And after reading a recent paper by Harvard law professor Einer Elhauge, one wonders whether the academic standards (or is it the moral standards?) of that once great school have collapsed.
Professor Elhauge says in “If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back Them?” (The New Republic, April 13, 2012), that Congress may force us to buy health insurance because in 1792, our Framers required all male citizens to buy guns; and in 1798 required ship owners using U.S. ports (dock-Yards) to pay a fee to the federal government in order to fund hospitals for sick or disabled seamen at the U.S. ports.
Oh! What tangled webs are woven when law professors write about Our Constitution!
I have already proved that Art. I, Sec. 8, next to last clause (which grants to Congress “exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever” over dock-Yards and the other federal enclaves) is what authorizes Congress to assess the fee from ship owners who use the federal dock-Yards. See: Merchant Seamen in 1798, Health Care on Federal Enclaves, and Really Silly Journalists.
Now I will show you where the Constitution grants authority to Congress to require adult citizens to get armed!
The Constitution Authorizes Congress To Require Citizens to Buy Guns and Ammunition.
In 1792, Congress passed “An Act more effectually to provide for the National Defense by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States”.2 This Act required all able-bodied male citizens (except for federal officers and employees) between the ages of 18 and under 45 to enroll in their State Militia, get a gun and ammunition, and train.
Does Congress have authority in the Constitution to require this? Yes! Article I, Sec. 8, clause 16 says Congress has the Power:
“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;” [boldface mine]
Anti-gun activists are crawling under their beds and assuming the fetal position as you read this. Isn’t that a grand scene to picture in your mind’s eye?