Hollis, Again

July 7th, 2016

Less than two years ago, a guy named Jay Hollis brought a case to the Texas District Court challenging several aspects of the 1934 National Firearms Act and 1968 Gun Control Act. Long story short, he wanted to build a machine gun for personal use, and the ATF said no. He then filed a rambling, poorly argued case, despite knowing that his actions were illegal before he began this whole endeavor.

I predicted then that it would fail on the District level.  I was correct.  I predicted he would appeal to the 5th Circuit, where he would also lose.  I was correct on that as well.

Well, yay for me, I guess.

He needs to put a stop to this right now, before he causes us all serious harm.

If this case goes to the Supreme Court, Justice Breyer owns it.  He'll have Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg in his corner.  Without Scalia to act as a counterweight, Kennedy will swing to the other side.  Roberts will probably waffle since this involves machine guns, which are pretty much the third rail in the gun debate.

That leaves Thomas and Alito, who I'm sure will write eloquent (but futile) dissents.  Even if the world's most pro-gun associate Justice gets confirmed in time, he won't have the clout Scalia had.  That's the important part.

We'll be stuck with a majority opinion that machine guns are "dangerous and unusual," and that "weapons of war" or somesuch do not deserve constitutional protection because public safety and think of the children.  That leaves the door open to the constitutionality of bans on high-capacity magazines and semiautomatic "assault weapons."

This is the sort of case Breyer and Ginsburg have been waiting for.  They've both gone on record extensively, saying that Heller was deficient and they'd like to see it rolled back.  The Hollis case doesn't quite do that, but it does let them box the right to keep and bear arms into exactly what Heller said and not one bit more.

Does Hollis care?  No.  Judging from his statements on the matter, his only concern is that he be allowed to build a machine gun.  He seems to be under the impression that if he loses, the only thing that'll happen is that he can't do that.  He doesn't understand, or he just doesn't care, about the horrific long-term consequences he could leave us stuck with.

The aspect that bothers me the most?  The younger generation of gun owners won't listen to our warnings.  They think the courts work like a retail transaction, and the only reason the NFA is still in existence is that us old fogeys haven't bothered to challenge it.  They have no sense of scale or history, and this is where that naivety and unwillingness to listen to reason becomes a real problem.

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