Help Yourself to an Abandoned Russian Tank? Why Not?

by Mike Blessing
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Afew days ago, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty [RFE / RL] re-posted a video clip (“Ukrainian Tractors Versus Russian Armor”) on Facebookand YouTube

So when the hoplophobes and victim disarmers start screeching “u think you should be able 2 own a TANK?!?!?!!!!!!” because you support civilian ownership and carriage of handguns and military-pattern rifles, you can simply point to those Ukrainian farmers making off with abandoned Russian tanks, BMPs, and trucks.

Never mind that in the controlling precedent from American case law that “supports” their “argument,” United States v. Miller, Justice James McReynolds said that the National Firearms Act of 1934 was “Constitutional” because the sawed-off shotgun possessed by Miller didn’t qualify as a “militia weapon” protected by the Second Amendment because it didn’t have “military utility.”

Never mind that the sawed-off shotgun could be said to have “military utility” as it was in military usage by American and ANZAC troops in World War I in the Western Front trenches. Or that many military and law-enforcement agencies have been using short-barrelled shotguns as breaching and entry weapons for close-quarter-battle stuff for the past few decades.

Never mind that the AR-15-pattern and M4-pattern rifles that the hoplophobes and victim disarmers demand that you turn in for pennies on the FRN because they’re “weapons of war” are almost functionally identical to the M-16 / M-4-type rifles used by the U.S. Armed Forces should also be protected by the Second Amendment as per U.S. v. Miller.

Never mind that in the same conflict that spawned the above-embedded video clip, the Zelenskyy Administration is handing out not only AK-pattern rifles and handguns (basically the same sort of rifles and pistols that the above-mentioned hoplophobes and victim disarmers want to take away from you) but also belt-fed machine guns and anti-tank rocket launchers to anyone who can carry them and is willing to use them to shoot at Russian troops.

Side note: I have one simple question for the hoplophobes and victim disarmers who are so bravely cheering on the Ukrainian civilian resistance, yet are so insistent that American civilians voluntarily disarm:

Why is OK for the Ukrainians to carry rifles, pistols, belt-fed machine guns and anti-tank rocket launchers, yet you have all sorts of problems with my owning or carrying my 9mm pistol here in the States?


Actually, I suspect that there are several reasons:

  1. The Ukies are OVER THERE — several thousand miles away, out of sight and mind, with plenty of terrain features, the curvature of the Earth, etc., between them and the local Starbucks, where I, on the other hand, could be right outside that same Starbucks. No chance of them being “triggered” by the sight of armed Ukies.
  2. The Ukrainians are shooting at Russians, who are operating under the aegis of the 21st century Hitler, Vlad Putin. Trump isn’t a ready target for their ragefest, so they have to make do with Putin for the time being.

And it seems, contrary to what the First Drooling Child-Sniffer said in 2020, American private citizens DID own not only cannon but also warships in the 18th and 19th centuries[1].

The power of the sword, say the minority …, is in the hands of Congress. My friends and countrymen, it is not so, for The powers of the sword are in the hands of the yeomanry of America from sixteen to sixty. The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress has no power to disarm the militia. Their swords and every terrible implement of the soldier are the birthright of Americans.
Tench Coxe, Letter to the Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 February 1788

Still, if you DO decide to get yourself any sort of tracked armored vehicle, have fun changing track segments and road wheels.


American Institute for Economic Research [AIER] — Private Cannon Ownership in Early America by Robert E. Wright. Retrieved Saturday, 19 March 2022.

The Washington PostFact Checker ⋅ Analysis: Biden’s false claim that the 2nd Amendment bans cannon ownership by Glenn Kessler. Retrieved Saturday, 19 March 2022.

PolitiFactJoe Biden’s dubious claim about Revolutionary War cannon ownership by Louis Jacobson. Retrieved Saturday, 19 March 2022.

Copyright © 2022 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.

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