Archive for the 'Gun Control' Category



The New York Times And Everytown: Ban The Open Carry Of Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

John Feinblatt of Everytown:

When militia members and white supremacists descended on Charlottesville, Va., last Saturday with Nazi flags and racist placards, many of them also carried firearms openly, including semiautomatic weapons. They came to intimidate and terrify protesters and the police. If you read reports of the physical attacks they abetted, apparently their plan worked.

They might try to rationalize their conduct as protected by the First and Second Amendments, but let’s not be fooled. Those who came to Charlottesville openly carrying firearms were neither conveying a nonviolent political message, nor engaged in self-defense nor protecting hearth and home.

Plain and simple, public terror is not protected under the Constitution. That has been the case throughout history. And now is the time to look to that history and prohibit open carry, before the next Charlottesville.

Historically, lawmakers have deemed open carry a threat to public safety. Under English common law, a group of armed protesters constituted a riot, and some American colonies prohibited public carry specifically because it caused public terror. During Reconstruction, the military governments overseeing much of the South responded to racially motivated terror (including the murder of dozens of freedmen and Republicans at the 1866 Louisiana Constitutional Convention) by prohibiting public carry either generally or at political gatherings and polling places. Later, in 1886, a Supreme Court decision, Presser v. Illinois, upheld a law forbidding groups of men to “parade with arms in cities and towns unless authorized.” For states, such a law was “necessary to the public peace, safety and good order.”

In other words, our political forebears would not have tolerated open carry as racially motivated terrorists practiced it in Charlottesville. They did not view open carry as protected speech. According to the framers, the First Amendment protected the right to “peaceably” — not violently or threateningly — assemble. The Second Amendment did not protect private paramilitary organizations or an individual menacingly carrying a loaded weapon. Open carry was antithetical to “the public peace.” Lawmakers were not about to let people take the law into their own hands, so they proactively and explicitly prohibited it.

Today, the law in most states is silent on open carry — and because most states do not explicitly prohibit it, it becomes de facto legal. Because it is legal, open-carry extremists take full advantage of this loophole, typically operating up to and even past the limits of the law. They carry everywhere, and the predictable result is the open carry of semiautomatic weapons in Charlottesville.

“They came to intimidate and terrify protesters and the police.”  This is so ass backwards on so many accounts it needs to be addressed.  First of all, the police weren’t intimidated.  Period.  The police have automatic weapons, MRAPs, and other weaponry that the militias didn’t have.  Feinblatt isn’t considering the possibility that the police were complicit in the whole thing.

But complicit in what?  The protest was by the militias, not Antifa.  They had permits, Antifa didn’t.  They were peaceable, Antifa wasn’t.  I said Feinblatt isn’t considering the possibility that Antifa and the police were on the same side, but in reality, he probably knows it and doesn’t want a conflict to go to waste to craft his anti-gun message.  But the point wasn’t to intimidate, but to protest.  Their carbines didn’t even have rounds chambered.  I’ve tried to consider whether I would have allowed myself to be put in those circumstances without a chambered round, and I think the answer is a resolute no.  The militias showed great restraint, contrary to the picture painted by Feinblatt.

Next, consider his statement that “Historically, lawmakers have deemed open carry a threat to public safety. Under English common law, a group of armed protesters constituted a riot, and some American colonies prohibited public carry specifically because it caused public terror.”  Prove it.  And when Feinblatt tries to prove it, consider what we already know.

In the colonies, availability of hunting and need for defense led to armament statues comparable to those of the early Saxon times. In 1623, Virginia forbade its colonists to travel unless they were “well armed”; in 1631 it required colonists to engage in target practice on Sunday and to “bring their peeces to church.” In 1658 it required every householder to have a functioning firearm within his house and in 1673 its laws provided that a citizen who claimed he was too poor to purchase a firearm would have one purchased for him by the government, which would then require him to pay a reasonable price when able to do so. In Massachusetts, the first session of the legislature ordered that not only freemen, but also indentured servants own firearms and in 1644 it imposed a stern 6 shilling fine upon any citizen who was not armed.

When the British government began to increase its military presence in the colonies in the mid-eighteenth century, Massachusetts responded by calling upon its citizens to arm themselves in defense. One colonial newspaper argued that it was impossible to complain that this act was illegal since they were “British subjects, to whom the privilege of possessing arms is expressly recognized by the Bill of Rights” while another argued that this “is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the Bill of Rights, to keep arms for their own defense”. The newspaper cited Blackstone’s commentaries on the laws of England, which had listed the “having and using arms for self preservation and defense” among the “absolute rights of individuals.” The colonists felt they had an absolute right at common law to own firearms.

But Feinblatt says “colonies.”  What colonies, when?  Prove it.  I want proof, Feinblatt.  Be specific.  As for his notion that the militia didn’t carry their weapons for the purpose of self defense, so the second amendment cannot apply (“The Second Amendment did not protect private paramilitary organizations or an individual menacingly carrying a loaded weapon”), he misses the point of the second amendment, or more specifically, he really knows the point but wants you to miss it.

The second amendment is specifically about what he says it is not.  It is about the amelioration of tyranny, not personal self defense.  But since he reserves the right of collective violence only to the state, he never applies his missive to the police, who were complicit in the sins of Charlottesville.  He applies it to the only peaceable, law-abiding men there that day.  Because night is day, black is white, and every day is backwards day to the progressive.

Regardless of the moral backwardness of Everytown and their ilk, you should expect that our battle to ensure legal open carry in all fifty states will get infinitely harder, and there will be many attempts to reverse the open carry laws already on the books.  You can count on it.

The Chilling Effects Of Openly Displayed Firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

David Frum:

Charlottesville, however, marks a new era of even bolder assertion of the right to threaten violence for political purposes. Gun carriers at the so-called “Unite the Right” rally acted more like a paramilitary force than as individual demonstrators. They wore similar pseudo-military outfits, including body armor. They took tactical formations to surround the site of the expected confrontation. According to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, “They had better equipment than our state police had.” (The state police have disputed that claim.)

The carrying of firearms by random citizens into public places is typically defended as a contribution to public safety. If criminals must reckon with the possibility of armed resistance, they will hesitate to commit crimes—or so goes the theory. It’s a hard theory to prove or disprove, because the thing to be measured—“defensive gun use”—is so subjective. An altercation erupts after a traffic accident. One motorist raises his voice. The other displays a weapon. Has the weapon carrier prevented a crime? Or has the law empowered a subset of Americans to intimidate their neighbors? The Florida man who shot 17-year-old Jordan Davis dead for playing his music too loud also claimed he was acting in self-defense. If widespread gun carry enhances safety, why are countries that forbid it so much safer than the United States?

Whatever its merits, however, the theory of the crime-reducing effects of citizen carry applies only to concealed carry. Society receives the putative benefit of citizen carry only if the potential criminal does not know which potential victim might be armed.

Open carry has no such justification—and until recently, it has not needed it. Until recently, almost all states forbade the open carry of handguns. Although many Western states ignored the open carry of long guns, they did so not as a matter of policy or right, but as a left-over from their rural origins. A rancher moving about his lands may want to carry a shotgun or rifle in case predators attack his livestock. Is he supposed to put a bag over his gun? Are hunters supposed to carry their rifles in a locked case until they literally see the deer?

Today in Arizona, however, 89.8 percent of the population dwells in urban areas, a higher percentage than in Connecticut; Texas’s population has become 84.7 percent urban, higher than Delaware. Hunting is declining. The most popular rifle in the United States is the AR-15, a look-alike of the military-grade M-16 that can be used for hunting purposes only by the most skilled marksmen. Fewer and fewer American households own long guns at all. Gun sales are up because a few gun enthusiasts are accumulating miniature arsenals: In 1994, the average gun-owning household owned four weapons; by 2015, the average gun-owning household owned eight.

Over that same period, American political culture has become more polarized. Those polarities have become more extreme. And on the political right especially, the rhetoric has become more indulgent of—if not more enthusiastic about—political violence.

[ … ]

What can be done? We can begin by acknowledging that America’s ranching days are behind it. Within metropolitan areas, there is no reason—zero—that a weapon should ever be carried openly. The purpose is always to intimidate—to frighten others away from their lawful rights, not only free speech and lawful assembly, but voting as well.

Frum doesn’t apply his missive to law enforcement, because of course, he retains and reserves the lawful use of force only to them (progressives only believe in a monopoly of force), and because he knows that his suggestion that “Society receives the putative benefit of citizen carry only if the potential criminal does not know which potential victim might be armed” is tactical nonsense, and that law enforcement wouldn’t allow such stupidity to be applied to them.

Frum no more knows that the benefit of open carry doesn’t obtain like concealed carry any more than he knows the reasons men openly carry (e.g., to keep from sweating their weapon, because permitting only applies to concealed weapons, because concealing a weapon is uncomfortable, because concealing your weapon is tactically inferior to openly carrying it, because some men may not like their only holster options for concealed carry, etc., etc.).  He only pretends to know these things.  No one attending the inside-the-beltway cocktail parties he does actually carries a gun, so he wouldn’t know.

But let’s “cut to the chase,” shall we?  Forgetting about all of that, this is just the lead up to what Frum really wants, which is to justify his statist views that no violence is ever justified against the state.  He should have written an essay entitled “Why The War Of American Independence Was Immoral” or “Why Dietrich Bonhoeffer Was Wrong To Oppose Hitler,” and I would have respected him more.  At least he would be honestly stating his views.  With this article, like so many others he writes, he gets to unload on open carry in America, appealing to the progressives in the circles in which he runs, without ever really being forced to examine the logical consequences of his own prose.

Consistency isn’t the hobgoblin of small minds.  It’s the stuff of life, and it makes people dismiss your prose as the meanderings of an idiot when you don’t force yourself to think about what you’re writing or saying.  He beclowns himself, he embarrasses himself, and he only hurts himself, but he is too stupid and lazy to figure out why he is ridiculed by most readers.

From The Land Down Under: Could They Actually Be Reversing Gun Control Laws?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

ABC:

John Howard’s gun laws are collapsing, gun control advocates say, as they compile a stocktake on states and territories’ compliance with the National Firearms Agreement.

The agreement — which is non-binding, and underpinned by state and territory firearms laws — was negotiated by the then prime minister in 1996 after 35 people died in the Port Arthur massacre.

Preliminary findings from Gun Control Australia’s report on the issue indicate a “chain reaction” has been speeding up since 2008. The organisation’s chair, Samantha Lee, told the ABC that changes often began with gun lobby wins in NSW.

“As one of the bigger states passes laws to water down their legislation, the other states are following suit … the result being, our national approach to gun control is eroding,” Ms Lee said.

The audit is set to be released next month, and comes as states and territories are moving to implement an update of the agreement signed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) last December.

The main outcome of that review was tougher restrictions on lever-action shotguns, after an uproar about the arrival of a new weapon, the Turkish-made Adler A110.

The Adler came in 5- and 7-shot versions, with the latter banned for import by federal justice minister Michael Keenan in 2015.

Shooters were outraged at the ban, believing there was no new technology in the Adler, and no evidence that lever-action shotguns were being used in crime.

The backlash from shooters has been so strong that some states and territories may baulk at implementing the revised national agreement. So far, only NSW and the ACT have implemented it.

Coalition governments have fractured over the ban, with several federal National Party MPs supporting a disallowance motion by Senator David Leyonhjelm in November, and Liberal MLC Peter Phelps crossing the floor when the enabling legislation reached the NSW Parliament in May.

NSW Police Minister Troy Grant took a public stand against the tougher restrictions until he resigned as deputy premier late last year, at which point NSW fell into line with other states and signed up to the revised agreement.

Mr Grant said at the time that he was standing up for the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and did not believe there was any evidence that lever-action shotguns were more dangerous than other weapons available to recreational shooters.

But Background Briefing can reveal that before his resignation, he received — and then overrode — confidential advice about the contentious laws from his own police force.

The heavily redacted advice, signed off by the NSW Police Firearms Registry and obtained under freedom of information laws by NSW Greens justice spokesperson David Shoebridge, says that improved technology means that lever-action shotguns “are now similar, in terms of their rapidity, to pump-action shotguns”.

Pump-action shotguns are highly restricted under the National Firearms Agreement.

Although the document did not make any recommendation, Mr Shoebridge said the clear implication of the expert police opinion was that circulation of lever-action shotguns should be just as restricted.

Okay, so we’re talking about lever action shotgun tube magazine capacity.  They’re not even close yet.  They have a long way to go, the police will always take the side of the controllers, and the non-binding nature of the national agreement (a fact which I didn’t know) give an avenue for replacement of the local and state leaders to turn back the real control over handguns, semi-automatic rifles and other weapons.

NYC To Gun-Owning Tourists: Drop Dead

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

John Stossel:

Have a gun license? Plan to bring your gun to my hometown? Don’t.

Mean New York authorities will make your life miserable.

Patricia Jordan and her daughter flew here from her home state of Georgia. She wanted her gun nearby for protection.

Jordan obeyed all the Transportation Security Administration’s rules: She put her gun in a locked TSA-approved case with its bullets separate. She informed the airline that she had a gun. The airline had no problem with that.

In New York City, she kept the gun locked in her hotel room. She never needed it, but her daughter told me, “I was glad she brought it just in case something did happen.”

When leaving the city, Jordan followed the TSA’s rules again. At the airline counter, she again told the agent she wanted to check her gun. But this time, she was told: “Wait.”

“Next thing I know, they’re getting ready to arrest me,” she said.

Her daughter was crying, “Please don’t arrest my mom!” But New York City cops arrested her, jailed her and told her she was guilty of a felony that mandates a minimum 3 1/2 years in jail.

Jordan’s ordeal is not unique. Roughly once a week, New York City locks up people for carrying guns legally licensed by other states.

Another Georgia visitor, Avi Wolf, was jailed although he didn’t even have a gun. He just had part of a gun—an empty magazine—a little plastic box with a small metal spring. He brought it to the city because it wasn’t working well and he thought a New York friend might repair it. He couldn’t believe he was being arrested.

“Somebody could’ve done more damage to an individual with a fork from McDonald’s,” Wolf told me.

Wolf, too, checked with the TSA beforehand. They said, just declare it to TSA agents. So he did.

“I’m telling them… I have a magazine here. It’s empty, no bullets… Next thing I know they’re pulling me over to the side, they’re like, ‘Do you know what you have in your bag?!’ ‘I know what I have in my bag, I told you what I have in my bag.'”

Following TSA instructions didn’t do Wolf any good. “Fast forward about an hour and it was four Port Authority police there. The chief of LaGuardia airport is there, [as if] they thought they found somebody trying to do 9/11 repeat,” he says.

“They asked me if I had a gun license. Of course I had a license. I’m from Georgia, and everybody there’s got a gun license. And they’re like, well, sir, you’re going to be getting arrested now.”

Wolf and Jordan spent less than a day in jail, but each had to pay lawyers $15,000 to bargain the felony charge down to “public disorder.”

Gun owners know to steer clear of New York – the entire state, not just New York City.  The TSA works with transportation of firearms (and they don’t do that very well).  They cannot possibly tell you the laws of the state you plan to visit.

In New York, the entire state, you cannot have a handgun on your person.  Not for self defense, not for any reason.  The best policy is not to visit New York – the entire state – for any reason, at any time.  Ever.  New York is a shit hole.  The same goes for Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, California and Hawaii.

Oh, by the way, besides Remington and Kimber, what firearms manufacturers are still in New York?  Why hasn’t Remington and Kimber shut their doors to operations in the state of New York?  That’s the only remaining question to me.

Gun Control In North Carolina State Parks?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

As I posted, I recently made a hiking trip to Mount Mitchell State Park with my son Joseph.  Along the way (during a visit to a store to pick up some souvenirs for my son’s friend), I saw this sign.

“Firearms and lethal weapons are prohibited except by permit.”  Now, this causes a whole host of problems, and so let’s begin our discussion.

First of all, North Carolina is a traditional open carry state, and there is nothing in any statute that excepts the state parks as being areas where one cannot open carry or stipulates the manner of carry, whether a handgun or long gun (rifle or shotgun).  Furthermore, hunters carry firearms into the park all the time, hunting mostly for black bear during the summer and fall.

This all caused me to research the regulations, or at least, the publicly available statements by the park service, concerning firearms in North Carolina state parks.  I landed on this web site, where we read the following concerning firearms.

Firearms and other weapons are prohibited except that those with a proper permit may possess a concealed handgun in permitted areas and under the requirements of North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11. All firearms and weapons are prohibited in state park visitor centers and park offices.

This makes it sound as if firearms are prohibited unless they are concealed, since it is only under those conditions that a permit is legally required.  In other words, it appears that this statement on the park web site is a spurious prohibition of open carry in contravention of state law (which does not speak to the issue of open carry, and simple carry of a handgun in a holster has never been considered carrying a weapon “to the terror of the public” or brandishing a weapon).

The statute to which this statement refers (North Carolina G.S. 14-415.11) simply makes it clear that “Any person who has a concealed handgun permit may carry a concealed handgun on the grounds or waters of a park within the State Parks System as defined in G.S. 143B-135.44.”  It says nothing about prohibition of open carry, in parks or anywhere else.  Nor does any other North Carolina statute speak to the issue of open carry.

So this leaves us with only two apparent options for interpretation of the signage and the statement on the park web site.  The first option is that it is intended to be an end run around the legislature who has not spoken to the issue of open carry in state parks, or anywhere else for that matter.  The state park service is making up their own laws.

The second option is that this signage is a mistake, but even more than that, contains material false information and is therefore unlawful due to its false and misleading information.  Frankly, either option means that the park service is behaving in an unlawful manner, where they are making up their own laws, or simply communicating material false information to park visitors.

Which is it, and is the park service aware of their unlawful behavior on this issue?

Law Enforcement Wrongfully Confiscates New York Veteran’s Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

New York Upstate:

TABERG, NY – Don Hall was sitting in his living room watching TV with his girlfriend about 9:30 p.m. earlier this year when he was startled by flashing police car lights in his driveway.

Hall met the Oneida County sheriff’s deputies in the driveway, worried that they were bringing bad news about a family member.

Instead, the deputies produced an official document demanding that Hall, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who is a retired pipefitter, turn over his guns to them on the spot. On the document Hall said he was described as “mentally defective.”

When Hall told police he’d never had any mental issues, Hall said, deputies told him he must have done something that triggered the order under the New York state’s SAFE Act.

The deputies left that night with six guns – two handguns and four long guns.

Hall, who lives in the Oneida County hamlet of Taberg, hired a lawyer and secured affidavits from local hospitals to prove he hadn’t been recently treated. At one point, he was told he’d have to get some of his guns back from a gun shop.

Eventually, his lawyer convinced a judge that authorities had him confused with someone else who had sought care and that his weapons should never have been seized.

To this day, no one at a hospital or the state and local agencies involved in taking Hall’s guns has admitted to Hall that a mistake was made, explained what happened or apologized. A county judge did acknowledge the mistake and helped him get his guns back.

Hall said the ordeal was frustrating.

“I was guilty until I could prove myself innocent,” Hall said. “They don’t tell you why or what you supposedly did. It was just a bad screw-up.”

Under what legal authority Hall’s guns were confiscated is in disagreement.

Hall and his lawyer said they are convinced his guns were taken as a result of a report under the NY SAFE Act. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was adopted in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newton, Conn.

The law includes, among other things, a provision for health providers to report patients that they believe are a risk to harm others or themselves.

The state Office of Mental Health, however, found Hall’s case was reported through a system set up by the federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, said James Plastiras, a spokesman for the state mental health office. That law, adopted in 1993, is named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

The federal law includes a provision that requires a hospital or medical facility to report anyone who is involuntarily committed or has been ruled mentally defective by a court or similar legal body.

A hospital reported to the state Office of Mental Health that a person had been involuntarily admitted to a mental facility, Plastiras said. That information was passed onto the FBI for inclusion on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, he said.

[ … ]

Once the state Office of Mental Health is alerted through either law, the staff checks records held by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services to see if the person has any guns.

Any matches go to the state police to verify that the identity of the person matches the identity of the gun owner. Once confirmed, the state police takes the case to a local judge who issues an order to confiscate the person’s weapons. Local police usually are dispatched to confiscate the weapons.

One thing the state and Hall and his lawyer agree on is the misidentification that lead to Hall’s guns being seized appears to have started when Hall was confused with some other patient at risk.

The day after Hall’s guns were seized in February, he called the gun licensing office in Oneida County. When he told them his guns were wrongly taken, he was told he could attend a hearing in a few weeks.

Instead, Hall called lawyer John Panzone, who advised him to get depositions from every local hospital stating he had not recently been treated. Panzone hoped the affidavits would prove Hall couldn’t be the person initially reported to be at risk.

Hall said he and his girlfriend, Connie Heidenreich, spent the next day visiting three Utica-area hospitals to get the statements.

Hall said the only time he had been a patient at any of the hospitals was four years ago when he had a sleep apnea test at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

At St. Elizabeth’s, Hall said a clerk looked up his name and read him a Social Security number. He said it was slightly different than his. “She turned white as a ghost,” Hall recalled.

Panzone believes another patient from Oneida County with Hall’s name was treated at the hospital and flagged for a mental health issue. Somehow that man’s Social Security number got mixed up with Hall’s, thus creating the error, the lawyer said.

The YouTube video of this report can be found here.

First of all, I don’t want to hear another word about how oath-taking LEOs will respect the constitution and refuse to obey unconstitutional orders.  The confiscation order was clearly unconstitutional and immoral and yet the LEOs enforced it upon command.

Second, I don’t care that the person who made the screw-up was a hospital employee.  She was an organ of the state when she made the reporting, and if I had that job I would resign.  When you do things like this you are in effect a government employee.

Third, consider what has happened in this report.  A man who is a war veteran had his weapons confiscated because someone submitted his name as having an admission to a local hospital for a mental malady.  Now listen closely.  Even if this was correct (and we know from the facts of the case that it wasn’t), we’ve already demonstrated conclusively from the reports of mental health professionals that mental illness has no relationship to propensity for violence, and that violent behavior cannot be predicted by mental health professionals because of this.

The case is closed.  There is no longer any debate on this issue.  Moreover, we know from scientific studies that limiting access to firearms of the mentally ill does not reduce suicide deaths.  For some progressives who simply want to worship the totem pole of mental health and behavioristic psychology, and who are well intentioned, they refuse to listen to the science behind their incorrect perceptions of the world.  They want to bow down and worship at the altar of the local witch doctor, or the psychiatrist, as if he knows how to make everything better.

But for most people, they know better than to believe that violence is related to illness rather than moral maladies and evil, and yet they throw out the red herring of mental illness anyway in order to cover over their real intentions, which is yet another gun control and confiscatory scheme.

That’s what happened here.  The SAFE act is anything but safe, because it protects no one and places peaceable, law abiding men in harm’s way.  But there are hundreds like it around the country, where guns cannot be purchased unless LEOs sign off on forms that include mental health information, or send out confiscation orders upon command from their superiors over anything from family problems to alleged abuse by some pissed off spouse.

Those LEOs will confiscate guns just like the LEOs in this report.  Don’t doubt it for one minute.  Be prepared.  And if you believe in God, family and the second amendment, and especially that the second amendment is about amelioration of tyranny, you are in danger of being judged mentally incompetent.  There are thousands of Soldiers and Marines who served faithfully who are in the NICS today because someone said they have PTSD.

Finally, note that every time the government – local, state or federal – involves themselves in a program, they are a fuck-up.  They cannot get anything right, except for running a military, and most of the time they don’t even do that well.  A lot of bad men make it to staff and flag officer level, and if you think we have thinking men running the show at the Pentagon, take a look at the two campaigns of “armed social science” we had in Iraq and Afghanistan, believing that we could force Muslims to accept liberty and freedom with COIN tactics, men who love tyranny and the yoke of oppression more than life itself.

And the progressives want to put the government more fully in charge of your health care.  Think about that for a moment.  Let that wash over you.  Incompetent fools and clowns like the ones described above want to make decisions on health care for your families.

Ohio Legislature Bill Would Exempt Elected Officials From Bans On Guns In Public Buildings

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

The Columbus Dispatch:

Under a bill in the legislature, elected officials in Ohio could take hidden guns into government facilities where other people are banned from carrying weapons.

Rep. Nino Vitale said House Bill 310, which he introduced this week, is intended as a self-defense measure for elected officials.

“The political climate is unfortunately extremely extreme,” the Urbana Republican said. “There are a lot of places in government where we’re simply not protected.”

Vitale cited the shooting last month at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia as an example of the heightened threats against lawmakers. Vitale said he has been threatened, called names and followed from the Statehouse.

Vitale, a concealed-carry trainer, said the measure would apply only to elected officials who have a concealed-carry permit.

He said his legislation might contribute to civil discourse.

“If someone knows someone can defend themselves, they might keep their rhetoric at an acceptable level,” Vitale said.

But even some gun-rights advocates argue that the legislation would create a special class of concealed-carry permit holders by allowing elected state and local officials to carry guns on government property while other citizens are prohibited from doing so.

Jim Irvine, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, questioned what makes lawmakers more deserving of expanded concealed-carry rights. His organization is reviewing the legislation before taking a formal position.

I don’t have to see the legislation and I can take a formal position right now.  If the legislation exempts only elected officials and not everyone, then kill it.  I oppose it in all its forms, for all time, and in any manifestation.

Appeals Court Strikes Down D.C. “Good Cause” Handgun Carry Ban

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Firearms Policy Coalition:

In today’s Wrenn v. District of Columbia decision (a related case, Grace v. District of Columbia, was consolidated with Wrenn on appeal), a lawsuit helmed by civil rights attorney Alan Gura and backed by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Court held in relevant part that D.C.’s “good-reason” handgun carry ban laws were unconstitutional:

Of course, the good-reason law isn’t a “total ban” for the D.C. population as a whole of the right to bear common arms under common circumstances. After all, it allows some D.C. residents—those with a special need—to defend against threats both common to everyone and specific to themselves.

But the ban on ownership struck down in Heller I also made “minor exceptions” for certain sorts of owners, who could then defend their homes to the hilt. 554 U.S. at 570 n.1. That made no difference to constitutional review of the ban, see id., for a simple reason: the point of the Amendment isn’t to ensure that some guns would find their way into D.C., but that guns would be available to each responsible citizen as a rule (i.e., at least to those no more prone to misuse that access than anyone else).

So if Heller I dictates a certain treatment of “total bans” on Second Amendment rights, that treatment must apply to total bans on carrying (or possession) by ordinarily situated individuals covered by the Amendment. 

This point brings into focus the legally decisive fact: the good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs, where these residents are no more dangerous with a gun than the next law-abiding citizen.

We say “necessarily” because the law destroys the ordinarily situated citizen’s right to bear arms not as a side effect of applying other, reasonable regulations (like those upheld in Heller II and Heller III), but by design: it looks precisely for needs “distinguishable” from those of the community.

So we needn’t pause to apply tiers of scrutiny, as if strong enough showings of public benefits could save this destruction of so many commonly situated D.C. residents’ constitutional right to bear common arms for self-defense in any fashion at all.

Bans on the ability of most citizens to exercise an enumerated right would have to flunk any judicial test that was appropriately written and applied, so we strike down the District’s law here apart from any particular balancing test. 

***

So our approach, briefed by all the parties, is also urged by Heller I and coheres with Heller II. It’s narrower than any other basis for decision but not ad hoc.

And it would avoid suggesting what Heller I implicitly denies: that some public benefits could justify preventing people from exercising the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear arms for self-defense given the risk and needs typical of, well, law-abiding citizens. 

We pause to draw together all the pieces of our analysis: At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions. These traditional limits include, for instance, licensing requirements, but not bans on carrying in urban areas like D.C. or bans on carrying absent a special need for self-defense.

In fact, the Amendment’s core at a minimum shields the typically situated citizen’s ability to carry common arms generally.

The District’s good-reason law is necessarily a total ban on exercises of that constitutional right for most D.C. residents. That’s enough to sink this law under Heller I. 

***

To watch the news for even a week in any major city is to give up any illusions about “the problem of handgun violence in this country.” Heller I, 554 U.S. at 570. The District has understandably sought to fight this scourge with every legal tool at its disposal.

For that long struggle against gun violence, you might see in today’s decision a defeat; you might see the opposite. To say whether it is one or the other is beyond our ken here.

We are bound to leave the District as much space to regulate as the Constitution allows—but no more. Just so, our opinion does little more than trace the boundaries laid in 1791 and flagged in Heller I. And the resulting decision rests on a rule so narrow that good-reason laws seem almost uniquely designed to defy it: that the law-abiding citizen’s right to bear common arms must enable the typical citizen to carry a gun. 

We vacate both orders below and remand with instructions to enter permanent injunctions against enforcement of the District’s good-reason law.

Circuit Judge Karen Henderson dissented, arguing in a footnote that:

Although I assume that the Second Amendment extends to some extent beyond the home, I am certain the core Second Amendment right does not. The application of strict scrutiny—let alone my colleagues’ application of a categorical ban—is, in my view, patently off-base.

I’ve always thought that Scalia left much undone in his Heller decision, and the appeals court is doing his work for him in this ruling.  Perhaps Heller is all he could get the Supremes to agree to.

Unfortunately, however, this won’t be the end of it.  D.C. will come up with something equally unconstitutional, and I’ve noted before that similar federal courts have ruled in favor of “may-carry” laws in states such as New York, Massachusetts and Hawaii.  There is much more to come, and all of this confusion could have been avoided by a more robust Heller decision.

In the mean time, how dark for a person like Henderson, whose world and life view distinguishes between “to some extent” and “core.”  How sad and abusive towards other women who are left defenseless in the face of assault by her vacillation.

Glenn Reynolds also provides some links.

The Cabal Of Republicans Who Hates America

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

Lindsey Graham is at the helm.

“At a press conference with U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., to unveil the “Dream Act” — which would provide pathways to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants brought to the country illegally as children — [Sen. Lindsey] Graham described a moral imperative for his president and his party.”

[ … ]

And those intent on “fundamental transformation” are counting on Americans’ innate decency to allow them to continue with the fraudulent reshaping of the Republic and its laws. As for anyone who might object, most of those can be chilled by smearing them as xenophobes and racists, as if observable and demostrable truths are only for bigots.

You can call me whatever you wish – it makes no difference to me.  And this has nothing whatsoever to do with race.  I’ve explained this before.

“For historical reasons to do with the nationalisation of the land under Lázaro Cárdenas and the predominant form of peasant land tenure, which was “village cooperative” rather than based on individual plots, the demand for “land to the tiller” in Mexico does not imply an individual plot for every peasant or rural worker or family. In Mexico, collectivism among the peasantry is a strong tradition … one consequence of these factors is that the radical political forces among the rural population are on the whole explicitly anti-capitalist and socialist in their ideology. Sometimes this outlook is expressed in support for guerilla organisations; but struggle movements of the rural population are widespread, and they spontaneously ally with the most militant city-based leftist organisations.”

One of the reasons for this reflexive alignment with leftism has to do with the the mid-twentieth century and what the Sovient Union and allied ideologies accomplished.  South and Central America was the recipient or receptacle for socialism draped in religious clothing, or in other words, liberation theology.  Its purveyors were Roman Catholic priests who had been trained in Marxism, and they were very successful in giving the leftists a moral platform upon which to build.  This ideology spread North from South and Central America into Mexico, and thus the common folk in Mexico are quite steeped in collectivist ideology from battles that were fought decades ago.

Collectivists are statists, and statists require state control as part of their world and life view.  They long for their slavery, a key part of which is the complete inability to effect self defense or to hold tyranny accountable.  Venezuela is a notable exception at the moment, but we’ll see where that goes.

Since McCain is out of commission at the moment, Lindsey Graham has to take the wheel and guide the ship of self destruction.  Is it any surprise that the only other lackey Graham could get to stand with him is Durbin?  Oh, other republicans want to destroy America too, but at least they aren’t stupid enough to stand there and say so in public right now.

Massachusetts Flirting With More Gun Confiscation

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Ignoring the science that informs us that gun confiscations don’t prevent suicide, Massachusetts lawmakers are flirting with more progressive dreams of utopia.

BOSTON — Supporters of new gun laws and opponents clashed Tuesday over a bill that would allow guns to be temporarily seized from people deemed at high risk of hurting themselves or others.

Rep. David Linsky filed the legislation, which would add Massachusetts to a handful of states that allow firearms to be seized by a court-issued civil order at the request of families, law enforcement officers or some health care providers.

“There is no way, if a family member goes to a police department or court, there is no legal way to remove the firearms from the house,” Linsky said. “We can close a loophole in the Massachusetts court system.”

The Joint Committee on the Judiciary heard testimony on dozens of bills under the umbrella of “crime legislation” at a crowded public hearing, including two gun suppressor bills.

Ahead of the hearing, Linsky held a lobby day to showcase support for his bill. He is pushing for the establishment of what the bill calls an extreme risk protective order. California, Washington, Connecticut and Indiana have similar laws, according to gun law advocacy groups.

“Gun law advocacy groups.”  Is that what Everytown and Bloomberg have told them to call the controllers now?  Gun law advocacy groups?  So they’re still the controllers, no matter what you call them.  You can’t put lipstick on a pig and get anything but a pig.

Jim Wallace, the executive director of the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts, opposes the protective order bill. He said it does not do enough to address what happens after a firearm is taken away from an at-risk person.

“You’ve got somebody who has an issue, you’ve got to drag them through this process which is going to aggravate the issue and then you’re going to take away their civil rights, and then what?” Wallace said. “What are we doing for them? Nothing.”

That’s the wrong reason to oppose this proposal, Jim.  The right reason is that it violates the constitution, which is the covenant under which we all agreed to live, and that constitution is based on God-given rights.

Wallace said the bill “does not tackle the issue of mental health” and raised questions about whether a person deemed an extreme risk should be permitted to do other things like drive a vehicle or handle chemicals.

“And here’s one nobody wants to talk about: If they’re not a citizen, are they immediately deported? Unfortunately the bill is a good soundbite but it’s not a good solution,” Wallace said.

The bill’s supporters argue extreme risk protective orders could lead people to connect with the mental health services they need.

Gun law advocates hissed as Wallace testified for two gun suppressor bills alongside National Rifle Association spokesman John Hohenwarter and American Suppressor Association President and Executive Director Knox Williams. The bills were filed by Rep. Josh Cutler and Rep. Paul Frost.

They hissed because that’s what vipers do.  I made a mistake when I compared them to pigs.  They are more like pit vipers, and you can’t put lipstick on pit vipers either and get anything but a pit viper.

Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes and Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan offered joint testimony against the suppressor bills, saying they put officers and communities at risk.

“This is common sense that the great General Court should oppose this legislation,” Ryan said. “If we increase the volume of suppressors on the streets of commonwealth, we increase the likelihood that they’ll be diverted to illicit use.”

About a dozen communities in the state rely on ShotSpotter, a technology designed to detect gunfire. Kyes said suppressors would hamper the effectiveness of the tool by making gunfire more difficult to detect than it already is.

“They do a pretty good job, not a great job. There’s no way in the world it could pick up something with a suppressor,” Kyes said. “Suppressors would impede public safety.”

If this was true, it would be only because no one besides LEOs can carry weapons in Massachusetts, leaving people defenseless in the face of violence.

Angus McQuilken, a member of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, said before the hearing the suppressor debate isn’t about hearing protection at all. He argued gun manufacturers are hoping to expand into a new market to boost sales.

“This is about the money. What is it almost always about when the gun lobby is trying to advance legislation? It is about the money.

It’s all about the money.  No shooter, like me or the ones who read this web site has ever advocated for suppressors because, you know, they help hearing protection and make it possible to shoot with ear plugs without ear muffs, thus avoiding the difficult cheek weld and get better eye relief.  So says the controllers.

Good Lord.  What an entanglement of ass clowns.  Say, what firearms manufacturers are still ensconced or headquartered in Massachusetts anyway?  Why are they still there?  Don’t they know that we don’t like the controllers?


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