Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Let Us Provide Our Own Security

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 3 days ago

News from Virginia.

Vincent Smith wasn’t in the office when a fellow Virginia Beach city employee opened fire there, ultimately killing 12 and wounding five in the carnage five weeks ago.

After getting notice of the shooting that afternoon in Building 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, Smith, 49, raced to the nearby emergency operations center, where he helped out until late in the night.

It was soon clear that although law enforcement arrived within two minutes of the report May 31 of an active shooter, the gunman had been able to move through offices and fire at fellow city employees without being confronted by another firearm.

Now, Smith, the city’s division manager for construction services, is taking action in hopes of preventing such a situation from occurring again.

“Their policy failed, and it failed their employees, and we’ve got to do something different,” Smith said of Virginia Beach officials in a phone interview Monday with The Daily Signal. “I’ll take it all the way to the Legislature if I have to.”

Bringing back a petition he started over three years ago to allow city employees to carry a concealed firearm at work, Smith so far has garnered support from almost 5,000 of Virginia Beach’s estimated 450,000 residents, many of them fellow city employees.

Among the petition’s original 260 signees was construction project manager Herbert Snelling, the only person to lose his life in the shooting who wasn’t a city worker. His family described Snelling, 57, as a gun rights activist and a man “who loved Jesus deeply.”

Smith’s petition seeks to overturn a policy that prevents the resort city’s 6,000 employees from carrying a concealed handgun in the workplace.

Good.  This is just the way God intended it to be.  This is good for city workers.  Now, what about everyone else?

Petition Asks White House To Recognize Second Amendment Does Not “Give” A Right

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 6 days ago

David Codrea:

… a Facebook colleague has alerted us to a source that just doesn’t get it: The White House.

Per its explanation of the Constitution:

“The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.”

[ … ]

I just got done creating a White House petition.

“Recognize that the government does not ‘give citizens the right to bear arms,’’ it asks, further explaining and requesting:

“The White House website section on the Constitution instructs ‘The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.’ This is exactly wrong and contradicts the very nature of unalienable rights, the clear intent of the Founders and the understanding of the right as articulated by the Supreme Court.

“Privileges are granted. Rights are inherent to the condition of being human. The Second Amendment didn’t create a right to keep and bear arms — it acknowledged a right that was already assumed and accepted at the time of ratification. Nobody in government gave us that right, so it’s not theirs to take away.

“Please correct your website description and make an announcement about the change.”

I signed.  You should too.  It’s simple and quick.  This is 3-second activism.

I would add that the notion of unalienable rights is based on the condition of being human only insofar as you accept the notion of man as made in the image of a Holy God.  It’s beyond the scope of this little post to engage in a debate over the concept of Lockean “natural” rights versus a Christian world and life view.

I disagree with Locke, I am a Calvinist.  Nature is impersonal, powerless, and confers nothing at all on any man or animal.  In fact, according to a naturalistic world view, man is an animal.  Animals kills each other all the time without regard for moral righteousness.

The subject here is moral righteousness.  What is right, just, absolute, an unalienable.  That can only come from God and His immutable law-word, not nature.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Open Or Concealed Carrying Of A Firearm Is Not Reasonable Suspicion Of A Crime

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Prince Law:

Today, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a 53 page majority opinion, a 2 page concurring decision by Justice Baer and a 16 page concurring opinion by Justice Dougherty which Justice Mundy joined, in the case of Commonwealth v. Hicks, which addressed whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm constitutes reasonable suspicion of a crime.

[ … ]

“Before this Court, the Commonwealth again advanced its “radical position,” Hawkins, 692 A.2d at 1071, in the present iteration contending that police officers are not only entitled, but “duty bound” to seize and investigate the licensing status of every individual who carries a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania. Brief for Commonwealth at 11. We have little difficulty in again rejecting this proposition, because we conclude that the Robinson rule contravenes the Terry doctrine and, indeed, the fundamental guarantees of the Fourth Amendment.

Although the carrying of a concealed firearm is unlawful for a person statutorily prohibited from firearm ownership or for a person not licensed to do so, see 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6105-06, there is no way to ascertain an individual’s licensing status, or status as a prohibited person, merely by his outward appearance. As a matter of law and common sense, a police officer observing an unknown individual can no more identify whether that individual has a license in his wallet than discern whether he is a criminal. Unless a police officer has prior knowledge that a specific individual is not permitted to carry a concealed firearm, and absent articulable facts supporting reasonable suspicion that a firearm is being used or intended to be used in a criminal manner, there simply is no justification for the conclusion that the mere possession of a firearm, where it lawfully may be carried, is alone suggestive of criminal activity.

If the consequence of our decision is that future courts afford meaningful Fourth Amendment protection to individuals engaged in other commonly licensed activities, that result is preferable to our allowance of governmental overreach that undermines the individual freedom that is essential to our way of life in this constitutional republic.

Crime and violence are ever-present threats in society, and it can be tempting to look to the government to provide protection from “dangerous” people with constant vigilance. However, the protections of the Fourth Amendment remain an essential bulwark against the overreaches and abuses of governmental authority over all individuals. Notwithstanding the dangers posed by the few, we must remain wary of the diminution of the core liberties that define our republic, even when the curtailment of individual liberty appears to serve an interest as paramount as public safety. “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1928) (Brandeis, J., dissenting).

Consistent with the General Assembly’s reservation of the exclusive prerogative to regulate firearms in this Commonwealth, codified at 18 Pa.C.S. § 6120, the additional requirement that an individual possess a license in order to carry a firearm openly within the City of Philadelphia is prescribed by statute, not by municipal ordinance. See 18 Pa.C.S. § 6108; see generally Ortiz v. Commonwealth, 681 A.2d 152 (Pa. 1996).”

So the court did three things: [1] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm in a concealed manner isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (I would have to know the specifics of the case to be able to ascertain why this is important since if the firearm is concealed well, it wouldn’t be seen by anyone), [2] decreed that the mere carrying of a firearm openly isn’t a reasonable suspicion of a crime (apparently Pennsylvania has a permitted open carry system, and cops don’t have the right to stop someone who is openly carrying to ask about a permit), and [3] decreed that little tyrants in locales like cities or townships don’t have to right to upend this judgment.

Every once in a while someone gets it right.  I would think that after the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals viz. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, they would stop trying to argue that they have unlimited rights.

But also just as apparent is the fact that the police go from judge to judge, and court to court, until they find someone who agrees with them.

That’s the American way, yes?

Is Red Dawn Really Just Ridiculous?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

David Codrea:

A disarmed citizenry would be national suicide. It would invite invasion. It would make the risks of a Red Dawn scenario more likely. Subversives who undermine what the Founders knew to be “necessary to the security of a free State” are quite literally giving aid and comfort to America’s enemies.

I always thought that Red Dawn was plausible without an armed citizenry.  Besides, now that the U.S. military has chosen to self destruct, what else is there beyond an armed citizenry?  Do you really think the military is any shape to conduct full scale, conventional warfare?

Really?  We couldn’t beat a bunch of goat herders in Afghanistan.  What makes you think we can beat a uniformed army?

Oklahoma Pistol Walk, Part II

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Through Edmond Haifer Park.  Just a few of comments.  First, to the cop.  Stop pointing that rifle at people.  It’s stupid.

Second, do … not … ever … touch another man’s gun in a circumstance like this.  Ever.  It’s stupid.  A negligent discharge can occur, someone could get hurt, the weapon might have been modified and you wouldn’t know it, a round might be chambered and it might not be, you don’t know the configuration or status of that weapon, and so on.  Do not ever touch another man’s weapon.

Third, get educated.  Too many cops were looking on the idiot boxes (phones) to figure out if a barrel less than 16″ with a pistol brace is an SBR or a pistol.  Really.  Seek some education, read a little bit.

Prior: Oklahoma AR Pistol Walk

Oklahoma AR Pistol Walk

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Apparently, some dude is taking his AR pistol for a walk in every Oklahoma city and recording the interactions with police.

Are You An “Extreme Second Amendment Supporter?”

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Georgia:

Haley said he sees most of the local debate over constitutional carry happening on the internet, on Facebook or gun-trading forums. Online, he says it feels like people with his stance are in the minority.

“Because they’re all gung-ho, you know? ‘I’m a Second Amendment supporter and in order to be a true Second Amendment supporter, I’ve got to support this, this has got to be the way it is,’” said Haley.

“The buzzword of ‘constitutional carry’, that sounds sexy, you know?” said Georgia House Rep. Alan Powell. “It’s a popular issue among the extreme Second Amendment supporters.”

Is there any other kind?

Quick Response To Detractors Claiming That 2A Was Not Seen As An Individual Right Until 2008

BY Herschel Smith
4 months ago

From our friends at reddit/firearms.  He says feel free to copy and paste, and he’s clearly set it out there for the good of mankind.  Thus, I reproduce it entirely.

Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

  • Tench Coxe, A friend of James Madison and himself a Delegate to the Continental Congress, writing in support of the Madison’s first draft of the Bill of Rights, 1789.

Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of.

  • James Madison, Federalist No. 46, January 29, 1788

A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms…  “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.

  • Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788

The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

  • Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833

The founders were big believers in natural rights. The Bill of Rights did not grant us any rights, it recognized preexisting inalienable rights. The Supreme Court confirmed this way back in 1876:

The right there specified is that of “bearing arms for a lawful purpose.” This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. [READ THAT LAST SENTENCE TWICE] The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed, but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress

  • United States v. Cruikshank.

It is both an individual and collective right. Find me one founder quote saying the 2A ONLY protects state militias. I’ll wait.

What Good Can A Handgun Do Against An Army?

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

Recall when I said this?

Do you suppose this would look like great land armies getting into formation at the edges of great fields of battle and marching towards each other?  What do you think such a messy civil war in America would look like?  Bubba would be wearing a Ghillie suit, shooting a bolt action rifle, or a modern sporting rifle, and after the shot you will never hear from him again – until the next one.  And you’ll never catch him.  Police will have to decide what side to take, and if they take the wrong one, they will be dealt with in the middle of the night when they take their dogs out to pee in the backyard.

Insurgent will be mixed with progressive statist, and there will be no SEAL teams or nuclear weapons to which you can turn because you won’t know one from another.  There will be nowhere to target a nuclear weapon, and nowhere for a SEAL team to raid.  All of their close quarters battle preparations will be for naught when their own families are in peril due to civil warfare.  These aren’t Afghan tribesmen you’re dealing with.  These are engineers, mechanics, fabricators and welders, chemists, and the world’s best machinists.  If you think Afghanistan was rough, wait to see what civil war would look like in America.

If you have ever said something like, “You can’t win because the government has a land army and nuclear weapons,” here is the moral of the story for you.  You are an idiot.

Some statist is having wet dreams of civil war against conservatives again, this time at Washington Monthly.  She says this (I assume it’s a she).

The only way for these Civil War fantasies to work out for the right wing is for the government to join them, The gov’t may acquiesce now and then (like the sheriffs who won’t enforce the law), but when the shooting starts, one side has tanks and fighter jets, the other side has handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Even if the Texas Air National Guard and a few others go full treason, they are still woefully out numbered and out gunned.  Red Dawn is make believe, guys.

For the author to accuse “rightists” of fantasizing about civil war, they sure do seem to be spending a lot of time in this article and comments fantasizing about civil war on “rightists.”

So what can one pistol do against an evil regime?  Watch this video to find out.

“This happened in the city of Maturin, on the East side of Venezuela. The National Guard was coming hard and heavy against some protesters when one of them pulled out a pistol, took several shots and apparently hit one of the guardsmen.

They stopped their charge.”

And yes, I’m well aware that I have titled the post the same as Mike Vanderboegh, and I have done it intentionally.  Go read his analysis, which is still the best.

Benchmade Answers Their Critics

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Recoil has the interview.  Here are some excerpts of it, with running commentary by me.

RECOIL: Before we get into the interview, is there anything that you would like to say to the RECOIL readership and the Second Amendment community about a Benchmade employee cutting up firearms with Benchmade equipment?

MATT ELLIOTT: Yeah sure, I think the story, and the consistent story here is that while this particular event is as it’s come to light for all of us is we’ve realized it’s something that people take high amounts of offense to, especially from the symbolism of it.

In fact, especially with that post going out with no real context behind it, I can understand the strong reaction from the market on it. The fact of the matter is that we’ve supported law enforcement, people’s right to carry, be it knives or guns, and the Second Amendment.

We also have supported military from the beginning of the company until now, none of that’s going to change moving forward. We’re still going to work with law enforcement; we’re still going to support our local police department, the Oregon City PD. I also want people that know that moving forward we will not be engaging in helping the police with those activities [cutting firearms], especially now understanding the way that people feel about it.

What does it mean to support law enforcement, people’s right to carry, and the military?  What does any of that have to do with the situation?  So far, this isn’t helpful.

R: There have been two main topics that have been the focus of comments on RECOIL’s original coverage of the incident. The conversation has become centered around political contributions, which we can get into in a bit, but more so the commitment of Benchmade to the Second Amendment and the Second Amendment community, which we imagine makes up a large part of your customer base. Can you share Benchmade’s stance on Second Amendment issues clearly for our readers?

ME: Benchmade from the beginning has been fully in support of Second Amendment rights. That’s not just a Benchmade thing as a brand; it’s a cultural thing as an organization. I can’t speak to every single person in the business but I myself, I’m a big supporter. I happen to be a life member of the NRA. I’m not alone in that at Benchmade, and moreover, I also think it’s important to make the point that it’s about carry for us and people’s right to carry state to state. And that isn’t just about guns for us. At the end of the day, we’re a knife company.

I think it’s important for us to be authentically who we are, and we’re a knife manufacturer. Now we are also the knife manufacturer that has really spearheaded and led the charge for as long as I’ve been working here, which is more than a decade. Long before that with the manufacturer of automatic knives and helping to break down doors around antiquated or outdated legislation that has been very restrictive.

When I started at Benchmade, I believe there were really only three states that allowed for carry of automatic [knives], and to date, that number has grown to 30 plus. I can’t speak to the exact numbers because I’m not an expert on the laws in every state. I’ve watched that number grow and grow primarily over the course of the last five to six years right.

Okay, I grok that they’re a knife company rather than a gun company.  But in the end as customers we’re interested in a full-orbed view of the second amendment and aren’t interested in companies that don’t protect those rights.  Why are they so surprised at the reaction they got?

R: Can you expand on how Benchmade supports organizations like the NRA?

ME: We have been members of organizations, the NRA included, for decades and are very proud of that fact. We will continue to support their efforts to support gun owners rights and the Second Amendment. We participate in programs that give discounts to members of these organization along with our long-running history of financial support, along with the other actions we have taken through our direct relationships with them and the community.

The NRA is the largest, most well-connected, well-funded gun control organization on the planet.  It doesn’t help their case to invoke support for the NRA.  This is getting worse as the interview proceeds.

R: Can you explain the political contributions listed on OpenSecrets.org that have been circulating social media?

ME: Oregon is a hotbed of knife makers, but also is a heavily Democrat-leaning state making most of the politicians with an interest in introducing legislation that is pro-knife often Democratic. When the donations were made to pro-knife politicians, it was about knife rights.

Gun owners are protected when traveling through states by the Firearm Owners Protection act; knife owners don’t enjoy that kind of protection. The Interstate Transport Act was a very important piece of legislation that Benchmade has been working to get passed for over five years, alongside the American Knife and Tool Institute.

This bill had co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. The effort requires bi-partisan support and we need to ensure we are reaching across the aisle and bringing both parties to the table. I don’t think most people are aware of how serious the penalties can be for certain types of knives in certain states …

I’m sorry, but I’m left unpersuaded.  I cannot for the life of me see that any of the democratic politicians to whom they donated are “pro-knife.”

R: Was this the first time that the Oregon City Police Department has asked Benchmade for this type of assistance?

ME: No, they have asked Benchmade two or three times a year over the last few years to assist them in cutting the firearms to be destroyed according to their policy to the correct size for the special destruction box. Since Benchmade has assisted law enforcement since day one, we agreed to render assistance in the past.

In other words, they’ve cut up firearms for the cops in the past, lots of them in fact.

R: What will be the answer to the Oregon City Police Department if they ask Benchmade to assist in cutting firearms into smaller pieces that fit inside of an incineration box?

ME: Benchmade now has a policy to politely decline to assist Law Enforcement in the cutting up of firearms regardless of reason. If the local law enforcement request assistance with other matters, we will be happy to accommodate them as long as doesn’t involve cutting firearms.

That should have been your policy all along.

R: Was it known that the police department was taking photos of the firearms being cut up by a Benchmade employee?

ME: The police department was given permission to take the photos even though the Benchmade policy is that there is no photographs allowed in the facility. We have launched an investigation internally to ensure that this type of incident never happens again.

In other words, you regret that you got caught.

R: Does Benchmade have any thoughts about the internal OCPD policy that mandated that firearms which were unable to be returned to their owner for whatever reason, be it legal or otherwise?

ME:  Since OCPD’s post went viral we have conducted an investigation into the entire event. We are hoping this can be an opportunity to have a more open discussion about the intricacies of such an important subject. We have learned a lot and as I said earlier, we will not be allowing this practice to happen in our facilities again.

Here is a brief rundown of those “intricacies.”  The politicians to whom you donated are communists.  Only communists cut up firearms.  Those firearms could have been sold to good, peaceable men and women to protect their hearth and home at a reduced cost, thereby rendering aid to those less wealthy than someone who can purchase the firearms new.  If you can’t change the laws where you live, the least you can do is not willingly cooperate in the communism they want to foist on the rest of us.

Note to Benchmade.  You did yourselves no favors with this interview.


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