Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Codrea On Kavanaugh

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 16 hours ago

Ammoland:

His views could be critical if and when SCOTUS hears a case challenging state bans on what they pejoratively term “assault weapons.” It still doesn’t get us to a birthright “to keep and bear … ordinary military equipment … that … could contribute to the common defense,” but it’s a better starting place than a court with many of the previous “Republican” picks on the bench (case in point: John Paul Stevens).

David is relatively pleased, or at least, satisfied under the circumstances.  We could do a lot worse than Kavanaugh.  I grok the sentiment, even though I am troubled at his views on the Fourth Amendment.  Very troubled.

As commenter Michael observed, “[As] Far as I’m concerned, a “loss” on a fourth-amendment case is a loss for the second amendment as well.”

He is a mixed bag.  But at least it’s not William Pryor, or at least inasmuch as we can judge at the moment.  I may have more to say about William Pryor later.  His views could be summarized as “If someone knocks on the door, leave your guns in the drawer, lay down on the floor and beg for mercy from intruders because it could be a cop and they’re special and you’re not.  Their safety is paramount.”

William Pryor is a swine.  Let’s pray that Kavanaugh doesn’t turn out to be that as well.

It’s Always Nice To Meet A Fellow Patriot

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 16 hours ago

It’s Justice Kavanaugh

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

So tonight Trump made his selection known.  It’s Judge Brett Kavanaugh.  I’m sure there will be much more to come on this, but here are some initial thoughts.

Jacob Sullum at Reason did a very good expose on him, and finds that he is supportive of second amendment rights, but not so much for the fourth amendment.

Kavanaugh seems to take a narrower view of Fourth Amendment rights. In 2010 he dissented from the D.C. Circuit’s decision not to rehear a case in which a three-judge panel had ruled that police violated a suspected drug dealer’s Fourth Amendment rights when they tracked his movements for a month by attaching a GPS device to his car without a warrant. Kavanaugh rejected the idea that the tracking constituted a search because of the quality and quantity of information it collected, although he anticipated the argument that ultimately persuaded a majority of the Supreme Court: that the physical intrusion required to plant the tracking device amounted to a search.

That rationale would not support invoking the Fourth Amendment in cases where information is collected without trespassing on someone’s physical property, as when police use cellphone location records to figure out where a suspect was at particular times on particular dates. Last month the Supreme Court ruled that looking at such data is a search, meaning it generally requires a warrant.

Kavanaugh also dissented in a 2008 case involving a man named Paul Askew, who was stopped by D.C. police because his clothing was similar to an armed robber’s. The cops patted Askew down for weapons, as permitted under the 1968 Supreme Court ruling in Terry v. Ohio, but found nothing. Later they unzipped his coat, supposedly to facilitate an eyewitness identification, and found a gun.

The D.C. Circuit concluded that police went too far when they unzipped Askew’s coat and that the gun, which became the basis for a weapons charge, should not have been admitted as evidence against him because it was the product of an illegal search. Kavanaugh disagreed, saying unzipping the coat could be justified as “an objectively reasonable protective step to ensure officer safety” after Askew “actively resisted” the pat-down or because “police may reasonably maneuver a suspect’s outer clothing—such as unzipping a suspect’s outer jacket—when, as here, doing so could help facilitate a witness’s identification at a show-up during a Terry stop.”

So we shouldn’t expect him to side against a SWAT team, for instance, and in favor of a victim of home invasion by a SWAT team, as long as a judge signed a warrant and officer safety was paramount.

Frankly, it sounds as if he is in the same mold as Alito, who never saw a police action he didn’t approve.

Also, while this may sound odd, regardless of the second amendment cases currently percolating through the lower courts, I am hopeful that the SCOTUS doesn’t hear one until there is another reliable 2A Justice on the Supreme Court.  Raymond Kethledge is just such a judge (although it could certainly be the case that he never makes it on to the SCOTUS).

A bad decision by the SCOTUS on gun rights is worse than no decision, and I trust neither Roberts nor Alito.  As for the NFA (and class 3 weapons), the GCA and the Hughes Amendment, that will have to be handled legislatively.  Don’t look to the courts to undo that those abominations.

In the mean time, remember that the Supreme Court cannot confer or remove rights.  Only God can remove what God has granted, and in the case of RKBA, it is based on His immutable nature and will, inasmuch as it involves the protection of that which is made in His own image.  It will never change.

Always look to the fountain and spring of your rights, never to the vicissitudes of man’s feelings or the machinations of the state.

UPDATE: Dave Kopel has a very incisive and lengthy article on Kavanaugh up at Reason.  Here is his summary paragraph.

Judge Kavanaugh’s text, history, and tradition methodology for Second Amendment cases will not please people who believe that all gun control is impermissible, nor will it please advocates who want to make the Second Amendment a second-class right.

I believe that all gun control is constitutionally impermissible.  And this doesn’t make me happy.  On the other hand, he won’t make the gun controllers happy either.  If you ponder for a moment on the kind of judge Trump is likely to nominate, it would be someone just like this.  Trump believes that it is within the purview of the ATF to unilaterally ban bump stocks with no legislative action, as well as sundry other infringements.

Repeal of the NFA, GCA and Hughes Amendment will require legislative remedy.  The judiciary won’t do it.  Yet Kavanaugh won’t be a reliable gun control vote on the Supreme Court, so this is a partial victory in that he won’t be in the camp with Ginsburg and Breyer.

UPDATE #2: The thought occurs to me that if you believe in the so-called “war on drugs,” or a war on anything on American soil, you either [a] have never been to war and know nothing about what it’s like (my son has been to war) and are still willing to weigh in on something completely beyond your comprehension, or [b] you have been to war and are perfectly fine with this sort of thing being perpetrated on the American people.

In the first case, you’re an imbecile whose views are worthless.  In the second case, you are a sociopath.

A Florida Cop’s Explanation Of The Miami Beach Police Open Carry Incident

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

TTAG, from a cop:

Not all police are bad, mind you. Some truly fight hard and are on our side. But you, the People of the Gun, need to understand why Miami Beach happened.

Just like the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the gay rights movement of the 1990s and 2000s, gunowners need to continually fight for their rights. Sometimes the end result will be what we saw in Miami Beach.

The fight, however, is the same: opposing oppressive authoritarians restricting the civil liberties and rights of honest, law-abiding Americans. We can’t hide in the shadows. We need to be open, loud, and stand strong in the face of this kind of intimidation.

Read the whole thing.  There’s a lot there.  Rather than fisk this entire article, I think it would be better to turn it over to readers to do that.

However, I’ll make one observation.  Lumping us in with other alleged civil rights groups like gay rights is insulting.  The right to keep and bear arms is a right granted by God and merely recognized in the constitution.  Other such rights may or may not exist and you can make your case for or against them.

But we’re not just a group of malcontents bent on recognition.  God has decreed and ordained that we should be victorious because what we do is based not on marches and protests, but entirely on the immutable Holy Writ.

National Association Of Evangelicals Wants Open Borders

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

NAE:

Dear Mr. President:

As evangelical leaders representing tens of thousands of local churches, campus communities, and ministries we are concerned that the new “zero tolerance” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, recently announced by Attorney General Sessions and being implemented by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, has had the effect of separating vulnerable children from their parents. As head of the Executive Branch of the federal government, we are writing to ask you to resolve this situation of families being separated that you have rightly described as “horrible.”

As evangelical Christians guided by the Bible, one of our core convictions is that God has established the family as the fundamental building block of society. The state should separate families only in the rarest of instances. While illegal entry to the United States can be a misdemeanor criminal violation, past administrations have exercised discretion in determining when to charge individuals with this offense, taking into account the wellbeing of children who may also be involved.

A “zero tolerance” policy removes that discretion—with the effect of removing even small children from their parents. The traumatic effects of this separation on these young children, which could be devastating and long-lasting, are of utmost concern.

U.S. law currently allows individuals with a credible fear of persecution to request asylum whether the individual enters with a valid visa, requests asylum at a port of entry, or is apprehended seeking to enter without a visa. Not every individual arriving will merit asylum protection, but we would ask that families be kept together while ensuring each individual asylum seeker is afforded due process according to our laws.

We are also concerned that there are fewer legal possibilities for those with a well-founded fear of persecution to be considered for refugee status without needing to make it to the U.S. border. The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program has allowed many fleeing persecution in Central America and elsewhere to register as refugees abroad and be thoroughly vetted before coming lawfully to the U.S. However, with significantly fewer refugees being admitted in recent years, there are fewer options for those fleeing persecution. Those facing legitimate threats to their lives often feel they have no choice but to leave their countries and seek asylum elsewhere.

We respectfully ask you to work with Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Nielsen to reverse this “zero tolerance” policy and instead urge law enforcement entities to exercise discretion to protect the unity of families.

This is what happens when spiritual “leaders” no longer believe in the applicability of God’s law to individuals.  The state becomes responsible for everything, including administering grace rather than justice.  No mention is made of the fact that illegals are law-breakers.

And this is what happens when the church “leaders” no longer believe in the power of the Holy Scriptures to effect world-wide change.  It becomes anemic and powerless.  Thus church “leaders” begin to meddle in the affairs of state and turn globalist rather than focus on the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.

Say, you don’t suppose all of this will have any effect on second amendment rights, do you?

A Quick Note To ConcernedCitizen

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Demand:

Show me the study that proves arming citizens makes them safer. I’ll wait. In the meantime, why don’t you vote for the red flag laws that are being debated today. When the fatalities decline you get to look like a hero. #GunReformNow

Dude.  We don’t have guns in order to make you or anyone else “safer.”  We have guns for the amelioration of tyranny.

Counterdemand:

Show me a study that demonstrates you or anyone else will be successful in disarming us?  I’ll wait.  In the mean time, mind your own damn business, jerk.

The Second Amendment Has Become Optional

BY Herschel Smith
2 weeks, 5 days ago

Jacob Sullum at Reason:

Ten years ago this week, the Supreme Court for the first time explicitly recognized that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to armed self-defense. Since then the Court has revisited the subject only twice, while it has heard about 45 cases involving the Fourth Amendment and about 60 involving the First.

That stark disparity reflects a failure noted by critics on and off the Court. After waiting more than two centuries to acknowledge that the Second Amendment imposes limits on legislation, the Court has passed up dozens of opportunities to clarify the extent of those limits, leaving the task to lower courts that are often hostile to gun rights.

District of Columbia v. Heller, decided on June 26, 2008, overturned a handgun ban in the nation’s capital, finding it inconsistent with the Second Amendment right to use firearms for self-defense. Two years later, the Court overturned a similar law in Chicago, confirming that the Second Amendment constrains states and cities as well as the federal government.

Aside from those two landmark decisions, the Court has enforced the Second Amendment in just one case. In 2016 it ruled that the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts had flouted Heller when it upheld that state’s ban on stun guns based on the mistaken premise that the Second Amendment applies only to militarily useful weapons that were in common use when it was enacted.

That is far from the only time a court has reached a conclusion that seems inconsistent with what the Court has said about the Second Amendment. “Most federal judges have not accepted Heller,” Alan Gura, the lawyer who argued the case, recently told Tom Gresham on the radio show Gun Talk. “They have taken the posture of ‘go ahead and make me do it.'”

Well, there are two things at work here.  First, regular readers know that I consider the Heller decision to be weak.  Scalia did an awful job with it focusing on self defense, when we know full well that isn’t the framework in which the second amendment should be interpreted.

The conversation would clarify a great deal (and get off of the “well regulated” part) if it focuses on the overthrow of tyranny rather than self defense.  Then “well regulated” can be seen in the proper context, i.e., well regulated and calibrated firearms which the shooters knew how to use.

Scalia left an opening as wide as my truck for the controllers to drive through.  Furthermore, his statement that their ruling doesn’t amend the obviously necessary rules for prohibitions in certain sensitive locations (my wording) doesn’t help in the least.

Then there is the issue of recalcitrant judges who don’t care about the constitution or God-given rights.  McDonald was a “make-me-do-it” case, just as other such cases following have been.  And no one has made them do it yet.  It’s still impossible to get a concealed handgun permit in Hawaii, New York or New Jersey.

For these recalcitrant judges, the best solution is for them to be treated as the traitors they are.

What Happens When You Are Disarmed By The Authorities?

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

Via WRSA.  Bad things.  That’s what.

Before the 1945 Soviet occupation of Romania, the people had the right to own guns. I remember my father telling me his dad owned a double barreled shotgun he used to hunt rabbits with as well as a Luger picked from the retreating German troops (German soldiers were getting rid of all their military equipment by simply throwing it out of the troop transport trains).

When the communists took power in 1949 following falsified elections, the first law they enacted was total gun  confiscation (for the greater good of course).Then after they made sure the population was disarmed they started the arrests, imprisonments, reeducation camps and killings.  So practically since 1949 it was illegal to own any firearms in communist Romania.

Then there is this very important observation.  Listen carefully dear men.

After so many years of restrictions and servitude for over two generations, the perception of the Romanian population about gun rights changed in worse; I must admit when I first came to the US I too was surprised to see how owning guns is something normal and affordable and I too believed guns in the hands of untrained people can be dangerous (and keep in mind I served 2 years in the military so I was familiar with firearms).

After so many years of war and occupation the overwhelming majority of the people were sick and tired of the war so they believed what the propaganda of the new regime was telling them. They were lied that the government will protect them, that guns must be surrendered for their own safety, that since the war is over there is no need for guns anymore.

I’ve made the same observation before, albeit thankfully without first hand knowledge.

Every single one of the genocides in the twentieth century – every … single … one – from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot to Idi Amin to the Turkish Ottoman Muslim extermination of the Armenian Christians, was preceded by gun confiscations.

Nothing good ever comes from surrendering your firearms.  The founders knew that and gave us the 2nd amendment – if we can keep it.  And again, make careful note that reeducation and propagandizing is all part of the larger strategy for subduing the American culture to the wishes of the controllers.

The Second Amendment Had Nothing To Do With Slavery

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 2 days ago

Stephen Halbrook:

For 20 years now, a well-meaning law professor has been peddling the fiction that the Second Amendment – guaranteeing the right of Americans to keep and bear arms – was adopted to protect slavery. He first proposed this in a 1998 law review article and trotted it out again in a recent New York Times op-ed.

The trouble is: It’s untrue. Not a single one of America’s founders is known to have suggested such a purpose.

When the Redcoats came to disarm the colonists, the American patriots relied on the right to “have arms for their Defense,” as stated in the English Declaration of Rights of 1689.

In 1776, Pennsylvania declared: “That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves, and the state.” Vermont copied that language in its constitution, which explicitly abolished slavery. Massachusetts and North Carolina adopted their own versions.

When the states debated adoption of the Constitution without a bill of rights in 1787-88, Samuel Adams proposed the right to bear arms in Massachusetts’s ratification convention. The Dissent of the Minority did so in Pennsylvania, and the entire New Hampshire convention demanded recognition of the right.

There was no connection to slavery in any of these historical antecedents.

In his articles, Professor Carl T. Bogus of Roger Williams University speculates that George Mason’s and Patrick Henry’s demands in the Virginia ratification convention could have been motivated to protect slavery. Not so.

Mason recalled that “when the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised … to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

And Patrick Henry implored: “The great object is, that every man be armed.” The ensuing debate concerned defense against tyranny and invasion – not slavery.

New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in the demand for what became the Second Amendment. The right to bear arms had universal support.

I’ve seen those claims before and dismissed them as the trivial contrivances they are.

The problem is that men tend to see history through their own eyes and the context they have in post-modern America, even if that isn’t the way historical studies works.

It’s also very difficult to understand American history without the framework of continental Calvinian doctrine and polity, and an understanding of the proper relationship of the three institutions ordained by God, i.e., state, church and family (Gary North also includes economics, or in other words, the market).  You can add the fourth if so inclined.

Balance between institutions means implementing covenant in all of its blessings and curses.  It means not allowing one institution to usurp the authority of God over the other institutions, and that necessitates something like the second amendment.

It wasn’t anything so pedestrian as slavery that created the second amendment.  It was a necessary doctrine in a nation to be founded on Biblical principles, albeit imperfectly.

Honest men understand that and use it as a framework to understand American history.  Dishonest men and imbeciles make up their own shit just because.

A Traitor In Our Midst?

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

From reader Felix, this:

Kyle Kashuv, a Parkland survivor and so-called gun rights activist, called for the implementation of gun control in an Op-Ed published by Daily Wire on June 7th. FIX NICS, the piece of legislation supported by Kyle Kashuv and originally cosponsored by Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer, is a law that pressures every federal agency to submit thousands of more names of people to make them ineligable for gun ownership. FIX NICS is not in line with the 2nd Amendment; in fact, support for FIX NICS precludes you from being a serious gun rights advocate.

FIX NICS is so anti-gun, in fact, that having so much as a speeding ticket on your record gives the government the authority to deny you your right to self defense. While Kyle Kashuv likes to paint himself as the anti-David Hogg to rile up conservative bases, he is truly supporting the exact same legislation Hogg’s heroes sponsored. In this sense, Kyle Kashuv is no friend of gun rights. In fact, he is making the culture more anti-gun by endorsing this horrific law.

While Kyle Kashuv claims to be the hero of the 2nd Amendment, his anti-2nd Amendment beliefs are putting true gun rights activism at risk. The Overton Window is the window of acceptable discourse in mainstream society. Since Kyle Kashuv, who recently was hired by Turning Point USA as the Director of High School Outreach, uses social media to claim to be unapologetically and uncompromisingly pro-gun, he is affiliating pro-gun ideology with acceptance of FIX NICS, a law that will disarm more peaceful people.

It is indeed a horrific law.  There seems to be no end to traitors in our midst these days.  Well, this is the problem with the cult of personality and hero-worship.

A man had better meet a very high bar before you call or consider him a hero.  Giving his life for you or your family, or something of that nature, is an acceptable reason for celebrating heroism.

A kid who claims to support your world-view but who in fact works to undermine it is no hero.  Ignore personality.  Commit to ideas.


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