Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Guns And State Preemption And Nullification

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 6 days ago

Guns.com:

With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) turned a controversial bill into law that will allow third parties to sue municipalities over local gun codes stronger than the state’s.

The measure, added as an amendment to a metal theft bill, had passed the state legislature earlier this month by wide margins. It allows groups such as the National Rifle Association to stand in for local citizens in challenging gun city and county control ordinances stronger than the state’s own laws in court.

With Corbett’s signature, the new law will take effect in 60 days, potentially dozens of strict city and county firearms laws under the gaze of gun rights groups such as the NRA, who called the bill Tuesday, “the strongest firearms preemption statute in the country.”

Now for federal threats:

Members of Congress who want to infringe on your right to keep and bear arms will never give up. Fortunately, through our states we can effectively render any new federal gun laws powerless by using a legal doctrine upheld repeatedly by the Supreme Court.

This is done by depriving the feds of any enforcement assistance by local law enforcement agencies in their state, a doctrine known as “anti-commandeering.”

Essentially, it provides that state legislation can prohibit state law enforcement from aiding the federal agencies attempting to enforce federal gun laws.

In other words, the federal government cannot require a state to carry out federal acts. The federal government can pass a law and try to enforce it, but the state isn’t required to help them.

Is this legal?

It is according to the US Supreme Court. For 150 years it has repeatedly affirmed the constitutionality of anti-commandeering laws.

Relevant court cases include:

* 1842 Prigg v. Pennslvania: The court held that states weren’t required to enforce federal slave rendition laws.

* 1992 New York v. US: The court held that Congress couldn’t require states to enact specified waste disposal regulations.

* 1997 Printz v. US: The court held that “the federal government may not compel the states to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.”

* 2012 Independent Business v. Sebelius: The Court held that the federal government can not compel states to expand Medicaid by threatening to withhold funding for Medicaid programs already in place.

What do you notice to be common between these articles concerning advocacy for state’s rights?  Answer: turning to the courts for moral and legal justification.

The new law in Pennsylvania would be impressive if only it had prepared the infrastructure to send state law enforcement after local authorities if they didn’t observe our rights.  Nullification of local regulations combined with spending some quality time in the hoosegow for the local politicians would send a strong signal to those who would ignore the law.  Frankly, I cannot imagine a weaker state government than one which passes a law only to have cities and townships ignore it, and then have to turn to the courts to tell the local authorities to obey the state laws.  It’s embarrassing and scandalous.

And turning to the federal courts to tell ourselves that it’s okay to ignore the federal authorities when their edicts violate the covenant upon which they are supposed to labor and lead is equally embarrassing.  More than simply not aiding federal authorities in their totalitarian measures, state law enforcement ought to be sent to arrest said federal authorities, throw them in the state penitentiary, and throw away the key.

Death By A Thousand Cuts: The Incremental Approach To Gun Control In France

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 4 weeks ago

The Bang Switch has a must read on gun control in France, lengthy, but well worth reading.  Some of it is highly detailed in the legalities of firearms ownership in France.  There are many salient points for gun control in America, but this quote encapsulates the spirit of the article.

YOU, my friendly fellow Americans, you have the second Amendment and this is pure gold. The founding fathers were pretty clear and pretty clever about that. I know I’m preaching in the choir for most gun owners but I’d love any Americans to understand where the US could end up if you’re not fighting for your rights. People need to wake up and start to defend their rights. As soon a government has some registration, they can add more and more guns in the “ban list”, or the “NFA list”, they can add more caliber, more area, more restrictions (for “safety” they will say). And step by step, guns will only be usable for sport and hunting… and people won’t have the right to defend themselves, protect their family.

Politics will tell you: “If someone break into your home, call for the police” … Oh wait? Here again, it really sound familiar to what we can hear *right now* from the gun control advocates in the US, just as the same we heard few decades ago in France! And from everything we can observe from France, all gun laws were always adding restrictions for a slow confiscation. And it has not real effects.

Why? Simply because criminals don’t obey any laws and the evolution of the homicide per firearms in France has a similar trend than in the US. And just like the US, there’s more and more guns and more gun owners in France, with an almost constant 10 percent increase each year.

Sure, the numbers of homicides per firearms per capita are lower in France than the US. But it’s not because of the new gun laws, that was already the case before 2013, and before 1995, and before 1939… Just like the UK numbers were pretty much the same before the gun laws than now… But in the other hand, it didn’t stop the violent crimes either which is in constant climb.

Most of the shooting that happened this year in France did happen in Marseilles, by criminals using non-registered full auto AK to kill a criminal from another gang because of the drug cartel and drug trafficking in Marseilles. And for that matter, none of the gun laws (current or past) have changed anything and increase the safety. It’s actually getting even worst because of the numerous violent mafias that come from the ex-soviet countries. And guess what, they don’t have any registration of their guns.

So, once again, we can say anything from numbers; But history speaks by itself. Gun laws don’t increase safety, don’t reduce violent crime, don’t reduce homicide per firearms, etc… Gun control is about controlling people. And registration lead with any doubt to confiscation, regardless if it’s done overnight or slowly over several decades like in France.

This French writer is telling you what the American left is saying concerning their ultimate aim.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

This lefty writer at Daily Kos couches a total gun ban in terms of safety, but even if he believes in this state sponsored utopia, most on the left know that it’s a lie.  In the end it’s all about control over people.

This is why universal background checks and a national gun registry gain no traction in the gun community.  We don’t believe the lie of public safety, and we know your ultimate aim.  We will never relent.  We will never register our guns.  We will never turn in our guns.  We will never be put on a list.  We will fight a gun registry with all of our might.

As the philosophers would say, these truths hold “positive epistemic status.”

It’s Hard To Articulate A Strong Biblical Case For A Heavily Armed Society

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

So says Professor David Gushee of Mercer University.  He says, “That’s not Biblical reasoning; that’s cultural reasoning.”

To which I responded this way directly to Professor Gushee.

Would you care to respond this my article on this subject (it’s one of many)?  Stay orthodox, please.  No deconstruction or other oddball views.

I haven’t heard back from the professor.  I don’t expect to.

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis: Gun Confiscations Will Cause Civil War

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

DelmarvaNow:

Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis’ views about how to enforce the stringent gun laws Maryland passed last year have gone viral.

In a video and print interview with a student journalist, published to YouTube on Aug. 21, Lewis says he’s no fan of government intervention in limiting the constitutionally-protected right to possess firearms.

“As long as I’m the sheriff in this county,” he says in the video, “I will not allow the federal government to come in here and strip my citizens of their right to bear arms. I can tell you this, if they attempt to do that, it would be an all-out civil war, no question about it.”

In another video on YouTube, from Delaware television station WRDE, Lewis offered a clearer critique of Maryland’s latest gun control law, the Firearms Safety Act of 2013, which was passed in the wake of the December 2012 massacre of elementary school students in Newtown, Conn.

“Who am I to tell them what they should or should not protect their families with?” Lewis asked on WRDE. “Who am I to tell them they shouldn’t have a magazine with 30 rounds behind the door when some thug is trying to break into their home? … If you start coming into people’s homes to disarm them solely because you believe they don’t have a Second Amendment right to bear arms, you better stand by. It will be, without a doubt, a civil war.”

The number of Sheriff’s deputies any county has cannot possibly wage civil war on anybody else.  As for everyone else (i.e., gun owners), that’s a different story.  And yes, gun confiscations will cause civil war.

I think the Sheriff gets it.  All county Sheriffs are advised to take a lesson from Sheriff Lewis.  It may save you and your deputies from heartache in the future.

 ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ.

JPFO Acquisition By SAF

BY Herschel Smith
3 months ago

David Codrea:

I’m not going to sit here and try to patch up differences people have with Gottlieb. I’ve had them myself in the past, and I’ll be surprised if I don’t have them again. I have good friends who can’t stand him, and think I’m being duped by not joining them in that assessment, and for giving him credit when I think it’s due him.

Here’s the thing: I’ve talked to the guy many times, face-to-face, on the phone, and via email conversations, and it’s easy for those who have not to draw a portrait based on the impressions of others who may not have.

I had a good relationship with Aaron Zelman, too. Guess what: I didn’t agree with him on everything, either.

And I’m not going to condemn Claire Wolfe for taking an action I know to be principle-based and required no small amount of courage, even if I’m not embracing her conclusions. She would not take a paycheck for her final article. That tells you something.

I don’t presume to be smart enough or influential enough to play peacemaker in this. What I’m interested in doing is helping, and seeing that positive efforts toward liberty are promoted and supported. So all I can do is that which I’ve said from the start, from before the JPFO news became public knowledge: I will continue my efforts for the organization until such time as someone tells me they don’t want me to, or until I come to see that my faith has been misplaced.

If I feel further association is untenable due to changes in organizational principles, interference, censorship, control issues, you name it, I’ll bail too.

Please go read David’s entire assessment.  He ends with this: “And yeah, I get that all I may have done here is get supporters of both sides mad at me.”

It’s a hazard of the job.  I’m convinced that half of my readers (or more) stay pissed off at me most of the time.  I’ve got readers who regularly read my prose for the purpose of increasing their hatred of me.  David has run with the big dogs for a while now.  I’m doubt that he will be persuaded by reaction from the readers.

Here is my take – for whatever it’s worth.  I’ve gotten extremely mad at the NRA for endorsing Harry Reid before (or did they simply say nice things about him?).  It makes no difference to me.  Yet I’m still a member – begrudgingly.

One has to consider the limits of his patronage of a given organization very carefully.  Alan Gottlieb has a fundamental problem of perspective, and a fundamental divide with me given his (past) support of universal background checks.  Alan forgets why the progressives want it.

The only way we can truly be safe and prevent further gun violence is to ban civilian ownership of all guns. That means everything. No pistols, no revolvers, no semiautomatic or automatic rifles. No bolt action. No breaking actions or falling blocks. Nothing. This is the only thing that we can possibly do to keep our children safe from both mass murder and common street violence.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t. The political will is there, but the institutions are not. Honestly, this is a good thing. If we passed a law tomorrow banning all firearms, we would have massive noncompliance. What we need to do is establish the regulatory and informational institutions first. This is how we do it.  The very first thing we need is national registry. We need to know where the guns are, and who has them.

And yet Alan was prepared to give on this non-negotiable point.  That tells me everything I need to know about Alan.

But I don’t have relationships with corporations or organizations.  If I did, I would have already divorced the NRA.  I have relationships with people, and two people I consider friends write for JPFO: David Codrea and Kurt Hofmann.

As long as David and Kurt are writing for them, I’ll continue to link there.  I know in my heart of hearts that both would rather starve than sell out gun owners, even though I know no such thing about Alan Gottlieb.  When the time comes that I see articles at JPFO advocating universal background checks, regulation of semi-automatic firearms, magazine capacity limits and the like, I’ll separate myself from them and link no more.

Like David, I believe that He and Kurt have a right to eat too.  I’ll help as much as I can, even thought it may not be much.  In the mean time, I feel no compunction whatsoever to support organizations or corporations with my money.  If you think differently, don’t waste your time trying to convince me that you’re right.

Listen, I’m doing as much as I can do sending the NRA my small amout just to see the progressives have a nervous breakdown thinking that the evil gun group is telling its members what to do and what to think.  That’s about as far as I can bring myself to go.  Any other help will be to an individual, not a corporation.

So there you have it.  On the one hand, I won’t send the JPFO my money.  On the other hand, I won’t seek a separation either.  I’ll take a wait and see attitude, expecting David and Kurt to lead the way telling us what they’re experiencing at that organization so that I can make a more educated assessment.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

Mike Vanderboegh: Police shoot and kill an Ohio dad, 22, holding a BB gun in Walmart.  I say prosecute them for murder.  If I did that I would be in the state penitentiary.  They should be too.  One long term solution is to legalize open carry everywhere, at all times.

Matt Bracken has an outstanding piece up at WRSA on The Islamic Jihad Conquest Formula.  Matt hits the nail on the head.

David Codrea:

“A citizen will lose his appeal if the Attorney General can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, not that the individual poses a risk, or that the person is a terrorist, or even that the person is under investigation; rather, the Attorney General must only demonstrate that the person has been placed on a terror watch list,” Titus continued.

“Once that has been proven, a process which affords the citizen no due process, no right to appeal, nor guarantees any reasonable notice or information to the actual fact that the citizen is on a terror watch list, the appeal is over and the citizen loses his Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms,” Titus elaborated. “The individual will not have a chance to introduce evidence of mistaken identity, abuse of Executive discretion or mount any other meaningful defense.”

Oh my.  This seems like more inside-the-beltway rulemaking gone awry.  Perhaps they put this in the federal register, perhaps not.  Perhaps they kept it out with approval of the rubber-stamp FISA courts.  Either way, you can bet that this is more infringement.

And speaking of David, he says he doesn’t like to go around link-whoring his articles.  He isn’t posting to Facebook anymore, but that’s fine with me because I make WoG a stop several times a day to see what David is saying.  David is a nice guy so he doesn’t like to link-whore.  I’m not, and I don’t mind it at all.  Traffic means that even if it is a poor article, my Google page rank increases, sending more traffic and increasing my voice of advocacy.  I do this for advocacy, not for ego (or at least, so I say).  I don’t really care what you think about me, but I want you to listen to my views because I want to change your mind.  But for David, he deserves to make a living at this, and I ask that you stop by every day to see what you can do to send him traffic.

Kurt Hofmann:

Frum notes that about 42 percent of police deaths this year were by gunfire. Whether that statistic is intended to justify the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown, or the outrageously heavy-handed efforts to quell the unrest (a task now being handed off by the heavily militarized police to the actual military, as the National Guard is brought in), we can only guess.

Frum also asks if anyone thinks that “things [would] be better in Ferguson if the demonstrators were armed.” Well, some of the brutalized demonstrators might.

Perhaps the most chilling of this series of tweets was his observation about the supposed law enforcement need for heavy body armor:

Fewer guns in hands of the policed ==> less need for body armor on those who do the policing …

Oh good grief.  We just can’t get away from Frum can we?  Visit Kurt’s piece to see his full analysis.  As for my comments, I think that David Frum is an idiot.  And I think he’s chicken little.  And I think he should feel bad about himself.

Even the NYT is asking Who Will Stand Up For Christians?  Well, not the Christian church.  As I have pointed out, they don’t give a damn.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

“Suppose, for example, that a new, unregulated and highly lethal weapon were developed before a statute was enacted,” the Center speculated, arguing “the weapon would not be protected because it would not be in common use.”

In other words, every new development in personal weapons technology will, by default, be denied to We the People by the very body charged with facilitating a citizen militia and expressly forbidden from infringing with the right of the people to keep and bear arms. That the authorities have it in common use won’t matter. So much for Founding intent. So much for freedom.

So no new weapons developments are included under the rubric of the second amendment?  Do these judges give their decisions even the slightest review for logic, constitutionality and feasibility (new weapons developments are often vetted and proven in the civilian market, or in other words, where the money is, before it ever gets to the standing army (which the constitution said nothing about).

Kurt Hofmann:

Surprisingly, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) counts itself among those who believe the brutal suppression of Ferguson is grossly excessive, according to their press release:

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) is closely watching the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and we are deeply disturbed by what we see unfolding there. Our hearts go out to the family of Michael Brown, Jr. as they deal with an unimaginable loss.

What makes this surprising is that CSGV has long defended virtually unlimited power of government, to the point of denying the legitimacy of armed resistance against a government rounding up citizens for the concentration camps.

Don’t bother them with issues of logic.  To them, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, whereas for most normal people, it’s the way life must be lived.

Mike Vanderboegh:

A leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis predicts increased “anti-government violence over the next year.” The document says the inspiration for violence is Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville standoff with the Bureau of Land Management from earlier in the year.

I would have rather thought that the standoff at Bundy’s ranch was a symptom rather than the inspiration or catalyst?  I guess it goes to show how detached the elites are.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

Can you imagine how Rolling Stone would howl if someone from the “right” were to call for “Second Amendment remedies” against, say SEIU, or the Southern Poverty Law Center or Everytown? Or Organizing for Action? How does Yawn feel about his guy singling out “the corporatized wing of the Democratic Party” — the folks like Wenner, who put Obama, Pelosi and the entire leadership in office — for the same treatment?

They would howl and wouldn’t think a thing about the hobgoblins of inconsistency.  After all, progressives only think something is terrorism when they disagree with it.

In a 2013 e-mail, physics professor Bob Lange wrote that the Benghazi attacks were “not terrorism.” He explained, “It is not terrorism to kill representatives of a government that you are opposed to.” Bringing the conversation back to Israel, he noted, “If an Israeli soldier protecting a settlement is killed by Palestinian militants, it is not terrorism.”

Kurt Hofmann:

If, after all, government officials do not fear the wrath of an armed citizenry, the deterrent effect provided by the Constitutional guarantee of the people’s ability to deny a “government monopoly on force” has failed. If the government insists on ignoring both the Constitutionally imposed limits on its power, and disregarding armed citizens’ ability to enforce those limits, the only option remaining is for we the people to actively refresh the tree of liberty.

Sounds exactly right to me, and I agree with every bit of the sentiment expressed by Larry Pratt, including the unction (and good judgment) with which he communicated it.

Holding Human Rights Hostage To Favorable Statistical Outcomes

BY Herschel Smith
7 months, 3 weeks ago

I previously argued against John Lott’s procedure (especially when it is employed as an exclusive-use procedure) to demonstrate that gun ownership and crime are inversely proportional.  Go back and read this article again if you need.

Kurt Hofmann sent me this wonderful note in response to the article.  I have always claimed that my readers are better writers and I am (and especially so with Kurt), and so it behooves me to paste in his entire letter without further commentary from me.

I definitely agree with you on the danger of holding fundamental human rights hostage to any kind of requirement for a favorable statistical outcome.
Have you ever read Jeff Snyder’s A Nation of Cowards?  He talked a lot about that very point.  Here’s one passage:
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that keeping and bearing arms suitable for self-defense is a bona fide individual right. If so, the fact that 100,000 people a year murder others with firearms, while one man alone uses a firearm to save a life, provides no basis for curbing the individual liberty to own and bear arms. Each individual must, because of his inherent, autonomous ethical freedom, be respected as an end in himself; no prior restraint may be imposed upon his right to own and bear firearms.
 
Actually we can go further. Under an individual right view, the fact that 100,000 people a year murder innocents with firearms, and no one uses a firearm to protect himself or others provides no basis for a prior restraint. Individuals must still be possessed of a right to own firearms because their ethical freedom contains the potentiality of using firearms for good. That is, people can use this tool for good, if they turn to it with a good will. 
 This one is good, too, operating on the hypothetical assumption that “gun control” saves more lives than would be saved by unrestricted self-defense:

Second, the individual’s private good is not merely subordinate to realization of the aggregate greatest good, but is freely sacrificed to securing that greatest good. The obverse of the fact that more lives are saved by gun prohibition is that some, having been deprived of an effective tool of self-defense, will of necessity lose their lives, so that others, admittedly more numerous, will live.

In short, some are sacrificed so that others, comprising a greater number, may live.

Utilitarianism sanctions human sacrifice, both great and small, as long as it is for “the greatest good of the greatest number.” Utilitarianism justifies using some people as cannon fodder merely as a means to the fulfillment of others’ ends– so long as those who are to be sacrificed are not too numerous.

Take care,

Kurt

NRA Board Member Tom King Laments Rhetoric At Pro-Gun Rallies

BY Herschel Smith
8 months ago

NY Daily News:

In my “Albany Insider” column today, I wrote how Tom King, the head of the state Rifle & Pistol Association, was critical of the increasingly angry and inflammatory rhetoric at pro-gun rallies. King said he fears that the ugliness that has popped up at the rallies is actually hurting the pro-gun cause. He also said it’s time to stop the rallies, arguing that they won’t result in a repeal of the SAFE Act. He wants to instead focus on trying to get the law struck down in the court …

I won’t post his silly letter, but I thought it would be appropriate to highlight this paragraph.

Fellow gun owners I submit this to you for your consideration. We will never convert the 22% rabid anti-gunners, we don’t have to convert the 32% avid pro gunners but we must convert a sizable portion of the 46% of those somewhere in between if we want to retain our 2nd Amendment Rights long term. These are the soccer moms, the guys who say I’ve never shot a gun but would like to try it and the people worried about their safety. How do we do that? Not by standing on stage screaming obscenities at Cuomo and certainly at large rallies where people stand on stage, pound their chest and tell the attendees to prepare for war. That frightens the very people we want to attract to our side, the people who will insure (sic) 2nd Amendment Rights for our grandchildren.

As a sidebar comment, the people he wants to attract will not insure (sic) 2nd amendment rights for our grandchildren.  But second, this letter is as  emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the NRA as I’ve ever seen.  It’s the perfect example of how not to think about our rights.

The strategy he advocates is why we’re where we are, among other reasons like loss of our national moral conscience.  He wants first to turn to the black robes, and failing that (as it certainly will fail and has already failed), he wants to turn to popular opinion.

Like so many other NRA board members, he wants to be oh-so-respectable and loved by the people.  Don’t appear extreme and scary, says he.  Never mind the warnings that should be issued to the collectivists should they continue with their pursuit of confiscation and onerous laws and harassment.  Never mind that they could be declaring war as an unintended consequence of their lust for power.  Don’t be scary to the people we want to persuade.

I rarely cite polls or popular opinion because while they may matter to the exigencies of my life, they don’t matter to my rights.  I have weapons because God gives me the right to own weapons, not the second amendment.  The opinions of the people are as subject to the vicissitudes of ideology as the times in which they live, and the mind of man cannot be entrusted with the rights of mankind.  If Mr. King is placing his trust in the people, he is building his house on sand.

My rights are what they are by divine pronouncement.  It is righteous to own guns because it reflects the character of the Almighty.  Without this I’m no different than the statist thugs and collectivists who want to disarm me, except we happen to be on different sides of an issue.  It means everything … everything … to be right and righteous.

Until the NRA board of directors is as convinced of the foundations of their rights as I am, they will be a weak and neutered organization, fit for nothing much except a good magazine once a month.

UPDATE. David Codrea links some history on this.  Jacob is a real piece of work.  Come on into my house, Jacob, and let’s throw down.  I’ll call you out for being the sorry, pathetic, collectivist piss ant you are.  Or did I already just do that?


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