Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Targeting Gun Owners Is Unconstitutional

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

CATO:

California law generally bans the possession of a gun within a school zone. For many years, however, both retired peace officers and those with a license to carry concealed weapons were exempted from this ban. Then in 2015, a bill was proposed that would have eliminated both of these exceptions. But after extensive lobbying by interest groups aligned with federal workers and police officers, the bill was amended to remove only the exception for concealed-carry licensees.

Dr. Ulises Garcia is one such license holder, who obtained his license after receiving threats against himself from a former patient. After the change in the law, Garcia can no longer carry his weapon for protection when attending school events with his family. Garcia and a group of other plaintiffs have sued, arguing that the differing treatment afforded to retired peace officers and concealed-carry license holders violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of the equal protection of the laws. The federal district court rejected their claims, and they have now appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Cato has filed an amicus brief supporting Garcia and urging that the district court be reversed.

The guffaws normally get roared when one has the temerity to suggest that LEOs and gun owners get treated the same way.  I recall a discussion I had with retired California LEOs over reddit/r/guns where they couldn’t believe I didn’t support the idea of changes to laws to allow former or retired California LEOs to purchase their weapons – including AR-15s – for personal use once they no longer work for law enforcement.

Not only that, I don’t even support the notion of LEOs having those weapons at all even in the line of duty unless civilians can also have them.  What’s good for one is good for the other.  Wearing a blue costume and wearing a badge doesn’t bestow rights not already recognized in the constitution.

As for the fact that LEOs has sworn an oath, so have I.  I swore an oath to protect, defend and provide for my family when I said “I do.”

South Carolina House Passes Constitutional Carry Bill

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

The State:

Impassioned pleas by legislators from both sides of the aisle failed to stop a majority of House members Wednesday from advancing a bill that allows for the carrying of firearms without a permit.

On a 64-46 vote, the S.C. House of Representatives passed the bill, which had been clouded in controversy over how it progressed through committee and allegations that Republicans stymied debate. It’ll head for the Senate after a perfunctory vote on Thursday.

“The legislative history of this bill is an embarrassment,” said Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, who repeatedly attempted to thwart a vote on the bill after Republicans invoked a procedural move that limited debate.

The bill calls for what proponents refer to as “constitutional carry,” or allowing those who can legally buy a firearm to carry a concealed weapon without having to obtain a permit.

It also allows for open carry, which grants weapons holders the ability to carry their firearms on their person for everyone to see. The law still would bar carrying a firearm while committing a crime.

Smith was not alone in trying to delay a vote. Several Republicans joined in, because they were against how the bill was advanced or didn’t like parts of the proposed law.

Rep. Gary Clary, R-Pickens, said he was against the bill because during his time as a judge and as a legislator, he has advocated for allowing all sides to have their say. Invoking a procedural vote to limit debate prevented that. He also said he just thinks “it’s a bad bill.”

[ … ]

Like Clary, Rep. Bill Crosby, R-Charleston, called the proposal a “bad bill.” He was against the portion that allows for open carry.

While dangling his concealed-weapons permit from his wallet, Crosby stressed he is “for guns” and the Second Amendment. He said he just didn’t think this change is needed.

“This bill doesn’t help the Second Amendment,” Crosby said. “All it does is it makes these good ol’ boys who like to have guns strapped to their hips not conceal them.”

Crosby said he is thankful for the Senate, which will probably kill the bill by having it languish in committee. Previous permit-less carry bills have suffered that fate in past years.

First of all, invoking a procedural stipulation that limits debate is a tried and true, well recognized procedure allowed by parliamentary rules.  Anyone who has worked under “Robert’s Rules of Order” knows that, and those complaining about closing debate also know that.  They’re making up their objection to closing debate.  It’s just a red herring.  Debate has to be closed at some point, and they just did it sooner rather than later.  It’s entirely possible under parliamentary procedure to have absolutely no debate at all.  The vote is what matters.

As for Crosby’s complaint that “All it does is it makes these good ol’ boys who like to have guns strapped to their hips not conceal them,” we may reply that all the current law does is make those boys have to conceal the guns they have on their hips for no good reason at all except that you want them to.  You like to conceal, others may not.  And your way doesn’t do anything at all for the second amendment.  Your way forces a rule on people who neither want it nor need it.  Our way undoes an unnecessary rule.  You’re the bad guy here, not us.  See how that works, Crosby?

If this does indeed die in the Senate like so many times in the past, then we’ll know who to go after for the next primary and election cycle.  You guys aren’t going to get away with the things you once did.  We’re watching very closely.  Ask former state senator Larry Martin if you don’t believe me.  Go ahead.  Ignore gun owners one more time.  Let’s make sure your name is written down in the memory of patriots everywhere across South Carolina.  We don’t forget.

As for the “journalist” who wrote all of this, Cynthia Roldán, take note that the only ones around her who can make “impassioned pleas” are those who oppose constitutional carry.  It’s as if there is weeping in the halls of power in Columbia over the awful things taking place, not just among Democrats, mind you, but from “both sides of the isle,” with the emotionless gun advocates impervious to the weeping.  And she managed to locate those Republicans who voted against this bill and turn it into quite a dramatic presentation, yes?

Actually, she did us a service.  Otherwise, how would you have know what a putz Crosby was?

Cognitive Microwave Radar Gun Detection System

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Oh swell.

“[T]he system uses ‘Cognitive Microwave Radar’ to detect any unwanted items, and ‘related hardware can be installed in hallways and doorways to covertly identify weapons and to alert security of an active threat entering the premises,’” the report elaborates. “If this test proves to be successful in their eyes, it could open the flood gates for companies looking to use this technology in their own locations.”

And not just companies. If it actually works, this could be installed in public places to flag down any and everyone carrying a gun. And that should raise all kinds of civil liberties concerns …

The answer to this problem for the Casinos is that I don’t believe in gambling so I don’t go to Casinos or other such places.  Nor do I like being around huge crowds anywhere.

But that doesn’t address the issue of public places where I might have to be, nor the possibility that the *.gov might want to use this when it’s none of their business who has a gun and who doesn’t.

Of course, this just dovetails nicely with the lust for knowing everything and everybody in a police state, yes?

“Disgraceful” Gun Bill Endangers Veterans

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

So says an Army “vet.”  Her name is Lindsey Donovan.

I am a proud veteran of the Army. The seven Army Values are a part of my moral DNA. Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage are at the heart of who I am today.

These values serve as the backbone to every servicemember who has served or is still serving in our armed forces, and they deserve better than what our federal lawmakers have given them. Instead of protecting our most vulnerable veterans — men and women with severe mental illness — the House recently passed a bill that made it easier for them to get guns.

Our veteran population is facing a devastating suicide crisis. Every day, 20 veterans take their lives — not surprisingly, two-thirds of them use a gun. And the veteran suicide rate is more than 20% higher than for civilian Americans. Yet in the midst of this crisis, our elected officials voted to remove from the background check system nearly 170,000 records of veterans with severe mental illnesses. These veterans will now be able to purchase and possess firearms, even if they have been determined to be incapable of managing their own affairs.

[ … ]

Though I am a proud veteran, I am also the proud wife of a U.S. soldier. My husband has completed three combat tours in Iraq and a fourth in Afghanistan. Anyone who has been a witness to what multiple wars and deployments can do to soldiers and their families knows that war is hell. We send them over to do a mission and welcome them back expecting them to go on as usual. But it never works that way. Transitioning back to “normal” is sometimes too much to endure and for some, in the blink of an eye, it can seem like the only way out is through the barrel of a gun.

My own experience is what fuels me to speak out and urge our lawmakers to take a stand against this very dangerous bill. Shortly after my husband’s last deployment, a soldier who served in his unit died by suicide with a gun. It happened a few days after we saw that soldier. The shock I felt was indescribable. And the pain and sorrow I felt for those left behind, I hope to never feel again. To this day I still think about that individual. I don’t so much concentrate on the why, but the how. It was the gun, a deadly means to a tragic end.

The Army was literally able to change her DNA according to her.  Sorry, but show me your combat action ribbon sweetie and then I may listen.  You set this up as if you have been personally affected, and then we learn that your husband is alive and well, apparently the only one who has the combat experience (or so we may assume).

But then we learn about the real reason you’re writing this piece of claptrap.

As a gun owner, a veteran and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, I know this is not a Second Amendment issue. This is an issue about common sense. This is an issue about moral courage and fortitude to stand up and fight to keep our most vulnerable veterans safe from gun violence. The House bill on veterans is the second attempt to roll back gun laws in Congress. Just last month, President Trump signed a law reversing a requirement that the Social Security Administration submit records of mentally impaired recipients to the gun background-check system.

Oh goodie.  Another organized mom demanding something.  Everytown.  Just great.  She’s a collectivist and that’s the origin of her commentary, not what she did or didn’t do in the Army.  She naturally assumes that prohibiting a veteran from truthfully completing a form 4473 means they don’t have access to guns if that’s what they want.  Or maybe she knows better and is lying.

Either way, she avoids the real help we can give to veterans, which is ensuring that the Veteran’s administration is funded and that we meet our contractual obligations to them for their medical care.  Because that costs money and effort, and commitment.  No, the easier thing for her is to prohibit gun ownership among men who want someone else to fill our their tax forms for them.

She’s disgusting.  Have nothing to do with such people.  And another note to veterans.  Say nothing to anyone, or you just might find yourself on some kind of list because of people like this.  See what you did there, Lindsey?  You inserted yourself in between a man and his medical care, just like all of the other collectivists.

Are you proud?

Internal Sheriff’s Association EMail Shows That Money Drives Pistol Permit Law

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

AL.com:

The battle over SB24 just keeps getting stranger. The legislation introduced by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) removes the requirement for Alabamians to obtain a license before carrying a concealed pistol. The Alabama Sheriffs Association doesn’t want to change a thing.

Plenty of Alabama’s legislators agree that law-abiding Alabamians shouldn’t be forced to secure a license and pay a fee to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Twelve states already allow individuals to carry concealed firearms without a permit, and a few of them might surprise you. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine all have less restrictive concealed carry laws than Alabama.

SB24 pits the NRA, which supports the measure, against the Alabama Sheriff’s Association opposing it. Testimony before the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee led to a heated exchange between Alabama Sheriffs Association Executive Director Bobby Timmons and Jim Porter, former National President of the NRA.

A number of sheriffs have argued that the current law improves safety for law enforcement–a consideration that many legislators and Alabamians take seriously. Streamlining and reducing or eliminating the permit fees across the state makes sense as a potential compromise.

A recent internal email suggests that the Sheriffs Association isn’t necessarily negotiating in good faith. An email from Timmons called on sheriffs to contact their legislators “if you value your permit fund.” He specifically warned against a compromise that would clearly benefit Alabama’s gun owners. “The National Rifle Association WILL return next time the Legislature meets to bring back Jabo [Waggoner’s] ‘any county bill’ and will push for uniform — one cost — statewide permit fee…if any fee at all!”

If the Sheriffs Association’s opposition was primarily an officer safety issue, the big “push” email didn’t make it a direct focal point at all.

The email strongly suggests that money is the primary driver for the sheriff’s objection to SB24. Counties must adequately fund law enforcement, but pistol permits shouldn’t be the mechanism.

I told you so.  I denied that any of this has anything to do with “officer safety,” and said this.

It’s the revenue.  Don’t worry about slimming down and perhaps NOT buying those brand new Dodge Chargers and fancy comms gear.  Or perhaps laying off those unnecessary workers.  No, the pistol permit fee is a good way to raise money.

Other CLEOs have said the same thing as I’ve noted.

But opponents said it would have serious financial consequences for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, which administers firearms licenses issued under the Oklahoma Self Defense Act.

A fiscal analysis performed for the House indicates the measure would reduce OSBI’s revenue by at least $6 million and would lead to the loss of jobs and reduced operating expenses at the agency.

The reduction in revenue would be because firearms owners would no longer seek concealed carry licenses – which cost $100 for initial 5-year license and $200 for 10 years – if they could carry a gun openly without a license. There are now more than 238,300 Oklahomans with active licenses to carry handguns, according to state figures.

[ … ]

Perhaps it would be a good thing if the tax monies people allocated to your office were tied to the degree to which they see your services as good and needful, delivered in the right way.

Then Sheriff Blake Dorning, who must have been reading something, somewhere about this being all about the revenue, lied and said this.

“We hear it’s just a money thing,” Dorning said Wednesday.

“No, it’s not. It’s a life and death safety issue for our men and women because the equipment we’re able to provide them with drastically makes them more efficient and more able to address the situations that they come into every day.”

Dorning and other top department officials held a press conference Wednesday to follow up on the open letter the sheriff posted online over the weekend.

[ … ]

Jernigan said pistol permit fees are not an infringement on the Second Amendment, which provides for the right to bear arms. Jernigan it’s no different than paying a fee for a drivers license, marriage license, hunting license or car registration.

To which I responded this.

Thanks for self-identifying as a liar.  Driving a car is not mentioned in the constitution.  And if you really feel that the community wants the things you say you think you need, then why not make that case straight to the community and let them decide whether they want to fund them or not?

Oh, it’s because you have people who want to defend their lives over a barrel.  This is a forced tax of a targeted set of people for exercising what God and the founders consider an inalienable right.  You know it’s true.

In telling me it’s not all about the money, and then spending so much effort try to tell us what you need the money for, you’ve told us it’s all about the money.  So we’re back where we started, and you have no case.

And they still have no case.  They are saying one thing in public and entirely another thing to each other in private, and the proof is in the email.  I think that meets the definition of liar.

The Role Of Guns In Home Defense

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Bristol Herald Courier:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed legislation that would allow people protected under a court order to carry a hidden handgun without getting a permit.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, said Friday that the bill “perpetuates the dangerous fiction” that domestic violence victims would be safer if they were armed. Democrats have generally opposed the bill, saying it would encourage victims of abuse to introduce guns into already dangerous situations.

Because the controllers would rather innocent people be harmed or killed than allow means of self defense.  But here McAuliffe has said something important.  It’s fashionable right now for the gun controllers to parrot this notion that it’s a fiction, a myth, just outright falsehood, that guns actually help in self defense.

They will cite some questionable statistics taken from the inner cities of, say, Chicago, Atlanta or St. Louis, where blacks are killing blacks, to try to convince you or others that you shouldn’t have a gun.  But you’re not in inner city Chicago or Atlanta, and you are an otherwise peaceable man or woman.  So there argument doesn’t apply to you.

Speaking of which, there is this report from Tennessee.

A homeowner was transported to NorthCrest Medical Center Saturday morning with minor injuries after defending his residence from the armed suspects who invaded it.

According to Springfield Police, around 2 a.m., three men armed with guns entered a residence on the 800 block of Kings Drive and demanded money. Once inside, one of the homeowners fired one round at the suspects from a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, according to police. The suspects returned fire as they fled the residence and fired a shot back at the homeowner, striking him in the hand.

The suspects are described as three black men between 18 and 20 years of age wearing bandannas.

There are many reports just like this every day.  And Terry McAuliffe and his ilk are all liars in the superlative degree.

Rick McCann Of Nevada Police Union Is An Oath-Breaker

BY Herschel Smith
2 months ago

David Codrea:

“As the leader of the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers – the largest statewide affiliation of law enforcement associations in Nevada, representing more than 1,500 law enforcement professionals – I am calling on Attorney General Laxalt to do his job,” NAPSO executive director Rick McCann tells Reno Gazette-Journal readers.  “As the state’s top cop, he can and should work with both Nevada’s Department of Public Safety and federal officials at the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) to find a path forward, ensuring that law enforcement in our state are protected when they risk their lives to protect ours.”

He’s referring to the Michael Bloomberg-led Question One “background check” initiative that passed in Nevada in November …

Recommending new laws or fabricating imaginary ones has nothing whatsoever to do with an AG’s job.  He just made that up.

Here’s something else he just made up: Our job is basically to protect officers around the state.”  Who told him that is his job?  Where did he get this information?  What does protecting police officers have to do with being a police officer?  What does protecting police officers have to do with the oath he took upon his swearing into office?

I think you know the answers.

Ramesh Ponnuru On Gun Rights Questions For Gorsuch

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

Ramesh might have thought he was doing someone a favor in posing this list, a list he apparently thinks is easy.

Here is his setup.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sent out a press release today with four proposed questions for Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing. The questions don’t seem to me to be either illuminating or challenging. Here they are, stripped of prefatory language:

1.) Do you agree that the 2nd Amendment right is not unlimited or absolute, that it does not trump other constitutional rights, and that it is subject to reasonable limitations for public safety?

2.) Do you believe current federal law requiring Brady background checks for gun sales from licensed dealers, and prohibiting certain people from completing gun purchases, is constitutional?

3.) Do you believe that the 2nd Amendment protects gun owners and/or gun industry participants with immunities or protections from liability for negligence?

4.) Do you believe states have the ability to develop gun laws to keep their citizens safe?

He pans the list as not being very good or smart on the part of the Brady bunch, because he has easy answers, and Gorsuch should listen to them, or something.

1) Yes, I agree. 2) It would be improper to commit to rule in particular ways on issues that may come before the Court. 3) Statutory protections already in law are certainly constitutional, and will likely make the question of whether the Constitution itself confers any protections from liability moot. 4) Yes, within constitutional limits.

Well, these answers would be a massive problem for Gorsuch in terms of the opinions of gun owners, most of us anyway, and would be just fine with the Brady bunch except for the third one, and the fact that Ponnuru thinks these answers are easy or obvious just shows the gaping divide between Northeastern progressives (and beltway dwellers) and the rest of red state America.

So here are my answers: (1) No, (2) No, (3) Yes, unless it pertains to gun owners negligently shooting others, not including stand your ground laws (here the Brady campaign is disingenuous because they intend to include the right to hold gun manufacturers liable for damages caused by their products when it’s the users who should be responsible, and they’ve rolled in “gun owners” into immunities and protections, a stipulation that can never obtain any more than immunity in death by negligent use of a car can obtain – this sleight of hand should have been pointed out by Ramesh), and (4) No.

The Second Amendment As An Individual Right

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

William Layer:

To anyone who can diagram a sentence the Second Amendment is crystal-clear, not a Delphic pronouncement. The Founding Fathers, well versed in Latin grammar, knew exactly what they meant when they passed the Second Amendment. The meaning is in the main clause — “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” — a complete sentence. “A well-regulated militia” is, in Latin, an ablative absolute, it introduces the main idea. Would Second Amendment opponents be happier if it read, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”? The idea remains the same, but given the progressivist idea of a “living Constitution,” they would nullify the Second Amendment by asserting knowledge of the Bill of Rights superior to that of its author, James Madison.

Historian Leonard Levy’s “Origins of the Bill of Rights” reaffirmed an individual right. Wrote Levy: “The right to bear arms is an individual right. … if all it meant was the right to … serve in the military … [it] would never have reached constitutional status in the Bill of Rights. The very language of the amendment is evidence that the right is a personal one, for it is not subordinated to the militia clause.” The state constitutions of the revolution and early national period also acknowledged an individual right.

The Founders’ classical education made them realistically fearful of government power. They knew well what had befallen the Roman Republic and that tyrannies were only possible when the people lacked the means to resist. The chaos and oppression of the English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution’s short-circuiting of the Stuart’s divine right ambitions were fixed in their minds as was the English Bill of Rights (1689) which, although limited to Protestants, secured an Englishman’s right to arms. However, the roots go even further back, to the “Trained Bandes,” locals called up to defend the realm as Elizabeth I did when the Armada threatened England. Englishmen provided their own accouterments according to their station. Likewise, the chronic war with France in which for over a century frontier settlements were attacked, settlers massacred or carried off into Indian slavery meant colonists had to protect themselves.

New England towns either supplied weapons or, as had Plymouth in 1632, ordered freemen to arm themselves for defense against ever-present Indian dangers. When Queen Anne’s War (War of the Spanish Succession) broke out in 1702, New England militias were called to support the British assault on French Canada. Militiamen brought their own weapons; those who did not own a musket were issued one that they could keep when mustered out. The battles of Lexington and Concord at the start of the American Revolution could not have taken place without an armed citizenry. Who, then, was the militia? To George Mason, it consisted of “the whole people.” Under the Militia Act of 1792, every man between 18 and 54 “who when “so enrolled and notified … shall within six months thereafter, provide himself … with a musket, bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box with 24 bullets, and a knapsack.”

The left’s assertion that America’s creators couldn’t foresee a firearm beyond a flintlock is the logical fallacy of presentism — we know better today. Were the Dark Ages better than the Pax Romana because 900 A.D. came later than 300 A.D? Contrary to modernist fallacies, innovation, not stasis, was the characteristic of 18th century society. They might not have foreseen the M-16 but they knew the devastation of the massed firepower of .69 caliber Brown Bess and that weapons evolved. The matchlock was superseded by the wheelock, the wheelock by the flintlock, as the rifle was to supersede the musket. In 1770, British Army Major Patrick Ferguson had invented a breechloading flintlock rifle and effectively deployed his riflemen at Saratoga in 1777 (Ferguson’s rifle could have revolutionized warfare). By 1819, 19 years after the Constitution’s ratification, the U.S. Army adopted the Hall breechloader.

What of the Second Amendment, then? It is most certainly individual, but more importantly, it does not grant a right; it affirms an existing one as surely as natural law recognizes every man’s right to self-defense.

Mr. Layer makes a very good case, one we’ve all read before, but he emphasizes an important point.  If the statement was meant to be taken as the right to serve in the military, it makes no sense for it ever to have risen to the level of the Bill of Rights to begin with.

And readers will know without being told that I generally don’t like stopping at “natural law,” a tip of the hat to enlightenment thinking.  Carl Becker destroyed the enlightenment mind in The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers.  This is a “must read” for all men who would be educated.

Let’s go ahead and drive this back to its real point of origin.  God grants men the right to self defense, as well as the right to enter into covenant with a government, that covenant having blessings as well as curses.  Self defense properly interpreted means not only personal defense from evildoers who would cause him or his family harm, but self defense from a tyrannical government.

Ted Cruz On The Fourth Circuit Anti-Gun Ruling

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Ted Cruz:

“The Fourth Circuit used to be the most conservative court in the country,” Cruz said. “The Fourth Circuit now, they’ve invented this new test for the Second Amendment.”

The test, Cruz explained, says “the Second Amendment doesn’t protect a weapon if it would be useful in a military context.” The senator noted the absurdity of such a test, given the amendment reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (Emphasis added.)

“This test isn’t just sort of questionable, it isn’t just a little bit out there. It is nuts!” Cruz exclaimed. “The Second Amendment was designed explicitly to protect weapons that would be useful in a military conflict.”

He added, “If we were living back in 1789, your musket would be really useful in a military conflict!”

“You want to know the first gun control law in America?” Cruz asked the audience. “The first Congress passed a law mandating that all able-bodied men must own a musket.”

“That’s an individual mandate we could live with,” Mark Levin quipped.


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