Archive for the 'Second Amendment' Category



Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals Has Gone Full Anti-Gun, Anti-Constitution

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 12 hours ago

The Fourth Circuit made a very good decision in the case of Nathaniel Black.  They didn’t seem to care about that decision and specifically violated their own precedents and showed they couldn’t care less about consistency in the case of U.S. Versus Robinson.  Now they have gone off the deep end.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld Maryland’s ban on semiautomatic guns with certain military-style features that the state passed after the 2012 mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

The 10-to-4 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit vacates an earlier panel decision that cast doubt on the constitutionality of the ban that is similar to laws in seven states, including California, Connecticut and New Jersey.

The ruling from the Richmond-based court goes further than other appellate courts that have reviewed similar laws in stating clearly that “assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment.” The majority opinion, written by Judge Robert B. King, refers to the banned firearms as “weapons of war” that the court says are most useful in the military.

In a strongly worded dissent, Judge William B. Traxler Jr. said his colleagues have “gone to greater lengths than any other court to eviscerate the constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.”

That they have, and they have also added language to both the second amendment and Heller that isn’t there.

“It’s unthinkable that people could say that those weapons of war are protected by the Second Amendment,” Frosh said Tuesday. “Especially when you look at the carnage at Newtown and elsewhere around the country.”

[ … ]

Like Maryland, Connecticut’s ban was expanded after a gunman used a military-style semiautomatic weapon to kill 20 students and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The 81-page opinion issued Tuesday opens with a detailed description of that day, including the number of rounds of ammunition fired, and goes on to describe mass shootings involving similar military-style firearms in a long list of other U.S. cities.

“We have no power to extend Second Amendment protection to the weapons of war that the Heller decision explicitly excluded from such coverage,” King wrote in the 4th Circuit opinion, referring to the Supreme Court case known as District of Columbia v. Heller.

The court also found that Maryland lawmakers were justified in passing the ban in the interest of public safety because magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition “enable shooters to inflict mass casualties while depriving victims and law enforcement officers of opportunities to escape or overwhelm the shooters while they reload their weapons.”

Forget the fact that Charles Whitman used a bolt action long gun (Remington 700), that storied Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock used a Winchester Model 70 .30-06, that Marines initially in Iraq during the push to Baghdad used the same rifle for long distance shooting, and that Marines in Now Zad, Afghanistan, used 12 gauge shotguns for room clearing operations.  Left unsaid is why the laws don’t regulate assault hammers.  This is what happens when idiots try to make legal decisions who have no knowledge of the facts.

It’s also what happens when men and women who have no moral compunction about violating their oath of office get to make judgments that affect the rest of the country.  Recognizing the right of every citizen to have the weapon that best allows him to defend his own family isn’t an expansion of the second amendment.  And Heller said nothing about forbidding semi-automatic firearms from its scope, semi-automatic firearms having been around for more than a century when Heller was decided, in use by both civilians and the military.

This neat, clean bifurcation between civilian and military weapons is non-existent, an imaginary phantom concocted by judges to make themselves feel better for depriving citizens of their rights, pretend sociology wrapped up in legal language.  These are God-given rights, not subject to the whims or vicissitudes of judicial political leanings.

Here is the ruling.  Frosh said “It’s unthinkable that people could say that those weapons of war are protected by the Second Amendment … Especially when you look at the carnage at Newtown and elsewhere around the country.”  Well think it, collectivist hack.  I’m telling you flat out that weapons of war are protected by God, and included within the scope of the second amendment.

Whether citizens of Maryland choose to stay and fight or move to a free state, remember Matt Bracken’s advice.  “If you have eighteen guns and twelve of them are declared illegal, how many do you have?  Eighteen.  Your move.”

Matt Bracken Says …

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 12 hours ago

Via WRSA:

bracken

Could Gorsuch’s Religious Influences Affect His Views On Gun Rights?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

Add to this the Episcopal positions on Obamacare and on wealth redistributing “global warming/climate change/environmental justice.” We’ll not find much in agreement with the reasons conservatives in general and gun owners in particular supported, voted for, and have been consistently defending Donald Trump against all comers.

The position of the Episcopal church on gun rights is something we’ve noted before.  They don’t believe in gun rights.  Combine that with the other positions they take that could affect said rights, and you might have a volatile mixture of beliefs that undermines liberty.

We just don’t know unless Gorsuch is questioned in detail on these issues.  Suffice it to say that I share David’s skepticism of Gorsuch until he’s proven himself with opinions that line up with the text of the constitution.  Not infringing “lightly” on second amendment rights doesn’t even come close.

This Is Why Constitutional Carry Will Fail This Term In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

The Austin Chronicle:

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law two provisions expanding gun rights in Texas. With House Bill 910, Texas joined 14 other states that allow open carry of firearms in public spaces with a valid permit. Senate Bill 11 implemented campus carry. The two laws, widely praised by advocates as extensions of Texans’ liberty, also ushered in a firestorm of opposition in Austin and around the state. Groups like Texas Gun Sense cold-called local businesses to see which ones would allow open carry on their grounds, hoping that economic consequences would affect businesses’ choices – and in many cases it did. Lists, including one compiled in these pages, swelled with names of restaurants and businesses opting out.

Protests against campus carry were particularly robust at UT-Austin, where organizers were dogged in resisting a law that ultimately went into effect Aug. 1, 2016, the 50th anniversary of Charles Whitman’s Tower shooting. On the first day of classes, #CocksNotGlocks protesters set off a fresh round of outrage that reverberated internationally. Gun advocates and Lege regulars scratched their heads at the level of opposition, many of them feeling the two laws functioned as a substitute for constitutional, or permitless, carry, the ultimate goal of many gun rights groups.

Constitutional carry finds itself on the legislative agenda this year. Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, has pledged his support for such a measure via HB 375, which would eliminate the licensing requirement for carrying a handgun, essentially deregulating open carry. Stickland announced his commitment to passing the law at a Jan. 23 press conference hosted by Texans for Accountable Government and Lone Star Gun Rights. “There’s been a lot of education involved,” he said, explaining why he believes the measure faces better odds this session than two years ago, when the pro-gun caucus was more fragmented. “There are a lot of groups that are coming together and saying, ‘You know what? It’s wrong that Texans have to beg for permission for their Second Amendment rights. It’s wrong that we’re forcing people to pay a fee and take a class for their Second Amendment rights.'”

But Stickland may not have as much support as he suggests. Andrea Brauer, execu­tive director of Texas Gun Sense, suggested the conservative representative is very much in the minority on the issue. Rather, she said, the priority among Capitol Republicans remains eliminating the licensing fees for open carry enthusiasts while leaving the class requirement in place, though no lawmaker has filed a bill quite yet. “I’m not hearing people say [permitless carry] is a priority except for Jonathan Stickland,” she continued.

Where are the Texans?  Look folks.  I know it’s a lot of work to stay active in these matters.  But I noticed some gun bills in formation in Arkansas a few days ago, some good some very bad, and I spent the time to get the email addresses of every state senator and a number of pastors of high profile churches in Arkansas to send out blast emails linking articles I intend to write if this begins to go badly for Arkansas.  And I don’t even live in Arkansas.

You guys have got to spend the time to be active or we’ll always be relegated to second or third class, or lower.  Our liberties are at stake.  Fill their ear up with our demands.  They won’t hear it from anyone else, will they?

Freedom Demands Gorsuch Confirmation Be More Than Just A Rubber Stamp

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

David Codrea:

  • What did the Founders mean by “A well regulated militia”?
  • What did the Founder mean by “being necessary to the security of a free State”?
  • What did the Founders mean by “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”?
  • What did the Founders mean by “shall not be infringed”?
  • How can past Supreme Court opinion specifying protected arms as those being “in common use at the time” not apply to the types of firearms needed for militia service?

 

I’ve already made my feelings know about the Gorsuch selection.  He’s got some very good points and he’s certainly not someone HRC would have picked, and thank God for that, but the liberties in the constitution are sacrosanct.  They are inviolable.  They are stipulations in a covenant that shall not be broken.

David recommends tweeting Ted Cruz and recommending these questions for Gorsuch.  I did.  You should find your own way to communicate with your elected representatives, and especially those on the judicial committee.

Gun Rights Are Absolute

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

Concord Monitor:

… an individual’s right to bear arms was not clearly stated in the Constitution. It was the Supreme Court in a 2008 decision that decided that the right goes beyond “a well regulated militia” and that it also belongs to an individual (District of Columbia v. Heller). But the Supreme Court also made it very clear in that same decision that this right was not so “absolute” that the federal, state or local government could not make and enforce restrictions. Those like Baldasaro who say their right cannot be “infringed” need to read the Supreme Court’s decision.

The majority decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote: “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons or the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions or qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms.”

The language is a little awkward for a non-lawyer like myself and Justice Scalia obviously cannot be asked for any clarification, but I believe Scalia is saying that a law to prevent firearms in schools is “constitutionally permitted.” In other words, there is no constitutional guarantee of your right to go into a school with a gun. You definitely could lose this “right” simply by walking into a school, if a restriction on this exists. And I would add, this would also apply to guns at polling places, which would be considered sensitive places in our communities.

One clever commenter cites John Cockrum v. State, but he has the quote slightly wrong and misses a few words, important words.

The right of a citizen to bear arms, in the lawful defence of himself or the state, is absolute.  He does not derive it from the state government, but directly from the sovereign convention of the people that framed the state government.  It is one of the “high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and is “excepted out of the general powers of the government.”  A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the law-making power.

This is strong tea, but not strong enough for my tastes.  First of all, we do not derive our authority to bear arms from the sovereign convention of the people, but rather, from God Himself because man is made in God’s image and it is his duty to protect that image.

Moreover, while this statement does pertain to the state of Texas, it doesn’t go to the federal government because it got the very genesis of our rights and duties wrong.  Regular reader Frank Clarke does better when he turns the conversation to what the constitution does.  Our rights are not based in the constitution, but rather it enumerates them in order to prevent the federal government from trespassing those rights.  It delineates what the federal government cannot do, not what we can do.

Finally, I’m uncomfortable with the notion that the constitution or any judicial action or decision “secures” our rights.  It simply isn’t true.  Our rights are secured in heaven, and on earth two things obtain.  First of all, if the covenant(s) within which we live do not reflect God’s laws, they are an abomination and dishonor God.  They are null and void.  Second, to the extent that they do, when we fail to live within the framework of that covenant, man’s covenant itself broken and therefore null and void.

Our rights are secured by the fact that we are armed.  Only armed men can protect themselves from wicked governments intent on doing harm to those men by making them unable to defend themselves or their loved ones.  That’s why men can never wait on judicial action to arm themselves, and can never disarm.  Disarmament is wicked, whether personally or nationally.

Grassroots Advocates Influencing Pro-Gun Caucus will be Key to Its Effectiveness

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 1 week ago

David Codrea:

True gains will depend on the effectiveness of the caucus. Much of that depends on who its members are, and if gun owners make their continued expectations known. To that end, the following table lists each member along with two important grades they’ve earned: one for gun owner rights as assigned by Gun Owners of America, and the other for their immigration rating by Numbers USA.

David’s done a very good job of outlining their views on two issues that will most affect the work on the second amendment.  Go read his table for the context to the money quote.

Bottom line, it looks like a pretty good team (although team leader Massie could use some work on immigration). The task now is for them to actually do something so they continue earning those high marks. Let’s hope we don’t see preemptive true due-process surrenders on “mental health” and “no fly/no buy.” Let’s hope we see “Enforce existing gun laws” replaced with “Repeal existing gun laws.”

He took the words right out of my mouth.  We need not words, but action.  We’ve already outlined what it will take for starters: (1) national carry, (2) suppressors taken off of the NFA items list, (3) SBRs taken off of the NFA items list.  That’s just for starters.

As for grass roots advocacy, I’ll leave that to you.  While it may not seem like it, blogging like this – finding the interesting issue that doesn’t overlap with what everyone else is talking about, creating good analysis to assist the reader in understanding the context, advocating world view and framework of understanding, pushing the number of visits by pimping your articles to contacts – is all very exhausting and sometimes even embarrassing.  Not all of your contacts want to be bothered by the constant pimping of your content.

There are good men to work with.  I’ve known about Jeff Duncan and Dave Brat for a while now.  They will listen to you.  Get busy.  If you do nothing else, you can send the URL of this article to them and recommend that the read and implement the ideas.

The Right To Bear Arms And The American Philosophy Of Freedom

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Nelson Lund has a very interesting article at Heritage concerning the second amendment.  It’s a very lengthy article, and here is one sample.

With respect to arms, however, there was a special problem. The federal government was given almost plenary authority to create a standing army (consisting of full-time paid troops) and to regulate and commandeer the state-based militias (which comprised most able-bodied men). Anti-Federalists strongly objected to this massive transfer of power from the state governments, which threatened to deprive the people of their principal defense against federal usurpation. Federalists responded that fears of federal oppression were overblown, in part because the American people were already armed and would be almost impossible to subdue through military force.

Implicit in the debate between Federalists and Anti-Federalists were two shared assumptions: All agreed that the proposed Constitution would give the new federal government almost total legal authority over the army and militia, and nobody argued that the federal government should have any authority to disarm the citizenry. Federalists and Anti-Federalists disagreed only about whether the existing armed populace could adequately deter federal oppression.

The Second Amendment conceded nothing to the Anti-Federalist desire to sharply curtail the military power of the federal government, which would have required substantial changes in the original Constitution. Instead, it merely aimed to prevent the new government from disarming American citizens through its power to regulate the militia. Congress might have done so, for example, by ordering that all weapons be stored in federal armories until they were issued for use in performing military or militia duties.

Unlike many people in our time, the Founding generation would not have been puzzled by the text of the Second Amendment. It protects a “right of the people”: i.e., a right of the individuals who are the people. It was not meant to protect a right of state governments to control their militias; that right had already been relinquished to the federal government. A “well regulated Militia” is, among other things, one that is not inappropriately regulated. A federal regulation disarming American citizens would have been considered every bit as inappropriate as one abridging the freedom of speech or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The Second Amendment forbids the inappropriate regulation of weapons, just as the First Amendment forbids inappropriate restrictions on speech and religion.

The only place where I have real disagreement with Lund is his ensconcing the ideological basis for the American war of independence in John Locke.  I’ve made my position clear on that, i.e., it has more basis in the continental Calvinist view of covenant than it does John Locke.  This is especially true of the constitution, and more true of the constitution than it is of the Declaration of Independence.

I’ve also discussed some of these things in Christians, The Second Amendment And The Duty Of Self Defense, where I rehearsed the historical and cultural context of firearms in colonial America at the time of the war of independence.

That having been said, I commend this paper to you.  Lund has done some meaningful research that will be helpful in how you think about these issues.

Deconstructing The Anti-Gun Second Amendment “Musket Myth”

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 1 week ago

NRA Blog:

  • Circa 1650 – The Kalthoff Repeating Flintlock: As Mike Blessing explains, the Kalthoff Repeating Flintlock came into production in the 1650s, seeing combat in the Siege of Copenhagen in 1659 and later during the Scanian War of 1675 to 1679 — 132 and 116 years, respectively, before the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. While manufacturing and repair costs kept the Kalthoff out of mass production, it represents the reality that “high capacity” firearms are not a contemporary concept, as some models of the Kalthoff boasted magazines of up to 30 rounds – the same number of rounds in a true standard-capacity AR-15 magazine of today.
  • Circa 1750 – The Cookson Volitional Repeating Flintlock: A lever-action breech-loading repeater, is one of many similar designs to make an appearance on the world stage beginning in the 17th century. The revolutionary mechanism at the heart of the Cookson repeater dates from 1680 and was originally known in Europe as the Lorenzoni System, named for Italian gunsmith Michele Lorenzoni of Florence. Long arms utilizing this system were produced in other European nations and in the United States until about 1849. The Cookson rifle dates from 1750 and features a two-chamber horizontally mounted rotating drum. After firing the rifle, the cycling process could be repeated until the two magazines, with their seven-shot capacities, were empty. Although other breech loading rifles were introduced in later years, the Cookson-type long arms were unique in their ability to fire multiple shots without reloading.
  • 1777 – The Belton Repeating Flintlock: Philadelphian Joseph Belton’s repeating flintlock design reportedly boasted a 16-to-20 shot capacity, using the superposed load mechanism. Sources indicate there was correspondence between the inventor and the Continental Congress in 1777, as the he had reportedly been commissioned by the Congress to build 100 of his repeaters for the U.S. military, with the order being dismissed solely for cost purposes. This discussion presents strong evidence that the founding fathers were perfectly able to conceive of “high capacity” repeating firearms.
  • 1782-1804 – The Nock Volley Gun: The close quarters of Naval warfare demanded a powerful, yet compact firearm that could provide abundant firepower. The Nock Volley gun fired seven shots all at once from seven clustered bores. This powerful rifle was issued nine years before the dawn on the Second Amendment.

They left out the wonderful Girandoni air rifle.

This is a wonderful and interesting rundown of the semi-automatic firearms available prior to and immediately after the war of independence.  Go read the NRA Blog article for more detail, as well as the context.  But I’ve explained the second amendment properly interpreted before (at least in my own view).

The second amendment discusses the right to bear arms and be free of federal interference in the context of the states’ desire to keep that interference from happening.  That is the historical milieu in which it was written.  The founders only needed one excuse to prevent federal government interference with the states on firearms, and they chose the most likely and obvious choice, i.e., the militia.  The second amendment is not a treatise on the foundation of liberty.

It’s an illogical jump to cast that as the only reason for the right to own and bear arms.  If you had discussed regulation on the right to own and use a tool of their trade to protect their families, hunt, and ameliorate tyranny with a colonial man, he would have buried you under the remotest prison.  God gave us our rights based on man being created in His image and the expected duty to work and subdue the earth to His glory.  The militia was a convenient excuse for a certain clause in one part of the constitution.  Limiting our rights to our understanding of that clause is a mistake.

And there’s more.

We don’t “hide behind” the second amendment.  It doesn’t grant us the right to own weapons.  God does that Himself.  The constitution is a covenant between men for how they will live together.  Like all covenants, there are promises and curses.

Look folks, if our wise founders had wanted the citizenry armed with inferior weapons to the king, they would never have said the things they did, fomented a revolution, or hid behind trees and killed, only to melt into the woods and mountains to kill another day, fighting a war of insurgency like none which had gone before it.

The founders ensured a covenant that codified man’s rights to firearms for the purpose not only self defense (which is assumed but left unaddressed by the second amendment), but for the second amendment remedy against tyranny.  There is no other sensible way to see it.

An Advanced, Progressive, Socialist Nation

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

From Matt Bracken.

Advanced_Progressive_Socialist_Nation


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