Free Markets, Free People

2nd amendment


Is the GOP about to be co-opted by the Democrats … again

It all starts with what could be described as a very simple act – the acceptance of a premise.   As soon as one side accepts the premise of the other side, the other side has won.  It simply becomes a matter of how bad the damage is.

In this case, the premise that seems to have been accepted by the “old ladies” of the GOP leadership is that some sort of federal “gun control” legislation is necessary  because of “mass killings” and our “children”.  From Ammoland:

You might think that with Republicans in control of the US House of Representatives there would be no way ANY gun control legislation could reach the floor.

But sadly we are already beginning to see so-called “conservative champions” folding to pressure from the anti-gun media to sell-out gun owners.

Former Vice Presidential candidate, Congressman Paul Ryan, has stated that he would support legislation that bans private sales at gun shows.

In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, along with the help of Rep. Scott Rigell (VA), Patrick Meehan (PA) and others, have stated openly that they will work together with anti-gun Democrats from Maryland and New York to tighten restrictions on private firearms sales and expand background checks.

Possibly even more upsetting has been Senator Tom Coburn’s willingness to work alongside anti-gunner Chuck Schumer (NY) to propose “bi-partisan” anti-gun legislation in the Senate.

Make no mistake, so-called “expansion” of background checks is little more than a blatant attempt by anti-gunners to register all firearms and gun owners in America.

That is why Representatives Steve Stockman (TX-36) and Paul Broun (GA-10) have drafted a letter to Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership urging them to require the support of the majority of Republican members in the House before bringing any anti-gun bills to the floor.

This so-called “Hastert Rule” would mean that 117 Republicans would have to support a particular bill before it had any chance of getting a floor vote, not just the support of the anti-gun elitist in leadership.

So the premise seems to have been accepted by the GOP leadership if this report is accurate.  And, if it is accurate, then they’re going to try to fashion some sort of gun control legislation to address a problem that the type of gun control legislation they’ll propose won’t effect.  What it will do, however, is create a new law that will put legal gunowners in criminal jeopardy if they desire to sell their firearms and don’t follow the new rules to a ‘t’ (and, my guess is the new rules will likely be mostly unenforceable – they’d only be enforced retroactively if a gun involved in a private sale that wasn’t “background checked” was used in a crime).

The criminals?  Those who are likely to commit mass killings?  Yeah, they’ll comply.

Meanwhile, if you believe that Congress has no right to “infringe” on 2nd Amendment rights, prepare to be sold down the river by the GOP.  They’ve already accepted the need and the premise, it’s now just a matter of figuring out what the “compromise” will be.  What should be clear, however, is that if anti-gun legislation does get passed, it will be your 2nd Amendment rights that will be compromised and the GOP will be complicit.

~McQ


MLK is spinning in his grave

I wonder what Martin Luther King would say on the day  a black president is sworn in for his second term – a day that also celebrates King’s birth. You hope he’d be pleased. But my guess is, since he was more concerned with the content of your character than the color of your skin, that might not be the case.

Why? Because of the ongoing assault on our rights. For instance the gun control distraction that involves an Attorney General who is possibly the greatest hypocrite and biggest criminal in Washington.

What am I talking about?

Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch. The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law.

Judicial Watch had filed, on June 22, 2012, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking all documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious and “specifically [a]ll records subject to the claim of executive privilege invoked by President Barack Obama on or about June 20, 2012.”

The administration has refused to comply with Judicial Watch’s FOIA request, and in mid-September the group filed a lawsuit challenging Holder’s denial. That lawsuit remains ongoing but within the past week President Barack Obama’s administration filed what’s called a “motion to stay” the suit. Such a motion is something that if granted would delay the lawsuit indefinitely.

I don’t care what anyone says what happened with Fast and Furious was criminal. And the ongoing cover-up is also criminal.  The “most transparant administration ever” is, in fact, the most opaque.

As for the hypocrisy, well that’s easy, especially given Fast and Furious.

Attorney General Eric Holder said today that the government will consider “imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals” while talking about gun control to U.S. mayors.

ERIC HOLDER: And to consider a series of new federal laws imposing tough penalties on gun traffickers who help funnel weapons to dangerous criminals.

Who is the biggest “gun trafficker” we know of?

Eric Holder.

~McQ


This is what the 2nd Amendment preserves

So you don’t think people should have guns. You think they’re dangerous. You think they should be banned. Well, here is what they are for. This happened about 10 miles from my home.

A Georgia mother hid her two 9-year-old twins and shot an intruder, Paul Ali Slater, several times during a home invasion on Friday, according to multiple media reports.

The Loganville mother said she didn’t initially answer when someone knocked on her door around 1 p.m. Friday. When the visitor began repeatedly ringing the doorbell, she called her husband at work.

When the suspect went into the closet where the family was hiding ,the woman fired six bullets at the suspect, five of which hit alleged suspect Paul Ali Slater in the face and neck area.

“He opens the closet door and finds himself staring down the barrel of a .38 revolver,” Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman.

She was in obvious fear of her life and her safety and that of her children. She had a means of self-defense. She had an “equalizer”. And, apparently, she used it well, well enough that she was able to escape unharmed with her children to a neighbor’s house.

And remember this was all before police were able to respond. She had called her husband as the home invasion was taking place and he called 911.

Her husband has it right:

The victim’s husband said he’s proud of his wife.

“My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner.”

By the way, she is not a “victim”. However she would have been had she not been armed.

This is the way it is supposed to work.

~McQ


An armed society is the best protection against evil people

What was the time necessary for “first responders” to arrive at the Newtown CT school?  20 minutes?

Unacceptable if, as many want you to believe, you should leave your defense in the hands of others.

Sorry, I simply refuse to be a victim.

What happens when armed people going about their everyday lives are confronted by evil?

Well, things like this:

With one shot, an off-duty sheriff’s deputy took down a gunman who attempted to opened fire at a crowded movie theater lobby during a late night showing of “The Hobbit” in San Antonio, WOAI reports.

Police say a gunman, identified as Jesus Manuel Garcia, chased patrons from the nearby China Garden Restaurant into the lobby of the Santikos Mayan 14 movie theater at around 9 p.m. on Sunday. Garcia, an employee of the restaurant, reportedly walked in the establishment looking for a woman.

Or this:

A gunman retreated from a Casper nail salon last week after realizing one of its customers was packing heat.

Police say about 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, a man walked into Modern Nails at 2645 E. Second St. and asked a female employee if she wanted to buy some diamonds. The man walked toward the front desk area and the woman replied that she had no money to buy diamonds.

A witness said the man then reached into his coat pocket and began to take out a silver-colored pistol.

At that moment, a woman who was getting her nails donereached into her purse and got her own firearm. Police say the man never fully raised the gun and left the building after seeing the customer had her weapon out.

And yes, you might get hurt if you confront someone who is armed.  As a matter of fact, you might get killed.  Kind of goes with the territory.  But what you won’t be is an unarmed victim begging for his life.

I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood to argue about surrendering my right to self-defense by firearm to anyone.  It’s not about “hunting”.  It’s not about “assault rifles”.  It is about an inalienable right to defend myself from predators and, though no one seems to want to mention this any more, my government.  That’s right.  That’s one of the fundamental reasons for the 2nd Amendment.  Like it or not, a group of men we call our Founders knew first hand that sometimes tyrants have to be overthrown and they too felt it was their fundamental right to own the means to both protect themselves and do what might be necessary to win or keep their freedom.

I frankly don’t care one way or the other if you like guns or want guns around you.  You get to live with the consequences of your choice. That’s your right.

I own guns and I’m not giving them up for anyone. That’s my right.  If it takes law enforcement 20 minutes to get to you, that’s on you.   Me?  I’m not waiting.  Yes, they may carry me out in a body bag, but that’s my choice, isn’t it?  I fully and happily accept that risk.  I’d rather go out fighting than wait to be executed.

And, of course, since the left continues to tell us they’re all for choice, this should be a no-brainer, right?

~McQ


Wheels come off the campaign to ban handguns

For years there’s been a concerted effort to get handguns banned in the US (not to mention the best efforts of the DoJ with “Fast and Furious” to aid that effort).  And war of words has been fierce, the propaganda unrelenting and the hope eternal that the effort would succeed.

Well, it looks like the American people have looked at both sides of the argument and decided, at least for now, that those wishing to ban handguns have no case:

A record-low 26% of Americans favor a legal ban on the possession of handguns in the United States other than by police and other authorized people. When Gallup first asked Americans this question in 1959, 60% favored banning handguns. But since 1975, the majority of Americans have opposed such a measure, with opposition around 70% in recent years.

And there’s more:

For the first time, Gallup finds greater opposition to than support for a ban on semiautomatic guns or assault rifles, 53% to 43%. In the initial asking of this question in 1996, the numbers were nearly reversed, with 57% for and 42% against an assault rifle ban. Congress passed such a ban in 1994, but the law expired when Congress did not act to renew it in 2004. Around the time the law expired, Americans were about evenly divided in their views.

Why? Because, I think, concealed carry laws haven’t brought the mayhem that the advocates claimed they would.  In fact, quite the opposite.  And its always nice for the bad guys who may be thinking about taking you on for whatever evil reason to have to guess.  Deterrence is the best form of self-defense.

Secondly, it may sound trite, but people have accepted the cliché “guns don’t kill people, people do” as a truth.  It isn’t the tool that’s the problem, it’s the person using the tool.

Finally, I also believe most Americans have finally realized that self-protection and self-defense are inherent responsibilities they must discharge and can’t outsource to government.  The best tool for that, ye olde equalizer, is a hand gun responsibly used.

And then, of course there’s that pesky Constitutional amendment and all.

My guess is that the dream of gun confiscation is pretty much a dead issue for right now.  Obviously that doesn’t mean it won’t again arise or, like health care, a certain party won’t simply ram something through Congress if they ever get the chance again.  But according to this poll, American’s don’t support it now and most likely wouldn’t support it if that was tried.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


SCOTUS – all Americans have the right to keep and bear arms

In a rather interesting ruling which, unsurprisingly, split along ideological lines, the Supreme Court today made it clear that all Americans enjoy the full right and benefit of self-defense guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.  Mary Katharine Ham notes part of the majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito:

Alito writes in part, “Self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present day, and in Heller, we held that individual self-defense is “the central component” of the Second Amendment right,” while allowing, as in Heller, for sensible gun ownership restrictions.

Alito went on to write:

We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms.

Of course, the crack left by that sentence will be fully exploited by municipalities and states, calling whatever they try to do "sensible gun ownership restrictions". But Alito makes it clear that the Bill of Rights, as incorporated under the Constitution, doesn’t mean that states have the right or authority to radically change the intent of the constitutional guarantees they provide citizens:

"The relationship between the Bill of Rights’ guarantees and the States must be governed by a single, neutral principle. It is far too late to exhume what Justice Brennan, writing for the Court 46 years ago, derided as “the notion that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to the States only a watered-down, subjective version of the individual guarantees of the Bill of Rights.”

Or, screw with this ruling at your own peril.

As mentioned, the court split 5-4.  Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the dissent:

He disagreed with the majority that it is a fundamental right, and said the court was restricting state and local efforts from designing gun control laws that fit their particular circumstances, and turning over all decisions to federal judges.

"Given the empirical and local value-laden nature of the questions that lie at the heart of the issue, why, in a nation whose constitution foresees democratic decision-making, is it so fundamental a matter as to require taking that power from the people?" Breyer wrote. "What is it here that the people did not know? What is it that a judge knows better?"

Well that’s a simple one, Justice Breyer – because rights aren’t something one votes on.  A right is something one either has or doesn’t.  What Breyer is suggesting is it should be up to a majority to “vote” to take away the rights guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution.  In my ideological neck of the woods, that dog won’t hunt.

~McQ


Podcast for 21 Feb 10

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss the economy in the US and Europe, as well as gun rights.  The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2009, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.


Washington State Supreme Court Rules 2nd Amendment Applies To State Via 14th Amendment

One of the running battles concerning the 2nd Amendment is whether or not it is an individual right or a collective right – i.e. one for the state to limit/restrict.  I think a fair reading of the amendment and the history of the era and those who penned the Bill of Rights clearly puts it (as with most of the other amendments dealing with our freedoms) in the “individual rights” category.

The Washington State Supreme Court weighed in on the question and while I recognize the fact that this is only valid in that state, it is a precedent that moves the argument a little further along – and not in a way the collective rights crew is going to like.

It occurred in a ruling about a recent case involving a 17 year old in possession of a hand-gun who was arrested by police for having it.

The trial court found Sieyes guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm under RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii),1 which limits circumstances in which children under age 18 can lawfully possess firearms. We must decide whether the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to the states and, if so, determine whether RCW

“A person, whether an adult or juvenile, is guilty of the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree, if the person does not qualify under subsection (1) of this section for the crime of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree and the person owns, has in his or her possession, or has in his or her control any firearm: . . . [i]f the person is under eighteen years of age, except as provided in RCW 9.41.042.” RCW 9.41.042 enumerates nine exceptions which allow children under age 18 to possess firearms.

What the police contend, of course, is these circumstances didn’t involve one of the 9 exceptions. Washington state had claimed it had the legislative right to restrict who may or may not possess a firearm.

The court disagreed:

41.040(2)(a)(iii) unconstitutionally infringes on the right to bear arms protected by either the United States or Washington Constitutions. We hold the Second Amendment applies to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause; however, Sieyes fails to demonstrate on this record that RCW 9.41.040(2)(a)(iii) infringes on his right to bear arms under either constitution.

The courts justification is quite interesting and I encourage you to read it. Essentially they cite the Heller case and note that the Supreme Court “unquestionably recognized an individual right to bear arms and, in the process, rejected a collective right conditioned militia service.” What the SCOTUS didn’t do is determine whether or not that amendment applies to the states via the 14th Amendment and “incorporation”.

Incorporation is “[t]he process of applying the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states by interpreting the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause as encompassing those provisions.” Black’s Law Dictionary 834 (9th ed. 2009). The Fourteenth Amendment bars “any state [from] depriv[ing] any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. Under the original constitutional architecture the federal Bill of Rights protected only enumerated rights from federal interference.

The 14th Amendment changed that “original constitutional architecture” and establshed that those constitutional rights “incorporated” under the 14th applied to the states as well.

What the Washington State Supreme Court found is that it does as indicated by the highlighted line cited above and in their conclusion:

The Second Amendment right to bear arms applies to the states through the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

An interesting win for those who believe the right to be an individual right. 5 of the 6 justices on the Washington State Supreme Court concurred with the ruling.  The dissenting justice essentially dissented because the court didn’t go far enough in its protection of the right.  I would guess this will eventually wend its way toward SCOTUS which, as this ruling notes, explicitly avoided this question in Heller.

~McQ


The Right’s Emerging Sotomayor Arguments

Some reactions from the right to the Sotomayor SCOTUS nomination:

Roger Pilon, the Cato Institute’s Director of Constitutional Studies:

In nominating Second Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter, President Obama chose the most radical of all the frequently mentioned candidates before him.

Ilya Somin, George Mason University Law School:

I am also not favorably impressed with her notorious statement that “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Not only is it objectionable in and of itself, it also suggests that Sotomayor is a committed believer in the identity politics school of left-wing thought.

Dave Kopel, Research Director at the Independence Institute:

Judge Sotomayor’s record suggests hostility, rather than empathy, for the tens of millions of Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

William Redpath, National Committee Chairman of the Libertarian Party:

By nominating Sonia Sotomayor, Barack Obama has made it clear he prefers an activist for his personal causes over a rational interpreter of law.

So the gathering argument from the right seems to be “activist”, “identity-politics”, hostility to the 2nd amendment and “radical”.

I see nothing (unless there is some hidden problem with taxes or nannys we don’t know about) that is going to keep this nomination from going through given the Democrats numbers in the Senate. But it will be interesting to see how long, how hard and how nastily the Republicans choose to fight this. I’m not sure this is the SCOTUS nominee hill to die on.

~McQ

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