Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Constitution

Another Victory in the War to Restore Gun Rights

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Tuesday, May 26, 2015: 

Seal of the District of Columbia.

In his decision to issue a temporary injunction against the District of Columbia and its police chief, Cathy Lanier, U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Scullin is closing the circle on the last resistors in the long war against guns. It should now be called “the war to restore the Second Amendment.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller v. the District of Columbia in 2008 that “the Second Amendment guarantees an individual’s right to possess a firearm … for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home,” the ruling council in DC thought they’d found a way to restrict gun ownership: ban all guns everywhere in the District except inside the home.

That’s when the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) sued the District in Palmer v. District of Columbia over that ban. The District did everything in its power to put off the day of judgment with appeals, motions to dismiss, clarifications, and other legal maneuvers. After five years of stalling, delaying, and dithering, however, U.S. District Court Judge Scullin ruled last July

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D.C. Loses Again in Second Amendment Case

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 25, 2015:

English: Glock 23 pistol

Glock Model 23

 

U.S. District Court Judge Frederick Scullin issued a preliminary injunction May 18 against the District of Columbia and its Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier from enforcing a law that all but prohibits D.C. citizens from acquiring a concealed carry permit.

He was blunt in issuing the injunction, declaring that the district had deliberately and intentionally made the application process so onerous and difficult as to prevent ordinary citizens from exercising the rights the Second Amendment guarantees to keep and bear arms:

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Texas Senate Passes Anti-sharia Law Bill

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 26, 2015:

English: (Islam_Is_The_Solution.jpg) arabic lo...

Translation: Islam is the Solution!

 

On Thursday night, May 21, the Texas state senate passed a bill that would prevent any international law from being used in Texas civil courts in deciding disputes. Radio station WOAI characterized the bill as an “anti-sharia” bill, but state Senator Donna Campbell said that her bill doesn’t mention sharia law at all, just that it guarantees that no law from “foreign courts” would be used to override American law in settling civil matters.

When pressed for clarification about just which such laws she was concerned about, and could she provide an example, she whiffed: “No foreign law [specifically].… This just provides a context for judicial discretion … that we don’t trump Texas law, American law, with a foreign law regarding family law.”

Whether Campbell knew it or not, her bill, if signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, would make Texas the next

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Passage of the Freedom Act Assures Continuation of the Surveillance State

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 15, 2015: 

Passage of The Freedom Act in the House on Wednesday, May 13, 338-88, was for show only. The bill with real teeth that would have done something substantial about rolling back the surveillance state is collecting dust in Speaker John Boehner’s inbox.

Freedom Act 2.0 is even weaker than the one the House passed last year, which the Senate essentially ignored until it was too close to the midterms for it to vote on. It does not, as sponsor Rep. James Sensenbrenner hoped it would, end the surveillance state, nor even slow it down. It merely shifts the collection center from Utah to the phone companies. Under the bill,

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“He Who Lives in a Glass House, Shouldn’t”

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 13, 2015:

English: U.S. Congressman

George Nethercutt

 

According to his own Wikipedia page, George Nethercutt touts himself as a “conservative.” After all, in the 1994 Republican landslide that gave the Republican Party control of the House for the first time in 40 years, Nethercutt replaced Speaker of the House Tom Foley. It was close: just 4,000 votes out of more than 215,000 cast. But that was enough.

In truth that meant that Nethercutt won by 2,000 votes, as that was the number of votes to be changed to allow Foley to keep his seat. Nethercutt’s promise that he would leave after three terms likely made the difference. After all, Foley had been representing Washington for 30 years as a hard left liberal Democrat, and voters had finally had a bellyful of him.

Unfortunately Nethercutt was in Washington, DC, long enough to drink the Kool-Aid of excessive hubris and self-importance, and when it came time for him to honor his promise,

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

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Defense Department, Bloomberg Expand War on Guns

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015: 

In a lawsuit filed on May 6, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) complained that the Department of Defense violated the First Amendment in demanding that CAD (computer-aided design) files containing instructions to 3-D printers to print lower receivers of firearms be pre-approved. SAF is seeking a court declaration “that Defendants’ prepublication approval requirements for privately generated unclassified information, on its face … violates the First … Second … [and] Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution.” The Second Amendment Foundation is bringing the lawsuit because Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed (DD),

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National Reciprocity law: the Wrong way to do the Right Thing

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 18, 2015: 

P-64 (pistol)

Member of the House of Representatives Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) has let his enthusiasm run away from his good sense. For the third time in a row he has offered a bill giving power to the federal government to force the states into granting nation-wide “reciprocity,” so that anyone with a concealed carry permit, or a resident of a “permitless” state, can carry anywhere he wants in the country without repercussions. An identical bill was presented in the Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Stutzman explained why:

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Pressure Building to Pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Law

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, May 18, 2015:

Official portrait of Congressman (R-IN).

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

 

In February when Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) reintroduced his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an identical one in the Senate. Stutzman touted his bill:

Americans enjoy a natural right to self-defense preserved by the Second Amendment. This federally guaranteed liberty should not be forfeited when state lines are crossed.

Unfortunately, this fundamental right has been under attack from the anti-gun lobby on both the federal and state levels. This bill preserves the right to keep and bear arms for law-abiding citizens while respecting the roles and responsibilities of state legislatures.

Promoters such as the pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America (GOA) are urging their members to press for passage:

If you have a concealed carry permit — or if you come from a freedom-loving “constitutional carry” state that doesn’t require one! — you should be able to carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights [just] because of where you are.

They go further to remind their members of what happened two years ago when Shaneen Allen, a Pennsylvania resident traveling by car in New Jersey, was stopped for a minor traffic violation. Thinking that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was valid in New Jersey, she

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Freedom Act Passes House, 338-88; Senate Likely to Ignore it

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, May 14, 2015: 

On Wednesday the House overwhelmingly approved the USA Freedom Act, 338-88, putting pressure on the Senate to approve it before the offensive Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act — the one that the government says allows unlimited surveillance of Americans’ communications metadata — expires on June 1.

The government’s interpretation of that law was ruled illegal by a federal court a few days earlier, putting more pressure on senators who support the surveillance state.

The current House bill is substantially weaker than one with a similar overall purpose that the House passed in the last Congress, which never made it out of the Senate before the November midterm elections. The new bill doesn’t end snooping. It merely

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Int’l Tests Show U.S. Students Poor in Math, Civics, Literacy

The recent flurry of test results on how American students are faring in school has resulted in much commentary decrying their dismal performance compared to their international peers.

The PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) study recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics compared the performance of 15-year-old students among 65 countries, including all 34 member countries of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and confirmed what was already widely known: U.S. students are nowhere near the top in math, science, or literacy. Twenty-nine educational systems turn out better students than does the United States in mathematics, while students in 22 systems were more capable in science than were U.S. students. In reading literacy 19 educational systems turned out more skilled students than the U.S. public school system.

Eighth-graders participating in the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test given under the auspices of the Department of Education showed no significant improvement over their dismal performance recorded four years ago. Just 18 percent of them scored at or above the Proficient level in U.S. history, while 27 percent scored Proficient in geography, and 23 percent reached or exceeded that level in civics.

The latest from Pew Research — “What the Public Knows” — showed that

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Genie Out of the Bottle: Nullification Efforts are Gaining Momentum

This article first was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 11, 2015: 

Cover of "Nullification: How to Resist Fe...

Once perceived to be invincible, government bureaucrats issuing decrees and mandates from on high are being exposed for what really are: Wizards of Oz. It was Tom Woods’ book, Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century that let the genie out of the bottle.

All Woods did was explain how the founders intended for the states to be the last line of defense against federal overreach. It put in place the Bill of Rights which contains the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Thomas Jefferson expressed the matter slightly differently:

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Rutherford Institute’s Remarkable Record

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 6, 2015:

The record of the Rutherford Institute reflects the record, activities, and accomplishments of its founder, John W. Whitehead. Whitehead founded a pro-bono law firm in 1982, and has compiled a record of accomplishments in the freedom fight that is breathtaking in its scope.

The latest is a tiff between the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a small church that dared to post some pro-life posters on its fence. A disgruntled and offended resident complained, and the city sent a letter to the church threatening fines and jail terms to its officials if the posters weren’t removed.

Enter Whitehead:

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Virginia: First Amendment Victory for Church as Officials Back Off

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, May 5, 2015:

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution

 

The congregation of Harrisonburg, Virginia’s Valley Church of Christ decided to promote its pro-life views by hanging two posters on its fence on the corner of Virginia Avenue and Acorn Drive. One poster showed a fetus cradled in a pair of hands with this quote from Mother Teresa: “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

The second one pictured a face of a baby and this quote from Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

It didn’t take long before someone took umbrage at the message, and complained to the city.

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Montana Is Second State to Slow Police Militarization

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 27, 2015:

Last Thursday Montana Governor Steve Bullock signed into law the strongest prohibition yet by any state against accepting “free” used military equipment from the federal government. A month ago New Jersey Chris Christie signed into law prohibiting such “free” used war materiel without express approval from the local governments involved. Montana’s new law outright prohibits any department in the state from receiving drones that are armored or weaponized (or both), military aircraft, grenades or grenade launchers, silencers and “militarized armored vehicles.”

In New Jersey the bill passed both houses unanimously; in Montana the House voted 79-20 in favor while the Senate voted 46-1 in favor. Under the new law police departments remain free to purchase such materiel, but

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Another Anti-Gun Politician Feels the Heat, Sees the Light

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 27, 2015:

Representative Everett Dirksen of Illinois

Former Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois

 

Former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen (1951-1969) was such a studied and careful elocutionist that he was called “The Wizard of Ooze.” Known for such aphorisms as “A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talk about real money” and “I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times,” his most famous one was this:

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Another Second Amendment Victory, This Time in Tennessee

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 27, 2015: 

When Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was mayor of Knoxville in 2009, he supported gun restrictions in city parks, but since then he has had a change of heart. On Friday he signed into law a bill that invalidated an older law prohibiting gun owners with permits from carrying concealed in parks across the state. 

Haslam is a living, breathing example of former Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen’s famous dictum:

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Supreme Court: Police Cannot Prolong a Traffic Stop

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, April 22, 2015:

A little after midnight on March 27, 2012, Dennys Rodriguez was driving his Mercury Mountaineer on Nebraska’s State Highway 275 when he swerved onto the shoulder to avoid hitting a pothole. He was on the shoulder for perhaps one or two seconds before returning to the roadway, but that was enough to catch the attention of Nebraska police officer Morgan Struble.

He pulled Rodriguez over and conducted the usual and customary check of his driver’s license, insurance, and registration. After it was all checked out, Officer Struble wrote Rodriguez a warning based on a Nebraska law prohibiting driving on the shoulder of a state highway.

Struble then stepped out of bounds,

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Texas Governor to Sign Open Carry Bill Shortly

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, April 20, 2015: 

English: Seal of Texas House of Representatives

With passage of a bill allowing open carry by the Texas House of Representatives on Friday, 96-35, Texas will shortly join the lengthening list of states allowing its citizens to do so, while reducing to just five those states that don’t.

Governor Greg Abbott said he would sign any bill “that expands Second Amendment rights.”

Representative Larry Phillips declared, “It’s time to go ahead and take this next step. It’s time to join the ranks of states like Massachusetts … and allow our citizens to [enjoy] this right.”

An amendment to that bill allowing “campus carry” almost made it, but

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ATF Reports Sea-Change in Attitude Towards guns

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, April 10, 2015:

No wonder ATF head Todd Jones bailed. With the monumental failure of his “framework” proposal to ban the popular “green tip” ammo in the US, he saw little reason to stick around. Surely he must have known that his agency would have to report, reluctantly at the very least, the firearms manufacturers’ data that came out earlier this week: those gun makers produced 10 million guns in 2013 (the latest year for which the ATF has reliable data), twice the number they produced just three years earlier!

What the ATF is facing is a “sea-change” in Americans’ attitude towards guns, defined by Collins as “a seemingly magical change as brought about by the action of the sea.”

There’s nothing magical about it. The shift was perceptible back in 2004 when

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.