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

Tag Archives: Constitutional

High-school Students Told They Could No Longer Pray During School Free Time

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, November 14, 2014:

In his sophomore year at Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, young Christian believer Chase Windebank decided to put his free time — formerly called “home room” but now called “seminar” time — to better use than many of his classmates. “Seminar” is an open time available to students on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to do what they wish: play video games, hang out with their friends, consult with their teachers, and so forth. He gathered a few of his Christian friends and, with the permission of the choir teacher, used his empty room to pray, read the Bible, sing, and talk about the world about them from a biblical perspective.

Soon upwards of 90 students were attending these informal meetings without one single word of protest from other students or the administration.

On September 29 that all changed. 

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Food Police Targeting Sugar Just in Time for Halloween

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, October 31, 2014:

Joe Helm’s exposé on the food police’s next target — candy — enraged Fred Smith, a self-admitted sugarholic who saw immediately what the food police are after: control. Helms, for his article in the October 24 Washington Post, tracked down the chief of the food police, Margo Wootan (pictured above), director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), who told him:

Governments are deciding that it really doesn’t make sense for them to have obesity campaigns, which are often high-profile and a big priority, and then you walk into the health department or any public building and they have these vending machines that are chock-full of candy and soda and chips.

Being fully persuaded that government has the right, and the power, to do something about this awful contradiction — people ignoring government’s plea to do the right thing and stay away from fatty foods — Wootan believes government should use force to get its way, rather than persuasion: 

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Flawed Logic in Court Ruling that Colorado’s Gun Laws are Constitutional

This article was first published by the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 30, 2014:

Cover of "The Second Amendment"

With her ruling that Colorado’s new gun laws are constitutional, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Kreiger didn’t let logic interfere with her thought process. She ruled that it was OK for the Colorado legislature to restrict magazine capacities to 15 rounds because the impact on precious rights was so small. In addition, she ruled that background checks on all private sales was constitutional because other states had passed similar laws and other courts had ruled them constitutional.

The Colorado Shooting Sports Federation, one of the several plaintiffs in the case which included many of Colorado’s county sheriffs who joined as individuals, smelled a rat without locating where it was in her 50-page ruling issued last week:

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EPA to Snuff out Wood and Pellet Stoves

It took more than six weeks before the new EPA rules on wood and pellet stoves percolated into the media, which then generated pushback ranging from anger to outrage. The new rules impose a maximum of fine airborne particulate emissions from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air down to 12. As Larry Bell, writing at Forbes, put it:

To put this amount in context … secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed-car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

That will virtually end the burning of wood for heat or cooking in the United States, according to Reg Kelly, the owner and operator of Earth Outdoor Furnaces in Mountain Grove, Missouri:

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NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly on Inside Track to replace DHS Napolitano

Within hours of Janet Napolitano’s announcement of her resignation as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security names of people to replace her surfaced, but none with the credentials of NYPD Commission Raymond Kelly. Or the political connections. Said Senator Charles Schumer:

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Are these scandals enough to force Obama out of office?

This article was first published at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on May 17th, 2013:

 

Is the confluence of the “conservative charity targeting” scandal, the spying on the press corps, and Benghazi sufficient to bring down the president? Since this week marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Watergate hearings that eventually forced President Nixon to resign, it’s appropriate to review the evidence and consider the possibility that President Obama may join Nixon as only the second president in history to resign from office.

The IRS targeting scandal is likely the most dangerous, probably because

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Brownback pushes back!

Yesterday I opined that I could hardly wait to see what would happen following Eric Holder’s letter to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback over the new Kansas law nullifying federal attempts at gun control in Kansas.

I didn’t have to wait long! Here is Brownback’s response:

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State Nullification: The Moment of Truth

Professor Tom Woods wrote Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century back in June 2010 which got a lot of attention – a lot of it favorable, some not so – because it spelled out the constitutional protections against an overreaching federal government.

Some folks in Kansas decided to got for it and passed a law which contained this language:

It is unlawful for any official, agent or employee of the government of the United States, or employee of a corporation providing services to the government of the United States, to

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Maine Senator is not “one of us.”

Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, thinks that Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins is “one of us.” He takes particular umbrage at an ad from a pro-gun group (the National Association for Gun Rights) that attacked Collins for

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Leave it to a politician (or a lawyer) to spoil a good thing

Last week I waxed eloquent and enthusiastic about a bill headed to Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s desk that I called the “strongest pro-gun bill” in the country. And for a brief period it was. It said that any gun in the state of Kansas was off-limits to federal intrusion, referring to protections granted not only under the Second, Ninth and Tenth Amendments, but also to Section 4 of the Kansas constitution as well. It prohibited state employees from assisting the feds from enforcing unconstitutional laws and further considered any violations of the bill as felonies. It was really something to rejoice about. I wrote:

It not only covers individual citizens in the state but also protects manufacturers of firearms or firearms parts or suppliers to those manufacturers. In other words, if it has anything to do with firearms in the state of Kansas, the federal government cannot do anything that the state considers to be unconstitutional.

I even quoted one of the bill’s supporters who exclaimed as the Kansas legislature passed the bill: “Passage of SB 102 means that the Second Amendment and the Tenth Amendment are alive and well in Kansas!”

But the change of just two words in the bill weakened it considerably, and has caused me to withdraw my rejoicing over it. Those two words, inserted at the last minute by person or persons unknown but who knew exactly what he was doing, eliminated any gun not manufactured commercially or privately inside the state that had never left the state from the protection of the bill. Any other gun is not covered. That no doubt excludes most of the firearms owned in Kansas.

So at the request of my editor who brought this ingenuous bit of political watering-down to my attention I have asked him to make this correction to the end of that article:

Correction: Never underestimate the ability of a politician or a conference committee to make hash of a great bill. In the final bill which reached the governor’s desk, a slight change in language in the bill weakened it considerably. That change limited the protection under the bill only to those guns that were manufactured commercially or privately in the state of Kansas, thus neatly excluding all others from the bill’s protection. The author regrets not only the error but the change in the language of the bill which weakens it substantially. Our enthusiasm for the bill has also been greatly reduced.

 

 

CCRKBA and IFOA fall off the wagon, support background check bill

I generally hold Alan Gottlieb in high regard. He runs both the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). The latter was founded 40 years ago and has more than 600,000 members. I contribute to both. But I didn’t get Saturday’s email:

“If you read the Manchin-Toomey substitute amendment, you can see all the advances for our cause that it contains,” Gottlieb wrote. He then listed the gun rights advantages in the bill: “interstate sales of handguns, veteran gun rights restoration, travel with firearms protection, civil and criminal immunity lawsuit protection, and most important of all, the guarantee that people, including federal officers, will go to federal prison for up to 15 years if they attempt to use any gun sales records to set up a gun registry.”

The Washington Post filled in some of the blanks:

While leading gun-control advocates — including President Obama and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) — back the bipartisan proposal, the announcement of support Sunday from the Citizens Committee reveals that substantial parts of the bill are viewed as “wins” for the gun lobby, including provisions that would prohibit a government registry of gun ownership and make it easier to transport and market weapons across state lines.

Another gun rights group, the Independent Firearm Owners Association (IFOA), also is going along with the compromise. Headed up by Richard Feldman, a former successful regional director for the NRA, endorsed the measure as well. Feldman blew the whistle on the NRA in his book, Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist, but thinks there’s enough in the compromise for his much smaller group to support.

According to WaPo, even with the new language and new promises and guarantees and such, the bill has little chance of passing the Senate because too many Senators are fearful of losing their seats in 2014:

Some have already rejected its argument.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who voted to proceed with debate, labeled the Manchin-Toomey agreement “unworkable and unfair to gun owners” in a message sent to constituents late last week. Because the plan would require gun purchasers to pay for a background check, “visitors to . . . gun shows across America will face a new tax of $30 to $50, and sometimes more, as they exercise their constitutional right to buy a gun,” Coburn said, adding that gun owners “will ignore and reject these changes.”

Other Republican senators who voted for debating the gun bill but plan to vote no on the amendment are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), John Hoeven (N.D.) and Johnny Isakson (Ga.), their spokesmen said Sunday.

Among Democratic senators, moderates Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Pryor (Ark.), who face difficult reelection fights in 2014, voted against proceeding with debate and are expected to oppose the overall gun bill. Max Baucus (Mont.), Kay Hagan (N.C.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), who are also facing difficult reelection prospects, voted for debate but have signaled they may vote against the Manchin-Toomey deal.

There must be some political benefit to Alan Gottlieb and Richard Feldman to go along with any attempt to infringe, but I don’t see it. If the bill infringes, it’s wrong and should be opposed. Making deals with politicians is highly risky, especially when they concern inalienable rights.

Colorado Sheriffs to File Lawsuit Against State’s New Gun Laws

37 of Colorado’s 62 county sheriffs are in the process of filing a lawsuit to block implementation and enforcement of the state’s new gun laws which are scheduled to go into effect on July 1st. Weld County Sheriff John Cooke is the de facto spokesman for the plaintiffs who will claim that the new laws violate the Constitution’s Second and Fourteenth Amendments.

However, the County Sheriffs of Colorado will not be joining Cooke as a plaintiff, according to Executive Director Chris Olson: “The Board of Directors made a decision that this was not something that the association should join in.” This decision was made despite its publication of a position paper posted during the debates opposing most of the new gun laws. According to that paper,

We believe the Second Amendment is no less important [than] the other nine Amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.

The paper opposed a ban on so-called “assault weapons,” on any person’s right to sell privately firearms to another person, any limitation on magazine capacity or a state-wide database for concealed carry permit holders. It urged legislators to go slow in enacting new laws following the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut: “We urge our elected state elected officials not to make decisions during this grieving period because it would likely lead to policies that are unenforceable and possibly unconstitutional, while punished law-abiding citizens and doing nothing to reduce violent crime.”

A glimpse into the possible arguments to be brought to light in the lawsuit was provided by Dave Kopel, the lawyer likely to direct the prosecution. Kopel, an adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at Denver University and research director at Denver’s Independence Institute, in an article in National Review on April 5th, entitled “Turning Gun Owners into Felons.” Although directed to efforts to blunt federal efforts to pass universal background checks, Kopel’s arguments might just appear in the Colorado lawsuit. Wrote Kopel:

 [The legislation being considered in Congress] would turn almost every gun owner into a felon … the language under consideration applies not only to sales but also to “transfers” which are defined to include innocent activities such as letting your spouse borrow your gun for a few hours.

Kopel paints a picture of a woman who bought a rifle when she was 25 years old. Looking back years later, she remembers times when she loaned the gun to a friend, or took it over to a neighbor’s house because he wanted to learn more about guns, or when she took it on a camping trip and let her niece do some plinking with it. She remembers teaching a class to some young people on gun safety and bringing the rifle to class to let her students become familiar with it. She remembers her time as a Boy Scout den mother when she taught the boys how to handle and shoot the rifle. As Kopel writes:

Every one of [these] activities would be a federal felony, subject to precisely the same punishment a person would receive if [she] had knowingly sold a firearm to a convicted felon.

This is not “gun control” in the constitutionally legitimate sense: reasonable laws that protect public safety without interfering with the responsible ownership and use of firearms.

It is likely that Kopel will invoke the Heller case as well as the McDonald case which extended the rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment to individual citizens living in the several states. It isn’t clear whether the lawsuit will be filed in state court or in federal court. What is clear is that this will be a long journey beginning with the first step: the Colorado sheriffs protesting by legal means the unconstitutional incursion of the state legislature into Colorado citizens’ rights to keep and bear arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas Legislature Sends Country’s Strongest Pro-Gun Bill to its Governor

Late last Friday, as both houses of the Kansas legislature were ending its current session, Senate Bill 102 and House Bill 2199 were passed overwhelmingly, putting the matter firmly

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Colorado Sheriff Exposes Obama’s Hyprocrisy on YouTube

Shayne Heap is the sheriff of Elbert County, Colorado, one of 62 sheriffs who weren’t invited to serve as a backdrop for President Obama’s latest trip to Denver to push for his gun controls. Instead, Heap took the opportunity to vent his spleen at Obama’s hypocrisy and it’s a wonderful thing to watch.

He said “it’s too bad these tragic events have only served to be a launching point for political agendas and grand standing … to make laws that are constitutionally questionable and punitive to law-abiding citizens, who’ve done nothing wrong, borders on legislative abuse.”

He added that Obama left Washington, DC, which enjoys the highest murder rate per capita in the country in order to tell Colorado how to

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Furor over new Colorado law giving Secret Service agents police powers continues

The furor over the signing into law of Senate Bill 13-013 earlier this week by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper went viral following the publishing of an article by Mike Opelka at theblaze.com. Opelka suggested that the new law could be “used to

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Connecticut Governor Signs Toughest Gun Bill in America

At noon on Thursday Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed into law a wide-ranging bill in response to last year’s shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  After weeks of closed-door negotiations between Republican and Democrat leaders and another 13 hours of debate on Wednesday, the 139-page bill was passed by the House, 105-44. It had previously passed the Senate, 26-10.

The new law

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Connecticut Lawmakers to Infringe Further on Citizens’ Gun Rights

On Monday afternoon lawmakers in Connecticut announced success in molding a bi-partisan approach to gun violence following weeks of closed-door negotiations. It will be voted upon on Wednesday and is expected to pass the Democrat-controlled General Assembly with ease.

Rather than focus on improving security at schools, lawmakers instead turned their attention to

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April 1st is the 71st Anniversary of California’s Deportment of Japanese Americans

On Wednesday, April 1st, 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt issued “Instructions to all persons of Japanese ancestry” that they “will be evacuated from the above designated area [north San Francisco] by 12 o’clock noon Tuesday, April 7th… The Civil Control Station at 1701 Van Ness Avenue will provide temporary residence elsewhere…[and] transport persons…to their new residence…”. Some 120,000 persons were deported from California and sent to internment camps in

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New York Revives Hotline Following Passage of SAFE Act

When a CBS affiliate reported on Wednesday the existence of a hotline that anonymous callers could use to report neighbors who possibly might illegally possess a firearm, some claimed the timing with the recent passage of New York’s SAFE Act was just too coincidental.

The new law turns many gun owners into

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New Colorado gun laws won’t be enforced

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is going to sign new gun bills into law tomorrow even though he knows they won’t be enforced. That’s the mindset of a dictator. This reminds me of the

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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.