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: Second Amendment

Missouri Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Pro-gun Bill

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, September 12, 2014:

Scan of cover of Common Sense, the pamphlet. N...

During a special session called by the Missouri legislature specifically to consider Governor Ray Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656, lawmakers voted to override his veto on Wednesday. The new law will considerably expand Second Amendment rights for citizens of the state.

It prevents local municipalities from passing laws that ban open carry. In essence, the new law now makes open carry legal throughout Missouri.

SB 656 also lowers the age to obtain a concealed carry permit from

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Response to Uzi Accident Ignores Kids Who Use Guns Responsibly

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, September 3, 2014:

Brady Campaign

In their reporting on the recent shooting death of firearms instructor Charles Vacca at the Last Stop gun range by a nine-year-old girl firing a fully-automatic Uzi, the major media have been quick to emphasize the danger of kids using firearms. But absent from media reporting is the fact that kids across America for years have used firearms safely and responsibly, sometimes even in defense of their own lives.

For example, less than 24 hours after the tragic accident, the Washington Post reignited the gun control debate by quoting

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Nine-year-old Girl Accidentally Shoots Instructor: Should Our Freedoms Be Casualties, Too?

This article first was published at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, August 29, 2014:

Indoor Shooting Range at Sarasota, Florida, US...

Must every tragic and unusual gun death be accompanied by irrational calls for more government intrusion into our lives? Virtually all of us have heard about Arizona firearms instructor Charles Vacca, who was accidentally shot and killed Monday at the Last Stop gun range by a nine-year-old girl he was teaching to shoot a fully automatic Uzi. The incident was caught on video and, not surprisingly, has caught the nation’s attention. Unfortunately, though, it’s reason and reality that are caught in the crosshairs.

Many Internet commenters have seized the opportunity to place blame for this unfortunate accident on who they call “gun nuts”:

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Constitutional Sheriffs making NBC Nervous

This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 27, 2014:

Wicomico County, MD sheriff's deputy patrol car

Wicomico County, MD sheriff’s deputy patrol car

In just the last five years, both Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) have reported increased numbers of members and influence. For instance, in February CSPOA announced that more than 480 of the country’s 3080 county sheriffs have signed up and enlisted in their campaign, promising to uphold their oaths to defend the constitutions of their states and the federal government. This has made NBC News nervous and, in their latest report, Gun Laws, four writers investigated the growing constitutional Sheriff movement.

Franklin Shook, a member of the board of Oath Keepers, explained that “What Oath Keepers is saying is:

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Armed Business Owners Scare Away Looters in Ferguson

English: The exterior of a QuikTrip convenienc...

A QuikTrip store before it gets burned down

The night after Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, some business owners realized that their stores — their very livelihoods — were in danger. They also discovered that the police were busy elsewhere, or had been ordered to “stand down” in the wake of the looting that followed the shooting. They had two choices: run away and leave the fate of those businesses to the tender mercies of the looters, or stand and defend them.

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Armed Business Owners Altering Looters’ “Victim Selection Process” in Ferguson

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, August 18, 2014:

English: Apalachicola, Fla., July 20, 2005 -- ...

Apalachicola, Fla., July 20, 2005 — Warning sign to looters at a damaged business. The owners placed the damaged goods outside in front of the business. Damage to businesses due to storm surge following Hurricane Dennis.

In his ground-breaking book, In the Gravest Extreme, author Massad Ayoob, wrote:

There’s only one way you can talk a violent criminal out of harming you once he has picked you for a victim. What you have to do is hit him with a deep, existential question, something that will have him reexamine and reevaluate his own personal values and life style, his own hopes and dreams, as related to the moment at hand. It can even be phrased without words.

That is precisely what Adam Weinstein did when he realized,

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Pro-gun Sheriff Reelected Despite Bloomberg Funding Opponent

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke won his primary election on Tuesday over Bloomberg-supported Chris Moews, a Milwaukee police lieutenant, 52 percent to 48 percent. Because there is no Republican candidate running for the position, Clarke’s win virtually assures him of another four-year term in November.

Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association, which had been helping Clarke’s campaign, offered his congratulations:

On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to congratulate Sheriff David A. Clarke on his hard-fought victory in yesterday’s Primary election for Milwaukee County Sheriff. Sheriff Clarke’s outspoken commitment to the Second Amendment earned him the admiration of NRA members and gun owners nationwide.

Cox then noted one of the main reasons that Clarke won and Moews lost:

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Philadelphia Mother Headed to Jury Trial for Carrying a Gun in N.J.

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, August 11, 2014:

 

English: Bersa Thunder 380 pistol with nickel ...

English: Bersa Thunder 380 pistol with nickel finish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By declining a plea bargain offered by Atlantic County, New Jersey, prosecutor Jim McClain to spend the next 3 ½ years in jail, Shaneen Allen assured herself the best chance to vindicate herself in a case that has drawn national attention: a jury trial. She is hoping that common sense will prevail — something that has not been evident in the proceedings until now.

Early in the morning of October 1, 2013, Allen was driving from Philadelphia to Atlantic City when

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Celebrating James Brady’s Monumental Infringement

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, August 6, 2014:

Brady Campaign

When James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s former press secretary, passed away on Monday at age 73, the media predictably crowed about the success of the Brady Bill, giving him credit for pushing it through a reluctant congress back in 1993. Brady was shot during an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, resulting in massive brain damage and putting him into a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The New York Times called him

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James Brady’s Legacy: More Guns, Less Crime

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:

James Brady in August 2006

James Brady in August 2006

On Monday the national media and the president noted the passing at age 73 of James Brady, the man who served briefly as President Reagan’s press secretary before being grievously wounded in an assassination attempt on the president nearly 33 years ago.

The New York Times called Brady “a symbol of the fight for gun control,” while President Obama declared, “An untold number of people are alive today who otherwise wouldn’t be, thanks to Jim.” Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, agreed, saying that the law named to honor the former press secretary, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, has blocked about two million sales of firearms “to criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people.” Echoing the president, Gross added that there are

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Detroit is Proving John Lott Correct After all

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, August 1, 2014:

Cover of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understa...

John Lott’s updated version of More Guns, Less Crime confirms what his previous editions already showed: an increasing number of people familiar with, skilled at arms with, and willing to defend themselves with, sidearms, results in a safer, more secure and lower crime environment. Without saying as much, Detroit’s Police Chief James Craig’s announcement on Wednesday proves the point: more guns, less crime.

Craig’s only been there a year but his three decades of law enforcement experience in places as diverse as Maine and California are already beginning to be felt. Since he came on board last July, Detroit has seen a

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BATFE: the Agency that Just Won’t Go Away

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 25, 2014:

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team

News that gun prosecutions under Obama have dropped an astonishing 25 percent raised hopes that this most feared agency (outside of the IRS) was going away. A closer look reveals exactly the opposite.

News about the drop came from Syracuse University, which, at the request of the Washington Times, looked at the data from the Justice Department over the past 10 years and concluded that

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Brooklyn Congresswoman “Threatened” by GOA’s Larry Pratt

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, July 25, 2014:

English: Larry Pratt at a political conference...

Larry Pratt at a political conference in Reno, Nevada.

Following publication of a blatant hit piece by Rolling Stone on Gun Owners of America (GOA) Executive Director Larry Pratt on July 14, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), representing New York City’s boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, felt personally threatened, and called the cops. Maloney’s staff called the Capitol Police and the House sergeant-at-arms, Paul Irving, to say that Pratt’s comments published by Rolling Stone could be taken as a

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Operation Choke Point is Under Attack

This article was first published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, July 16, 2014:

English: A Glock 17 handgun.

Glock 17

Something remarkable is taking place in Washington this week. While the headline news is all about the border crisis, a little-known program designed to do an end run around the Second Amendment is being exposed to daylight. The House had two hearings on Tuesday – one by the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee entitled “The Department of Justice’s ‘Operation Choke Point’” and the other by the House Committee on Financial Services to consider a bill to shut the whole thing down – and another one is scheduled for Thursday by the House Judiciary Committee entitled “Guilty until Proven Innocent? A Study of the Propriety and Legal Authority for the Justice Department’s Operation Choke Point.”

The pressure for such exposure has been building for months.

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Pushback Against Operation Choke Point Gains Momentum

 

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 15, 2014:

 

Choking - 365 Day 59

The secret initiative that began as Operation Choke Point (OCP) in March 2013 is now beginning to meet not only with massive unfavorable publicity but also congressional pushback. Three hearings by House committees this week are indicative of the mounting outrage OCP has generated.

Just months into his first term, President Obama launched “Operation Broken Trust” under an executive order, creating the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, seeking to “root out and expose” various investment scams that cropped up at the start of the Great Recession. It has now morphed into a gigantic interagency behemoth involving the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the U.S. Secret Service.

“Mission creep” inevitably set in, and the scope of the investigative attention expanded greatly to include

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As Georgia’s Gun Freedoms Expand, So Do Others

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 7, 2014: 

Jack Hilliard, Deer Hunter, Wears His Handgun ...

When Georgia’s new “guns everywhere” law became effective on Tuesday, July 1, the governor was ecstatic:

[This is] a great day to reaffirm our liberties….

The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the front of our minds.

The new law allows gun owners with carry licenses to do so in churches, schools, bars, and some government buildings that were previously off-limits. It also expands the state’s “stand your ground” laws to cover those previously convicted of felonies. And it prevents police from demanding without cause a person carrying to produce a license permitting him to do so.

Without saying so specifically, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expressed a point often missed in the gun debate:

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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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Colorado Gun Laws Constitutional, Says U.S. District Judge

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 27, 2014:

In Search of the Second Amendment

On Thursday, a federal judge upheld Colorado’s new gun-control laws that mandate background checks for all gun sales and limit magazine capacity to 15 rounds. U.S. District Chief Judge Marcia Krieger issued her 50-page ruling on the 2013 laws after a two-week civil trial in late March and early April in Denver.

The lawsuit was originally filed by plaintiffs including sheriffs, gun shops, outfitters, and shooting ranges. Krieger ruled last year that the sheriffs could not sue the state in their official capacities but they could join the lawsuit as private citizens.

In her ruling, Judge Krieger (who was appointed to the position in 2001 by then-President George W. Bush) made clear from the beginning that she wasn’t going to rule on whether or not the new laws made sense:

A court does not act as a super-legislature to determine the wisdom or workability of legislation. Instead, it determines only whether legislation is constitutionally permissible….

The judge just only compares the public policy adopted by the legislature against the constitutional minimums that protect individual rights….

This Court will not express a qualitative opinion as to whether a law is “good” or “bad,” “wise” or “unwise,” “sound policy” or a “hastily-considered overreaction.”

After determining that most of the plaintiffs had standing to sue, she focused her attention on the impact that limiting magazine capacities would have on both criminal shooters and law-abiding citizens:

Plaintiffs argue that by limiting magazines to 15 rounds or less, this statute impairs an individual’s Second Amendment “right of self-defense.” Colorado reflexively responds that because people can still defend themselves, no Second Amendment right is impaired.

She then notes that the offending laws do not directly regulate firearms at all, but only the size of the magazines that feed them:

Because [the magazine limit law] regulates only the number of rounds in a magazine, it does not affect whether the semiautomatic firearm can be used, or even whether it can be used in a semiautomatic mode. It only affects how often it must be reloaded.

She said the scope of the law is universal but its impact is not severe enough to render it unconstitutional:

This ban applies to every person in Colorado, in every venue, and for every use, including self-defense inside and outside of the home.

It impacts a large number of semiautomatic firearms, both handguns and rifles. Viewed in this light, the scope of the statute is broad, and it touches the core of an individual right guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

But because its impact on that right is so minor, the judge said, she overlooked it as any kind of impediment to the government’s overriding interest in “public safety”:

Despite such broad scope, however, the statute’s impact on a person’s ability to keep and bear (use) firearms for the purpose of self-defense is not severe….

Thus, this statute does not prevent the people of Colorado from possessing semiautomatic weapons for self-defense, or from using those weapons as they are designed to function. The only limitation imposed is how frequently they must reload their weapons.

She decided that the “pause” (when a criminal shooter runs out of ammunition during an attack in order to reload gives his victims time to run away and hide while giving more time for armed officials to intervene) was a distinct advantage of the new law. She failed to mention that the alleged invented shooter in her scenario wasn’t likely to limit himself under the new law. Instead, she concentrated on how limiting magazines to 15 rounds would scarcely impact an honest citizen’s ability to defend himself: “No evidence presented here suggests that the general ability of a person to defend him or herself is seriously diminished if magazines are limited to 15 rounds.”

Besides, she wrote, most “incidents” involved criminals intending mayhem are resolved without any shots being fired:

First, the defensive purpose of firearms is often achieved without shots being fired whatsoever. Mr. [Massad] Ayoob [an expert witness called for the plaintiffs in the case] testified that, often, merely the defensive display of a firearm is sufficient to defuse the threat….

In these types of circumstances, a restriction on a magazine size in no way diminishes the ability of the firearm user to defend him or herself.

Therefore, wrote the judge, the modest infringement of a Second Amendment right is acceptable:

The Court finds that although [the law limiting magazines to 15 rounds] burdens the operation of semiautomatic weapons, the burden is not severe because it does not materially reduce the ability of a person to use a semiautomatic firearm for self-defense, not does it reduce the effectiveness of self-defensive efforts.

One wonders if our nation’s Founders would be impressed with the argument that infringements of the Second Amendment are allowed because they are modest.

Krieger made short work of another complaint, that background checks required in all private transactions are unconstitutional. She noted that the plaintiffs didn’t really make that argument at all, but instead focused on temporary transfers being hampered unnecessarily:

Plaintiffs do not argue that requiring background checks for the private sale of firearms is unconstitutional. Rather, they focus their challenge on the effect of the statute on temporary transfers [i.e., loans] when ownership of the firearm does not change.

But since the Second Amendment and other court rulings have failed to address the issue of such temporary transfers of a firearm from an owner to a borrower, therefore it doesn’t count:

It is not at all clear that the Second Amendment prevents the government from restricting the ability of persons to acquire firearms via temporary loans from others….

Logically, if the government can lawfully regulate the ability of persons to obtain firearms from commercial dealers, the same power to regulate should extend to non-commercial [private] transactions, lest the loophole swallow the regulatory purpose.

Upon learning of the decision, the plaintiffs had plenty to say about it. The Colorado State Shooting Association, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, called it “disappointing on many levels” and asserted that the ruling missed the whole point concerning the Second Amendment:

The significance of the Second Amendment as a core portion of the Bill of Rights and its importance has virtually no reference in the decision. Most noteworthy was the court’s focus on the important government interest at hand while ignoring the complete absence of support for [it] in the legislative record.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, a leader among the plaintiffs, added:

While we respect the judge’s ruling today, we believe that it is plainly wrong on the law and on the facts….

[The laws] are still unenforceable. And that is borne out in that there has not been one arrest on these two laws to date.

The ruling was not without its supporters, however. State Senator Mary Hodge, a Democrat from Thornton and a sponsor of the bills, remarked:

This is public safety. Having people have to pause to reload [during a mass shooting] saves lives. These school shooters, for the most part, did not know how to reload their weapons, so this limit on large-capacity magazines is good.

Eileen McCarron, head of the anti-gun Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, said the lawsuit was a waste of time and money:

This was a politically motivated lawsuit that has been grasping at straws from day one. These laws are reasonable protections against gun violence that many states have adopted and have repeatedly passed the test of constitutionality.

And Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, whose office defended the laws, said he was just doing his job:

Like Judge Krieger, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office has never asserted that the laws in question are good, wise or sound policy. As it does in all cases, the AG’s Office has fulfilled its responsibility to defend the constitutionality of the Colorado law[s] in question. The Attorney General’s Office fully expects the case to be appealed and looks forward to final resolution of the issues as soon as possible.

If left to stand upon appeal, Judge Krieger’s ruling illustrates just how our fundamental rights given by God and guaranteed by the Constitution are lost: an inch at a time. Krieger, in her ruling, failed to address the word “infringe,” which could have shed more light on the rights she was allowing to be compromised. “Infringe” means to violate, transgress, encroach, or trespass. The Latin root infringere means “to break” or “weaken.” In that light, the laws just ruled constitutional by her court remain unconstitutional after all.

One awaits the appeal with eager anticipation.

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House Passes bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

Seal of the National Crime Information Center ...

Seal of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), USA. — “Servicing Our Citizens” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last Thursday the House voted, 260-145, to increase federal grant money to states to improve their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It was a textbook case of revolutionary parliamentarianism at work.

Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to assist the states in their data collection and entry into the federal gun registry system. It was all for good reasons, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment:

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Obama Administration Choking off Bank Lending to Gun Dealers

Cover of "The Second Amendment"

Cover of The Second Amendment

For seven years Theodore Roosevelt Liberti – known to his friends as “T.R.” – ran a retail gun shop in New Jersey and then moved it to Florida. T.R.’s bank had always been BankUnited (BU) which handled his accounts and cleared his customer’s credit card purchases. But when he decided to open an online store called Discount Ammo-N-Guns, BankUnited closed his accounts on March 12 “pursuant to the terms and conditions listed in our Depositor’s Agreement.”

When T.R. demanded a further explanation, the bank remained silent. T.R.’s wife and business partner, Elizabeth said:

I was very angry. They were very inconsiderate. We had all our credit cards going through that bank.

All of a sudden we had to run and find another bank to keep our business going. We [had to] shut down for two weeks.

[BUT] wouldn’t even tell us why.

When the bank finally responded, its explanation was unsatisfactory:

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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.