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

Arrogant ATF Makes Up Rules As It Goes Along

ATF inspector at a federally licensed gun dealer

Robert E. Sanders, a former ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) official for 24 years and now a board member of the National Rifle Association, complained that the ATF’s practice of issuing “private letter rulings” on what constitutes a “weapon” are not only confusing but often arbitrary and even contradictory.

The main reason is that the regulations under which the ATF operates aren’t defined and therefore are subject to interpretation and modification:

It is hard to tell what ATF wants you do to without submitting your product and asking for a letter ruling. You can’t tell what the agency has said in the past to others, because those letter rulings are generally secret. How could somebody know how to comply with the law?

Len Savage, the owner of Historic Arms in Georgia, found out the hard way about the ATF’s capriciousness, and it cost him $500,000. Savage is a firearms designer and manufacturer and was told by the ATF in July 2005 that he could convert machine guns legally owned by collectors into belt-fed weapons. After investing in the tools and machinery to make the conversions, he received another letter from the ATF in April 2006 saying that “upon reconsideration” it was rescinding its previous approval. Savage said the ATF “follows no rhyme or reason” calling it “enforcement by ambush.”

The ATF said it was just following the rules in its National Firearms Act Handbook, to wit: “classifications are subject to change if later determined to be erroneous or impacted by subsequent changes in the law or regulations.” Since those regulations are written by the ATF, their explanation is

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Obama’s Anti-Gun Agenda Remains Alive and Well

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (Photo credit: jamesomalley)

On March 30 of last year, President Obama dropped in to greet Sarah Brady, who was meeting with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Sarah is the wife of Jim Brady, the former White House Press Secretary under Reagan, who was shot but not killed in an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. The Bradys subsequently became strong supporters of gun control. According to Brady, the President brought up the issue of gun control “to fill us in that it was very much on his agenda. [The President said,] ‘I just want you to know that we are working on [additional limits on gun ownership]. We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.'”

Thanks to the efforts of freedom advocates such as John Lott, Obama’s efforts to stay under the radar are now glistening in the sunlight. Lott reviewed an unsettling and lengthy list of Obama’s “processes,” starting with the President’s intention to ignore at least 20 parts of the 2012 omnibus spending bill that he signed into law last week. Using the controversial and likely unconstitutional “signing statements,” Obama said, “I have advised Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility…such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient.” Buried in the 1,200-page bill was a restriction that bars health officials from using taxpayer funds to lobby for gun control. To rub it in, Obama iterated his position: “Our spending decisions shall not be treated as dependent on the approval of congressional committees.” In plain English, the President just told Congress to go jump—he was going to do what he wanted to do, regardless.

Lott noted that Obama’s Interior Department just issued new administrative rules that threatened the use of public lands for recreational shooting. The language of the new regulations reads in part: 

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Liberty University Allows Concealed Carry on Campus

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus

Lynchburg, Virginia‘s Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced a change in policy that now allows students, staff, and visitors with concealed weapons permits to carry guns on campus. He commented that the new policy “adds to the security and safety of the campus and it’s a good thing. If something—God forbid—ever happened like what happened at Virginia Tech, there would be more than just our police officers who would be able to deal with it.” He added, “I think it’s consistent for a school, for a student body that’s strongly in favor of the Second Amendment…to have policies that are at least as lenient as a number of other universities.”

Although the new policy still prevents students from carrying guns into dormitories and classrooms, and those who do decide to carry on campus must pass a background check in addition to meeting Virginia’s requirements for a concealed weapon permit, Liberty senior Craig Storrs, who heads up the local chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, was ecstatic: 

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The Passing of Aaron Zelman, Founder of JPFO

Ahuachapan 01 - No guns allowed in the park

Image by Ben Beiske via Flickr

When Aaron Zelman, the founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, died just before Christmas at his home in Wisconsin, eulogies poured in from people Zelman had impacted. One came from Eugene Volokh, who said that Zelman’s “most notable contribution was research pointing out the frequency with which genocide has been preceded by prohibiting arms possession by the targeted victims.”

Zelman’s updated book Death by Gun Control reviews the history of

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Anti-Gun Zealot Nominated to Head ATF

ATF logo

Rather than wait for the new Congress to be installed in January, President Obama decided to press forward for the Senate confirmation of Andrew Traver for Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). As pro-Second Amendment scholar David Kopel pointed out, “The Second Amendment had a great night on [election day]. Across the nation, the right to arms is stronger than ever, and the stage has been set for constructive reforms in 2011. [In the] U.S. Senate: The net result of Tuesday was a gain of +6 votes on Second Amendment issues…. In not a single U.S. Senate seat did the gun control lobby gain ground.”

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Hoplophobia is Curable!

pistol Smith & Wesson Sigma SW9F

Image via Wikipedia

Jennifer Willis exhibited all the symptoms of hoplophobia in explaining her return to sanity in her article in Salon magazine, “I Was Anti-gun, Until I Got Stalked.”

I’m afraid of guns…I abhor them. I used to date a guy who owned a handgun … I made him move [his] small gun safe…to another room….

The idea of owning a gun made me sick to my stomach … I dreamed that people were pointing double-barreled shotguns at me.

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Armed Citizens 1, Criminals 0

CZ-2075D Rami pistol

Image via Wikipedia

The report from NewsNet5 in Wadsworth, Ohio, was scarcely considered news, rating only a few brief paragraphs: “A gun-carrying couple helped [police] catch a man who was allegedly beating his girlfriend in a parking lot in front of her two children…Police said the couple, who each have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, called 911 [and] then pulled out their guns and ordered the man to the ground.”

Heather Evans told the 911 dispatcher, “My husband and I both have CCW licenses and we were in fear for her life, and we drew our weapons on him.” The attacker, Anthony Konopinski, is now facing domestic violence, child endangerment, resisting arrest, and drug paraphernalia charges.

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Gun-Control Laws Challenged After Supreme Court Ruling

Pistol Horhe mirror

Image via Wikipedia

On June 28, the day the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that individuals have the right to keep and bear armsBob Unruh wrote that the decision “has opened the door for a long list of legal challenges to city, county and other rules and regulations that may now infringe on the 2nd Amendment.”

Although both the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence applauded the ruling by the Supreme Court, they differed in how that long list of legal challenges will play out in the courts.

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Despite Kagan, Public Knows Little About Supreme Court

Cover of "The Dirty Dozen: How Twelve Sup...

Cover via Amazon

Now that Elena Kagan has been confirmed as Justice of the Supreme Court following several weeks of highly publicized hearings, the public remains poorly informed about the Court’s role. And even what is supposedly known is contradictory. Pew Research Center’s latest New IQ Quiz, which was conducted in early July, revealed that “an overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter…yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about key government policies.”

For example, barely one in four of those surveyed was able to identify John Roberts as the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Pew goes on to say, “young people fare particularly poorly on political knowledge.”

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Chicago Shootings and McDonald v. City of Chicago

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

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When it was learned that more than 50 people were shot, some fatally, over Fathers Day weekend in the poorer sections of Chicago, it didn’t even make the front page of Chicago newspapers.

As ABC News put it, “Most of the weekend shootings took place in poor neighborhoods on the city’s south and west sides. Those areas are away from downtown and tourist attractions, perhaps one reason much of the city seemed to shrug its shoulders at the violence.” Jim O’Shea, editor of Chicago News Cooperative, said, “I think people just say, ‘Ah, it’s a bunch of gang bangers shooting each other.'”

Police and other officials put the blame on gangs and easy access to guns despite one of the strictest bans on handguns in the country. It is that very ban that is being challenged in a Supreme Court case, McDonald v. City of Chicago, with a decision to be announced very soon.

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Loophole Backfires, Blows Up DISCLOSE Act

National Rifle Association

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In their attempt to mitigate negative election-year fallout from the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in favor of rights of free speech for everyone in Citizens United, Democrats Senator Charles Schumer (New York) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (Maryland) proposed legislation entitled “Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections,” or DISCLOSE.

Schumer was very clear that DISCLOSE was carefully crafted to “embarrass companies [inclined to get involved in the fall elections] out of exercising those rights,” according to Kim Strassel in the Wall Street Journal. “The bill will make companies ‘think twice’, [Schumer] rejoiced. ‘The deterrent effect should not be underestimated.’”

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Will Obama Nominate Napolitano for the Supreme Court?

Official portrait of United States Secretary o...

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Evidence is mounting that Obama will have another opportunity to appoint a justice to the Supreme Court when Justice Stevens retires next summer.

Justice John Paul Stevens, age 89, raised some eyebrows when he hired just one law clerk to his staff for the current term. Full-time Justices can hire as many as six clerks, and retired Justices usually hire two.

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Frank Luntz Filters Gun Owners

Frank Luntz

In Monday’s editorial, the New York Times reported the results of a Frank Luntz poll indicating that NRA members are much softer on key issues than the National Rifle Association itself.

Unfortunately, the editorial was rife with filters in the form of hot labels and emotionally-laden words and phrases that immediately impugned the validity of the results of the study.

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NYC Mayor Bloomberg: “Too Many Guns”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg opening ...

According to the Associated Press, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg “railed against gun violence” on December 11, one day after a street peddler died in a shootout with police in Times Square. Unfortunately, this type of crime is increasingly typical in high-crime areas of major U.S. cities, especially where gun control laws make it extremely difficult for law-abiding citizens to possess a gun. Yet Bloomberg, founder of the anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, viewed the shootout as evidence that there are “too many guns on the streets.”

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Amtrack, Guns, and Sausage

An Amtrak train on the NEC in NJ, as seen from...

When congressional negotiators agreed to a final version of a transportation bill, it included an amendment to allow Amtrak passengers to take their guns with them—unloaded, locked, and only in their checked baggage.

While only a small skirmish in the long war against the right of citizens to “keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment, the process by which this amendment was added is worth examining as a microcosm of “representative government” in action.

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Soldiers or Sitting Ducks? Fort Hood Victims Were Unable to Defend Themselves

Fort Hood shooting: First responders use a tab...

While many questions about the shooting at Fort Hood, Texas by Major Nidal Hasan remain unanswered, there is one question for which there is a clear and unequivocal answer:  Why didn’t the soldiers return fire?

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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.