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

Banks, Credit Card Companies Should Prevent Citizens from Buying “Multiple Guns,” Says NYTimes

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 7, 2019:

Not happy with the progress being made by banks and credit-card companies in their move to restrict lending to gun manufacturers, Andrew Sorkin published his thinly veiled support for more surveillance of and restrictions on individual gun buyers in the New York Times in late December.

In his piece entitled “How Banks Unwittingly Finance Mass Shootings,” Sorkin made clear his anti-gun worldview in the opening paragraph of the results of his Dealbook Investigation: “Omar Mateen used six credit cards to buy two guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition before he opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub [in June 2016].”

Sorkin rounded up evidence that other “mass shooters” had used credit cards to purchase firearms and accessories and concluded that “Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.”

Now they should, said Sorkin. He took his “evidence” and called on the heads of a number of national banks who, he said, were horrified at what he had found. But they backed away from implementing any sort of tech wizardry that would target individuals buying too many firearms and too much ammunition in too short a period of time:

Keep reading…

Jon Caldera’s Noisy Defiance of Boulder’s Gun Ban is Costing Him

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, January 7, 2019: 

When the Boulder City Council unanimously passed a law banning possession of “assault” rifles, large magazines, and “bump stocks” last May, they likely knew it wouldn’t go down well with the pro-gun crowd. What they didn’t know was that they would be setting off a firestorm by pushing around the wrong guy: Jon Caldera.

As this writer noted here last month, Caldera, a popular radio show host and head of Denver’s Independence Institute, told the Boulder pols to take a hike:

My hometown of Boulder is about to define me as a criminal if I do not disarm or move.

 

Let this column [which appeared in the Denver Post] serve as public notice: I will not comply….

 

Let it be known, like those who refused to go to the back of the bus, I will not surrender or destroy my guns, nor will I place my name on the government watch list.

Since then a lot of water has passed under the bridge.

Keep reading…

Left Ramps Up Attacks on Lead Plaintiff in Lawsuit Against Boulder Gun Law

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, January 7, 2019:  

The day after Boulder enacted its anti-gun law in May banning “assault” rifles, large-capacity magazines and “bump stocks,” Jon Caldera joined with the Boulder (Colorado) Rifle Club, a member of the University of Colorado Shooting Team, and others to file suit against it.

The suit claimed the law violated numerous federal, state, and local laws, and for that Caldera and his school-age daughter are taking heat. Caldera said his daughter has been bullied at her school, “[You know,] the one with posters celebrating tolerance and diversity all over its walls.” Both teachers and students have “ganged up on her,” telling her that “her father is a murderer.”

Added Caldera:

I have a fifteen-year old daughter who’s already been bullied about this at school. She’s been yelled at; she’s been called a murderer.

 

My son has Down syndrome so he doesn’t understand this, but my daughter doesn’t want me to go to jail.

 

I’m concerned about the people I love being taunted because we’re a political minority.

The suit’s language was clear as well as combative:

Keep reading…

Violent Crime in Brazil is About to Drop Precipitously

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 2, 2019:  

Brazil has the highest rate of violent crime in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world. In Sao Paulo, a city of 12 million people, one in four reports that they have been held up at gunpoint at least once.

Along with this frightening crime wave, a weak economy (unemployment is at 12 percent) helped Jair Bolsonaro win election in October with 55 percent of the vote. Three days before his inauguration, he announced that his first effort would be to keep one of his key campaign promises: to expand his country’s gun laws. He tweeted: “By decree, we plan to guarantee the ownership of firearms by citizens without criminal records.”

That’s a far cry from the law presently in force (since 2003), which

Keep reading…

Decree by Brazil’s New President Keeps His Campaign Promise to Expand Gun Rights

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, January 1, 2019: 

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who assumed his office on Tuesday, made many campaign promises. He supported his country’s national sovereignty and opposed abortion, affirmative action, and drug liberalization, while supporting closer relations with the United States and Israel. But his signature promise — supported by his famous finger-gun salute — is to liberalize his country’s gun laws. Since its enactment in 2003 Brazil’s murder rate has soared: Brazil has the highest homicide rate in Latin America and the eighth highest in the world.

Parallels to the U.S. president and the head of the National Rifle Association are obvious,

Keep reading…

Trustees of Pierce College Forced to End Its “Free Speech Zone” Directive

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 31, 2018: 

Trustees of Pierce College, a community college serving Los Angeles, agreed last Friday to open its campus to freedom of speech, reversing its previous commands that such “free speech” would only be allowed in a tiny part of the school’s enormous campus.

The decision affects not only Pierce College, but also eight other community colleges in the area, the largest community college district in the country with more than 150,000 students.

And all because a single student, informed of his rights, decided not to back down. Kevin Shaw, a freshman at Pierce, joined Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), the group that morphed from Ron Paul’s unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008. In the fall of 2016 Shaw started passing out copies of the U.S. Constitution on one of the campus sidewalks to interest others in joining the local YAL campus chapter.

Within an hour the administration shut him down, telling him that

Keep reading…

Downloads of 3D-Printed Firearms Increase After Judge Tries to Stop Them

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 26, 2018: 

A federal judge’s ruling to limit the transfer of files allowing citizens to print their own guns using 3-D technology has resulted in exactly the opposite: The number of downloads of those files has exploded since his ruling in August.

It was Western Washington’s District Court Judge Robert Lasnik who ordered the settlement between the Justice Department and Cody Wilson’s company Defense Distributed to be suspended. He should have known better. He and other gun-grabbers such as New Jersey Governor Chris Murphy and Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey are trying to play catch-up and instead are falling farther and farther behind.

It isn’t that gun grabbers haven’t tried.

Keep reading…

Just How Does the ATF Plan to Enforce Its “Bump Stock” Ban?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 21, 2018:

Following the announcement of its “final rule” on banning possession of “bump stocks,” a Department of Justice official was asked how they intended to enforce it when it becomes effective in March. He replied:

We anticipate that the general public will be compliant with the law.

 

To the extent someone chooses not to comply with the law, we will treat this as we do with all firearms offenses. We will prioritize our resources to maximize public safety, focusing on those that pose the greatest threat. We will enforce the statute based on the circumstances of the individual case as we do with all firearms law.

Would officials from the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, usually referred to as the ATF) go door to door? He answered:

Keep reading…

Trump’s ATF Playing With Fire in Banning Bump Stocks

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, December 19, 2018:  

The day after retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens called for repeal of the Second Amendment back in March, President Trump tweeted: “THE SECOND AMENDMENT WILL NEVER BE REPEALED! As much as Democrats would like to see this happen, and despite the words yesterday of former Supreme Court Justice Stevens, NO WAY.”

On Tuesday, Trump’s acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said “WAY” by announcing the final rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) banning so-called bump stocks. He announced the agency’s rule by claiming that it was an “amendment” of an existing rule and not a new ruling per se and therefore didn’t need Congressional approval:

The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to clarify that bump-stock-type devices — meaning “bump fire” stocks, slide-fire devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics — are “machineguns” as defined by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968 because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger….

 

The bump-stock-type devices covered by this final rule … will be prohibited when this rule becomes effective [estimated to be March 21, 2019].

A senior official from the Department of Justice made clear that they intended to allow the ATF to enforce the law with every asset they had:

Keep reading…

A Million New Jersey Gun Owners Ignore State’s Magazine Ban

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 17, 2018: 

When New Jersey passed its ban on possession of magazines containing more than 10 rounds in June, it gave the state’s million or so law-abiding gun owners 180 days to comply. The law provided five options: 1) modify the offending magazines so they could accept no more than 10 rounds; 2) “render the firearm [that accepts such magazines] inoperable”; 3) register firearms that cannot be “modified to accommodate 10 or less rounds”; 4) transfer the firearm or the magazine to “an individual or entity entitled to own or possess it”; or 5) surrender the firearm or the magazine to local law enforcement.

The million or so law-abiding gun owners selected option No.6: ignore the law and defy its enforcement.

The 180-day period expired on December 11, and not a single magazine has been turned in to any local law-enforcement agencies, according to responses obtained from Ammoland’s John Crump: “Ammoland reached out to several local police departments in New Jersey to see how they plan on enforcing the ban, and [to learn] what the turn-in numbers have been [as of December 14]. Like the New Jersey State Police, none of these departments have a concrete plan on how to proactively enforce the ban, and none had a single report of magazines being turned over.”

The penalty for being found in possession of one of the newly offending magazines is stiff: It’s a felony, with punishment consisting of up to 18 months in jail, and up to $10,000 in fines, or both.

When gun-hating liberals in the Colorado enclave known to some as “the Peoples’ Republic of Boulder” passed a law banning possession of “assault weapons,” “high-capacity” magazines, and “bump stocks” last May, gun owners reacted similarly. The New American covered the story and estimated that law-abiding citizens living in Boulder owned approximately 150,000 now-offending firearms. They needed to be “certified”under the law’s grandfather clause by December 27 or fines and jail time would be applied to those newly minted miscreants. As of December 1, the Boulder Police Department had certified just 85 of them.

Lest law-biding gun owners reading this think that New Jersey or Colorado are a long way from where they live, and therefore they have nothing to worry about, they should consider the disheartening and threatening move by numerous states to inflict similar injury onto them through “red flag” laws. They should further consider what their response will be when law enforcement shows up at their front door, either wit a demand to turn over offending magazines or relinquish their firearms under an ERPO — an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” — now the law in more than a dozen states with another dozen or so considering such laws.

The New American has reported on the dangers of ERPOs. One individual, Gary Willis, a resident of Ferndale, Maryland, was confronted with such a situation at 5 a.m. in early November. He resisted and it cost him his life.

Local papers covered the incident.Willis was asleep early Monday morning, November 5 when two officers from Anne Arundel County knocked on his door. A law-abiding gun owner, Willis answered the door “with a gun in his hand,” according to a police department spokesman.They were there to serve him with an “extreme risk protective order” and remove his legally owned firearms.

According to a police department spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S.Constitution but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.  

The spokesman said that Willis “became irate.” In the melee that followed, one of the firearms carried either by one of the officers or by Willis went off. One of the officers then pulled his own sidearm and shot Willis dead.

FlexYourRights.com has a 38-minute video on YouTube that helps gun owners who take the risk of such a confrontation seriously. For those interested in a lawyer’s take on how to respond, one could consider purchasing Tim Baldwin’s “Police Contact: How to Respond” in DVD format for $20. Says Baldwin: “If a policeman believes you are guilty, being innocent may not be enough to keep you protected. There are many innocent people incarcerated in America’s prisons, or worse. Unfortunately, citizens themselves often help bring on improper conduct [by police] through their own ignorance of the law.”

This writer endorses Baldwin’s explanation. which is designed, as he says, to “keep you out of jail — or out of the morgue.”

Such presentations may still leave unanswered the question of how to respond when a law-enforcement official comes to the door with a warrant that clearly violates or ignores the strictures put in place by the Founders in the Fourth Amendment. How should he then respond? That question needs to be answered long before the doorbell rings.

According to Crump, New Jersey law-enforcement officials either have no plan to enforce the magazine law or aren’t willing to discuss it. Those departments he quizzed refused to answer, or responded with “We do not discuss law enforcement strategies.” 

On Bill of Rights Day, We Were Reminded That Venezuela Has no Second Amendment

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 17, 2018:

In an unhappy coincidence, the addition of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution in 1791 was celebrated on Saturday, the same day that Fox News reported on the lack of such protections in Venezuela that have allowed tyrants to subjugate their citizens to virtual enslavement.

Alan Gottlieb, serving as the executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA), issued a statement on Saturday pointing to the uniqueness of the Bill of Rights and especially the importance of the Second Amendment in securing them, stating:“Despite the efforts of lobbying groups and some politicians, the Second Amendment has retained its position as the cornerstone of our Bill of Rights.The individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms protects all of the other rights.” Gottlieb added, “Our mission is that of any citizen who values the liberty and freedom our nation symbolizes above all other nations in the world.Our Bill of Rights is the envy of every other citizen of every other country.” Joining Gottlieb’s groups in the announcement was Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO).

Gottlieb could have been speaking directly to two former citizens of Venezuela who have escaped the Marxist tyranny first installed by Hugo Chávez in 1999 and then expanded by his protégé, Nicolás Maduro after Chávez died in 2013. Now living outside the grasp of Maduro’s “collectivos” — motorcycle gangs hired, paid, and armed by him to“keep the peace” in the country’s barrios — Javier Vanegas, a former Venezuelan schoolteacher now exiled in Ecuador, and Omar Adolfo Zares Sanchez, a former mayor of a municipality in Venezuela, had their interviews published by Fox on the same day.

Said Vanegas: “Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight. [Maduro’s] government security forces … knew they had no real opposition.… It was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”

Vanegas added that the people were too trusting of their government back in 2012 when the Chávez-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly enacted its “Control of Arms, Munitions and Disarmament Law”with the explicit purpose of disarming the citizenry. Said Vanegas:

Venezuelans didn’t care enough about it. The idea of having the means to protect your home was seen as only needed out in the fields. People never would have believed they needed to defend themselves against the government.

Venezuelans … always hoped that our government would be non-tyrannical, a non-violator of human rights….

[But] if guns had been a stronger part of our culture, if there had been a sense of duty for one to protect their individual rights, and as a show of force against a government power — and had legal carry been a common thing — it would have made a huge difference.

Sanchez agreed: “Without a doubt, if there had been a balance of armed defense we could have stood up and stopped the oppression at the beginning.”

Without such a threat from an armed citizenry, Maduro’s tyranny has turned Venezuela from one of the most prosperous and free countries in South America into a virtual concentration camp run by Maduro’s thugs. The murder rate in the country is almost 100 per 100,000 (in the U.S. it is less than five), and the poverty rate is nearly 80 percent.

David Kopel, research director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, stated the obvious: “Venezuela shows the deadly peril when citizens are deprived of the means of resisting the depredations of a criminal government. The Venezuelan rulers … viewed citizen possession of arms as a potential danger to a permanent communist monopoly of power.”

Kopel’s comment calls to mind (in)famous statements by two historical tyrants over that “potential danger.”Said Adolph Hitler: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.” And from Mao Tse-tung, who ruled China as chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1949 to 1976: “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns. That way,no guns can ever be used to command the party.”

Americans need to appreciate the paper-thin difference between Venezuelan captives and American citizens: That difference is Founders who knew their history and built protections into the Constitution to keep the central government from exceeding its proper bounds.The Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights was added as additional security.

The country’s first president, George Washington, explained that difference: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

For Venezuelans, that lesson fromhistory is being learned the hard way.

Could Maduro Be Right?

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 14, 2018: 

For years now, Marxist dictator Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has been blaming his and his country’s troubles on the U.S. “empire.” On Wednesday he provided some details: the United States government, with the help of Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, is currently funding the training of 734 mercenaries in Colombia for an imminent invasion. The effort has the support of Colombia’s newly elected President Ivan Duque and Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. Charged Maduro: “I have no doubts that the U.S. administration, including John Bolton, has plans for Venezuela. I also have absolute and unending faith in Venezuela’s armed forces.” He added: “Venezuela does not kneel down, does not surrender. Venezuela will continue in peace and democracy. Let the American empire know!”

His “armed forces” were enhanced significantly two days earlier with the arrival of four military aircraft from Russia: two Tu-160s and two support aircraft containing various Russian officials and military support personnel. This likely was one of the favors Putin granted Maduro during Maduro’s visit to the Kremlin a week earlier seeking additional assistance for his tottering regime.

Initially, Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scoffed at the arrival of the Russian military aircraft by Tweeting: “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela. The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

But behind the scenes an entirely different conversation was taking place between Trump and Putin officials. Some media called it a “spat” but the outcome was announced by the White House on Wednesday: the offending aircraft would be returning to Russia on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was diplomatic: “We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft, which landed in Venezuela [on Monday], will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia.”

Part of the “spat” revolved around Russia’s deliberate projecting of force in the southern hemisphere and a warning to the U.S. that Russia had Venezuela’s back. That warning was backed up by the arrival of two Tu-160s, the largest, heaviest, and fastest swept-wing combat aircraft in the world. Although assumed to be unarmed, the Tu-160 is capable of carrying nuclear-tipped missiles with a range sufficient to reach nearly every major city in the U.S. The fact that Putin sent two of the 16 Tu-160s known to be in his arsenal 6,200 miles to Caracas to make a point no doubt changed the conversation in Washington.

Steve Byas, writing for The New American, pointed out that the U.S. has the same intention in Iran as it has in Venezuela. Wrote Byas, “Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor John Bolton have loudly and publicly called for the overthrow of Iran’s totalitarian theocracy.” Byas quoted Pompeo: “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlawed course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”

This could be applied to Venezuela as well. Sanctions against the Marxist regime there by the Trump administration have the same purpose: behave or else. That the Venezuelan citizenry are suffering is a matter of common knowledge: inflation has destroyed the currency, price controls have created shortages of medicine, food, and essential personal items. Millions have left the country while those remaining are living in desperate poverty. U.S. companies long operating in Venezuela, such as Kellogg and Clorox, have closed up shop, followed on Monday by the announcement from tire maker Goodyear that it was ending operations there as well. Its severance pay wasn’t in the worthless currency, the newly-created “sovereign bolivar” that replaced the previous worthless currency, the “strong bolivar.” Instead the company gave each departing employee something he could barter with: 10 automobile tires.

But is that suffering sufficient reason for the U.S. to intervene? Even if Mr. Bolton has no plans to invade using mercs, one remembers that the “military option,” according to his boss, remains on the table in “resolving” the situation in Venezuela. The Constitution has plenty to say about such behavior, but in Washington such restraints put in place by the founders to keep the chief executive from becoming the chief policeman of the world are ignored. In that brave new rudderless world, the end justifies the means.

When media types asked for a comment from Bolton’s office about Maduro’s charges it had no comment. It didn’t have to.

—————————

Sources:

The Wall Street JournalRussia to Withdraw Jets From Venezuela After Diplomatic Spat With U.S.

APNews.comVenezuela’s Maduro: US leads assassination plot against him

Reuters.comRussia tells U.S. their bombers to leave Venezuela Friday: White House

Reuters.comMaduro accuses U.S. official of plotting Venezuela invasion, gives no evidence

FoxNews.comRussia mum after sending 2 nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela

BBC.comMaduro accuses US of plotting to kill him

BBC.comHow Venezuela’s crisis developed and drove out millions of people

Background on Tu-160 Russian bombers

TheNewAmerican.comWill Neoconservatives Convince Trump to Favor Regime Change in Iran?

Maduro Claims Bolton Ready to Invade Venezuela

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 13, 2018: 

Following last week’s visit to the Kremlin to seeking support from Putin for his tottering regime, Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro welcomed on Monday two Russian supersonic aircraft and two support aircraft, which landed at an airport outside Caracas. Two days later, Maduro accused U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton of plotting a U.S. invasion to remove him from power. Said Maduro on state television: “I have no doubts that the U.S. administration including John Bolton has plans for Venezuela. I also have absolute and unending faith in Venezuela’s [newly enhanced] armed forces.” He added: “Venezuela does not kneel down, does not surrender. Venezuela will continue in peace and democracy. Let the American empire know!”

Maduro supplied a few details about the alleged planned invasion: The U.S. government was funding the training of some 734 mercenaries in neighboring Colombia, along with help from Colombia’s newly elected President Ivan Duque and Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Initially, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo scoffed at the arrival of the two Russian Tu-160 “Blackjack” supersonic bombers (along with two additional aircraft carrying Russian officials and military support personnel) by tweeting, “Russia’s government has sent bombers halfway around the world to Venezuela. The Russian and Venezuelan people should see this for what it is: two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty and freedom while their people suffer.”

But behind the scenes, an entirely different conversation was taking place between Trump and Putin officials. Some media called it a “spat,” but the outcome was announced by the White House on Wednesday: The offending aircraft would be returning to Russia on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was diplomatic: “We have spoken with representatives of Russia and have been informed that their military aircraft,which landed in Venezuela [on Monday], will be leaving on Friday and going back to Russia.”

Part of the “spat” revolved around Russia’s deliberate projection of force in the southern hemisphere and a warning to the United States that Russia had Venezuela’s back. That warning was backed up by the arrival of those two Tu-160s, the largest, heaviest, and fastest swept-wing combat aircraft in the world. Although the planes landing in Venezuela were assumed to be unarmed, the Tu-160 is capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range sufficient to reach nearly every major city in the United States. The fact that Putin sent two of the 16 Tu-160s known to be in his arsenal 6,200 miles to Caracas to make a point no doubt changed the conversation in Washington.

Bolton’s office made no comment on Maduro’s charges but it didn’t have to. As The New American has pointed out,the United States appears to have the same intention in Venezuela as it has in Iran. As we noted, “Rudy Giuliani and National Security Advisor John Bolton have loudly and publicly called for the overthrow of Iran’s totalitarian theocracy.” And as Mike Pompeo stated, “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlawed course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble.”

This could be applied to Venezuela as well. Sanctions against the Marxist regime by the Trump administration have the same message: Behave, or else. That the Venezuelan citizenry are suffering is a matter of common knowledge: Inflation has destroyed the currency, and price controls have created shortages of medicine, food, and essential personal items. Millions have left the country, while those remaining are living in desperate poverty. U.S. companies long operating in Venezuela, such as Kellogg and Clorox, have closed up shop, followed on Monday by the announcement from tire-maker Goodyear that it was ending operations there as well. Its severance pay wasn’t in the worthless currency, the newly-created “sovereign bolivar”that replaced the previous worthless currency, the “strong bolivar.” Instead,the company gave each departing employee something he could barter with: ten automobile tires.

But is the suffering of the Venezuelan citizenry sufficient reason for the United States to intervene? Even if Bolton has no plans to invade using mercs, one remembers that the “military option,”according to his boss, remains on the table for “resolving” the situation in Venezuela. The U.S. Constitution has plenty to say about such behavior, but in Washington such restraints put in place by the Founders to keep the chief executive from becoming the chief policeman of the world are too often ignored.In that brave new rudderless world, the end justifies the means.

Ruling That the Second Amendment Is a Second-class Right Faces Dissent

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, December 10, 2018: 

The ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week not only perfectly exposed the damage Obama appointees have done to precious constitutional rights but also showed how Trump appointees are already laboring to repair that damage.

President Obama appointed 329 people to federal judgeships during his eight-year administration, including one Patty Shwartz, who wrote the majority opinion in a Second Amendment lawsuit upholding New Jersey’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

She wrote:

Today we address whether one of NewJersey’s responses to the rise in active and mass shooting incidents in theUnited States — a law that limits the amount of ammunition that may be held ina single firearm magazine to no more than ten rounds — violates the SecondAmendment, the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment’sEqual Protection Clause. We conclude that it does not.

Dissenting in the case was a freshly minted circuit court judge nominated by President Trump: Stephanos Bibas. Bibas is a brilliant legal mind who is not only the 15th-most-cited law professor by the Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and numerous state high courts, but also the fifth-most-cited professor of criminal law and procedure by professors teaching in law schools around the country.

Bibas assumed office on November 20,2017 and chose the case the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs,Inc. v. the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey to take Shwartz to task over her frivolous treatment of the Second Amendment as a second-class right not entitled to a full and robust defense against anti-gun outfits such as Everytown for Gun Safety, which defended New Jersey’s attorney general in the case.

Bibas opened his dissent declaring that“the Second Amendment is an equal part of the Bill of Rights. We must treat theright to keep and bear arms like other enumerated rights, as the Supreme Courtinsisted in Heller. We may not water it down and balance it away based on our

own sense of wise policy.”

For 19 pages he not only provided a defense of the Second Amendment that obliterated Schwartz’s opinion but prepared the case for appeal to the Supreme Court. In essence, Bibas did the Supreme Court’s homework on the case, should the high court decide to review it on appeal. Here are just a few of the salient points Bibas made in his exterpation of the majority opinion in the New Jersey case:

The Second Amendment provides a right to “keep and bear Arms.” U.S. Const. amend. II. [Emphasis added.] It protects possessing arms, not just firing them. So the majority misses a key part of the Second Amendment. The analysis cannot turn on how many bullets are fired….

New Jersey has not met its burden to overcome intermediate scrutiny [the state must prove the ban serves an“important” public interest], let alone strict scrutiny [the state must prove the ban serves a “compelling” public interest]. True, the government has a compelling interest in reducing the harm from mass shootings. No one disputes that. But New Jersey has failed to show how the ban advances its interest….

The majority’s concerns are understandable. Guns kill people. States should be able to experiment with reasonable gun laws to promote public safety. And they need not wait for mass shootings before acting. The government’s and the majority’s position may thus be wise policy. But that is not for us to decide. The Second Amendment is an equal part of the Bill of Rights. And the Supreme Court has repeatedly told us not to treat it differently.

In this specific case Bibas was in the minority. But he has done his homework. He was one of the judges on the Federalist Society’s approved list of constitutionalists for the president to consider and is now tasked with correcting the majority when they go astray. As Trump’s appointees permeate the fabric of American jurisprudence, they will increasingly take on the task of bringing the U.S. ship of state back to its original moorings.

Massive Noncompliance to Boulder, Colorado, Assault Weapons Ban

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, December 6, 2018: 

In May, in a fit of righteous do-goodism, the Boulder, Colorado, city council unanimously banned the sale or possession of so-called assault weapons along with high-capacity magazines and “bump stocks.” As a sop to those among the city’s 100,000 residents who already owned firearms, current possession of such items was grandfathered in. All that was needed was that, by December 27, a firearm owned prior to passage of the law would need to be “certified” by the local police department. A fee would be charged per weapon, and a background check run on the owner.

If the owner cleared the background check, and his check cleared the bank, he would then be issued two “certificates of ownership” showing the particulars of the firearm and the date it was issued: one to be kept with the firearm, the other to be kept somewhere safe, just in case the first one was lost or misplaced.

The city council promised

Keep reading…

Kent State “Gun Girl” Wins First Round in Suit Against University

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 20, 2018: 

Those hoping that Kaitlin Bennett would simply go away and leave the Kent State University campus when she graduated in May 2017 have been sorely disappointed. As The New American reported at the time:

The day after she graduated from Kent State, Kaitlin Bennett celebrated not only the event but her freedom from her school’s restrictions on her Second Amendment rights. She posted provocative photos — she was wearing a short white dress — on her Facebook page showing her carrying an AR-10 semiautomatic rifle and her graduation mortar board, which was inscribed with the words “Come and Take it!”

She explained:

Now that I graduated from Kent State, I can finally arm myself on campus. I should have been able to do so as a student — especially since four unarmed students were shot and killed by the government on this campus [in 1970].”

Not surprisingly, the combination of her pose, her posture, and her position caused her Facebook entry to go viral. On Tuesday [May 15, 2017] she added:

I have no apologies for my graduation photos. As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the Second Amendment ensures that I don’t have to be.

After graduation, Bennett took a position with a local gun shop and continued her pro-gun activism. She has scuffled on social media with David Hogg, tweeting “I have a challenge for you. Let’s arm wrestle. If I win, we get to keep the 2nd Amendment. If you win, we turn in our guns. Deal?” When Hogg failed to respond she tweeted, “It’s alright guys, the 2nd Amendment is safe.”

But her high-profile activities have caught the attention of Fox and Friends, NRATV, and Alex Jones’ InfoWars, as well as protesters who have hounded her both on social media and in person. In July, Bennett tweeted:

Keep reading…

Resistance to Red Flag Laws Cost This Gun Owner His Life

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 7, 2018:  

Trekkies will remember the Borg as cybernetic organisms that live in a hive mind called “The Collective.” They co-opt technology from other species and gain such power that “resistance” to them “is futile.”

Gary Willis, a law-abiding gun owner living in Ferndale, Maryland, resisted, and paid for it with his life. Local papers covered the incident. Willis was asleep early Monday morning when two officers from Anne Arundel County knocked on his door. A law-abiding gun owner, Willis answered the door “with a gun in his hand,” according to a police department spokesman. They were there to serve him with an “extreme risk protective order” and remove his legally owned firearms.

According to the spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.

The spokesman said that Willis “became irate.” In the melee that followed, one of the firearms carried either by one of the officers or by Willis, went off. One of the officers then pulled his own sidearm and shot Willis dead.

Family members told Capital Gazette reporters that a distant relative had requested the ERPO the day before, due to an “incident” that occurred at his residence. The details of the “incident” remain unclear at this writing, but the backpedaling by the police chief began almost immediately.

Said Anne Arundel County police chief Timothy Altomare:

Keep reading…

Law-abiding gun Owner Killed During Red Flag Confiscation Raid

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, November 6, 2018: 

Gary Willis, a resident of Ferndale, Maryland, was awakened Monday morning at 5:17 a.m. when two officers from Anne Arundel County knocked on his door. A law-abiding gun owner, Willis answered the door “with a gun in his hand,” according to a police department spokesman. They were there to serve him with an “extreme risk protective order” and remove his legally owned firearms.

According to the spokesman, Willis put his firearm down to read the ERPO but then, apparently recognizing that it wasn’t a legal search warrant issued by a judge in accordance with protections guaranteed to him by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but instead was issued by a local judge under Maryland’s newly minted “red flag” law, he retrieved his firearm.

The spokesman said that Willis “became irate.” In the melee that followed, one of the firearms carried either by one of the officers or by Willis went off. One of the officers then pulled his own sidearm and shot Willis dead.

Family members told Capital Gazette reporters that a distant relative had requested the ERPO the day before, due to an “incident” that occurred at his residence. The details of the “incident” remain unclear at this writing, but the backpedaling by the police chief began almost immediately.

Said Anne Arundel County police chief Timothy Altomare:

Keep reading…

The Judge, the Journal, and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

This article was published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, November 2, 2018: 

Back in January 2013, former New Jersey Superior Judge Andrew Napolitano taught a history lesson:

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny….

 

The historical reality of the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to keep and bear arms is not that it protects the right to shoot deer. It protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.

 

If the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto had had the firepower and ammunition that the Nazis had, some of Poland might have stayed free and more persons would have survived the Holocaust.

The chilling history of the 13,000 Polish Jews who resisted Nazi military forces from April 19, 1943 until they were wiped out by May 19 is told by Marek Edelman, one of the only survivors, in his “The Ghetto Fights.” After efforts to remove the Jews from the Ghetto to transport them to the ovens failed, the Nazis tried a different tactic:

Keep reading…

Wall Street Journal: “How Many Guns Do Americans Own?”

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, November 1, 2018:

In an improbable article from an unlikely source, Wall Street Journal writer Joel Eastwood asks an impertinent question, “How Many Guns Do Americans Own?” Eastwood answers the rhetorical question himself: No one knows because of a lack of a central database. “With no central database,” he states, those interested in finding out “are left to make their own tallies.”

Not surprisingly, among those interested making guesses is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Eastwood reported that the agency was forced to make some estimates on how many guns were manufactured here in the United States, how many were imported from abroad, how many were exported, how many have been destroyed or otherwise lost over the years, and then they came up with a number: 405 million firearms are owned by 323 million Americans. Decried Eastwood, that’s “more guns than Americans!”

The question is impertinent for one simple reason: Why would the Journal, or anyone else for that matter, be interested, unless they had intentions to broach or abrogate the Constitution’s Second Amendment. After all, with a national database including the name and address of every American owning a firearm — all in the name of “public safety” of course — the temptation over time would be overwhelming to come and collect them, in the name of “public safety.”

That’s not how it works, according to former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano:

Keep reading…

Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann