Remembering Our Roots

On Wednesday, The Washington Times posted an article about the Second Amendment. There has been a lot of talk lately about the Second Amendment, but very little talk about the relationship of the Second Amendment and the U.S. Constitution.

The article reminds us:

The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it.

It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety.

It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use.

With all of this as background, and the country anguishing over the mass deaths of innocents, the feds and the states face a choice between a knee-jerk but popular restriction of some form of gun ownership, and the rational and sound realization that more guns in the hands of those properly trained means less crime and more safety.

Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has.

The government? Yes, the government. That’s so because the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to shoot deer. It was written to protect the right to shoot at tyrants and their agents when they have stolen liberty or property from the people. If you don’t believe me on this, then read the Declaration of Independence. It justifies violence against the British government because of such thefts.

Governments are the greatest mass killers on the planet. Who can take without alarm any of their threats to emasculate our right to defend our personal liberties?

The Second Amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Does anyone believe that 90 percent of the people in government would not become tyrants if the population were not armed?

The article concludes:

The president also offered his support for “red flag” laws. These horrific statutes permit police or courts to seize guns from those deemed dangerous. Red flag laws are unconstitutional. The presumption of innocence and the due process requirement of demonstrable fault as a precondition to any punishment or sanction together prohibit the loss of liberty on the basis of what might happen in the future.

In America, we do not punish a person or deprive anyone of liberty on the basis of a fear of what the person might do. When the Soviets used psychiatric testimony to predict criminal behavior, President Ronald Reagan condemned it. Now, the president wants it here.

The United States is not New Zealand, where a national legislature, animated by fear and provoked by tragedy, can impair fundamental liberties by majority vote. In America, neither Congress nor the states can outlaw whatever handguns or rifles they want to outlaw or infringe upon the right to own them.

The government can no more interfere with Second Amendment rights than it can infringe upon any other rights. If this were not so, then no liberty — speech, press, religion, association, self-defense, privacy, travel, property ownership — would be safe from the reach of a fearful majority.

That’s why we have a Constitution.

A government that prefers an unarmed citizenry is not a government I want to support.

The Real Numbers

Posted by a Facebook friend:

GunStatisticsThe Second Amendment protects law-abiding Americans. To undermine the Second Amendment is to allow criminals with guns to terrorize law-abiding citizens without guns. Hillary will appoint judges who will not support the Second Amendment. Donald Trump will appoint judges that will uphold the Second Amendment. The choice is yours.

Hypocrisy At Its Worst

In 2013, USA Today posted the results of a survey taken of members of Congress that owned guns. Oddly enough, many of those Democrats (26 or so) were involved in the sit-in protesting the fact that Congress was not willing to pass any laws impacting current gun laws. As I have previously mentioned, the Democrats filibustered two of the gun laws that were introduced, staged the sit-in, and used the sit-in as an opportunity to raise money. A website called Heatstreet has the full story.

We need to be very careful about passing any legislation that limits the Second Amendment rights of Americans. At a time when our borders are not secure and there are many people entering the country with ill intentions, Americans need to be trained in how and when to use firearms to protect themselves.

The Political Left’s War On Guns

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about the closing of the last gun shop in San Francisco. It wasn’t that the gun shop was not making a profit–the regulations finally forced the gun shop to close down.

The article reports:

The new city laws were so far over the top that it’s difficult to imagine them surviving a court challenge, but the owners apparently don’t feel like converting their entire operation into little more than a legal defense fund to keep fighting the liberal legislature. They were going to force them to record videos of every customer in the store and keep those videos available permanently. The personal information of every customer would have to be turned over to the police department each and every week even if there wasn’t a hint of an allegation that any crime had taken place. In short, the rules were designed to force the shop to harass their own customers mercilessly to the point where no reasonable person would want to shop there anyway.

The Obama Administration has been waging a war on guns and gun owners for a few years now. In June 2014, I posted an article about Operation Choke Point, an outgrowth of the President’s Financial Fraud Task Force, established by President Obama by Executive Order in 2009.

I quoted a Daily Caller article that reported:

Operated under a cloud of secrecy by the Department of Justice and in coordination with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Operation Choke Point forces banks to keep a closer eye on companies in industries that are deemed “high risk”, including gun and ammunition dealers, coin dealers, payday lenders, and debt consolidation service providers.

As a result of this government interference, a gun shop in Massachusetts was forced to close its doors when it was denied a line of credit from his bank because of the fact that he sold guns.

Americans are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms in the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

We need public officials that respect the Constitution that they took an Oath of Office to uphold.

The Dangers Of A Law Which Will Alter The Right To A Trial By Jury

The following is taken from Michael Speciale’s website. He is a representative to the North Carolina House of Representatives who opposes a change to the North Carolina legal system that will be on the ballot in November.

On the November ballot you will be asked to vote on a change to the North Carolina Constitution. The change is to allow individuals who appear in Superior Court, in cases where the State is NOT pursuing the death penalty, to waive their right to a trial by jury. With the approval of the Judge, they will go in front of a Judge only. The question on the ballot will be as follows:

[ ] FOR [ ] AGAINST

Constitutional Amendment providing that a person accused of any criminal offense for which the State is not seeking a sentence of death in Superior Court may, in writing or on the record in court and with the consent of the trial Judge, waive the person’s right to a trial by jury.

To some, the proposed amendment seems benign. It seems like no big deal, until you look at the ramifications, the precedence being set, and the liberty safeguards being forfeited.

Next to our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, whose inclusion into the Bill of Rights was intended to ensure that we the people had the ability to fight a tyrannical government, our 6th Amendment right to trial by jury is the next most important right that we have.

This right is another measure to ensure that we can overcome a tyrannical government because juries have the power to judge the law as well as the facts of a case.

What would be the purpose of this amendment? I can only reason that its purpose is intended to clear the backlog of cases. On whose backs will this come? The State would like to cut down on costs for providing legal defense to the indigent. Sadly, they will be the ones targeted because disposing of their cases by a Judge alone is generally quicker and cheaper than dragging out a Jury Trial.

Let’s take a look at a couple scenarios to determine what could happen:

   1. Promises and Coercion: The indigent defendant is sitting in their cell awaiting trial because they cannot afford bail. They are approached by an officer of the court and the conversation goes like this: “It will likely be months before we can get you in front of a jury, but if you sign this waiver, we can get you in front of Judge so-and-so in a week or two. He’s usually pretty lenient in cases like yours.” What do you think the defendant is likely to do? He wants out of the cell; he wants his freedom. He is likely to sign the waiver under the belief that he will be out of there quicker, and with a lighter sentence. It is not likely that all will go as promised.

   2. Juries have the right to judge the law as well as the facts of the case. That means that, even though you may be guilty of violating a law as written, the jury may choose not to convict you because they believe the law to be a bad one, or they believe that the law simply should not apply in your case due to mitigating, extenuating, or exigent circumstances. This is called Nullification, and a Judge is not likely to consider this.

   3. What about Justice? The powerful and the politically connected commit crimes like everyone else. Picture a Senator or other powerful individual manipulating the system by choosing to waive his/her right to a jury trial in order to get in front of a Judge that he/she knows, such as a friend, a supporter, or someone who owes a favor. Justice would not be served in this case.

   4. When the government gets their ‘foot in the door’ the next step is to kick it wide open. Think of the seat belt law. In order to calm public opinion when the seat belt law was being considered, we the people were told that this would be a secondary offence. In other words, we would not be pulled over just for a seat belt violation, but we could be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt if we were pulled over for another offence. The reality is that shortly after the law was passed, it was changed to make it a primary offence. Just like that, once this amendment is passed, after a short time I can easily envision a change making it no longer a choice in certain cases, but a mandate. I can envision the law being changed to state that if you are charged with certain crimes, those particular crimes will no longer allow trial by jury, but will be tried in front of a Judge only. Can you see it?

We are losing our rights by the day, and we should not just give them away. I voted NO on the bill to put this on the ballot.

I recommend that you vote NO on the amendment.

It would not be smart to change the law in this way. Under this change, an average citizen could very easily be deprived of his right to a trial by jury. Please vote against this change.

This is a photo taken from the Breitbart Facebook page:

This is what we are up against in the Middle East.

Haven’t These People Read The U.S. Constitution?

Today Breitbart.com reported that Robert Barnes, a reporter for the Washington Post, has argued that the individual right to keep and bear arms was established in 2008 by the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, a case that was decided five to four.

First of all, The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—

According to the Declaration of Independence, our rights are unalienable, they come from God–not from man, and government derives its power from the consent of the governed. Our rights do not come from the Supreme Court or any Justice on the Supreme Court.

The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed

The article reports:

Barnes makes this point by citing UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, who notes Kennedy voted with the majority in Heller, thereby “establishing the individual gun ownership right.” But Winkler also contends that “it was Kennedy who insisted” the decision “contain language” making clear the court “was not calling into question reasonable restrictions on gun ownership.”

Winkler subsequently suggested the court’s finicky appetite toward gun cases since Heller and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) is a reflection of “concern about the way Justice Kennedy is going to go [in future cases].” 

For Barnes, like Winkler, Kennedy is key to restricting “the fundamental right the court found six years ago.

The Second Amendment (like the rest of the U.S. Constitution) was designed to protect Americans from a tyrannical government usurping power and taking over the country. At some point I hope that those who want to undo the Second Amendment realize that it protects them–it does not endanger them.

 

 

Haven’t These People Read The Constitution ?

CNS News is reporting today that Vice-President Joe Biden has stated that “there are executive orders, executive action that can be taken” on gun control.

The article reports:

Biden was appointed by President Barack Obama to head a task force to explore the issue of preventing gun tragedies, following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

It is time for Congress or the Supreme Court to remind the President and Vice-President that at least theoretically, they are bound by the U. S. Constitution.

This is what the Constitution says:

                              AMENDMENT [II.]
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of
a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed.

Our free state is protected by citizens who have guns. None of the recent high-profile murder cases involved people who should have had access to guns. The problem is not the guns–it is keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Executive orders do not trump the Constitution!

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The Children Are Throwing Tantrums Again

The Des Moines Register posted an article today about the Iowa House Democrats who have left the Capitol to protest two gun bills the Republicans are bringing up. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has accused the Republicans of not giving enough notice so that Democrats could amend the bills.

I’m not even going to go into the details of this–I just want to show you the two bills as reported in the article:

House Joint Resolution 2009: Iowa Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Constitutional Amendment

This resolution would begin a process to amend Iowa’s constitution to include a “right to keep and bear arms.” The proposed amendment echoes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

To pass, the resolution must be approved by both the House and the Senate in two consecutive general assemblies before voters would weigh in on the issue.  It means that the earliest a vote could occur would be 2013, should the legislature act this year and next.

House File 2215: Reasonable force/Stand your ground

The bill would rewrites the law on “reasonable force” so that a person may use force — including deadly force — against someone who they believe threatens to kill or cause serious injury, or who is committing a violent felony.  The bill specifically says that a person is presumed to be justified in using deadly force if the person reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to his or her life.

Iowa’s current law allows potential victims to use deadly force against a perceived threat only if an alternative course of action also entails “a risk to life or safety.”

The first bill does nothing except echo the Second Amendment. What is the problem? The second bill simply allows a person to defend himself. Again, what is the problem? What amendments are needed?

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the concept of having the right to defend ourselves and our property. I don’t think that violence is always the solution, but I do think we have lost the distinction between right and wrong in our victim mentality society. If someone murders someone, the murderer is often painted as a victim of some evil in society–poverty, bullying, disturbed childhood, etc. Parents are told not to spank their children and parental authority is undermined in our schools. If we are to survive as a society, we need to relearn the concept of good and evil and learn to deal with evil when it rears its ugly head!

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