MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

7 Reasons to Oppose Red Flag Guns Laws – Foundation for Economic Education

Posted by M. C. on November 1, 2019

If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

https://fee.org/articles/7-reasons-to-oppose-red-flag-guns-laws/

Jon Miltimore

Here are seven reasons red flag laws should be opposed, particularly at the federal level.

1. There’s No Evidence Red Flag Laws Reduce Gun Violence

Most people haven’t heard of red flag laws until recently—if they have at all—but they aren’t new.

Connecticut enacted the nation’s first red flag law in 1999, followed by Indiana (2005). This means social scientists have had decades to analyze the effectiveness of these laws. And what did they find?

“The evidence,” The New York Times recently reported, “for whether extreme risk protection orders work to prevent gun violence is inconclusive, according to a study by the RAND Corporation on the effectiveness of gun safety measures.”

The Washington Post reports that California’s red flag went basically unused for two years after its passage in 2016. Washington, D.C.’s law has gone entirely unused. Other states, such as Florida and Maryland, have gone the other direction, seizing hundreds of firearms from gun-owners. Yet it’s unclear if these actions stopped a shooting.

With additional states passing red flag laws, researchers will soon have much more data to analyze. But before passing expansive federal legislation that infringes on civil liberties, lawmakers should have clear and compelling empirical evidence that red flag laws actually do what they are intended to do.

2. Congress Lacks the Authority

The Founding Fathers clearly enumerated the powers of the federal government in the Constitution. Among the powers granted in Article I, Section 8 are “the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.”

Regulating firearms is not among the powers listed in the Constitution (though this has not always stopped lawmakers from regulating them). In fact, the document expressly forbids the federal government from doing so, stating in the Second Amendment that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

3. We Have Federalism

Unlike the federal government, whose powers, James Madison noted, are “few and defined,” states possess powers that “are numerous and indefinite.”

Indeed, 17 states and the District of Columbia already have red flag laws, and many more states are in the process of adding them. This shows that the people and their representatives are fully capable of passing such laws if they choose. If red flag laws are deemed desirable, this is the appropriate place to pursue such laws, assuming they pass constitutional muster. But do they?

4. Red Flag Laws Violate Due Process

The Constitution mandates that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.”

Seizing the property of individuals who have been convicted of no crime violates this provision. Gun control advocates claim due process is not violated because people whose firearms are taken can appeal to courts to reclaim their property. However, as economist Raheem Williams has observed, “this backward process would imply that the Second Amendment is a privilege, not a right.”

Depriving individuals of a clearly established, constitutionally-guaranteed right in the absence of criminal charges or trial is an affront to civil liberties.

5. Red Flag Laws Could Lead to More Violence

In 2018, two Maryland police officers shot and killed 61-year-old Gary Willis in his own house after waking him at 5:17 a.m. The officers, who were not harmed during the shooting, had been ordered to remove guns from his home under the state’s red flag law, which had gone into effect one month prior to the shooting.

While red flag laws are designed to reduce violence, it’s possible they could do the opposite by creating confrontations between law enforcement and gun owners like Willis, especially as the enforcement of red flag laws expands.

6. It’s Not Just the “Mentally Ill” and Grave Threats Who Are Flagged

In theory, red flag laws are supposed to target individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. In practice, they can work quite differently.

In a 14-page analysis, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island explained that few people understand just how expansive the state’s red flag law is.

“It is worth emphasizing that while a seeming urgent need for [the law] derives from recent egregious and deadly mass shootings, [the law’s] reach goes far beyond any efforts to address such extraordinary incidents,” the authors said. Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel.

“As written, a person could be subject to an extreme risk protective order (ERPO) without ever having committed, or even having threatened to commit, an act of violence with a firearm.”

Though comprehensive information is thin, and laws differ from state to state, anecdotal evidence suggests Rhode Island’s law is not unique. A University of Central Florida student, for example, was hauled into proceedings and threatened with a year-long RPO (risk protection order) for saying “stupid” things on Reddit following a mass shooting, even though the student had no criminal history and didn’t own a firearm. (The student also was falsely portrayed as a “ticking time bomb” by police, Jacub Sullum reports.) Another man, Reason reports, was slapped with an RPO for criticizing teenage gun control activists online and sharing a picture of an AR-15 rifle he had built.

Individuals who find themselves involved in these proceedings often have no clear constitutional right to counsel, civil libertarians point out.

7. They’re Basically Pre-Crime

As I’ve previously observed, red flag laws are essentially a form of pre-crime, a theme explored in the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie Minority Report, based on a 1956 Philip K. Dick novel.

I’m not the only writer to make the connection. In an article that appeared in Salon, Travis Dunn linked red flag laws “to the science fiction scenario of The Minority Report, in which precognitive police try to stop crimes before they’re committed.”

That government can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat posed to civil liberties is quite real.

If this sounds far-fetched, consider that the president recently called upon social media companies to collaborate with the Department of Justice to catch “red flags” using algorithmic technology.

The idea that governments can prevent crimes before they occur may sound like sci-fi fantasy (which it is), but the threat such ideas pose to civil liberties is quite real.

Compromising civil liberties and property rights to prevent acts of violence that have yet to occur are policies more suited for dystopian thrillers⁠—and police states⁠—than a free society.

It’s clear that laws of this magnitude should not be passed as an emotional or political response to an event, even a tragic one.

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Amazon.com: Minority Report: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell ...

 

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When the Mind Goes Into Default Mode – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2019

But when you listen to the gaggle of Democratic Party presidential candidates with essentially the same baseless claim to run your life with policies that would be far more disruptive of your interests, you become aware that you are not hearing the voices of good-natured chuckleheads; but of men and women who fully intend to make their delusions enforceable through the coercive powers of the state.

Most conservative and Republican speakers make only token, superficial responses to the leftists, because they have little depth to their own understanding of what is at stake.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/butler-shaffer/when-the-mind-goes-into-default-mode/

By

Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.
– Irene Peter

It is not a matter of coincidence that the collapse of civilization is accompanied by otherwise intelligent men and women negating their mind’s capacities to think, reason, and understand the complexities of their world. When systems and practices upon which previous social relationships were grounded no longer work, it can be said that the conduct of humans in society is subject to the principle offered by Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic: “Justice is serving the interests of the stronger. Just action is obedience to the laws of one’s state.” I add my own definition in the sentiments of economics: “justice is the redistribution of violence.”

Life experiences inform me that there are no objectively “true” or “correct” principles by which we ought to live. There are, however, principles that lead to differing consequences, the preferences depending upon whose interests are at stake. Politicians are perfectly happy with Thrasymachus’ opinion, while many of us would prefer principles that placed individual interests above those that give priority to collective political interests. It is up to each of us to think through the implications of either alternative, just as the political establishment has consistently found it to its interests to condition and subordinate our minds to its purposes.

Those who seek to control our lives must first gain control of our minds. If one of your neighbors went through the neighborhood with a gun, informing you that he was the sovereign authority therein, and that you were required to obey his orders, how would you respond? When, as a child, I visited my aunt and uncle on their farm, there was a retarded man in the neighborhood who informed us that he was the local sheriff and we had to do as he directed. Since he was completely harmless and pleasant, the neighbors tended to humor him and treat him with respect.

But when you listen to the gaggle of Democratic Party presidential candidates with essentially the same baseless claim to run your life with policies that would be far more disruptive of your interests, you become aware that you are not hearing the voices of good-natured chuckleheads; but of men and women who fully intend to make their delusions enforceable through the  coercive powers of the state.

Most conservative and Republican speakers make only token, superficial responses to the leftists, because they have little depth to their own understanding of what is at stake. The explanation for this, I suspect, is that for decades conservatives grounded their thinking and policies on anti-communist premises. When the Soviet Union collapsed they lost their raison d’etre. They tended to embrace private property and free-market principles not so much from deeply-held convictions traceable to the supremacy of the individual over collectives, but as tools to be employed against the “evil empire.” I heard one current articulate conservative distance himself from the Austrian school of economics and the libertarian philosophy on grounds he was unable to explain. When individuals give up on the principles and practices that provided the foundations for a free, peaceful, and civil society, they find themselves standing intellectually naked in a world that is destroying them and not understanding why.

With rational thought and the search for truth being jettisoned by so many as standards on how to live in a complicated world, it should surprise no one that the modern political arena resembles nothing so much as H.L. Mencken’s “carnival of buncombe.” The likes of Jefferson, Franklin, and Sam Adams no longer dominate political thinking, while Hamilton’s thinking has taken over not only in Washington, but on Broadway! Without norms that aid intelligent minds in the search for understanding, why should we expect politicians to propose policies grounded in anything more profound than the whims of collectivists or the foggy sentiments of “tradition”? With the recent rash of mass-shootings that conveniently provide the statists with more fear-objects to reinforce their powers over a gullible public, I expect that many, if not most, Republican politicians – long defenders of the Second Amendment – will abandon their defenses of clearly expressed Constitutional principles and join with the Democrats to further curtail rights of gun-ownership.

One of the most valuable lessons learned toward the end of Western culture is found in the study of chaos. For those who had not already discovered, one of the truths to be found in the dregs of our deceased civilization is that our world is far too complex, interconnected, and changing in ways difficult to identify or measure. Chaos theory informs us that complex systems are unpredictable; that efforts to anticipate and plan for the future are as prone to error as are the attempts to explain the past (e.g., what was the cause – or causes – of the American Civil War?). As our world becomes ever-more complicated, its previous linear simplicities become more non-linear in nature (e.g., the well-known example of the straw that breaks the camel’s back). For this reason, a hunting/gathering society would be easier to organize and direct to desired ends by central management, than would a modern, international, industrial enterprise…

With George Carlin no longer around to help keep me amused – his mind never functioning in the default mode – I will have to depend on the politicians to keep me entertained. I haven’t checked today’s news, but when I do, I may find that Rep. Dildock will have proposed a bill that would send everyone now living in America back to the country wherein their most recent ancestor lived, and require each to apply for residency or citizenship in order to re-enter this country.

The late Richard Weaver reminded us that “ideas have consequences,” a truth that should be in the forefront of our minds as we sift through the rubble of our fallen civilization for future direction. Added to his warning is another admonition: the failure to live without clear, questioning, energized minds also has consequences.

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America has Become a Nation of Stupid Laws – Dr. Rich Swier

 

 

 

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Second Amendment – Those Old Guys Were Woke

Posted by M. C. on August 11, 2019

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You I know the citizenry can’t fight the US army. But that is not the point.

Besides the US Army is not supposed to be fighting honest US citizens but that is another story and another post.

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The true purpose of the 2nd Amendment. | Being John Adams

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Violence Against Women Act Does Violence to the Constitution

Posted by M. C. on May 21, 2019

Red flag laws have led to dangerous confrontations between law enforcement and citizens who assumed that those breaking into their property to take their guns are private, rather than government, thieves

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2019/may/20/violence-against-women-act-does-violence-to-the-constitution/

Written by Ron Paul

A common trick of big-government loving politicians is to give legislation names so appealing that it seems no reasonable person could oppose it. The truth is, the more unobjectionable the title, the more objectionable the content. Two well-known examples are the “PATRIOT Act” and the “Access to Affordable and Quality Care Act.”

Another great example is the Violence Against Women Act. Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act provides federal grants to, and imposes federal mandates on, state and local governments with the goal of increasing arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of those who commit domestic violence.

Like most federal laws, the Violence Against Women Act is unconstitutional. The Constitution limits federal jurisdiction to three crimes: counterfeiting, treason, and piracy. All other crimes — including domestic violence — are strictly state and local matters.

The law also forbids anyone subject to a restraining order obtained by a spouse or a domestic partner from owning a gun. This is a blatant violation of the Second Amendment’s prohibition on federal laws denying anyone the right to own a gun. Whether someone subject to a restraining order, or convicted of a violent crime, should lose their rights to own firearms is a question to be decided by state and local officials.

At least the current law requires individuals receive due process before the government can deprive them of their Second Amendment rights. The House of Representatives recently passed legislation reauthorizing and making changes to the Violence Against Women Act. The most disturbing part of this “upgrade” gives government the power to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based solely on an allegation that the individual committed an act of domestic violence. The accused then loses Second Amendment rights without even having an opportunity to tell their side of the story to a judge.

This is a version of “red flag” laws that are becoming increasingly popular. Red flag laws are not just supported by authoritarians like Senators Diane Feinstein and Lindsey Graham, but by alleged “constitutional conservatives” like Sen. Ted Cruz.

Red flag laws have led to dangerous confrontations between law enforcement and citizens who assumed that those breaking into their property to take their guns are private, rather than government, thieves…

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Financial Blacklisting: YouTube Strips Ad Revenue from Second Amendment Activist Antonia Okafor

Posted by M. C. on April 25, 2019

Youtube-Keeping political correctness and snowflakes safe from the scourge of individual liberty and responsibility.

https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2019/04/24/financial-blacklisting-youtube-strips-ad-revenue-from-second-amendment-activist-antonia-okafor/

by Allum Bokhari

Conservative YouTuber and second amendment activist Antonia Okafor reports that her entire channel was stripped of advertising revenue by the Google-owned video platform after she uploaded an interview about self-defense with a fellow conservative.

“YouTube went straight to just demonetizing my ENTIRE channel today” wrote Okafor. “Just uploaded an episode where Nina Prevot, a Creole libertarian and I interviewed Amy Robbins about teaching young women to defend themselves.”…

Okafor is the CEO of EmPOWERed, an organization that teaches self-defense and second amendment rights to college-aged women around the country. The organization’s slogan is “gun rights are women’s rights.”

YouTube has yet to respond to Breitbart News’ inquiry about the status of Okafor’s channel.

Prominent conservatives took to Twitter shortly after the news to condemn YouTube’s decision.

“Blatant viewpoint suppression,” wrote Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action…

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Democrats are waging a financial civil war in America, targeting banks that fund pro-liberty projects that Leftists don’t like – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on March 21, 2019

How dare the company do that, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) lectured. How dare Wells Fargo not bow to the browbeating of Leftist Democrats and follow the lead of other banks in ditching gun makers and retailers.

Specifically, she blasted Sloan because Wells Fargo hasn’t adopted what the anti-gun Left calls “best practices” for the banking industry when it comes to firearms…

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-17-democrats-waging-financial-war-in-america-targeting-banks-that-fund-pro-liberty-projects.html

(Natural News) Let’s get one thing straight: The Democratic Left hates the Constitution. They always have and they always will because it is so effective in preventing authoritarians like them from taking over all the reins of power…

The Left looks at sabotaging the Second Amendment in the same way. Because they know they won’t ever muster support among enough states to repeal it, they are focusing instead on strategies to simply neuter it.

That’s what Operation Choke Point (OCP) was designed to do. As a refresher, OCP was an Obama-era initiative implemented by lawless hacks at his “Justice” Department to investigate (i.e. harass) banks that did business with gun dealers, as well as payday lenders and other companies thought to be involved in fraud or money-laundering.

As Frank Keating wrote in The Hill last year:

A little-known program carried out by President Obama’s Department of Justice (DOJ) whipsawed small business for years, and to date no one has been held accountable. Federal officials pressured banks to close the accounts of businesses solely because they were ideologically opposed to their existence. This runs counter to the very principles of due process and fairness that form the backbone of our nation’s laws.

The Obamaites knew they couldn’t get a GOP Congress to approve legislation that would put gun makers and dealers out of business, so they devised another way to do it: Ruin them economically by cutting off their access to financial services, despite the fact that they were lawful businesses operating on the up-and-up.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Rural Sheriffs Defy New Gun Measures

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2019

https://www.wsj.com/articles/rural-sheriffs-defy-new-gun-measures-11552230000

By Jacob Gershman and Dan Frosch

‘If a state or city can become a sanctuary for illegal immigration, then we can become a sanctuary for Second Amendment rights.’…

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House Democrats plan to move legislation criminalizing private gun sales out of committee and get it to the floor for a vote this week.

Posted by M. C. on February 11, 2019

https://www.breitbart.com/podcast/2019/02/10/house-democrats-plan-vote-criminalize-private-gun-sales-this-week/

by AWR HAWKINS

House Democrats plan to move legislation criminalizing private gun sales out of committee and get it to the floor for a vote this week.

On January 8, Breitbart News reported that House Democrats introduced the legislation, dubbed H.R. 8, in honor of the eighth anniversary of the January 8, 2011, attack on Gabby Giffords.

Giffords stood with the Democrats as they introduced their gun control:

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

It is truly blessing to have former Rep. @GabbyGiffords join us to introduce , the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, eight years after the Tucson shooting. https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1OdJrRNXwaXJX 

Introduction of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019

Nancy Pelosi @NancyPelosi

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When Guns Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Have Guns – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on January 8, 2019

Their agenda is the disarming of the American people, a people already disarmed of the protections of the US Constitution by the fake “war on terror.” The only remaining barrier to tyrannized Americans is the large percentage of the population that is armed and skilled in the use of “gun violence.”

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/01/04/when-guns-are-outlawed-only-outlaws-will-have-guns/

Paul Craig Roberts

Guns are banned in the UK, but the black market is booming and criminals are loading up on firearms.
https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/when-proggies-advocate-for-uk-style-gun-control-laws-show-them-this-police-struggle-to-stop-flood-of-firearms-into-uk/

I have often wondered what is the real agenda of gun ban advocates. More people die from falls than from being shot. Deaths from accidents far exceed deaths from being shot.

The FBI reports that there were 1,247,321 violent crimes in the US in 2017. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/topic-pages/violent-crime

Aggravated assault and robbery account for 91% of violent crimes. Rapes account for 7.7%. Murders accounted for only 1.4% of violent crime. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2016-crime-statistics-released

According to the FBI, there were 17,284 murders in 2017. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/topic-pages/murder

Assailants using rifles killed 403 people, and 1,591 were killed by people using knives. Handguns were used in 7,032 killings, many of which resulted from criminals killing one another over, for example, drug distribution.
https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2017/crime-in-the-u.s.-2017/tables/expanded-homicide-data-table-8.xls
See also: https://www.statista.com/statistics/195325/murder-victims-in-the-us-by-weapon-used/ Read the rest of this entry »

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Fitton: The ATF Is Still Hiding the Truth About Obama’s Anti-Gun Agenda

Posted by M. C. on October 12, 2018

Simply put, the ATF refuses to comply with federal open records law. The ATF has withheld records for over three years concerning the Obama administration’s shady attempt to institute gun control by restricting ammunition instead of guns.

ATF-soul brother to FIB and NSA

https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/10/11/fitton-the-atf-is-still-hiding-the-truth-about-obamas-anti-gun-agenda/

by Tom Fitton

The Obama administration excelled at pushing its radical agenda through any means necessary. Since its gun-control agenda was not going anywhere, it decided to control ammunition, which would have had the same effect.

Everyone with an appreciation of the Second Amendment saw right through it.

Late last month, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a component of the Department of Justice, for 1,900 pages of records about a proposed reclassification that would effectively ban certain types of AR-15 ammunition as armor-piercing (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02218)).

We sued after the agency failed to respond to our May 14, 2018, FOIA request for the 1,900 documents about the Obama administration’s AR-15 ammo ban efforts. The documents include ATF talking points about the “Armor Piercing Ammunition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” and other records discussing ammunition classification.

This lawsuit is the latest development in our more than three-year effort to obtain documents from the ATF. Judicial Watch discovered the document cache in separate litigation on the ammo ban issue.

Here’s some background:

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