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Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

ACLU Declares Second Amendment ‘Racist,’ Launches ‘War on Bill of Rights’ | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2021

In fact, racist gun control goes back further than the constitution. Perhaps the first known attempt at disarming citizens in the new world occurred in 1751 when the French Black code was enacted requiring colonists to “stop any blacks, and if necessary, beat any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.”

This attempt to disarm blacks was repeated under United States’ rule 50 years later when the U.S. purchased the Louisiana territory. According to a paper published in the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy:

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/aclu-declares-second-amendment-racist-launches-war-on-bill-of-rights/

by Matt Agorist

For years, the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, has chosen to stand against those who would attack our Constitutional rights. Even the Free Thought Project has been supported by the organization when a California sheriff attempted to force us to delete an article that was damning to his organization. Over the past several years, however, there has been a sort of rift happening inside the organization, with your right to self-defense right in the center of it.

While they have been vehemently fighting for the right of transgender athletes to compete in sports, the ACLU has largely chosen to remain silent on the Second Amendment. Though they have supported most every amendment in the bill of rights, their position on gun rights has remained ambiguous and nuanced—perhaps deliberately. But that all changed this week when they ran an article with an embedded podcast that claimed the Second Amendment is rooted in racism.

As Gleen Greenwald points out:

The ACLU is now waging war on the Bill of Rights.

ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment has always been nuanced: it’s an important constitutional protection, but one that’s collective, not individual.

Now they’re full on proclaiming parts of the Bill of Rights to be racist.

The ACLU is now waging war on the Bill of Rights.

ACLU’s position on the Second Amendment has always been nuanced: it’s an important constitutional protection, but one that’s collective, not individual.

Now they’re full on proclaiming parts of the Bill of Rights to be racist. https://t.co/1lhED1FImu

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 26, 2021

Without a single fact to back up their claims, an article on the ACLU’s website claimed “Anti-Blackness determined the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, and has informed the unequal and racist application of gun laws.”

As those who have read history understand, this is not true at all. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Gun control—not gun rights—was pushed with the impetus of anti-Blackness behind it.

Nowhere in the Second Amendment does it say anything about the color of one’s skin determining their ability to own a weapon. However, slave-owning and racist lawmakers throughout history have attempted to disarm black citizens which is the exact opposite of “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

When the first U. S. official arrived in New Orleans in 1803 to take charge of this new American possession, the planters sought to have the existing free black militia disarmed, and otherwise exclude “free blacks from positions in which they were required to bear arms,” including such non-military functions as slave-catching crews.

The Ku Klux Klan often times attempted to enact similar “Black Codes” that barred the newly freed slaves from exercising their basic civil rights. One such example of these new laws was an act passed in the state of Mississippi that stated:

no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife, and on conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine

This law clearly flies in the face of the Second Amendment, yet the ACLU takes their stance anyway.

After the passage of these laws, numerous studies concluded that the newly freed slaves had essentially been rendered defenseless against groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Disarming them, essentially made them slave once again — after their Second Amendment rights were removed.

Contrary to the ACLU’s inaccurate assertion, it wasn’t the Second Amendment that sought to disarm black people, it was attacks on it—which were similar in kind to what the ACLU is doing right now.

When Republican congressmen passed the Freedman’s Bureau Bill attempting to secure the right to bear arms for Blacks in the south, the Supreme Court overturned it in what was known as The Cruikshank decision. This decision emboldened groups like the Klan, who in turn began gaining control over local governments to pass racist new laws. As Reason magazine noted:

In deference to the Fourteenth Amendment, some states did cloak their laws in neutral, non-racial terms. For example, the Tennessee legislature barred the sale of any handguns except the “Army and Navy model.” The ex-Confederate soldiers already had their high quality “Army and Navy” guns. But cash-poor freedmen could barely afford lower-cost, simpler firearms not of the “Army and Navy” quality. Arkansas enacted a nearly identical law in 1881, and other Southern states followed suit, including Alabama (1893), Texas (1907), and Virginia (1925).

As Jim Crow intensified, other Southern states enacted gun registration and handgun permit laws. Registration came to Mississippi (1906), Georgia (1913), and North Carolina (1917). Handgun permits were passed in North Carolina (1917), Missouri (1919), and Arkansas (1923).

Pro-Black groups have been advocating against these attacks and racist interpretations of the Second Amendment for decades.

In 1966, California law did not attack the Second Amendment like it does today and it actually allowed citizens to open carry firearms. The Black Panthers exercised this freedom by organizing armed patrols to follow police and ensure they performed their duties professionally. The following year, thirty panthers staged an armed protest in front of the California state house declaring, “The time has come for black people to arm themselves.”

The protest frightened former California Governor Ronald Reagan who, in response, worked with the NRA to support the 1967 Mulford Act. The act lead to California having arguably the strongest gun laws in the nation. As Adam Winkler, the author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms later noted:

“The law was part of a wave of laws that were passed in the late 1960s regulating guns, especially to target African-Americans.”

Again, it was not the gun rights that were racist, as the ACLU would lead you to believe, it was gun control.

Fortunately, the National African American Gun Association, NAAGA, does not hold the same opinion as the ACLU. This group, which was officially started and launched on February 28, 2015, in honor of Black History Month with a single chapter in Atlanta, has grown to more than 75 chapters nationwide with more than 30,000 members.

Thankfully, according to NAAGA, most Black folks don’t agree with the ACLU’s stance on the right to self-defense.

According to NAAGA, the perception and reality of African Americans owning guns is changing. In 2012, the Pew Research Center conducted a national survey and found that only 29% of African-American households viewed guns as positive. In 2015, that same survey showed a dramatic jump to 59% where now a majority of African-American families see guns as not only a positive thing but, in many cases, a necessity. In today’s society, every member of our community, if they want, can legally purchase a gun. African Americans in record numbers are now joining gun clubs, going to the gun range, participating in outdoor hunting, and even participating in competitive shooting events. Single Black women are now one of the fastest growing demographic groups in the African-American community who are purchasing guns for protection. The future is bright for active firearm ownership within our community now and for years to come.

If you would like to know how all gun control is racist, listen to our podcast with Maj Toure, who educates people in urban communities on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearms training, when he says, “Black Guns Matter.”

This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project

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Private Cannon Ownership in Early America – AIER

Posted by M. C. on June 29, 2021

https://www.aier.org/article/private-cannon-ownership-in-early-america/

Robert E. Wright

Robert E. Wright

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. claimed in a speech on Wednesday, 23 June 2021 that “The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.”

Oh, Joe, all the things you don’t know! Your claims are factually inaccurate; Internet patriots should censor these particular ones as dismisinfoganda. Other fact checkers have already pilloried your ignorance of these matters! You, or at least your speechwriters, should read a book, literally my One Nation Under Debt (McGraw Hill 2008). In it, and the copious sources cited therein, you will find that private individuals could, and did: 

  1. form their own military units, usually termed “Legions,” that included artillery units. That of Charles Dabney of Virginia is discussed in my book based on primary source research that I conducted at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and military histories include plenty of other examples.
  2. organize and charter private militia units as nonprofit corporations. On 28 October 1801, for example, Thaddeus Rice, John Hastings, James Godfrey, Reuben Rice and others incorporated a private artillery company in St. Albans, Vermont (see pages 120-21 of that state’s annual statutes to verify). On 3 November of the following year, 40 individuals did likewise in Shrewsbury, Rutland County (pps. 44-46). Other examples abound.
  3. own cannon, individually and as part of mercantile partnerships, for use on their ships, for protection against pirates and for use as privateers, private ships licensed by the U.S. federal government to seize enemy ships for lawful sale, a power granted Congress in the Constitution (Article I, § 8, clause 11). During the War of 1812, more than 200 American privateers seized and sold over 1,000 British ships. The details can be found in Timothy S. Good’s book here.
  4. develop, manufacture, stockpile, and sell cannon to meet the demand of private individuals as well as the government. Consider an article in the Congressional Weekly Register on 7 January 1812 (pps. 342-43) complaining “that the least rumour of war” caused the market price of military goods like cannon to increase 50 to 100 percent. Nevertheless, the stock of “cannon and small arms” remained “adequate to emergencies” and the art of boring cannon was “so well understood” in this country that thousands more cannon could be quickly and flawlessly manufactured if necessary. Twenty years later, the nonprofit Franklin Institute in Philadelphia announced that it had developed a superior new portable cannon percussion lock (Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1 March 1833, p. 152), one of many such announcements it made over the decades.
  5. fire their own cannon for celebratory purposes. An interesting court decision from Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1833 stated that for almost three score years it had been a “universal practice throughout the whole land, to fire cannon” to celebrate Independence Day and other major events (Hazard’s Register of Pennsylvania, 19 October 1833, pps. 247-48; Niles’ Weekly Register, 26 April 1823, p. 114). Shoot ‘em if you got ‘em appears to have predated “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”

And although I hesitate to bring this to Joe’s attention, individuals and nonprofits own cannon today. In 2019, for example, Brown’s Company of Artillery fired for five hours in Lebanon … the one in Connecticut. And the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, a private artillery company organized in Massachusetts in 1638, still exists! Yes, they fire smoothbore muzzleloaders, which remain completely federally unregulated to this day. Breech loading cannon with rifled barrels are federally regulated, but not banned.

Even though according to WaPo candidate Biden spent plenty of time in his basement during the pandemic apparently doing nothing, it would be unreasonable to expect that President Biden would have as firm a grasp on American cannon ownership as an economic historian like myself does. But all Americans should expect that their president won’t spread dismisinfoganda. Wasn’t that one of the reasons why we weren’t supposed to vote for Trump?

In short, it is high time that Biden apologize for breaking his campaign promise not to lie to the American people. And somebody should take down Googzon, Twitbook, Instatok, etc. for allowing his lie to spread over the interwebs because apparently their biggest fear is that somebody with a lot less influence than the president might communicate a dubious idea on one of their platforms and thereby end them forever somehow. Imagine what allowing presidential lies to circulate could mean for those patriots!

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Republicans Want To Take Your Guns – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 31, 2021

Now, some would argue that felons shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. What qualifies a felon? Well, according to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if you’ve loaded this web page and are reading this right now, you’ve committed a felony. Specifically, you’ve obtained information and are engaging in interstate or foreign communication. According to the CFAA, those are felonies

The Democrats want to take our guns, but the Republicans will swindle us out of them. Having depression or PTSD or opening your mother’s mail for her could result in a gun ban under Republican legislation. Republicans are not the gun advocate saints they claim to be. Their ideas are far more harmful than they claim to be. The Democrats will tell you that they’ll take your guns. The Republicans will tell you everything’s fine while robbing you blind.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/03/dakota-hensley/republicans-want-to-take-your-guns/

By Dakota Hensley

Republicans like to portray themselves as the most ardent and dedicated protectors of gun rights and the Second Amendment. Those like Ted Cruz claim that it’s Democrats that want to take away “guns from law-abiding citizens because that’s their political objective.” Republicans claim that if you put them in the driver’s seat, your guns will be protected. Is that true? No. It hasn’t been true for a long, long time.

Which is worse: being robbed or being swindled? If someone robs you, you’ll know they’re robbing you. You can stop it from happening again. If someone swindles you, you may not know about it for days or weeks or more. Democrats will rob you of your guns. Republicans will swindle you out of your guns and you’ll be none the wiser.

Ted Cruz claims Democrats want to take your guns. Republicans would never do that. Is that why he co-sponsored the Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act  of 2019, a bill that bans the mentally ill and felons from owning guns? That sure seems like gun control to me. Cruz was endorsed by GOA, the no compromise gun lobby. I guess they’re ok with compromise as long as it “preserves communities.”

Now, some would argue that felons shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. What qualifies a felon? Well, according to the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, if you’ve loaded this web page and are reading this right now, you’ve committed a felony. Specifically, you’ve obtained information and are engaging in interstate or foreign communication. According to the CFAA, those are felonies. Ted Cruz and Chuck Grassley, the bill’s original sponsor, think you should now be banned from owning a gun. Possessing marijuana can also be a felony. So is posting fraudulent information on someone’s social media account, egging a mailbox, opening mail not addressed to you, downloading music without paying for it, giving a friend viagra, and failing to report your tips. Under the Grassley-Cruz bill, if you’ve done any of this, you’ll be banned from owning a gun.

There’s also the deal with mental illness. Mental illness is not as rare as politicians claim it to be. 1 in 5 people have depression and 1 in 5 have anxiety. 1 in 100 have schizophrenia. Almost 8% have PTSD, including 30% of veterans. Should all these people lose their guns? Should almost a third of veterans lose to their Second Amendment rights? Some say mass shooters justify this idea yet only 25% of them have a mental illness. Over 51 million people have a mental illness. Who’s going to take all those guns?

Modern Republicans like Cruz and Grassley aren’t the only ones who endorse gun control without really saying it. Ronald Reagan, as Governor of California, signed into law the Mulford Act, banning open carry. The bill was introduced because of the horror of black people walking around carrying guns. The Act was even endorsed by the NRA. Reagan also endorsed the Brady Bill in a 1991 op-ed. In 1989, he said, “…I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed in defense of a home” and should be banned with other “assault weapons.” In 1983, however, he told the NRA in a speech that, with gun control, “…police would be so busy arresting handgun owners that they would be unable to protect the people against criminals. It’s a nasty truth that those who seek to inflict harm are not phased by gun control laws. I happen to know this from personal experience.” Republicans like Reagan and Cruz say one thing in public yet do another in private. It’s rather swamp-like behavior. Conservatives deserve better.

According to the Daily Caller, this swamp-like behavior continues. Mitch McConnell and Pat Toomey are open to compromising on gun control. Cruz and Grassley are even discussing resurrecting the PCPSA act I mentioned earlier. Reading these words could get your guns taken away. Excessive? Maybe, but we all know that the government always deals in excess.

The Democrats want to take our guns, but the Republicans will swindle us out of them. Having depression or PTSD or opening your mother’s mail for her could result in a gun ban under Republican legislation. Republicans are not the gun advocate saints they claim to be. Their ideas are far more harmful than they claim to be. The Democrats will tell you that they’ll take your guns. The Republicans will tell you everything’s fine while robbing you blind.

Dakota Hensley [send him mail] is from Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a writer and an individualist anarchist. You can find him on Twitter at @DakotaAHensley

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‘Second Amendment in the Firing Line’ – Ron Paul’s 29 Mar. Column

Posted by M. C. on March 30, 2021

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/2a-115342?e=4e0de347c8

Mar 29 – Gun control was already a Biden Administration priority before the recent shootings in Georgia, Colorado, and Virginia. In fact, the House of Representatives passed two gun-control bills weeks before the shootings.

One of the House-passed bills expands background checks to include private sales, including those made at gun shows. Under this bill, someone who is not a licensed federal firearms dealer cannot sell a firearm without first relinquishing it to a federally-licensed dealer. The dealer must then conduct a background check on the prospective purchaser.

The second bill allows the federal government to indefinitely delay a background check, thus indefinitely delaying a gun purchase. Other legislation introduced in Congress would create a national firearms registry, which would only facilitate gun confiscation.

This same legislation would forbid anyone under 21 from owning a gun. The ban does not apply to the military, so it will not stop the majority of gun violence committed by 18-21 year-olds.

The bill requires Americans to obtain a federal license before getting a firearm, but individuals cannot receive a license unless they undergo a psychological evaluation. The psychological evaluation mandate could lead to individuals losing their Second Amendment rights because they once suffered from depression. It could also cause people to lose their Second Amendment rights because someone told the police they may become violent.

Police officers in 20 states and the District of Columbia already have the authority to take away an individual’s Second Amendment rights based on allegations and without giving the individual due process. These “Red Flag” laws are supported by politicians of both parties, including some who claim to be pro-gun rights.

For example, former President Trump supported Red Flag laws. President Trump and Congressional Democrats were on the verge of reaching a “bipartisan” deal to expand Red Flag laws in the fall of 2019. Fortunately, the Democrat attempt to impeach the President ended all efforts at “bipartisan” deals to take away our rights.

A psychological evaluation could also be used to deny an individual Second Amendment rights because they may engage in “domestic terrorism.” Among those likely to be considered as potential “domestic terrorists” are opponents of US foreign policy, mass surveillance, the income tax, the Federal Reserve, and – ironically – gun control.

There is also legislation to reinstate the assault-weapons ban. Like the original ban, which was in effect from 1994-2004, the new legislation bans an arbitrary list of firearms and will do little to reduce gun violence.

Criminals and psychotics are not going to be deterred by background checks and licensing requirements from obtaining a firearm. There will be a black market to service those who cannot obtain firearms by legal means.

By discouraging law-abiding Americans from owning firearms, these laws leave millions of Americans defenseless against gun violence. There is a reason why most mass shootings occur in gun-free zones.

If Congress is serious about protecting Americans from violence, it would repeal all federal gun control laws. A good place to start would be with the Brady background check law and the misnamed “Safe and Gun-Free Schools” law, which leaves children defenseless against mass shooters. Congress ending the unconstitutional and anti-liberty war on drugs would also greatly reduce gun violence. Gun control, like all attempts by government to control our lives, makes us less safe, and less free.



Read more great articles on the Ron Paul Institute website.
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Copyright © 2021 by Ron Paul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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A Note on the Second Amendment – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 17, 2021

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/02/laurence-m-vance/a-note-on-the-second-amendment/

By Laurence M. Vance

On January 4, 2020, on just the second day of the 117th Congress, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), introduced the Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act (H.R.127) “to provide for the licensing of firearm and ammunition possession and the registration of firearms, and to prohibit the possession of certain ammunition.” The bill is named after a Pakistani Muslim exchange student who was shot to death in a Santa Fe, Texas, high school in 2018, although seven other students and two teachers were murdered as well.

So far the bill has no cosponsors. That’s a good thing because this is one of the most evil bills ever introduced in Congress (and members of Congress have introduced some utterly evil bills over the years).

Under this bill, “the Attorney General, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, shall establish a system for licensing the possession of firearms or ammunition in the United States, and for the registration with the Bureau of each firearm present in the United States.”

Here is the registration provision:

Under the firearm registration system, the owner of a firearm shall transmit to the Bureau—(A) the make, model, and serial number of the firearm, the identity of the owner of the firearm, the date the firearm was acquired by the owner, and where the firearm is or will be stored; and (B) a notice specifying the identity of any person to whom, and any period of time during which, the firearm will be loaned to the person.

The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a database of all firearms registered pursuant to this subsection. The Attorney General shall make the contents of the database accessible to all members of the public, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement authorities, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and all State and local governments, as defined by the Bureau.

Here is the licensing provision:

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the Attorney General shall issue to an individual a license to possess a firearm and ammunition if the individual—(i) has attained 21 years of age; (ii) after applying for the license—

(I) undergoes a criminal background check conducted by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the check does not indicate that possession of a firearm by the individual would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 or State law;

(II) undergoes a psychological evaluation conducted in accordance with paragraph (2), and the evaluation does not indicate that the individual is psychologically unsuited to possess a firearm; and

(III) successfully completes a training course, certified by the Attorney General, in the use, safety, and storage of firearms, that includes at least 24 hours of training; and

(iii) demonstrates that, on issuance of the license, the individual will have in effect an insurance policy issued under subsection (d).

The insurance policy is issued by the Attorney General and costs $800.

It is surprising that Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) didn’t mention this bill during his appearance on the Laura Ingraham show late last month. According to his congressional website:

A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Congressman Scalise has sponsored and cosponsored legislation protecting citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. The ability of law abiding citizens to bear arms and the right to self-defense is a fundamental constitutional right of every law-abiding American. Congressman Scalise supports law-abiding citizens’ ability to purchase firearms and national reciprocity for concealed carry permit holders. Congressman Scalise’s pro-gun stance has earned him an A+ rating from the National Rifle Association. A member of the Congressional Second Amendment Task Force, Congressman Scalise will continue fighting to protect every citizen’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Likewise, there is no mention of this bill Scalise’s website, not under press releases, and not even under the Second Amendment section.

In his appearance on Ingraham’s show just hours after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference where she engaged in “deliberately scaring people to distract from Biden’s leftist, job-killing agenda—and to set the stage for a Democrat gun grab,” Scalise said:

Look, in the last eight days, president Biden’s probably killed over a million American jobs with these executive orders he did on everything from banning leases—we see that in South Louisiana, the damage it will do to hardworking jobs, to Keystone, to the Paris accord that’s going to kill manufacturing in America.

That’s what they’ve done in the policy, and so look, if there was a real, credible threat that she knew of, no matter who it is, a member of Congress or somebody else, go to the authorities with that. And she didn’t do that. She goes to the press, which tells you what she is really trying to do is scare people, create distractions.

Another thing they’re trying to do, Laura, is take away our Second Amendment rights. Make no doubt—they’re going to be coming sometime this year with a bill to take away our second amendment rights. So they’re building this predicate that, “Oh, my God, everybody better be afraid of somebody with a gun,” and that’s going to be their attempt to then go take away the guns.

As pointed out above, that bill has already been introduced.

I note also that Scalise twice used the expression “Second Amendment rights.” Scalise, like the vast majority of Democrats, Republicans, liberals, and conservatives in Congress, the media, and the general public, misconstrue the nature of the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution as part of the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution), which the requisite number of states approved on December 15, 1791. The twenty-seven words of the Second Amendment read: “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.” It does not read: “The people shall have the right to keep and bear arms.”

The Second Amendment confers no positive right. It recognizes a pre-existing right. It is an additional limitation on federal power to infringe upon the right of the people to bear arms aside from the fact that no authority is granted to the federal government in its limited, enumerated powers to infringe upon this right in the first place.

Even if the Second Amendment only applied to the states’ ability to maintain militias—as many liberals and progressives say—or as subject to some other interpretation that limits its language to militias, that would still not affect Americans’ natural right to keep and bear arms. And even if the Second Amendment didn’t exist, Americans would still have the natural right to keep and bear arms.

This is because there is no authority granted to the federal government by the Constitution to ban, regulate, or otherwise infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Therefore, the federal government has no authority whatsoever under the Constitution to ban or regulate any type of handgun, shotgun, or rifle; large-capacity magazine; bump stock; ammunition; assault weapon; automatic weapon; machine gun, grenade, or bazooka.

And neither does the federal government have any authority whatsoever under the Constitution to establish or mandate gun-free zones, background checks, psychological evaluations, training courses, waiting periods, trigger locks, gun purchase limits and age restrictions, gun-barrel lengths, concealed weapons laws, licensing of gun dealers, gun-owner databases, gun licensing, gun registration, or gun insurance.

Too bad that Republicans in Congress support most of these things, otherwise most federal gun laws would have been repealed when Republicans had absolute control of the government for over four years under George W. Bush and for two years under Donald Trump.

The Best of Laurence M. Vance Laurence M. Vance [send him mail] writes from central Florida. He is the author of The War on Drugs Is a War on Freedom; War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism; War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy; King James, His Bible, and Its Translators, and many other books. His newest books are Free Trade or Protectionism? and The Free Society.

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Turning the Clock Forward – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on October 1, 2020

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/09/turning_the_clock_forward_.html

by Christopher Garbacz

If America returned to 1950s family values with obvious improvements (constitutional civil rights and reasonable environmental regulations), would we be turning the clock back or forward? There is substantial evidence that this would turn the clock forward, given society’s backward trend over the last sixty years –family breakdown, retreat from religion, and educational and moral malaise. When Attorney General William Barr spoke at the Notre Dame Law School, he attributed this decline primarily to the progressive movement.

Amy Wax and Larry Alexander argued for a return to 1950s values (the bourgeois culture that reigned from the 1940s to the mid-1960s) to mend America’s torn social fabric and disparate class gap:

That culture laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

Wax and Alexander do not offer a path back to the script. Congress has no will to act, and the President cannot legislate. However, a revitalized federal court system, starting with the Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”), can lead the way. President Trump has moved the Court in the direction that would allow it to reverse past activism. Putting a strict constructionist in Justice Ginsburg’s seat is the precursor to another four years of Trump that would move the federal courts in this direction for decades to come.

This essay suggests ten key areas of change for SCOTUS, each of which could help turn America around. These changes might not contain all that needs to be done to restore the republic, but they would move us far down the path. These categories allow a cohesive, united country to emerge to solve our problems in an innovative process not possible under the current administrative state.

Category I. Taxation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Joe Biden & Gun Rights: He Doesn’t Understand Second Amendment | National Review

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2020

By arguing that legal guns are no match for an F-15, Biden is making a powerful case that citizens should be able to more easily own powerful military-grade weapons.

While offering lots of the usual misinformation — Biden stands firmly against “20, 30, 40, 50 clips in a weapon,” for instance — things really fell apart when he started quoting Thomas Jefferson.

Perhaps he was thinking more about getting those leg hairs stroked in the pool.

The Democrats first choice candidate. Progressive America’s best.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/joe-biden-gun-rights-doesnt-understand-second-amendment/

By

Let us count the ways in which Joe Biden misunderstands gun rights.

Struggling Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden unleashed another incoherent rant about gun rights in front of a group of New Hampshire residents this weekend. While offering lots of the usual misinformation — Biden stands firmly against “20, 30, 40, 50 clips in a weapon,” for instance — things really fell apart when he started quoting Thomas Jefferson.

This has to be the first time in history that a serious presidential contender has publicly gamed-out how a modern American military — armed with F-15s and air-to-surface missiles — would crush an imaginary citizen-led insurgency. (Sorry, Eric Swalwell — even though you once mocked Second Amendment supporters as being unable to defeat a government armed with nukes, you were never a serious presidential contender, so you don’t count.)

For one thing, it’s a weird way to appeal to a broad swath of voters. It’s also an ignorant way to talk about millions of law-abiding and peaceful American gun owners — many of them in contested states such as Wisconsin and Michigan — who are far less inclined to violence than the average WTO protester.

It’s also a really bad strawman, for a number of reasons:

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1) It’s highly improbable that members of the American military would start murdering their countrymen simply because some bloodthirsty president ordered them to do it. One imagines that a large-scale insurgency would only be sparked by cataclysmic national events that would likely cause a fissure in the military as well. The notion that the Air Force is going to carpet-bomb Iowa revolutionaries simply because it has capacity to do so is dubious. This is the United States. One suspects that the military would be on the side of the patriots.

2) Biden should be aware that modern armies, historically speaking, have had quite a tough time crushing insurgencies equipped with small arms. There have been hundreds of such deadly, drawn-out uprisings around the world over the past 70 years, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) Biden could not have used a worse example to make his point than the AK-47. Americans, of course, mostly own semi-automatic versions of the famous Russian rifle, but the real Kalashnikov is one of, if not the most, durable and successful in history. During the Cold War — and beyond — it was the weapon of choice for revolutionaries, gangs, guerrilla fighters, and terrorists around the world. It has been an extraordinarily pliant weapon, used in virtually every modern insurrection since the mid-1960s.

4) By arguing that legal guns are no match for an F-15, Biden is making a powerful case that citizens should be able to more easily own powerful military-grade weapons. That’s why the Second Amendment exists, as a bulwark against tyranny, should it ever appear here again. So his position makes no sense. Why does Biden believe that Americans have a right to own shotguns when an Auto-5 has no real chance against a Hellfire missile?

5) Biden cuts off Jefferson’s hyperbole about revolutions at a very convenient spot. The quote, which was given in the context of a centuries-long fight for liberty, is: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. (My italics.) One suspects that Jefferson — granted, far too animated by the violence of the French Revolution for my taste — was more interested in spilling the latter’s blood. Lots of it. But Biden skips that part and stakes out an authoritarian position, not only because he doesn’t believe in the core rationale for the Second Amendment but also because he doesn’t believe in the core rationale for the Founding. The American citizenry is conferred rights by God, not by the power of a missile. What Biden said is tantamount to claiming that we don’t need to protect our First Amendment rights because they can always be crushed by the power of an M-1 tank.

There’s a good case to be made that we no longer have to take Biden seriously. But this risible argument seems to be increasingly popular among Second Amendment antagonists. I’ll give them this: “You don’t need your guns because we can annihilate you with advanced military weaponry” is a hell of an electoral sales pitch.

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The Second Amendment Works – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 21, 2020

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/james-ostrowski/the-second-amendment-works/

By

Note: This is an excerpt from The Second Amendment Works:  A Primer on How to Defend Our Most Important Right.

When I was a teenager, I supported gun control.  I had no real understanding of the issue, having never been taught about the history, purpose or efficacy of the right to bear arms in school.  I read Robert Sherrill’s book, The Saturday Night Special, and supported candidates who were anti-gun such as Ramsey Clark and Morris Udall.  I was on all other issues strongly in favor of civil liberties, but I did not make the connection at a young age.

In 1979, I joined the libertarian movement which is based on the natural rights of the individual to life, liberty and property, so the right to bear arms was an obvious part of the package.  Occasionally over the years, I would discuss the Second Amendment in my writings. In 1994, I wrote a column for the Mises Institute called “Guns and Drugs,”[1] in which I predicted, correctly, that the violence caused by the war on drugs would lead to an intensification of the war on guns, ironically since most gun owners favored the war on drugs.  I have urged, to no avail so far, advocates of the right to bear arms to join forces with advocates of the right to bear drugs, both being private property.  In the same article, published fourteen years before Heller v. District of Columbia, I argued that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms to deter government tyranny.

In 2001, the Journal of Libertarian Studies published my article on “The Rise and Fall of Jury Nullification,” in which I drew an analogy between the right to trial by jury and the right to bear arms, as instances of the Founders preserving liberty by allowing the people to retain certain fundamental rights lest the government get out of control.  That article, heavily reproduced herein, reiterates that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms, not merely the right of states to maintain militias.

Although a long-time Second Amendment advocate, I only got involved with gun litigation in recent years.  In 2015, I filed a lawsuit to overturn the New York Pistol Permit Law.  That case, Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo, is pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  At oral argument last year, the Court indicated it would hold the case until the Supreme Court issued a ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. City of New York, argued on December 2, 2019.

In the lower courts, I have won some gun cases and lost some gun cases.  My biggest win so far was overturning the first SAFE Act conviction in People v. Wassell, 2019 NY Slip Op 03187 (4th Dept. 2019).  However, overall, New York State courts continue to operate as if Heller and McDonald had never been decided.

Frustrated with lower court rulings ignoring Heller and noting that public opinion appeared to be swinging against the right to bear arms, I helped organize a forum on Second Amendment strategy in Batavia, New York on April 15, 2018.  As a result of that meeting, it was decided that the movement needed a short, readable primer on the Second Amendment that would be made freely available to all those interested in learning the history and purpose of the Second Amendment.  I hope this book fulfills that mission.

There was no foundation or deep pocket behind this book.  It is the product of a genuine grassroots movement.  It effectively responds to and rebuts a gun confiscation movement funded by billionaires who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to take your guns away by force.  These men and women have armed bodyguards protecting them 24 hours a day.  They have the most sophisticated security systems money can buy protecting their many mansions.  They are driven around in limousines.  They are shielded from the mean streets that most of us must navigate daily. Despite being outspent by hundreds of millions of dollars, I have the advantage of having truth and justice on my side.  With all their billions, the sponsors of gun confiscation cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

If you like this book, you can support my work on behalf of American liberty by buying my other books: Political Class Dismissed (2004), Government Schools Are Bad for Your Kids (2009), Direct Citizen Action (2010) and Progressivism: A Primer (2014)These books form a quadrilogy that, together, provides the education about politics and liberty you did not receive in any school.

Though I make much of my living selling books, I decided this cause was so important that I would make this book available for free online at 2awny.com and at libertymovement.org (forthcoming).  We will also be making print copies available at cost.  To take advantage of the world’s best distribution system, the book will also be available for sale at Amazon.com for a nominal cost since Amazon has to make a living too. Please spread the word far and wide because the Gun Grabbers are coming!  The Gun Grabbers are coming!

[1] See, Appendix.

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In Defense of the Right – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 18, 2020

There is a reason why Antifa, communists and progressives like governor Northam of Virginia want to limit your rights. Especially defense from government violence.

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And that right implies the right to defend life — the right to self-defense. If I am about to assault you in the nose, you can duck, run away or punch me first. If I am about to strike your children, you can strike me first. If I am about to do either of those things with a gun, you can shoot me first, and no reasonable jury will convict you. In fact, no reasonable prosecutor will charge you.

The reason for all this is natural. It is natural to defend yourself — your life — and your children. The Framers recognized this right when they ratified the Second Amendment. They wrote it to ensure that all governments would respect the right to keep and bear arms as a natural extension of the right to self-defense.

In Defense of the Right

The Ash Wednesday massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, seems to have broken more hearts than similar tragedies that preceded it. It was no more senseless than other American school shootings, but there is something about the innocence and bravery and eloquence of the youthful survivors that has touched the souls of Americans deeply.

After burying their dead, the survivors have mobilized into a mighty political force that loosely seeks more laws to regulate the right to keep and bear arms. The young people, traumatized and terrified with memories of unspeakable horror that will not fade, somehow think that a person bent on murder will obey gun laws.

Every time I watch these beautiful young people, I wince, because in their understandable sadness is the potential for madness — “madness” being defined as the passionate and stubborn refusal to accept reason. This often happens after tragedy. After watching the government railroad Abraham Lincoln’s killer’s conspirators — and even some folks who had nothing to do with the assassination — the poet Herman Melville wrote: “Beware the People weeping. When they bare the iron hand.”

It is nearly impossible to argue rationally with tears and pain, which is why we all need to take a step back from this tragedy before legally addressing its causes.

If you believe in an all-knowing, all-loving God as I do, then you accept the concept of natural rights. These are the claims and privileges that are attached to humanity as God’s gifts. If you do not accept the existence of a Supreme Being, you can still accept the concept of natural rights, as it is obvious that humans are the superior rational beings on earth. Our exercise of reason draws us all to the exercise of freedoms, and we can do this independent of the government. Stated differently, both the theist and the atheist can accept the concept of natural human rights.

Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to be neither theist nor atheist, wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” Such rights cannot be separated from us, as they are integral to our humanity. Foremost among our unalienable rights is the right to life — the right to be and to remain alive.

And that right implies the right to defend life — the right to self-defense. If I am about to assault you in the nose, you can duck, run away or punch me first. If I am about to strike your children, you can strike me first. If I am about to do either of those things with a gun, you can shoot me first, and no reasonable jury will convict you. In fact, no reasonable prosecutor will charge you.

The reason for all this is natural. It is natural to defend yourself — your life — and your children. The Framers recognized this right when they ratified the Second Amendment. They wrote it to ensure that all governments would respect the right to keep and bear arms as a natural extension of the right to self-defense.

In its two most recent interpretations of the right to self-defense, the Supreme Court characterized that right as “pre-political.” That means the right pre-existed the government. If it pre-existed the government, it must come from our human nature. I once asked Justice Antonin Scalia, the author of the majority’s opinion in the first of those cases, called the District of Columbia v. Heller, why he used the term “pre-political” instead of “natural.” He replied, “You and I know they mean the same thing, but ‘natural’ sounds too Catholic, and I am interpreting the Constitution, not Aquinas.”

With the Heller case, the court went on to characterize this pre-political right as an individual and personal one. It also recognized that the people who wrote the Second Amendment had just fought a war against a king and his army — a war that they surely would have lost had they not kept and carried arms that were equal to or better than what the British army had.

They didn’t write the Second Amendment to protect the right to shoot deer; they wrote it to protect the right to self-defense — whether against bad guys, crazy people or a tyrannical government bent on destroying personal liberty.

In Heller, the court also articulated that the right to use guns means the right to use guns that are at the same level of sophistication as the guns your potential adversary might have, whether that adversary be a bad guy, a crazy person or a soldier of a tyrannical government.

But even after Heller, governments have found ways to infringe on the right to self-defense. Government does not like competition. Essentially, government is the entity among us that monopolizes force. The more force it monopolizes the more power it has. So it has enacted, in the name of safety, the least safe places on earth — gun-free zones. The nightclub in Orlando, the government offices in San Bernardino, the schools in Columbine, Newtown and Parkland were all killing zones because the government prohibited guns there and the killers knew this.

We all need to face a painful fact of life: The police make mistakes like the rest of us and simply cannot be everywhere when we need them. When government fails to recognize this and it disarms us in selected zones, we become helpless before our enemies.

But it could be worse. One of my Fox News colleagues asked me on-air the other day: Suppose we confiscated all guns; wouldn’t that keep us safe? I replied that we’d need to start with the government’s guns. Oh, no, he said. He just meant confiscation among the civilian population. I replied that then we wouldn’t be a civilian population any longer. We’d be a nation of sheep.

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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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