I am on the Resolutions Committee of the Moore County Republican Party. Our Committee has prepared a number of resolutions to be submitted for adoption at the March 30 Moore County GOP Convention to be held at the Sandhills Community College.
One of our resolutions pertains to "Support for the U.S. Constitution
The process is in the midst of gathering feedback and input on our resolutions in preparation for the final Committee report at the Convention.
We received input from a very prominent "mover and shaker" here in Moore County which I would like to share with you along with my responses. I will not divulge the identity of my "antagonist". But, I believe the exchange of ideas might provoke serious considerations and critical thinking of others in Moore County -- both Republicans and Independents.
If any readers would care to share their thoughts and reactions to this short debate, I would be most interested.Bill Cochrane_____________________________Commentor:
"Everything looks good. However, please consider substituting the word 'unreasonable' for 'all' with regard to Constitution and regulations and law. For instance, free speech is always limited by libel, assembly is limited when it creates a violent riot. And we all agree that private persons should not have shoulder fired missiles. The true legal standard is 'compelling state interest' which is a higher test than 'unreasonable' but the former sounds too statist. Perhaps another phrase might be 'overreaching and unnecessary regulation and laws'."
"I understand your point, and I am somewhat – somewhat – sympathetic to it. I have heard the arguments you make about 'limitations' on rights before. But in making these arguments, we have allowed the Left to control the language and presentation of the issue. I would much rather argue that our right of free speech, which the Constitution says is not to be infringed (that means the right is not to be lessened, limited, or undermined in any way). But my rights must not 'break your leg or pick your pocket'. If, in exercising my rights, I do harm to another, then I am accountable for that harm. So my rights are not 'limited' – they are constrained by my self-responsibility and by accountability for the consequences of my actions.
As a legal professional, I am certain you will recognize the above is not simply a rhetorical difference, it is a fundamental one. The moment we begin allowing the government to pass laws infringing on our sacred Bill of Rights, that moment we begin to surrender and erode Liberty itself. And that is just what we have done for decades now! And under the progressive invention of 'case law' and 'legal precedent', once you infringe here, well then, you can infringe there, too – all 'reasonable' and 'fair', of course. All 'good common sense' infringements for the 'greater good'.
So, we all agreed that libel was bad and so we passed a law against libel. And then against other types of speech.... And we still argue about just what constitutes libel and slander.... Has it ever really been settled? And so the progressive infringements began....
Now, your example of freedom of assembly is a bit different. Assembly is not yet unlawful – although the government often tries to discourage and limit it using excuses of permitting, sanitation requirements, security requirements, liability insurance, etc. – even to the point where they make it nearly impossible to have an assembly. You know I’m not wrong or prevaricating here.... Just look what good ole Guv Bev used to do whenever the Tea Party wanted to have an assembly in Raleigh. It was ridiculous. Just look what the good federales always do when FreedomWorks or Glenn Beck wants to have an assembly in Washington D.C. You can have an assembly; it’ll just bankrupt you now....
But we haven’t banned assembly yet. Have we infringed on the right? I think so! But we didn’t amend the Bill of Rights. No, we have a more sneaky way of getting around that pesky 'shall not be infringed' language, don’t we? I, for one, think it’s time to stop allowing this. If a riot is bad and you make laws against violent rioting, hold me accountable if I break those laws. Don’t infringe on my right of assembly under the presumption that my assembly could conceivably somehow might trigger a riot....
And I humbly, but strongly, disagree with you that private persons 'should not have shoulder fired missiles'. That way of thinking once again buys right into the agenda of the Left, and it is just plain wrong. When the Constitution was drafted and ratified, everyone understood that the muskets in private hands were the most modern 'military assault weapons' to be had. Citizens, farmers, private merchant ships could and did have cannons – the biggest, baddest, most advanced military weaponry of the time – equivalent in every way to those held by the standing army and navy. They could have these in any quantities that the private party could afford and wished to bear.
Indeed, Presidents Washington and Jefferson used private militia and hired seafaring privateers to fight against enemies on behalf of the federal government. They were every bit as well armed as the corresponding standing army and navy units. There was no intent on the part of the Framers to limit the right to bear arms – that’s why the Second Amendment says 'shall not be infringed'. Things stayed this way until the 20th century progressive movement, which managed to convince enough people that we stupid people just can’t be trusted with certain things and certain rights. So, in the name of 'good', 'reasonable', 'common sense', 'public safety' our Second Amendment rights really do need a bit of infringing.... And so, they did. And we have allowed it. Now after one progressive 'common sense' step after another after another... look where we find ourselves!
So, no, I do not agree – I never will agree – that I do not have the right to any arms I can afford and wish to bear. The Second Amendment is not about hunting. It is not about protecting myself from a burglar, although that is a really good side benefit. No. The Second Amendment is about resisting and protecting against the rise of a tyrannical government. That is its purpose. And to do that, the People should be as well armed as the mercenaries which will be sent against the People by the Tyrant.
I decry that we have allowed the government to infringe ALL of our rights in spite of the Bill of Rights. And if those infringements were really what the People actually wanted, then the Constitution and Bill of Rights should have been properly amended through the process established for that very purpose. We have erred in allowing the legislators, the regulators, and the corrupted courts to infringe and invent false new authorities through 're-interpretation'. I am sick of it!
And 'compelling state interest' is, indeed, a statist concept and an excuse used by big government rogues to shred the Constitution. As for the word 'unreasonable', I must ask: "Who is to decide what is ‘unreasonable’?" Are we going to leave that up to the same 'evolution' of case precedence in the courts? Are we going to let the same corrupted Congress or Administration define and redefine that word for us to suit their own desires? Who will be the arbiter of 'reasonableness' and 'unreasonableness'?
What bothers me about your suggestion is that it accepts the notion that our government CAN at its own discretion infringe my God-given rights in the name of someone’s idea of 'reasonableness'. That gives them a 'blank check'."
Most of 20th Century Constitutional law was concerned with expansion of civil liberties in light of making the Bill of Rights applicable to the States... This included deciding that one could publish an ad critical of an Alabama Sheriff. Often the Court got it wrong such as when it found new rights like a "right to privacy".
But, by overturning state laws like the Illinois law which prevented a Nazi march,the Court mostly spent the 20th Century expanding free speech and overruling state laws which limited peaceable assembly. All this was based upon ignoring the limitation the founders placed upon the first amendment and using the 14th Amendment to make that rifling. It can be argued that the last founding father was John A Bingham, the author of the 14th Amendment whose goal it was to bind the Bill of Rights to the States.
It took about 100 years of Supreme Court decisions to accomplish this.
Something to think about.
"I’m glad that we agree on much. However, alas! I differ again in my views on the 20th century 'expansion of civil liberties'. Certainly that statement is true with regard to civil rights of blacks and the persecution they faced (primarily from the Democrat Party) following the War Between the States. The Fourteenth Amendment was put into place to overcome those gross injustices.
Interesting to note, however, that the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified through the Constitutional amendment and ratification process – not through legal caveat in the courts or legislative/administrative end runs around the Constitution.
Where I disagree with your view of history is that, yes, the courts – up to and including the Supreme Court – proceeded to weaken and erode federalism. The states were meant to have powers not granted to the federal government. The federal government was never meant to steal those powers and authorities from the states. If I didn’t like the laws and governance of my current state, I could move to another. But the courts and other branches of the federal government have conspired to destroy federalism and build an all-powerful central state government. They bribed short-sighted state and local governments through grants and favors to accept rules and strings which gradually transferred power to the central government. All this transfer of power and authority – in the guise and pretense of making us 'freer' and 'safer' and 'more efficient', accomplished quite the opposite.
I do not agree that the courts had our best interests as their true motive. That hundred years of which you speak was the hundred years of progressivism, beginning with Teddy Roosevelt and his Bullmoose Party, ripening with WW and FDR, and culminating in the sorry likes of Jimmy Carter and Barry Soetoro. This court-ordered erosion of the Constitution and federalism only abetted the progressives in the other federal branches in their quest for total power. It was and is an abomination which has brought our nation to the brink of totalitarianism, at which we find ourselves today.
Yes, I agree, the courts and federal government 'ignored the (Constitutional) limitation the founders placed' – indeed learned to disregard all the Constitutional limitations with the help of the corrupt courts – interpreting the 'Commerce Clause' and now, with Justice Roberts’ twisted and perverted reinterpretations, particularly of the Sixteenth Amendment, the 'taxing authority' – to do virtually ANYTHING they want.
I owe the courts no gratitude. The 'progress' of which you speak was toward tyranny."
If you think this isn't possible here, you have your head in the sand. The government is telling us daily what we can and can't do. We can't have this kind of food; we can't have this kind of drink; we can't have this kind of car; we can't THIS AND WE CAN'T HAVE THAT. The documents that made this a great country are being trampled on and we Americans are losing more of the freedoms that made us Americans.
If you want to see the timeline of Tony Martin's nightmare treatment by the British courts, read this BBC report
You're sound asleep when you hear a thump outside your bedroom door... Half-awake, and nearly paralyzed with fear, you hear muffled whispers. At least two people have broken into your house and are moving your way.
With your heart pumping, you reach down beside your bed and pick up your shotgun. You rack a shell into the chamber, then inch toward the door and open it...
In the darkness, you make out two shadows. One holds something that looks like a crowbar. When the intruder brandishes it as if to strike, you raise the shotgun and fire.
The blast knocks both thugs to the floor.
One writhes and screams while the second man crawls to the front door and lurches outside. As you pick up the telephone to call police, you know you're in trouble. In your country, most guns were outlawed years before, and the few that are privately owned are so stringently regulated as to make them useless...
Yours was never registered...
Police arrive and inform you that the second burglar has died. They arrest you for First Degree Murder and Illegal Possession of a Firearm.
When you talk to your attorney, he tells you not to worry: authorities will probably plea the case down to manslaughter. "What kind of sentence will I get?" you ask. "Only ten-to-twelve years", he replies, as if that's nothing. "Behave yourself, and you'll be out in seven."
The next day, the shooting is the lead story in the local newspaper. Somehow, you're portrayed as an eccentric vigilante while the two men you shot are represented as choirboys. Their friends and relatives can't find an unkind word to say about them..
Buried deep down in the article, authorities acknowledge that both "victims" have been arrested numerous times. But the next day's headline says it all: "Lovable Rogue Son Didn't Deserve to Die."
The thieves have been transformed from career criminals into Robin Hood-type pranksters..
As the days wear on, the story takes wings. The national media picks it up, then the international media. The surviving burglar has become a folk hero.
Your attorney says the thief is preparing to sue you, and he'll probably win.
The media publishes reports that your home has been burglarized several times in the past and that you've been critical of local police for their lack of effort in apprehending the suspects. After the last break-in, you told your neighbor that you would be prepared next time. The District Attorney uses this to allege that you were lying in wait for the burglars.
A few months later, you go to trial. The charges haven't been reduced, as your lawyer had so confidently predicted.
When you take the stand, your anger at the injustice of it all works against you... Prosecutors paint a picture of you
as a mean, vengeful man. It doesn't take long for the jury to convict you of all charges.
The judge sentences you to life in prison.
This case really happened.
On August 22, 1999, Tony Martin of Emneth, Norfolk, England, killed one burglar and wounded a second. In April, 2000, he was convicted and is now serving a life term.
How did it become a crime to defend one's own life in the once great British Empire? It started with the Pistols Act of 1903. This seemingly reasonable law forbade selling pistols to minors or felons and established that handgun sales were to be made only to those who had a license.
The Firearms Act of 1920 expanded licensing to include not only handguns but all firearms except shotguns..
Later laws passed in 1953 and 1967 outlawed the carrying of any weapon by private citizens and
mandated the registration of all shotguns.
Momentum for total handgun confiscation began in earnest after the Hungerford mass shooting in 1987. Michael Ryan, a mentally disturbed man with a Kalashnikov rifle, walked down the street shooting everyone he saw. When the smoke cleared, 17 people were dead. The British public, already de-sensitized by eighty years of "gun control", demanded even tougher restrictions. (The seizure of all privately owned handguns was the objective even though Ryan used a rifle.)
Nine years later, at Dunblane, Scotland, Thomas Hamilton used a semi-automatic weapon to murder 16 children and a teacher at a public school. For many years, the media had portrayed all gun owners as mentally unstable, or worse, criminals. Now the press had a real kook with which to beat up law-abiding gun owners.
Day after day, week after week, the media gave up all pretense of objectivity and demanded a total ban on all handguns.
The Dunblane Inquiry, a few months later, sealed the fate of the few sidearm's still owned by private citizens.
During the years in which the British government incrementally took away most gun rights, the notion that a citizen had the right to armed self-defense came to be seen as vigilantism. Authorities refused to grant gun licenses to people who were threatened,
claiming that self-defense was no longer considered a reason to own a gun. Citizens who shot burglars or robbers or rapists were charged while the real criminals were released.
Indeed, after the Martin shooting, a police spokesman was quoted as saying, "We cannot have people take the law into their own hands."
All of Tony Martin's neighbors had been robbed numerous times, and several elderly people were severely injured in beatings by young thugs who had no fear of the consequences. Martin himself, a collector of antiques, had seen most of his collection trashed or stolen by burglars.
When the Dunblane Inquiry ended, citizens who owned handguns were given three months to turn them over to local authorities. Being good British subjects, most people obeyed the law. The few who didn't were visited by police and threatened with ten-year prison sentences if they didn't comply. Police later bragged that they'd taken nearly 200,000 handguns from private citizens.
How did the authorities know who had handguns? The guns had been registered and licensed. Kind of like cars. Sound familiar?
WAKE UP AMERICA! THIS IS WHY OUR FOUNDING FATHERS PUT THE SECOND AMENDMENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION.
"...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." -- Samuel Adams
You had better wake up, because Obama is doing this very same thing, over here in America! If he can he'll get it done with the help of his henchmen like Diane Feinstein and Michael Bloomberg.
And there are plenty of stupid people in Congress and on the street that will go right along with him.
The left has emphasized a new tactic to discourage gun ownership and to penalize law-abiding citizens who value their Second Amendment rights. The left has begun to argue that "high-capacity" magazines must be banned and outlawed. They essentially argue that:
- The magazines allow too many shots to be fired too quickly, endangering too many people. An outlaw shooter can "mow down" more people if he/she has larger magazines.
- Forcing smaller magazines would cause an outlaw shooter to stop to reload more often, allowing threatened bystanders to tackle and subdue him/her during the process of reloading the weapon.
- And you don't need that many bullets to protect yourself anyway. "Why would you need more than six or seven bullets?", they ask. "If you can't hit your target with that many, you should go back to the practice range...."
OK, let's take a moment to consider those arguments. To keep this entry brief and concise, I'll begin with the last bullet (pun intended) above.
Let's put aside for the moment the facts and considerations that a citizen faced with a threat is likely to be surprised or even awakened by the attacker. It may be dark. There may be more than one attacker. Things may move fast. Most citizens are not extremely experienced and accurate sharpshooters. They don't do this stuff for a living.
So, the "normal" citizen couldn't possibly match the aim, accuracy, experience level, and cool-headedness under high stress of a trained police officer.... Right?
Well, just how accurate are those police officers with their guns? According to the NYC Police Department
, their police officers hit the bad guy only 38% of the time when that bad guy is less than 3 yards away. When the bad guy is 3 - 7 yards away, only 11% of fired shots will impact the bad guy somewhere on his body. Increase the distance beyond 7 yards up to 15 yards away, and our public servant scores a hit only 9.4% of the time. And keep in mind those hits might not even stop the bad guy. You have to have a solid hit in a vital area to stop and disable. A nick or flesh wound to an extremity won't do it. Read the full report, if you're interested, here
. The NY Times reported
that if the bad guy is really close -- less than six feet away -- the police manage to hit around 43% of the time.
OK. So if our "normal" groggy or surprised and semi-panicked citizen is just as good as our highly trained law enforcement officers, our good fellow is going to miss the bad guy nine shots out of ten. Hmmm..... Six or seven bullets don't seem like such great odds any longer, do they?
What if there are two or three attackers? You have to be a blind ideologue to continue to insist that 15 or 20 rounds is unnecessary for defensive purposes. Those who are so insisting have no credibility with rational thinking persons.
Now for the first two bullets above.... I'm going to let Sheriff Ken Campbell of Boone County, Indiana, respond to those in the video below. Sheriff Campbell clearly demonstrates that magazine limitations have little or no real effect on a shooter’s ability to deliver aimed fire. And there is simply not enough time during reloading for a terrified bystander to attack and disable the shooter. Any such attempt is probably suicidal, particularly if the shooter has multiple weapons.
Opponents of the Second Amendment should just drop all pretense. We well understand what your goal is -- confiscation. You will use any excuse, any lie, any pretense to accomplish confiscation.
Oh it won't happen? Well, let's not even review the quotes of those in Congress who say otherwise.... Let's just point out that it has already happened in New Orleans. And the municipal government in Guntersville, AL is moving to do the same thing -- in the next crisis.... And, as the news report below shows, these laws are already on the books in other towns -- all in the name of "safety", of course.
Ignore the fact that the police already have authority to arrest anyone -- armed or not -- who is threatening the safety of the police officers or other citizens. They don't need such confiscation laws. And when, exactly, do you most need your personal defense weapons? Why, during a crisis/emergency/disaster OF COURSE! That's when the police are the most overworked and cannot respond quickly. That's when the chances are highest that lawless criminals will try to have their way with hapless citizens. But that's when these evil rulers and overseers see their chance to finally implement their cherished confiscation.
It's really sickening to hear the mayor of Guntersville try to reassure the masses in her domain of her concerns for their well-being. Why she would never try to take away their rights -- unless given the chance, of course.
Guntersville (Ala.) Mayor Leigh Dollar is working with city officials to pass an ordinance that would give police the power to “disarm individuals” during a disaster, a chilling example of how the second amendment is being assaulted via the back door.
The new rule would allow authorities to confiscate guns of “unruly” people during an extreme weather event such as the April 2011 tornadoes or any other emergency. “The ordinance states officers could disarm individuals, if necessary", reports ABC 31
. “Dollar says the proposal is just way to give officers more authority to protect themselves.”
Dollar denied that the ordinance would be used to take away constitutional rights, but residents questioned why authorities would need to pass a new ordinance given that police already have the power to arrest citizens who are being “unruly”, whether armed or not.
“Well, it seems like an infringement on the 2nd Amendment and that’s the biggest problem I have with it”
, said Guntersville Music Academy teacher Paul Landry.
Authorities are seemingly attempting to mirror unconstitutional gun grab powers that were enacted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the aftermath of Katrina, the New Orleans Police, National Guard troops, and U.S. Marshals confiscated firearms. “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns”, New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass declared as he prepared to violate the Second Amendment.
The National Guard conducted warrantless house-to-house searches, targeting not just Hurricane-hit areas under the pretext of stopping violent looters, but also high and dry homes that were not even affected by the storm. Authorities even confiscated pistols from old ladies, as documented in the video below.
The Guntersville gun grab ordinance will be on the city council agenda at their meeting on March 4th.
First up is an really great unprepared (impromptu) speech by a former policeman and Secret Service agent, Dan Bongino. Dan ran last year
for a seat on the Maryland state senate. He was wrapping up his campaign and closing up his campaign office when he took time off to attend a Second Amendment Rally in Annapolis, Md. His "off the cup" remarks have inspired patriots across the nation, and if by some chance you have not listened to this man -- he deserves the next ten minutes of your time. You can read about it here
Unless you are a committed leftist totalitarian ideologue, you will not regret this.
Now our second speech is by Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, who addressed the Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. He points out the dissimulation of those who would trample the Constitution and our Liberty. He demonstrates how the battle underway is not at all about safety, children, schools, "reasonableness", or any other such newspeak obfuscation.
As Dan Bongino, observed, it is about "people control" and we should not acknowledge or adopt the misleading language of the left. And no more compromise. No more concessions. There must be no further "reasonable" infringements. The left is only proposing obscenely extreme measures now in order to move the Overton Window
so that law-abiding citizens will surrender more of their Liberty to tyrannical government. Every time we give in to the leftist controllers, we lose more. Any negotiation, and further act of concession is a no win situation.
My wife and I are proud lifetime members of the NRA. And we stand by Wayne LaPierre's speech
and the NRA 100%.Bill Cochrane
Four sheriffs from across the country joined Glenn Beck on TheBlaze TV Wednesday to discuss the current push for more gun control legislation in the United States. Beck called them the “bravest sheriffs in all of America”
for standing up for the Second Amendment and refusing to even consider disarming Americans, even under pressure.“You have a right to own the firearms of your choice,”
Beck said. “That right shall not be infringed. It’s not about hunting, it’s not about target practice, it’s not even about rape or home defense. It is about an armed public being necessary to keep people free. An unarmed public is a tyrant’s playground.”
Beck argued it is important to become educated but also to know who is on the side of the American people when it comes to the Second Amendment. He also encouraged viewers to contact their county sheriff to find out where he or she stands on the Second Amendment.
Joining Beck were Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who garnered national attention for asking residents to arm themselves
and get firearms training in case they ever found themselves in a dangerous situation in which the police may not arrive in time (see video
). Also in Beck’s Dallas studio were Sheriff Glenn Palmer of Grant County, Oregon, Sheriff Steve Cox of Livingston County, Missouri and Sheriff Tim Mueller from Linn County, Oregon.
The four sheriffs represent 484 other sheriffs who have banded together and vowed to keep the oath they took to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
Article by Jason Howerton
Note to readers: Read also about the Florida Sheriffs' Association
this month adopting and publishing a promise to protect their citizens' Second Amendment Rights. Read their proclamation
The following is a video of the above show:
GrassrootsNC organized a Second Amendment rally on Halifax Mall at the NC State Legislature on Tuesday, February 5, beginning at noon. There was a great turnout, not only of dedicated defenders of the U.S. and NC Constitutions, but also by impassioned and eloquent speakers. A goodly number of state legislators came out to listen and talk to the crowd, and -- remarkably -- the event was covered by several news outlets.
Kudos to GrassrootsNC for organizing this well-produced and encouraging event. Thanks to the speakers, radio hosts, elected officials who addressed the audience or who came out in support. Thanks to all the NC and VA tea party organizations who traveled to Raleigh and who are also working to defend our Rights and Liberty.
A father of a Sandy Hook Elementary School student testified on January 28, 2013, in a Working Group Public Hearing at the Connecticut State Capitol on gun violence prevention. While Bill Stevens’ fifth grade daughter was not harmed in the incident, she was a part of the children that were in “lock down” during the shooting and following it. However, Mr. Stevens said that his daughter’s friend’s little sister was once of the children that was murdered, “when 911 and ‘lock down’ were not enough to protect her from an evil person, not protect her from an ‘assault rifle’ or some type of an inanimate object, but from an evil person.”
In speaking to those listening, Stevens said that the security at the school was “quite different from the elaborate security you all enjoy here at the Capitol.”
He then added sarcasm to make the point, “It was fun getting frisked on the way in.”
He then stated that he was not there to quote statistics, the number of lives saved with a gun, or even the economic impact. He also said he wasn’t there to discuss “asinine legislation” or gun control laws that were being talked about.
So what was he there to do? He read from the Connecticut State Constitution. Specifically he cited Section 15:
SEC. 15. Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.
As he cited the Constitution, applause erupted from those listening.
“There’s no registration,”
he said. “There’s no permitting. There’s no background checks. It’s quite clear.”
Stevens said he was “shocked” by some of the testimony he had heard during the day. He reminded those listening that there is a Constitution and the Bill of Rights and a process whereby the Constitution can be amended. he also said the same went for the State Constitution.
Stevens declared, “These rights are inalienable and are endowed by our Creator, not you politicians, to all citizens regardless of gender, race., or creed.”
He also said there was such a thing as “due process” and “legislation is not due process”. Stevens said, “You want to take my rights away, let’s go to court.”
Stevens went on to warn that passing legislation before all the facts about Sandy Hook were known, which he said wouldn’t be known till the summer. This he said could not be done in “good faith.”
He also pointed out that gun ownership is a right and should not make gun owners suspect simply because of the numbers or kinds of guns they own or even how much ammunition they have.
“My guns are not dangerous,”
Stevens said. “They are at home, locked up, collecting dust and cat hair.”
“But criminals and tyrants,”
he continued, “tyrants especially, beware, ‘lock down’ is not an option at the Stevens’ residence and 911 will be dialed after the security of my home has been established!”
Stevens asked, “Why is that same security that my daughter enjoys at home with her dad not available at school in Newtown? That is what you should be considering, not making her dad a criminal.”
“Charleton Heston made the phrase, ‘From my cold dead hands’ famous,”
Stevens thundered. “And I will tell you here today, you will take my ability to protect my Victoria from my cold dead hands!”
Stevens slammed his fist on the desk and walked out to applause from the citizens listening.
Friends, this is what it’s going to take: men who will stand up to the bureaucrats and politicians who are eager to take our liberty for a bit of security and leave us as victims. Major kudos to Mr. Stevens! God bless you Sir!Tim Brown
White House Senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted out this picture on Saturday morning after much skepticism about the president's claim that he participates in the sport "all the time".
Hmmm.... Notice anything about this photo?
Let's count the questionable aspects:
1. No skeet shooter wears dark glasses. Skeet shooting requires quick reactions and rapid target acquisition. The disks are fast-moving against the sky and you don't want to obscure your view. Most skeet shooters will wear amber lenses which tend to increase contrast, allowing them to pick up the flight more quickly. Someone who shoots skeet "all the time" would not wear such glasses.
2. But notice closely the front of the shotgun barrel. What is that? It's some kind of yellow plug or ring..... That's not normal. This really appears to be the type of yellow or red end cap that would appear on a prop or toy gun. There are no plastic yellow flash suppressors or flash brakes for any type of long gun. Plastic will not hold up to the heat and blast from a shotgun barrel. Very strange, indeed, for an experienced skeet shooter!
3. Whoops! Wrong angle! When you yell, "Pull!", the skeet disk is launched high into the air, simulating the path of a bird in flight. Why is this man shooting parallel to the ground? That's not how skeet shooting is conducted. if he is aiming at a skeet target launched in normal trajectory, his weapon should be pointed upward to hit a flying target. This just isn't right..... This man is not shooting skeet! Perhaps he is shooting at a target in his front field of fire. Or perhaps he is simply firing for a photo op.
4. What is that plume of smoke from the right side of the barrel, about four inches from the end of the barrel? No rifle or shotgun -- or any other gun, for that matter -- has ever been designed to eject a portion of the propellant out the side of the barrel! Not only would this affect the power of the weapon, it would tend to cause a leftward reaction, throwing the shooter's aim seriously off. Now some have countered that a brake sends part of the muzzle flare to the side and back -- so this must be some kind of muzzle brake. No. First a brake is on the end of the barrel, and the portions of the flare would be ejected in four directions equally in order to prevent muzzle movement. Also, brakes eject the flare rearward to counter the recoil of the weapon -- not directly to one side. And the redirected muzzle flare would be from the brake on the end of the barrel -- not from four inches behind the end of the barrel to one side. This is a very strange thing to see, indeed. In fact, when has it ever been seen?
5. Modern cartridges use "smokeless powder". OK, it's not entirely smokeless. But it doesn't make this much smoke! Is this guy using old-timey black powder? Modern weapons and ammunition would produce a bright flare from the barrel, but far less smoke. There is no bright flare here. Only lots of smoke. This just doesn't look right. It looks like a prop gun with blank ammo designed to produce a smokey exhaust.
6. A shotgun blast produces recoil. The butt of the weapon is forced back into the shooter's shoulder. Look carefully at this man's shoulder and shirtsleeves. No movement. His shirtsleeves haven't budged at all. What recoil?
But, finally, consider these two contradictory "news" releases. Hmmm......
I leave it to you to decide for yourself. But for me, this is just another daily instance of the Obama Administration lying blatantly.
Why would they lie so obviously and do such a terrible job of trying to "substantiate" their outright lies?
It's the same reason for all the other blatant lies. They want the public to talk about this and not all the scandals, economic woes, foreign policy disasters, and outrages which really matter. They yearn for us to spend time debating our little "conspiracy theories" and arguing about whether Obama really enjoys "skeet shooting all the time" or whether he is pretending as he tries to nullify the Second Amendment.
This is yet another distraction and re-direction technique that this Administration regularly employs.
And we just fell for it! Look how long you and I have spent on this utter foolishness. Can I have this last five minutes of my life back?
Dear Reader, please do not take your eye off the ball. This government is inflicting massive damage on our Constitution, our economy, our national security, our culture, our children, their education, and everyone's future.
I think the following video offers the proper way to view this president's approach:
David Hill released a photo which probably more accurately reflects Obama's performance in skeet shooting "all the time".
I think this one is more believable, don't you?
Intuitively, I had always believed that the 2nd Amendment protected my inherent right to keep and bear arms for my own personal safety; that this right was derived from “natural law” irrespective of any right to same which may have been specifically granted or denied by either the United States or any of the States.
Further, I had always believed that since the federal government was not specifically granted the right to restrict my right to self-protection, that, in accordance with the enumerated powers of Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, the federal government did not have the right to in any way deny my right to self- protection; that, similarly, since the right to self-defense is an inherently natural right that no State could abridge or otherwise deny that right as well.
In light of the recent District of Columbia v Heller (2008) decision in which SCOTUS struck down DC’s handgun ban as well as its ban on loaded, operable firearms for DC residents’ self-defense and the McDonald v City of Chicago case which protected the right to keep and bear arms from infringement by local governments, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to explore the meaning of the 2nd Amendment for myself.
Briefly, this is what the Heller decision said: “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” and “that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense.” However, SCOTUS tempered its decision by allowing for “prohibitions against possession of weapons by felons or the mentally ill” or “carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings”. In short, the Court ruled that the Amendment’s prefatory clause, i.e. “a well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”, serves to clarify the operative clause, i.e. “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”, but does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause.
The first thing I discovered is that quite apart from the supercilious and intrusive world of social engineers who continually advocate a wholesale ban on privately owned guns without any allusion to constitutional justification, over the years there really has been a serious and honest difference of opinion among respected constitutional scholars as to the precise meaning of the 2nd Amendment, a difference which the Heller and McDonald decisions finally resolved for every American. While Heller has affirmatively addressed the 2nd Amendment right of citizens to keep and bear arms who reside within federal territories, the McDonald ruling extended that right to the local and state levels.
But, first, let’s very briefly highlight some authoritative, albeit contradictory, case law on this subject before proceeding further:
1. Barron v Baltimore (1833): held that the Bill of Rights applies directly to the federal government — not to state governments. In effect, the court ruled that states could infringe on the Bill of Rights since the Bill of Rights restrained only the federal government. (Don’t ask. I didn’t delve deeply into the reasoning behind this decision.)
2. Nunn v State of Georgia (1846): held that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” and that “the right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed or broken in upon in the smallest degree.”
3. Cockrum v State of Texas (1859): ruled that “the right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or state, is absolute. He does not derive it from the state government. It is one of the ‘high powers’ delegated directly to the citizen, and ‘is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” (Clearly, at some variance with Barron v Baltimore.)
4. 14th Amendment (1868): to address the possible oppression of freed slaves following the civil war and to ensure that former slaves, among other citizens, were able to Keep and Bear Arms for that purpose, Congress passed this amendment which provides that states may not “abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” or “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” (If you can’t get there one way, try another route.)
5. The Slaughter-House Cases (1873): held that only those “privileges and immunities” that “owe their existence” to the US Constitution were protected; thus, the Bill of Rights didn’t apply to the states because the Bill of Rights protected basic human rights which existed before the ratification of the Constitution.
6. United States v Cruikshank (1876): clarified that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms existed before the Constitution but that the 2nd Amendment, indeed the 1st Amendment, were not protected from infringement by the states or by private individuals. (Here the court ignored the 14th Amendment and parroted Barron v Baltimore.)
7. Presser v Illinois (1886) and Miller v Texas (1894): held that the 2nd Amendment didn’t directly protect against infringement by the states.
8. People v Zerillo (Michigan, 1922): Ruled that “the provision in the Constitution granting the right to all persons to bear arms is a limitation upon the power of the Legislature to enact any law to the contrary. The exercise of a right guaranteed by the Constitution cannot be made subject to the will of the sheriff.”
9. Gitlow v New York (1925): ruled that the 14th Amendment prohibited states from violating some of the rights of citizens without “due process” but stopped short of “incorporating” all of the Bill of Rights at once.
10. Since Gitlow, and only on a case by case basis, courts have held that on the strength of the 14th Amendment’s “Due Process Clause”, the Bill of Rights is protected against state infringement. In effect, the Bill of Rights has been “incorporated” into the Due Process Clause vide the generally accepted Theory of Substantive Due Process. (Note: today, the 2nd Amendment is one of the last rights in the Bill of Rights to be incorporated.)
11. District of Columbia v Heller (2008): the court ruled that the Cruikshank decision failed to properly weigh 14th Amendment protections and that “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right.”
So, though most states protect the individual right to keep and bear arms, the McDonald v City of Chicago ensured that the full force of the 2nd Amendment extended to all localities as well. Particularly in those states where there are no state constitutional safeguards, plaintiffs are especially concerned. Without 2nd Amendment rights to keep and bear arms, gun owners are at the mercy of state legislators, social engineering lobbyists and the like.
But, what’s behind the McDonald challenge? In short, the Illinois state constitution states that “Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” By failing to “incorporate” 14th Amendment inquiry as was required by Heller, in June 2009 the 7th Court of Appeals reaffirmed Illinois’ power to ban handguns by relying solely — and erroneously — on the Cruikshank decision of 1876, thereby ignoring nearly all other pertinent case law as well.
By contrast, earlier, in April 2009, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit (Nordyke v King) in California concluded that since “the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition,” that this right is, therefore, “incorporated into the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause and applies to the states.” This decision was on hold awaiting a SCOTUS decision on the McDonald v City of Chicago case. Thus, we had two appellate courts and two divergent views in the same year. The earlier decision relied upon the 14th Amendment as required by Heller and the panel opinion relied upon Cruikshank which had been overruled by Heller. (How mortal jurists be?)
So, owing to the contradictory case law subsequent to the US Constitution’s adoption in 1787, I opted to simplify my inquiry by examining what our framers had to say about all this. Being the real experts, their correspondence and debates carry considerably more weight for me than do contemporary interpretations from either the left or the right.
First, the 2nd Amendment states that “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.”
Like all things constitutional, context is absolutely everything, and both logic and a studious level of caution dictate that the expressed intent of the framers should always take precedence over what might be faulty subsequent interpretation. And rather than weighing and examining a dizzying array of contradictory interpretations, I have found solace by relying upon an “originalist” approach to better capture the meaning of the framers in this regard. It just seems eminently more sensible and the least painful path to follow.
Bearing in mind Thomas Jefferson’s admonishment that “on every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed”, any conclusions as to the framers’ intent and, thus, the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, will be left to the objectivity and integrity of the reader.
From what I have read, the intended purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to guarantee the right of the people to keep and bear arms as a check on the standing army and any foreign armies. To wit, Noah Webster and Tench Coxe, the latter an ally and correspondent of James Madison, admonished that “before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe.” Similarly, George Mason warned that “the colonies’ recent experience with Britain”, in which King George’s goal had been “to disarm the people…was the best way to enslave them.”
Further, it appears that the overarching purpose of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments of the Constitution, was to better ensure private rights by specifically proscribing federal violations of those rights. Thus, in short, “well-regulated militia” did not at all mean Congressional regulation of that militia or, by extension, the regulation of the people’s right to keep and bear arms. Also, the text of the Amendment expressly confirms that the right to keep and bear arms is retained “by the people”, and not the states. Important to note too is that whenever the word “regulate” appears within the Constitution’s text, the Constitution specifies who is to do the regulating and what is being regulated. However, in the 2nd Amendment the term “well regulated” describes a militia — not an army reserve or national guard — but does not define who or what regulates it. Thus, from what I could understand, the framers intended that the people comprise an essentially unorganized militia which may, of necessity, be organized and well regulated, but by the people themselves.
This view is confirmed by Alexander Hamilton (Federalist, No. 29): “…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…” Thus, it also appears to have been clearly intended by the framers that law-abiding armed citizens could collectively organize and train and that doing so would not necessarily pose a threat to their fellow citizens, but would, in fact, help “to ensure domestic tranquility” and “provide for the common defence”.
But, rather than further wading through a plethora of interesting, albeit esoteric, and often contradictory opinions let’s take a brief look at some notable quotes of the framers themselves to better understand their meaning and intent with respect to the 2nd Amendment. It’s just more edifying — for me anyway:
1. “No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms…” Thomas Jefferson
2. “The people have the right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the state…” Pennsylvania Declaration of
3. “Americans have the right and advantage of being armed — unlike citizens of other countries whose governments are
afraid to trust people with arms.” James Madison, Federalist Paper #46
4. “Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion…in private self-defense.” John Adams,
5. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well- regulated militia, composed of the body
of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” James Madison, 1789
6. “…the ultimate authority…resides in the people alone.” James Madison
7. “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are
the birthright of an American. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state
government, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” Tench Coxe, 1788
8. “The militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.”
Richard Henry Lee, 1788
9. “The Constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens
from keeping and bearing arms.” Samuel Adams, 1788
10. “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially
when young, how to use them.” Richard Henry Lee, 1788
11. “The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.” Alexander Hamilton
12. “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve
the spirit of resistance?” Thomas Jefferson
13. “The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves
against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson
14. “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and
keystone under independence… To ensure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally
indispensable… The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference… When firearms go, all
goes. We need them every hour.” George Washington
While there are also many luminaries, like Einstein, Machiavelli, Ayn Rand, Blackstone, et. al, who celebrate the individual right to keep and bear arms, there are notable detractors as well:
1. “Gun registration is not enough; the most effective way of fighting crime in the United States is to outlaw the
possession of any type of firearm by the civilian population.” Janet Reno. Atty General, 1991
2. “Our task of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been totally
disarmed.” Sara Brady, Chairman, Handgun Control, 1994
3. “…Our ultimate goal — total control of all guns — is going to take time. The first problem is to slow down
the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get
handguns registered, and the final problem is to make possession of all handguns, and all handgun
ammunition totally illegal.” Nelson Shields, Handgun Control
4. “What good does it do to ban some guns. All guns should be banned.” Sen. Howard Metzanbaum, 1994
5. “Citizens! Turn in your weapons.” (English translation of Soviet Union poster 1919.)
FYI: Current US Code defines militia like this: “The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age. The classes of the militia are (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard, and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members in the militia who are not members of the National Guard.” Title 10, Section 311(a) of the United States Code.
And, finally, no discussion of the 2nd Amendment can be properly wrapped up without this incisive quote from Thomas Jefferson: “False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary of trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evil, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such nature… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man…”
So, there you have it. Shouldn't the Framers’ understanding of the 2nd Amendment be rendered more authoritative than the stream of conspicuously contradictory legal opinions which followed over the years? The age-old controversy. As said, for me the Framers’ clearly stated opinions as to their meaning and intent necessarily hold sway.
Currently under intense assault by Progressives at both the federal and state levels, the inviolability of the 2nd Amendment hangs in the balance. Pushback is widespread, and already there are hundreds of Sheriffs who refuse to obey these unconstitutional infringements on the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Many States have taken action to nullify federal gun control laws. Stay tuned. This could get very messy.