Of course @HillaryClinton can’t say if bearing arms is a constitutional right.

June 5, 2016
x

“I support… Which answer do you want?”

That would require her to have read and actually understood the document, instead of just paying it cursory lip service:

Hillary Clinton couldn’t definitively say Sunday that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Republican rival Donald Trump has charged that Clinton wants to abolish the amendment. While Stephanopoulos said he knew that wasn’t true, he pressed her on her gun views that have increasingly gone to the left.

“Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?” he asked.

“I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations,” she said. “So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.”

She then went on to blather more about “common sense” and “reasonable” regulations, but, to Stephanopoulos’ credit, he didn’t let her off the hook, pressing her about whether the right to bear arms is individual.

And, of course, the answer is “yes, it is an individual right.” Even A-level progressive constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe agrees with that:

“My conclusion came as something of a surprise to me, and an unwelcome surprise,” Professor Tribe said. “I have always supported as a matter of policy very comprehensive gun control.”

And he’s not the only one, as you’ll see at the article.

But Hillary is in a bit of a pickle: On the one hand, as a good Progressive, she thinks the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the doctrine of natural rights that lie behind them and were at the core of the American Founding, have been made obsolete by the march of History. In fact, they positively get in the way of the better managed society (managed by progressive experts, of course) we need to head toward. The right to self-defense is one of those bothersome natural rights. If Hillary came out and said an unequivocal “yes,” then she risks alienating her progressive-Socialist base.

On the other hand, Hillary needs to retain traditional Democrat voters, who also happen to like their guns and think it’s their business and no one else’s if they own won. Trump strongly appeals to a large swathe of these voters, and Lady Macbeth risks losing them if she gives in to her inner gun-grabber.

Hence the clumsy evasions. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

I’ll just sit back and enjoy watching Her Inevitableness squirm. smiley popcorn

PS: If you want to read an excellent book about the right to bear arms as understood at the time of the Constitution’s writing, I can recommend “The Founders’ Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms” by Stephen Halbrook.


Man, I wish I had bought firearms stocks in 2007

January 3, 2016
"It's all good. No worries!"

“America’s Number One Gun Salesman”

Because Obama would have made me a millionaire by now. Check this headline at PJMedia:

“Obama Urges Citizens to Stand Up Against the National Rifle Association”

It seems the Gun Salesman-in-Chief has come back from his vacation bound and determined to do by “executive action” (read: constitutionally questionable orders) what he cannot get through Congress: further restrictions on the natural right of Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As usual with him and his allies, he set the NRA up as a straw-man:

In the address, Obama went on to urge citizens to stand up against the groups like the National Rifle Association, with which he has had a contentious relationship since entering office.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” he said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in defense of our kids.”

Of course, Obama has had that “contentious relationship” because he continues to attack the very rights the NRA was established to protect. It would be noteworthy if the relationship were amicable.

Naturally, Obama left many things unsaid in his address. First, absolutely none of the terrible massacres that have taken place in recent years would have been prevented by anything Obama and the gun-control lobby are proposing. Not Sandy Hook, not Virginia Tech, not Charleston, and not San Bernardino. In the case of San Bernardino, the killers were Muslims waging jihad, one of whom was utterly missed by the Obama administration’s vaunted screening system as she entered the country. California’s notoriously strict gun laws did nothing to stop her and her husband from acquiring their weapons. More laws won’t stop the next mass murders, either.

But that really isn’t the point of what Obama and the gun-control lobby are trying to do, or, at least, “for the children” is more a political club with which to pound Second Amendment advocates than it is an actual goal. If it were a real goal, he’d mention the horrific homicide rate in Democrat-controlled Chicago, again with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

That, however, would be politically inconvenient.

What Obama and his allies really want is control and a monopoly on deadly force for the State. Push hard enough, and they’ll say that what they have in mind for “reasonable regulations” is “something like Australia.” And there’s your clue: Australia’s response to the massacre in Tasmania was confiscation of most firearms via a mandatory buyback program. That is what Obama wants.

To do so, he uses the tried and true tactic of his community-organizing training as developed by Saul Alinsky:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The target to “personalize” is the NRA — “The NRA keeps our kids in danger!” And though he hasn’t attacked individuals (yet), he has by extension smeared the membership of the NRA, American citizens one and all.

That’s what a community organizer does: organize one faction and set them against others to achieve his goals.

And that is apparently what the president of the United States plans to do over the next year.

To us.

 


If the President Wants “Common Sense” Gun Laws, He Should Support Liberalization rather than Confiscation

October 9, 2015

Remember, folks: Gun-free zones *create* targets. They don’t protect people.

International Liberty

I don’t necessarily blame President Obama for seeking to politicize tragic mass shootings. His actions may be a bit unseemly, but also understandable if he truly believes that disarming law-abiding people is the best way to reduce carnage.

That being said, this charitable interpretation only applies if the President sincerely pushes his preferred policies.

Yet Charles Krauthammer, writing for National Review, points out that there’s a remarkable disconnect. The President constantly talks about the need to enact “common-sense gun-safety laws,” but he never tells us what those laws would be.

Within hours, President Obama takes to the microphones to furiously denounce the NRA and its ilk for resisting “commonsense gun-safety laws.” His harangue is totally sincere, totally knee-jerk, and totally pointless. …Nor does Obama propose any legislation. He knows none would pass. But the deeper truth is that it would have made no difference. …notice, by the way, how…

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Say it after me: “Guns save lives”

June 11, 2015

Gun Control Stupid

Via Hot Air, this woman is certainly lucky to be alive, but that’s largely because she was also wise enough to have a firearm handy to even the odds:

A Detroit woman was able to fight off five home invaders in a shootout early Tuesday morning. The woman, who has a concealed carry permit, took the robbers by surprise after they burst in her bedroom window, WDIV reports.

“I was able to get to my gun. They didn’t know I had it. By that time, it was just gunfire,” Ms. Dee said.

Free Beacon has video, and Allahpundit can give you the lowdown on how crime has declined in Detroit since the police chief there began encouraging private gun ownership. (I can imagine Mike Bloomberg clutching his pearls even now.)

The gun control crowd keeps claiming that allowing widespread ownership of firearms will lead to a bloodbath, but the opposite seems empirically true: in jurisdictions where the 2nd Amendment is respected, violent crime rates have gone down. (Let’s face it, someone is less likely to rob or assault someone if he can’t be sure his target isn’t packing.)

But, in “progressive” jurisdictions with strict gun regulations, the violent crime rates are much, much higherHello, Chicago! — probably because the potential targets can’t defend themselves, so the criminals feel they’re in their own “safe zone.”

Someday it’s going to get through to the “Moms Demand” crowd that denying a person’s natural right to self-defense is not the way to prevent gun violence. Until then, we can be grateful for those jurisdictions that do, so the “Ms. Dees” of the world can legally protect themselves.

PS: I’m not saying that correlation is causation, of course, but the correlation is strong.


Once again, concealed-carry likely saved an innocent person’s life

April 23, 2015
"Crime stopper"

“Crime stopper”

In this case, a grandmother in Fort Worth, Texas, confronted by a robber with a knife:

A Fort Worth grandmother thwarted her would-be robber Monday when she pulled a pistol from her purse and scared her assailant away.

Jewell Turner, 74, told NBC 5 she was waiting in her minivan outside of her doctor’s office, near the corner of West Magnolia Avenue and 6th Avenue in the city’s Near South Side, when a man tapped on the glass of her driver’s side window.

“He stood there and we talked for a while, [him] just asking for directions and me giving them to him,” Turner recalled. “Never thought that when I turned my head that that young man would stick a knife to my throat.”

“He said, ‘I don’t want to hurt you, but I want your money. And I will hurt you if I have to,’” Turner said.

Turner said she told the man she only had some pocket change with her – $1.62 she counted after the ordeal – but he demanded what she had in her purse.

It was in that moment, Turner said, that she remembered she came prepared for an encounter such as this.

The widow first thought to pull out the pocket knife she always keeps with her for personal protection.

(…)

Instead, Turner remembered that earlier that very day she felt the need to bring her small pistol along with her.

“I seen the gun laying there. And I figured that would work better than the knife,” Turner said. “I just reached down, got the gun and turned around and pointed it to his face. And I told him, I said, ‘You back off, or I’ll blow your head off.’ And his eyes got big and he just backed up and he took off walking down the street like nothing happened.”

Four observations:

1) The robber obviously didn’t know the venerable rule, “Never bring a knife to a gunfight!”

2) Texas has much more sensible gun rules than my beloved California.

3) She had every right to shoot him on the spot, and he should take this as a sign he’s been given a second chance.

4) Never mess with Jewell Turner.

Seriously, this incident is a perfect example of what the founders had in mind when they enshrined in the Second Amendment the right to bear arms: not just to form a militia, but to be able to defend oneself when needed. If she hadn’t had the equalizing power of a firearm available, how do you think she would have fared against a much younger, probably much stronger man with a blade? Who would have helped her?

As the saying goes, “When every second counts, the police are minutes away.”

via The Tatler

Edit: Changed the title a bit.


What the hell is wrong with New Jersey prosecutors? #2A

February 18, 2015
Citizen! Have I got a job for you!

Good job, New Jersey!

Here’s the situation in brief: Gordon van Gilder is a 72-year old retired English teacher who lives in New Jersey. He also happens to have a hobby collecting 18th century memorabilia: coins, furniture, etc. Along came the opportunity to buy an antique 18th-century pistol. No bullets or powder, just the pistol. He and a friend drove to Pennsylvania to get it and then, on the way back, they were stopped by New Jersey police. Mr. Van Gilder cooperatively told the officer of the weapon in the glove box, and the officer promptly wanted to arrest him for violating New Jersey gun laws — for an antique pistol that wasn’t working. A superior talked some sense into the officer and told him to return the firearm and let the two men go. You’d think that would be the end of it, right?

Per Charles Cooke, think again:

The officer did as he was told, and gave the pistol back. The next morning, however, he came back — “with three cars and three or four sheriffs.” Van Gilders says, “He told me, ‘I should have arrested you last night.’” So he did. “They led me away in handcuffs” and, at the station, “chained me by my hands and feet to a cold stainless-steel bench.”

“I’ve never been handcuffed in my life — or arrested, even,” Van Gilder explains. “I was embarrassed and ashamed. The only prisoner there was myself: a 72-year-old English teacher. I was really ashamed.”

Before long, Van Gilder had been charged and the gun had been taken away for “ballistics testing,” almost certainly never to be returned. (That the department believes that a ballistics test on a flintlock pistol can be useful should give you some indication of who we’re dealing with here.) “They’ve angered me,” Van Gilder concedes. “But technically, by New Jersey’s law, the officer was probably right.”

The officer may have been right, but the law that officious jerk was enforcing is an ass. Now Mr. Van Gilder is facing a possible ten-year sentence with a minimum of 3.5 years without parole.

Remember the Obama administration’s risible claim that it had “prosecutorial discretion” to not enforce immigration law over a whole class of people? That was bunk, but here is a case where discretion should have been applied by by New Jersey authorities to refuse to prosecute a case that was clearly never contemplated under the state’s gun laws. Leave aside the fact that those laws violate Mr. Van Gilder’s Second Amendment rights, the very idea of humiliating him and then facing him with mandatory jail time over an antique pistol the federal government doesn’t even regard as a weapon is infuriating.

More Cooke:

Earlier this week, the lawyers’ group blog Popehat noted caustically that “none of the New Jersey founders who ratified the Constitution when this pistol was crafted would have questioned the man’s right to keep it.” This is indisputably true. Indeed, the news that an arthritic septuagenarian retiree had been tied to a bench for a non-violent crime would presumably have shocked them to the core. But, for all that their words live on, those leaders are dead, and we must look now to the ones that we have today. Where the hell are they? Where are the voices crying out for a change in the rules, and for a restoration of basic American liberties? And above all, where is the fearless Chris Christie — a man who seems to want to be president of the United States — when one of his constituents is being harassed by the state?

That’s a darned fine question, and I’d be very interested in would-be President Christie’s answer.

PS: As Cooke’s editors point out, you can help out with Mr. Van Gilder’s defense here.

PPS: And this isn’t the first time New Jersey prosecutors have tried to curb-stomp the Second Amendment.


Perry indictment: So, a mere accusation costs you your constitutional rights?

August 27, 2014

Not likely to be bullied.

Unlike our president, I’m not a famed constitutional scholar (1), but it seems to me that this is just plain wrong:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, is no longer permitted to carry a concealed handgun after being slapped with a felony indictment for alleged abuse of power, according to state law. Further, federal law also apparently prohibits the governor from purchasing firearms or ammunition.

The Austin American-Statesman brings up the federal law referred to as 18 USC 922(n):

“It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person (1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.”

Perry, who previously claimed he shot a coyote with a concealed firearm while jogging in 2010, is supposed to have his state-issued concealed carry license revoked if he still has one — at least until his case is concluded.

Assuming Perry’s concealed carry permit has been or will be revoked, he can “reapply two years after the date of revocation,” Reuters reports.

Really? An indictment is an accusation, but we operate under the English system, that demands the accused be considered innocent of a crime until proven guilty. You don’t lose your right to vote when indicted, you don’t lose your rights against unlawful search and seizure, you don’t lose your rights of free speech (2) — why on Earth should you lose your natural right to bear arms for self-defense, a right guaranteed in the Second Amendment? (3) There may be a reason for this when dealing with potentially violent suspects, such as a spouse-abuser, but Perry’s “crime” is a nonviolent case of corruption (4). And then he has to wait two years to get his concealed-carry permit back, even if cleared?

Maybe there’s sound legal and constitutional logic behind these rules suspending a citizen’s constitutional rights, but it sure seems unjust to me.

Footnote:
(1) Insert sarcastic tone as needed.
(2) Unless you happen to be in Wisconsin and find yourself subject to a John Doe investigation.
(3) And before anyone starts babbling about “well-regulated militias,” do some reading.
(4) It’s also utter garbage.