The Supreme Court on Monday invalidated a key part of a law designed to prevent gun violence, saying it left too much leeway for judges to decide what constituted a violent crime. In a 5-4 ruling the justices said Congress was too vague when it tried to slap extra penalties on people who used guns while committing a “crime of violence.” “In our constitutional order, a vague law is no law at all. Only the people’s elected representatives in Congress have the power to write new federal criminal laws,” Justice Neil M. Gorsuch wrote in the court’s opinion. The ruling could lead to thousands of new appeals from people convicted under the vague law, prosecutors warned. The case involved two men who were convicted of a string of robberies. They carried firearms during the crimes, which earned them heightened sentences under the Gun Control Act, which kicks in for cases of a “crime of violence or drug trafficking crime.” The statute said crimes of violence are those where physical force is used or threatened against a person or property. But the justices have long grappled with what, exactly, meets that definition. In a series of cases Justice Gorsuch, joined by the court’s four Democratic-appointed justices, has ruled it’s too tough to say what falls under the law. “Vague statutes threaten to hand responsibility for defining crimes to relatively unaccountable police, prosecutors, and judges, eroding the people’s ability to oversee the creation of the laws they are expected to abide,” Justice Gorsuch wrote. Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, writing the dissent joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, said the law was successful, and should have remained in place. “Many factors have contributed to the decline of violent crime in America. But one cannot dismiss the effects of state and federal laws that impose steep punishments on those who commit violent crimes with firearms,” Justice Kavanaugh wrote. John Marti, a former federal prosecutor now practicing at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm, said the decision will lead to a “title wave” of appeals from defendants convicted under the statute now struck down. “Today the Supreme Court eliminated this powerful tool for federal prosecutors in combating violent crime, by finding that the statute is unconstitutionally vague by using the phrase ‘crime of violence,’” Mr. Marti said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted review in the first Second Amendment case in almost a decade, a case supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA), and perhaps signaling what to expect from the new membership of the Supreme Court. New York law forbids residents from owning any handguns without a permit, and that permit allows the holder to possess guns only in their home or en route to or from one of seven shooting ranges in the city. A gun owner cannot transport a firearm outside the home for any other purpose, even if it is unloaded and locked in a case in the trunk of a car. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and several of its members sued in federal court, arguing that this statute is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court held in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment secures an individual right, but that 2008 case involved only a law-abiding citizen seeking to have a handgun in his privately owned home for self-defense. The Court further held in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is a fundamental right, and thus extends to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment, but again that 2010 involved a law-abiding citizen seeking to keep a handgun in the home. That is essentially all the Supreme Court has done with the Second Amendment thus far. The Court has repeatedly turned down petitions for review (called a petition for a writ of certiorari) in several major cases over the subsequent nine years. Some experts speculated that Justice Anthony Kennedy – who was the fifth and thus decisive vote in Heller and McDonald – was reluctant to take any additional steps on gun rights. Without his vote, neither side of the gun debate could move the needle in either direction. Some legal strategists wondered if Justice Brett Kavanaugh – who has a judicial recording supporting gun rights – now sitting in Kennedy’s seat would break the paralysis over Second Amendment jurisprudence. It appears the answer might be “yes.” Lead counsel in the case is former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who also was one of the lawyers who argued in both Heller and McDonald. Clement is one of the most accomplished Supreme Court advocates in American history, having argued over 90 cases before the justices. Clement argues that New York’s statute violates the Second Amendment, the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s right to interstate travel. The NRA is centrally involved in the case. The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is the NRA’s official state affiliate in the Empire State. This instantly becomes one of the most significant cases of the year at the Supreme Court. Oral arguments should be held in late April, with a decision by the end of June. The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Associaiton v. New York, No. 18-280 in the Supreme Court of the United States.
The incoming Democrat House majority is readying legislation to criminalize private gun sales. Ironically, the push comes nearly 227 years to the day after private gun ownership was hedged in by the Founding Fathers via the Second Amendment, which was ratified on December 15, 1791. Politico reports that Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) is spearheading the current gun control push through “universal background” legislation. Such checks criminalize private gun sales, making it illegal for a neighbor to sell a firearm to his neighbor, a friend to his lifelong friend, and even a father to his son. Under the Democrats’ plan, a background system like that in California would require a gun seller to seek government permission for any sale or transfer of a firearm. Such a system was put in place in California in the early 1990s and has failed to prevent some of our nation’s most heinous mass public attacks. Nevertheless, Thompson expects to push his gun control bill within “the first 100 days” of the new Congress. Incoming House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) has already assured his colleagues that he will move the bill “very quickly” once it is introduced. The criminalization of private gun sales would not have stopped a single 21st century mass shooting, as nearly every mass shooter bought his firearms at retail via a background check. The exceptions to this norm are the two or three mass shooters who stole their guns.
The good news is that such a bill wouldn’t pass through the (still) GOP-controlled Senate. And, even if it did, President Trump would likely NOT sign it into law. THIS is the kind of fascist, extreme-liberal nonsense we can look forward to in the coming two years. Buckle up kids! It’s gonna be a bumpy ride..
The hosts of “MSNBC Live” told viewers on Thursday that President Trump’s support continues to be strong due to an abundance of “selfish” Second Amendment supporters. Co-anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi mulled over the White House’s solid support as the midterm elections near and concluded that self-centered Americans are to blame. “While we could find or do find the president’s constant lying or lawlessness or reprehensible behavior morally unacceptable, a lot of people vote pretty selfishly, and they say, ‘What’s going to give me more money in my pockets?’ ” Ms. Ruhle told billionaire Tom Steyer. “Or what’s going to make abortion illegal, or what’s going to make sure that my Second Amendment rights stay the same, and clearly, that adds up to enough people that the president still has something akin to 40 percent of the electorate in polls,” added Mr. Velshi. Mr. Velshi added that it was “fascinating” but difficult to talk about the kind of voter who demands lawmakers follow the official amendment process when changes to constitutional rights are sought. The Washington Free Beacon noted that Mr. Steyer, who claimed that “80 percent” of Americans are not benefiting from the nation’s economic boom, gave more than $90 million to support Democratic Party causes in 2016.
And this is why MSNBC and CNN have NO clue why their ratings continue to tank. They simply don’t get it…and by calling voters “selfish,” they’re alienating half of the electorate. Over 62 MILLION people “selfishly” voted for Donald Trump in 2016; many of them sick and tired of self-righteous, arrogant, and out-of-touch liberal media personalities like these tools over at MSNBC.
Let’s be honest. If you own guns or you’re a gun-rights supporter, and if you’re concerned about government restrictions on your Second Amendment rights, the future looks bright. The elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court may well represent the death knell for draconian forms of gun control — including bans on so-called “assault weapons” and bans on standard-capacity magazines in semi-automatic pistols and rifles. Moreover, meaningful federal gun control has been blocked for a generation, and red-state legislatures are moving almost uniformly to liberalize state gun laws. Witness, for example, the steady spread of “constitutional carry” in red states across the land. But another threat looms, one that can stretch across the entire American landscape, is immune to the filibuster, and is largely sheltered from judicial review. It’s a threat that can choke off financing for the gun industry, stifle speech about guns, and lock the gun-rights community into offline (and small online) ghettos that restrict their ability to communicate. So, what’s happening? Titans of American banking and communication are taking steps to restrict the use of their funds or platforms by gun makers, gun-rights advocates, and others. The threat is just now emerging, but it may be as great a danger to gun rights as it is to the culture of free speech in this nation, and indeed the two are linked. A short, non-exclusive survey should help paint the picture. Citigroup struck one of the first blows, taking action in March: “Citigroup is setting restrictions on the sale of firearms by its business customers, making it the first Wall Street bank to take a stance in the divisive nationwide gun control debate. The new policy, announced Thursday, prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company.” Not to be outdone, Bank of America has acted against assault weapons. Here’s the beginning of a New York Times story from April: “Bank of America will stop lending money to gun manufacturers that make military-inspired firearms for civilian use, such as the AR-15-style rifles that have been used in multiple mass shootings, a company executive said Tuesday.” While the banks’ actions apply to the manufacture and sale of firearms, there are considerable unfolding online threats to speech about guns. Consider the actions of these titans of tech: Facebook has recently restricted any links to a website called codeisfreespeech.com, which contains downloadable plans for a number of entirely legal firearms, including the 3D-printable firearms at the heart of the lingering Obama-era case against Cody Wilson. The site includes plans for weapons such as the Colt 1911, a weapon so common and so basic that its plans date back to, well, 1911 (actually before). You can even buy the plans on a t-shirt. YouTube has its own restrictions on speech about firearms and prohibits any content that “intends to sell” firearms or provides instructions on “manufacturing a firearm.” The latter prohibition is broad enough to (if YouTube wishes) include information on assembling a firearm from its component parts — a necessary part of firearm cleaning and maintenance. Reddit has banned certain gun forums and updated its policies to forbid using Reddit to “solicit or facilitate” (extremely broad terms) transactions or gifts involving firearms. Its policy applies to gun sales, drug sales, prostitution, stolen goods, personal information, and counterfeit official documents. One of those things is not like the other. The keeping and bearing of firearms is an explicit, enumerated constitutional right. The rest of the list largely deals with criminal activity. The list just keeps going. Amazon Web Services has reportedly removed codeisfreespeech.com from its web servers, and Shopify just updated its free-speech policies to deny space for “the kind of products intended to harm.” It also placed on its “restricted items list” all semi-automatic weapons packaged with detachable magazines “capable of accepting more than 10 rounds.” It also reportedly deleted the accounts of a number of weapons retailers, including Spike’s Tactical and Franklin Armory. Let’s keep in mind that these actions represent not the culmination of a gun-control campaign but the front edge of a wave of corporate censorship and suppression.
Exactly!! Thanks to attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French for this excellent op/ed. For more, click on the text above. David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.
Ever wonder why mass public shooters commit their horrible crimes? Prosecutors in Broward County, Fla., released on Wednesday the Parkland high-school shooter’s cell-phone videos, in which he bragged, “It will be a big event, and when you see me on the news, you will all know who I am.” What makes these mass public shooters different from most criminals is that they want glory and fame, and we need to stop giving it to them. The media coverage of these videos also fails to draw any lessons about how we can stop these attacks in the future. If anyone missed the Parkland killer’s motivation, he repeated it three more times in his video rants, which totaled two minutes and 26 seconds. He tells viewers: “From the wrath of my power they will know who I am,” “with the power of my AR you will all know who I am,” and “you will all know what my name is.” To get this attention, the killer understood that he had to kill a lot of people: “My goal is [to kill] at least 20 people.” The Parkland killer feels that he benefits from coverage of the attack even if it doesn’t mention his name. The more well-known the attack, the more people will ultimately learn who he is. Sadly, the Parkland killer is all too typical. Killers like him want to commit suicide and want to do it in a way that will bring them notoriety. This isn’t a motivation just for lone-wolf shootings; we also see it in coordinated terrorist attacks. The Sandy Hook killer spent two and a half years putting together a report on mass public shootings. Law enforcement described “a sickeningly thorough 7-foot-long, 4-foot-wide spreadsheet with names, body counts, and weapons from previous mass murders and even attempted killings.” One anonymous law-enforcement veteran remarked, “It sounded like a doctoral thesis, that was the quality of the research.” The killer also collected information on media coverage for each killing. He observed that attacks with more deaths received greater media coverage. The Sandy Hook killer may have been mentally ill, but he clearly knew what he wanted to accomplish and how he was going to do it. CBS Evening News reported that he wanted to kill more people than did Anders Breivik, a Norwegian man who killed 77 people in July 2011. The Connecticut shooter targeted the “nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School because it was the ‘easiest target’ with the ‘largest cluster of people.’” The Batman movie-theater shooter in Aurora, Colo., was also mentally ill. But William Reid, a state-appointed psychiatrist who performed Holmes’s sanity evaluation, testified that the subject carefully planned every detail to maximize the number of possible victims and get more attention. Over and over again, these killers are highly driven to realize their goal of more publicity. They invest a lot of time and energy into planning their attacks, often starting a year or two in advance. Mass public shootings have rarely involved less than six months of planning. It is clear: If you want to stop these attacks, stop giving news coverage to the killers and their crimes.
Agreed!! To read the rest of this outstanding op/ed by economist Dr. John R. Lott, click on the text above. Excellent!! 🙂
As Will Riley watched students stage this year’s walkouts for gun control, he grew frustrated with the message that his generation was somehow united against the Second Amendment. “I’m seeing people saying, ‘We need to do something, we’ve got to enact some kind of legislation because this is for the kids.’ Well, I’m also the kids, and I don’t like that,” Mr. Riley told the Washington Times. “And there are other people like me. The other kids haven’t spoken yet.” The 18-year-old senior from Carlsbad High School in Carlsbad, New Mexico, decided to do something about it by launching Stand for the Second, a May 2 school walkout designed to give a voice to “the other kids,” namely those who support the Second Amendment. “We’re getting generalized. Our generation’s being defined,” said Mr. Riley, whose website is StandfortheSecond.com. “And I think we have an obligation to define ourselves.” Stand for the Second comes as the first national student walkout aimed at supporting gun rights in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which touched off a wave of campus gun-control activism. Mr. Riley is encouraging students to stage 16-minute walkouts on campus after coordinating with local police and working with school administrators to make sure the protests don’t conflict with testing. So far, walkouts are being planned by students in about 300 schools from 42 states, based on the online map operated by Tea Party Patriots, which is helping Mr. Riley with organization.