Second Amendment Rights

Supreme Court: Right to bear arms protected by highest category of liberty recognized by law

Last weekend’s mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have produced a flood of words about everything from gun control to mental illness to white nationalism. Most of those words have addressed the right to keep and bear arms as if it were a gift from the government. It isn’t. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled in the past 11 years that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual pre-political liberty. That is the highest category of liberty recognized in the law. It is akin to the freedoms of thought, speech and personality. That means that the court has recognized that the framers did not bestow this right upon us. Rather, they recognized its pre-existence as an extension of our natural human right to self-defense and they forbade government — state and federal — from infringing upon it. It would be exquisitely unfair, profoundly unconstitutional and historically un-American for the rights of law-abiding folks — “surrender that rifle you own legally and use safely because some other folks have used that same type of weapon criminally” — to be impaired in the name of public safety. It would also be irrational. A person willing to kill innocents and be killed by the police while doing so surely would have no qualms about violating a state or federal law that prohibited the general ownership of the weapon he was about to use. With all of this as background, and the country anguishing over the mass deaths of innocents, the feds and the states face a choice between a knee-jerk but popular restriction of some form of gun ownership, and the rational and sound realization that more guns in the hands of those properly trained means less crime and more safety. Can the government constitutionally outlaw the types of rifles used by the El Paso and Dayton killers? In a word: No. We know that because in the first Supreme Court opinion upholding the individual right to keep and bear arms, the court addressed what kind of arms the Second Amendment protects. The court ruled that the Second Amendment protects individual ownership of weapons one can carry that are of the same degree of sophistication as the bad guys have — or the government has. The government? Yes, the government. That’s so because the Second Amendment was not written to protect the right to shoot deer. It was written to protect the right to shoot at tyrants and their agents when they have stolen liberty or property from the people. If you don’t believe me on this, then read the Declaration of Independence. It justifies violence against the British government because of such thefts. Governments are the greatest mass killers on the planet. Who can take without alarm any of their threats to emasculate our right to defend our personal liberties?

Agreed..   Thanks to Andrew Napolitano for reminding us how much our precious Second Amendment is protected.  Andrew is a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  He is the author of nine books on the U.S. Constitution.

Supreme Court Takes Major NRA Second Amendment Case from New York

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.

Timpf: I’m Not Arguing in Favor of the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment Is the Argument

Whenever a gun tragedy happens in the United States, it seems like there are two sides: One that argues against Second Amendment protections, and one that argues for them. It seems simple enough, but what’s missing is this: The Second Amendment is the argument. It’s alarming how often people forget this. Whenever there’s violence, the Left starts to demand that the government get the guns off our streets, that it do so now, that it should have done it sooner to keep the people safe. In response, the Right often argues for the benefits of #2A, throwing out statistics such as the fact that gun violence has actually been dropping even though more people have been purchasing firearms, or philosophical arguments such as the idea that people looking to murder masses of people will find a weapon and a way regardless of what the laws are. My personal views may happen to fall into the second camp, but here’s the thing: Regardless of what your personal views are, it’s still true that our Constitution prohibits the kinds of things that the first group wants. If people on the left ever do talk about the Second Amendment, it’s often only to say that it’s “obsolete.” This is, of course, factually untrue: According to the Constitution, the Second Amendment is not obsolete until and unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-quarters of states agree that it is, or through the constitutional-convention method as detailed in Article V. Again, this isn’t even my argument; it’s the Constitution’s — and, like it or not, that’s important. Unfortunately, however, it’s very common to see the requirements of our Constitution being completely disregarded — even by our elected officials. For example: In New York City, it’s basically impossible to get a gun license unless you’re a police officer or security guard, and you have to pay upwards of $400 in fees just to submit an application that will certainly be rejected. Does that sound like a violation of my constitutional “right to keep and bear arms” to you? Yes; yes it does — and that should bother you, regardless of whether you personally happen to favor these kinds of rules or not. You may be someone who believes that it would be safer to eliminate guns from the hands of the public, and that’s fine — but you still need to view your activism through the lens of constitutional process. You need to be lobbying legislators to amend the Constitution, rather than lobbying officials to create laws that disregard it. Why? Because the Constitution always matters. If you want to say that it shouldn’t always matter, or that should matter except on this issue, then really, what you’re saying is that it never truly does — because you yourself have already stated that exceptions are okay. Either the document has integrity or it doesn’t. Either it has the power to protect our freedoms or it doesn’t — and to me, that seems like an easy choice.

Actually, there is NO choice.  The U.S. Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights (i.e. the first ten Amendments to the Constitution) is the rule-book.  It is the supreme law of these United States.  And those First Ten Amendments, or “Bill of Rights” have a certain heightened deference by the courts, as they were penned by those same founders who inked our Constitution.  So, millennial author Katherine “Kat” Timpf IS correct in saying that the Second Amendment “is the argument.”  But, even that assessment comes up a little short.  The fact of that matter is that the Second Amendment is law.  Period.  And, (God forbid) until that God-given right is legally removed, it is the law of the land; a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court time and time again for over two centuries.

Judge dismisses Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against gun maker

A judge on Friday dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit by Newtown families against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre, citing an embattled federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products. State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis granted a motion by Remington Arms to strike the lawsuit by the families of nine children and adults killed and a teacher who survived the Dec. 14, 2012, school attack, in which a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle made by Remington. The families were seeking to hold Remington accountable for selling what their lawyers called a semi-automatic rifle that is too dangerous for the public because it was designed as a military killing machine. Their lawyer vowed an immediate appeal of Friday’s ruling. The judge agreed with attorneys for Madison, North Carolina-based Remington that the lawsuit should be dismissed under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 and shields gun makers from liability when their firearms are used in crimes.

An excellent decision by Judge Bellis.  The very notion that a company should be held accountable for the actions of someone who misuses a product, is ridiculous.  While we all were horrified by what took place at the Sandy Hook school, the emotional attack on Remington was ill-considered and silly.  More murders are committed each year using knives than firearms.  And yet, you’ll never hear that mentioned in the dominantly liberal mainstream media, because that doesn’t fire up emotions like a discussion about guns will, and it undermines the liberal, anti-gun agenda of the media.  Kudos to Judge Bellis for ruling in accordance with the law.  It’s refreshing to see that every once in a while…

Appeals court upholds ban on gun sales to medical marijuana card holders

A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the 2nd Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday. The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon. It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card. The gun store refused, citing the federal rule on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug. The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug. In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated,” Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said. The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson. An email to Wilson’s attorney was not immediately returned.

What a ridiculous ruling by the 9th Circus (the most overturned appeals court) in San Fran (go figure).  It’d be one thing if this was a recreational user.  But, the plaintiff was a acting in good faith and had a state-issued medical mj card.  Whether or not the state had the right to issue such a card is irrelevant.  Furthermore, the Second Amendment is clear..  “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  Pretty clear language to me.  Again, it’d be one thing if this was a recreational user using an illicit/illegal drug.  But, that is not what was happening.  Hopefully the Supremes will weigh in here and overturn these fascist, liberal morons at the 9th Circus.  Unreal..

Hillary Clinton Won’t Admit Right To Bear Arms Is Constitutional

Hillary Clinton twice refused to affirm that the right to keep and bear arms is constitutional, during an interview on the June 5 airing of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Stephanopoulos segued into questions about gun control by referencing claims that Clinton wants to “abolish the Second Amendment.” He then asked, “Do you believe an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right? That it’s not linked to the service in the militia?” In responding Clinton not only avoided affirming that the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, but argued that Americans have historically understood it to be open to regulation. Here is her response: “I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment, until the decision by the late Justice [Antonin] 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.” Sensing her avoidance, Stephanopoulos posed the question again, saying, “Do you believe…that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?” Clinton responded, “If it is a constitutional right, then it–like every constitutional right–is subject to reasonable regulation.”

Wow..  Well, there ya’ have it folks!  Hillary is physically incapable of answering a simple question with a yes or no.  She knows it’s political suicide to answer “no;” which is what she really believes.  But, she doesn’t have the courage and integrity to just be honest about her position.  And, for her to say “yes” would put her at odds with a big donor constituency; the anti-gun lobby.  Yet, in her avoidance of this very simple question, and her self-righteous dig at the late, great Justice Atonin Scalia, her position has been revealed.  As we’ve been saying all along here at The Daily Buzz…  Hillary is an extreme liberal, anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment, fascist, nazi.  That’s not hyperbole.  It just is what it is.  Before WWII then chancellor Hitler of Germany first registered, and then confiscated firearms from ordinary German citizens.  Hillary would love to do the same thing to Americans.  Again, the term fascist nazi is more than appropriate.  She doesn’t believe the extremely clear language of our great Second Amendment which says, “..the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is true. Hillary believes a more “nuanced” interpretation of that Amendment is accurate.  Um, no.  Sorry, princess Hillary.  Our founders were pretty clear.  Look up the definition of the word “infringe”..and then reread that quote from our precious Second Amendment.  You won’t hear me say this very often..but..  Kudos to George S. for holding her feet to the fire, somewhat.  He should have followed up with asking her..  “what do you define as “reasonable regulation”…and who, exactly, would determine what is “reasonable?”  Who would have such authority?

Opinion: The Great Gun Control Con – Gun-ban advocates don’t want you to know that gun violence is falling

The pendulum of politics swings widely. We see that today as candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for president clamor for more restrictions on lawful gun owners. What a change from 20 years ago, following the passage of the Clinton gun ban (also known as a ban on so-called “assault weapons”), which resulted in President Bill Clinton’s party losing control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. The president himself, in his 1995 State of the Union Address, said as much: “I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody in this room that several members of the last Congress who voted for that aren’t here tonight because they voted for it.” That gun ban expired 10 years later, and a congressionally required review showed that the law had little or no effect on crime. Following Al Gore’s loss in 2000, the widespread advice for Democratic candidates was to avoid gun control completely when campaigning. It was a loser, they were told. What changed to prompt Hillary Rodham Clinton to make a new TV commercial, aired last week in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she talks only about gun control? Simply put, the Great Gun Control Con is running full tilt, aided by a compliant, if not complicit, media shilling a string of lies designed to reshape public knowledge on crime and guns. Is “con” too strong? Only if one “knows” that crime is up, or that “gun crime” has reached the status of an epidemic, that gun shows are somehow immune to gun laws through a loophole, or that “assault weapons” are the preferred tool of murderers. None of those, in fact, is true, but those building blocks of deceit mark the return to a standard premise of the Democrats — that reducing the number of guns results in fewer murders and less crime. Josh Sugarmann, founder and head of the Violence Policy a gun-ban advocacy group, recognized that the public didn’t know the difference between real military rifles that fire in full-automatic mode (machine guns) and the look-alike versions made for the civilian market that fire only one round per pull of the trigger, the same as all semi-automatic firearms made for the last century. He called these rifles “assault weapons” — a term with no definition, making it infinitely expandable — and set up the plan to use the looks, and not the functionality, to ban them. “The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.” Media lapped up the pejorative term, with CNN showing misleading video of full-automatic machine guns when discussing the 1994 ban on semi-autos. Even today if you ask someone what an “assault weapon” is, chances are she will say it is a machine gun. The latest information gleaned from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports clarifies that more people are killed with fists and feet than with all rifles, and cosmetically challenged semi-automatic rifles represent a small subset of all rifles. Simply put, this class of firearms is a minor factor in U.S. murder rate, but President Obama and Mrs. Clinton continue to call for banning the sale of this popular rifle used for hunting, competition and for personal protection. Mrs. Clinton’s latest TV commercial starts with her saying, “This epidemic of gun violence knows no boundaries.” A clever phrase, and a key part of the Great Gun Control Con, “epidemic of gun violence” proclaims a rapid increase in “gun violence” (as though someone robbed, raped or murdered is any less violated if some other tool is used). Never does one see a reporter jump up to challenge this basic premise. In fact, the rate of crimes with guns has declined. Not by 5 or 10 percent, but by nearly half in only 20 years. That should be cause for banner headlines. Millions more guns, millions more gun owners, but crimes committed with guns, and murders overall, are down by nearly half in only 20 years. The “epidemic of gun violence” is a myth created by those who would con the public into believing that “something must be done.” Pew Research documents that even though crime with guns has been cut in half, a majority of the public thinks that crime with guns is increasing. The con is working. CNN’s Sanjay Gupta jumped onto the “epidemic of gun violence” to call for a renewal of “research” to treat firearms as a virus. Congress withdrew from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the amount of funding it was using to promote gun control through these directed research grants, finding it inappropriate at best for this health organization to use taxpayer dollars to stack the deck with junk science. At the time, the CDC director said the goal was to treat guns like cigarettes, and to ban them. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given hundreds of millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins University, much of it directed at producing evidence favoring gun control. Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership said, “The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is one of the old established university gun control advocacy factories.” The media quotes these ginned-up studies as fact, never questioning the source or the strings for the funding. The famous “gun show loophole” is simply a chimera — a widely-accepted con. All laws outside a gun show apply inside a gun show. Multiple studies confirm that criminals rarely get their firearms from gun shows. Mrs. Clinton also calls for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act, which she claims prevents gun companies from being sued. In truth, the act was passed as more than 30 cities were suing gun makers in an openly announced attempt to drive them all out of business through the sheer weight of defending dozens of suits funded by taxpayers. The suits did not claim the manufacturers had made defective products or engaged in illegal activity. They sought to saddle a highly regulated industry with liability for the criminal misuse of their products by third parties. The subsequent law clearly states that gun makers and sellers can be held liable for making a defective or unsafe product, or for criminal acts, but it does protect them from politically motivated lawsuits designed to crush an entire industry. Mrs. Clinton seeks to resurrect this tort lawyer paradise and drive hundreds of American companies into bankruptcy. To convince the public that America needs even more than the thousands of gun control laws now on the books, baseless claims and outright lies must be repeated to the point where “everyone knows” that gun crimes are up, there is an epidemic of gun violence, that gun makers are exempt from legal liability, and that “assault weapons” are machine guns. Tell a lie enough times, using the echo chamber of an activist media, and you can convince the public that restricting the law-abiding gun owner is only “common sense.” • Tom Gresham hosts the nationally-syndicated radio talk show “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” (guntalkmedia.com).

Thanks, Tom, for that outstanding op/ed!! Please consider this as your “Read of the Day.” If you read anything here at The Daily Buzz today, then READ THIS!!…and then pass it on your friends and family members. To read more about this gun control “con,” I’d recommend picking up a copy of John R. Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime.” Dr. Lott is a respected economist, and he uses FBI, and other statistics, to absolutely nuke the whole gun control argument. We ALL know that in Democrat-controlled cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. where they have the strictest gun laws in the country, they also have the most murders and other gun-related violent crimes. And yet, in places like Texas and other areas where there aren’t such fascist gun restrictions, the crime is far less. Ever wonder why the media never addresses that?? Well, fret no longer. Dr. Lott connects the dots with irrefutable facts and data that the dominantly liberal mainstream media, and fascist anti-gun Democrats like Obama and Hillary, don’t want you to know. So, arm yourself with the facts, and impress your friends who have been brainwashed by the liberal elite.  🙂