Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gun Rights News Roundup

Articles, news stories, and op-eds of interest to gun owners:

Georgia Rep. Paul Broun on Sotomayor and the Second Amendment:
... If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Judge Sotomayor will likely be on the Supreme Court while a potentially groundbreaking Second Amendment case is decided. Constitutional scholars, gun owners and freedom loving Americans will once again find themselves on pins and needles.

For months now, the rights of gun owners all across this country have been in limbo as they experienced the fluid ups and downs of federal court opinions. At times they saw their individual rights eroding away under the weight of anti-gun activists who would impose personal views in place of the plain language of the 2nd Amendment. At other moments, it seemed the activists would be defeated by cases like District of Columbia v. Heller and individual rights would prevail.

In fact, over two hundred years ago – the author of the Declaration of Independence - President Thomas Jefferson, had many of the same concerns as he sat down to write a letter to his friend Wilson Cary Nicholas. Jefferson wrote, “Our peculiar security is in possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." ...

Another article on Chicago gun ban case:
Citing not the Constitution but judicial supremacy through legal precedent, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld strict gun control ordinances in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, Ill., stating the 2nd Amendment applies only to federal laws.

This is one of the rare times you will see the federal government deciding in favor of states. Except in this case, it’s misapplied and incorrect, because the Bill of Rights, wherein the Second Amendment is contained, takes precedence over any states’ infringement or cancellation of specific rights granted thereof. The Bill of Rights was meant to prohibit states from trampling on the rights of the people, just as much as it was meant to rein in such attacks from the federal level; it was meant to be a limitation on any government power.

Three Republican appointees — Judge Frank H. Easterbrook, Judge Richard A. Posner and Judge William J. Bauer — saw fit to hail their peers as the interpreters, deciders, and ignorers of the Constitution. Now the case will head for the Supreme Court in fall. And possibly by that time, Sonia Sotomayer will most likely have been approved by the Senate and sitting on the bench.

Sotomayer was part of a three-judge panel in New York that had already concluded that the 2nd Amendment and its protection does not apply to state and municipal laws. So the outcome of such a Supreme Court case leaves little to the imagination, as the justices will most likely try to squeeze out of the Second Amendment their own interpretation. ...

An open letter to liberals:
It’s time we talk. The debate over gun control is not about guns, it’s about culture, and here is how it works: You point to school shootings and other violence and say that it’s my fault because I support the right to keep and bear arms. I point to violent video games and sociopathic teenagers, and I say the problem is your fault, thanks to inadequately internalized values and morals.

But here’s the thing: Between guns and culture, only one thing has changed. Weapons have been in the hands of man since time immemorial. There is nothing special about semi-automatic “assault weapons.” In fact, until 1934 people could go out and buy fully automatic Thompson submachine guns, hand grenades or just about any other implement of destruction they could afford.
Now, we could go the way of the Brits who, after the Dunblane massacre, banned everything in sight. Unfortunately, in this most perfect of gun control laboratories – an island nation with strict laws and tight borders – the result has been an explosion in crime…and yes, that especially includes gun crime.

It has also led their inadequately socialized post-60s kiddies to stab each other with such alarming regularity that the British have now begun to ban knives, leading us to the sad but inescapable conclusion that Brits can no longer be trusted with sharp objects. ...

[Tennessee] Senate passes Firearms Freedom Act:
The State Senate approved legislation today "that seeks to combat the destruction of the 10th Amendment of the Constitution by the Federal government in their attempt to infringe upon states’ rights."

Senate Bill 1610, known as the “Tennessee Firearms Freedom Act,” sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers, "takes a step in the right direction to restore to the states control of intra-state commerce and the regulation of firearms manufactured and sold within Tennessee," she said.

“Be it the federal government mandating changes in order for states to receive federal funds or the federal government telling us how to regulate commerce contained completely within this state – enough is enough,” urged Judiciary Chairman Beavers.
The state House of Representatives passed the companion bill (HB 1796 by Ben West and Henry Fincher) last week and the bill will now head to the governor’s office.

There were 87 representatives and 21 senators who voted in favor of the bill.

[New York] Anti-gun politicians opine on the need for more infringements:
... Microstamping allows police officers to identify the buyer and seller of a gun used in a crime -- even if the gun is not recovered at the crime scene. Tracing shell casings found at the scene is no different than tracing a crime gun.

Here's how microstamping works:

Gun manufacturers already print a serial number on all guns, often on the barrel. If they also begin inserting a serial number on the firing pin inside the barrel, every time a gun is fired, a tiny stamp would be left on the shell casings, which police officers routinely recover at crime scenes.

Microstamping gives law enforcement a new link in the evidence chain.

With the serial number from the casing, police can identify the gun and trace it back to the original sale in a gun store to find out who bought the gun. Even if the first retail purchaser has nothing to do with the crime -- for example, in cases where the gun was stolen from a legal gun owner -- determining the chain of custody of a gun is a critically important lead that can break a case open.

Suddenly, a stolen gun becomes the key to finding the shooter.

This technology fills a critical information gap between crime scenes, crime guns and the criminals who pulled the trigger.

Microstamping is fully consistent with the Second Amendment, and it is supported by more than 60 New York police departments, the New York Association of Chiefs of Police, the New York State Fraternal Order of Police and 19 New York mayors who are part of the bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. [emphasis added] ...

Comment: The idea that locating the rightful owner of a stolen gun is "the key to finding the shooter" is almost too stupid for words. Notwithstanding the fact that microstamping can be easily defeated with, e.g., a five dollar file or a new firing pin, even if it works it only points to the person who legally purchased the gun that was stolen. And of course it only works if you can recover a spent cartridge from the gun in question. Of course, all the anti-gunners support this latest infringement, with the typical list of police agencies and their support organizations, led by would-be tyrants masquerading as elected servants.

[California] Santa Clarita resident details his first gun purchase in anti-gun California:
The ".22" I bought is actually considered a small-bore rifle. Gun sizes or "calibers" actually refer to the inside diameter of the gun barrel. "Caliber" is interchangeable with the word "inch." So, a 0.22 caliber gun fires a bullet that is 0.22" across.

I would think that a gun that fires such a little bullet would not worry the anti-gun folks so much. Boy, was I wrong.

I have never purchased a gun in the state of California. I had been through a gun class recently, so I was aware that there was a 10-day waiting period. I guess that helps stop "crimes of passion" where people rashly go out and buy a gun to do someone in.

I'm really glad we have that law. Now, instead of guns, all these angry people can use knives, baseball bats, rat poison and any one of myriad other methods to kill someone. That's much more humane.

I had shopped around and knew guns were very hard to find these days.

All the latest moves by the Obama administration have convinced the gun community that guns will soon be very hard to acquire.
After checking out the goods, I decided to get it. Little did I know I was going to fall into Gun-Control Hell.

The pimply-faced, 18-year-old employee told me that there were a few formalities to take care of before our transaction was complete.

After fingerprinting me, verifying my driver's license, doing the laser eye retina scan and testing my DNA, he presented me with a small form to fill out.

"Small" is a relative term, of course. The extensive list of questions included queries about my criminal record, my relative mental stability, and whether I was a fugitive from the law.
After half an hour of fun and games, I was allowed to pay for the gun and leave the store- without the gun. I was now in my "waiting period."

This was fine with me because I now had to go find ammunition since a gun without ammo is like a Democrat without union money. Impotent. ...

[D.C.] Norton pulls D.C. Voting Rights Act, citing amendments to remove D.C.'s gun controls:
D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on Tuesday pulled the D.C. Voting Rights Act from consideration by the House of Representatives, as it became clear supporters did not have the votes to reject a pro-gun amendment attached in the Senate.

Norton, a Democrat, made the decision to withdraw the measure after meeting with key players over the weekend, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, according to an e-mail she sent to key voting rights backers. The bill would have expanded the House by two seats, one for the District and the other, temporarily at least, for Utah.

“All agreed that there were good reasons to wait — for now,” wrote Norton, D.C.’s non-voting delegate. “Please understand that we are holding the bill for now, not giving up on voting rights.”

The bill, which had suffered defeat twice before, is unlikely to return before the next congressional session. ...

Comment: D.C. pols are so wedded to the idea of defenseless citizens that they would rather continue their draconian gun controls than have a vote in Congress, although without amending the Constitution, such a vote would likely be unconstitutional. Not that the Constitution appears to be much of an impediment to Washington politicians.

Press Release: Remington acquires Dakota Arms:
Remington Arms Company, Inc. through its fully owned subsidiary DA Acquisitions LLC has entered into a purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Dakota Arms, LLC including the Dakota, Miller Arms, Dan Walter and Nesika Bay Precision brands. The transaction closed on June 5, 2009.Established in 1982 and headquartered in Sturgis, South Dakota, Dakota Arms is the leading manufacturer of custom and semi-custom rifles for the sporting markets.

The Dakota product lines are universally recognized for outstanding quality, design, accuracy and aesthetic appeal. The Dakota brands include Nesika, Miller Arms and Dan Walter. Nesika Bay Precision actions and rifles renowned for their exceptional accuracy; Miller Arms is known for the reliability and performance of its single-shot actions and custom rifles; and Dan Walter Cases are regarded as the premier travel and display cases for shotguns and rifles. Dakota Arms is strongly anchored in the Black Hills of South Dakota and currently employs 35 people. ...

John Lott on Sotomayor and guns:
... Whatever Mr. Obama's true conviction, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, his pick for the Supreme Court, does not view the Second Amendment as guaranteeing an individual right. Yet media from the Los Angeles Times to The Washington Post think they have the proof she is not an "anti-gun radical."

Their logic goes something like this: Last week, a three-judge panel of Republican-appointed judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Second Amendment limits only federal gun laws, not state laws. Because Judge Sotomayor was being criticized for sitting on a panel that reached a similar decision and these Republicans can't be "anti-gun," neither can Judge Sotomayor.

But the media are either unable or unwilling to read beyond who won the 2nd and 7th circuit cases and the most basic parts of the decisions. Both panels said it really was up to the Supreme Court to apply the Second Amendment to the states. Yet Judge Sotomayor's panel tried to eviscerate the recent Supreme Court decision that had struck down the District's gun ban even for federal laws.

To her panel, the Second Amendment would not block any gun-control laws as long as the politicians passing the laws thought the weapon was "designed primarily as a weapon and has no purpose other than to maim or, in some instances, kill." With that interpretation, the Supreme Court never could have struck down the D.C. gun ban, let alone any other gun-control law.

That Judge Sotomayor would make such an argument less than a year after the Supreme Court's decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller means she would vote to return the D.C. gun ban the first chance she got. For those who have any remaining doubts, in a 2004 decision, U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar, Judge Sotomayor ruled "that the right to possess a gun is clearly not a fundamental right." ...

South Carolina's Sen. DeMint says Sotomayor still troubles him:
... Though Sotomayor was "very personable and engaging," "I didn't hear anything today that eased my concerns," DeMint said in a statement.

"She was unwilling to say the Second Amendment protects a fundamental right that applies to all Americans, which raises serious questions about her view of the Bill of Rights. When I asked if an unborn child has any rights whatsoever, I was surprised that she said she had never thought about it. This is not just a question about abortion, but about the respect due to human life at all stages, and I hope this is cleared up in her hearings," DeMint said. [emphasis added] ...

[Arizona] Senate panel OKs restaurant carry bill:
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to let some gun owners bring their weapons into places where alcohol is served after the Arizona Restaurant Association dropped its objection to the proposal.

Monday's 4-3 vote came after assurances from the National Rifle Association that the provisions of SB 1113 are limited to restaurants. Todd Rathner, a member of NRA's board, said that goes along with his organization's belief that gun owners should not be required to leave their weapons in their vehicles simply because they want something to eat and the restaurant also happens to serve alcohol.

But Rathner acknowledged that the wording of the bill, which now goes to the full Senate, actually could let guns into more than just what are usually seen as restaurants.

SB 1113 allows someone who has a state-issued permit to carry a concealed weapon to bring it into a place that has a liquor license and "offers for sale food for on-site consumption prepared in a kitchen located on the premises."
Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, said he sharpened this year's version to apply only to those individuals who have state-issued licenses to carry concealed weapons. That not only screens out those who haven't been through the training and background checks, but it also ensures no one has a visible gun strapped to a hip.

It also preserves language from prior years spelling out that anyone who is armed cannot drink. And it says any restaurant owner who doesn't want patrons carrying guns can keep the weapons out by posting signs to that effect at all entrances.
Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association, said his members still aren't supporting the plan. But they're no longer trying to kill it, either.

And Gov. Jan Brewer already has said that unlike her predecessor, who vetoed a similar bill in 2005, she's inclined to sign it. ...

No comments: