Tag: #2A

Fun with left-wing infighting

T.S. Furey:

June has been marked in recent years by a flurry of orange-clad marchers promoting National Gun Violence Awareness Month. This year’s planned gatherings, however, fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and were overshadowed by Black Lives Matter’s nationwide protests against institutional racism within policing. But the gun-control lobby’s reticence isn’t out of respect for the lives of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor but rather concern for its own preservation.

For decades, gun-control advocates promoted greater police power as well as known practices of institutional racism within police firearms-licensing divisions. Now that there are calls to “defund the police,” many leaders of the gun-control lobby, who are mostly white, should rightly fear that their history of siding with the police and promoting policies now deemed racist by progressives may make them the next casualty of cancel culture.

Gun control in the U.S. has historically been rooted in racism of the blatant “no blacks allowed” variety. Fundamentally, it is difficult to subjugate a group if it’s armed. This is why restrictions on minority gun ownership pre-date not only the institution of slavery in the U.S. but the Founding itself. The modern gun-control movement has supported a more insidious method of using police discretion and biased background checks to suppress firearms-license issuance.

New York’s Sullivan Act is one of the best examples of gun-control laws that put minorities at a disadvantage, and it has been widely copied. Passed in 1911, the law addressed what was considered a growing problem of gun ownership among minorities, immigrants, labor organizers, and anyone seen as a threat.

The law accomplished this by allowing majority-white police departments broad leeway to determine licensing requirements. Police departments can add their own requirements; even if applicants deemed undesirable checked all the required boxes, the law’s “good moral character” clause could be used as a catchall to deny them. Reminiscent of practices any segregationist would appreciate, the NYPD License Division, with its perpetually white leadership and the blessings of the New York City Council, has used exorbitant fees, long English-only applications, expansive ID requirements, the need for applicants to take time off from work, and numerous other unconventional tactics to restrict license issuance. The NAACP and other civil-rights groups have denounced these impediments as unfairly putting blacks and other minorities at a disadvantage.

Organizations that support such discretionary licensing requirements, such as Brady United Against Gun Violence, seem to believe that the same police who allegedly beat, shoot, and asphyxiate people of color in the street would turn around and equitably issue them firearms permits. This makes no sense.

And what about background checks, the holy grail of the gun-control agenda? The public seems to have little idea of what goes into them. For example, the NYPD License Division’s background check includes marijuana offenses — and not just convictions, but mere arrests. The ACLU’s research shows that African Americans are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession (in New York the figure is in the double digits). You would think that inclusion of such arrests on background checks would raise social-justice concerns. There is a broad movement dedicated to reforming a racist justice system, yet the gun-control lobby doesn’t seem to have gotten the memo. Moreover, and perhaps most egregiously, peaceful protesters who came out to support the Black Lives Matter movement and were arrested for minor infractions stand to lose their gun licenses or their right to ever have one. Still, the gun-control lobby remains silent.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, groups like Everytown for Gun Safety were founded by Mr. Stop-and-Frisk himself, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. Like Bloomberg, most funders behind gun-control initiatives are wealthy whites who can afford to hire private security. But even if gun-control groups believe that minority groups shouldn’t be armed, why take the additional step of providing special privileges to the police?

We’ve all balked at the armored military vehicles that start in Fallujah, get bought up by police departments, and end up in Farmingdale. So why does every gun-control bill since the 1934 Firearms Act contain clauses that exempt police officers from “common sense restrictions”? The 2004 Law Enforcement Safety Act, for example, promoted by gun control enthusiasts such as Senator Charles Schumer (D, N.Y.), allows active or retired officers the right to carry weapons nationwide. Assault-weapon-weary New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey certainly think it’s okay for their police officers to possess military arms and jam as many rounds into them as desired. And if keeping guns in the home is so dangerous, why are police officers encouraged to do so? Don’t blue lives matter too?

If we are trying to instill in our police that they are of and for the people, why do gun-control advocates grant them a status akin to super-citizen? One of the simplest ways to reduce the number of police shootings is to hold police officers to the same standard of self-defense the rest of us are held to. Surely the gun-control lobby’s mantra that “only the police should have guns” no longer holds.

Perhaps the most striking contradiction inherent in the gun-control lobby is that its promotion of licensing discrimination and special police privileges comes on the backs of those seeking to reduce gun violence. Rank-and-file members of the gun control movement are good people, many of whose lives have been tragically touched by gun crime. It’s only right that they seek to stem further violence and advocate laws to help prevent the mass shootings and killings we witness in this country. But these folks know little about the discriminatory nature of the policies that the gun-control lobby’s leadership supports.

Some groups have seen the light: that the gun-control lobby is violating the tenets of progressivism even as it’s nestled amongst the progressive Left. In 2017, New York’s Gays Against Guns was one of the first to acknowledge that gun control is a tool “of American white supremacy.” But this is far from the norm. So far, the gun-control lobby has refused to comment on policy changes in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, nor have leaders apologized for their role in perpetuating institutional racism.

If the Black Lives Matter movement is going to rid America of every vestige of racism, it must hold America’s gun-control lobby to the same standard and demand the resignation of its leadership. As the movement’s slogan goes: Their silence is violence.

Rioters vs. the Second Amendment

The Wall Street Journal:

Patricia and Mark McCloskey are the couple made instantly famous—or infamous—after a video showed them wielding firearms as they fended off protesters who had trespassed on private property outside their St. Louis home.

The Circuit Attorney for St. Louis, Kimberly Gardner, reacted by issuing a statement saying she planned an investigation, and that her office will not tolerate any effort to chill peaceful protest by the “threat of deadly force.” Never mind that Mr. McCloskey says he and his wife feared they’d be killed. As they told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “the only thing that kept those mobsters, that crowd, away from us is that we were standing there with guns.”

If soaring gun sales are a guide, millions of Americans are with the McCloskeys. This week the FBI announced a record 3.9 million background checks for June, the highest monthly total since the FBI began keeping the statistic in 1998. Adjusting to reflect checks only for gun purchases, the National Shooting Sports Foundation says this works out to 2.2 million, a 136% increase over June 2019. NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva says about 40% of these checks are for first-time gun buyers.

This is a warning to the Defund the Police movement about unintended consequences. The more progressives push policies that mean cops won’t be around when people need them, the more they are inviting Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves.

On Constitution Day, the Second Amendment

Yael Halon:

On “No Interruption,” Fox Nation host Tomi Lahren sat down with Andrew Pollack, father of Parkland shooting victim Meadow Pollack.

Pollack became an outspoken advocate for school safety since the Parkland shooting, and he has now written a new book detailing his own investigation into the events that led to the massacre.

“I wanted to look into it, I wanted to honor my daughter to see what happened, and how it could happen that I put my daughter in a school, in a nice neighboorhood, and then I’m never going to see her again,” Pollack said. “I wanted to know the facts. I didn’t just listen to mainstream media, I didn’t jump on that bandwagon — and I found out that there was a multitude of failures and policies that lead up to my daughter getting murdered, that the mainstream media didn’t want to cover.”

In Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students, Pollack discusses his views on gun control, why he blames Democratic policies for his daughter’s murder, and precautions that parents can take to ensure the safety of their children.

Pollack argued that new gun control laws are an ineffective solution to the school shooting epidemic, in part because current laws are not being enforced.  For example, the Parkland shooter had a violent record, but he was not arrested and therefore able to obtain a weapon legally.

“To me, gun control would’ve been if they arrested him for punching his mother’s teeth out and he got a background,” explained Pollack. “Democrats put these policies in place that don’t believe in holding kids accountable or arresting them while they’re juveniles…so if they don’t arrest them and they don’t get a background, then they’re able to purchase weapons legally and a background check is useless,” he said.

In an interview with “Fox & Friends” Monday, Pollack said that banning guns is not the solution, and he encouraged people to look at the “underlying causes for these shootings.”

“They’re not addressing mental health…or arresting these people when they make threats…those are the real issues,” he explained.

Responding to a recent video featuring 2020 Democratic candidates promoting tighter gun control as a safety precaution in schools, Pollack said it made him “ill.”

“My daughter paid the ultimate sacrifice because of those Democratic policies and I’ve been hurt by the Democrats more than anybody in this country — and I hold them responsible,” Pollack said.

Pollack met with President Trump five times, he explained, and applauded the President’s initiation of a federal school safety commission to investigate what steps need to be taken to ensure safety in schools across the country.

In his new book, Pollack said he wanted to create a guide for parents to spot warning signs of potential shooters and to explain that Meadow’s death was avoidable.

“[The book is] like a manual or a guide for parents and grandparents to read it and actually look at what happened in Parkland and compare it — these policies are throughout the whole country,” Pollack told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in an earlier interview.

“Uncovering all of this,” said Pollack, “it did a lot for me so other parents now can learn from it and that’s what brought me to this book. And the book started as just an investigation, but there was so many jaw-dropping failures that I had to educate other parents.”

Discussing the book, Cavuto “dared” viewers to “read this book without a box of tissues,” calling it “stunning and raw.”

Pollack is just getting started, he explained. He is committed to educating parents across the country on being alert and responsive to potential dangers surrounding their children, so no parent has to experience the pain and grief that continues to haunt him more than a year later.

“Every time that there’s a mass shooting,” he explained,  “I think about these victims. Like the ones in Walmart or the ones in Virginia at the building where these animals are coming through and they’re shooting … and I picture my daughter being a victim.”

 

Great moments (not) in the gun control debate

Last week was quite a week for the gun control lobby.

First, according to Magamedia:

Whether it’s NRA protests, anti-gun protests, live-streams protesting gun violence Alyssa Milano is front and center, attending them all. What she hasn’t revealed until just recently, is the fact that she owns two guns for self defense.

The debate was held in Cruz’s Capitol Hill office, where Milano and Fred Guttenberg — whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida — pressed the senator on various gun control proposals.
Milano proposed universal background checks, restricting access to AR-15s, and background checks for bullet purchases, while insisting, “We all believe in the Second Amendment.” Despite that claim, she pleaded, “We have to try everything, and figure out what works. Isn’t that worth it?”
Around 13 minutes into the discussion, Guttenberg said he was offended by Cruz’s argument that these gun controls would erode Americans’ rights to self-defense. “That’s a load of BS,” he said. “Nobody’s trying to remove your right to self-defense.”
“By the way,” Milano interjected, “I have two guns in my household for self-defense, just so you know.”

I guess she thinks she’s special because she’s a celebrity. She doesn’t have to practice what she preaches because she’s a celebrity. Gun control doesn’t apply to her because she’s a celebrity.

I’ve got news for you, Alyssa. It’s folks like you and David Hogg that continue to sky rocket gun sales all across the country.

Guttenberg claimed that “Nobody’s trying to remove your right to self-defense.” Which is not the same thing as saying “nobody’s trying to take your guns away.”

Which is also a lie, as reported by Jim Geraghty:

​​​He almost certainly doesn’t realize it, but Beto O’Rourke is likely to be the worst thing to happen to the gun-control movement in decades — and, if he continues in this mode, he may turn out to be the worst thing to happen to the Democratic party in a long time, too. In Houston last night, O’Rourke abandoned his cloying euphemisms (“mandatory buybacks”) and delivered a deliberate, carefully scripted endorsement of gun confiscation, which, within minutes, his campaign began to sell on t-shirts. “Hell yes,” Beto said, “we’re going to take your AR-15.”

​​Thus, upon the instant, did two decades’ worth of Democratic rhetoric go up in a puff of smoke.
​Beto’s increasingly unhinged rhetoric is not only at odds with political reality — is he unaware that the Democratic House failed this week to marshall enough votes for ban on the sale of “assault weapons,” let alone for confiscation? — it also chronically undermines the assurances on which the Democratic party’s more modest gun-control proposals have been built. For years, Democrats have insisted that “nobody is coming for your guns,” and they have used that line to explain why their coveted registry and desired licensing systems do not pose a threat to anyone but criminals. The current push for an expansion of the background check system rests heavily upon this assurance: “Don’t worry about the de facto registry,” advocates like to argue, “it won’t affect you at all.” With reckless abandon, O’Rourke just blew straight through that, screaming, “yes, it will!”
​​​​And in the worst possible way, too. When O’Rourke first decided that he was in favor of confiscation, he was at pains to promise that enforcement would be unnecessary because Americans would comply, and that the punishment would be a fine and nothing worse. With his “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” language, O’Rourke has abandoned even that. And for what? So that he might increase a few percentage points in a poll that he is never, ever going to win, and then disappear from electoral politics forever?​
A year from now, when O’Rourke is a contributor on MSNBC, the people who stayed in the arena are going to look back on this period and curse his name. “Did that guy help us?” they will ask. “Hell, no.”

Then there is this video …

… which was (occasionally profanely) rebutted by this video:

This is why I do not reflexively thank veterans for their service unless I know whether their service was honorable (most) or not (John Kerry). The soldiers in the first video did not serve their country; they served the government. They do not respect the Second Amendment rights of anyone besides themselves. Like other liberals they are perfectly fine with being armed themselves, but not with anyone with different views being armed.

 

Second defense

Brian Mark Weber:

The Left has, over time, perpetuated the idea that the Bill of Rights, whose 10 amendments were designed to protect individual citizens from government tyranny, somehow includes a Second Amendment that empowers the government to determine when and where those citizens can carry weapons. But why would the Founders go to the trouble of ensuring such rights while allowing the government to snatch them away from an undefended population?

Still, in 2008 the Supreme Court held 5-4 in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment was an individual right, a decision that former Justice John Paul Stevens called the worst of his tenure. The Federalist’s David Harsanyi writes, “Earlier this year, in fact, Stevens implored Americans to do what he couldn’t while on the court, and repeal the Second Amendment.”

The fact that the Heller decision was even necessary reveals just how far we’ve fallen since our founding. The ruling came far too late to push back against decades of leftist propaganda and activism designed to convince millions of Americans that the Second Amendment was far different from the other nine rights — that it was neither individual nor narrowly limited but collective and extremely limited.

Since then, lower courts have had a field day misinterpreting the Constitution and upholding laws making it harder for citizens to acquire guns. For example, in 2016 the infamous Ninth Circuit Court determined in Peruta v. California that one must show “good cause” in order to carry a concealed weapon. Sadly, these kinds of outrageous decisions are free to stand as long as the Supreme Court refuses to hear key cases rather than establishing strong precedents that would put the issue to rest.

As John Yoo and James C. Phillips write at National Review, “Despite the text of the Second Amendment, supporters of a right to bear arms have rooted their arguments in a murky pre-constitutional right to self-defense. As a result, the Supreme Court has shied away from halting the spread of federal and state schemes for gun control, for which the cries will only rise higher after the recent mass shootings. Unless the new conservative majority on the Court, solidified by Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s arrival, places the right to bear arms on a par with the rest of the Bill of Rights, the coming blue wave of gun-control proposals may swamp what the Framers considered a core constitutional right.”

Justice Clarence Thomas made this clear when he recently wrote, “The Framers made a clear choice: They reserved to all Americans the right to bear arms for self-defense. I do not think we should stand by idly while a State denies its citizens that right, particularly when their very lives may depend on it.”

In order to clarify the intent of the framers, Second Amendment proponents cannot merely fall back onto the amendment itself, but must go back farther to understand its history. We must arm ourselves with centuries of natural law and English common law principles in order to smash the collective-right theory of the 1960s. For now, conservatives are losing the public relations battle that works against the Second Amendment every time there’s a new mass shooting.

And we had better act swiftly. Nancy Pelosi and company aren’t about to sit back when they take the reins from House Republicans in January.

 

Mark Walters writes that, with Democrats in power, “We will see a renewed push for expanded background checks and a ban on so-called high capacity magazines. And I expect we will see some form of ‘assault weapons’ ban as well as a push for federal Extreme Risk Protection Orders and red flag laws. These red flag laws disarm American citizens by violating their due process rights based simply on an allegation that someone may be a danger to themselves or others.”

All this would be of less concern if the Supreme Court and its new, more conservative majority would simply take up more Second Amendment cases and decisively reestablish the self-evident right of American citizens to defend themselves. Indeed, the High Court may be the last best hope for securing this right against a leftist obsession to take it away.

 

Steve Prestegard

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Steve Prestegard

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