Archive for category 2nd Second Amendment
At the Bundy Ranch standoff, so-called right-wing militia members aimed assault weapons at law enforcement officers. No arrests were made, and Cliven Bundy remains a free man. Last night in Ferguson, Missouri, an overwhelming police force including SWAT teams rampaged through residential streets firing stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets. They attacked peaceful, unarmed protesters and arrested reporters. The city never imposed a curfew, which means citizens were supposed to be allowed to assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights.
Something is wrong. The media are blaming so-called “homeland security” and the militarization of even small-town police departments, which can buy a surplus MRAP from the Army for only $5,000 even if they don’t need one. Worse than that, there seems to be a trend of police use of deadly force against unarmed suspects – many of whom are being shot multiple times or shot in the back.
Ferguson Seeks Answers After Police Shooting Of Michael Brown
Does the Second Amendment Only Apply to White People?
Alderman, 2 reporters arrested as Ferguson erupts for 4th night
Did Police Use Excessive Force Against Ferguson Protesters?
Ferguson’s Police Got Free Military Gear Straight From The Pentagon
Update May 28, 2013: Utah gun rights advocate Clark Aposhian arrested
March 29, 2013
Clark muttered under his breath when he discovered his ‘baby’ had been stolen out of the the back seat of his car as it sat parked in front of his house. He walked back toward his open garage.
For the first time in his life, Clark knew the meaning of pants-around-ankles. He shuttered to think about his next move. ‘Do I call the police,’ Clark thought to himself, ‘how will I face my gun safety students…or do I keep quiet and hope no one notices?’
“Shoot, shoot, SHOOT” he said, out loud this time.
Ever since the accident at the gun range, saying ‘shoot’ three times in a row always got Clark’s adrenaline going. This time was no different. Clark’s instincts kicked in. With the deftness of an eagle in flight, Clark swept the Glock out of his waistband cocking it with his arms outstretched above his head. Widening his stance, Clark slowly lowered the gun to eye level and squinted as if transfixed on an imaginary enemy. Clark was a huge Clint Eastwood fan. He had perfected the “Clint squint” by first grade.
Seeing no immediate threat on the bucolic street at the end of his driveway, Clark spun around, crouched, and with both hands, aimed his gun toward the garage door.
“Don’t fuck with me,” Clark warned out loud as he crept back through the empty garage into his empty house, hoping none of the neighbors had noticed.
A tingle ran up his spine. His mind raced back to his childhood and the endless days playing Cops and Robbers with his best friend Lil’ Clyde.
“Damned, those were the days” Clark said to himself as he straightened out and placed the Glock back in his pants. Stepping into the serenity of his empty kitchen, his mind went blank as it often did, without notice.
Unable to remember what he had come into the house for, Clark went over to his old vinyl record player and put on his favorite ZZ Top album and began doing air guitar. As he arched his back, he felt the barrel of the Glock press into his flesh.
“Shoot” Clark said out loud, remembering the was a bullet in the chamber. Then Clark remembered why he had come back into the house.
By now everyone has heard about this story. It highlights a couple of things.
1. Even the most responsible gun owners cannot protect us from the unintended consequences of gun ownership.
2. Refer to #1.
Personally, I’d like to know why Clark had a thermal-imaging scope attached to his rifle. As a lobbyist for the gun industry, I imagine Clark Aposhian has plenty of exotic freebies kicking around his house. But why was it actually ON THE GUN? What the fuck? Is there a new shooting sport we should know about?
Don’t miss the Wonkette’s satirical reflection on Clark’s big ooops: “Utah Gun Lobbyist’s AR-15 Stolen Because SUV Couldn’t Defend Itself“
Tucson shooting survivor Patricia Maisch spoke for 90 percent of Americans today. After the Republicans stopped a weak firearm background check bill with a silent filibuster that required a 60-vote super-majority, she called out “Shame on you!” from the Senate gallery. The bill failed despite the support of 54 senators. Only four Republicans voted to break the filibuster (Utah senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee voted to kill the bill).
President Obama commented on the absurdity of this vote:
I’m going to speak plainly and honestly about what’s happened here because the American people are trying to figure out how can something have 90 percent support and yet not happen. We had a Democrat and a Republican -– both gun owners, both fierce defenders of our Second Amendment, with “A” grades from the NRA — come together and worked together to write a common-sense compromise on background checks. And I want to thank Joe Manchin and Pat Toomey for their courage in doing that. That was not easy given their traditional strong support for Second Amendment rights.
As they said, nobody could honestly claim that the package they put together infringed on our Second Amendment rights. All it did was extend the same background check rules that already apply to guns purchased from a dealer to guns purchased at gun shows or over the Internet.
Broadcast and cable networks interrupted regular programming to bring viewers Obama’s remarks, except for the Faux News Channel.
Four Democratic senators voted against the baby-step background check bill, but the filibuster was 100 percent Republican – so they get the blame. Must be used to wearing the black hats by now, anyway.
Gabrielle Giffords: A Senate in the Gun Lobby’s Grip
I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear…
UPDATE: Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators. Imagine that, a background check.
I’m sick and tired of the “guns don’t kill people; people do” mantra. Its too stupid for words.
If it ain’t a hunting rifle, it was designed for a singular purpose, to give a human being the ability to kill another human being. The same cannot be said about spoons, knives, cars, hammers or hamburgers.
No ‘Individual Right’ to Bear Arms. State Regulations of Firearms Does Not Violate U.S. Constitution
This is a MUST read for any gun nut who THINKS they understand the Second Amendment and the rest of us who need to shut them the fuck up.
Judge Jeffrey S. Ryan, Breckenridge, CO, wrote the article below in response to a letter to the editor published in his local Summit Daily News, post Columbine and pre-Heller. It details undisputed law confirmed in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) which addressed ONLY the right to own “within federal enclaves.”
The Shootings at Columbine High School have understandably generated strong reactions. Inevitably, the subject of the Second Amendment has come up.
A letter to the editor published in the Summit (Colo.) Daily News by Kevin Bridges misinterprets the amendment, as well as misstating history. In fact, the media, too, are guilty of fostering confusion about the amendment, as journalists routinely refer to the “right” to keep and bear arms without consulting those charged with saying what the amendment actually means: the federal courts.
The following are facts, not opinions, and carry the force of the law.
The Second Amendment acts as a constraint on the federal government, not state or local governments. Initially, the Bill of Rights, of which the amendment is a part, applied only to the federal government. In 1868 after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment was ratified by the states. The 14th Amendment caused certain of the amendments in the Bill of Rights to be binding in the states. The Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment was not one of these, and does not apply in the states. And since the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the Job of deciding cases involving the Bill of Rights, the court has the final word.
This means state and local governments are free to regulate possession and use of firearms without violating the federal Constitution. Arguments that a particular state gun laws goes against the Second Amendment are meaningless, because the states are not required to follow it.
What of the Second Amendment in the federal arena? Every single federal court of appeals that has addressed the issue has ruled that the amendment forbids Congress from disarming the “well-regulated” militias of the various states. (The Supreme Court has held that the modern National Guard is the militia referred to by the Constitution.) In other words, the amendment is designed to protect the right of the states to maintain militias. It has never been held to apply to the use of arms against criminals, or, more ludicrously, against the government. Most important, the courts have uniformly held that the amendment does not create or recognize a personal right to “keep and bear arms.”
Let me stress that this is not a matter of dispute in the federal courts or appeals. Each one that has considered the Second Amendment has reached the same conclusion. The Supreme Court has been asked to review many of these decisions, and has declined every time. That leaves the decisions of the courts of appeals as the final, controlling law.
It is not that the Founders didn’t consider an individual right to posses arms: Samuel Adams proposed that the Constitution contain such a right, but even he wound up voting against it. The New Hampshire delegation also offered such a proposal. It was defeated. Robert Whitehall of the Pennsylvania delegation proposed a guarantee of an individual right to bear arms. It was likewise defeated. So it is clear that the Founders could have provided for such right, but chose not to.
The Second Amendment originally contained a provision, in a final phrase, that exempted conscientious objectors from having to perform militia services. This was removed because Eldridge Gerry, a delegate from Massachusetts, feared that the government might unilaterally declare certain classes of people, e. g. Catholics, to be “scrupulous of bearing arms,” and discriminate against otherwise eligible militiamen. But such a provision further makes clear that the amendment concerned state militias, and not an individual right to possess firearms.
Bridges’ letter to the editor also states that “Hitler first required firearms registration and … authorized confiscation of all privately owned firearms.” This is not true.
The German Weapons Law of March 18, 1938, enacted by Hitler’s National Socialist government, liberalized gun ownership, as opposed to restricting it. It lowered the legal age for gun ownership from 20 to 18; extended the period a weapons permit was valid; eliminated a previous limit on the number of guns a person could own; and did away with a previous requirement of permits for long guns. While the law forbade Jews from manufacturing or selling firearms, it did not forbid them from owning firearms, contrary to popular thought. When American GIs occupied Germany, they were shocked at the number of guns that private citizens owned. Notably, all this gun ownership did not prevent the rise of Nazism or the extermination of the Jews. (An oft-cited Hitler “quote” about gun registration has been proved to be a hoax, though that has not stopped many from repeating it.)
Without providing any proof that gun ownership was forbidden in the former Communist bloc (it certainly wasn’t in Russia), Bridges invokes those nations as proof of the perils of gun control. He fails to mention that countries such as Japan and Great Britain also have extremely strict gun control. Perhaps he considers these to be totalitarian, oppressive governments as well, but, if so, he is in a distinct minority.
The Second Amendment was primarily authorized by James Madison. It was created to satisfy the anti-Federalists, who feared dilution of states’ rights, not individual rights. Concern from the state militias was a result of fear of a federal standing army. But the Constitution not only created the mechanism for such a standing army, the newly created federal government had in fact won the argument by gaining true control over them.
Many organizations with agendas have spread inaccurate interpretations of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, despite the very clear decisions of the courts, the press and the public have parroted these misinterpretations with no critical analysis.
If people are misinformed about the law, they will be quite disappointed when the courts rule as they inevitably must.
Most of the public is, unfortunately, ill-informed about the law and the Constitution as it is. Mindlessly parroting the phrase “the right to keep and bear arms,” with no explanation of the phrase’s true history and meaning, to say nothing of its militia context, doesn’t help.
Last, some words from people far wiser than I:
“The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that the ‘state armies’ – ‘the militia’ – would be maintained for the defense of the state. … The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires.” – Warren E. Burger, former chief justice of the United States.
“A powerful lobby dins into the ears of our citizenry that these gun purchases are constitutional rights protected by the Second Amendment. Our decisions belie that argument, for the Second Amendment was designed to keep alive the militia.” – William O. Douglas, former justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
If people intend to invoke the Second Amendment, which is a matter of constitutional law, they should at least know what that law is.
Thom Hartmann explains to Larry the caller why the 2nd Amendment was written to allow citizens to defend their country, not defend AGAINST tyranny.
What would it take for you to stand out in front of your house with weapons and defend yourself against the federal government?
Second Amendment Primer: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,…”
Several observations after spending the afternoon in the Utah House Judiciary Committee hearings on 2 gun bills. Rep. Brian King and Rep. Patrice Arent are such a credit to their constituents and the Utah Democratic party. Both so smart and asked such relevant questions. Nineveh Dinha of Channel 13 is drop dead gorgeous. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jean Welch Hill, who spoke eloquently on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of SLC on the need for reasonable gun control. I sure wish she was our Attorney General right now! The room was packed., complete with the guy with an assault rifle on his back, and the guy who was out of order so security came in and took him aside. I saw some of my favorite people and legislators, and it really is amazing to watch democracy in action.
Utah can be a very embarrassing place sometimes.
Today’s Senate committee hearing on gun safety began with a surprise appearance by Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), grievously wounded during an assassination attempt two years ago that left six others dead.
“Thank you for inviting me here today,” she said. “This is an important conversation for our children, for our community, for Democrats and Republicans. Speaking is difficult, but I need to say something important.”
She continued: “Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying. Too many children. We must do something. It will be hard, but the time is now. You must act. Be bold, be courageous. Americans are counting on you.”
But later in the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) bragged about having an AR-15 at home.
“You could find yourself in this country in a lawless environment from a natural disaster or a riot,” he said… The Republican senator added that he would carry his assault rifle around his neighborhood in the event of “a law and order breakdown.”
And then it got weirder.
One of the witnesses at the hearing, Daily Caller writer Gayle Trotter, head of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, argued that limiting magazine capacity would particularly affect women, who she claimed believe the AR-15 to be their “weapon of choice.”
“An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon, and the peace of mind that a woman has as she’s facing three, four, five violent attackers, intruders in her home, with her children screaming in the background, the peace of mind that she has knowing that she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she’s fighting hardened, violent criminals,” she said.
I’m almost 60 years old. I never had even one “hardened, violent criminal” attack me at home. Not one time. Do these people know how crazy they sound to most Americans?
Gun advocate tells Senate: AR-15 is the ‘weapon of choice’ for women with crying babies
Lindsey Graham: GOP-Forced Budget Cuts Will Mean Fewer Cops, So People Need To Arm Themselves
Senator Catches NRA Head In Epic Flip Flop
The fact of the matter is that more guns put women in danger. The Harvard Injury Control Research Center has found that states with more guns have more female violent deaths. Their research also found that batterers who owned guns liked to use them to scare and control their victims, and would often use the gun to threaten the victim, threaten her pets or loved ones, clean them menacingly during arguments, or even fire them to scare her.
Trotter’s organization, the Independent Women’s Forum, opposes legislation aimed at curbing domestic violence including the Violence Against Women Act.
Read the rest of this entry »
Utah’s Washington Country Sheriff Threatens Armed Resistance, Gets History Wrong In Open Letter To President Obama
The most honest message in Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher’s Open Letter to Barack Obama is that Sheriffs are politicians; “We, the elected sheriffs of Utah…” On the other hand, use of the word “We” implying all Utah Sheriffs signed off on the language, is most likely, a lie.
It is difficult to believe that ALL of Utahs 28 county Sheriffs support threatening President Obama with a call to “trade our lives” in an effort to resist “federal officials,” which may also explain why NO OTHER County Sheriffs’ names appear in the letter posted on Cory’s website on behalf of the Utah Sheriff’s Association.
The only substance in the letter is the final paragraph. Whether this paragraph was agreed upon by all of Utah’s Sheriffs, or is merely a personal campaign message, the reader must decide for her/himself.
We respect the Office of the President of the United States of America. But, make no mistake, …we will enforce the rights guaranteed…by the Constitution. No federal official will be permitted to descend upon constituents and take from them what the Bill of Rights-in particular Amendment II-has given them. We, like you, swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, and we are prepared to trade our lives for the preservation of its traditional interpretation.
Finally, it must be noted that Mr. Pulispher’s implicit assertion that HIS is also “the traditional interpretation” of the second amendment is a canard and should offend even the most pedestrian history buff. I think we can safely assume Sheriff Pulispher’s interpretation of 2A is identical to Wayne LaPierre’s. And it is wrong and certainly NOT the “traditional one.
“In regard to the Second Amendment, not a single Congressman or Senator is recorded as saying that it would establish an individual’s right to possess a weapon.
…In summary the original intent of the Second Amendment was to protect the right of the states to form and maintain state militias, free of the potential federal incursion created by Article I, section 8, clause 16 of the Constitution. Hopefully, we will one day get an intellectually honest majority on the Supreme Court that will reverse the judicial activism that the five right wing ideologues on SCOTUS forced on the American people in Heller, Citizens United, and the majority’s dangerous restriction on the interstate commerce clause in National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sibelius (otherwise known as the “Obamacare” decision).”
For those of you who would dismiss the above as a radical assertion, I would challenge you to read this well research and sourced primer on the actual debate and circumstances surrounding the ratification of the Second Amendment. For those of you more used to reading NRA, Breitbart, Drudge and or the mountains of fabricated, unsupportable drivel presented by so-called second amendment advocates, I fear you will find the level of primary sources and facts in this brief, excruciating.
For posterity, the entire page containing Sheriff Pulsipher’s letter is posted below:
Obama should exercise his presidential authority to effect sensible gun control nationally for two reasons:
1. It bring a badly needed Supreme Court challenge that will likely involve the “Militia” part of the second amendment.
2. It will turn up the volume for historians and constitutional experts in a broad national debate in which second-amendment-extremist will learn a more reasonable interpretation of the second amendment; one that is supported by fact and history instead of the version Justice Scalia smeared like skid marks into our national undies.
We are finally beginning to have an honest discussion about the true meaning of the Second Amendment. Until Sandy Hook, gun rights extremist managed to dominate the conversation. They were allowed to ignore the “A well regulated Militia, being necessary” part.
Here is a PERFECT EXAMPLE from an interview by Nashville’s WSMV-TV on Friday.
It is a fact that the average James Yeager and other Second Amendment Advocates cannot actually recite the whole sentence:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Obama should use his executive power if it will mean Wayne LaPierre, the average 2nd amendment “advocate” and crooked snake oil salesmen like David Hardy will be FORCED to read and memorize THE WHOLE SENTENCE and address the HISTORICAL FACTS surrounding the writing of the Bill of Rights.
And who is that? James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a company that specializes in selling exactly the types of weapons we don’t need, and then training you to use them. Apparently to overthrow your government.
Sadly that is not his original channel video. Why? Because he is a total coward, and already took the original down. But on the internet, things have a tendency to pop back up again.
I eagerly await all the true patriot tea bagger supporters of freedom and haters of treasonous people who I am sure are already formulating a response to remove this man who just explained that he is planning on committing treason. I am sure they are shutting him done as I type this.
You know how people sometimes say “if only we had warning before he went crazy and flew off the handle” after a shooting? This video is a red flag. A giant screaming red flag. With fireworks.
Increasingly the first red flag that you are the type of mentally unstable person who shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun is that you own a gun.
The National Rifle Association countered with “arm the teachers.” Gun clubs claim hundreds of teachers are applying for free weapons training. Two hundred people showed up for a class in West Valley City, Utah, outside Salt Lake City, on December 27, 2012, for example. Not all of the people who took the course were teachers. But some were, including Carolyn Cain, who teaches special education kids in kindergarten to the 6th grade in Utah County, Utah.