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Charlie T Waite

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Posts posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. Do red flag laws make anyone safer?

    Well, that’s a discussion we can certainly have. It should be right up there with whether it actually matters one way or another when it comes to a fundamental human right as the right to keep and bear arms.

    For proponents of these laws, though, it often seems like the safety argument vanishes after these laws are passed. Instead, they use a different metric to determine whether or not the law is working or not.

    That process is starting in Virginia.

    At least three dozen Virginia residents have been prohibited temporarily or potentially permanently from having firearms or purchasing them based on a new state law allowing authorities to convince a judge that a person would be a danger to themselves or others.

    The “red flag” law creating the petition for substantial risk orders began July 1, as one of many gun-related restrictions approved this year by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

    Twenty-six temporary and 10 potentially permanent orders were issued in July and August, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The numbers came from the Virginia State Police, which operates the Virginia Firearm Transaction Center. The state police is prohibited from releasing details about the orders.

    Of course, it should be remembered that temporary orders are issued on what amounts to hearsay evidence by third parties presented to a judge who issues a ruling without ever having spoken with the individual in question. Further, none of the people involved in the process are mental health professionals who may actually be qualified to judge someone’s mental state.

    Instead, it’s a couple of people who don’t necessarily understand psychology rendering a decision about whether another person gets to exercise a basic human right.

    There’s a lot we don’t know about these 36 individuals, such as what kind of threat they supposedly presented. Further, while we don’t know for sure, we can assume that none of have carried out any kind of murder or taken their own life following the orders being issued.

    For proponents, that just proves they work, but that’s not necessarily true. After all, there are tons of ways to kill yourself or someone else without ever touching a firearm. If someone was that determined, they’d do it regardless of the order.

    And that’s another problem with the orders. They leave the supposedly dangerous person to roam the streets. If someone is that big of a threat, shouldn’t you use the tools already available to commit them at least temporarily? Then it won’t matter if they have access to guns, knives, or high explosives at their home. They won’t be at their homes in the first place, but somewhere they can be evaluated by people who actually know what the hell they’re talking about.

    We’ll have to wait and see just how things shake out in the long term, but don’t expect to see anything else from Virginia other than raw numbers of how many orders are issued and a lot of preening from supporters of the law that claim those numbers show just how well the orders are working.

    Especially if homicide and suicide rates don’t decrease.

    Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger and lifetime shooter. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia. He's also the host of Unloaded TV on YouTube. https://bearingarms.com/author/tomknighton/


  2. Amy Coney Barrett, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit judge, speaks during the University of Notre Dame’s Law School commencement ceremony at the university, in South Bend, Ind. (South Bend Tribune via AP, File)

    Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday, President Trump promised a crowd over the weekend that he’d be nominating a woman for the open seat. This morning, the Wall Street Journal reports that Trump will announce his nominee on Friday or Saturday.

    Mr. Trump maintained that the replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday of metastatic pancreatic cancer at the age of 87, should happen swiftly. “We won the election and elections have consequences,” he said Monday morning on Fox News. “We have plenty of time.”

    Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump nominee on the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals, is reportedly one of the the President’s two front-runners for replacing Justice Ginsburg. While she’s only been on the 7th Circuit for about three years, she seems to have her head mostly screwed on straight when it comes to the Second Amendment.

    As the AP writes . . .

    She has long expressed sympathy with a mode of interpreting the Constitution, called originalism, in which justices try to decipher original meanings of texts in assessing if someone’s rights have been violated. Many liberals oppose that strict approach, saying it is too rigid and doesn’t allow the Constitution to change with the times.

    Barrett’s fondness for original texts was on display in a 2019 dissent in a gun-rights case in which she argued a person convicted of a nonviolent felony shouldn’t be automatically barred from owning a gun. All but a few pages of her 37-page dissent were devoted to the history of gun rules for convicted criminals in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    That dissent was issued in Kanter v. Barr. Barrett dissented from the majority which held that a felony conviction for even a non-violent crime — Medicare fraud, in this case — barred gun ownership.

    In the opening paragraph of her dissent (which starts here) she held:

    History is consistent with common sense: it demonstrates that legislatures have the power to prohibit dangerous people from possessing guns. But that power extends only to people who are dangerous. Founding-era legislatures did not strip felons of the right to bear arms simply because of their status as felons. Nor have the parties introduced any evidence that founding-era legislatures imposed virtue-based restrictions on the right; such restrictions applied to civic rights like voting and jury service, not to individual rights like the right to possess a gun. In 1791—and for well more than a century afterward— legislatures disqualified categories of people from the right to bear arms only when they judged that doing so was necessary to protect the public safety.

    I would prefer that Judge Barrett had skipped the whole dangerousness argument. After all, if you can be trusted to walk the streets, you can be trusted with a firearm. Something more along the lines of ‘you have served your time, your civil rights are restored’ might have been better.

    Still, in her stance on the gun rights of non-violent felons, she is far better than most other judges when it comes to the the supporting natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right to own and carry the weapon of your choice.

    Barrett is only 48 years old and, if appointed and confirmed, could serve on the Court for three decades or more. America’s gun owners and those who support the right to keep and bear arms could do (and have done) a lot worse.


  3. Thanks to your phone calls and emails in opposition to Ordinance O-19-82 (mandating locked storage requirements for any firearms outside your immediate possession or control) and Ordinance O-19-83 (banning firearms at any building owned or leased by the city for conducting business with the public), the Albuquerque City Council defeated both measures on a 6-3 vote Monday night.  During debate on the proposals, one Councilmember remarked that she had received over 600 individual contacts against these ordinances!

    This comes on the heels of the Council also recently voting down Resolution R-20-68, which would have urged the New Mexico Legislature to pass legislation stripping the state firearms preemption language from the New Mexico Constitution and putting the proposal to voters for approval.

    Please take a moment to thank the following Councilmembers who voted against O-19-82 and O-19-83:

    District 1: Councilor Sena - lansena@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3183
    District 3: Councilor Pena - kpena@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3127
    District 4: Councilor Bassan - bbassan@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3101
    District 5: Councilor Borrego - cynthiaborrego@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3189
    District 8: Councilor Jones - trudyjones@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3106
    District 9: Councilor Harris - dharris@cabq.gov | (505) 768-3123

  4. On Monday, September 14th, the Capitol Commission voted 4-2 against a proposal to ban all firearms from the Capitol and 3-3 against a proposal to ban open carry at the Capitol.

    While this is a temporary victory for Second Amendment rights, the commission did agree to discuss the topic again after meeting with House and Senate Leadership, and left open the possibility of holding a special meeting solely to decide the matter.

  5. Earlier this year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a sweeping ban and confiscation plan on over 1,500 commonly used firearms. The good news is that Canadian citizens are fighting back. As Fox News reported, a Parliamentary e-petition to reverse the gun ban (petition number “e-2574”) has closed and been certified with 230,905 signatures, making it the most popular petition ever in Canada by over 55,000 signatures.

    “We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Prime Minister to immediately scrap his government’s May 1, 2020, Order in Council decision related to confiscating legally owned firearms and instead pass legislation that will target criminals, stop the smuggling of firearms into Canada, go after those who illegally acquire firearms, and apologize to legal firearms owners in Canada,” reads the petition.

    Trudeau announced the ban for “public safety” following the actions of a psychopath in Nova Scotia who shot and killed 13 people and then lit fires that killed nine others. The perpetrator of these heinous crimes, it should be noted, illegally acquired all of the firearms he used, including one he took from one of his victims, a police officer.

    In addition to the e-petition, Canadians have marched in protest of the Trudeau ban. Recently, an estimated 800 pro-freedom Canadians held a rally in Ottawa against the ban—the event was spearheaded by the Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights.

    When the Canadian Parliament reconvenes this fall, the e-petition will be put on the Parliamentary docket. According to Canadian law, Parliament must officially respond.

    Trudeau’s gun ban requires people to surrender their firearms to the government in return for compensation, although that compensation plan has yet to be unveiled. In the meantime, using or transporting any of the firearms on the list is a crime.

    As America’s 1st Freedom reported, when the ban was first announced this past May: “Canadian gun owners will have a two-year ‘amnesty’ period in which they can still possess the many firearms being banned as the Canadian government works out plans to remove the firearms. According to CBC News, Trudeau said gun owners would receive ‘fair compensation’ for the soon-to-be-illegal firearms.”

    The banned list includes every AR-style rifle one can imagine, plus AR pistols, various other semi-automatics and some bolt-action hunting rifles, plus actual military ordnance one would assume were already illegal for civilian possession in Canada (and elsewhere), including rocket and grenade launchers, anti-tank rifles and mortars!

    Trudeau’s unilateral gun ban is a stark reminder that, in the United States, the constitutional protection afforded by the Second Amendment now prevents a president from effectively using an executive order to take this freedom from us.

    As we near November’s election, it is worth noting that the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, Joe Biden, has made his anti-Second Amendment stances very clear. On his own election website, Biden calls for a “ban” on semi-automatic firearms that he incorrectly terms “assault weapons,” and says he would have the federal government “buy back” these semi-automatic firearms from their rightful, legal owners.

    Biden has also made it clear he would nominate justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who would vote to effectively erase the Second Amendment. We know this because the U.S. Supreme Court’s minority opinions in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) clearly told us that, if they had a majority on the court, they’d turn our individual right to keep and bear arms into a collective one that legislators could then ignore. In fact, Biden is even on record as disagreeing with the ruling in Heller, and apparently siding with the minority dissent that rejected the individual right recognized by the majority on the Court.

    Without the continued protection of our Second Amendment, bans and confiscation schemes can happen, unchecked. We only need to look north of our border to see an anti-gun, anti-freedom ban in action.

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