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Charlie T Waite

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Posts posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association are cheering the unanimous ruling by a Washington State Court of Appeals panel that reversed and remanded back to a lower court their legal challenge of a City of Seattle “safe storage” gun control mandate that violates Washington’s long-standing preemption law.

    The city adopted its storage requirement more than two years ago and was quickly challenged by SAF, NRA and two private citizens. That action was dismissed by a King County Superior Court judge who said the plaintiffs lacked standing, so they appealed. A three-judge panel led by Acting Chief Judge Beth Andrus ruled for the plaintiffs and sent the case back to King County Superior Court “for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.” Andrus wrote the opinion.

    SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb called the decision “a great victory for the Second Amendment Foundation and our case against Seattle.” Plaintiffs were represented by Seattle attorneys Eric Lindberg and Steve Fogg at Corr, Cronin LLP.

    “Now we will have a trial on the merits of the case, which I believe we will win eventually,” he said. “A lot of our cases in Washington state have been stalled and have taken a long time to actually get resolved, and it’s because they really don’t want to rule in our favor but they know eventually they’re going to have to.”

    SAF and NRA won a similar lawsuit against the City of Edmonds. Gottlieb noted this new ruling reinforces the state’s 35-year-old state preemption statute, which has been a model for similar laws in other states.

    “Rogue city governments, especially ones that let rioters seize neighborhoods and destroy public and private property, cannot be allowed to skate around state firearms laws,” Gottlieb observed. “Seattle is not a special fiefdom inside Washington State, where officials can make up their own rules, especially when they directly affect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

    “We’re challenging the city’s cavalier behavior because they are not above the law,” he stated. “We adopted state preemption decades ago because it brought uniformity to Washington’s gun laws. Thanks to the Appeals Court, we can now move forward, and I’m convinced we’re going to prevail.”

  2. This should make for a fun family Thanksgiving conversation in a certain San Francisco mansion. In a personal sign of just how weird 2020 has become, I find myself largely in agreement with someone named Pelosi on the issue of gun ownership. In this case it’s Nancy Pelosi’s filmmaker daughter Alexandra as opposed to the House Speaker herself, but it’s still fairly bizarre to hear a prominent Democrat say that she would rather buy her 12-year old sons a gun than an iPhone.

    Alexandra Pelosi’s pronouncement came as part of her press appearances for her new documentary American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself, which is partly a documentary of the 2020 election and partly an examination into how the smartphone has changed our daily lives and our interactions with our fellow Americans.

    Smartphones, just like firearms, are inanimate objects, and ultimately it’s the person using them that’s responsible for their own actions. Still, Pelosi argues that smartphones are tools that can be manipulated by outside forces as well as the owner.

    “I always tell my kids: I would rather buy you a gun than an iPhone,” she said. “Because a gun is something you control – I can pull the trigger and shoot you if I want to, but an iPhone is controlling you. There are tech companies that have algorithms to shoot little bullets at your mental health, shooting little bullets at your brain to stimulate you or depress you.

    “I think phones are much more dangerous than guns.”

    I’m still not convinced that the issue is smartphones per se, but a broader complaint about where technology is taking us, at least in the realm of communication. It sounds like Pelosi’s real target are social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The smartphone is just a device that makes it easier for us to stay engaged at all times on the platforms.

    On the toxic nature of social media, I’m much more in agreement with Alexandra Pelosi. For several years I’ve contented that one of the most important small-“c” conservative books of this century is Jaron Lanier’s “You Are Not A Gadget”, which was one of the first real examinations of how social media “elevates the ‘wisdom’ of mobs and computer algorithims over the intelligence and wisdom of individuals.” Since its release a decade ago, Lanier’s warnings have only become more prescient, and we’ve been able to see over the past few months just how much power these platforms have in terms of influencing what we read and watch in our daily lives.

    Just as with guns, however, the answer doesn’t lie with bans on “high powered assault phones” or government-imposed rations on screen time. Yes, the Internet is an increasingly toxic place, full of multiple layers of stories, fact-checks, fact-checks of fact-checks, rumors, innuendo, bad reporting, outright bias, and flagrant attempts at manipulation. It’s also not going away anytime soon.

    What do you do when you have easy access to objects that, if misused, can harm you or others? You can try to limit that access through laws, regulations, and attempts to make the object culturally taboo, but that’s an exercise doomed to failure. A better way, in my opinion, is to try to educate people on the responsible use of that device, while promoting and reinforcing that responsible use of that device through cultural norms, positive peer pressure, and on rare occasions, even laws.

    As much as Alexandra Pelosi hates smartphones and Shannon Watts hates AR-15s, neither inanimate object is going to disappear from our society, even if they were banned tomorrow. As much as I dislike Facebook, it’s not going away either. For all of their potential downsides, smartphones, firearms, and social media are widespread for a reason: people derive benefit from them.

    Yes, a smartphone allows you to yell at strangers about politics, but it also allows you to see your new grandchild or your mom on her birthday. Social media connects you to disinformation campaigns and creates online mobs intent on canceling people, but it also allows you to serve as your own personally curated news network and enables you to use your social network to advocate and raise money for those in need. Firearms can be used to take innocent lives, but they can also be used to protect the innocent as well.

    The Facebook to firearms comparisons can only be taken so far, but I’ll end with one more similarity; legislation and regulation can’t fix a lack of personal responsibility, and attempts to regulate and police every aspect of how companies (or legal gun owners) conduct their business is a herculean task.

    At the same time, as users of these platforms we’re doing ourselves a disservice if we don’t constantly remind ourselves that social media companies are in the business of keeping us hooked to their platforms, and our online experience is tailored to keep us plugged in just like casinos are designed to keep rear ends plopped in front of slot machines.

    And yes, Pelosi is right that one of the primary tools of engagement is the endorphin rush some of us get when we get into a good Twitter fight (or even just call someone a ****rocket or a ****wipe before blocking them). Any sort of emotional response will keep people engaged, and anger just happens to be one of the easiest emotions to induce. When we recognize that and are aware of the attempts to keep us emotionally engaged, it helps us to be a little more rational in our online behavior.

    Firearms training is designed to both rid us of our bad gun-handling habits and replace them with good ones. I’m not sure what similar social media training would look like, but I suspect that instead of learning how to draw our guns, we’d start with spending some time learning to put our smartphones away.

    Cam Edwards has covered the 2nd Amendment for more than 15 years as a broadcast and online journalist, as well as the co-author of "Heavy Lifting: Grow Up, Get a Job, Start a Family, and Other Manly Advice" with Jim Geraghty. He lives outside of Farmville, Virginia with his family.

    More posts from Cam Edwards


  3. With the final presidential debate tonight, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will have one final chance to publicly discuss each other’s views on your Second Amendment rights.

    The first debate between the two nominees skirted the issue, as did the vice-presidential debate. Though there are many questions that should still be asked about his and Kamala Harris’ platform, it’s worth revisiting something Biden said during the first debate.

    “The party is me. Right now, I am the Democratic Party,” said Biden during an exchange with Trump.

    Though he was not explicitly referring to his anti-gun views, his sweeping declaration illustrates that all of his stances are now “gospel” to his party—including his views on the Second Amendment.

    Biden’s game plan has been to routinely play down his–and Harris’–radicalism, and tonight’s debate is unlikely to highlight what he thinks about your right to keep and bear arms.

    As America’s 1st Freedom previously reported, the Biden-Harris ticket represents the most anti-gun nomination in American history. From bans on the most popular rifles in the nation to overtly believing that the Second Amendment is not an individual right, they’re not even hiding their goal anymore. Yet, somehow this continues to be swept under the rug. 

    When confronted about his stances by a worker at a Detroit automobile plant in March, Biden said, “You’re full of s---,” and told the man not to be a “horse’s a--.”

    Let’s also not forget that Biden also promised he’d tag Beto O’Rourke to “take care of the gun problem with [him].”

    This all comes as the mainstream media continues to provide cover for the Biden campaign. Chris Wallace, moderator of the first presidential debate, said, “Biden has made it clear over and over he’s not interested in taking away Second Amendment rights,” just over a month before the first debate. 

    Time and again, Biden’s radicalism flies under the radar, particularly when it comes to the Second Amendment. He claims to be a moderate on the Second Amendment, but that could not be further from the truth.

    If he is the party, as he claims, his overtly anti-Second Amendment agenda is set to permeate through all facets of government and the American life, from the executive branch into Congress, through the courts and much more.

    With this ominous outlook, 2020 has seen a record amount of firearms purchased and an astonishing number of new gun owners. This all comes during a time of civil unrest, of COVID-19, and as Biden threatens to pack the U.S. Supreme Court, which has not ruled on a major Second Amendment case in a decade.

    Meanwhile, President Trump has made it clear that Biden seeks to dismantle the Second Amendment, whereas he will staunchly defend it. “I will never waver. I will never disappoint. I have and I will continue to protect the Second Amendment,” said Trump in an exclusive interview with America’s 1st Freedom.

    Make no mistake about it; freedom is on the ballot next month in all elections, from the national to local levels. Those who cherish the right to keep and bear arms, to protect themselves and their families, need to elect leaders who will defend those rights tooth and nail.

    Let’s hope tonight’s debate makes Biden’s contempt towards the millions of Americans who lawfully exercise their Second Amendment rights every day abundantly clear.

  4. Gun-control extremists oppose Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it is moving forward. Barrett is scheduled to get an up or down vote in the U.S. Senate next week. Gun-control activists are opposed to Judge Barrett because her track record is that of a judge who respects the law. 

    In 2018, as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Barrett heard, and gave her opinion on, the Second Amendment case Kanter v. Barr (7th Cir. 2019).

    “I spent a lot of time in that opinion looking at the history of the Second Amendment and looking at the Supreme Court’s cases,” Barrett told the U.S. Senators during the committee hearing. “So, the way in which I would approach the review of gun regulation is in that same way: to look very carefully at the text, to look carefully at what the original meaning was.”

    When Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) asked Barrett to further explain how she might determine the original meaning of the Second Amendment, Barrett said, the “original public meaning, not the intent of any particular drafter” is what ultimately matters.

    “The law is what the people understand it to be, not what goes on in any individual legislator’s mind,” Barrett said. “I respect you, Senator Lee, but what passes both houses, that’s the law, not any private intentions you have."

    In her prepared statement for the first day of her hearings, Barrett wrote: “It was the content of [former] Justice Scalia’s reasoning that shaped me. His judicial philosophy was straightforward: A judge must apply the law as written, not as the judge wishes it were. Sometimes that approach meant reaching results that he did not like.”

    After Barrett said there is a gun in her home, she was asked if she could “fairly” decide a Second Amendment case. Barrett said, “Yes.”

    “Judges can't wake up one day and say I have an agenda—I like guns; I hate guns; I like abortion; I hate abortion and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said. “You have to wait for cases and controversies, which is the language of the Constitution, to wind their way through the process.” 

    The fact that she would read the Second Amendment as it is written is so terrifying to gun-control activists—people who want to read it out of the U.S. Constitution—that 31 anti-gun groups recently sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), “urging them against rushing to confirm a Supreme Court nominee with such radical Second Amendment views,” Mother Jones reported.

    “Simply put: pushing through a nominee who may support the adoption of a radically dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment would undermine the will and safety, health and well-being of all American people, including the constituents you represent,” the letter stated.

    It says much about the extremism of these groups (which includes Everytown, Moms Demand Action and the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence) that they feel the clear and obvious right to self-defense protected by the Second Amendment is a “dangerous interpretation.”

    Thankfully, it appears Judge Barrett in no way shares this extremist view.

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