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Charlie T Waite

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Everything posted by Charlie T Waite

  1. Frustrated by the lack of political progress on the gun control agenda, the legal wing of the anti-gun movement continues to pursue ever-more radical and confused legal strategies. In the 1990s, trial lawyers and their allies in government sought to bankrupt the gun industry by holding them accountable for the criminal actions of third parties – a theory that would have overturned hundreds of years of established tort law. After failing to stop campus carry legislation in Texas in 2015, a group of professors filed a suit claiming that the state’s recognition of the Right-to-Carry in the classroom unlawfully infringed on their “First Amendment rights to academic freedom.” In October 2018, a group of individuals representing minors in Chicago filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division against the state of Illinois and the Department of State Police (ISP). The plaintiffs contended that Chicago’s pervasive violence is causing children, including the plaintiffs, to become psychologically disabled and unable to perform adequately in school. Therefore - the plaintiffs contended - under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Illinois officials are required to enact an itemized list of severe new gun control regulations in order to accommodate these individuals so that they may do better in school and partake in “federally assisted law enforcement programs designed to protect the people of the State.” On September 30, Bill Clinton-appointed Judge Joan B. Gottschall denied part of the state of Illinois’ motion to dismiss, allowing the case to go forward. It is difficult to overstate the bizarre nature of the case. As Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul explained in a memorandum of law in support of the state’s motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs did not even have standing to bring the case. Raoul noted, “Standing is the ‘irreducible constitutional minimum’ required to bring a case in federal court.” Summarizing standing doctrine, the AG went on to explain, To have standing, a plaintiff must have sustained (1) an injury in fact that is (2) fairly traceable to the challenged action of the defendant and not the result of the independent action of some third party not before the court; and (3) it must be likely, rather than speculative, that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision. Walking the court through how the standing doctrine should be applied to the facts of the case, Raoul explained that alleged harms did not meet the traceability requirement, The allegations of this complaint fall well outside the proper boundaries of legitimate standing… the complaint falls far short of alleging injuries fairly traceable to the State, the Governor, and ISP and its Director. The real harm to children is caused by third parties not before the Court, whom no injunction could reach to truly remedy the problem. Addressing the question of whether the court had the ability to grant the relief sought, the AG pointed out, The final part of the standing inquiry--that a favorable ruling from the court will likely redress the alleged wrong--is just as impossible to achieve… no injunction from this Court directed at the State, the Governor, or ISP could reasonably be expected to redress an entire state's crime problem in order to accommodate disabilities resulting from that crime problem. Beyond the obvious lack of standing, the plaintiffs’ theory is a wild abuse of the ADA. As Raoul noted, the ADA is there to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made so that persons with disabilities are not excluded from the use of public programs or services. An example of such accommodations might be a wheelchair ramp at a polling place, or a handicap stall in a bathroom at a public school. The plaintiffs in this case have not been excluded from school or the general law enforcement functions of the state. Making this point clear to the court, Raoul explained, The decisions by a law enforcement agency, like ISP, regarding how to allocate its resources to protect public safety--e.g., to what extent it should address drug interdiction, domestic violence, Internet fraud, or gun violence--are not “programs, activities, or services” which a “qualified individual with a disability” would be “excluded from” or “denied the benefits of.”… There is no claim the public schools are denying the plaintiffs any services or discriminating against them in any way, and certainly not at the behest of the state defendants…. The problem of gun violence in Chicago is pervasive and cannot be attributed to any action or inaction of the state defendants taken “by reason of” someone's disability. The abandonment of long-established standing doctrine and failure to reign in a wildly expansive interpretation of a federal statute never intended to encompass firearms policy will prompt some gun owners to question whether the politically charged nature of the firearms issue played a role in the decision not to dismiss the case outright. Toleration for this sort of legal creativity will only embolden gun control activists to test increasingly inventive theories that weaponize disparate statutes and questionable plaintiffs against law-abiding gun owners.
  2. In a shameless effort to exploit the tragedies in El Paso, Midland, and Odessa, gun control advocates have demanded restrictive measures that would eliminate private firearm transfers, ban commonly-owned firearms and magazines and impose so-called "red flag" gun confiscation laws. On Thursday, October 10, the Texas House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety will hold a public hearing in your area. The committee will take public testimony on three (3) items that could impact gun laws in Texas: Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms; Examine barriers to the timely reporting of criminal data and other threat indicators to state and federal databases; and Evaluate extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and options for improving coordination between governmental entities and mental health professionals. Gun control advocates will undoubtedly use this opportunity to push for eliminating private transfers, gun and magazine bans, and "red flag" laws that allow for firearms confiscation without due process. As a Texan, it is critical that you attend this hearing to respectfully inform the committee that we don’t need failed, California-style gun control proposals to make us safer. We need better enforcement of current laws, not new legislation that will only restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of stopping violent criminals. The hearing will start at 9:00am and will be held at this address: Brookhaven College Building C Performance Hall 3939 Valley View Lane Farmers Branch, TX 75244 Parking can be found in the P4 Parking Lot. Click here for a convenient link to a campus map: www.brookhavencollege.edu/maps/pages/campus-map.aspx Public testimony will be limited to 3 minutes per person. For accurate information on current gun laws and issues that gun control advocates would prefer to ignore, visit these links: www.nraila.org/articles/20040324/citizen-s-guide-to-federal-firearms-law www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/background-checks-nics/ www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/assault-weapons-large-magazines/ www.nraila.org/get-the-facts/emergency-risk-protection-orders-erpos/
  3. San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed (D) flinched. The very nature of American freedom forced her to formally pull back from parts of a municipal resolution, from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, that threatened to blacklist contractors associated with the NRA. Once upon a time the left focused much of its attention on expanding rights to disenfranchised peoples. Somewhere along the way they began to only see the individuals they were supposed to be fighting for only as representatives of groups. The expansion of rights they wanted thus began to succumb to identity politics, to grievance politics, to gender politics…as it sank into a worldview that only sees groups in a power struggle with other groups. Such is how their once expansive views of individual liberty became exclusive. This way of thinking led them to the decision that there are groups they want to protect and help, and there are groups they want to shun, harm and even ban. This is the basic line of thought that turned them against individual rights, such as the individual’s right to own and carry a firearm, as protected by the Second Amendment of our U.S. Bill of Rights. It must now be very shocking and upsetting for them to realize what they’ve become. They see themselves as open, inclusive, moral human beings, but then they find themselves gleefully calling an association of Americans that’s fighting to protect an individual right, a “domestic terrorist organization.” They even find themselves opposed to a right that, when left unfettered, empowers every law-abiding citizen. San Francisco’s elected officials, in this case, even threatened to curtail the First Amendment right of freedom of association of those connected in some way with the NRA. The NRA sued. In its filing, the NRA called the resolution a “blacklisting” measure, and urged San Francisco’s federal court to “step in and instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.” Before the court could act, San Francisco Mayor Breed put out a formal memorandum to City officials that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.” Meanwhile, and perhaps even more importantly, the U.S. Supreme Court should decide this week whether to proceed with New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. As this was being written the case was scheduled to be heard in on Dec. 2. This is the first major Second Amendment case the high court said it would hear since McDonald v. Chicago (2010). This case challenges New York City gun laws that regulate where licensed handgun owners can take even a locked and unloaded handgun. After the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear this challenge to New York City regulations, which prevented licensed gun owners from even taking their handguns to ranges or their private homes located outside New York City, the city tweaked its laws in an attempt to kill the case. The city changed its regulations by allowing licensed handgun owners to transport their guns to other locations “including second homes or shooting ranges outside of city limits.” The thing is, if the U.S. Supreme Court drops this case, the city could just change the laws back. Also, as Paul Clement, an attorney representing the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, wrote: the “revised regulations demand continuous and uninterrupted transport (forbidding a stop at a gas station or a coffee shop enroute), require written permission before a handgun can be taken to a gunsmith, and preclude transport to a summer rental house.” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco also argued, in a friend-of-the-court brief, that “New York City’s transport ban infringes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the 2nd and 14th Amendments.” This pending case is so scary to politicians who’re opposed to American freedom, that five Democratic U.S. senators, headed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-R.I.), that insinuated that, if the high court rules in a way they don’t like, they might move to pack the court with justices who will vote against Second Amendment-protected rights. We’ll keep you posted on these and other important cases as the NRA, the association solely focused on defending and augmenting your freedom, fights these and other battles.
  4. Right now, guns are being demonized. It seems everyone outside of the die-hard pro-gun factions is entertaining the idea of gun control. After all, we’re told, we’re in the midst of an epidemic of violence. Guns are killing people wholesale. Presidential candidates are claiming that guns kill more people than anything else. Worse, though, people buy it. We’ve already seen how violent crime is actually down for 2018. Yet people think it’s worse. However, I can see how that happens. Crimes that were common simply couldn’t be reported on because it’s impossible to cover all of them. When they become less common, it’s possible to report on them and the perception becomes that the problem is worse rather than better. I’ve argued that’s part of what happens, but I’m not going to let the media off the hook. Why? Because they’ve gone out of their way to fail to inform the public on the reality of not just crime but also gun-related fatalities. In other words, the media has spent so much time and effort prattling on about mass shootings and pushing those as the major problem, people have a skewed perspective on whether or not they’re a real problem. A third of the population apparently believes that most people shot and killed are murdered in mass shootings. Meanwhile, only a small handful are, as the report goes on to note: What bothers me most about this is that suicide is far more preventable. It’s a mental health issue that needs to be addressed from that angle. Trying to interfere with gun rights because someone might commit suicide is stupid, in part because it’s not the only way to commit suicide but also in part because it completely ignores the suffering a suicidal person is going through. It focuses on the tool and not the human being that is dealing with internal torment. Yet the media has remained focused on things like mass shootings and murders and has willfully ignored the reality of most so-called “gun deaths” being people taking their own lives. They love to cite the total number of “gun deaths” without bothering to break them down into their component parts such as homicides and suicides. While it would be easy to chalk this up to laziness, the truth is that they’ve had this pointed out to them enough times to know better. No, I have to conclude this is willful. Because of that, the American public is woefully misinformed about just how most people shot and killed end up that way. While I tend to believe that you should never chalk up to maliciousness that which can easily be explained by incompetence, I just don’t think that’s the case this time around. Mainstream media? Do your jobs correctly for a change.
  5. When all the mainstream-media outlets are telling the same story about research backing gun control, it’s time to dig. In this case researchers published a study in the journal Pediatrics titled, “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality.” The study’s researchers say they found that: “States with stricter gun laws had lower rates of firearm-related pediatric mortality.” Mainstream-media outlets treated the findings as anti-gun gospel. “Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws, According to This New Study” –Time “Child gun-death rates linked to state gun laws, national study finds” –The Philadelphia Inquirer “Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die, according to a new study” –CNN The articles go on to treat the study without any real analysis—not a hint of journalistic cynicism. These researchers say they found that “universal” background-check laws (in quotes because how can such a law be universal when criminals by definition won’t follow it) and other gun-control laws reduce child-mortality rates. The trouble is, the study is very flawed. It’s a “cross-sectional” study. It compares firearm-related death rates across various states that have different gun-control scores, as calculated by the anti-gun Brady Campaign. As state demographics, cultures and more are hardly uniform—Alabama is different from New York in a myriad of ways—such comparisons are problematic from the start. A better way to see what effects a law has is to measure what changed before and after a law went into effect in a particular state, county and so on. Did the deaths of those who are 21 years old and younger—which is what this study covers—change after a “universal” background-check law went into effect? If there was an appreciable change, how can we be sure the background check law was a major factor? Such studies, obviously, aren’t controlled experiments that can be replicated in a laboratory. These questions must be seriously asked and rigorously answered. This study doesn’t do anything like that, but instead compares apples to oranges. “Few academics look at such purely cross-sectional data, simply because it is impossible in that case to accurately account for differences across different places,” says John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). Good examples of flawed cross-sectional analyses include attempts to compare homicide rates in the U.S. to those in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Both nations record crime data in very different ways. The U.K. basically won’t officially count a homicide until after a case has been adjudicated. This could be years later. They also may leave out homicide data purposely; for example, when a U.K. doctor allegedly murdered more than 200 of his patients, and a jury found him guilty of 15 of the murders in 2000, the British homicide statistics were not adjusted to include this data. The U.K. also doesn’t accumulate the data the way the FBI does for its “Uniform Crime Reporting Program.” The homicide data from the U.K. and the U.S. simply aren’t comparable; actually, when doing research for my book The Future of the Gun, I found that Scotland Yard officially says the U.K’s national data is not comparable. Back to this study in Pediatrics, Lott also says, “Lumping all the different gun-control numbers into one number is pretty arbitrary. Not only is there the issue of what gun-control laws to include, there is also the issue of how to weight them. Is a three-day waiting period on buying guns the same as background checks on private transfers or a ban on open carrying of guns? Just adding up the number of laws in a state assumes that all the laws have the same importance.” Rather than lumping all the laws together, Lott’s book, More Guns, Less Crime, for example, examines 13 different types of gun-control laws and accounts for differences in things such as the length of waiting periods, the yearly cost of concealed-carry permits and more. In sum, this is a complex topic that these researchers have obviously treated in a certain way to get a desired political outcome. And they’re being rewarded for it by tons of favorable coverage from the mainstream media outlets that brainlessly advocate for more gun control. The study’s conclusions even states as much: “Legislation to decrease injury from other obvious public health hazards, such as motor vehicle collisions and secondhand smoke exposure, has shown that the adoption of restrictive laws (e.g., seat belts, use of car seats, limits on where an individual can smoke, etc.) result in lower injury rates.” Clearly, these researchers and those funding this research (a feature in the September issue of America’s 1st Freedom digs deep into this) want guns treated as a public-health risk, as this allows them to prescribe their preferred remedy: more gun bans and restrictions. Most-Revealing Anti-Freedom Quote of the Week “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I have personally cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence. Although there has been a recent uptick in firearm-injury prevention research, our country has not embraced this issue as it has other public health crises. An evidence-based and data-driven approach is the only way to combat this public health epidemic.” –The lead author of a study in the journal Pediatrics, titled “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality,” told this to Bloomberg. Does this sound like something a scientist or an activist would say? Pro-Freedom Quote of the Week “Swapping one failed mandate for another dooms smart guns to failure.” –Scott Bach, the head of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, criticized a new law in New Jersey that would force gun dealers to make smart guns available for commercial sale that get a special commission’s approval. (Frank Miniter is the author of Spies in Congress—Inside the Democrats’ Covered-Up Cyber Scandal. His latest book, The Ultimate Man’s Survival Guide to the Workplace, will be out this summer.)
  6. Pop-psychology of gun owners has gone mainstream. Researchers are often attempting to psychoanalyze gun owners without speaking to gun owners. They’re mining statistics to find evidence for their political biases and then stepping back to explain their “findings” about gun owners with what amounts to anti-gun pop-psychology. For example, PsyPost, a psychology and neuroscience news website, ran a story in July under the headline, “Study finds guns automatically prime aggressive thoughts—even when wielded by a ‘good guy’.” The article cites a study done in 2017 that ran in Sage Journals. The study is farcical. Participants were shown photos of criminals, soldiers, police in military gear or police in regular gear with guns. Researchers then measured aggressive thoughts with a test. Participants could fill in two blank spaces after the letters “Ki” as “Kill” or “Kiss.” (Whatever a person’s views, “kiss” is a weird and uncomfortable word to have to fill in when looking at someone with a gun.) So surprise, surprise, the photos of individuals with guns—tools often bought for self-defense—elicited aggressive thoughts, according to this test. In another recent example, researchers published a study in the journal Pediatrics titled, “State Gun Laws and Pediatric Firearm-Related Mortality.” The study’s researchers say they found that “tates with stricter gun laws had lower rates of firearm-related pediatric mortality.” Mainstream-media outlets treated the findings as anti-gun gospel. “Fewer American Kids Die in States With Tougher Gun Laws, According to This New Study,” noted a headline in Time magazine. “Children in states with strict gun laws are less likely to die, according to a new study,” said CNN’s headline. These and many other news outlets went on to treat the study without a hint of journalistic cynicism. The trouble is the study is deeply flawed. It’s is a “cross-sectional” study that compares firearm-related death rates across various states that have different gun-control scores, as calculated by the anti-gun Brady Campaign. As state demographics, cultures and more are hardly uniform—Alabama is different from New York in a myriad of ways—a better way to measure the effects of a law is to measure what changed after a law is enacted in a particular state, county and so on. Did the deaths of those who are 21 years old and younger (which is what this study covers) change after a “universal” background-check law went into effect? If there was a measurable change, how can we be sure the background-check law was a major factor? Such studies, obviously, aren’t controlled experiments that can be replicated in a laboratory, so these questions and more must be seriously asked and rigorously answered. This study doesn’t do anything like that. It just compares apples to oranges. “Few academics look at such purely cross-sectional data, simply because it is impossible in that case to accurately account for differences across different places,” says John Lott, founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC). “Lumping all the different gun-control numbers into one number is pretty arbitrary. Not only is there the issue of what gun-control laws to include, there is also the issue of how to weigh them.” These researchers obviously have treated a complex topic in this way to get a desired political outcome. They were rewarded for it with a lot of favorable coverage from the mainstream media. The lead researcher for this study even said as much. “As a pediatric emergency medicine physician, I have personally cared for too many children who have been unfortunate victims of gun violence,” Monika Goyal, director of research in emergency medicine at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., told Time. “Although there has been a recent uptick in firearm-injury prevention research, our country has not embraced this issue as it has other public health crises.” Does this sound like something a scientist or an activist would say? Clearly, these researchers want guns treated as a public-health risk, as this allows them to prescribe their preferred remedy: more gun bans and restrictions.
  7. Here ya go Old Nuremberg Trials and New Mandatory Gun Confiscation I’ve met lots of police officers who said they would never go door-to-door and confiscate guns. I’ve also met officers who would. Seizing someone’s property is a slippery slope, and the edge is closer than we might think. Several Democrat presidential candidates already called for gun-confiscation. Unfortunately, none of the other Democrat candidates denounced it. Consider how gun confiscation plays out from the police officer’s perspective. Some states have gun-confiscation laws in place already. He is a “danger to himself or others,” or so the officers were told. Of course, that wasn’t exactly what the complaint said, and that isn’t really what the judge ruled. There are lots of little lies that grow as the story was passed from the estranged wife, to the divorce lawyer, to the prosecutor, to the judge. Now the confiscation order is passed down to the lieutenant and finally to the policeman. That is how SWAT teams ends up at someone’s door in the middle of the night. That is the reality of an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO). We should expect more unjustified SWAT raids as the result of the recently passed Red Flag Gun Laws and ERPOs. There will be lots of mistakes since we have over a hundred million gun owners in the US. Add in the facts that forty percent of households have a gun, and half of marriages end in divorce. Also remember that there is no penalty for lying in family court. With that, the stage is set for abuse and tragedy. We’ve already seen laws misused and abused in family court, but now something has changed. Now the cops will come with guns drawn in order to disarm an innocent gun owner. That increases the risk of violence, and the concern isn’t theoretical. We’ve already seen things go horribly wrong. Policemen were shot when they broke into the wrong house. Innocent homeowners were killed when cops stormed into their homes. Some of those police officers are on trial after they shot civilians in the middle of the night. More police officers will be charged as we see more gun-confiscation. The police and other government officials should be charged and tried in court. Here is why. After the midnight raid, the officers says they were only following orders. The officers ask for qualified immunity since they are government employees following department procedures. Now we will finally ask the question if qualified immunity can apply to an unjust law. “Red Flag” gun laws are being challenged in the courts since honest and non-violent citizens are being severely punished without due process. That may mean the officer and his superiors can and should be charged if innocent people are injured after enforcing an unjust law. We got rid of the excuse, “I was just following orders.” about 75 years ago at Nuremberg. It wasn’t justified then and it isn’t justified now. The officers I’ve trained with know that gun owners don’t deserve midnight raids. They know that licensed civilians who carry guns in public are extraordinarily law abiding and non-violent. With an ironic twist, the officers own words might be used to convict them in court; “Tell me lieutenant, what would you do if someone broke into your home in the middle of the night? “By the way, I have these sworn statements from the concealed carry students you trained. You said an innocent person should stop the threat and then retreat until they can summon help. “And here, lieutenant, is a similar sworn statement by your ex-wife.” Confiscating guns at gunpoint is playing with fire. Lots of us will get burned. The best way to win is to not play. We already have laws in place to help the mentally ill. Too often, we’ve had government officials ignore the pleas for help from the mentally ill and their family. Now we’ll have government officials putting more innocent people at risk in the name of public safety. That is a problem. Government is a blunt tool at best. We have to use it carefully, and first do no harm. Extreme Risk Protection Orders are a gun-confiscation by another name. If sending SWAT cops to our door is the answer, then we’re asking the wrong questions.
  8. BELLEVUE, WA – The anonymous whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump now being used by Democrats to launch an impeachment inquiry is tantamount to a “red flag” action against a gun owner, with the accused being presumed guilty until he or she can prove their innocence, the Second Amendment Foundation said today. “The lynch mob mentality now being exhibited by Capitol Hill Democrats is the same kind of rush-to-judgment thinking that courts and prosecutors use to rationalize seizing someone’s firearms, while throwing due process under the nearest bus,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Far-left House Democrats, who have wanted to remove the duly-elected president from office since the 2016 election are treating this anonymous complaint like gospel, virtually the same way the legal system treats a so-called ‘red flag’ complaint against a gun owner. “Completely absent from this political circus act is anything close to skepticism,” he continued. “There’s a transcript of a telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president which Trump’s detractors read one way and his supporters read another way, and that’s about it. At least the president has the advantage of knowing there’s been a complaint filed, but in the case of a ‘red flag’ allegation, the gun owner typically doesn’t know a thing until police come knocking on the door. In either case, neither the president or an affected gun owner has had the opportunity to face their accuser. “Many people are convinced that the president’s case amounts to political theatrics,” Gottlieb said. “However, there are no theatrics involved when a private citizen’s property is seized. As we saw last year in Maryland, a gun owner was served and something went wrong, and that person was shot dead inside his own front door. “We’re not sure how this drama will play out against President Trump,” he noted, “but we do know that anytime an anonymous complaint can be used to launch something as serious as an impeachment inquiry, by the same people who are pushing ‘red flag’ laws against gun owners, it’s time to seriously re-think both processes. “If this can happen to a president,” Gottlieb observed, “how long will it be before a ‘red flag’ case can be launched on the basis of an anonymous complaint? Step-by-step, it appears we’re getting closer to the kind of government the Second Amendment was designed to protect us against, and that’s alarming.”
  9. America saw a significant decrease in the number of homicides involving rifles, a report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation released on Monday shows. All methods of murder dropped by 7 percent in 2018, and gun murders fell by 6.7 percent, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. But murders committed specifically with rifles fell by an even greater 23.8 percent. Additionally, the FBI’s breakdown shows rifles were involved in only 2.8 percent of all murders (297 incidents total). Rifles were used less often to commit murder than knives, fists, and blunt objects. Those findings remained consistent with previous Uniform Crime Reports showing rifles were used in relatively few murders each year. The FBI lumps all rifles together into a single category and does not break down how many murders were committed with any particular model of rifle. That means AR-15s and AK-47s are included in the overall number of rifle murders. The report comes at a time when gun control activists and Democrats have ramped up their gun control efforts targeting AR-15s and AK-47s over their use in several high-profile killings. A Washington Free Beacon analysis from earlier this year found every Democrat running in the presidential primary supports banning new sales of so-called assault weapons, which include AR-15s and similar rifles. H.R. 1296, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019, currently has 210 Democrat cosponsors and 1 Republican cosponsor in the House of Representatives. Some Democrats have also called for a scheme to confiscate those rifles. "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47," former congressman Beto O’Rourke said at the most recent Democratic debate. "We're not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore." Senators Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) have both expressed support for O’Rourke’s confiscation plan. Gun rights activists have long decried the focus on AR-15s and AK-47s as out of line with their use in crime. "It is important to note that last year, according to the new FBI data, only 297 murders are known to have been committed with rifles of any kind," Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said in a statement. "Yet Democrats including all of those now running for president want to ban modern semiautomatic sporting rifles, which they repeatedly mischaracterize as ‘weapons of war.’" Gottlieb further pointed to the popularity of AR-15s and AK-47s—the industry estimates more than 16 million are owned by civilians—and their relatively infrequent use in crime as evidence the rifles should not be banned. "Millions of honest citizens own such firearms and they have harmed nobody," he said.
  10. FAIRFAX, Va.– The National Rifle Association of America declared victory in San Francisco today, after Mayor London Breed formally disavowed key provisions of a municipal resolution that signaled the blacklisting of contractors linked to the Second Amendment advocacy group. On September 3, 2019, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which is the legislative body for the City and County of San Francisco, unanimously approved a resolution that called for the City to investigate ties between its contractors and vendors and the NRA. The city declared the NRA was a “domestic terrorist organization.” Not surprisingly, the NRA sued. On September 9, 2019, less than a week after the resolution was enacted, the NRA challenged it as government action adversely affecting its First Amendment rights. In its filing, the NRA called the resolution a “blacklisting” measure, and urged San Francisco’s federal court to “step in and instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.” Late last week, rather than await “instruction” from a court, San Francisco Mayor London Breed backed down. In a formal memorandum to City officials, she declared that “no [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA.” “Through these actions and our public advocacy, we hope the message is now clear,” says NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “The NRA will always fight to protect our members and the constitutional freedoms in which they believe.” The NRA is represented in its lawsuit by William A. Brewer III and Sarah Rogers of Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors, along with Garman Turner Gordon LLP. “The memo serves as a clear concession and a well-deserved win for the First and Second Amendments of the United States Constitution,” says William A. Brewer III, partner at Brewer, Attorneys & Counselors and counsel for the NRA. “It is unfortunate that in today’s polarized times, some elected officials would rather silence opposing arguments than engage in good-faith debate. The NRA - America’s oldest civil rights organization – won’t stand for that.” The NRA’s challenge to a similar ordinance in Los Angeles remains pending. Last month, the city’s motion to dismiss was denied in its entirety by federal district judge Stephen V. Wilson, who found that the NRA had stated a clear First Amendment claim.
  11. https://membersurvey.nra.org/2ASurvey/Survey1
  12. On Monday, the plaintiffs in the NRA-supported case of Worman v. Healey filed their petition for writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court of the United States. This case challenges Massachusetts’s unconstitutional ban on commonly-owned, semi-automatic firearms as a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, citing the Supreme Court rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. The petition for writ of certiorari represents the first, important step toward the Supreme Court’s review of a manifest legal error. After going through the laborious appellate process, the case has finally reached the opportunity for a final ruling by the nation’s highest court. This particular petition asks the nation’s highest Court to review an issue of critical importance: the Massachusetts Attorney General’s persistent infringement of the Second Amendment. In 2016, Attorney General Maura Healey took it upon herself to unilaterally “interpret” Massachusetts’ law as prohibiting a vast array of commonly-owned firearms that are traditionally—and lawfully—owned by Bay State citizens. Healey announced the change in an “enforcement notice,” which informed existing owners that they would not be subject to prosecution at that time, but that the attorney general “reserves the right to alter or amend this guidance.” The petition before the Supreme Court cites what NRA members already know: Massachusetts’ ban violates the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller, which reaffirmed that “the government may not ban, arms that are ‘typically possessed for lawful purposes like self-defense.’” It is undisputed that the AR-15 satisfies this standard. As the petition in this case explains, the “anned firearms based on the AR-15 platform are the most ergonomic, safe, readily available, and effective firearms for civilian defensive shooting.” In support of this petition, NRA-ILA Executive Director Jason Ouimet stated, “The NRA believes this case embodies a critical moment for America’s gun owners. With 2020 presidential candidates and members of Congress encouraging the confiscation of commonly-owned firearms—like the AR-15—it is vital that the Supreme Court remind politicians that they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, which includes our sacred Second Amendment.” The Gun Owners Action League (GOAL), an NRA Massachusetts state affiliate and plaintiff in the Worman case, echoed Ouimet’s sentiments. As GOAL’s Executive Director, Jim Wallace, put it, “The importance of this case cannot be overstated. A decision at the Supreme Court recognizing the citizens’ right to purchase and possess commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and their magazines will vindicate the rights of gun owners nationwide.” Wallace went on to add, “Massachusetts gun owners are grateful for the NRA’s support. The NRA has helped us fight this battle every step of the way.”
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