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in SASS Wire Saloon
Posted October 18
in TEAM SASS
Posted October 17
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today sued Col. Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police in his official capacity in a challenge of state statutes that prohibit law-abiding young adults from carrying firearms for self-defense and prevents them from acquiring a state license to carry (LTCFR) because of their age.
Under Pennsylvania’s state of emergency that has been in effect for more than two years, all individuals must have a valid LTCF to carry or transport firearms on public streets and property, including for purposes of self-defense and other otherwise-lawful purposes, in violation of the right to keep and bear arms.
Joining SAF in this legal action is the Firearms Policy Coalition. The case is known as Lara v. Evanchick. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. in Bechtelsville, PA and Adam Kraut of Firearms Policy Coalition, in Sacramento, CA.
“We’ve filed this action because the situation in Pennsylvania smacks of discrimination against young adults in the 18-20-year age group,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Young adults can join the military, where they might be assigned to carry firearms all over the world. They can get married, start businesses, enter into contracts and yet they are not considered mature enough to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. That’s nonsense.”
“The text of the Second Amendment makes clear that the right to bear arms ‘shall not be infringed,’ and nothing in America’s history or tradition supports Pennsylvania’s laws banning carry by young adults,” explained Adam Kraut, FPC’s Director of Legal Strategy and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “Pennsylvania’s statutory scheme unconstitutionally and impermissibly denies young adults their fundamental, individual right to bear arms outside the home. Through this case, we seek to vindicate our clients’ rights and restore individual liberty for millions of young adults.”
“In outright defiance of the Second Amendment, the State of Pennsylvania and Governor Wolf have restricted the ability of law-abiding young adults to carry and transport arms,” said Joshua Prince, counsel for the plaintiffs. “This prohibition ignores the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Heller that the right to keep and bear arms includes the right to carry a firearm ‘upon the person or in the clothing or in a pocket, for the purpose … of being armed and ready for offensive or defensive action in a case of conflict with another person.’ Today, we seek to vindicate the rights of our clients and all young adults.”
“This case is about protecting the rights and liberties of future generations, fighting for America’s young adults, and restoring the Second Amendment for all individuals,” said FPC President Brandon Combs. “The same young people who can be called to fight for our freedom overseas have the right to defend themselves against unjust force here in the United States. The rights of young people are incredibly important to us, and that is why FPC has made fighting for them a priority of all of our many efforts to advance individual liberty and freedom.”
Domestic violence is a horrible thing, something that we should all work to remove from the planet. The idea of someone who claims to love someone else hurting that person and continuing to do so over and over again…it just doesn’t make any sense. Then again, rationality often goes out the window when emotion gets involved, and 99 times out of 100, this is about emotion.
However, one unfortunate byproduct of domestic violence–in particular, homicides related to domestic violence–is the push to enact gun control because of these horrible incidents. Especially since it seems COVID has increased domestic violence.
According to Everytown For Gun Safety, over half of woman victims of intimate partner homicide in the US are killed with a gun. Roughly 53 women are shot and killed by their partner in an average month throughout the US, according to its website. Moreover, about 92 percent of all women killed with guns in high-income countries in 2015 were from the US.
While the rate of killings of women by violent partners with a firearm has increased in recent years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused victims to stay inside with their abusers, accelerating the rates of domestic violence around the world.
“Family violence during pandemics is associated with a range of factors including economic stress, disasterâ€related instability, increased exposure to exploitative relationships, and reduced options for support,” explained a study from the National Institutes of Health. It noted, “Reports of domestic abuse and family violence have increased around the world since social isolation and quarantine measures came into force. Recently, anecdotal evidence from the United States, China, Brazil, and Australia indicates increases in intimate partner, women, and children violence due to isolation and quarantine.”
I agree, this is awful, but there are a couple of things you’re going to find missing from the general narrative taking place.
First, let’s remember that it’s already illegal for anyone who has been convicted of domestic violence to own a firearm. With that, you can lump domestic abusers into one of two categories: those who have been convicted and those who haven’t.
For those who have been convicted, it’s already illegal for them to have a gun. For those who haven’t been convicted, well, that’s the problem. They haven’t been convicted of a crime, so how do you propose we deal with these individuals without impacted people who have done nothing wrong, including women who want a firearm to protect themselves from their abusers?
Second, let’s look at the claim that more than half of all women killed by a partner are shot.
That may well be true. They fail to provide a link to their source, but say its from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program. They also fail to provide an exact percentage, so it could be anything over 50 percent. However, usually if someone says over half, you’re generally looking at only slightly more than 50 percent. Often a mere fraction more.
Yet, when you look at overall homicides by weapon, 67 percent of all homicides from 2010-2014 were carried out with a firearm. That, too, is from the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, in case someone thought the statistics were being compiled in different ways. In other words, an abusive spouse is less likely to use a gun to kill his victim than a garden variety criminal.
Frankly, I think domestic abusers should be locked up for a good long time. Make them felonies and call it a day. I don’t harbor sympathy for these people.
But I’m sick and damned tired of my rights being up for discussion because of the actions of various scumbags, especially when statistics don’t actually support many of the claims in the first place.
By Brett Shipp Texas
PUBLISHED 12:24 PM CT Oct. 15, 2020
TEXAS — It was July 25. A peaceful protest on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, just blocks from the state capitol. Suddenly the demonstration turned deadly.
Black Lives Matter demonstrator 28-year-old Garrett Foster was shot and killed as he is walking down the street along with other marchers.
According to police, the shooter, Daniel Perry, was driving his car, attempting to turn through the crowd of protesters when he felt threatened and fired from his vehicle.
Perry told police he shot Foster in self-defense. Perry has never been charged with a crime. Why? Because Foster came to the demonstration with a semi-automatic rifle.
It marked a tragic, but perhaps predictable end to a violent day in Texas. A violent demonstration in Weatherford, Texas, resulted in multiple injuries and two arrests as demonstrators against, and supporters of a Confederate monument clashed near the courthouse square. Days earlier, protests and clashes with police resulted in looting and violence in Dallas. Two days later, more injuries were suffered when two groups of demonstrators clashed in downtown Tyler.
For those old enough to remember, the scenes were reminiscent of what we saw on the news in the '60s.
But even those who remember don’t recall seeing this, especially between Texans.
“But this time is really different in the level of polarization that pre-exists in America today” said Eric Folkerth, pastor of Kessler Park United Methodist Church in Dallas. “We are more polarized, and political scientists have documented this, that we are more polarized than we have ever been in modern times.”
Perhaps no better example than in Weatherford, Texas, where just a few weeks ago supporters of the Confederate monument on the courthouse square came face-to-face with Black Lives Matter activists who had planned a demonstration and protest. Those protesters were mostly concerned, not about getting their message out, but staying safe. “Its only when these people with the guns who support the statue being there, it’s only then that it gets so hostile,” said Weatherford resident Anita Henslee
And that’s where things have changed. Texans who have become so passionate about politics and civil rights, have started bringing lethal words and weapons to the streets and are ready to use them. A Black Lives Matter demonstrator who would only identify herself as “Mama” told us she was carrying her semi-automatic rifle in public to protect her fellow demonstrators and “so no one else will get shot.” She added, “I have a Second Amendment right to do so. I’m a nurse, I’m not one to take lives, I save lives.” Most troubling is how many of the conversations in Weatherford that day and around the state have turned to the topic of civil war.
“They are starting a social civil war and we just want this to rest, said Confederate monument supporter Cheryl Measures.
But few in Texas are more vocal about the potential for violence than a popular YouTube video blogger who calls himself Heavy Duty Country. “So for those of you who are still thinking that another civil war is a fantasy, wake up and smell the gun powder,” he says in a recent You Tube posting. “When you think of civil war, what do you think of… well, welcome to 2020 and the start of OUR civil war.
The man in the video is a rancher in his mid-20s, from Central Texas. We agreed to protect his identity because he says his videos have upset liberals who have threatened his life. He says that doesn’t mean he’s not prepared to protect himself. His videos feature an array of weapons and him using them. While he says he’s open to compromise with those he disagrees with, he’s not optimistic that can happen. “Just because we disagree doesn’t mean we can’t be buddies or friends or have a coffee together, but (if we don’t talk) we’re going to get to a point where people are just shooting people,” said the YouTube blogger.
Pastor Folkerth says what we are witnessing in the streets of Texas today is the opposite of what America’s Founding Fathers decreed. “The word compromise is now a bad word for everybody, said Folkerth. “We were founded on the process that we assume that people will get together, they will fight in the arena of politics and they will work out their differences so that there is not bloodshed on the streets.”
During ABC's town hall event with former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic Party's presidential candidate provided a garbled response to a question about criminal justice reform. In particular, he wrongly suggested that when police fire their weapons at suspects, they could shoot to wound instead of shooting to kill.
"You can ban chokeholds, but beyond that you have to teach [the police] how to de-escalate circumstances," said Biden. "So instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg."
This was just one line in a very long, rambling answer to a question about police violence—but it stuck out for its sheer absurdity. The suggestion betrays a total lack of understanding about how guns work.
Note that it was not some slip of the tongue: Biden has previously proposed this exact idea. Contrary to the former veep's repeated assertions, neither the cops nor anyone else—except perhaps James Bond—could plan to shoot people in the leg as a matter of routine practice. It would take an expert marksman to accomplish that feat consistently. Unless a target is at close range, standing perfectly still, it's very difficult to hit a specific location on the body. In reality, people are often moving during shootouts, which means that legs and arms can be the hardest part of the body to hit.
"An average suspect can move his hand and forearm across his body to a 90-degree angle in 12/100 of a second," wrote Bill Lewinksi in a paper for the Force Science Institute. "He can move his hand from his hip to shoulder height in 18/100 of a second. The average officer pulling the trigger as fast as he can on a Glock, one of the fastest- cycling semi-autos, requires 1/4 second to discharge each round."
If an officer's life is actually threatened, hitting the suspect in the leg is no guarantee the threat will be neutralized. People who have been hit in the leg or arm are not immediately incapacitated, which is why the police keep firing until a suspect is down. Real life is not like an episode of 24, or a Mission: Impossible movie!
It's true that some police officers are too eager to fire their weapons in the first place, and idiotic police tactics—like no-knock raids—place them in situations where overreactions are likely to occur. But the public policy intervention needs to occur before the shooting starts. Shooting to wound is not a realistic tactic in the vast majority of cases, and it's embarrassing that Biden doesn't know this.
I've been holding back for a long time, readers and friends. This subject makes me angrier than any other and raises my blood pressure, which, at my age, I can ill afford. However, now that we're well into the process of seating another Supreme Court Justice -- one who declares that she upholds the law as originally written -- it is long past time to apply a little of this originalism, this textualism, where the Second Amendment is concerned.
The District of Columbia v. Heller was hailed far and wide as a landmark Supreme Court case because it allegedly established that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own and carry weapons. It was, in fact, a terrible decision that invented a Constitutional government power, out of whole cloth (as critics insist Roe vs. Wade invented the right to an abortion), to interpret and regulate the individual's right to keep and bear arms -- which means that it is no right at all, but a privilege generously granted by the state. No such power exists. No such power can possibly exist, given the recent violent experiences and the frame of mind of the Founding Fathers.
These men had just fought a long, bloody revolutionary war against the most powerful empire in the history of the world, a revolutionary war that they had astonished everyone -- including themselves -- by winning. The ludicrous contradiction written into current law, demanding that the government must first give you its permission to acquire the means to protect yourself from the government, is stark insanity.
It is likewise the left's idiotic conceit (wilfully constructed) that the Second Amendment was only written to protect the right of the people to keep and bear smooth-bore, single-shot, muzzle-loading muskets, the arms that happened to be in circulation at the time the Bill of Rights was written. They deliberately overlook the fact that the Second Amendment was actually written to maintain parity between the weapons of the military, whatever they might be, and those of the civilian population, in order to preserve civil liberties against missteps by a government grown hostile to freedom as ours mostly is today. Inventive futurists like Jefferson and others would have appreciated that weapons were changing even as the amendment was being written, acquiring rifled barrels, multiple chambers, and different forms of ignition. The Second Amendment today, properly read, supports unsupervised civilian ownership of fully automatic M-16s and AK-47s.
Read the damned amendment. Look up the dictionary meaning of the word "infringed". It "means sneaked up on". It means "nibbled away at". It means "tampered with, even a little bit." Every single, solitary gun law in this country, federal, stsate, and local, is, itself, completely and inarguably illegal. And since the self-stated purpose of the amendment is to protect and defend "the security of a free State", it is treason.
It is an utter fairy tale that machine-guns were outlawed in the 1930s because gangsters were accustomed to employing them. (Investigation shows that the Thompson .45 famously used in the St. Valentine's Day massacre was probably wielded by a cop.). Machine-guns were outlawed because proto-communist President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt was deathly afraid of a coup. One had already been tried against him, he had narrowly survived an assassination attempt, and he greatly feared that more of the same was coming. Back then, even the most treasonous collectivists realized that simply banning automatic weapons would be illegal, so they enacted crippling taxes against them, understanding that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Sadly, machine-guns in civilian hands might have prevented the death and destruction of the 2020 summer riots.
It is time for organizations like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and others to stop fiddle-fooling around. Decade after decade of bargaining and appeasement have utterly failed to work against the enemies of freedom who want us to be their slaves. Follow the lead of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, instead, the heirs of the only people to confront naked tyranny in their own homeland.
The very existence of an abomination like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives constitutes an infringement against the bright of the people to keep and bear arms. It is exactly the same as assigning Nazis to protect synagogues.Recent moves against "bump stocks" and the refusal to legalize silencers are proof that Donald Trump is receiving very bad advice about the Second Amendment from within his own ranks and needs somebody wiser and better-informed to school him on its history and purpose.
Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith and auxiliary police officer, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty-five books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE "Free Radical Book Store" The preceeding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
Posted October 15
The National Rifle Association has long been the boogieman for anti-gunners. They’re perpetually convinced that if the NRA were gone, or at least countered, they could usher in their anti-gun Utopia and all would be right with the world.
That’s not remotely likely, of course, but they’re free to dream.
It’s to that end that Gabby Giffords unveiled her latest effort.
Giffords, the gun control advocacy organization founded by former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) after her attempted assassination, is set to launch a new national firearms group intended to take on the power and influence of the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Gun Owners for Safety will be launched off of a coalition that was founded in 2018 with chapters in Colorado, Minnesota and Texas. It seeks to offer gun owners an alternative to the NRA, which remains stringently opposed to most anti-gun violence proposals.
“I think whether you’re talking about politics, whether you’re talking about lobbying, whether you’re talking about culture change, what’s vitally important is that we focus on the millions of Americans at the center of our politics. If we’re going to have long-term durable change in this country, it can’t just be the activists on the left and the activists on the right. We really have to move the center,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler said.
Organizers have already connected with nearly 50,000 gun owners in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., and some serving abroad “who are fed up with the NRA,” Ambler said. Members include hunters, collectors, veterans, former law enforcement and others who value firearm ownership but also want to reduce gun violence.
“These men and women were eager, at a time when our values of our country are being debated, to raise their hand and show politicians, show the country, that the vast majority of gun owners support safer gun laws,” Ambler said, calling expanded background checks a main focus of the group.
Oh, wow, a whole 50,000?
I’m sure the NRA and their five million members are shaking in their boots.
Of course, the timing of this is intended so as to take advantage of an embattled NRA as the group takes criticism from both the left and even other pro-gun folks who don’t agree with decisions made by the organization’s leadership.
However, it’s important to note that none of these 50,000 people are remotely likely to be members of the NRA or other pro-gun group in the first place. After all, Gun Owners for Safety isn’t about firearm safety at all. It’s about gun control, plain and simple, and those who have already joined his anti-gun jihadist group are in it for the gun control. Everyone can see through the euphemisms, after all.
The thing that gets me, though, is that Giffords was supposedly started to push for gun control, but they’ve been so damn ineffective that now they’re starting another group to try and push for gun control. It’s a little ironic to me.
Regardless, I don’t think this group will have the impact Giffords is hoping for. After all, most gun owners are either luke warm on politics in general or are vehemently pro-gun. Don’t be surprised if those membership numbers never go up
Gun control activists are generally of the same mind about the end result of their agenda: a gun-free society or one where gun ownership is a privilege doled out to only a select few. How they get there, however, still results in some intra-movement disagreements. On the one hand, there are guys like historian Allan Lichtman, who calls for repealing the Second Amendment in a new book (no, I won’t be running out to buy a copy). On the other hand you’ve got activists like Nancy Farrar Halden, a longtime advocate for gun control laws who argues for a more incremental approach.
Ironically, Lichtman’s “repeal it” position, which on the face of things is the more extreme point of view, would be far more likely to fit within the confines of the Constitution than Halden’s incrementalism. Lichtman at least recognizes that the Constitution poses a barrier to the enactment of the kinds of gun control laws he wants to see in place, while Halden simply ignores the protections of the Constitution in her calls for a rolling series of gun control laws.
Halden’s first problem is comparing gun ownership to owning a car. Back in the 1960s, she argues, traffic fatalities were much more common than they are today, but thanks to a steady stream of technological improvements and legislation, fatal car accidents have dramatically declined. Why can’t we do the same with guns, she wonders?
The first bit of technology that Halden mentions is ShotSpotter; a privately owned company that contracts with cities to “alert police when and where gunfire is occuring,” in her words. In fact, that’s the only bit of tech that Halden includes in her column, which is odd since her entire premise revolves around comparing the technological advances in the automotive industry that reduced fatal accidents to today’s firearms industry. Halden doesn’t even bring up so-called smart guns, which would theoretically align with her idea that technology can work to reduce accidents and misuse of firearms.
I say theoretically because, practically speaking, there are all kinds of issues with smart gun technology. Still, it’s bizarre that a gun control activist like Halden didn’t even bring up the idea of mandating smart guns given the fact that Joe Biden has stated that eventually, only smart guns should be allowed for sale in the United States.
Instead, Halden embraces more old school gun control measures, and a lot of them.
We should learn from the historical development of auto safety and enact legislation and adopt policies that are designed to reduce gun violence. In many states, promising laws like universal background checks and extreme risk protective orders (ERPOs) have proven track records for saving lives.
No, they actually don’t. There’s absolutely no evidence that universal background check requirements actually lead to an increase in background checks, and given the impossibility of proactively enforcing the measures, it’s shouldn’t be a surprise that in states like New Mexico, which put a universal background check mandate on the books in 2019, there have been no arrests or prosecutions for violations of the law.
Exreme risk protective orders, or “red flag” laws, also don’t have a track record of success. In Indiana and Connecticut, the two states where red flag laws have been in place for the longest period of time, firearm-related suicides have declined, but the increase in non-firearm suicides has more than made up the difference. Red flag laws do absolutely nothing to ensure that individuals deemed to be a danger to themselves or others receive any sort of help, which is a glaring red flag of its own.
Permit to purchase laws put local law enforcement in charge of issuing a permit to buy a gun. Who better than they know who should and shouldn’t have a gun? All these laws have been shown to be effective, yet the gun lobby and its advocates automatically oppose every proposed gun law that has the potential to save lives.
I’m curious to know what Halden thinks about the idea of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. I assume that she’s bucking the views of most of her fellow progressives, since she’s okay with the idea of cops determining who, exactly, gets to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Meet all of the qualifications but still just don’t seem “suitable” under the discretionary standards of local law enforcement? No right for you.
There are many incremental changes that we can make to ensure better safety from gun violence: closing the gun-show loophole, adopting ERPOs to protect abused partners and spouses and those with suicidal tendencies, holding gun manufacturers to rigid safety standards, banning assault-type weapons or regulating them like machine guns, limiting magazine size and enacting safe-storage laws to protect children.
Yeah, there are so many “incremental changes” that can be made that Halden repeats herself. “Closing the gun show loophole” is covered under universal background checks. We’ve already gone over ERPOs.
“Holding gun manufacturers to rigid safety standards” is code for “suing them for the criminal misuse of their products,” while banning commonly owned firearms and ammunition magazines and placing them under the auspices of the National Firearms Act is anything but incremental. That would be the biggest attack on the right to keep and bear arms in our nation’s history, and would impact most of the 100,000,000 Americans who own firearms.
Again, Lichtman at least acknowledges that the Second Amendment is an impediment to these types of gun control laws. Halden has no such concerns. In her mind, banning the most commonly owned ammunition magazines in the country is just like automotive manufacturers making three-point seat belts standard in cars. For Halden and other gun control activists, it’s not really about making firearms “safer” through technology, it’s about reducing the number of gun owners. Their idea of gun safety ultimately boils down to “you shouldn’t own a firearm.”
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
Posted October 14
This is why they post the signs...