However, some are upset by this revelation. They argue that 3D printing completely renders gun control efforts null and void, as if that’s an argument for, well…anything.
3D-printed guns are dangerous because they circumvent existing policies. They are considered “ghost guns,” a term used to describe firearms that do not have an identifying serial number that can be used to match gun purchases to their owner. By law, legal firearms sold in a gun store or by a manufacturer must have a serial number. Printed guns and their parts do not.
All firearms must contain enough metal in the weapon to be able to set off a metal detector. With a 3D-printed firearm, the person printing the weapon must add that metal themselves and there is no way to ensure they have done so. In a licensed gun store, background checks are required to see if the user should be allowed to own a rifle. But with 3D-printed guns, no background checks are done and anyone can buy the blueprints and use a 3D printer to create the weapon.
Yes, that’s kind of been my point. That’s why Cody Wilson worked so hard to develop a viable 3D printed firearm. The very point was to make gun control less than useless. After all, gun control has only ever applied to the law-abiding citizen anyway.
Gun control is really people control and that’s why the left advocates it sio much. They’re all wanna-be tyrants deep down inside their twisted little psyches.
On 23 January 2020, state Attorney Generals from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, filed a lawsuit against various officials in the State Department and the Commerce Department to prevent transfer of some items now under State Department regulation and the International Transfer in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the Commerce Department.
The case was filed in the United States District Court in the Western District of Washington at Seattle.
Most of the above plaintiffs had previously filed a similar lawsuit to stop the implementation of temporary rules from a settlement which the State Department had made with Defense Distributed. That case is still being litigated in the same Court. The new case will likely be given to the same judge, Senior judge Lasnik.
Any appeal of the decision would be directed to the Ninth Circuit.
The lawsuit is a direct attempt by some state Attorney Generals to impose their version of international policy and subvert the First Amendment of the United States.
The previous policy of finding some computer files as under the control of ITAR rules was established during the Obama Administration. It was challenged as violating the First Amendment by Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). The result of the lawsuit was a settlement in favor of Defense Distributed, which recognized the State Department was likely to lose the case on First Amendment grounds.
Previous case law has held computer files to be speech, under the First Amendment. From eff.com:
“The government is trying to use the same tactic it used in the 1990s to block researchers from sharing computer code online,” said Walsh. “A court first ruled more than 15 years ago that source code was speech protected by the First Amendment, in a case that held the government’s export regulations preventing its publication were unconstitutional. The Fifth Circuit should do the same for design files.”
It is not the Trump Administration which is attempting to void the First Amendment. It is a number of state attorney generals (SAG) who contend they have the standing to force the federal government to regulate the way they want. It is a continuation of the Democrat party’s policy of using district court judges as unelected mini-dictators, as a way to stop policy by the Trump Administration, with which they disagree.
Homemade firearms have been constructed in nearly all nations around the world for centuries. Everything from single-shot muzzleloading pistols to sophisticated machine guns and mortars are currently being made in homes and small shops around the world. The information to make guns is widespread and readily available. The SAG claim violating the First Amendment is necessary to attempt to stop the spread of computer files which may make it easier to make some kinds of homemade firearms.
The United States Government is forbidden, by the First Amendment, from placing prior constraints on publishing information. The SAG claim not only must the federal government prohibit the international publication of these files, but they must also prohibit the publication of the files in the United States. If the files can be published in the United States, effectively, the U.S. government cannot stop their export. In their filing, the states attorney generals note this fact. From the complaint:
9. The Final Rules effectively deregulate 3D-printable gun files entirely. Because the Commerce Department lacks jurisdiction over “published” items, the Final Rules create a self-executing loophole whereby anyone can automatically divest Commerce of jurisdiction over Firearm Files simply by disseminating them to members of the U.S. public (which is not prohibited by federal law). This exception to Commerce’s jurisdiction is broad and significant because it is so easy to “publish” Firearm Files. Indeed, a private company known as Defense Distributed has already published some Firearm Files, rendering those files outside Commerce’s jurisdiction pursuant to the Final Rule. For example, Defense Distributed represented to this Court that it has disseminated its files domestically to members of the public by mail.
Effectively, the SAG claim information on how to make guns is dangerous to the public, so it must be controlled by the federal government. This is a direct attack on the First Amendment………
The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA) was passed, in part, as a scheme in which the federal government attempted to aid the states in their schemes to infringe on the Second Amendment. This is why the GCA forbids people from purchasing firearms across state lines. It is directly in conflict with one of the purposes of the Commerce Clause, which was to *prevent* states from imposing barriers to trade across state borders.
GCA 1968 did not reduce crime. Crime and murder rates soared after the GCA was put into effect. GCA 1968 created a regulatory scheme as a step toward more and more restrictions on Second Amendment rights.
The idea that legislation, aimed at the general population, can keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, is a dangerous delusion in a nation with over 400 million guns and hundreds of millions of the tools and technology to make them, in the hands of hundreds of millions of citizens.
CAMPBELL COUNTY — Groups in Campbell and Bedford counties are now organizing militia musters. Organizers said the purpose of their county’s muster is to preserve tranquility, peace, and civil order by organizing volunteers in the event that a militia is required to defend the rights and liberties of the citizens of Campbell County and Bedford County.
The Campbell County muster is set for noon-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. at Timbrook Public Library on Leesville Road.
Three Bedford County citizens including Chad Oaks, Anthony Burke and Scott Sewing came before their county’s board of supervisors at its Jan. 27 regular meeting Monday, asking for the county’s support in forming a militia, entirely comprised of volunteer citizens.
“I think a county directed, county controlled and county leadership appointed militia is something that would benefit our county at this point,” Sewing said. “I believe that it’s crucial for a citizen to possess the ability to defend themselves. I believe that and I believe that’s what the second amendment represents.”
Last month, the board approved to become a second amendment sanctuary and not enforce any stricter gun laws that are considered to be unconstitutional. Sewing, a former Marine who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, expressed his gratitude to the board for this.
“I was a part of the group that went to Richmond to stand up for second amendment rights,” Burke said. “We weren’t heard there, it’s pretty obvious with the laws that keep on passing. I am seeking to get the topic discussed however about forming a militia.”
Burke said that he has already spoken with the sheriff’s office about where everyone stands.
For information on the Campbell muster, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tyrants gotta tyrant, you know
A Democrat Congressional committee is demanding YouTube censor videos that contain “climate misinformation” as part of a new purge that would basically eliminate skepticism about man-made global warming from the platform.
In a letter sent to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis claims that YouTube has “been driving millions of viewers to climate misinformation videos every single day.”
From Lieawatha herownslef. BTW, this is the definition of ‘irony’.
Presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has declared her intentions to see the spread of ‘disinformation’ online become a crime if she is elected president, CNBC reports.
In a campaign statement, Warren said that she will “push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information,” which she claims “undermines the basic right to vote.”
Her statement is largely directed at the Big Tech companies themselves, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google, but she did not differentiate between punishing the companies and punishing individual users as well. She also gave no specifics about what exactly would account for “disinformation” in her definition.
VEXIT: West Virginia governor invites Virginia counties to join his state amid gun control push back
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, announced that legislation has been passed to send an open invitation to any Virginia county that wants to join West Virginia amid gun control push back in Richmond.
It’s an interesting idea.
The only problem is that the Virginia legislature as well as the U.S. legislature have to sign off on it too.
Had 22,000 people showed up in Richmond, Virginia, to demand stronger gun control laws, it is a safe bet that proponents of them would pronounced the crowd to be conclusive proof most Americans want such restrictions.
But when a group estimated at that size demonstrated on Monday against new firearms ownership limits, some gun control advocates insisted the crowd was small — and evidence not many people worry about Second Amendment rights.
“I was prepared to see a whole lot more people show up than actually did, and I think it’s an indication that a lot of this rhetoric is bluster, quite frankly,” commented state Delegate Chris Hurst, a Democrat representing an area in western Virginia. In fairness to Hurst, it needs to be noted he has a personal stake in gun control; in 2015, his television journalist girlfriend was killed in shooting.
More than “bluster” was on display Monday in Richmond, however. As The Associated Press noted, those who turned out to protest what they view as infringements upon Second Amendment rights did so in spite of very cold weather. They came from throughout Virginia, as well as some other states.
Prior to the rally, state officials including Gov. Ralph Northam had expressed concern about white supremacists attending the event. Members of some such groups did attend, according to observers — but the rally passed peacefully. There was just one arrest, of a woman who broke a state law by wearing a mask that covered her face.
What happened Monday in Richmond was a demonstration that many law-abiding citizens — representing millions of other like-minded Americans — are concerned about politicians who continue assaulting the Second Amendment. Officials in the Old Dominion, as well as elsewhere, shoud take note of that.
RICHMOND, Va. – Thousands of gun owners and gun rights supporters gathered Monday at Virginia’s Capitol for a “peaceful day to address our Legislature” that appeared to generate none of the violence feared by some state leaders.
Many demonstrators, opposed to proposed gun restrictions, openly displayed military-style semiautomatic rifles. Other wore orange “Guns save lives” stickers as the crowd chanted “USA” and sang the national anthem. Signs read “Come and take it” and “Second Amendment Sanctuary.”
But despite warnings from Gov. Ralph Northam and law enforcement that out-of-state hate groups and militias may incite violence, the protest did not grow heated. Police estimated the size of the crowd at 22,000 – including 6,000 people inside Capitol Square – and only one arrest was reported.
Police said Mikaela E. Beschler, 21, of Richmond, was charged with one felony count of wearing a mask in public after being warned twice before against wearing a bandanna covering her face. Beschler was released on her recognizance.
“The sheer numbers here speaks for itself,” he said. “I hope our legislators will back off. Today was the civil rights march of my life.”
Tom Rohde, 49, of West Point, said he was happy to see no violence.
“You got thousands of guns and not a single bullet fired,” he said. …….
At least six suspected members of a violent neo-Nazi group were arrested last week in Maryland and Georgia. Authorities feared three of the men planned to try to incite violence at the rally.
On Monday, law enforcement helicopters buzzed overhead as state, city and Capitol police kept a wary eye on the crowds. Barricades lined the streets and many shops were closed.
Anti-gunners painted a very bleak picture of what was set to happen today in Richmond. They spun warnings of white supremacists and domestic terrorism. It was enough that anyone would have concerns, even if they knew the Second Amendment community wasn’t interested in such things. All it would take is just one deranged individual to make everything we’ve worked toward go away.
Yet things are wrapping up in Richmond and, thankfully, it was as uneventful as such a thing can be.
As noted earlier, our own Cam Edwards was there. Serving as one of the speakers for the rally, he gave me a call when he finished up to give me his impressions of the event.
“I think that the important takeaway here is that we really did see an incredible turnout on the part of Virginians,” he said via a phone call earlier today. “I have no idea how many people are here but the entire downtown area is just full of second amen supporters. and, you know, people have smiles on their faces and determination and resolve.”
Of course, the focus of much of the media has been the defiance, and that’s not without a slight bit of legitimacy. As Cam noted, “I have seen a few we shall not comply signs, these are folks who are trying to send a message to the lawmakers in Richmond that Northam’s gun control agenda is the wrong move. I just hope that lawmakers listen to the voices of this incredible movement.”
I want to echo that last sentiment.
Virginians deserve better than what Northam has given them. Today, thousands of Virginians spoke with one voice.
As thousands of Second Amendment protesters flocked to the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on Monday, YouTube livestreams of the protest started freezing or getting flat-out removed from the video platform.
“This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s community guidelines,” YouTube explained after taking down live coverage of the gun rights rally from WUSA9, a news channel in the Washington, D.C. area…….
Whatever your position on gun rights, media outlets should be able to cover a Second Amendment rally without getting blocked by YouTube. Carrying guns is not an illegal activity and protests like this should not be censored.
YouTube’s action against the Richmond gun-rights protesters is only likely to incense Second Amendment activists. Like Gov. Ralph Northam’s effort to crack down on gun rights, this censorship will only help turn Virginia red again.
so lets post some pictures, gathered off the internet.
Looks like a pretty inclusive bunch of people doesn’t it?
While I’ll be speaking at the Lobby Day rally scheduled to take place Monday morning at the state capitol alongside individuals like Stephen Willeford of Sutherland Springs, Texas, Dick Heller, Antonia Okafor, and more, I want to say a few things to everyone attending before the event begins.
First, to all of my fellow Virginia gun owners who showed up at your county supervisors and city council meetings to urge them to support the right of the People to keep and bear arms and declare their community a Second Amendment Sanctuary, thank you. I know that many of you are traveling a long way to make it to the capitol. For many of you, this may be your first time attending a Lobby Day. You may be very new to citizen activism, but you’re making a difference.
You know how unique this movement has been over the past two months. It hasn’t been led or directed from above. You’re not taking any marching orders from anyone. You heard about what was going on with Democrats and their gun bills from your neighbor, at the grocery store checkout, or maybe your local gun store owner. You organized with your friends and family and were thrilled to see a packed house at your next local government meeting. You may not even have been able to get in the door yourself, and strained to listen to what was happening while standing in the cold December night. You didn’t leave until you heard the roar of the crowd as the Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution was approved, and you cheered along with hundreds of your neighbors on the steps of the county courthouse.
I’ve stood with you on those steps. I’ve seen you helping your kids with their homework in the foyer of the Louisa County administrators building. I’ve heard your impassioned pleas for lawmakers to focus their efforts on fighting violent crime and repairing our mental health system instead of targeting you and other legal gun owners. I know how important this effort is to you, and that you are bringing that same spirit with you to the capitol for Lobby Day. I salute you and thank you for all of your efforts and I urge to you stay politically engaged after you leave the capitol and return home. We still have a long legislative fight ahead of us, but this is also an election year, and we need to be as involved as possible from now through November to ensure that candidates who will protect our rights win election.
You are the heart and soul of this grassroots movement of civic engagement and peaceful protest. And unfortunately, your success is being recognized not just with a huge amount of media attention, but with unwanted attention from those who would co-opt Lobby Day for their own purposes, be it benign or malignant.
Republican and Democratic leadership in the Virginia legislature were given a security briefing on Friday, and while the lawmakers cannot disclose the information that they’ve learned, Republicans didn’t come out afterwards proclaiming that they hadn’t heard anything that rises to a credible threat. Instead, GOP lawmakers released a statement on Saturday morning decrying any attempt by violent agitators to cause unrest.
My statement on Monday’s 2nd Amendment rally in Richmond: pic.twitter.com/41imrpW6Ey
— Todd Gilbert (@cToddGilbert) January 18, 2020
Del. Gilbert is right when he says some individuals are going to try to subvert what your grassroots movement has created, and honestly, I’m as angry at them as I am at the lawmakers who are trying to infringe on our rights.
So let me now address those few individuals who may be planning on attending Lobby Day to do something other than peacefully lobby lawmakers to reject Governor Ralph Northam’s unconstitutional gun control agenda. You’re not needed, you’re not wanted, and you won’t be welcomed.
The gun owners of Virginia who are lobbying their lawmakers don’t believe that the right to keep and bear arms is a right of the Right, or a right of the whites, or of any other specific demographic. It is the right of the People to keep and bear arms that shall not be infringed. We are advocating for the human right of self defense and our constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, and for nothing else. We stand together regardless of color, class, or creed in support of those rights. This is not an insurrection or a violent protest. This is not an opportunity to clash with anyone, whether it’s the alt-right or antifa. Lobby Day is an act of civic engagement on the part of thousands of Virginia residents. If you have any other agenda planned, don’t come at all.
I know the vast majority of the gun owners I’ve seen who are coming from other states are coming with the right frame of mind. You want to stand with Virginians in support, not try to spark off violence that would only enable anti-gun lawmakers to find the support they need for bills that are currently struggling, like Ralph Northam’s gun, mag, and suppressor ban. You know that any violence would only be used by lawmakers to ram through their gun control bills, and you know that means anyone advocating for or engaging in acts of violence are no friend of the Second Amendment or Virginia gun owners. I thank you for standing with us, and hope that you will help to ensure a peaceful and successful event.
Finally, for any Virginia lawmakers who support any of these gun control bills that have been filed this session and who are able to hear or speak to their constituents, I hope that you’ll be able to filter out the noise and the narrative from outside groups and actually listen to what the people you represent have to say. They’re asking you to focus on the real issues that are driving violent crime and the state’s mental health crisis. They care deeply about safe communities, but they know that their legally owned guns aren’t the problem. Many of them can tell you stories of their family members, co-workers, or friends lost to opiates that have flooded the state and killed more Virginians than firearms. They know that a red flag law that takes guns from those determined to be a danger, but leaves them with no mental health treatment, is not a serious solution to the serious problems we face. They also know that the vast majority of the state’s gun owners would be turned into felons overnight if bills like HB 961 became law, and they’re trying to help you avoid making a disastrous mistake.
To everyone attending Lobby Day, I hope that it is an experience that leaves you energized and engaged in the legislative fights we face, the litigation and pushback against any new laws that is sure to come, and the November elections that will be here in the blink of an eye. If you see someone trying to start trouble, let the appropriate authorities know. If someone tries to start trouble with you, don’t engage. Be safe, be kind, and be a good ambassador for our Second Amendment rights and gun owners across the nation.
Specifically for or our readers in Washington state and anyone else interested. The link above is to the state legislature database where the bill number can be entered to see the whole enchilada.
HB 2555 By Representative Goodman
Concerning background check requirements for firearms classified as other under federal firearms laws.
HB 2569 By Representatives Wylie, Cody, Gregerson, Pollet and Tarleton
Authorizing pretrial detention for certain offenses involving firearms.
SB 6288 By Senators Dhingra, Pedersen, Frockt, Carlyle, Wilson, C., Kuderer Das Creating the Washington office of firearm violence prevention.
SB 6289 By Senators Dhingra, Kuderer, Lovelett, Darneille, Carlyle, Wilson, C. and Das Concerning the restoration of the right to possess a firearm.
HB 2467 By Representatives Hansen, Irwin, Griffey, Barkis and Wylie
Establishing a centralized single point of contact background check system for firearms transfers.
Referred to Committee on CIVIL RIGHTS & JUDICIARY.
HB 2411 By Representatives Orwall, Kilduff, Gildon, Leavitt, Paul, Cody, Davis, Pollet, Goodman, Wylie and Doglio Preventing suicide.
HB 2473 By Representatives Goodman and Wylie
Concerning domestic violence.
Referred to Committee on PUBLIC SAFETY
HB 2202 By Representative Klippert
Exempting law enforcement from firearm safety training requirements for
semiautomatic assault rifle purchases or transfers.
HB 2305 By Representative Doglio
Concerning firearms laws concerning persons subject to vulnerable adult protection orders.
House Bills In Committee
Bill Flags Title Status Veto Date Original
HB 1022 Docs Pistol sales database H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Walsh
HB 1024 Docs f Firearm owners database H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Walsh
HB 1038 Docs Firearms/school employees H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Walsh
SHB 1068 Docs d High capacity magazines H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Valdez
HB 1073 Docs fd# Undetectable firearms H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Valdez
HB 1097 Docs Firearms/health information H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Walsh
HB 1098 Docs Unsafe storage of firearms H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2019 Walsh
HB 1203 Docs Lost or stolen firearms H Civil R & Judi 01/16/2019 Doglio
HB 1286 Docs fd# Assault weapons ban H Civil R & Judi 01/18/2019 Peterson
HB 1315 Docs f Concealed pistol training H Civil R & Judi 01/18/2019 Lovick
HB 1319 Docs Firearm open carry/local gov H Civil R & Judi 01/18/2019 Wylie
HB 1346 Docs f Lead exposure in youth H Civil R & Judi 01/18/2019 Pollet
HB 1374 Docs Local gov firearm regulation H Civil R & Judi 01/21/2019 Macri
HB 1439 Docs Concealed firearm permission H Civil R & Judi 01/22/2019 Doglio
HB 1464 Docs fd# Concealed pistol licenses H Civil R & Judi 01/22/2019 Goodman
HB 1511 Docs Firearm training/private H Civil R & Judi 01/23/2019 Klippert
HB 1530 Docs f# Weapons in certain locations H Civil R & Judi 01/23/2019 Davis
HB 1541 Docs Weapon possession/orders H Civil R & Judi 01/23/2019 Jinkins
HB 1671 Docs Confiscated firearm disposal H Civil R & Judi 01/28/2019 Dolan
HB 1763 Docs Active shooter event/schools H Civil R & Judi 01/30/2019 Young
HB 1774 Docs Extreme risk protect. orders H Civil R & Judi 01/30/2019 Jinkins
HB 1814 Docs Involuntary treatment act H Civil R & Judi 01/31/2019 Orwall
HB 2124 Docs CPL/firearm possession H Civil R & Judi 02/25/2019 Dufault
HB 2196 Docs ERPO issuance & enforcement H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Walsh
HB 2202 Docs Law enf./firearm training H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Klippert
HB 2223 Docs Firearm prohibit. liability H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Walsh
HB 2240 Docs d High capacity magazines H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Valdez
HB 2241 Docs e Assault weapons H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Peterson
HB 2301 Docs Competency to stand trial H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Kilduff
HB 2305 Docs Vulnerable adults/firearms H Civil R & Judi 01/13/2020 Doglio
HB 2467 Docs Firearm background checks H Civil R & Judi 01/14/2020 Hansen
HB 2519 Docs d Ammunition H Civil R & Judi 01/15/2020 Walen
HB 2555 Docs Other firearms/background H Civil R & Judi 01/15/2020 Goodman
HB 2571 Docs d Fish and wildlife violations H Civil R & Judi 01/15/2020 Goodman
Bills Out of Committee
SHB 1010 Docs Forfeited firearms/WSP H Rules C 03/21/2019 Senn
HB 1047 Docs Limited jdx. court comm’rs H Rules C 03/21/2019 Jinkins
HB 1149 Docs Sex. assault protect. orders C 258 L 19 05/07/2019 Jinkins
EHB 1465 Docs af# Pistol sales or transfers C 244 L 19 05/07/2019 Goodman
HB 1589 Docs f Correctional emps/firearms C 231 L 19 04/30/2019 Chapman
SHB 1648 Docs f Suicide awareness & prevent. H Approps 02/22/2019 Orwall
SHB 1739 Docs afd# Firearms/undetectable, etc. C 243 L 19 05/07/2019 Valdez
HB 1934 Docs f# Pistol license/armed forces C 135 L 19 04/24/2019 Caldier
SHB 1949 Docs f Firearm background checks C 35 L 19 04/17/2019 Hansen
ESSB 5027 Docs a Extreme risk protect. orders C 246 L 19 05/07/2019 Frockt
SB 5083 Docs Indian tribe records C 39 L 19 04/17/2019 McCoy
SB 5205 Docs af Incomp. for trial/firearms C 248 L 19 05/07/2019 Dhingra
SB 5508 Docs afd# Concealed pistol licenses C 249 L 19 05/07/2019 Fortunato
SB 5551 Docs af# Courthouse dog assistance C 398 L 19 05/13/2019 Dhingra
SSB 5560 Docs af# Elected officials/disputes C 463 L 19 05/21/2019 Padden
E2SSB 5720 Docs f# Involuntary treatment act S 3rd Reading 01/13/2020 Dhingra
SB 5782 Docs Spring blade knives S Rules 3 04/28/2019 Zeiger
The FBI Wants To Treat Carter Page Warrant Mistakes Like Training Problems. A Court Adviser Says That’s Not Enough.
After seriously messing up its warrant applications with the FISA Court, can the FBI be trusted?
The FBI could and can be trusted to always be a player in national politics.
The FBI’s newly released plans to avoid mistakes when seeking permission to wiretap and surveil American citizens is insufficient, according to an expert brought in to advise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
In December, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Justice released a report showing significant problems with the warrants that the FBI submitted to FISC in order to secretly wiretap Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. While the OIG’s report concluded that the agency was justified in investigating whether Page was unduly influenced by his connections with the Russian government, it also determined that the FBI withheld important details from the FISC that might have influenced its decision to grant these warrants. These omissions were not in Page’s favor, and ultimately the OIG found 17 different errors or omissions in the warrant requests, some of which were not corrected in subsequent applications.
The FISC’s judges were extremely unhappy to discover information had been withheld from them, and then-presiding Judge Rosemary M. Collyer (who has since retired) ordered FBI Director Christopher Wray to send a plan to the court by January 10 explaining how the FBI would avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Wray submitted his plan last week. It’s a dense and technical response that is mostly inscrutable to anybody who does not have a history of involvement with the court’s surveillance processes. Wray provides a list of 12 actions the FBI has taken or will take to make sure future applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants include all the information judges should’ve had when the FBI sought permission to surveil Page. Wray’s plans revolve primarily around adding most steps to verify and re-verify information contained in the warrant requests to make sure that FBI agents and supervisors are not omitting information that might undermine or compromise their case for a surveillance warrant. Wray also says the agency will improve training by creating a case study program to teach FBI agents about historical precedents (I’m guessing the Page warrants will play a starring role).
While the FBI was hammering out this plan, the FISC appointed David Kris, a former Justice Department attorney during President Barack Obama’s administration, to advise the court. His appointment caused some partisan-tinged outrage. Kris had previously defended the FBI’s surveillance of Page and had been critical of claims by Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.) that the warrants against Page had problems. Trump even attacked Kris in a tweet.
But Kris has also been skeptical of how the federal government uses surveillance against American citizens and has criticized the National Security Agency’s position that laws passed to fight the war on terror and to investigate Al Qaeda permitted the agency to secretly snoop on American citizens. And he voiced these criticisms while working on national security issues at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
It appears that version of Kris analyzed the FBI’s plans. On Wednesday, he responded that Wray’s proposals were ultimately insufficient. Part of the larger problem, which Wray has acknowledged, is that it’s hard to check the accuracy of information that’s not included or deliberately omitted. In the Page case, much of the erroneous intel that might have dissuaded the judges from granting a warrant was not included in the warrant application, and therefore its accuracy was not assessed.
A New Jersey university has been named in a lawsuit targeting an “unconstitutional” speech policy.
The Young Americans for Liberty chapter at Montclair State University, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, filed the suit Wednesday after a demonstration on campus was allegedly shut down by campus police in September, according to a press release from the ADF. .
“it allows the university to deny or delay a student’s request for permission for any reason.” Tweet This
The lawsuit states that “the university’s unconstitutional policies restrict and suppress student speech.”
In the suit and the press release, the group documented an incident from September 10, in which three students demonstrating against gun-free zones were allegedly stopped by a campus police officer for not having the proper permission to speak.
The policy, called the Demonstrations and Assemblies Policy, stated that anyone, especially groups or organizations, should give two weeks of advance notice to the dean of students with their “planned objective” of the event. The dean would then review the application and either approve or reject the application or, the suit alleges, modify the demonstration of “any reason …. within any set timeframe.”
“The students, affiliated with Young Americans for Liberty,” the press release stated, “are challenging the two-week requirement because it unconstitutionally suppresses all speech and because it allows the university to deny or delay a student’s request for permission for any reason.”
The suit also alleges that the Office of the Dean “has the power to selectively enforce the Speech Permit Policy based upon the content and viewpoint of students’ speech,” and called the policy an “unconstitutional prior restraint.”
In addition to the speech policy, the suit also targeted the Student Government Association, in which the suit alleges that the use of a “class system” would prevent certain groups, such as YAL from accessing funds based on their viewpoints.
“The University’s student organization regulations authorize the SGA to reward favored groups with a high ‘class’ status,” the suit continued, “while disfavoring groups like YAL with a low status which excludes them from many of the benefits enjoyed by other student organizations.”
The suit details the ranked class system as split up into four class systems, in which Class IV organizations could not request any money from SGA, while Class I organizations could receive upward of $5,000 for their yearly budget funded by student fees.
The suit also warned that the SGA had “no objective guidelines” regarding the classification of organizations or whether or not they receive funds from SGA, meaning that the club’s viewpoints could be grounds for a club’s disqualification from receiving funds.
A third area the suit covered was targeted at the university’s “Bias Education Response Taskforce.”
The suit also stated that the BERT policy would be “preventing plaintiffs from engaging in other core political speech” because of the lack of definition for “harassment, intimidation or bullying” and the college to issue any discipline “from probation to expulsion.”
Religious People Think Democrats Will Strip Our Rights Because It’s True
A professor claims religious people are afraid of atheists and Democrats because they’re projecting ignorance and hatred. Maybe instead religious people just follow the news.
“White evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats would strip away their rights. Why?” asks a recent op-ed in the Washington Post. The op-ed author, Paul A. Djupe, a professor at Denison University and scholar with the Public Religion Research Institute, offered two completely out-of-touch reasons.
The first is “because that’s what they’re hearing, quite explicitly, from conservative media, religious elites, partisan commentators and some politicians, including the president.” The second is an “inverted golden rule,” meaning white evangelical Protestants “express low levels of tolerance for atheists, which leads them to expect intolerance from atheists in return.”
It’s not about projection or an authoritarian impulse. Religious conservaties worry atheists and Democrats will strip their rights because they have repeatedly witnessed attempts, typically by Democrats, to strip them of their religious liberties.
Examples of Democrats’ attempts to gut religious liberties abound. Perhaps the most high-profile example was the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) federal mandate in 2011, as part of the Affordable Care Act, mandating that certain employers provide all FDA-approved contraceptives, including abortifacients, in their health insurance plans. The narrow religious exemption did not include religious nonprofits such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns that manages homes for the elderly poor across America, nor businesses such as Hobby Lobby.
A district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled against the Little Sisters of the Poor, and it was only in 2016 before the U.S. Supreme Court that the liberties of the religious order were secured. Hobby Lobby won in a separate 2014 case.
Democrats Attack Religious Liberty in Law and Institutions
This is hardly the only recent example. Over the last decade and a half, a number of jurisdictions, including the state of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., have targeted Christian adoption agencies that refuse to place children with same-sex or unmarried couples. Many of these adoption agencies have since closed.
The pro-choice organization NARAL, a prominent supporter of Democratic candidates, opposes conscience laws that allow medical practitioners to exempt themselves from activities that violate their religious beliefs, such as abortion or euthanasia.
Several Democratic presidential candidates have declared their support for legislation that would prohibit employers — including Christian schools or organizations — from maintaining rules about their employees’ sexual behavior. When the media reported that Vice President Mike Pence’s wife Karen had taken a position at an evangelical Virginia school that prohibits employees and students from homosexual behavior, left-leaning secular media ruthlessly attacked her. A cake baker in suburban Denver, despite the U.S. Supreme Court upholding his religious liberty in 2018, is still facing harassment by the state of Colorado.
Federal law still prohibits employers discriminating based on a person’s religious beliefs or affiliation, but conservative Christians can read between the lines. If city, county, and state governments are willing to target people for their “bigoted” beliefs, and if left-leaning judges seem increasingly willing to rule against religious liberty, it’s hard to imagine governments will be objective, neutral arbiters in their hiring practices toward religious conservatives.
Much the same can be said regarding many of our nation’s education institutions. If a university either explicitly promotes or willfully ignores leftist activism that seeks to silence opposing viewpoints — such as Middlebury College’s treatment of Polish academic, politician, and devout Catholic Ryszard Legutko — it’s fair to assume such institutions will not be hiring anyone who reminds them of Legutko. We’d be foolish to think this doesn’t also apply to woke companies.
Djupe’s Conclusion Is Flawed
Djupe’s research polled a cross-section of American society, more than 2,500 people, which included a variety of religious and political beliefs. Respondents were asked whether certain selected groups should be permitted to exercise various liberties, such as giving speeches in the community, teaching in public schools, or running for public office.
As evidence of tolerance among atheists and Democrats, Djupe and fellow researcher and political scientist Ryan Burge discovered that 65 percent of atheists and 53 percent of Democrats who named Christian fundamentalists their least-liked group were willing to allow them to engage in three or more of these activities. This, Djupe notes, is a higher proportion with tolerance than the overall sample and a higher proportion than white evangelicals. Ergo, Djupe and Burge conclude evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats not because these groups intend to restrict their rights, but because religious conservatives aim to do this to their political enemies.
Perhaps, though, restrictions on conservative Christians giving speeches, teaching in public schools, or running for public office are not theoretical. Across the United States over the last generation, real-life people of faith have suffered the infringement of their religious freedom. Whether or not those doing the infringing are atheists is unclear, but they are almost always on the political left.
Democrats’ Attacks on Religious Liberties Are Nothing New
This is why white evangelicals are afraid Democrats will attack their religious liberty — because they already have been for years. It also largely explains why this same demographic remains electorally wedded to Republicans, including President Donald Trump.
Notice that in almost all the above examples, it has been the judicial branch slowing the tide of anti-religious liberty initiatives. This has been the case even when activist judges at one level are overruled by more conservative judges at a higher level of the court system.
Trump is appointing right-leaning federal judges at rapid rates. Thus far, he has appointed 50 judges to circuit court benches, double what President Barack Obama had achieved at this point in his first term. Judges, many religious conservatives wager, may be one of the most effective means of safeguarding religious liberty.
None of this is news. Conservatives, and certainly religious conservatives, have been talking for generations about the need for a conservative judiciary to prevent attacks on America’s most treasured freedoms. That liberal mainstream media and secular academia are allied in deflecting attention from this truth in favor of research aimed at maligning religious conservatives demonstrates how out of touch they remain. Who says they learned something after the 2016 presidential election?
Consider the recent statements and acts of iconic progressive celebrities.
Jane Fonda is chronically furious. This time she directed her wrath at those who disagree about the urgency of ending the entire fossil fuel industry and ruining the current economy. Her idea is to put climate “deniers” on trial for incorrect speech. So much for the First Amendment. “Now, because of the fossil fuel industry, it’s too late for moderation,” Fonda says. “And given the emergency, it’s those who believe in moderation, in pre-Trump business as usual, who are truly delusional. And those who lie and continue to lie about what they’re doing to the environment should be put on trial.”
Green teenage heartthrob Greta Thunberg has a different solution for those who disagree with her orthodox view on “climate change”: “World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities, but we have to make sure they cannot do that. We will make sure that we put them against the wall, and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.”
If Thunberg is truly worried about past government decisions that have threatened the world, she might study Swedish history and ask why her forefathers sold iron ore to the Nazi war machine—without which it could not have waged the war it did—and often threw in Swedish transport in the bargain.
For those who think the American Civil Liberties Union and other liberal watchdogs ceaselessly monitor our government to ensure our Bill of Rights and laws are not abused to the detriment of citizens, they should be sorely disappointed. The Left has redefined “civil liberties” to mean “correct thinking.” Thus, incorrect thinking is not protected speech or behavior.
It is now clear that the top hierarchy of the FBI under James Comey and Andrew McCabe used the powers of their agency to deceive a federal court with fraudulent evidence in order to surveil a U.S. citizen as part of a larger plan to subvert a political campaign and eventually a presidential transition.
It is also likely that both James Clapper and John Brennan trafficked in a fake dossier, a product of opposition research designed to smear a political candidate in a presidential race. Both were also likely involved in the use of overseas informants to surveil Trump campaign aides.
Few on the Left feel that it was either morally or legally wrong for Hillary Clinton to hire a foreign national to spy on her opponent’s campaign, much less for a foreign national Christopher Steele to interfere in a U.S. election.
Laws are fluid, to be enforced when they champion the “good,” to be ignored or subverted when they empower the “bad.” That is why both Clapper and Brennan—who in the past alike have admitted to lying to Congress while under oath—were rewarded with paid analyst positions, respectively with CNN and MSNBC……
If and when fascism comes to America, it will not arrive with jackboots, stiff arms, and military uniforms. The attempt to suppress political opposition in anti-constitutional fashion, to regiment the economy by denying constitutionally protected freedoms, and the efforts to change the Constitution to reflect political utility, will come under the auspices of “equality,” “fairness,” “saving the planet,” and “social justice”—as a way to combat “climate change,” “racism,” “homophobia,” and “sexism.”
The old Confederate idea of state nullification of federal law—the great bane of a century of civil rights movements—is now a progressive trademark.
Over 550 sanctuary jurisdictions have announced that federal immigration law simply does not apply in full within their confines. Because there were no federal consequences when states simply ignored federal immigration legislation, why would not local jurisdictions—such as an increasing number of counties in Virginia—simply renounce state laws in matters of gun control?………….
Today is Bill of Rights Day when the Virginia legislature’s vote in 1791 surpassed the number of state’s needed to ratify the amendments.
Now, they’ve got some of the modern day Virginia legislators threatening to use the Virginia National Guard to confiscate arms if the local LE agencies won’t execute proposed laws to ban & confiscate arms in the hands of the citizenry.
If I recall history, almost the same thing happened in Massachusetts back in 1775 and we all know how that ended up.
We Just Got a Rare Look at National Security Surveillance. It Was Ugly.
A high-profile inspector general report has served as fodder for arguments about President Trump. But its findings about surveillance are important beyond partisan politics.
“IF THE FBI WAS WILLING TO BE THIS SHADY WHILE INVESTIGATING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WHAT DOES IT GET AWAY WITH IN LOWER-PROFILE CASES?”
When you’ve even lost the proggies at the NY Times…….
WASHINGTON — When a long-awaited inspector general report about the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation became public this week, partisans across the political spectrum mined it to argue about whether President Trump falsely smeared the F.B.I. or was its victim. But the report was also important for reasons that had nothing to do with Mr. Trump.
At more than 400 pages, the study amounted to the most searching look ever at the government’s secretive system for carrying out national-security surveillance on American soil. And what the report showed was not pretty.
The Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, and his team uncovered a staggeringly dysfunctional and error-ridden process in how the F.B.I. went about obtaining and renewing court permission under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to wiretap Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
“The litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse,” said Hina Shamsi, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project. “The concerns the inspector general identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.”
Congress enacted FISA in 1978 to regulate domestic surveillance for national-security investigations — monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to ordinary criminals. Investigators must persuade a judge on a special court that a target is probably an agent of a foreign power. In 2018, there were 1,833 targets of such orders, including 232 Americans.
Most of those targets never learn that their privacy has been invaded, but some are sent to prison on the basis of evidence derived from the surveillance. And unlike in ordinary criminal wiretap cases, defendants are not permitted to see what investigators told the court about them to obtain permission to eavesdrop on their calls and emails.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Mr. Horowitz’s report on Wednesday, both Republicans and Democrats suggested that legislation tightening restrictions on FISA surveillance may be coming, and the A.C.L.U. submitted ideas to the committee.
Civil libertarians for years have called the surveillance court a rubber stamp because it only rarely rejects wiretap applications. Out of 1,080 requests by the government in 2018, for example, government records showed that the court fully denied only one.
Defenders of the system have argued that the low rejection rate stems in part from how well the Justice Department self-polices and avoids presenting the court with requests that fall short of the legal standard. They have also stressed that officials obey a heightened duty to be candid and provide any mitigating evidence that might undercut their request.
But the inspector general found major errors, material omissions and unsupported statements about Mr. Page in the materials that went to the court. F.B.I. agents cherry-picked the evidence, telling the Justice Department information that made Mr. Page look suspicious and omitting material that cut the other way, and the department passed that misleading portrait onto the court.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is made up of 56 nations plus the Palestinian Authority, met Thursday in Jeddah and called for the adoption of an international law criminalizing criticism of Islam. But that kind of law could never be adopted in the United States, could it? Think again.
The OIC’s secretary-general, Dr. Yousef al-Othaimeen, called upon the nations of the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to crack down on speech that was “insulting religions or prophets.” It was clear, however, that al-Othaimeen couldn’t have cared less about speech insulting Christianity or Judaism or Hinduism or Buddhism or any of the revered figures of those religions. He cared only about criticism of Islam.
“There are laws against anti-Semitism and racism,” said al-Othaimeen. “So we request a law against mocking religions.” He didn’t explain why laws against racism should lead to laws against criticizing belief systems, since, after all, contrary to the assumptions of Rachel Dolezal, Shaun King, and Elizabeth Warren, one cannot change one’s race, but one can change one’s beliefs, including religious beliefs. Al-Othaimeen likely knows this, but cited racism because he knows how to pull the right strings to get the Western intelligentsia to do what he wants……………
But this muzzling of criticism of Islam could never happen in America, right? Wrong. In fact, this is a lot closer to happening than most people realize. In October 2009, the Obama administration joined Egypt in supporting a resolution in the U.N.’s Human Rights Council to recognize exceptions to the freedom of speech for “any negative racial and religious stereotyping” (a highly subjective category). Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council, the resolution called on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton affirmed the Obama administration’s support for this on July 15, 2011, when she gave an address on the freedom of speech at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) conference on Combating Religious Intolerance. “Together,” she said, “we have begun to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression and we are pursuing a new approach. These are fundamental freedoms that belong to all people in all places and they are certainly essential to democracy.”
But how could both religious sensitivities and freedom of expression be protected?
Clinton had a First Amendment to deal with, and so in place of legal restrictions on criminalization of Islam, she suggested “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” She held a lengthy closed-door meeting with OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in December 2011 to facilitate the adoption of measures that would advance the OIC’s anti-free speech campaign. But what agreements she and Ihsanoglu made, if any, have never been disclosed. Still, the specter of an American Secretary of State conferring with a foreign official about how to restrict the freedom of speech in order to stifle communications deemed offensive to Muslims was, at the very least, chilling.
Nor was that a singular case. In July 2012, Thomas Perez — then the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, was asked by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.):
Will you tell us here today that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?
Perez could have simply answered yes, and maybe even cited the First Amendment. Instead, Perez refused to answer the question directly. Franks persisted, ultimately asking it four times. Perez at one point responded that it was a “hard question.” He simply refused to affirm that the Obama Justice Department would not attempt to criminalize criticism of Islam.
This is today’s Democratic Party. If a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020 or thereafter, will that president advance the Left’s assault on the freedom of speech and move to implement Sharia restrictions on criticism of Islam in the United States? You can bet on it.
In that eventuality, I hope some of y’all will visit me in prison.