A not so modest proposal for mandatory training

In the past week or so, we’ve seen a push by anti-Second Amendment folks to call for mandatory training prior to people being able to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. And not just to carry a gun, but to simply own one.

Now, we oppose this when it comes to gun rights for obvious reasons. However, it’s very clear that many don’t. As such, I figured I’d offer something of a compromise.

In particular, if gun control folks are going to be insistent on mandatory training, then I’m going to push back with calls for mandatory training before exercising other rights.

To start with, we should require mandatory training before allowing people to vote.

After all, an uninformed electorate could lead to all kinds of problems. I mean…<gestures toward the White House>.

We should require all citizens wishing to vote to undergo a mandatory training course prior to being able to cast a ballot. The course should require some degree of basic civics as to which elected officials can do what they cannot.

It should also include the constitutional limits to the government so that these voters don’t get led astray by promises that won’t pass legal muster. You know, things like free money, forgiveness of college loans, things like that.

Additionally, we should also require mandatory training before anyone can attend a house of worship of any faith.

After all, you wouldn’t want someone to walk into a mosque and do everything wrong, deeply offending our Muslim neighbors, now would you? The mandatory course would include a basic primer on all faiths worshipped in the United States so people can make an informed decision as to where to worship and what to do when they arrive.

The fact that such a course would amount to the coursework for a theology degree is completely irrelevant.

We should also require mandatory training before exercising one’s freedom of speech. After all, some people talk a lot of nonsense. I mean, I saw someone advocating for communism just yesterday. That shouldn’t be allowed!

So clearly, before people speak, they should be required to undergo a mandatory training class. I mean, they might offend someone by advocating for socialism, communism, or some other faulty line of thinking.

And while we’re at it, we need to mandate training for journalists. No, I’m not talking about journalism school–something that’s not actually required for one to become a journalist–but a government-mandated training course one must go through, lest they report inappropriately. I mean, we can’t have journalists giving government officials a hard time like they did President Trump, right?

What? What’s that? You think this is all out of line and unconstitutional?

Well, that may be, but if you’re someone who thinks I should be forced to undergo training before exercising a right protected by the Constitution, then why shouldn’t you be forced to undergo training before exercising some right precious to you?

It’s been said that the Second Amendment is treated as a second-class right. The idea of mandatory training in order to exercise it illustrates this idea perfectly. Especially since we know that many of these other proposals I just made would be shot down in a heartbeat.

After all, how is something a right if you must pass a course first in order to use it? At that point, it becomes a privilege.

If you have an issue with any of those proposals above, then you should at least show some consistency and stand against mandatory training for gun ownership.

When the anti-self defense writer uses ‘information’ from the Brady pro gun control group, he immediately showed his views were not based on actual biblical principles, even though scriptures were used to support them. (Remember, satan himself quoted scripture for his own nefarious purpose)
But read both at your convenience

Guns or Roses?

The issue of Christians owning and using guns, especially against other humans, has been debated almost since firearms and gunpowder appeared in Europe in the 13th century. In today’s fragmented religious environment, many opinions are advanced in churches, in the public square, and on media. Seventh-day Adventist Christians, often influenced by polarizing political, social, or cultural viewpoints, debate this issue both publicly and privately. We asked two authors with contrasting opinions to engage in an imagined conversation with a respected Adventist friend who holds a different opinion about this divisive topic, each explaining their viewpoint from a Christian and Adventist biblical worldview.—Editors.

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Reading the 2A tea leaves in SCOTUS vaccine mandate ruling

On the surface, there aren’t a lot of similarities between the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate put on ice by the Supreme Court on Thursday and the New York City carry laws that SCOTUS is currently considering. Beyond the obvious difference between a vaccine and a firearm, one case revolves around an OSHA rule while the other is challenging a state law that turns the Second Amendment on its head.

Despite the differences, however, I think we might actually be able to glean a couple of things from Thursday’s ruling, starting with the fact that we had three separate opinions handed down. There was the majority opinion staying the enforcement of Biden’s mandate, but in addition to the dissent by the progressive wing of the court, we also saw a concurring opinion authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito that’s much stronger in its criticism of Biden’s attempted power grab than the per curium opinion released by the Court.

Both the majority and concurring opinions agree that the OSHA regulation goes way too far by introducing a workplace rule that extends beyond the workplace, but Gorsuch’s opinion brought home the threat to individual liberty posed by Biden’s vaccine mandate.

The question before us is not how to respond to the pandemic, but who holds the power to do so. The answer is clear: Under the law as it stands today, that power rests with the States and Congress, not OSHA. In saying this much, we do not impugn the intentions behind the agency’s mandate. Instead, we only discharge our duty to enforce the law’s demands when it comes to the question who may govern the lives of 84 million Americans. Respecting those demands may be trying in times of stress. But if this Court were to abide them only in more tranquil conditions, declarations of emergencies would never end and the liberties our Constitution’s separation of powers seeks to preserve would amount to little.

In other words, even in states of declared emergencies, our rights don’t shrivel up and shrink down to the size of a raisin.

Of course, for the progressive wing of the court, our rights must always take a back seat to the interests and desires of the state. I was talking with Mark Walters of Armed Armerican Radio on Thursday, and he made an excellent point about the dissenting opinion and how it relates to the Bruen case challenging New York’s carry laws. Read the opening paragraph of the dissent and replace “COVID-19” with “gun violence,” and you can see the line of argument that Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan are likely to take a few months from now.

Every day, COVID–19 poses grave dangers to the citizens of this country—and particularly, to its workers. The disease has by now killed almost 1 million Americans and hospitalized almost 4 million. It spreads by person-to-person contact in confined indoor spaces, so causes harm in nearly all workplace environments. And in those environments, more than any others, individuals have little control, and therefore little capacity to mitigate risk. COVID–19, in short, is a menace in work settings. The proof is all around us: Since the disease’s onset, most Americans have seen their workplaces transformed.

I don’t know about you, but I can easily see these same three justices proclaim that “every day gun violence poses grave dangers to the citizens of this country, and in particular those who live in densely populated urban areas,” which therefore justifies the extraordinary position taken by the state of New York; nobody has the right to bear arms in self-defense, and only those who can justify their “need” to do so can get permission from the state to carry a gun.

After seeing SCOTUS’s decision on Thursday, I still feel good about what the Bruen decision will say, but I will admit to being a little more concerned about the prospect of multiple opinions from the conservative wing of the Court. I hadn’t thought much about the idea of six justices agreeing on some basic fundamentals in striking down New York’s law, with the Thomas/Gorsuch/Alito wing offering up a concurring opinion that would go even further, but it’s definitely a possibility when the decision comes down later this year.

Trust but verify‘ works for me.


BLUF:
“One thing I’ve learned is the Second Amendment is one of the most important amendments and you look at all my voting record. Listen, you watch this Congress itself—we believe in the Constitution,” McCarthy said.

Exclusive — Kevin McCarthy Pledges as Speaker He Will Not Consider Amnesty or Gun Control Legislation

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview taped in December that the House would not consider any legislation that grants amnesty to illegal aliens if he becomes the speaker next year.

“We know first and foremost one of our greatest strengths is the rule of law, so you have to have an immigration system based upon the rule of law. You have to secure the border. The immigration system is broken and we’re going to fix it. Yes,” McCarthy replied when asked if he could pledge no amnesty would be considered under his leadership.

“Yes,” he reaffirmed when pressed again.

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California gun owners sue state to block release of personal information

Last September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law authorizing the release of gun owners’ personal information to researchers and others who’ve been given access to a state-run database that’s chock full of identifying details of those who legally own firearms. Now, several anonymous gun owners in the state have filed suit in federal court hoping to block Attorney General Rob Bonta from from enforcing AB 173 and its provision requiring the state’s Department of Justice to disclose the information to the California Firearm Violence Research Center at UC Davis and all other “research institutions” that request it.

The five gun owners, listed as Jane Doe #1 and John Does 1-4, argue in their complaint that the new law runs afoul of the U.S. and California Constitutions, as well as state law protecting the right to privacy, by granting researchers access to the state’s Automated Firearms System, which includes a lot of personal information; “name, address, place of birth, telephone number, occupation, California driver’s license or ID number, race, sex, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and, in some instances, social security number” according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

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Of Course Violence against Government Can Be Justified

The media have been making a big deal over a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll which finds that 34 percent of Americans believe violence can be justified against the government. It’s a poll meant to feed the hysteria over the Capitol Hill riot and embarrass Republicans into supporting “voting rights” bills and so on.

Despite the framing of most reaction stories, the question wasn’t about January 6. It was: “Do you think it is ever justified for citizens to take violent action against the government, or is it never justified?”

Ever? Of course it is. It’s a failure of our civic education that 100 percent of respondents didn’t answer yes. The ability to resist a tyrannical government is a foundational American idea. It was the justification for the founding revolution. It, not hunting or skeet shooting, is the core reason for existence of the Second Amendment — which, Joseph Story, an associate Supreme Court justice, said best, “offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers.”

Incidentally, the participants were asked to provide instances when violence against the state would be justified, and all of them are perfectly reasonable:

Government violates or takes away rights or freedoms/Oppresses people – 22 percent

Government no longer a democracy/ Becomes a dictatorship/Coup/ Military takes over – 15 percent

Government violates constitution — 13 percent

Government abuses power/Tyranny — 12 percent

Government is violent against citizens/Safety at risk – 11 percent

Contemporary liberals often view this form of rhetoric as an endorsement of treason because they view our rights as an arbitrary and malleable cluster of edicts handed down by the government. What sneering contemporary critics fail to comprehend is that the founding generation believed that those who would undermine the universal and inalienable liberties of the people laid out in the Constitution were traitors.

Now, I don’t believe there was any justification for the rioting on January 6. But if the Post was interested in extracting even marginally useful information, it would have asked if people thought there was a justification for January 6 violence, rather than a separate question about the veracity of the 2020 election followed by a broad question on violent resistance. Though a specific question almost certainly wouldn’t have brought back the intended result.

It appears that West -By God- Virginia has a Second Amendment Protection Act law not unlike Missouri and a few other states.


AG offers guidance on handling gun law conflicts

CHARLESTON — A state law passed early in 2021 regarding federal gun laws now has related policy guidelines.

House Bill 2694 stipulates that state gun laws will trump federal gun laws and no West Virginia law enforcement agency on any level “shall participate in enforcement efforts focused on federal gun control measures when those laws conflict with state laws regarding firearms.”

“The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution,” Attorney General Morrisey said Thursday when announcing the guidelines. “Yet, there is a deep concern on the part of many Americans that the federal government will try to encroach on our Constitutional rights through presidential executive orders or through acts of Congress. The publication of this guidance will help our state’s law enforcement understand what they can and cannot do in this respect under West Virginia statute.”

Morrisey said enforcement of federal firearms laws is a federal responsibility, not the responsibility of West Virginia law enforcement agencies when federal gun laws are in conflict with state Code.

For example, he said, a West Virginia state or local law enforcement agency, department or officer “may not assist federal authorities in executing an arrest warrant just for violation of federal gun laws when the person to be arrested may lawfully possess such firearms, firearms accessories or ammunition under state law.”

The new law also provides that no member of state or local law enforcement may be required to act in a law enforcement capacity to enforce a federal statute, executive order, agency order, rule or regulation determined by the West Virginia Attorney General to infringe upon citizens’ Second Amendment rights, Morrisey said.

Law enforcement officers are also protected and cannot be terminated or decertified for refusing to enforce a “federal statute, executive order, agency order, rule or regulation determined by the West Virginia Attorney General to infringe upon citizens’ Second Amendment rights.”

“This guidance from the Attorney General on HB 2694 will help protect West Virginia from new federal gun control schemes, and ensure our law enforcement officers are immune from retaliation for defending the Second Amendment rights of all West Virginians,” Kevin Patrick, vice president of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, said in the announcement.

West Virginia Sheriffs Association Executive Director Rodney Miller said the move is fully supported.

“Law enforcement across West Virginia wholeheartedly supports the Second Amendment and lawful possession of firearms by our citizens and are happy to have joined the Legislature, the Attorney General and concerned gun groups in this effort to ensure that responsible firearm ownership is defended without question,” he said. “We, as citizens of this state, are concerned with overreach that could deny all of us the ability to lawfully possess firearms and utilize them as proud Mountaineers have always done responsibly.”

The policy guidance is posted on the Attorney General’s website (https://bit.ly/3zagUlE) and is being sent to state and local law enforcement agencies.

Quote O’ The Day:
Many in our ruling class see what’s happened in Hong Kong as a role model. They need to be made to regret their choice.


BLUF:
In the final days of 2021, the Ruling Class limped to the finish line, personified by its confused, irritable and frail figurehead—the president of the United States.

It is stuck between its lust for power and its imperative to strangle its political opposition on the one hand, and its desire to survive—with the American people rejecting its reign at the ballot box in 2021, and threatening an even greater rejection in 2022—on the other hand.

Let us resolve in this new year to make the Ruling Class’ worst fear a reality—to punish it for the suffering it has inflicted on our republic.

2021: The Year of the Ruling Class’s Crackdown on Dissent.

The year 2020 was the year of the lockdown, when the Ruling Class arbitrarily, capriciously and selectively suspended the natural rights bedrock upon which American life—indeed, life itself—relies.

The year 2021 closes as the year of the crackdown, when the Ruling Class weaponized its powers to crush dissenters from its Wokeist-Scientist orthodoxy in arguably the most far-reaching, brazen and lawless assault on Americans by the state and its private-sector adjuncts in our nation’s history.

This was the year that the campus became the country. Those engaging in speech that ran afoul of the Ruling Class’ party line were treated as physical dangers to the homeland, demanding the full force of the public and private sectors to deter, punish and subdue them.

Every free-thinking individual became a potential Donald Trump, liable to be ostracized, harassed and punished for daring to cross the regime in a society-wide Russiagate.

January 6, for which the scope of the Ruling Class’ own role is still unfolding, served as the bridge from Trump to his tens of millions of supporters that the conquering Ruling Class trod over, as foretold in its wake.

A national strategy for countering “domestic terrorism,” associated homeland security threat bulletins and official DOJ/FBI policy directives made crushing dissent an official state objective.

Civil society’s commanding heights worked hand in glove with the regime, for it is part and parcel of it. Censorship, algorithmic suppression, deplatforming, cancelation, social media mobs, sackings, subpoenas, show trials, surveillance—these became part of the daily drumbeat, desensitizing us to what we would usually recognize as both abnormal and un-American.

Periodic purges of social media accounts now look quaint. Today, everyday Americans may not only easily lose their ability to communicate in the digital public square, but also to bank, to work or to raise a family in peace should they engage in an ever-shifting list of thoughtcrimes—or even refuse to get a jab of an experimental drug.

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Another New York Gun Rights Showdown
A lawsuit challenges Albany’s law against out-of-state firearm manufacturers and sellers.

Can New York target out-of-state businesses that make or market guns with “public nuisance” lawsuits if those guns are used in a crime? We’re about to find out, as 14 gun makers and sellers have challenged the state law’s constitutionality in federal court.

Albany passed the law in July, but it is part of a decades-long effort to make it too expensive for these companies to stay in business. Twenty years ago, as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Andrew Cuomo characterized his anti-Second Amendment strategy as “death by a thousand cuts.” As New York Governor he signed the law before he resigned in disgrace amid multiple sexual harassment claims.

The New York law runs headlong into the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, which is meant to stop this kind of state mischief. The plaintiffs challenging the state law claim that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which prohibits states from interfering with the federal government’s constitutional powers.
They also cite a violation of the Commerce Clause because New York is regulating gun sales outside the state while leaving most New York gun businesses unaffected. The suit throws in a Fourteenth Amendment due process claim because it says the law is “impossibly vague.”

A Memo of Law filed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in support of the complaint adds that the statute “implicates the exercise” of “manufacturers’ and sellers’ First Amendment right to market firearms, and customers’ Second Amendment right to purchase them.” David Rivkin, a contributor to these pages on legal matters, says the New York law is akin to allowing people hit by a drunk who was driving a Mustang to sue Ford.

The Supreme Court has winked at this abuse by declining until recently this year to follow up its landmark Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010) decisions—which affirmed that the Second Amendment is an individual right enforceable against the states. The Court recently heard oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, about New York’s restriction on the right to carry a firearm outside the home.

The new challenge to Albany’s harassment of out-of-state businesses may offer the High Court another chance to reinforce the Second Amendment. Both laws deserve to be sent packing, constitutionally speaking.

The Times May Be A-Changin’

Over time, we’ve seen changes in focus by the hoplophobic elements of society. Originally, it was all about banning handguns or at least “Handgun Control Inc.” The “assault weapon”, that is, the AR ban of 1994-2004 followed, with no discernible effect on crime, homicide, etc. Movement mutation continued, with groups dropping wording advocating bans, moving to claims of fighting pure “violence” and promoting gun “safety”.

Now they want to address “root causes” of violence instead of just restricting legal gun ownership, though still advocating extending background checks while “not taking anyone’s guns”. Intervening within high-crime communities, and with those at high risk of committing and becoming victims of violence, is appropriate, though far more difficult than they may imagine.

Throughout, we’ve had no reason to believe that these anti-gun activists have had any real change of heart. Their “conversation” always comes around to the desirability of somehow limiting the rights of law-abiding American gun owners in some way, even if in “just” creating more hoops to jump through in order to purchase, keep or bear our arms.

However, there is a fundamental factor that will trump all their intentions, both open and disguised. That is us, the people (and voters) of democracies. As Andrew Breitbart famously said, “Politics follows culture” and culture is changing. Much of this is due to the past 2 years of violence approved and applauded by “progressive” politicians who thought this would garner minority votes. Their groupthink about ethnicity blinded them to the reality that people of all ethnicities, communities and societies want crime stopped lest it hit them.

People are simultaneously realizing that they can’t count on being protected and must plan to do that for themselves. Thus the huge rise in gun purchases by more diverse buyers than ever, including women, minorities (especially African-American women) and self-described liberals. It’s been speculated that this increase in valuing self-protection with firearms may transfer to an increase in valuing Second Amendment rights—and now, that’s no longer speculation.

The Trafalgar Group, a non-partisan polling operation, just released a poll in which over 84% of respondents believed that “strict gun laws” either make no difference in or worsen the current surge in retail thefts. Less than 16% believed such laws can make this better.

In November, Quinnipiac found that 48% of those surveyed opposed stricter gun laws versus 47% who support them—following a trend beginning in 2015, now over the tipping point to plurality opposition. Gallup’s polling in November correlates, with a new low of only 52% of Americans caring that “laws covering the sale of firearms” should be stricter (down from a high of 64% in 2019, falling through 57% in 2020).

Meanwhile, ABC/Ipsos found that 66% of Americans disapprove of how President Biden is addressing gun violence (which could imply wanting more or less strict laws). Republicans’ opposition to more gun laws has strengthened, Democrats’ preference for more strict gun laws is lessening, predictably. But the most important political demographic—independents—have shifted dramatically in favor of, shall we say, individual independence on this issue.

In the latest National Firearms Survey published in July 2021, nearly 1/3 of respondents acknowledged owning guns, more than half of those carry them and almost 1/of them reported having to use them defensively in one or more of the estimated nearly 1.7 million episodes of self-defense. In 82% of these DGUs, it wasn’t necessary to fire. Almost 80% of these incidents occurred in the defender’s home or on their property, with the rest mostly occurring in public or at work, still a very substantial number.

NSSF also found that 49% more Hispanic Americans (no, none use “Latinx”) purchased firearms in 2020 than in 2019. With 40% of all gun purchases during the past 2 years coming from new gun owners, it’s no surprise that Hispanics (as well as African-Americans) are increasingly voting more for individual rights than for government “protection”.  In Berkeley, California, of all places, the Latino Rifle Association has grown by hundreds of members since 2020. Its “leftists . . . socialists, progressives” members realize that “The police and the government aren’t taking care of me, so I have to do things on my own.”

Funny thing, that’s what conservatives have recognized for generations. And a much bigger organization, the National African-American Gun Association, has added tens of thousands of new members since 2016, accelerating (along with many local gun clubs oriented toward minorities) during the past 2 years.

Even our less demonstrative Anglophone cousins, Canadians and Kiwis, aren’t cooperating any more with government orders to turn in their newly banned guns than Americans have. Neither are turning in their formerly legal, acceptable firearms—only 160 of an estimated 100,000 affected firearms have been surrendered in Canada in a year and a half. In New Zealand, the 2019 ban of most repeating arms “has had no impact on a rise in gun crime and violence”, except for a steadily increasing rate of the offense of still possessing such firearms.

This is precisely the cultural change that precedes and triggers political change. Most Americans already knew that protecting individual rights is the uncompromisable basis of the success of American society and polity. Many others know that now and more are learning. While Donald Trump improved the Republican share of the Black and Hispanic votes (especially among men), this wasn’t about him or the party. It is about the importance of each person’s rights as an American.

Most expect that the Supreme Court will affirm the Second Amendment with a ruling in Bruen voiding New York City’s may- (= non-) issue handgun carry permitting, along with the 8 other states that persist in that tyranny. The “progressive” left will keep caterwauling if they don’t get their way. But should the decision go otherwise, their wailing would be nothing compared to the anger of the majority who are now convinced that individual rights are more important than political correctness. And that would assuredly lead to even greater political change in favor of ensuring those rights.

To paraphrase St. George Tucker, “the true palladium of liberty” isn’t just “the right of self-defence.” The right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense and opposing tyranny is necessary to a free people in a free state. But it is a means to the goal, along with representative democracy lustily embraced, which is “to keep our republic” (h/t B. Franklin). The ultimate mark of liberty is individual autonomy, where the rights of the individual are placed above government’s privileges, which are only bestowed by us individuals.

Nation of Cowards is now back in print

Nation of Cowards is a collection of amazingly well thought out essays. Jeff Snyder is clearly among the most knowledgeable, well-read scholars writing about guns today. He clearly shows gun control advocates for what they really are. Most importantly, he makes a passionate, intellectual argument on the ethical aspects of gun ownership. He argues convincingly that aside from being unconstitutional and elitist, gun control is also deeply unethical. This book belongs in the library of anyone who believes that people have a right to defend themselves.


A must read for those with an interest in not only the 2nd Amendment, but all of the rights we are possess. The author effectively opens your mind to strong thinking about the ideas associated with gun control.

BLUF:
The Chronicle of Higher Education today is out with an article bemoaning J.D. Vance for saying “professors are the enemy.”
I wonder where he could possibly have gotten such an outlandish idea?

THE LEFT VS. THE CONSTITUTION

One reason the left hates the American Constitution, and wishes to replace it, is that its embedded principles along with much of its explicit text is foursquare against the two main purposes of the left: class struggle and race struggle. Never mind the drive to abolish the electoral college, or the Senate, or admit new states to increase the odds of Democratic election victories. Just take in how the left wants to rewrite—which means abolish—the Bill of Rights.

The Boston Globe is currently running a feature series about how to “edit” the Constitution, which of course means replacing it in practice with an egalitarian Constitution that would place much more power to control people and resources in elites like the kind of people you find in the editorial suites of the Boston Globe. How convenient.

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GunSense Vermont takes the side of criminal entities

To the editor: This is in response to a letter to the editor from GunSense Vermont than ran in the Nov. 30 edition of the Montpelier-Barre Times Argus.

I have to wonder why “thoughtful people” and GunSense Vermont (GSVT) are appalled by the Rittenhouse verdict. Kyle Rittenhouse, who defended himself from a violent and life threatening attack, was charged, tried and acquitted by a jury of his peers. This is a clear example of self defense against known criminals.

Thoughtful people should wonder who GSVT is trying to protect — pedophiles, domestic abusers, or repeat offenders who illegally possess firearms? Rittenhouse’s attackers were all of the above, and GSVT takes the side of such criminal entities in their commentary.

Were the activities on that day a peaceful march like GSVT would have you believe? No, these law breakers were involved in a violent riot complete with looting and vandalism. The Rittenhouse verdict sends the right message, upholding the rule of law. Every citizen has the right to defend himself and herself.

Speaking of shooting defenseless victims, have you heard what Alec Baldwin has been up to recently? Where is your outrage, GSVT?

Randy Gray

N. Springfield, Vermont, Dec. 14

This is the kind of academic we should always be on guard to watch for.
This is a real, actual ‘enemy domestic’ of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
And, they infest the schools and universities, filling our children’s mind with this collectivist, authoritarian statist, mush.

Read – carefully- what she wants. Her revisions are what’s called ‘positive rights‘. What she wants the government to do, in effect granting rights from goobermint power.

Her definition of how the 1st and 2nd amendment were written are defined by her and her ilk as ‘negative rights‘. Rights already possessed by the people, that the goobermint is restricted from abridging or infringing.

Remember, when more than one politician down through history has said: ‘Any government that’s large enough to give you everything is powerful enough to take it all away.‘ One should believe them.


REDO THE FIRST TWO AMENDMENTS

BY MARY ANNE FRANKS
Speech and guns: two of the most contentious issues in America today, with controversies fueled not only by personal passions and identity politics but by competing interpretations of the Constitution. Perhaps more than any other parts of the Constitution, the First and Second Amendments inspire religious-like fervor in many Americans, with accordingly irrational results.

As legal texts go, neither of the two amendments is a model of clarity or precision. More important, both are deeply flawed in their respective conceptualizations of some of the most important rights of a democratic society: the freedom of expression and religion and the right of self-defense. These two amendments are highly susceptible to being read in isolation from the Constitution as a whole and from its commitments to equality and the collective good.

The First and Second Amendments tend to be interpreted in aggressively individualistic ways that ignore the reality of conflict among competing rights. This in turn allows the most powerful members of society to reap the benefits of these constitutional rights at the expense of vulnerable groups. Both amendments would be improved by explicitly situating individual rights within the framework of “domestic tranquility” and the “general welfare” set out in the Constitution’s Preamble.

Making such an edit to the First Amendment would provide stronger and fairer protections for the right of expression, including by acknowledging, as many state constitutions do, that every person remains responsible for abuses of that right. (Such a modification would, for example, help undo the damage caused by the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United and remove constitutional barriers to reasonable campaign-finance laws that promote democratic legitimacy.) In addition, the implicit principle of the separation of church and state should be made explicit:

Every person has the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances, consistent with the rights of others to the same and subject to responsibility for abuses. All conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.

Both the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion shall be respected by the government. The government may not single out any religion for interference or endorsement, nor may it force any person to accept or adhere to any religious belief or practice.

Both amendments would be improved by explicitly situating individual rights within the framework of “domestic tranquility” and the “general welfare” set out in the Constitution’s Preamble.

The Second Amendment’s idiosyncratic and anachronistic focus on militias and “arms” degrades the concept of self-defense. The right to safeguard one’s life should not be conflated with or reduced to the right to use a weapon, especially a weapon that is so much more likely to inflict injury and death than to avoid it. Far better would be an amendment that guarantees a meaningful right to bodily autonomy and obligates the government to implement reasonable measures to protect public health and safety:

All people have the right to bodily autonomy consistent with the right of other people to the same, including the right to defend themselves against unlawful force and the right of self-determination in reproductive matters. The government shall take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the public as a whole.

Mary Anne Franks is the Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the University of Miami School of Law and the author of “The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech.”

Maybe they’ll all go into ‘vapor-lock’ and spaz out.


The Left Goes Nuts as the Supreme Court Seems to Signal That Their Monopoly on Propagandizing Kids Is at an End

It has been a critical couple of weeks for the nation in the US Supreme Court. Last week, the Supreme Court heard the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationThat case involves a Mississippi law that is a direct, head-on challenge to the pro-abort Roe legal regime. In that argument, it appeared there were five solid and six probable votes to strike down both Roe and Casey (read Justice Thomas Tears Into Pro-Abortion Lawyers With Hard Opening Questions for more color commentary). This week, the Supreme Court turned back a challenge to Texas’s heartbeat law; see Supreme Court Humiliates Biden, Refuses to Stop Texas Heartbeat Law, and Gorsuch and the Wise Latina Have a Public Spat. All in all, it looks as though abortion may cease to be a federal issue.

Perhaps just as critical to the nation’s future was Carson v. MakinThat case addressed whether a state can subsidize private school tuition and expressly forbid religious schools to participate in the program. You can read my take at this post: Supreme Court Seems Ready to Nuke Maine’s Law Discriminating Against Religious Schools.

While there was general wailing about the bum’s rush given the noble and Holy status of abortion, some of the most hyperbolic rhetoric was directed at the Maine school-choice case. This is how the always entertaining Ian Milhiser of Vox.com sees school choice. Headline: The Supreme Court appears really eager to force taxpayers to fund religious education. Subhead: Carson v. Makin appears likely to end in another transformative victory for the religious right.

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Restitution for Unconstitutional Laws

There is an important case being considered by the United States Supreme Court. The case hinges on the fact that government officials in New York State can choose whether to give ordinary citizens a license to carry a concealed firearm in public. About one in a dozen of us carry in public now. That isn’t true in New York State where ordinary people are denied the right to carry personal firearms in public. Also consider the fact that New York has arrested people who tried to pass through the state with a firearm. Now the case in front of the US Supreme Court takes on a different character.

We’ve seen similar cases before. We saw people who were driving up the east coast of the United States. They drove through Washington D.C. where they were pulled over for an ordinary traffic stop. (Let’s say that your windows were tinted, and though that is legal in Florida, it is illegal in D.C.) You are shaken down for a traffic fine. You’re also carrying a firearm in the trunk of your car. You’re arrested for having an unregistered firearm in the District of Columbia.

At that time, Washington D.C. didn’t issue permits so ordinary people could carry and transport their firearms in public. You pay fines, pay court fees, and pay lawyer’s fees. You also have a criminal conviction on your record as you try to get on with your life.

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For your consideration…………..

Charles Cooke:
I’ll be teaching an online course: The History of the Second Amendment

Hullo, everyone. I’m just popping in to let you all know about an online course I’m teaching early next year called The History of the Second Amendment. It’s with a new startup called Chapter, which noticed that pretty much every course they were offering was either progressive or progressive-adjacent, decided that it didn’t want to become an echo chamber, and so asked me to teach one, too. I suggested the history of the right to keep and bear arms as a topic, they agreed, and here were are.

Chapter describes its system as “like a book club, but way more fun.” Each week, I’ll provide a reading list (which could be articles, reviews, videos, podcasts, or primary source documents), along with insights and tips on each one. There will be a community forum in which you can discuss each topic, as well as a rolling Q&A in which I will answer questions — both on their website and, if the topic warrants it, by video. Because people are busy, everything will be “asynchronous” — that is, you can take part whenever you’re free, rather than at times that are set by me. The course will last four weeks, it will cost $40 (actually: $35 for Ricochet members), and it will run the gamut.

— Week One will be on pre-Revolutionary America. We’ll explore how the right to keep and bear arms came over with the colonists from Britain, before making its way into the heart of American law.

Week Two will be on the Founding Era. We’ll ask why the Second Amendment was added to the federal constitution, what were the Founders’ intentions in including it, and what did militias have to do with a right “of the people”?

— Week Three will be on the post-Civil War period, during which the Second Amendment took on a new meaning — especially during the era of Jim Crow — and was changed by the 14th Amendment.

— Week Four will be on the Second Amendment as it exists today. We’ll cover contemporary American jurisprudence, the Heller decision, and the political rebirth of the right.

The course will start on January 24th, 2022. If it interests you, can sign up here: https://getchapter.app/@cooke/guns. And if it doesn’t? Well, I shall cry into my golf cart batteries. Chapter has agreed to knock $5 off the price for Ricochet members if you use the code RICOCHET when checking out, so if you do sign up, make sure you do that.

‘Surveys’ are brethren to ‘Polls’ i.e. hocus pocus to advance an agenda. Knowing who participated, informs you what the agenda is.
And the one thing missing in the whole deal about “policy effects” is a question about how all this interacts with the Constitutional restrictions that are slowly being acknowledged and put back into effect


Survey: Gun Policy Experts Find Some Common Ground Amid Broad Disagreement

Gun policy has become increasingly polarized over the past several years and it often seems like compromise is impossible, but new data suggests that may not be the case.

While wide gaps remain in attitudes toward gun policies, research indicates some areas of agreement among gun policy experts–often beyond the typical proposals that dominate the conversation around guns. That’s according to survey data published on Tuesday by the RAND Corporation. Researchers found that experts across the ideological spectrum were largely united on policy outcome objectives and even shared some common interest in specific policies such as prosecuting prohibited possessors who seek firearms and expanding mental health prohibitions.

“Our results strongly suggest that differing favorability ratings in the permissive and restrictive groups were explained largely, and indeed almost exclusively, by differences in estimates of what the true effects of the policies will be, not by differences in which policy outcomes predict the groups’ favorability ratings,” the study said. “Indeed, both groups’ most strongly preferred policy goals were to reduce firearm suicides and firearm homicides.”

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Next Step for the Parents’ Movement: Curriculum Transparency.
Parents have a right to know what’s being taught to their children.

In 2021, public school parents vaulted to the forefront of America’s fractured political landscape. Around the country, parents objected both to Covid-related school closures and to racially divisive curricula. Parental frustration helped secure sweeping GOP wins last month in Virginia, highlighted by Glenn Youngkin’s victory over former governor Terry McAuliffe. Youngkin has promised to rein in public-school radicalism and “ban critical race theory” on his first day in office.

Perhaps the central moment in the Virginia gubernatorial race was McAuliffe’s comment during a debate: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Like most Virginia voters, we couldn’t disagree more. Research shows that greater academic success follows when parents actively engage in their children’s education. To be sure, this doesn’t mean that we should decide the finer points of curricular design by plebiscite; nor does it mean that a minority of objecting parents should dictate school pedagogy. But public schools are institutions created by “We the People” and should be responsive to the input of parents and the broader voting public at the state and local level.

At a minimum, parents should be able to know what’s being taught to their children in the classroom. Transparency is a virtue for all of our public institutions, but especially for those with power over children. To that end, we have drafted a template—building on one of our earlier efforts at the Manhattan Institute and the work of Matt Beienburg at the Goldwater Institute—to inform state legislatures seeking to foster school transparency. The policy proposal is designed to provide public school parents with easy access—directly on school websites—to materials and activities used to train staff and teachers and to instruct children.

The last year and a half has demonstrated the need for transparency measures. As many public schools migrated to “virtual only” learning in response to the pandemic, parents received a first-hand look at the divisive, racialist curricula being taught to their children. They learned that public schools were forcing third-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, showing kindergarteners dramatizations of dead black children and warning them about “racist police,” and telling white teachers that they were guilty of “spirit murdering” minorities. These were not isolated incidents.

These revelations prompted parents to demand to know exactly what was being taught to their children. They felt that the public-school bureaucracies had been hiding controversial materials and exerting undue influence over their children, all in the service of fashionable left-wing ideologies.

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Justice Kavanaugh Just Boiled the Abortion Debate Down to Its Most Fundamental Core

Today’s oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court have been incredibly instructive, educational, and inspiring. As Salem radio (and Townhall colleague) host Hugh Hewitt said, “This entire argument is one of the most accessible, informed, civil discussions of abortion and the Constitution I’ve ever heard.”

Indeed.

The live-streamed audio allowed interested Americans to hear exactly how well-suited each of the nine justices are for the weightiest of all topics they will probably ever hear. It’s a fine departure from the made-for-television Senate confirmation hearings that end up shedding hardly any light on anything.

The contrived and partisan battles that transpire in the Judiciary Committee do little to inform us as to what type of justice the nominee to the bench might be and instead serve as grotesque works of performance art for the individual senators who are merely auditioning for their eventual presidential campaign.

Hearing the nine justices actually quizzing the attorneys charged with arguing the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization enlightened us profoundly on their intellect, empathy, and abilities to carry out the critical job they’ve been given for the rest of their lives.

In some cases, the level of banal and insulting queries mixed with political pontifications left quite a bit to be desired (looking at you, wise Latina). However, some of the justices rose to the occasion of the historic day this may very well turn out to be.

Toward the very end of the arguments, Justice Brett Kavanaugh succinctly articulated exactly what today’s discussion is really all about:

That’s it. That’s the ballgame.

When deciding between the interests of a pregnant woman and the interests of an unborn child, “You can’t accommodate both interests. You have to pick.”

Kavanaugh then went on to point out how the courts should figure out how to make that choice. “What does the Constitution say about that?”

Period. Literally end of discussion. The rest is all noise. 

On the one hand, a woman has a right to body autonomy and the right to make medical decisions without government interference. On the other, if exercising that right results in the violent death of another life, whose rights then prevail?

In 1973, Roe v. Wade weighed the same question and came down on the side of the woman’s rights over the unborn baby’s rights, but to get there, they had to force themselves to believe unscientific mythology about that unborn life.

The baby in question was consistently referred to as “a meaningless clump of cells” or a “zygote” or even a “parasite.” When the unborn human baby is dehumanized to such an extent, it eases the way for its tidy removal.

Tens of millions of extinguished “fetuses” later, and the dismal results of the evil arguments made in Roe look like a genocide now that science has caught up to the moral and ethical truths behind this ghastly procedure.

With increased scientific discoveries surrounding ultrasound technology (why do you think abortion enthusiasts are so resistant to pre-abortion sonogram requirements?), it’s clear now that the target of the Democratic Party’s beloved abortion procedure is a human life.
The Ultrasound, DNA discoveries that show clear individual life characteristics between the baby and her mother and miraculous medical advancements that save the lives of premature babies as young as 21 weeks of gestation make it clear that to be pro-abortion, you must be anti-science.

The “a woman should be able to do whatever she wants to her body” argument can no longer hold water since it is so very clear that it isn’t just her body affected by her “choice.”

There’s no way to know how the Court will decide, and we will probably have to wait six excruciating months to learn of the decision. What we do know is this all boils down to the fundamental conundrum Kavanaugh articulated:

You have to pick one interest over the other; they can’t both prevail. So… what does the Constitution say?

If they truly rule based on that simple question, they must come down on the side of life.

Say a prayer. Say a few.