Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’
July 15th, 2016 at 11:28 am
Fact of the Day: By 76% to 19%, Police Chiefs Say Armed Citizens Help Reduce Violence
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In this week’s Liberty Update, we note the high degree of confidence and respect that Americans hold toward the nation’s police officers.  That respect is returned by the nation’s police chiefs, according to a new survey.  By a 76% to 19% supermajority, surveyed chiefs say that “qualified, law-abiding armed citizens can help law enforcement reduce violent activity.”  Similarly, by an 88% to 9% margin they agree that any vetted citizen should be able to buy firearms for self-defense or sport, and an 86% to 11% majority supports nationwide recognition of state-issued conceal weapon permits.

July 7th, 2016 at 2:36 pm
Second Amendment Sit-Ins and Net Neutrality
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President for Legal and Public Affairs, discusses the recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit decision upholding the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, what those regulations could ultimately mean for consumers, and the Capitol Hill sit-ins and untruths offered by 2nd Amendment rights opponents.

Listen to the interview here.

June 28th, 2016 at 12:51 pm
Fact of the Day: Mass Shootings More Common in Europe Than the U.S.
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

The lazy assumption that America suffers a uniquely high mass shooting rate is the foundation upon which 2nd Amendment restrictionists must rely.

After all, if allegedly more “enlightened” nations like France or Norway that effectively prohibit so-called “assault weapons” (a meaningless slur, but that’s another subject entirely) suffer a mass shooting rate as high or higher than the U.S., then their rationale for restricting law-abiding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms collapses.

Unfortunately for them, as illustrated by crimeresearch.org, that’s precisely what the real-world facts show.  France, Norway  and other European nations actually suffer higher mass shooting rates than the U.S.  In fact, out of 18 European and North American nations measured, the U.S. mass shooting rate is all the way down at number 12:

Comparing Mass Shooting Rates

Comparing Mass Shooting Rates

It’s another inconvenient truth for those who wish to pointlessly restrict the self-defense rights of law-abiding Americans.

June 20th, 2016 at 11:22 am
We Should Also Make the Affirmative Case for 2nd Amendment Rights
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our latest Liberty Update piece “Inconvenient Truths Undermine Gun-Controllers’ Myths,” we systematically dismantle the untruths offered by 2nd Amendment rights opponents, including their exaggerated claims regarding U.S. murder and mass shooting rates.

In addition to rightfully exposing the misconceptions and outright lies perpetuated by those seeking to deprive law-abiding Americans of their rights, however, it helps to highlight the affirmative benefits of Second Amendment rights, i.e., the value of what we’re protecting.

In that regard, National Review’s David French offers a brilliant piece entitled “Dear Anti-Gun Liberals, Don’t Tell Me Which Gun I ‘Need’ for Self-Defense.” French first explains why a law-abiding American would prefer something like an AR-15 for self-defense:

Any person who breaks into my house or who threatens my family on my property will very soon find themselves staring at the business end of an AR-15…  It’s light, maneuverable, accurate, and highly reliable.  While self-defense experts can and do disagree on the optimal weapon for home defense, large numbers choose AR-style rifles for exactly the reasons I do.  It provides more firepower – with greater accuracy – than the alternatives.

But now I’m told – largely by people who don’t know the first thing about firearms – that no American ‘needs’ an AR-style rifle.  But when your life is on the line, what do you want?  More accuracy or less?  More firepower or less?  More recoil or less?  More reliability or less?  It’s always interesting to take a relatively inexperienced shooter to a range, let them shoot a handgun (where bullets generally scatter all over the target), and then hand them an AR.  Even rookies will shoot far more accurately with far less recoil.  It’s just easier to use.”

Importantly, French then contrasts why an AR-style rifle is not an optimal weapon of choice for a burglar or violent criminal:

But not – in general – for criminals.  For the average criminal, concealment is the key.  So they use handguns.  Moreover, the average criminal isn’t spending $1,000 (or sometimes more) on their weapon.  Rarely (very rarely), extraordinary criminals will use AR-type rifles, but most mass shootings are committed with handguns.”

“Which weapon do I ‘need’ for self-defense?,” French asks in conclusion.  ”Why don’t you let me make that choice.”

As we concluded in our Liberty Update piece, anyone seeking to restrict others’ Constitutional rights bears the burden of proof to justify their desire.  In this debate, as illustrated by French, they don’t come anywhere close to satisfying that burden.

March 16th, 2016 at 11:38 am
Merrick Garland and the Second Amendment

President Obama officially nominated DC Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  The president dedicated a considerable amount of time during his announcement speech to make the case that Judge Garland is a “consensus” nominee.

But who is Judge Garland and how does he view the U.S. Constitution?

While much will be written and analyzed about Judge Garland and his judicial record in the coming days and weeks, Carrie Severino, a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Counsel and Policy Director at the Judicial Crisis Network, provides some insight to help answer that question.  In a piece for National Review’s Bench Memos titled “The ‘Moderates’ Are Not So Moderate: Merrick Garland,” Severino wrote last week:

Garland has a long record, and, among other things, it leads to the conclusion that he would vote to reverse one of Justice Scalia’s most important opinions, D.C. vs. Heller, which affirmed that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Back in 2007, Judge Garland voted to undo a D.C. Circuit court decision striking down one of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The liberal District of Columbia government had passed a ban on individual handgun possession, which even prohibited guns kept in one’s own house for self-defense. A three-judge panel struck down the ban, but Judge Garland wanted to reconsider that ruling. He voted with Judge David Tatel, one of the most liberal judges on that court. As Dave Kopel observed at the time, the “[t]he Tatel and Garland votes were no surprise, since they had earlier signaled their strong hostility to gun owner rights” in a previous case. Had Garland and Tatel won that vote, there’s a good chance that the Supreme Court wouldn’t have had a chance to protect the individual right to bear arms for several more years.

Consensus nominee?  You decide.

January 15th, 2016 at 9:19 am
Obama’s Executive Action on Gun Control
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Cam Edwards, host of NRA News’ Cam & Co., discusses President Obama’s proposed executive action on gun control, how the president’s stated belief in the Second Amendment is inconsistent with his executive action, and why the executive actions will do nothing to stop violent crime.

Listen to the interview here.

January 6th, 2016 at 10:52 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama’s Executive Action on Guns
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

Shooting At the Constitution

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 14th, 2015 at 9:48 am
Good News: By Over 3-to-1, Americans Blame Terrorism for San Bernardino Attack, Not Guns
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Barack Obama, the mainstream media and the political left immediately sought to scapegoat firearms and exploit last week’s San Bernadino attacks on behalf of their endless campaign to limit Second Amendment rights.  In an encouraging bit of news, however, a new Rasmussen survey shows that by more than a 3-to-1 margin, the overwhelming majority of Americans aren’t buying it:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 69% of likely U.S. voters believe that the shooting incident in California last week is primarily a terrorism issue.  Just 20% think the massacre is primarily a gun issue, while seven percent (7%) think it’s about something else.”

That confirms William F. Buckley’s adage of the wisdom of the governed more than those who seek to lord over them, it also demonstrates that we remain steadfast in our support of the timeless individual right to keep and bear arms.

October 2nd, 2015 at 9:39 am
Is the U.S. a Particularly Violent Nation? No. Five Must-Read Graphs Rebut 2nd Amendment Restrictionists
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Is the U.S. a particularly violent nation, one that stands as an outlier in terms of murder rates or gun violence?  No.  Unfortunately, Second Amendment restrictionists like Barack Obama hastily trot out that tired claim whenever they attempt to politicize the latest highly-publicized crime to advance their agenda.

The actual numbers tell a far different story.

The U.S. is by far the world’s leader in terms of firearms per capita, but its murder and violent crime rates aren’t particular outliers.  Fortunately, the Crime Prevention Research Center provides a helpful set of five data graphs illustrating these facts in vivid terms that even the most hardened Second Amendment opponents can understand (even if they won’t admit it).  It provides an invaluable and instant rebuttal to their attempts to spread misinformation and cliches, so please share it far and wide.

Leftists constantly claim fealty to “science,” except on issues like Second Amendment rights and U.S. crime rates when the data completely undermines their agenda.  Fortunately, groups like the CPRC help set the record straight.

January 7th, 2015 at 11:58 am
Gun Control Lobby Takes Aim at the States

After misfiring in Congress, the gun control lobby is taking aim at states that allow voter-initiated ballot measures to enact tougher restrictions.

In the process, those in charge are also changing their name to the “gun safety” movement.

The policy preferences, however, remain the same.

“After a victory in November on a Washington State ballot measure that will require broader background checks on gun buyers, groups that promote gun regulations have turned away from Washington and the political races that have been largely futile,” reports the New York Times. “Instead, they are turning their attention – and their growing wallets – to other states that allow ballot measures.”

States in the crosshairs include Nevada, Arizona, Maine and Oregon. Others are sure to follow.

Conservatives should be cautiously optimistic about this move. While the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that the Second Amendment’s guarantee of a citizen’s right to “keep and bear arms” applies to the states (McDonald v. Chicago), the extent of that right is up to states and localities to decide. This is federalism. Local communities are in the best position to determine which regulations best serve the interests of residents.

But federalism as the Founders understood it assumes deliberation in the republican sense – i.e. policy choices are made by the people’s elected representatives, not by direct democracy via a statewide ballot initiative. The point of sifting public opinion through elected representation is to strip away passions and get down to first principles. Busy citizens don’t have the time or the staff carefully to review proposals that set the standards for civic life. Better to resource an elected representative with time and personnel, and then hold him accountable for the votes he casts.

Herein lies the reason to be cautious. Being thoughtful about big policy changes isn’t usually achieved in the context of a media-heavy campaign blitz dominated by 30-second ads. But this limitation is no reason for constitutional conservatives to sit on the sidelines. Removing social policy issues like gun control to the state level reduces the expense of advocacy while at the same time making the appeals more personal. If this trend continues, conservatives will need to build on their successes in other issue domains to defend traditional American values in the arenas that are available.

Though it would be better to locate policy debates within the institutions that are best equipped to handle them, if liberals want to make a direct appeal to the public, conservatives will be ready and waiting to respond.

December 11th, 2014 at 10:53 am
Pew: More Now Support Gun Rights than Gun Control
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Here’s some good news from Pew Research to interrupt the current sense that the world in which we live is collapsing into a smoldering heap:

For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control.  Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.  Support for gun rights has edged up from earlier this year, and marks a substantial shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings, which occurred two years ago this Sunday.”

Additionally, a healthy majority believes that firearms protect law-abiding citizens more than they create a safety risk:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-7 among 1,507 adults, also finds a shift in attitudes about whether gun ownership in this country does more to protect people or put people’s safety at risk.  Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) say gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, while 38% say it does more to endanger personal safety.  In the days after Newtown, 48% said guns do more to protect people and 37% said they placed people at risk.”

Just more confirmation that the American public demonstrates greater wisdom than our self-appointed shamans in the mainstream media and political classes.

February 13th, 2014 at 4:55 pm
A Second Amendment Victory in California
Posted by Troy Senik Print

And it comes from the most unlikely of places, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Just over the AP wires from San Francisco:

A divided federal appeals court on Thursday struck down California’s concealed weapons rules, saying they violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

By a 2-1 vote, the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said California was wrong to require applicants to show good cause to receive a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

“The right to bear arms includes the right to carry an operable firearm outside the home for the lawful purpose of self-defense,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote for the majority.

Judge Sidney Thomas dissented, writing that the good cause requirement limited the number of people carrying concealed handguns in public to those legitimately in need.

This represents a massive shift in California, long home to some of the nation’s most restrictive gun control laws.

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with those from three other federal appellate courts, which means this issue could eventually make its way to the Supreme Court . For today, anyway, Second Amendment rights are stronger in the Golden State than they have been at any time in recent memory.

May 14th, 2013 at 10:13 am
VINDICATED: IRS Illustrates Danger of Sweeping Background Check Legislation
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Benghazi…  The IRS…  The DOJ snooping on the AP…

Boy, those Second Amendment advocates and skeptics of sweeping federal background check legislation are a real bunch of paranoid nuts, eh?

Let’s see.  The federal government gathering sensitive medical and personal data, maintaining it in some vast and surely non-secure database and able to modify the definition of who is and is not allowed to purchase a firearm pursuant to the Second Amendment’s individual right to keep and bear arms.  What could ~possibly~ go wrong here?  This is one of the heretofore underemphasized aspects of the onslaught of breaking Obama Administration scandals, but a valuable one going forward in the Second Amendment debate.

April 1st, 2013 at 4:07 pm
Podcast: Why Stricter Firearms Laws Miss the Mark
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Luca Gattoni-Celli, reporter at The American Spectator, discusses how the White House’s gun control agenda misses the mark.

Listen to the interview here.

March 16th, 2013 at 10:15 am
Feinstein to Cruz on Guns: “I’m Not a Sixth Grader”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) did the Constitution and the nation it protects a service earlier this week by asking Dianne Feinstein, California’s senior liberal Democratic senator and gun control advocate, two simple questions:

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX) The question that I would pose to the senior Senator from California is would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Feinstein’s responses were (1) “I’m not a sixth grader,” and (2) “You know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve passed on a number of bills. I’ve studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated, and I thank you for your lecture.”

Note that Feinstein completely fails to articulate either a general principle of constitutional lawmaking, or a reason why regulations pertaining to the Second Amendment could be unique.

This, in a nutshell, is the core problem with modern liberalism. Although liberals pay lip service to the Constitution, they cannot defend their policy positions from the text, structure or purpose of the very document that gives them the power to govern.

A sixth grader knows that kind of logical breakdown creates a serious problem of credibility. A U.S. Senator serving for more than 20 years, not so much.

Click here for the video and transcript of the exchange.

H/T: RealClearPolitics

March 5th, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Grassroots Using Model Legislation to Reduce Government

The libertarian-leaning Tenth Amendment Center is doing a double service for people interested in how to fight federal government overreach at the state level.

(Note: Before explaining further, I want to say that I do not endorse all of the views at TAC. The point here is to highlight how one group within the larger conservative movement is finding a way to work within the system to enact constructive alternatives.)

The first service is providing an easy-to-access list of model legislation to use at the state level.  Any limited government activist with an internet connection and a printer can get readymade bill language that a sitting state representative or senator can introduce.  The topics range from preserving Second Amendment gun rights to refusing to cooperate with ObamaCare, with issues like the Constitutional Tender Act in between.

After a piece of model legislation is introduced, TAC then delivers its second service: Tracking the progress of its bills across the fifty states.  For example, since January 2013, nine states have introduced at least one element of TAC’s ObamaCare refusal law.  So far, twenty-three states have introduced TAC bills protecting gun rights, and another three have passed the measure out of at least one legislative chamber.

Some of the model legislation comes from experts in the field like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), while others look to be homegrown with TAC.  Whatever their provenance, limited government conservatives should get energized by the fact that concerned citizens are finding ways to stem the tide of federal overreach – even if you’d never hear about it from the mainstream media.

January 16th, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Erickson: Real Purpose of the Second Amendment

Now that President Barack Obama has announced the most sweeping gun control measures in generations, RedState’s Erick Erickson reminds us of what the Second Amendment is really about:

In all the talk that has happened and will happen, the press and the general public seem willing to ignore the actual purpose of the second amendment.

The amendment is not about sports. It is not about recreation. It is not about hunting. It is only partly about defending yourself from a criminal.

The second amendment is about ensuring a “free state.”

The 2nd Amendment, contrary to much of today’s conversation, has just as much to do with the people protecting themselves from tyranny as it does burglars. That is why there is so little common ground about assault rifles — even charitably ignoring the fact that there really is no such thing. If the 2nd Amendment is to protect the citizenry from even their own government, then the citizenry should be able to be armed.

There are plenty of arguments and bodies to suggest that we might, as a nation, need to rethink this. The Founders gave us that option. We can amend the Constitution.

In doing so, we should keep in mind that in the past 100 years Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, China, and other governments have turned on their people at various times and, in doing so, restricted freedoms starting often with gun ownership. You may think a 30 round magazine is too big. Under the real purpose of the second amendment, a 30 round magazine might be too small.

Erickson is right.  If it’s true that times have changed, and the Founders’ method of ensuring a free state is no longer dependent on individual access to weapons that would repel tyranny, then there is a mechanism to do that.  It’s not unilaterally mandating twenty-three executive actions.  It’s amending the U.S. Constitution.

January 16th, 2013 at 8:31 am
Coincidence? Obama Introduces New Gun Agenda on Anniversary of Prohibition
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

On this date in 1919, Prohibition became the law of the land via the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution.  We all know how wise and effective that proved.

Today, Barack Obama unveils his new gun control agenda to the nation, using an audience of children as props.  Even had they realized the coincidence, we suspect that the White House wouldn’t recognize the irony.

September 4th, 2012 at 7:24 pm
With ATT Dead, UN Starts New Round of Gun Control Negotiations

Even though the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty negotiations broke down in July, gun control advocates are already promoting a new vehicle to infringe on civilian ownership of firearms.

The new document being discussed at U.N. headquarters is called a “Programme of Action to Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (or PoA for short).

As Ted Bromund of the Heritage Foundation reports, so far the PoA isn’t doing much better than the ATT:

The normal approach is to try to walk before you run. At the U.N., though, the response to the PoA’s inability to walk is to recommend running. IANSA wants the PoA to expand to cover ammunition. Parker wants a PoA that would provide a broader framework for the ATT. And McLay believes it should consider further “normative development”—i.e., in future years it should discuss “the issues of civilian possession.” Indeed, on Tuesday at the review conference, IANSA acknowledged that the PoA has served as the basis for “gun control” in many nations and encouraged others to follow along.

IANSA stands for The International Action Network on Small Arms, and as Bromund notes, it is “the leading small-arms-control NGO…”

For some reason, the United States is still involved in negotiations with groups like IANSA.

It’s not often that regulators are so transparent about their ultimate goals.  With the IANSA on record as using the PoA as a basis for gun control, it’s past time for conservatives in Congress to demand that the U.S. pull out of negotiations immediately.  Safeguarding the Second Amendment requires nothing less.

July 27th, 2012 at 1:15 pm
UN Gun Treaty Treats Dictatorships and Democracies Equally

Last week my column discussed the disastrous legal consequences likely to emerge from the ongoing negotiations to create the Arms Transfer Treaty at the United Nations.

Fox News reports that with the conference coming to a close, a draft text has been released that has everyone not working for a dictatorial regime hopping mad:

While critics say U.S. gun owners and interests would be left exposed by the draft, it has drawn criticism on other fronts. Activists on the political left say it is a gift to illicit gunrunners around the world, and the only group that seems to like it is the rogue states leading talks, say critics.

“The talks … are now being dominated by skeptical governments including Iran, Syria and Cuba, intent on having a weak treaty, or no treaty at all,” Control Arms, a global movement that says illicit gunrunning is fueling conflict, poverty and serious human rights violations worldwide, said in a statement. Other activists named North Korea, Egypt and Algeria as additional spoilers of the UN’s stated aims for the treaty: to keep conventional weapons out of the hands of rogue regimes, terrorists and criminals.

Heritage expert Ted Bromund says it’s no surprise why the draft text of the ATT treaty is benefiting bad actors while stymieing liberals’ good intentions:

Any conceivable ATT, simply because it is being negotiated through the U.N., will be based on recognizing that all members of the U.N. are equal and sovereign states and thus have equal rights. The inevitable result of this, in the context of the ATT, will be a treaty stating that Iran and Venezuela have the same rights to buy, sell, and transfer weapons as do the U.S. and Japan. The U.N. already contains far too many dictatorships; negotiating a treaty that enshrines their equality of status in the realm of arms transfers is inherently a bad and dangerous idea.

As I noted in my column, the push for the ATT at the UN arose because gun control groups could not get legislation they favored passed in the United States Congress.  But instead of getting the hint that the political marketplace was unreceptive to their ideas, gun controllers threw in their lot with a body that treats every government the same, even those willing to turn a gun control treaty into a mechanism that oppresses citizens at home and abroad.

It will be a form of perverse justice that when the ATT becomes an international law protecting Iran and Venezuela’s ability to kill their own people and arm other dictatorships like Syria that the constituency most responsible for enshrining those rights will be gun control groups.