From withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord to his administration's Environmental Protection Agency…
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Image of the Day: Trump Destroying the Planet, Cont'd

From withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord to his administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Trump is obviously destroying the planet:

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July 18, 2018 • 02:19 pm

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Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill: 2nd Amendment Rights Don't End at State Lines Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, December 07 2017
[A]n American citizen shouldn't surrender one's right to keep and bear arms simply for exercising his or her fundamental right to travel throughout the country.

In drafting the Constitution, our Founding Fathers faced a difficult dilemma. 

On one hand, the fledgling nation was composed of geographically and demographically disparate states. 

Protecting that diversity and individual state authority at the expense of the centralized national government in the Articles of Confederation, however, had quickly inflamed interstate animosities and stoked economic warfare.  In their hypervigilance against an overbearing national government, the Founding Fathers had effectively neutered it and rendered the new nation's government unsustainable. 

On the other hand, creating a replacement constitution couldn't whiplash too forcefully in the opposite direction.  Imposing a one-size-fits-all, uniform national government would not only be unacceptable to citizens of diverse states, but would have ultimately robbed America of its "laboratories of democracy" ethic. 

Accordingly, the Founders established a national government more potent than under the Articles of Confederation, but still one of limited, enumerated powers.  Additionally, the Bill of Rights included the Tenth Amendment, which reads, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." 

Although imperfect, the Constitution's balance of powers between federal and state governments has proven the most successful governing concept in human history. 

Where error has occurred in that federal/state balance, particularly in recent decades, it's typically the result of the federal government commandeering powers more properly left to the individual states.  The Interstate Commerce Clause, which grants the federal government power over commerce traversing state lines, has proven a particularly dangerous source of federal overreach. 

That doesn't mean, however, that there aren't instances in which a uniform, nationwide policy is preferable. 

This week offered a perfect example, when the House of Representatives approved legislation guaranteeing reciprocity rights between states for holders of concealed carry permits. 

Under the legislation, entitled the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, American citizens who possess concealed carry permits in their home state can't be denied the same rights in other states to which they travel.  That ensures that law-abiding Americans won't be suddenly rendered unable to protect themselves and their families simply by traveling from one state to another.  It also protects against anti-Second Amendment jurisdictions harassing travelers who simply exercise their right to keep and bear arms. 

Here's how the Congressional website summarizes the legislation: 

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into, or possess a concealed handgun in, another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. 

A qualified individual must:  (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law;  (2) carry a valid photo identification document;  and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence. 

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state:  (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public. 

Anticipating histrionic criticisms from the anti-Second Amendment activists and media, it's important to emphasize what the legislation does not do. 

The Act does not in any way allow those prohibited from carrying firearms due to criminal conviction or other ineligibility to suddenly acquire the ability to arm themselves.  Nor does it impose any sort of national concealed carry legal standard upon individual states.  Nor does the law invalidate individual state laws governing time, place or manner limitations upon concealed carry.  And reassuring Second Amendment defenders, the bill doesn't create any sort of licensing or registration opening. 

Americans don't expect to surrender their First Amendment rights of free speech or freedom of religion, or their Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, simply by crossing a state line.  Similarly, an American citizen shouldn't surrender one's right to keep and bear arms simply for exercising his or her fundamental right to travel throughout the country. 

The Second Amendment guarantees a natural, fundamental, inalienable right that should not be subject to the whims of particular state governments.  In addition to the text of the Second Amendment itself, the 2008 Heller v. D.C. Supreme Court decision finally affirmed the individual right to keep and bear arms.  Two years later, McDonald v. Chicago affirmed that the right applies against state and local governments, not just the federal government.  These are now settled questions. 

The House is therefore to be commended for passing concealed carry reciprocity legislation to further safeguard that right.  It's now incumbent upon the Senate to pass companion legislation, and for the White House to sign it into law. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following was deforested during the Civil War to make it virtually impassable by the Confederate army?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"Sen. Joe Manchin has a potentially worrisome re-election race this fall, but a new West Virginia poll shows one surefire way to increase his favorable odds: a vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.A Trafalgar Group survey out Thursday puts Manchin at a whopping 29-point advantage over his Republican competitor, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey -- if he chooses to vote for Kavanaugh. Conversely…[more]
 
 
—Sally Persons, RealClearPolitics
— Sally Persons, RealClearPolitics
 
Liberty Poll   

President Trump has stated and is acting on foreign policy positions regarding four specific countries considered to be U.S. adversaries. With which country do you believe his approach will ultimately prove most successful?