SCOTUS vs. The Second Amendment, Part 2 (And Then There Were Two)

With a number of high profile Second Amendment cases either headed towards the United States Supreme Court, or already being heard, this is a critical time for the future of our constitutionally protected rights. At the same time, we have a Court under extreme pressure to make the ‘correct’ rulings as defined by the extremist left. These politicians have made it abundantly clear that if the Court does not see things their way, it will be restructured and packed with justices who will. 

Given the reprehensible conduct by some of our elected officials, this is the most dangerous time in history for significant Second Amendment protected rights cases to be brought before the Supreme Court. 

The independence of the Supreme Court, one of the three branches of our government, is one of the cornerstones of our nation. Each branch has its own powers and responsibilities to ensure the government is effective and citizen’s rights are protected. The Judiciary, specifically the Supreme Court, has a role which includes the final check and balance of the constitutionality in our country. 

Most of us understand this fundamental design of our government and believe in a strong and independent judiciary. Others see it as a hinderance to their plans for more government power and control, power and control stripped away from the people. 

For a government official, if your legislation is a little iffy on the constitutionality side, how do you get it to survive a court challenge? Easy, you influence the courts. While simply campaigning on an issue and creating popular support for your questionably constitutional law might help, an independent judge is going to ignore public pressure and decide the case based on the Constitution and the law, as would be expected in a Republic. Therefore, the influence you need to get favorable court rulings is to seat judges who agree with your politics and will interpret the law from your political point of view.  

Of course, the whole idea of liberal and conservative justices on the Supreme Court – or any court for that matter – is an abomination in the first place. There should be no political skew in either direction. There should be no other consideration at play other than the Constitution and the law. By the time any case reaches the highest court in the land, politics and the justices’ personal views should be long gone and only the law should enter into their decisions. Sadly, this is no longer the case and ‘legal’ decisions that should be unanimous are now split along political lines.

Look at how contentious the last few Supreme Court appointments were. Remember how desperately certain Senators fought to keep originalist jurists off the bench. Remember how outraged the left was at the possibility of replacing a left leaning justice with a right leaning one. A Supreme Court with a single vote, 5-4 conservative advantage could derail an entire political agenda due to constitutional challenges. It was a “threat to democracy” itself.  A new strategy had to be put in place. 

Remember the Senate Democrats “Heal Thyself” letter threatening to pack the Supreme Court if it didn’t moot the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. This letter is widely credited with not only Chief Justice Roberts decision to moot the case but to more firmly side with the left wing of the Court. The Court was saved from being packed, at least temporarily. 

Restructuring the Court and packing it with liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” is a bold and aggressive plan. It would permanently cement the Court to a left-leaning rubber stamp for generations to come, or at least until the next Congress repacked it. This scheme would face massive opposition from both parties and the public who recognize it for what it really is, a partisan power play. But removing an unpopular Associate Justice, one who has been vilified in the press, to be replaced by a liberal appointed one, that might fly. 

You now understand the never-ending defamation campaign against Justice Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh, who faced one of the most disgraceful confirmation hearings in the history of the Senate, has continued to be harassed and threatened while on the bench. Far left Democrats, including the current Vice President, have called for congressional hearings and his impeachment. Social media is awash with slanders calling him the “rapist on the Supreme Court”. (See: A Shot Across The Bow of the USS SCOTUS  https://oddstuffing.com/archives/792)

Yet that alone wouldn’t be enough. They needed to apply pressure to another conservative Justice. This latest round of intimidation comes following Justice Thomas’s dissent on the Supreme Court’s denial of the GOP challenge to the Pennsylvania state court’s decision to extend mail-in ballot deadline for November’s presidential election. 

Critics claimed Justice Thomas’s dissent was a tacit endorsement of the takeover of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th and convinced Amazon to remove a documentary film about Thomas, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” from their streaming service – during Black History Month.  

To make their point even more clear, left-wing congressional politicians and agitators called for an investigation of Justice Thomas’ wife for her support of the January 6th D.C. rally and questioned why Justice Thomas was allowed to be on the Court at all. 

The message from Congressional Democrats is crystal clear. Incorrect rulings will be severely punished, either by removing the involved justice(s) from the Court or by a complete restructuring and packing of the Court by liberal appointed jurists. Correct rulings on the other hand, will result in the Court being allowed to continue with its current structure, albeit under the thumb of Congress. 

A Supreme Court operating under outright threats and intimidation of the Executive and Legislative branches is far from independent. If the independent Judicial branch allows its decisions to be muted by political influence, it will be no different than a restructured and packed Court. We will, in effect, have two branches of government, the Executive and Legislative, with the Judicial acting only as a servant to the Legislative du jour. 

The cases mentioned in Part 1 have the potential to affirm or deny the constitutionally protected rights of millions of Americans. Simply rejecting these cases in favor of addressing an issue later at a less politically dangerous time risks the very lives of those who would be on one side of a political border vs. the other. Ignoring the Bill of Rights is not an option. 

The American public is waiting, but will the Supreme Court step up? 

Bob

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SCOTUS vs. The Second Amendment, Part 1 (Potential Cases)

A number of high profile Second Amendment cases are working their way towards the United States Supreme Court right now, plus one 2A related case already under consideration. The outcomes of these cases are likely to be as impactful to our Second Amendment protected rights as Heller, if not more. While you would think this would be an ideal time for them to be heard, our Supreme Court is being threatened with virtual extinction if they rule against what the left extremists demand. 

The following is a quick overview of three of these cases and why I believe this is the most dangerous time for these cases to be coming before the Supreme Court. The results may not only determine the future of the Second and Fourth Amendments but also if the government is effectively reduced from three branches to two. 

1. Young v. State of Hawaii

This case was recently decided by an en banc panel of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The case is a challenge to Hawaii’s highly restrictive open carry policy which requires the applicant to show “the urgency or the need” to carry unconcealed firearms, that they have “good moral character,” and that they be “engaged in the protection of life and property.” As a result, only private detectives and security guards are ever eligible. The equally restrictive conceal carry policy, which was not part of this case, effectively results in a complete prohibition of carrying a firearm in public for personal protection. 

Incredibly, the 9th Circuit ruled against Young, stating that Second Amendment protected rights end at your doorstep and DO NOT extend into public. Rather than relying on a plain text reading of the Second Amendment and history of Fourteenth Amendment, they cherry picked history from 17th century English law and 19th century Hawaiian regulations to determine people have the right to “keep” arms within the own homes, but NOT TO “bear” arms anywhere outside. This is the first Circuit Court to ever make such a dramatically anti-Second Amendment ruling. 

To say this is a bad ruling is putting it mildly. Even in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held the Second Amendment protects the right to keep a firearm in the home for self-defense, noted the validity of “longstanding prohibitions” such as carrying a firearm in sensitive places like schools and government buildings. Yet it was these two words the 9thCircuit used to help rationalize any place outside of the home could be prohibited. 

This ruling now covers all the states in the 9th Circuit – Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. It is certain that anti-conceal and open carry government officials will immediately seize upon this decision to further restrict or eliminate carrying firearms in public. 

While this is a prime example of the Circuit Courts rabid misinterpretation of constitutional law, legal precedent and an excellent case to be argued before SCOTUS, that has yet been done. SCOTUS did consider another similar case dealing with highly restrictive and subjective carry policy – New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Corlett – in conference on Friday and may announce whether they will grant a writ of certiorari as soon as today.

2. Gun Owners of America v. Garland

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled last week the ATF could not administratively change the law regarding bump stocks and that bump stocks themselves were not considered machine guns. 

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, the ATF reclassified bump stocks as machine guns under 26 U.S.C. § 5845(b) despite having no ability to fire on their own. An estimated 500,000 individuals and businesses who lawfully purchased bump stocks were forced to dispose of them without compensation or face criminal charges for illegal possession of a machine gun. 

The Court’s ruling confirmed the ATF was incorrect in determining a bump stock accessory was a machine gun. It also ruled the ATF could not change the law by itself, that it must be done by Congress. 

The ATF/DOJ will most certainly appeal this ruling to an en banc panel in the 6th Circuit, as well as attempt to make other modifications to firearm definitions to circumvent this ruling. Yet the importance of this case cannot be understated. With the ATF’s recent moves against pistol braces and the 80% market, the possibility of the ATF/DOJ again administratively banning and restricting firearms and non-firearm parts in a similar overreach is real. 

3. Caniglia v. Storm 

This case was recently heard by SCOTUS and while not strictly a Second Amendment case, it has a direct impact on Second Amendment protected rights. The case questions whether the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirements extends to the home. 

The officers in this situation used “community caretaking”, an exception created by the court to generally deal warrantless searches of abandoned or impounded vehicles, to enter a private home and seize firearms and ammunition. This was after the officers promised the owner who went to the hospital for an evaluation (and was immediately discharged) they would not confiscate them and falsely telling his wife he had in fact consented to the confiscation. 

While there are warrantless exceptions to entering a home without a warrant, these “exigent circumstances” cover emergency situations such as to prevent an imminent or in progress assault or to render emergency aid for someone inside, such as a heart attack victim. No “exigent circumstances” were claimed here. 

Had this case involved the seizure of drugs, stolen property or anything other than firearms, likely nobody would have given a rat’s *ss about it. Yet by attempting to use a “community caretaking” exception to remove firearms from a private residence against the owner’s will, it directly imperils Second Amendment rights. 

Consider what could be rationalized by government officials as “community safety” to enter your home and remove your firearms without a warrant. An argument with a neighbor who knows you have firearms? Someone seeing you come back from the range with a large “cache of weapons”? An argument inside the house where firearms are “registered”, overheard by someone passing in the street? Someone known to own firearms being upset after being terminated from a job?

Side note: In this case as well as another case recently settled by SCOTUS (Torres v Madrid), the government argued the officers themselves were not liable due to “qualified immunity”. This is the same qualified immunity the same government is demanding be stripped from law enforcement officers in the name of police reform at the local, state and federal level. 

The Court’s ruling on these cases could significantly impact your right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures in your home as well as your right to keep and bear arms outside the home.

Continued in Part 2 (And Then There Were Two)

Bob

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2021 Federal Gun Control Part 2: H.R. 1446 (Enhanced Background Check Act of 2021)

On the same date, and with lack of debate, analysis or consideration as H.R. 8, H.R. 1446 – the so-called Enhanced Background Check Act of 2021 was rammed through the U.S. House of Representatives on a mostly party line vote. This is only the second gun control measure to come from the Harris-Biden [sic] administration and Democrat controlled House and Senate. Many more are expected to follow. 

This bill, like the Universal Background Check bill, does absolutely nothing to enhance public safety. It merely creates a two week, or more, national waiting period for purchasing a firearm. This waiting period, which comes with no time limits for the actual completion of the background check, can be used to administratively stop firearm sales, period. 

Before we dive into H.R. 1446, let’s take a little look at the history of the Brady Act, the law this bill is attempting to modify. 

Enacted in 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act imposed a five-day waiting period on the delivery of handguns. It ended in 1998 with the establishment of NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). At this point, the five-day waiting period was dropped and the instant check system we have in place now applied to ALL firearms sales, not just handguns. The responsibility for conducting the background checks is placed on the FBI/NICS team within a predetermined time so as not to infringe on the purchaser’s constitutionally protected rights. Please note there are a number of states with their own background checks and waiting periods as well. 

Then comes the myth of the so-called “Charleston Loophole”. This is the case where an individual purchased a firearm from an FFL (Federal Firearm Dealer) who conducted a NCIS background check. That FFL did not receive a delay or denial after three days, and legally transferred the firearm. Tragically, the individual later used that firearm to kill nine people and injure three others in a church in Charleston. Only AFTER the shooting was it discovered the shooter should have been denied his purchase based on a recent arrest. 

This purchase would not have happened but for a series of government errors. The NICS analyst contacted the wrong department due to not knowing the agencies in the area where the arrest occurred. The pending charge was also listed as a felony, when in reality it was a misdemeanor due to a data entry error, meaning that would not have prevented him from receiving the firearm, but his use of illegal drugs uncovered in this arrest would have. The other thing that is absolutely critical to realize from this horrific incident is two months passed from the time he purchased the firearm to when he used it in the shooting. It was only AFTER the shooting did the FBI determine the errors in the NICS background check. Yet as falsely quoted by the runner up in the 2016 Presidential Election, if it had been delayed “just one more day”, this would never have happened.

So that brings us to the absolute soup-sandwich that is H.R. 1446. Instead of the current default proceed of three-days, it creates a MINIMUM 10-business day waiting period on the transfer of firearm, but ONLY after the purchaser, not having received a response at the FFL after an indetermined amount of time, submits an electronic form (or inconceivably mails a paper copy via first-class mail) to the FBI attesting to the very same information on the ATF Form 4473 and again swearing the information is correct and asking the FBI/NCIS to complete the background check. IF the FFL does receive a response back from NCIS, the information is only good for the longer of 25 calendar days after the licensee receives the notification OR 30 calendar days after the date of the initial contact. 

Keep in mind that currently if a firearm is delivered to someone who is later determined to be ineligible, as occurs in a very small percentage of NCIS checks, there is a mechanism in place to retrieve the firearm. There is also a process to charge those who made false statements on the ATF Form 4473 and are determined to be ineligible, although prosecutions are only pursued in an infinitesimally small number of these cases. 

Among the obvious flaws in this bill are the lack of any deadlines for NCIS to actually perform the checks and that the onus is on the potential purchaser to properly file additional paperwork in order to trigger any kind of a default delivery. 

It is important to recognize waiting periods for the purchases of firearms are a popular tactic of the gun control zealots, calling it a cooling off period as well as time needed to conduct a proper background check. In reality, other than “studies” funded by gun control organizations, there is no evidence that waiting periods prevent violent acts or even suicides. Further, successful background checks themselves have not proven to be a determination of eventual criminal activity. 

Sadly, there have been numerous cases where errors and omissions from local, county, state and federal government agencies – including the U.S. Department of Defense – which have made it possible for individuals who should not have been able to pass a NICS background check and purchase a firearm, to do so. Only AFTER the tragic results have come to light did the information show there was a failure in the system. Yet this bill bolsters the concept that when the government makes mistakes it logically leads to more laws and more constitutional infringements on law-abiding citizens who themselves have done nothing wrong. 

A quote attributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. says, “A right delayed is a right denied”. This quote has been used across the board for civil rights, abortion rights, voting rights, etc. etc. But when it is used in the context of Second Amendment rights, it suddenly becomes moot and an insult to Dr. King’s nonviolent principles. This of course dismisses the fact that firearms are used lawfully in the United States to prevent violent crime by a ratio of at least three-to-one over unlawful acts, actually SAVING lives vs. taking them. 

The anti-gun zealots have always treated Second Amendment rights as second class rights, not deserving of full and equal protection under the law. This bill continues to perpetuate that belief by putting the burden on the law-abiding citizens to pursue having their own rights recognized. It creates a national two week+ firearm waiting period with no government accountability while doing nothing to increase public safety. 

Perhaps holding criminals accountable for their actions might be a good place to start instead. 

Bob

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2021 Federal Gun Control Part 1: H.R. 8 (Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021)

True to their word, the Harris-Biden [sic] administration and the Democrat controlled House of Representatives and Senate have begun ramming through their draconian gun control agenda. H.R. 8 is just the first of three announced so far. It was passed out of the House with no hearings and only cursory debate allowed. It hit the House floor at 12:24 pm and was passed at 3:45 pm.

H.R. 8 is titled the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, but would more accurately be called the Universal Background Check and National Firearm & Firearm Owner Registry Act. The “bipartisan” part of the name implies that this is something that both sides of the isle strongly support. In fact, the name has nothing to do with the support. Only eight RINO (Republican In Name Only) members of the House voted for it, each with a history of voting for gun control legislation. 

But that’s not all that is wrong with this bill. 

The promoters of the bill falsely claim that this will eliminate the so-called “gun show” and “internet sales” loopholes. But then the truth has never been part of the gun control movement. Firearm dealers’ sales at gun shows have always had to follow the same paperwork and background check requirements they do in their retail establishment. The other claim is that internet firearm sales without background checks are rampant, something their own research and purchase attempts proved was false a few years ago when nobody would sell them a firearm without going through a dealer. 

What is in play is the person-to-person transaction of selling a firearm. Many people do sell firearms to others in states where it is legal, and the vast, Vast, VAST majority of these sales are done conscientiously for the simple reason the sellers don’t want to have firearms end up in the wrong hands. 

The gun control extremists sell this as keeping guns out of criminals’ hands. By forcing the transaction to be done through an FFL (Federal Firearm Licensee) who is required to run a background check on the buyer, it will keep guns out of criminals’ hands. There are just a few things wrong with this story. 

The most obvious is that criminals don’t get their guns through firearm retails. The same applies to firearms transferred through firearm retailers. Criminals mainly obtain their guns through underground sources (stolen), theft or straw purchases by friends and family members. As such, the criminal acquisition of guns is unaffected by universal background checks. 

The other category of illegal firearm usage gun control extremists like to bring up is mass shootings. But even a cursory look at some of the most horrific mass casualty events shows the firearms used were purchased legally, through licensed firearms retailers, with successful background checks. Using these tragic events as an excuse for universal background checks knowing they would never have stopped them is not only insulting, it is sickening. 

The author of the bill also put out the unsubstantiated claim that: “This bill has bipartisan support from 90 percent of the American peopled [sic] and it’s long past time to get it enacted into law.” Given the extremely vocal and widespread opposition from the firearm and Second Amendment communities, this claim is nothing more than a lie to try to convince people they should be supporting what the majority of the country supports. 

Even with all the fatal flaws of logic and fact built into H.R. 8, the worst is the section that claims it does not create a national firearms registry. 

“(c) Rules Of Interpretation.—Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, shall be construed to—
(1) authorize the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a national firearms registry; or”

This fails in two ways. The first is the background check itself. Even in states where the firearm information is not transmitted to the state or federal government, the purchaser’s information is. This in of itself creates a record of all persons who purchase a firearm. Hence, a registry of firearm owners. 

Yes, I know. The federal government has laws in place that say they cannot retain that information after a certain time frame. I’m not sure anyone actually believes this is true. 

The second is the firearm information. Full firearm registration has always been a goal of the gun control extremists, but just coming out and implementing it all at once like what is outlined in H.R. 127 would receive too much pushback. Universal background checks are the answer to this problem. 

By forcing all person-to-person sales through a firearm retailer, a record is created in the FFL’s books and on a federal form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record. In some states like California, the information is also loaded into a state database by the FFL. In most other states, the record remains with the FFL. But does it? 

For years FFL’s have been complaining about the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) scanning, copying or photographing all their acquisition and disposition bound books AND 4473s. This scooping up of information hasn’t been in response to a procedural investigation of the FFL or a criminal investigation of the purchasers as directed by law, it’s been to collect information. The latest redesign of the 4473 putting the firearm and purchaser information on the same page has been attributed to making this data collection more efficient. 

Where does this information go? That’s the million-dollar question. But it’s a fair bet that if the information is being collected, it’s being compiled and stored. 

And what’s so wrong with a national firearms registry? Aside from it is currently illegal under federal law – although I expect we’ll see that change over the next two years – the ONLY purpose of a firearms registry is to enable a confiscation of these firearms later on. If the historical accounts of tyrannical foreign governments requiring registration of firearms then confiscating them later doesn’t do it for you, simply look at examples in our own country. 

In the 1960’s New York City began registering long guns. Naturally, they assured the list would never be used to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. Yet beginning in 1991 when the city banned many of those long guns, they began confiscating them. The registration / confiscation cycle continues today as many registered firearms “capable” of accepting a so-called “high-capacity” magazine have been made illegal and are therefore, being confiscated. 

There are of course many more examples, but the results are the same. Registration always leads to confiscation. What you lawfully own today can be made illegal tomorrow by no action on your part. The whims of an ultra-left majority can be made into law and you become a criminal overnight when the firearm you own is declared too dangerous for civilian ownership. 

Or perhaps you are the problem. You are a member of a non-favored political party that is accused of being white supremacists and domestic terrorists. Simply by your association, you are put on the Domestic Terror Watch List, something that has already been proposed. 

In either situation, you’ve never done or even dreamed of doing anything illegal in your life but now that you and your firearm information are registered, your Second Amendment protected rights will be stripped away.

Universal background checks are a solution in search of a problem. They do not prevent crime, nor do they make anyone safer. They do however provide the mechanism for a full national firearm and firearm owner database, the purpose of which made abundantly clear when more and more firearms are made illegal and law-abiding firearm owners are turned into criminals. 

Bob

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Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve: One Year Anniversary

Today we celebrate one year of “Two Weeks to Flatten the Curve” in the United States. While it’s been a difficult year for most of us, we have all learned a lot from it. Unfortunately, a lot of what we’ve learned is about how dictatorial our government can be and how the basic human rights and freedoms we thought were protected by our Constitution were so easily whisked aside for a “health emergency”. Far too many people seem to have forgotten the Bill of Rights wasn’t written with an “except for… ” clause and applies in every situation, especially emergencies. 

With COVID we’ve learned that banning travel, requiring tests and mandatory quarantines from certain areas outside the country is racist and xenophobic. Banning travel, requiring tests and mandatory quarantines from certain states within the country is science. 

We’ve learned masks are not required. Then we learned masks are required. Now we’ve learned double masks are required. And even though you are required to wear a mask, the people requiring them are not going to provide you one, but will fine you, cite you and physically wrestle you to the ground, arrest you and throw you in jail if you don’t wear one.  

We’ve learned most anything will do for a mask, except those one-way value ones that actually offer you the best level of protection. Thin permeable cloth, scarves, your handkerchief, underwear, etc. are all acceptable as long as you cover your mouth and nose. We’ve also learned there’s no requirement to ever wear a fresh mask or treat the one you’ve been using out in public like it’s been exposed to anything contagious. 

We’ve learned our state governors are the sole, unquestionable authorities on all aspects of life. They can dictate whether you can leave your home and under what circumstances, or if you must remain locked inside. We’ve learned governors can determine who you can have in your private home and who you can’t.

We’ve learned governors can dictate which businesses are “essential” and which ones are “non-essential” and destined to go out of business forever. We’ve learned governors can dictate what products can be sold, what hours businesses can be open, how businesses operate and how much employees must be paid, all with the stroke of a pen. 

We’ve learned governors can dictate what conditions must be met in order for “non-essential” businesses to reopen, then move the goalposts on these conditions repeatedly to include more nebulous or “equitable” factors. The “science” and data behind these decisions do not have to be released as it “would confuse and potentially mislead the public if they were made public.”

We’ve learned governors can dictate which of your constitutionally protected rights are valid during a “health emergency” and which ones are suspended. Religion, free speech, peaceably assemble or petition the government for redress of grievances – are all subject to approval by the governor, as well as the ability to purchase or bear or use firearms. 

We’ve learned the very politicians who impose family contact, business and travel restrictions upon you, exempt themselves and their families. Also exempted are professional sports teams, the entertainment industry and celebrities, as long as they subscribe to the correct political ideology.

We’ve learned public and private events are complex and must be evaluated by their political ideology. 

Progressive, social justice “mostly peaceful” riots do not spread COVID-19. 
Standing by yourself, wearing a mask in a public place to protest the lockdown is a violation of the health codes that override your First Amendment rights.
Celebrating a left-wing election victory does not spread COVID-19.
Conservative rallies are super-spreader events. 

We’ve learned it is far too risky for public school teachers to go back into the classrooms, but hiring minimum wage, untenured “classroom monitors” to supervise children in schools while the teachers instruct remotely is safe. 

We’ve learned that questioning the government authorities on the causes or treatment of COVID is subject to censure in the medical community as well as being censored in the news and social media worlds. 

We’ve learned that our nation’s administration cannot explain why the COVID infection rates are so similar between lockdown and non-lockdown states. “… This is a little beyond our explanation.”

There are also some things we haven’t learned. 

We haven’t learned the true origin of the pandemic. After dissecting, analyzing and investigating COVID-19 for over a year, the truth is still hidden. Sure, it seems to have originated from a certain area of a certain province in a certain overseas country (which we can’t talk about because that would be xenophobic) but did it develop organically or in a lab? If we suggest it was in a lab, we are thought of as conspiracy theorists. 

The COVID vaccine is now available and being distributed around the country, subject to the ever-changing rules of the governors. Fortunately, first responders and health care workers are at the top of the list, but so are politicians and convicts, at least the convicts who weren’t released due to the risk of COVID. If you are not in one of the current priority groups being vaccinated, there are still multiple ways to get bumped up, as evidenced by the celebrities and favored industries being given priority jabs. 

While the current CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines do allow for more freedom for those who are fully inoculated, masks, social distancing and other restrictions remain in place for the foreseeable future.

What does our future look like post-COVID? 

Nobody is willing to commit to a timeline to return to a pre-COVID normal. In fact, most point to the “new normal” that will take its place. Depending on what day it is and who is talking, we may see universally less COVID restrictions in place by the end of 2021 or even 2022. 

We can also look forward to “COVID Passports” to prove you have been inoculated in order to travel, work or go into stores and public venues. It is already being suggested you will need an annual COVID vaccination to stay protected and current in your “COVID Passport”. Naturally, the government would never mandate a COVID vaccination, but they will allow private businesses to do so with their full endorsement. 

If you feel like you’ve been lied to in order to further political agendas, you’re not alone. Many in this country believe this is just another example of extremist politicians applying the rule of “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”. Far too many people have died, had their businesses and lives destroyed and their rights stripped away unnecessarily for a never ending “crisis”.

We used to be responsible for our own lives, our own businesses and our families. We used to be able to make our own decisions about what is best for our own family’s health and safety. It is WAY past time we started exercising our rights as citizens and boot the dictators out of office. 

Bob

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Constitutional Carry Moves Forward

Utah and Montana are joining the ranks of those who support permitless carry. 18 states will now recognize their citizens’ right to be armed in public without a license or permit. Several other states are currently working through legislation to remove licensing requirements as well. While this is a very positive step forward in the national recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, it is important to realize that this is not a new or expanded right being granted, it is the removal of laws which previously infringed upon natural rights. This is the way it should be for all law-abiding citizens. 

True constitutional carry is the ability for everyone to carry a firearm openly or concealed, without requiring a license or permit. Some of these 18 states meet this definition while others have limitations such as for state residents only or for concealed carry only. All but one, Vermont, still issue permits for either enhanced carry privileges or for concealed carry reciprocity with other states. Vermont has never had a concealed carry license or permit since it was established as a state in 1791. 

Keep in mind the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected natural right as written in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

Some contend being able to carry a firearm outside your home is a privilege and subject to any form of “reasonable” regulation, control and fees the government decides to impose. The most frequently used comparison is to that of a driver’s license. Of course, the ability to operate a motor vehicle on a public highway isn’t a constitutionally protected natural right, it is a privilege. But that’s what the gun control lobby want you to believe, that driving a car and carrying a firearm are the same thing. They have always wanted to restrict or revoke your rights and turn them into privileges they can control and restrict. 

If you have to ask for permission to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to pay a fee to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to take training and tests to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to carry a license or permit to exercise a right, it’s a privilege.  
If you can be denied exercising a right, it’s a privilege. 

As the gun control zealots have always done when legislation is being considered to allow permitless carry or for firearm carry on college campuses, they put their propaganda machine into overdrive. These states were no exception. Wild stories abound about how there will be shoot-outs over minor issues, blood flowing in the streets and cities turned into the wild, wild west. On college campuses, students and instructors will be afraid to speak openly for fear of being gunned down. In state capitols, legislators will be afraid to vote on bills for fear of being shot. Vivid, emotionally charged scenarios of violence and death because someone carrying a gun decides to kill people to settle every minor disagreement are spread to instill fear.

They point to “emerging data”, self-funded “academic studies” and “research” showing how violent crime will increase when permitless carry is allowed. They allege that only strong, “may issue” carry laws are appropriate. Only laws where persons applying for permission to carry a firearm in public must prove they have “good cause” or “justifiable need” to carry a firearm as well as demonstrate they are of “good character”. This is usually combined with significant mandatory training, substantial license fees and the ability of the issuing authority to deny their permit for any reason, or no reason at all,  is the only way to allow a precious few the privilege of being able to carry a firearm outside their homes. 

What really happens when more people are allowed to carry concealed firearms? Violent crime goes down. That’s all. No gun fights in the streets, no people shooting up the town or duels at high noon. Maine’s experience is typical. The state went from the third safest state in the nation to the safest state in the nation following their move to being a constitutional carry state.

For those who contend more guns equals more violence and death, recall those long-buried CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies that found civilian defensive use of firearms outnumbered felonious use by a rate of 3 to 1, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million uses per year. It is critical to note that not all of the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian. Often times, the mere presenting or challenge to the criminal with a firearm was enough to stop the intended crime. It’s also important to realize this number ONLY includes persons who were not performing defensive duties as part of their employment such as law enforcement or security services.

Eliminating restrictions on who can carry a firearm for protection of themselves and their families in public makes us all safer. When criminals believe someone may be armed and wiling to defend themselves, they are less likely to risk their own lives and move on to an easier target or commit a crime that doesn’t involve person-to-person contact. The more potentially armed law-abiding citizens, the less likely everyone is to become a victim of violent crime. 

Please keep in mind these 18 states are constitutional carry FOR NOW. As fear-based gun control legislation pushes forward in states and in the federal government, constitutional carry and even permitted carry of firearms outside the home are going to come under attack. Only by vigorously defending our natural rights at the local and state level will we be able retain them for ourselves and our decedents. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #ConstitutionalCarry, #GunControlFails, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Eliminating Law Enforcement Qualified Immunity

Recently I committed the horrible transgression of hitting “Haha” on a Facebook post relating to why law enforcement officers should not be opposed to a new law that would strip them of their qualified immunity. Personally, I thought it was amusing that the article, written by someone with a grand total of three years of reserve officer experience 20 years ago in a small municipality in Washington, was writing an article supporting this new law in my state. The credibility of the phrase “… as a former cop, take it from me… “ rang pretty hollow, but is exactly what you’d expect from a paid political activist. 

Is eliminating police qualified immunity about accountability, integrity, professionalism or trust? No, it’s about finding a way to further restrict law enforcement activities to the point where no officer dares to confront any criminal. But it actually goes deeper than that. It is about eliminating local law enforcement as we know it. 

Along with defunding police departments, eliminating law enforcement qualified immunity is a vogue “do something” act for progressive politicians. It shows they have bought into narrative the entire law enforcement system is broken and has always been broken – even though they actively supported and approved of it until the woke mob showed up at their door. 

Quite simply, the qualified immunity doctrine protects law enforcement officials from frivolous lawsuits and financial liability in cases where they acted in good faith in unclear legal situations. It is important to recognize qualified immunity applies only in civil litigation and does not protect the government itself from suits arising from officials’ actions nor does it apply to criminal actions. 

Still, this doctrine is now being blamed as the major hinderance to police accountability. Certain researchers falsely allege “qualified immunity permits law enforcement and other government officials to violate people’s constitutional rights with virtual impunity”. 

Note that the very same government officials who are working to strip qualified immunity away from law enforcement officers enjoy qualified immunity themselves. None of them are working to eliminate their own qualified immunity. 

For the application of the doctrine, let’s compare it to a “Stand Your Ground” law. Gun control zealots claim this is an automatic “shoot first, ask questions later” law. In reality, just because someone claims they acted under “Stand Your Ground” doesn’t mean it applies in their situation, it must be adjudicated as such. If it is not, then that particular defense does not apply. The very same concept applies with qualified immunity. If it is not adjudicated as valid, it does not apply. It is up to the courts to decide this. It is not something that simply gets claimed in every case and that’s the end of it. 

Knowing this, if civil cases against individual officers are being dismissed because of qualified immunity, it’s because the courts say this is the correct action under these unique circumstances. Simply feeling wronged by an enforcement action and finding a lawyer, activist or “news” channel to take your side, doesn’t mean your case is valid. 

So, what is behind the push to eliminate law enforcement qualified immunity? It’s the same logic as the defund the police. Take the illegal acts committed by a handful of officers, highly publicized by a certain segment of the news media, and project that as the standard practices of every officer in the nation. 

If you’re wondering where this is all headed, it’s the elimination of the locally controlled and administered law enforcement agency. By slashing agency budgets, they are reducing the number of officers and restricting the tools and techniques available to the remaining officers. Eliminating specialized units such as proactive anti-crime patrols, domestic violence and sexual assault units, community policing and training all serve to make the agency less effective at their primary function of crime prevention and law enforcement.

The answer to the pleas from citizens victimized by thugs glorified as heroes in the woke communities will come from the state or federal level law enforcement agencies. These agencies, who have been spared the media condemnation of their municipal counterparts, will be called in to take over law enforcement in the defunded police communities. And this is a very bad thing. 

Law enforcement is and always has been best served by local officers who are locally funded, directed and held accountable by their communities. Local communities can set their own priorities and be responsive to the needs of their residents.

Eliminating law enforcement qualified immunity will only serve to make police services less effective in their communities. It has absolutely nothing to do with police professionalism, accountability, trust or the effectiveness of police within the community. It is only about intimidating officers to the point where they will not act and to punish those who do by having to defend against frivolous lawsuits. Even when these lawsuits are ruled completely baseless, they will be used to attack their professional credibility.

For the author of this propaganda piece (the link to the full article is below so you can read it for yourself), I give him the same level of credibility as the former Army Lt. General who called an AR-15 a “weapon of war” and coined the ludicrous phrase, “full semi-automatic”. Someone with minimal, part-time law enforcement experience, who enjoyed the protection of qualified immunity throughout the rest of his career, is now saying “trust me” as a paid political activist. 

There is no great secret for law enforcement gaining the trust of the community and being effective. It comes from honesty, communication and involvement.  Call it whatever the current fashionable administrative term you want, but it’s always been good old fashioned one-on-one police work. 

Law enforcement is at best a difficult career. We demand they make instantaneous life altering decisions under extraordinary circumstances most people could never imagine. And while the anti-police activists consistently minimize the dangers and wildly exaggerate the abuses, the truth of the matter is the vast, Vast, VAST majority of law enforcement officers do their jobs every day with honor and distinction, to the tune of millions and millions of public interactions per year. 

I stand unapologetically behind our nation’s law enforcement officers and will continue to call out and oppose the attacks on their ability to do their jobs safely and effectively. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #QualifiedImmunity, #Responsibility, #LocalControl, #Police, #ThinBlueLine, #mewe, #medium, #gab, #parler, #oddstuffing.com

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/police-shouldnt-fear-new-civil-rights-bill/article_6058619c-70af-11eb-a5b8-5fdc49de19be.html

HR 127, Real or Red Herring?

No doubt you’ve heard of HR 127, a gun control bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives. Mildly put, it would be a devastating blow to Second Amendment protected rights and the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase, own and use firearms. Being such a radical bill, you have to ask a couple of questions. Is this something the Democrat led House, Senate and White House really want to pass right now, or is this just a distractionary bill designed to be negotiated away to gain votes for a more ‘acceptable’ gun control bill? 

HR 127, also known as the “Sabika Sheikh Firearm Licensing and Registration Act”, is relatively short. I strongly encourage you to go out and read it for yourself to understand the significance of it. The link to it is below. 

Here are some of the highlights: 

– All firearms must be registered by the owner within three months of passage, including where the firearm is or will be stored. 
– The firearm registry will be fully searchable to federal, state and local law enforcement, all branches of the military, all federal and state governments and all members of the public. 
– In order to obtain a firearms & ammunitions license, you must: 
— Undergo a background check.
— Get a mental health evaluation by an approved psychologist, including interviews with any former spouses and at least two other family members or associates. 
— Get 24 hours of mandatory training.
— Pay $800 annual payment to the government for firearm insurance. 
– The license to own firearms and ammunition must be renewed every year for five years, then every three years. 
– Additional licenses must be obtained for Antique Firearms Displays and Military-Style Weapons. 
– .50 caliber ammunition is banned.
– Large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) magazines are banned. 

The penalties vary by section but go as high as fines of $100,000 to $150,000 and imprisoned not less than 25 years and not more than 40 years, or both.

The bill was introduced by a democrat representative from Texas, District 18, the Houston area, well known for her anti-Second Amendment stance. I’m certain having this bill come from a Texas legislator was part of the symbolism given Texas’s strong history and support of firearm rights. This bill has zero co-sponsors after six weeks. 

While the bill represents a near end state situation – the actual end state being the confiscation of all civilian owned firearms – it is a dramatic departure from their usual approach of small, incremental infringements meant to slowly chip away at firearm rights. This technique, carefully crafted over decades, has proven effective since each small infringement gets much less resistance than a single, jump-to-the-end law like this would. 

Is the full registration of all firearms and licensing of each and every owner part of the plan? Very much so, but they have been getting there by the ever so subtle technique of things like Universal Background Checks via state-controlled registration / background check systems such as California’s DROS (Dealer Record of Sales) system. DROS captures each firearm sold or transferred in the state and was expanded to include ammunition sales and transfers and “assault weapons” registrations. It is being further expanded to include firearm components. It is a one stop shop for all firearms, ammunition and their owners in the state.  Had California done this all at once, it would have galvanized firearm owners’ opposition and been impossible to pass. Instead, one “common sense” step at a time was easy to implement.  

HR 127 would undoubtably bring together opposition from around the country and across all political lines. Keep in mind during the past year, 21 million firearm background checks were conducted. Conservative estimates say that 40% of the purchases, 8.4 million, were made by first time firearm buyers. That is a LOT of new law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment protected rights to own a firearm. Given this new broad support of firearms, legislators supporting something like HR 127 would face grim prospects for re-election in two years, even in blue states. 

So, what is HR 127? My guess is a couple of things. It was done to see how much opposition a near end state gun control solution would receive if they tried to pass it and a smoke screen to allow them to sneak less controversial infringements like Universal Background Checks and so-called Assault Weapons bans into place. 

In fact, as I am writing this, the White House released a statement calling for more gun control on the third anniversary of the attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  The link to the full statement is also listed below, but this is the core of the call for action. 

“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.”

Even though it has been conclusively shown that this horrific tragedy could have been prevented dozens of times by local, county, state and federal law enforcement, state child and mental health services and the local school board – all with the laws on the books at the time – as well as the numerous people who simply looked away or hid instead of act, the Harris/Biden [sic] administration insists on using this example of gross government failure to push for more ineffective gun control. 

Should you contact your Representatives and Senators to oppose HR 127? Absolutely! But we also need to prepare for the tsunami of gun control bills about to be rammed through Congress before the midterm elections in 2022. Our best chance of protecting our Second Amendment protected rights are to stop these laws BEFORE they are enacted, not afterwards in the courts. 

Bob

HR 127: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/127/text

White House Statement: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/02/14/statement-by-the-president-three-years-after-the-parkland-shooting/

See also: Government Failures = More Gun Control on Odd Stuffing at: https://oddstuffing.com/archives/458

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #GunControlFails, #RedHerring, #HR127, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Welcome To DCAZ (District of Columbia Autonomous Zone)

With the new administration transforming the United States Capitol into a fenced, barricaded and heavily armed military zone with its own rules and discriminatory access policies, it is high time to consider changing the Washington DC name to something more appropriate to the way the area is now being run. In the spirit of new militancy inspired by CHOP/CHAZ and the RHAZ (Red House Autonomous Zone), I am officially proposing the new name of DCAZ – the District of Columbia Autonomous Zone. And in a tip of the hat to the Cold War, the perimeter should be posted with historically correct “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR” signs to warn United States citizens of the censorship and denial of rights and personal liberties to expect if they dare venture inside. 

If you think about it, the DCAZ has a lot in common with CHOP/CHAZ & RHAZ. They all created armed and fortified barriers to keep out anyone who didn’t think like them and support their movement. They all have/had leaders that rule by executive mandate and edict instead of citizen and bipartisan consensus. They all operate/operated by rules and regulations that apply to them, and them only, and exempt themselves from laws of the “outside world”. They all highly censor/censored any information coming out of their zone. They all want/wanted to impose their way of thinking, and ONLY their way of thinking on everyone outside the zone. 

Of course, the full name Washington District of Columbia is problematic and not reflective of the new thinking since it was named after our first president and founding father, George Washington and explorer Christopher Columbus. Washington was a slave owner who committed many other future crimes and Columbus was a colonizer. Given the absolute need to erase all of the names and any history associated with them, DCAZ (acronyms are themselves now considered racist) should be known as the Democrat Controlled Autonomous Zone. 

Many have voiced concerns about proposals granting DC statehood and reversing the Residence Act of 1790 making it a federal district. Personally, I feel autonomous zone status is far more appropriate. Statehood would subject DC to rules, regulations and laws of common, non-privileged states. That would simply never be tolerated. DCAZ stands alone! 

Welcome to your new United States Capitol. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #FirstAmendment, #Congress, #ThePeoplesHouse, #EmployeesNotRoyalty, #DCAZ, #snark, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

Myths and Monsters from The Gun Control ID

This year will see many direct assaults on our Second Amendment protected rights at the local, state and federal level. In order to justify these draconian and ineffective infringements, we’ll see a host of creative flawed logic and half-truths from the gun control zealots. They will try to convince us their laws are necessary by creating myths and monsters of problems where problems don’t exist. As such, I’m comparing these zealots to the human ID as neither are in touch with the external world or are affected by reality, logic or everyday life. They exist in their own closed existence and are attempting to tap into the basic fears of people looking for security in a chaotic world they themselves created. Let’s look at a couple of these myths and monsters from the gun control ID. 

One of the more popular myths being spread by the gun control zealots is the 2020 surge in firearm sales is responsible for more gun violence. Here’s the way it was reported by one far left “news” outlet. 

“An increase in gun purchases in just the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic was associated with a nearly 8% increase in firearm violence in the US, according to an estimate from researchers at the University of California, Davis.”

“That increase translated into an estimated 776 additional shooting injuries in the US from March through May, the researchers found. States that had lower levels of violent crime pre-Covid saw a stronger connection between additional gun purchases and more gun violence.” 

What the reader is led to believe is that because of increased firearm sales, there were more shootings. A cause (firearm sales) and effect (more shootings). This of course is a carefully crafted lie. What really happened is the exact opposite. BECAUSE there were more shootings, more law-abiding citizens purchased firearms for protection. 

If what they were implying was true, you would be seeing reports of about how people have been rushing to gun stores to buy guns and rushing out to commit acts of violence with them. It would be on the front page of every left-wing propaganda outlet and their lead story every night. Obviously, it has not, and the reason is simple. The historic increase in firearms purchases throughout 2020 has been by law-abiding citizens wanting to protect themselves and their families. And who can blame them? 

2020 saw violent crime skyrocket as liberal controlled cities turned their streets over to the mobs. Blaming the police for centuries of so-called “systemic racism”, they slashed law enforcement budgets and reduced police presence and capabilities on the streets. Prosecutors pushed for the wholescale release of convicted criminals, including the most violent, and declined to press charges against new offenders. The result has been easily predictable. Criminals, thugs and “mostly peaceful” rioters have no fear of the police, courts or jails and can commit any crime they want with near impunity. You don’t have to believe me, just look at the news and witness the murders, shootings and assaults committed in broad daylight in front of crowds of witnesses by thugs who fear no consequences. This isn’t BECAUSE more firearms are being sold, this is WHY more firearms are being sold. 

Another monster created by the gun control zealots is that so-called “assault weapons” or the ever-popular misnomer “weapons of war”, are “too deadly for civilian use” and must be eliminated. 

Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume the gun control zealots are correct and so-called “assault weapons” are the most commonly used criminal weapon in the US. They are not, but let’s play along here. Their logic says banning these “assault weapons” will save all these lives.

To understand this logic, let’s compare it to another situation. The most commonly stolen vehicle in the United States is the Ford F-150 pickup at 38,938 per year. In order to eliminate 38,938 stolen vehicles, the government bans Ford F-150 pickups. Their expected result is 38,938 less stolen vehicles. Would this plan work? No, of course not! Banning the #1 vehicle theft target is only going to push thieves to steal more of the #2 vehicle theft target, the Honda Civic, and others further down on the list. 

Likewise, banning one particular category of weapon is only going to increase the use of the next most popular categories of weapons. For those thinking that means we need to get rid of all firearms, please remember people have successfully been killing other people, one at a time and in mass quantities, since the beginning of time. If you eliminate one means, something else will be used in its place. 

That’s because it isn’t the weapon, it’s the act of violence. The act of killing someone else has nothing to do with the tool used, it has to do with the desire to kill that other person. That’s why posting “Gun Free Zone” signs or making it a crime to use a certain kind of weapon will never prevent a single act of violence. If someone is going to kill another person, committing a homicide, the most serious criminal act possible, simply saying you can’t do it here or use this particular tool will do absolutely nothing to stop it.  

So-called “assault weapons” themselves are used in only a small fraction of homicides; it’s just these are the instances the propaganda media highlights. Then of course there is the inconvenient truth that more homicides are committed in this country by knives or cutting instruments OR personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) OR blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) than ALL rifles – a category which includes the most widely used definition of “assault weapon”.

To correct this flaw, gun control zealots have expanded the definition of “assault weapons” to include more cosmetic features and even the semi-automatic mechanism itself, neither of which have anything to do with the so-called “lethality” of the firearm. They’ve also lowered the threshold of crimes to include assault instead of just homicide and included lawful uses of firearms, including by law enforcement, to increase the numbers. 

These myths and monsters from the gun control ID are nothing more than an attempt to frighten people into believing they need to be protected from something which only exists in the dark recesses of disconnected minds. It’s used as justification to strip away rights – and firearms – from the law-abiding while simultaneously decreasing overall public safety. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #MythsAndMonsters, #GunControlFails, #AssaultWeaponBanFails, #ForbiddenPlanet, #Freud, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com