Semi-Automatic Mechanisms – The New Assault Weapons, Updated

With the possibility of a new administration that has promised to ban the manufacture and sale of so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines”, let’s take another look at what a new ban will likely include. While the most commonly mentioned target is the AR-15 & AK-47 pattern rifles – using the completely inaccurate and scary terminology of “weapons of war”, gun control legislation from around the country provides ample evidence that the scope will be much wider. Firearms with so-called “evil features” are commonly included. Now add the latest trend to include the “semi-automatic mechanism” and you can ban many more commonly owned firearms.  And you thought they just wanted your scary black rifles.

Politically defined terms like so-called “assault weapons” have many problems. Among them is the definition tends to evolve over time. It can mean one thing today and grow to include much more tomorrow. These terms also tend to be geographically specific. An “assault weapon” in one state – or even city – isn’t an “assault weapon” in another. Each jurisdiction gets to pick and choose what they think an “assault weapon” is. The new thing is to call for a complete civilian ban on all semi-automatics. 

One of the latest attempts to massively expand the type of firearms law-abiding citizens are restricted from started in Massachusetts. In the wake of the shooting in a gun free zone in Virginia Beach, VA, an unknown group of naysayers came out with the revelation that the .45 caliber handguns used in that shooting shares the same deadly feature as the dreaded AR-15 – the semi-automatic mechanism. Now, “the most severe gun-related problem facing our society is the proliferation of guns containing a semiautomatic mechanism.” 

Their organization “is working to achieve legislation that will ban the semiautomatic mechanism in any gun sold or owned in Massachusetts. These are weapons that were designed for military and law enforcement purposes only and not for the general public. Revolvers, lever-action, pump-action, and bolt-action guns cover the full spectrum of civilian needs, whether they are hunting, personal protection, or home protection. The semiautomatic mechanism for guns has no place in civilian hands.”

Sadly, this absolutely absurd idea was quickly adopted by gun control extremist legislators in numerous states and is now either proposed legislation or has been added onto their list of “assault weapons”. 

Of course, the first successful semi-automatic firearm was designed by Ferdinand Ritter von Mannlicher in 1885.  The iconic Model 1911 pistol has been in service from – you guessed it – 1911, that’s 109 years old!  There’s nothing horribly sinister or deadly about the mechanism, it simply ejects the fired cartridge and loads the next one to be fired the NEXT time the trigger is pulled. The capacity of the magazine determines how many times you can pull the trigger before the firearm is empty. Massachusetts, being one of the nanny gun control states, says that number is 10. Of course, a standard 1911 magazine is only eight. 

If it’s not a magazine capacity thing, is it the shooting speed the antis don’t like? Of course not.  Semi-automatics don’t fire any faster than revolvers. In fact, the world’s fastest shooter used a revolver to put eight rounds on target in one second.  And no, there is no such thing as “fully semi-automatic”, the ludicrous phrase coined by an anti-gun former Army officer in the employ of CNN. 

Why the new fixation on all things semi-automatic?  It’s merely an attempt to put more firearms on the banned list and get them taken out of the hands of law-abiding civilian owners. The tactic has been used for years in the states that have some sort of “assault weapon” definition. What started as a specific list of firearms “too deadly for civilian use” has been systematically expanded to include firearms with purely cosmetic “evil features” such as pistol grips, adjustable stocks, threaded barrels and flash hiders or the ability to utilize a “high-capacity” magazine. The State of Washington now defines ALL semi-automatic rifles as semi-automatic assault rifles. Massachusetts went so far as to outlaw the mechanism used in AR-15’s and AK-47’s and bans any firearm that has interchangeable parts, such as the extractor or extractor assembly, with the AR-15 or AK-47. 

How many firearms in the United States are semi-automatic?  Depending on how you slice the data, you’d be looking at roughly 150 million of the estimated 400 million civilian owned firearms in this country.

Would an all-out ban on semi-automatic firearms survive a Constitutional challenge, especially in light of the 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller decision and the “in common use at the time” test?  No, of course not. But that’s ONLY with the current makeup of the United States Supreme Court. An expanded Supreme Court packed with far-left activist justices (you know, to “reduce the influence of politics”), would undoubtedly interpret this differently or reverse Heller all together. 

Will a new ban make all these “semi-automatic assault weapons” just go away? Of course not, that will take time. Using a combination of registration through the NFA (National Firearms Act) and mandatory buybacks for those who can’t afford the $200 per firearm and $200 per magazine NFA fee. Of course, NFA firearms are currently fully transferable, so this will need to be changed to the same design as California’s registered “assault weapons”, which cannot be transferred or inherited. 

“Assault weapons” are not just about AR-15 or AK-47’s, or “high-capacity” magazines. It’s about all the commonly owned, and in the vast, Vast, VAST majority of situations in our country, lawfully used firearms. “Assault weapons” is a bottomless pit that will be used to dump an ever-increasing number of banned firearms until the number you can legally own is zero. 

Do you want to keep the lawfully owned and legally used firearms you have today? Do you want your children and grandchildren to have access to the same modern and effective firearms you have today?  

This is why the Georgia Senate runoffs and the independence of the United States Supreme Court are so important. 

Bob

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A Shot Across The Bow of the USS SCOTUS

In case you missed it, the incoming congress just fired another warning shot across the bow of the United States Supreme Court. This warning specifically targeted the most vulnerable member of the court, at least in the eyes of the hypocrite extremist left. Funneled through a less than unbiased newspaper as a ‘breaking news’ story, it is another blatant attempt to influence litigation before the Court. It also presents a compromise scheme for forcing political control of the Supreme Court to those who are a little squeamish about packing the Court. Either way, this highlights the importance of the Senate runoff elections in Georgia are for the future of an independent Judicial branch. 

This latest attempt to influence the court comes from a New York Times review of a book – by two New York Times staffers – that contains “new” allegations of sexual misconduct by Justice Kavanaugh while he was in college. The “new” allegations, introduced in the 11th paragraph of their story, involves a woman who declined to be interviewed by the Times reporters and has through friends indicated she did not recall the event. It’s important to know that this incident, the supposed witnesses and the woman’s denial of it occurring, were all known to the reporters in 2018, during Justice Kavanaugh’s hearings. The story resurfaced briefly in 2019 during the Democratic Presidential primaries but did not result in any action. Now, in 2020, it surfaces again as a “new” story. 

It’s not as if his Democratic party detractors haven’t done their level best to destroy Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation and life based on the unsubstantiated accusations leveled against him during his confirmation hearings. 

Of his coaching his daughter’s high school basketball team, a Time magazine reporter wrote: “Ford’s charge shattered Kavanaugh’s carefully crafted tableau, calling into doubt the image he projected. The row of young girls, legs bare in their private-school skirts, looked different now.” 

Of his teaching at Harvard, a letter from staff, students and alumni organized by friends and family of Congressional Democrats was sent that said: “We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded.”

With this “new” allegation resurfacing yet again, members of the new administration’s transition team are calling for a congressional investigation into the matter. “If accurate, this would represent a big mistake on the part of the FBI. Without the truth, a cloud will hang over Kavanaugh’s head and an asterisk will accompany his decisions. The only way to repair the damage is for Congress to pick up where the FBI left off.” Note that Congressional investigation in this context of course means impeachment proceedings.

Having members of the Democratic party threaten the United States Supreme Court is nothing new. Remember the Senate Democrats who sent the “Heal Thyself” letter threating to pack the Court if it ruled incorrectly in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. That letter is widely credited with flipping Chief Justice John Roberts to the liberal wing in an attempt to save the structure of the Court. Of course, that threat has now been revived into an action plan should the Democrats retake the Senate. 

In this situation, there does not appear to be one case to be influenced but rather a series of cases now under consideration and likely to be taken up by the Supreme Court regarding the 2020 elections. The not-so-subtle implications are for Justice Kavanaugh to vote ‘correctly’ or face impeachment. But as anyone can see from the “Heal Thyself” letter, voting correctly won’t make this threat go away. 

There’s also another side of this “new” accusation and call for Congressional investigations. It represents an alternative plan to take over the Supreme Court. The well-advertised threat to pack the Court with liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” has been unpopular with many non-extremists in the Democratic party. This plan, removing just one originalist Justice, one that has been demonized by the Party, and allowing a liberal appointee would cement a solid 5-4 liberal majority. 

If you’re wondering what the big deal is with the Senate runoff elections in Georgia, this is it. A Democrat win of both seats results in a 50-50 tie in the Senate which would be broken by the (possible) new Vice-President who is the most extremist left politician to ever be elected. This is a grandstanding, elitist politician who has already stated her position on Justice Kavanaugh as being “He must be impeached.”

What else is at stake? Only the ability to have free and fair elections, the Electoral College, the future of the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment and the independence of the Judiciary branch. 

Simply look at what campaign promises have been made and ask yourself what will happen if the final check and balance of power, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, were no longer a hinderance? What if every law that brazenly infringes on your Constitutionally protected natural rights was deemed fully Constitutional in the name of the new socialist agenda by a Court more interested in social reengineering than Constitutional rights? 

If you have a few bucks to spare, sending it down to support the Republican candidates in Georgia might be in all of our best interests. 

Bob

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A Republic, If You Can Keep It

This often-debated quote is attributed to Benjamin Franklin following the creation of the United States Constitution in 1787.  Franklin’s message underscored this form of government would be difficult to maintain. Greed and the lust for power in the hearts of some would seek to alter our nation to suit their own needs vs. the needs of the nation. This is the underlying struggle behind the rhetoric and noise of our current elections. Do we abandon the very foundation of our nation or do we fight for the structure and the natural rights protected by our Constitution and Bill of Rights? 

The most complete version of Franklin’s quote indicates the person asking the question was Mrs. Elizabeth Willing Powel, a prominent society figure and the wife of Philadelphia Mayor Samuel Powel, and goes as such:

Powel: Well, Doctor, what have we got?
Franklin: A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.
Powel: And why not keep it?
Franklin: Because the people, on tasting the dish, are always disposed to eat more of it than does them good.

It is important to remember where our new country was at this point. Having just freed itself from the oppressive rule of England, the Founding Fathers were insistent on establishing a government which would not devolve into the same monarchy they had just freed themselves of. They were also highly concerned about “the tyranny of the majority” in a democracy. 

In a democracy, the majority rules on every issue and there are no protections for the minority opinion. If 51% of the population decides there is no right to free speech, then there is no right to free speech, period. 

This is why the Founders chose to create our country as a republic. In a republic, a constitution protects inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if a majority of the population votes for it. So even if 99% of the population votes there is no right to free speech, then the law is unconstitutional and invalid.

It would sound like a done deal then, right? It can’t happen here because of our natural rights are protected by the Constitution. But that’s not what is happening. Our Constitutionally protected rights are being eroded at an alarming rate and the process is relatively easy.  

Lawmakers who enjoy a ‘flexible’ interpretation of their oath of office appoint like-minded judges on the bench to validate the laws they enact. If a new law is challenged, it can be upheld as “Constitutional” by judges who are willing to ignore the original text of the Constitution, Supreme Court precedents and the rule of law to create new precedents. Each new precedent builds on the last until you have a set of laws that has NO resemblance to anything Constitutional. 

The protection for our rights is supposed to be in the checks and balances provided by the three branches of government. But when the courts are subverted by political appointees who are willing to legislate from the bench and utilize highly creative interpretations of the Constitution to advance a radical ideology, our individual rights easily, and legally disappear. 

Maintaining the balance of power and independence of the Judiciary is one of the reasons the elections are so contentious this year. One political party is vowing to expand the United States Supreme Court with liberal appointees deemed ideologically compatible in order to “reduce the influence of politics”. Put another way, they want the high court to validate whatever law they put forward and a conservative, originalist / constitutionalist majority court would most certainly prevent that. 

How do they get around this? Easily, just by having politicians (who see the Constitution as a systemically racist construct that is standing in the way of implementing socialistic changes) controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House.  It allows them to eliminate the Senate filibuster, stack the Supreme Court, eliminate the Electoral College and add additional left leaning states to ensure a long-term, unbreakable liberal majority. 

Oh, I know… I’m just a right-wing conspiracy nut who’s trying to invoke fear among conservatives and maintain a white supremist dominated country. EXCEPT, all these plans have originated FROM left-wing zealot politicians already in office, both as threats against the judiciary branch and promises to their constituents. 

It is unfortunate that so many in our country have bought into the belief that our nation was so fundamentally flawed from the beginning it must be torn down and rebuilt in a new, reimagined way. What they seem to forget is their natural rights of freedom of speech, the right to peacefully assemble and the ability to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, the very rights they are exercising to demand the complete restructuring of our country, are the rights protected by what they want to get rid of. 

Whether history’s recording of Benjamin Franklin comments is accurate or not, the call to action it evokes is important to us all. Do we allow the underling principles of our country to be swept away in a wave of lies and political correctness or do we continue to build on that foundation in a way that protects our rights now and into the future? 

Bob

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Can’t Win? NO PROBLEM! Change The Rules!

In any contest there is a set of rules to ensure fair play and equal competition. The rules are long established and understood by both sides. But what if one side is having a problem winning under the rules? That’s when you start hearing complaints that the rules are wrong and give the other side an unfair advantage, even if they’ve won under the same rules in the past. Am I speaking of games? Of course not. I’m talking about the uncivilized blood sport of United States politics where truth is relative and the only thing that matters is winning. This is what is behind the push to pack the United States Supreme Court and eliminate the Electoral College are all about.

The latest and greatest version of Change The Rules is playing out right now with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. Should she be confirmed, and the Democrats win the White House and Senate in November, they have promised to pack the court with additional liberal appointed justices to “reduce the influence of politics” in the court.  

If that rational makes any sense at all to you, you’re one of the first. Appointing left wing advocate justices to “reduce the influence of politics” is like serving donuts to your family to make their breakfast healthier. This is all because with Judge Barrett’s appointment, there will be a 5-4 majority of “conservatives” to “liberals” on the Supreme Court. 

Some argue it will actually be 6-3, but they forget Chief Justice John Roberts was already flipped during the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York case when Senate Democrats issued their “Heal Thyself” letter threatening to pack the Supreme Court if it didn’t moot the case. Chief Justice Roberts must have believed that was a one-time threat and giving in to it would protect the future of the Court. It was not. 

The whole idea of political leanings for any judge is an abomination to the bench, but that has become the norm in many areas. Extremist politicians appoint activist judges to rubber stamp their social justice agenda laws and expect them to legislate for them from the bench. The Constitution, Bill of Rights, rule of law and precedent are not considered obstacles in reshaping society to someone’s utopian vision. 

So why is changing the rules for the Supreme Court so important to them? Because all those draconian gun control laws they’ve crafted are in jeopardy.  Even with the claims that “lifesaving policies has repeatedly withstood legal challenges in the lower courts” (see previous paragraph), a hearing before Supreme Court that would actually take the Constitution into account would undeniably invalidate them. Instead of passing laws that pass Constitutional muster, you change the rules and make it so nobody can invalidate your unconstitutional laws. 

The Electoral College is facing the same threat in an attempt to change the rules to make it easier to win the White House. In short, the Electoral College was put in place to elect the President by our founders who were afraid of democracy, hence why our country is a Republic not a pure Democracy. They were concerned about “the tyranny of the majority” and created the Electoral College to preserve “the sense of the people”. 

What we see today is a balance between urban and rural areas. Urban areas are predominately liberal / Democrat and rural areas tend to be conservative / Republican. With a direct, popular vote, a handful of urban areas in our country would determine the President in every single election. 538 electors chosen by their states award all their votes according to the winner of the popular vote in their own state, except Maine and Nebraska who have a slightly different system.  

As with every election loss, we saw a renewed call to abolish the Electoral College following the Democrat candidate’s loss in the 2016 elections. The election was “stolen” and the “will of the people” was ignored because the candidate with the most votes didn’t win the most votes from the Electoral College. 

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an attempt to nullify the Electoral College without actually abolishing it. Participating states would award their Electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of who won the popular vote in that individual state. 

Following the 2016 elections, there were increased drives across the country that were being courted to join the Compact. Popular themes included “one person one vote” and “make your vote count”.  People were promised that politicians would be forced to campaign for votes in every state not just the most populous areas. Of course, that’s not true. 

A true popular vote election would see the candidates trying to appeal to the handful of urban population centers that currently make up the majority of the popular vote. A few swing states might be in play as a counter to an unwinnable urban center for a candidate, but the rest of the country would have no say or influence on the presidential election. Their votes, their opinions, their needs, would be too small to matter. 

So why is eliminating or nullifying the Electoral College so important to them? Because playing by the rules would require coming up with a candidate, platform and strategy that appeals to the entire country instead of one that is supported by just the handful of urban population centers where furthest-from-center message is better received.  

Rules matter, especially when it comes to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. When you look at the checks and balances our Founding Fathers built into the establishment of our country, understand they did this for a reason. They looked at world history and knew what had worked and what had failed. Our country is what it is today because we have held true to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, not in spite of it. 

When someone is advocating changing the rules of the game to benefit a political purpose, you can bet your life you will not be the one that wins. 

Vote wisely, 

Bob

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Expand vs. Defend the Second Amendment?

Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court begin this week and it is sure to be a spectacle of epic proportions. As a preview of the line of questioning we’ll see regarding the Second Amendment, the billionaire bankrolled “grass roots” “community organization” gun control group released a statement opposing Judge Barrett’s nomination on the grounds she “would dramatically expand the Second Amendment”

Dramatically expand…  A better and more accurate description would be Judge Barrett would actually defend the Second Amendment. But their description should give you some idea of how the gun control extremists view the Second Amendment as a second-class right. 

Let’s be clear about what the Second Amendment is. The twenty-seven words read: 

“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.”

The reason for the gun control extremists’ concern is quite simple and outlined in their statement. They are afraid Judge Barrett will vote to overturn their so called “gun safety” laws by “invalidating gun control measures around the country”.  

Gun control measures around the country are an utter failure and continue to target only law-abiding citizens. The cities and states with the strictest, most draconian gun control laws in this country are also the most violent, least safest places. They constantly blame other non-gun controlled areas for their own crime rates while refusing to hold the actual perpetrators of violence accountable for their actions. As always, they claim they are just one gun control law or one closed loophole away from their citizens being safe. 

The article claims that these “lifesaving policies has repeatedly withstood legal challenges in the lower courts”. 

These lower courts where they have withstood legal challenges are the ones where left extremist politicians have appointed like-minded political activist judges who will ignore the rule of law, legal precedent and rules of evidence to rubber stamp blatantly unconstitutional gun control laws. 

They also point to Judge Barrett’s “dangerous views” through her dissent on a case involving a man convicted of a “serious felony” appealing for restoration of his firearms rights. 

Of course, this “serious felony” was a single count of mail fraud and Judge Barrett’s dissent was that nonviolent felons should not be subject to the same gun restrictions that apply to violent criminals. 

Keep in mind these are the same zealots who believe the District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago decisions granted an individual right to own a firearm for the very first time in United States history.  In reality, it simply took until 2008 for a government entity to create an unconstitutional law, have that law successfully challenged AND have that case appealed to the United States Supreme Court. The individual right to keep and bear arms always existed. 

Just as the Second Amendment does not grant the right to keep and bear arms – it restricts the government from infringing upon what is considered a Natural Right – the Supreme Court DOES NOT have the ability to expand, dramatically or otherwise, Second Amendment rights. The court may ONLY rule on the constitutionality of existing laws that have been appealed to them. 

So, while the gun control extremists and their hand selected politicians claim the appointment of an originalist, constitutionalist jurist to the Supreme Court will somehow dramatically expand Second Amendment rights, what they are really concerned with is that their ineffective, unconstitutional laws may be overturned and simple, basic natural, constitutionally protected rights will again be available to their citizens. The People with their Second Amendment protected rights means government control over whom they chose to provide basic safety and security to will be lost forever. 

If we’ve learned anything from Justice Kavanagh’s hearings, these confirmation hearings will feature the worst behavior, accusations and insinuations politicians can muster. We’ve already seen lies, smears and exaggerations along with gloom-and-doom predictions about how our very democracy is at stake if Judge Barrett is confirmed. 

What can we do as ordinary, everyday citizens? We can let our Senators, the people WE elected to represent US, know we want them to support the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court. 

If you live in a blue state like me and think your opinion won’t matter in what will undoubtedly be a party line vote, I say BUNK! If we don’t let our representatives know what we want them to do and remind them that they are accountable to us, NOT their political party, then the ONLY voice in their ear will be from the political party. It’s time to be clear and loud about what WE THE PEOPLE demand from them. 

A list of United States Senators and their contact information may be found here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact

Bob

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It’s The End Of Democracy!!! (And Other Supreme Threats)

With the sudden passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a whole new dimension has been added to this year’s elections. Completely dismissing any resemblance of respect for the Justice’s life or service, the vile political rhetoric began almost immediately following the news of her death. Lies, exaggerations, hypocrisy, threats of violence and political consequences are the new norm – even more so, if you can believe it, than we’ve seen so far in this election.  The future of the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is being determined and the results are critical for every American.  

I’m going to start off with painfully obvious elephant in the room, politics on the bench. The whole three equal and separate branches of government thing our country was built on relied on the courts being the non-political, independent arbitrator of fact, the Constitutional and rule of law. However, that seems to be a wildly outdated notion. At the local, state and federal level, the litmus test for judges is now their political party affiliation and wiliness to rule favorably on issues brought before them by the political masters who appoint them. That is absolutely wrong. 

Judges should be guided by the Constitution and the law, period. Yes, there may be different interpretations of how the law should be applied but that’s the whole function of the appeals process up to United States Supreme Court. There should NEVER be situations like we have now where the Constitution and the rule of law is viewed through a political lens in order to progress a social agenda. 

We are being told filling the vacant judicial seat with a nominee from the current administration will be catastrophic for the nation. We’re told it will delegitimize the court itself and cause irreparable damage. Lives and liberty will be lost.  Really?? 

The SCOTUS is now pretty equally divided politically. The Chief Justice had been considered a conservative and swing vote, but it’s widely accepted now that he capitulated to the threats from the extreme left Senators last year that threated to restructure and stack the court if it didn’t “heal thyself”. 

“Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

The irony of course is adding a ‘conservative’ justice now would tip the court just slightly to the right, something the left just cannot tolerate. It’s not the reduction of the influence of politics they seek, it’s the reduction of the influence of politics THEY don’t agree with. Interestingly enough, it was a Second Amendment case that had the potential to define standards for Second Amendment cases around the country the brought the threats by the Senate Democrats. 

If the Senate attempts to fill the seat before the elections, we are being told there will be violence and riots like we’ve never seen before. Arson in the form of “burn Congress down” and “burn it all down”. The Democratic party has promised retaliation in the form of eliminating the filibuster in the Senate and restructuring and stacking the SCOTUS as soon as they retake the Senate, presumably to reduce the influence of politics. The Speaker of the House of Representatives has come out to say she won’t rule out impeachment of the President or the Attorney General as an option to prevent filling the seat, as well as other options. One of the more likely options is attempting to impeach Associate Justice Kavanaugh, a threat made during the “heal thyself” intimidation campaign by the Senate Democrats. 

A friend recently posted a definition that bears repeating:  Terrorism: The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. 

Of course, hypocrisy and politics go hand in hand. The people who are demanding the seat be left vacant until after the elections are the VERY SAME ones who demanded the Senate fill a vacant seat in 2016. It seems fulfilling constitutional responsibilities is only important when it serves a certain political need. 

The political focus has already shifted to the most vulnerable votes from Republican Senators in Alaska, Maine, Utah and Arizona to block a nomination. Expect the political posturing, campaign contributions and no holds barred back room bargaining to be at historic levels in these states. 

Whomever is nominated by the President to fill this vacancy is sure to face excessively hostile confirmation hearings in the Senate. Much like the Kavanaugh hearings, we can expect the rudest, most obnoxious behavior from the Senate Democrats along with demands for delay after delay after delay for ‘just discovered’ surprise information. In the end, whenever a vote is called, expect grandstanding from both sides of the aisle. 

If you’re wondering why filling this seat is so important, simply look at how this election is being set up to be the most litigated in history. With mandated mail in voting and the potential for widespread voter fraud, the final result will very likely be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Assuming a split along Justice’s political lines, an appeal by either campaign will fail to a four-to-four split. 

Based on what has happened in the two days since Associate Justice Ginsberg passed away, what do you expect to see in the 43 days leading up to the 2020 elections?  

Vote wisely. 

Bob

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Mooting the US Supreme Court

While the Second Amendment community anxiously awaits a decision in the case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York, we have to consider if a moot decision in this case will effectively moot the United States Supreme Court itself.  On the other hand, any ruling other than moot will likely see the extreme left wing of congress working to reshape the Court itself. Either way, there is a whole lot more involved in this case than just the case itself. 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York is about the draconian Premise Licenses issued by the City of New York. It allowed Licensees to legally possess their firearms at the single permitted home or transported unloaded and locked to one of seven authorized ranges in the City. ANY transportation to ranges or homes outside the city was strictly prohibited, as was any travel not directly  between their home and the approved ranges. 

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association has been fighting this law for seven years. During this time, the City of New York has vigorously defended this law through the courts as a completely Constitutional restriction. After all, they claimed it was in the interest of “public safety” and that was all that was necessary.  That all changed once the case was granted cert (a writ of certiorari) for review by the United States Supreme Court.  Following this action, the City made a number of attempts to nullify or moot, the case including claiming they would relook at the law, amending the law administratively and finally reversing and revising the law so it gave the petitioners the ability to leave the City with their firearms. They even went so far as to have the State of New York loosen the state laws to back this up.  All of this happened at a speed unheard of in New York for pro-Second Amendment legislation. 

So that should be the end of it, right? Well, not really. There are a number of questions still remaining including the entire judicial process of how it got there. For seven years, the City of New York has been ardent in their defense of this law. Only after the highest court in the land, a court now leaning slightly more conservative, do they pull the plug and say mea culpa. Why? Because a ruling against the City of New York could have a far reaching and devastating impact on gun control legislation around the country. 

This isn’t the first time in recent history where the gun control community has decided to bite the bullet (sorry, bad pun) and accept less gun control than see a conservative leaning Supreme Court make a nationwide ruling. Washington DC became “Shall Issue” following Wrenn vs. District of Columbia where the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia court ruled the ban on open carry and “good reason” restrictions on concealed carry were unconstitutional. In order to protect the gun control laws of states like California, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Washington DC did not pursue further appeals. Of course, DC continues to change their rules to make it extraordinarily expensive and difficult to obtain and keep a “Shall Issue” permit, but you wouldn’t expect them to just follow the law now would you? 

So what would a non- moot ruling mean? Other than getting a ruling on the original case itself, it would prevent the City and State of New York from simply reversing the law again and reinstating the exact same restrictions they had in place. But what the gun control zealots fear the most is the Court will rule favorably on firearms possession outside the home OR that Second Amendment cases must be examined under “Strict Scrutiny”. 

Some quick notes on Rational-Basis, Intermediate Scrutiny, and Strict Scrutiny

  • Under rational-basis the government must have a legitimate interest and the law must be “rationally related” to the interest. 
  • Under intermediate scrutiny, the government must have an important interest and the law must be substantially related to the interest. 
  • Under strict scrutiny, the government must have a compelling interest and the law must be narrowly tailored to the interest. 

Note that the likelihood of a law being overturned increases as the level of scrutiny increases. 

It’s also important to note that even when the district courts have examined cases under intermediate scrutiny, they have relied on shady, unreliable and incomplete “evidence” to reach their biased opinions in Second Amendment cases. 

What was the evidence in favor of the NYC travel ban? An affidavit with nothing more than a series of conclusory statements. The entire evidence in support of the travel ban was an affidavit from a former gun-licensing official. He speculated that licensed New York City handgun owners transporting unloaded handguns outside the city might perpetrate “road rage.”  Without a strong, definitive ruling from the US Supreme Court, logic like this is what will determine whether or not you get to keep your natural rights. 

And let’s not forget the attacks on the US Supreme Court members themselves. After the disgraceful attacks during Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, the possibility of his impeachment was openly discussed. This, as well as the so-called “grassroots” movement by graduates to remove him from his position as a lecturer at Harvard Law School and other positions, is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate him into tempering his rulings. 

Even more blatant was the brief five Democratic Senators filed in response to the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York case itself. They argued: “The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” said the brief, filed in August by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”

The threat is crystal clear.  If the court rules against the City of New York, it will be restructured to a more liberal point of view.  If that isn’t the definition of political influence of a Supreme Court case, nothing is.  

So there you have it. If the case is ruled moot, the City of New York will be free to un-reverse their regulations and restrict law-abiding citizens in new and creative ways until another case makes it back to the US Supreme Court, just in time to be moot again. OR, the court can rule against the City of New York and establish the proper procedure for all Second Amendment cases – and risk being restructured to the point where it is no longer able to make any non-politically approved ruling. 

Who is to blame for having a non-independent judicial branch of our government?  We are… all of us citizens / voters who have allowed our representatives to make a mockery out of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  Who we vote for has consequences and we’ve only begun to see how bad it can be. 

Bob

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