A Direct Threat To Public Safety

This quote was part of the California Governor’s response to the ruling from U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez declaring the state’s 32-year-old ban on so-called “assault weapons” unconstitutional. While this matter is nowhere close to being final, the June 4, 2021, ruling in Miller v. Bonta is a substantial step forward in the restoration of Second Amendment protected rights in the State of California, as well as the rest of the country. 

The first part of this ruling is: 

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment. Good for both home and battle, the AR-15 is the kind of versatile gun that lies at the intersection of the kinds of firearms protected under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) and United States v Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).”

Of course, the Governor and State Attorney General Rob Bonta immediately attacked this ruling:

“Today’s decision is a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period. The fact that this judge compared the AR-15 — a weapon of war that’s used on the battlefield — to a Swiss Army knife completely undermines the credibility of this decision and is a slap in the face to the families who’ve lost loved ones to this weapon.”

By attacking the analogy used by Judge Benitez instead of the facts of the case, then continuing to perpetuate the “weapon of war” lie, it showed how little understanding the Governor and Attorney General really have about firearms, crime, violence and the Constitution.

The comparison is apt as the iconic Swiss Army Knife is universally recognized as an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool. The Judge could have just described the fact that the AR-15 is an indispensable, multi-function, multi-use tool, but he decided to use the common analogy to make the point. Thinking it compared lethality or anything else is absurd. 

Of course, the “weapon of war” lie is one of the most popular myths among the gun control extremists. It attempts to portray the AR-15 as the exact same firearm used by military forces. Naturally it is not, and the incredibly HUGE difference is military firearms that ‘look’ like the AR-15 are select fire; having the ability to fire multiple rounds per trigger pull, either in a burst or fully automatic. The AR-15 has NEVER been used by our military or any other as a “weapon of war”. It is simply a semi-automatic firearm, just like any other semi-automatic firearm without the so-called “evil” cosmetic features. But you already knew that. 

While the full ruling is 95 pages long, I encourage you to take some time and read it. Like all of Judge Benitez rulings, it is extremely well thought out and documented with verifiable, factual evidence, even if the State of California ignores it. The link to it is below. 

The big question is of course, what happens now? Judge Benitez stayed the ruling for 30 days within the ruling itself, ironically expiring on the 4th of July. The State will appeal, as they have promised in their public statements.  

California is the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, well known for its hostility towards and rulings against anything Second Amendment related. Cases in the Ninth tend to be decided by the political ideology of the judges assigned to the case rather than facts or Constitutional issues. 

The success in this case was made possible thanks to generous donations and the member supported organizations behind it. The cost has been significant and will continue to grow as it goes to the next stage. 

Now realize the State of California has unlimited resources to fight this case. Why unlimited? Because they are fighting this with YOUR tax dollars. The highly exorbitant tax dollars you pay to the state not only pay for their socialist agenda items, but to litigate cases like this to protect their ability to strip your rights away from you. If the State needs more money for the effort, they simply shuffle money from one account (like the DROS fund) to another. If they run out of money, well guess what, there’s more of that where it came from, YOU. 

And let’s not forget the billionaire funded anti-gun “grassroots” groups and lawyers who do not want this case to become precedent for the entire country. 

With the ruling stayed pending appeal, the State has everything to gain and nothing to lose by dragging out their appeals. The longer the case go on, the more resources are drained from firearm rights organizations. More dollars spent on this case means less dollars spent in other cases. All they need to do is drag this case out long enough for the 5-4 conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court to be reversed, or the Supreme Court to be packed by liberal appointed Justices, whichever comes first. 

This case is FAR from over and it is going to be years before it makes it to the Supreme Court. Even so, there is no guarantee it will be granted a writ of certiorari OR be heard by a Court supportive of Second Amendment protected rights OR be adjudicated in our favor. Even in the absolute best of circumstances, it’s a crapshoot. The chances of getting any law reversed, even a bad one, is slim at best and the only ones who are certain to win are the lawyers. 

I will repeat what I have said time and time again, the ONLY way to prevent these kinds of idiotic, non-sensical gun control laws from going into effect is to STOP electing people who are promising to take away your rights. 

Bob

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/firearmspolicycoalition/pages/5381/attachments/original/1622850515/Miller_v_Bonta_Opinion.pdf

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If Gun Control Works, Why Hasn’t It?

If gun control works, why are parts of our country with the strictest gun control laws the ones with the most violence and crime? 

If gun control works, why are the parts of our country with the least restrictive gun control laws the ones with the least violence and crime? 

If gun control works, why are they always telling us we need more gun control?

If gun control works, why are they always telling us there are “loopholes” in the gun control laws they created that need to be filled in with new gun control laws? 

If gun control works, why do the gangs, terrorists, criminals and thugs always have guns?

If gun control works, why are American citizens buying firearms to protect themselves and their families in record numbers? 

If gun control works, why are the areas with the strictest gun control blaming the areas without strict gun control for the crimes and violence committed in the strictest gun control areas, when the areas without strict gun control don’t have the same level of crime and violence? 

If gun control works, why are more and more cities, counties and states doing away with gun control laws and passing laws to further protect our natural right to keep and bear arms? 

If gun control works, why hasn’t it? 

Bob

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A Presidential Three Envelope Joke

There’s been a lot of speculation of what was in the envelope POTUS #45 left on the Resolute Desk for POTUS #46. Well, now is the time to reveal it. It was in fact three envelopes. POTUS #45 pulled the Three Envelopes joke on the incoming administration. 

If you’re not familiar with it, the Three Envelope joke goes like this. 

On the way out, the previous administration leaves three envelopes. The instructions say when things are bad and you don’t know what to do, open the envelopes in order and they will help guide you through the tough times. 

Upon entering the White House Oval Office, the POTUS #46 sees the envelopes and, not knowing what else to do, opens the first one. It says, “Blame the previous administration”.  Badakathcare, he exclaims! The current administration proceeds to blame everything not going well on the previous administration. 

Time goes on and this strategy wears itself out. The country is looking for answers and the administration has none. With a bit of relief, he opens the second envelope, and it says, “Reorganize”. C’mon man, he cries! Despite this, the administration reorganizes and POTUS #46 is quietly slipped out the back door and the VPOTUS is now POTUS #47. The newly woke and reorganized administration goes about undoing and reorganizing everything into a new, “better” way. 

A short time later, the reorganization strategy loses steam, and the country is once again looking for leadership. POTUS #47 having none to offer, opens the last envelope. It reads, “Make up three envelopes.” 

Bob

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When Mr. Right is Wrong!

Today’s slightly off-topic rant is dedicated to Bob Right of Saline, Michigan. Mr. Right came to Odd Stuffing, blocked me – the author & owner of this page – then proceeded to post insults on my posts. His Facebook profile page and “comments” are attached. 

It’s almost as if Mr. Right wanted to be able to post his abuses with impunity and not have to face any response from me. How very Facebook of him. For this juvenile attempt at a monolog, he has been banned. 

As I’ve said before, I enjoy having people disagree with me and commenting with their point of view on my posts. This is how I and everyone else gains a greater understanding of the issues we face today. I absolutely abhor blocking or banning people or deleting posts. I think it squelches the free exchange of ideas and only makes matters worse.

What I post are my opinions and I stand behind what I write. If someone doesn’t agree with them, that’s okay. I encourage you to reply with your own thoughts on the subject. But if the best you can do is insults and name calling, the lowest type of argument, how am I or anyone else expected to take you seriously? 

So, for coming on my page, purposely blocking the owner/author, then hurling insults, I reply to you with something you can easily understand, the universal intellectually superior comeback that trumps any argument; C’mon man! 

Bob

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2021 Federal Gun Control Part 3: H.R. 1207 (Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2021)

In their never-ending quest to systematically diminish and eliminate natural rights protected by the Second Amendment, gun control politicians have introduced H.R. 1207, the Stop Online Ammunition Sales Act of 2021. Like all of the other gun control bills introduced by this Congress, it is nothing more than a feel good, do nothing attempt to “stop gun violence” that will only increase costs and restrict rights. 

This bill would ban online sales and direct delivery of ammunition to consumers, forcing all ammunition sales to be conducted face-to-face. It would also require ammunition retailers to be federally licensed and report purchases of 1000 rounds of ammunition or more to federal, state and local law enforcement authorities. 

If you’re wondering where this comes from, look no further than the West coast and the California Department of Justice formerly under the control of the current (Vice) President. Whereas every other jurisdiction that implemented some form of ammunition control and reporting abandoned it for being completely infective, California doubled down and rolled ammunition sales into the state’s DROS (Dealer Record of Sales) system used for firearms background checks and control. 

But then California has what gun control extremists lust for, a full name and firearms registration system that tightly controls what can and can’t be purchased and how often purchases can be made. By tying ammo sales by state licensed ammunition vendors into this system, it can not only do background checks on each and every ammunition sale or transfer between individuals, it can also document who buys what kind of ammunition, and how much. 

Built into the system but thus far unannounced is the ability to ban any type of ammunition California wants, very similar to the highly restricted California roster of handguns certified for sale. It can also limit the amount of ammunition anyone can purchase in any given time frame as well as restrict the caliber of ammunition purchased to firearms registered with the state. 

None of this is a secret. These additional capabilities have all been proposed in previously submitted California gun control legislation. The only reason it hadn’t been enacted was because the system to implement it wasn’t in place. With that hurdle overcome, it won’t be long before these additional controls are nudged into place to eliminate so-called “loopholes” in the law. 

It’s not like there aren’t other examples of the progression of government gun control failures. Following New Zealand’s ban and confiscation of tens of thousands of semi-automatic firearms, “gun crime hit a new peak” last year. Undeterred by this, the country is fast tracking a new national gun registry and restricting the sale of ammunition to calibers of guns already registered with the government. 

H.R. 1207 moves a number of gun control wish list items forward. Eliminating online sales simply increases the cost for consumers and forces them into a local retailer where more government control and tracking can be imposed. By requiring retailers to obtain a federal license (the equivalent of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) required to sell firearms), as well as the additional government tracking paperwork, it will increase the cost of doing business, and therefore the cost of ammunition, causing more retailers to stop selling ammunition. 

As far as reporting sales of 1000 rounds of ammunition or more, it’s anyone’s guess as to where that number came from. No doubt it’s from the same place that determined 10 rounds in a magazine is safe enough for civilians. People buy ammunition in bulk to save money, not only on the ammo but the shipping. Despite the shocking news coverage of some politician-with-a-badge saying, ‘I’ve never seen such as huge stockpile of ammunition’, 1000 rounds is not that uncommon of a number. Competitive shooters, instructors, students who take a multi-day class or someone who enjoys shooting can easily burn through 1000 rounds very quickly. 

Is someone having more than 1000 rounds more dangerous than someone having a single box of 50 rounds? No, of course not. The logistical limitations of weight and space restricts how much anyone can carry. As far as I know, the only person to fire that many rounds in a criminal act was the shooter in Las Vegas who had days to secrete that much ammo in his room. You are far more likely to be shot in an urban environment by someone with a single handgun firing only a few shots. 

This bill only increases costs, reduces choice and enables more government tracking and control. It is only the beginning of federal ammunition control. 

Remember, gun control does absolutely nothing to increase public safety and the answer to fix that shortcoming is always to implement more gun control. 

Bob

#oddstuffing, #Constitution, #BillOfRights, #SecondAmendment, #HR1207, #AmmoControl, #GunControlFails, #mewe, #medium, #parler, #gab, #oddstuffing.com

More Threats For The Supreme Court

Another week, another set of threats directed at the United States Supreme Court from the White House, Congress and dark money political action groups. Their intent remains clear and blunt; decide cases in our favor or the Judicial Branch will be restructured to give us the results we want. 

From the Harris-Biden [sic] administration we have the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. The 36 member, so-called “bipartisan commission” is made up of far-left legal scholars, Democrat activists and a handful of Republicans who were highly critical of the former President. Public meetings by the commission will start the 180-day deadline for a report to the Administration. 

According to the White House, “The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals. The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices.”

Put another way, after six months of dog and pony show meetings and millions of taxpayer dollars, the hand-picked, pro-Supreme Court reform activists will deliver a predetermined conclusion to justify restructuring the Judicial Branch to meet progressive needs. 

From the extreme left political action groups and activists, we have a call for Justice Stephen Breyer, a stalwart and senior member of the left leaning Justices, to retire following a speech at Harvard Law School. 

Justice Breyer’s offense was he spoke out against packing the Supreme Court. He argued public trust in the court rests in the perception “the court is guided by legal principle, not politics”. This would be eroded if the Court’s structure were changed in response to concerns about the influence of politics on the Supreme Court.

Naturally, Justice Breyer’s thoughts go against far-left’s court reform movement, championed by dark money groups such as Demand Justice, the former employer of the current White House Press Secretary as well as the Administration’s point person on judicial nominations. The calls for Justice Breyer’s resignation include the commitment from the President to replace him with the first black female on the Court. 

From the Democrat controlled Congress, we have the Judiciary Act of 2021, a two-sentence bill introduced by Democrat members of the House of Representatives and Senate to pack the Supreme Court with five new liberal appointed Justices, bringing the total from nine to 13. 

The logic behind this is the 6-3 conservative majority on the Court. That’s all, nothing else. In reality, it’s a 5-4 conservative majority, with the Chief Justice now firmly siding with the left leaning wing following his capitulation to the threat of forced reform presented in the Senate Democrat’s “Heal Thyself” memo issued during the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York case. Still, any conservative majority is too much. 

The defense of packing the court has been as loud as it has been flawed. 

“We’re not packing the Court. We’re unpacking it.”

“The Supreme Court is fundamentally broken. And ultimately, I think we can anticipate decisions that emanate from this Supreme Court that are absolutely going to create a public cry for a change in the numbers of the Supreme Court so that they cannot continue their undermining, their destruction of historic, progressive laws that have been put on the books.”

A critical point to be considered here. If the only way to get “historic, progressive laws” to pass Constitutional scrutiny is to pack the Court with far-left liberal Justices who will rule in favor of them, then it’s a safe bet the laws were NEVER Constitutional in the first place. 

When asked if the Judicial Act of 2021 would be brought to the floor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives commented: “No. I support the President’s commission to study such a proposal… It’s not out of the question.”

The Speaker’s “It’s not out of the question” response is clearly meant to intimidate the current Court into compliance with the far-left agenda. Unfavorable rulings from cases under consideration are sure to bring swift retribution from the Democrat controlled Congress in the form of action on the Judicial Act of 2021. 

Then there’s the rub. 

Despite the loud voices from the far-left members of Congress and their aligned media outlets, actual support in Congress and the public for packing the Court is small. Packing the court would also require the Senate eliminate the filibuster, something that has also shown very little support in Congress and the public. These efforts are recognized as the political power grabs they really are and would certainly cost the members of Congress who vote for them the one thing they hold more dear than anything else, their reelection.

But these are desperate times for the far left and if they can’t push packing the Supreme Court through, then the elimination of Justices they believe are vulnerable will likely commence. While their time is limited, there is a lot of damage they can do before the mid-term elections in 2022.  

Bob

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Executive Actions, Gun Control Extremists and the ATF

Last Thursday, the Harris-Biden [sic] administration announced six gun control Executive Actions. The first five were simple requests that quite honestly could have been handled by a phone call or email. But then that wouldn’t have been as flashy as a televised Rose Garden event with the gun control crowd. The final one however, is of the most concern. The nomination of a gun control extremist / spokesperson and oath breaker to lead the federal agency responsible for the regulation of the firearm industry foreshadows what we can expect from this administration on gun control. 

The photo is of ATF Director Nominee David Chipman proudly posing for a picture in front of the still smoldering ashes of the Branch Davidian compound and the bodies of 76 American citizens, including 20 children burned alive in Waco, TX, the end result of the botched ATF raid on the compound. 

The announcement ceremony of the Executive Actions was exactly what you would expect from this administration. It included the now all-to-common unintelligible Presidential speaking gaffs as well as outright lies about the Constitution, the Second Amendment, American history, firearms laws and the impact of gun control. Yes, I said lies. Not misspeaks or things that could be interpreted in multiple ways, lies. These were statements that are factually wrong. 

All of the Executive Actions announced on Thursday are of concern for the Second Amendment community and are already attracting broad opposition across the country. However, it is the last one, the nomination of Chipman for Director of the ATF that is the most troublesome. 

Chipman is a 25-year veteran of the ATF, notably being the case agent for the Branch Davidian raid. Upon retiring from the ATF, he went on to be a senior policy advisor for Mayors Against Illegal Guns and provided training and support for gun control groups such as The Joyce Foundation, Americans for Responsible Solutions, The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Center for American Progress. He later became the senior policy advisor for the Giffords gun control group.  

Chipman, who describes himself as “proud and responsible gun owner” says “I am also permitted to carry a concealed handgun.” Please note his use of the word “permitted” here vs. ‘I have a right to carry a firearm.’ Allowing only a select, chosen few to carry a firearm outside their homes is a common goal of gun control extremists like Chipman. It is also important to realize that as a retired law enforcement officer, Chipman has a 50-state concealed carry permit granted to him through the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Yet national concealed carry permit reciprocity is denied the average American citizen. 

Then there are the lies. Chipman lied when he said “At Waco, cult members used 2 .50 caliber Barretts to shoot down two Texas Air National Guard helicopters. Point, it is true we are fortunate they are not used in crime more often.” The record is clear on this. No helicopters were shot down. 

Chipman lied when he testified before Congress and claimed that the American gun market was “flooded” with “foreign made ARs.” Nearly all AR pattern rifles are American made, something a seasoned ATF veteran would know.

Chipman falsely testified that the reason why NFA (National Firearm Act) weapons are seldom used in crimes is because there is a background check with photos and fingerprints taken, along with a $200 tax. The real reason NFA firearms and accessories are not used in crimes is they range from rather to extraordinarily expensive and are owned by law-abiding citizens. Criminals, who possess and use the EXACT SAME type of firearms and accessories in crimes DO NOT register them with the NFA. 

While referring to so-called “assault weapons”, Chipman testified “I believe we should ban the future production and sale to civilians and afford current owners of these firearms the ability to license these particular guns with ATF under the National Firearms Act.” He is quoted as saying “What I support is treating them just like machine guns.” 

Now consider the current push for universal background checks which is touted as being the ONLY way to keep guns out of the hand of criminals. Keep in mind all commercially made firearms must be initially purchased through a federally licensed firearms dealer WITH a background check. But if that background check is insufficient to prevent them from being used in crimes like NFA firearms, then how long will it be before ALL firearm ownership and purchases will be subjected to NFA requirements including the registration, transfer and transport restrictions and tax? 

Chipman has falsely described firearm suppressors as “The gun does not sound gun-like. It takes the edge out of the tone . . . This is how I would describe it: It makes a gun sort of sound like a nail gun.”  In reality, the 30-35 dBA difference between a nail gun and a suppressed pistol will be perceived as at least eight times louder to the human ear. 

David Chipman is a prime example of the type of “proud and responsible gun owner” gun control organizations love. He is willing to turn his back on his oath and use his reputation to restrict and eliminate the very same type of firearms he owns, uses and surrounds himself with for his protection, all in the finest tradition of the gun control elite. 

Finally, handing over the reins of a government agency to a paid gun control extremist who has not only endorsed but participated in the heavy-handed enforcement efforts the ATF has regrettably become infamous for should be a signal for all law-abiding firearm owners of what we can expect from the Harris-Biden administration beyond these “initial” gun control measures. 

Bob

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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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