Tuesday, January 15, 2008

THE SELL-OUT and updates

This from John Lott:
As probably the most prominent Second Amendment law professor in the country privately confided in me, “If the Supreme Court accepts the solicitor general’s interpretation, the chances of getting the D.C. gun ban struck down are bleak.”

The Department of Justice argument can be boiled down pretty easily. Its lawyers claim that since the government bans machine guns, it should also be able to ban handguns. After all, they reason, people can still own rifles and shotguns for protection, even if they have to be stored locked up. The Justice Department even seems to accept that trigger locks are not really that much of a burden, and that the locks “can properly be interpreted” as not interfering with using guns for self-protection. Yet, even if gun locks do interfere with self-defense, DOJ believes the regulations should be allowed, as long as the District of Columbia government thinks it has a good reason.

Factually, there are many mistakes in the DOJ’s reasoning: As soon as a rifle or shotgun is unlocked, it becomes illegal in D.C., and there has never been a federal ban on machine guns. But these are relatively minor points. Nor does it really matter that the only academic research on the impact of trigger locks on crime finds that states that require guns be locked up and unloaded face a five-percent increase in murder and a 12-percent increase in rape. Criminals are more likely to attack people in their homes, and those attacks are more likely to be successful. Since the potential of armed victims deters criminals, storing a gun locked and unloaded actually encourages crime.

The biggest problem is the standard used for evaluating the constitutionality of regulations. The DOJ is asking that a different, much weaker standard be used for the Second Amendment than the courts demands for other “individual rights” such as speech, unreasonable searches and seizures, imprisonment without trial, and drawing and quartering people.

If one accepts the notion that gun ownership is an individual right, what does “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” mean? What would the drafters of the Bill of Rights have had to write if they really meant the right “shall not be infringed”? Does the phrase “the right of the people” provide a different level of protection in the Second Amendment than in the First and Fourth?
Lott concludes with this statement:
But all is not lost. The Supreme Court can of course ignore the Bush administration’s advice, but the brief does carry significant weight. President Bush has the power to fix this by ordering that the solicitor general brief be withdrawn or significantly amended. Unfortunately, it may take an uprising by voters to rein in the Justice Department.
If we have any power as a lobby, now is the time to exercise it. If the eventual Republican Presidential nominee isn't willing to repudiate the Bush sell-out and guarantee an attorney general accetable to us, it is time to stay home! This "lesser evil" theory is nonsense — see how well it's worked for us so far!

I'm going to try and have both David Hardy, producer of the documentary In Search of the Second Amendment and proprieter of the Of Arms and the Law blog, along with Jim Shepherd of the SHOOTING WIRE on the DOWN RANGE Radio podcast tomorrow (which, of course, you can listen to here on the blog or on DRTV or subscribe off iTunes (search Podcasts...DOWN RANGE Radio in the iTunes Store).

Jim as you may or may not know, was one of the original guys at CNN and has been active in television news for the better part of...forever. He is hands down the most knowledgeable person on Washington politics I have ever met. David Hardy is working right now on the academic's amicus for SCOTUS, which will not, BTW, sell us out.

These interviews are predicated on a lot of audio equipment working exactly the way it is supposed to (and exactly the way it worked yesterday PM), so keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I note that the El Salvadorian-based street gang, MS-13, has been advancing the cause of immigrant rights by repeatedly defacing the New Haven, CT, Vietnam memorial by spray-painting the words "KILL WHITES MS-13!" Read about it here; thanks for the tip, Chills!). Well, at least they spelled both "kill" and "whites" correctly! Who says assimilation doesn't work anymore?

According to Newsmax FBI sources, the gang is active in 44 states and as early as 1995 was meeting with al-Qaida, probably to arrange for the purchase of cans of spray paint since there are now strict laws regulating same throughout the United States.

All the more reason to be ARMED IN 2008!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Bane I humbly suggest the following: There needs to be an organized and meaningful petitioning of the administration over this brief. Certainly nothing prevents we as individuals sending emails or letters to the powers that be, but I believe it would be so much more effective if there was some guidance and leadership. Lawyers run all this crap and I think that within the 2A community they should be asked to help. Hell I wouldn't argue a speeding ticket without a lawyer today. All us other folks can lend then our weight of numbers behind the message. Will the NRA step up to the plate on this? If not, then who will take the lead?

So here are some thoughts…First of all who needs to be the recipients? Second what should the message be? Finally how should the message be stated? The message may vary depending on the recipient so there may be multiple petitions. Anyway just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...


I sent this note to the Republican Senator in my state. I suppose I could have used more agressive language, but then this is the first note. Call and write ASAP! :

Dear Senator Coleman

It has come to my attention that officials in the Bush Administration have filed Amicus Curiae briefs in for the plaintiff in the Heller v City of Washington DC Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court.

Both Stephen R. Rubenstein, Chief Counsel of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Paul D. Clement (et al) the Solicitor General and Counsel of Record for the Department of Justice have filed Briefs that by their reasoning, invalidate the Second Amendment.

I have voted Republican (and financially supported your campaign in the past) for the last 20 years in part because of the support in the party for the Second Amendment. Please advise the Bush Administration that they need to rescind these briefs ASAP! It does not make political sense to alienate a key constituency in an election year. The Republicans are going to need all the help they can get come November.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Bane:

I just sent an e-mail to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and also signed the online petition provided by the Republican Representative from Virginia. I agree with you.....we all need to get involved.

A quick personal history. I'm a business consultant and former fortune 500 executive. I am also former military (Airborne Ranger for three years...graduated from both the USAMU Sniper School and Marine Corp Scout Sniper School). Net is that after the military, I owned both shotguns and rifles and hunted but never owned, nor felt the need to own a handgun. However, when my house was vandalized while Bill Clinton was President and passing gun control legislation, I suddenly felt a need to own a handgun. I bought my first handgun but rarely carried concealed. However, I was profoundly affected by the Virginial Tech shootings because no one fought back. I refuse to be a victim or allow my wife or children to be victimized when I can do something about it. Starting in September of 2007, I began taking handgun personal defense classes, practicing weekly, and am now planning to compete in IDPA this year. I also joined the NRA and began to actively support my 2nd amendment rights. Net of this story....I took my rights (to keep and bear arms and to protect myself and my family) for granted for over 20 years and depended on others to do the hard lifting for me. Shame on me. If we value the rights I've outlined above, we, as gun owners, must all stand up and actively protect these rights. Thanks for your leadership in this regard.