radarrider: (Default)
This just came into my inbox.


BELLEVUE, WA – A key amendment that would allow national park visitors to carry concealed firearms in accordance with state statute is a common sense provision that deserves support, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the amendment – added to House and Senate credit card legislation – was adopted by an overwhelming 67-29 Senate vote Tuesday, showing broad bipartisan support. If passed into law, Coburn’s amendment will essentially restore a new national parks concealed carry rule that became effective in January, but was challenged in court by the gun ban lobby.

In a statement, Coburn noted that, “If an American citizen has a right to carry a firearm in their state, it makes no sense to treat them like a criminal if they pass through a national park while in possession of a firearm.”

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb agrees, noting that the rule change merely brought national parks in line with national forests and other federal lands, where citizens typically can carry firearms under the statutes of the state in which those lands are located.

“Opponents of this change,” said Gottlieb, “have wrongly suggested that allowing concealed carry in national parks will somehow lead to poaching and reckless target shooting, and diminish park safety. None of that alarmist rhetoric is true, but the rule has been challenged in court. By making this a provision of law, rather than an administrative rule, Senator Coburn’s amendment can put an end to that nonsense.

“One would think,” Gottlieb added, “that after the Supreme Court ruled on the Second Amendment last year, the individual citizen’s right to keep and bear arms would be respected everywhere, especially on federal park land. It looks like the majority in the United States Senate agrees with that concept.”
Jun. 26th, 2008 12:41 pm

Excuse me?

radarrider: (Default)
One very unsettling fact of the Supreme Court ruling in Heller is that it was a 5-4 decision.  The four that you would probably expect dissented.  One particular argument in the dissent caught my eye, though I haven't read the whole thing yet.
In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote that the majority "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."
Seriously, it's a wonder the man can even dress himself in the morning.  So let me get this straight.  You're saying that anything that can be considered a "tool" available to elected officials to do something is de facto constitutional.  Uh huh.  Well, there goes the whole argument against the recently passed FISA bill.  It's a tool available to elected officials so it can't violate the Fourth Amendment.  Right?

That dimwit.  Of course the Framers made such a choice.  The Constitution is one giant exercise in limiting the tools of elected officials (i.e. the government) in order to protect fundamental rights.  That he seems incapable of recognizing that very basic fact utterly disqualifies him from serving as a Supreme Court Justice and I hereby demand his immediate resignation from the bench.
radarrider: (Default)
The decision in District of Columbia v. Heller has been handed down by the Supreme Court.

We win.

I haven't read the full ruling yet, but here's the first extremely important bit:
1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for
traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
Pp. 2–53.
(a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but
does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative
clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it
connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.
This drives a stake through the whole "collective rights" view of the amendment. It's an individual right and the prefatory clause (also known as a preamble) states one reason for including the amendment, but does not in any way limit the right it enumerates.

There is yet hope.
radarrider: (Default)
The core tenet of our Constitution is that supreme power resides in the People and that We the People allocate some of that power to government because there are some exercises of said power that are most efficiently performed by government. But while the government has powers, the People have something the government cannot have: rights. Some of those rights, but not all of them, are listed in the Constitution and in the Amendments which have been added, the first ten of which form the Bill of Rights without which the Constitution would not have been ratified.

The First of these Amendments is well known and has been the topic of considerable debate over the life of this nation, and especially over the last several years. The Fourth Amendment has also recently become notable in public debate with the recent passage by the House of the new FISA bill. But when it comes down to it, if the government becomes truly tyrannical, then it is the Second Amendment which becomes of paramount importance for only through force of arms can We the People truly invoke the supreme power that we inherently possess when all other avenues have failed. It is for that and other reasons that the Second Amendment was specifically added to the Constitution, the first (and possibly still the only) national founding document to include such a provision.

The Supreme Court will shortly release its decision in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. This decision has the potential to be the most important decision regarding the scope and purpose of the Second Amendment since the decision in United States v. Miller in 1939. As The GeekWithA.45 says regarding what is to come:

The ruling could blatantly stand against us, pronouncing a non right. The ruling could also embrace any of a number of possible perversities, pronouncing an impostor who wears the clothing of a right, but whose exercise in some way comes to a nullity, either by cunningly disguising a highly conditioned privilege, or by some other swindle.

The odds of a perverse ruling are slim, but not zero. History tells us that the Supreme Court has pulled some doozies in the past.

If the outcome is perverse, then the sun has truly set on anything recognizable as our free Republic of free humans.

We should know within the week what the decision is. Keep your fingers crossed.
radarrider: (Default)
Once again, a criminal with a gun has led to disarmament of the law-abiding.  Mayor Nickels apparently believes that by decreeing that city properties be gun free will somehow, magically, make it so.  Of course, only those who obey the law will obey this one.  People who do not obey the law, i.e. criminals, will ignore it, at least as long as there's no physical enforcement.  Even then, there's always a way to sneak something in.

In the case of this particular shooting, it was a gun banner's wet dream come true: the shooter had a concealed pistol license.  As the mayor said, "The suspect in the Folklife Festival shooting was issued a concealed weapons permit last year, even with a history of drug abuse and severe mental health problems."  Um, then he shouldn't have been issued the license, right?  What happened was that the issuing agency (the county sheriff or city police) didn't follow the proper procedure, or they did but somehow the guy made it past the various checks that are performed.  In the end, it doesn't matter.  By using his gun illegally, he's a criminal.  It doesn't mean that every law-abiding person with a CPL is going to do the same thing.  And even if he wasn't issued the CPL, would that have physically prevented him from carrying a gun to the Folklife festival?  Of course not.

Next up:  Determining whether or not Mayor Nickels' ban violates state law.


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