There are many reasons why the Second Amendment right to bear arms is critical and must not be abridged in any way. The Left is trying to exploit the Tucson shootings to, once again, attempt to implement substantial gun control. We must make sure that this does not occur.
This comic illustrates another important and not frequently discussed reason to maintain this right. Data has repeatedly and irrefutably shown that states with concealed weapon carry laws have lower crime rates that states and cities which don't allow it.
The article below details the outrageous arrest, conviction and sentencing of a man who was found to have to unloaded guns in his car which were legally purchased and properly stored. Unfortunately for him, this occurred in liberal N.J. which has among the nation’s most stringent gun control law. Luckily, N.J. Governor Chris Christie was apprised of the absurdity of this case and commuted the sentence.
Such strict gun control laws may ostensibly be in direct conflict with our Second Amendment rights. Furthermore, research has consistently and irrefutably shown that states in which such laws are enacted have a statistically higher crime rate.
We must vigilantly protect our right to bear arms. In many nations it has been this right which has protected the citizenry from oppressive and tyrannical governments.
Christie Commutes Sentence of Man Serving 7 Years for Transporting Legal Guns
Jonathon M. Seidl December 21, 2010
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has commuted the sentence of a man sentenced to seven years in prison for transporting guns he owned legally.
27-year-old Brian Aitken was arrested, charged, and convicted in 2009 after his mother called 911 (but hung up), worried that he was distraught over not being able to spend time with his son and was considering suicide.
Police eventually traced the call and found Aitken. And when they did, they also found two unloaded handguns in his his trunk, which he owned legally. The guns were there, he says, because he was in the process of moving.
That apparently didn’t matter.
“This case is the perfect storm of injustice,” Aitken’s attorney, Evan Nappen, told the Daily Caller last month.
Now it seems Christie agrees. On Monday the governor commuted Aitkens sentence to time already served and ordered him released as soon as it’s “administratively possible.”
The Daily Caller reports:
New Jersey law requires residents who want to transport firearms legally to request a permit from a local law enforcement office and produce a letter stating why it is necessary for them to carry a gun.
Aitken’s attorney argued that his client was innocent of any offense because the firearms were legally purchased (at a Bass Pro Shop), properly stored, and unloaded. And though New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Aitken’s attorney said his client did not violate any law because he was in the middle of moving residences between two states.
Nonetheless, Aitken was sentenced to seven years in prison in August. His supporters say the judge refused to accept evidence supporting his defense. He was convicted of the same kind of felony a criminal who had bought guns with intent to commit a crime would have faced.
Aitken moved from Colorado, where gun laws are much more reasonable, to New Jersey after separating from his wife in 2008. His original plan was to be closer to his son. Now that seems possible.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution, the right to bear arms, should not require much interpretation yet it has been challenged on numerous occasions. It is shocking that circuit court judges and even Supreme Court Justices provide variant interpretations. The fact that the Supreme Court decision in the Heller v. District of Columbia case in 2008 regarding Washington’s strict gun prohibition was overturned by only a 5 – 4 margin, should give pause to freedom loving Americans.
Our freedoms can be ephemeral – they can be taken away in a flash. The “progressives” and the far-left in our country are relentlessly attacking our innate rights and freedoms, often in incremental and stealth ways. The Second Amendment not only allows us to protect ourselves from others who aim to harm us but as Thomas Jefferson noted, it also is what can protect us from a tyrannical, overreaching government.
We must be ever vigilant in protecting and defending these rights and freedoms.
'Right To Bear Arms' Means Just That
Investors Business Daily 03/03/2010
Gun Rights: Otis McDonald, 76, an Army vet who lives in a high-crime area of Chicago, thinks the Constitution gives him the right to bear arms to protect himself and his wife as he protected his country. We think so too.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments on behalf of four Chicago residents led by homeowner McDonald, the Second Amendment Foundation and the Illinois State Rifle Association to overturn Chicago's three-decade-old ban on owning handguns.
In a 5-4 decision in 2008, Heller v. District of Columbia, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court overturned the District of Columbia's draconian, 32-year-old ban on the private ownership of handguns. Scalia wrote that an individual right to bear arms is supported by "the historical narrative" before and after the Second Amendment was adopted.
The joy of Second Amendment defenders was short-lived. A three-judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, led by Judge Frank Easterbrook, rejected subsequent suits brought by the National Rifle Association against the city of Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, Ill.
According to Easterbrook, the Revolution was fought and independence won so that the Founding Fathers could write a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that applied only to the District of Columbia.
"Heller dealt with a law enacted under the authority of the national government," he wrote, "while Chicago and Oak Park are subordinate bodies of a state."
We're all for federalism, but the U.S. Constitution is the U.S. Constitution. Surely he can't be serious.
Alan Gura, the Alexandria, Va., lawyer who won the Heller case, has expanded the argument to include the 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868 to prevent infringement on constitutional rights by states and others concerned about newly freed slaves owning firearms.
Introducing the 14th Amendment to Congress, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan referred to "personal rights" such as "the right to keep and bear arms, " explaining that his amendment would compel the states "to respect these great fundamental guarantees."
In 2008, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an amicus brief on behalf of 32 states that also challenged the constitutionality of the D.C. ban. Now he represents a group of 38 states fighting the Chicago ban. "The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is a critical liberty interest, essential to preserving individual security and the right to self-defense," Abbott explained.
Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote in 2008 that in Chicago only two classes of people can possess firearms: "The criminals and the politicians."
City politicians, he noted, used their influence to "become deputized peace officers so they can carry" or "often go around surrounded by armed bodyguards on the city payroll."
Otis McDonald wants the same right to defend himself and his family. To deny him that right, city officials argue that repealing the ban will bring carnage in the streets. Yet in the forthcoming third edition of "More Guns, Less Crime," John Lott points out that the Windy City's murder rate fell relative to America's other 50 largest cities before the ban and rose afterward.
In an essay Monday for FoxNews.com, Lott noted that after the D.C. gun ban was ruled unconstitutional, murders in Washington plummeted 25% from 2008 to 2009. D.C.'s murder rate, he reports, is down to 23.5 per 100,000 people, its lowest since 1967.
More guns do seem to mean less crime. And as Mr. McDonald insists, those who gave us liberty gave us the means and the right to defend it.
By action and words on myriad occasions, Obama has indicated that the Constitution cramps his style. Exuding arrogance and narcissism, he readily indicates that he will blatantly disregard its restraints and promulgate whatever legislation he so desires, whether it be the Federal government takeover of healthcare, industries or even firearm and munitions restrictions.
Obama has shown particular disdain for and has challenged with legislation the First, Second, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments. We, the American people, need to be eternally vigilant and vigorously oppose his each and every attempt to abrogate our Constitutional rights and freedoms.
Obama must be stopped!
Obama vs. the 10th Amendment
by Chuck Norris 03/02/2010
Not surprisingly, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released last Friday revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms.
Particularly apropos here is the feds' health care violation of the 10th Amendment, which is part of our Bill of Rights and was ratified Dec. 15, 1791. The amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Thomas Jefferson explained the pre-eminence of this amendment in 1791: "I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."
The point is that based on the 10th Amendment, when it comes to legislating and controlling our health care, the federal government doesn't have a constitutional leg to stand on. And even its past violations of the 10th Amendment by implementing government health care services have proved to break more national legs than they have to mend them. The proof is in the pudding. How many times does it have to be pointed out to Washington? Medicare is going bankrupt. Medicaid is going bankrupt. Case closed.
The government is inept to run America's health care system. And now it wants to expand its programs (its health care business) to oversee what equates to one-sixth of the gross national product? What rational board anywhere in the world would rightly appoint a CEO who had a string of miserable business failures and major corporate bankruptcies in his dossier?
I agree with Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at Stanford University Medical Center, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who put it best in their article a few months back, titled "Alternatives to government health takeover." They said this: "We think it's critical that power shifts to the American consumer and away from government, employers and insurers, as evidence shows medical care prices come down when patients pay directly.
Government should offer tax relief, such as refundable tax credits, to encourage private health insurance purchasing -- especially for low-income families. Similar ideas, like those in the Patients' Choice Act ... are important for Americans to consider. We would do well also to consider creative ideas such as changing federal payments to state-based medicaid plans to individual vouchers or expanding health savings accounts, as has been done in South Carolina."
Returning the onus of solving health care issues to families, local communities and states would not only return a balance of power to our federal government but also help with America's economic recovery and build up communities at the same time.
The abuse of federal political power to intervene in areas such as Americans' private health care could exist only in a nation that no longer holds its leaders accountable to its constitution and that has governmental leadership that regards itself as above its people and its constitution. Sadly, I was listening to an interview the other day in which President Barack Obama described the U.S. Constitution as "an imperfect document ... a document that reflects some deep flaws ... (and) an enormous blind spot." He also said, "The Framers had that same blind spot."
In so doing, the president established a rationale and justification for disregarding the Constitution. Even worse, he placed himself above the Constitution and those "blind Framers," who just couldn't see the big picture as he does today. After all, he's the constitutional scholar, and the Framers were just, well, the creators of the document!
Our 44th president would do well to learn from America's third president, Thomas Jefferson, himself a source greater than any living constitutional lawyer. Imagine Jefferson sitting there at the health care summit, a ripe sage at roughly 80 years of age. After listening to all the clamoring of both Republicans and Democrats, he politely but sternly utters these words, which he also wrote to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson in 1823: "The States supposed that by their tenth amendment, they had secured themselves against constructive powers. They (did not learn from the past), nor (were they) aware of the slipperiness of the eels of the law. I ask for no straining of words against the General Government, nor yet against the States. I believe the States can best govern our home concerns, and the General Government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold as at market."
The following are some very insightful quotes from famous individuals, some over 200 years ago and still quite relevant. Think about each one of these pronouncements and place them in perspective with events transpiring today. They are very prescient and can be used to constructively address present issues.
From Thomas Jefferson:
"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world”
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy."
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical."
“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."
From U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Parker:
"It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error."
From George Mason:
"To disarm the people (is) the best and most effectual way to enslave them..."
From Henry Steele:
"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive."
Thanks to the far-left ideologues who blame society and the perpetrator’s unfortunate circumstances (he had such a bad childhood!), the pendulum has swung excessively far in order to protect the “rights” of criminals, especially repeat offenders, who they empathetically claim are “victims” too. This, of course, is to the detriment of innocent and often dead victims and their families who never will have justice or peace. Our public officials, most notably judges, should be held accountable for their actions and more egregious rulings. If these evil, depraved individuals were kept off the streets with much longer prison sentences that were appropriate to their crime and past criminal history, there would be less crime and we would all be safer.
Practically, we need to be able to fully defend ourselves against crime. The vocal far left, media and many Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration appear to be preparing to challenge the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, in a variety of ways.
In the following video, Ted Nugent expresses his moral outrage about this problem and voices solutions that many people feel but may not verbalize.
In the recent history of these confirmation hearings, the Democrats have monolithically voted for the appointees if they were liberal and against if they were of conservative ideology – and aggressively and relentlessly challenged them. The Republican Senators have been far too gracious and derelict of their responsibilities, essentially mailing it in and accepting candidates that should have undergone far more rigorous questioning. Unfortunately, it appears that history is repeating itself again. This should rightfully enrage the countless conservatives who are placing their dwindling hopes that Sotomayor can be exposed for the racially divisive jurist that she has so patently demonstrated in the past and have her confirmation blocked. Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama has taken his responsibilities seriously and should be lauded whereas Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina initial comments to her that confirmation was inevitable essentially removed virtually all of the pressure off her.
Chicago’s gun control law (ban) was upheld by a three judge panel based on their unusual interpretation of the Constitution. Sonia Sotomayor, Obama’s selection for Supreme Court justice, supports this decision. This is additional evidence that she is on the wrong side of the right to bear arms.
Read: Sotomayor Guns For The 2nd Amendment
Americans are getting restive and angry with the bloodless coup we find ourselves in the midst of thanks to the Obama Administration, Pelosi, Reid and other ultra-left Liberals in Congress. In every direction we turn, there are threats to our rights, freedoms and economic well-being. We have ubiquitous taxes and proposals for more taxes. Giving our fair share means taking as much as possible from those who are productive and distributing it to those who are lazy, undeserving or illegally living in this country.
Warp speed to Socialism with consolidation of power and wealth to the Big Brother Government! It is now the proud owner of GM, wants to determine pay for employees of companies even beyond those to whom it has bailed out and gives sweetheart deals to unions while illegally shafting bond holders.
In the legal department, we have a nominee (Sotomayor) that in no uncertain terms states that some individuals are more equal than others, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. She also has indicated disdain for the First Amendment (Right to Free Speech) and the Second Amendment (Right to Bear Arms) as well. We haven’t yet reviewed her stance on the other Amendments.
We can go on and on enumerating more of these radical changes and confiscatory policies being implemented but you get the point. Meanwhile, where is the opposition, the Republican Party who is supposed to represent and speak out for us? They are a minority party but their influence and presence appears to be microscopic. Perception and appearance is everything and they appear to be a feckless group though this may not necessarily the case. Instead, several passionate, articulate and well-informed Conservatives in the media have effectively taken on the challenges. Like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Newt Gingrich, Thomas Sowell and many others. Conservatives in America have been active with grassroot organizations and, of course, the Tea Parties.
The Republican Party needs to be more articulate, passionate, aggressive, bold, persistent and omnipresent rather than just polite and trying to be thought of positively by the liberal media. Maybe they should seek inspiration from their New York counterparts who recently staged a coup in their State Senate.