Archive for the ‘US Constitution’ Category

Stunner: Three of the four women on "The View" support gun ownership for protection

by John Lott on Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

This is article 547 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights
Transcript
JENNY MCCARTHY: “People who would definitely disagree with the NFL ruling is a gun safety group that is trying to pressure Republican senators to support gun restriction laws for domestic abuser with a brutal PSA. Now, warning, get your kids out of the room. Because this is pretty disturbing. Take a look.”

MCCARTHY: “Right? Effective, Lara?”
LARA SPENCER: “I would say highly effective. I mean so upsetting. Very strong message. And-“
SHERRI SHEPHERD: “For not getting a gun? For, for having gun safety?”
SPENCER: “Well right, but that’s, that’s the catch here.”
SHEPHERD: “Can I tell you, can I tell you the flipside of that. And that is absolutely so disturbing, but the flipside is when I was at my home and the alarm went off, and I ran to my son’s bedroom and Jeffery was crying, and I realized all I had to protect me and somebody coming around that corner was a daggone wicker trash basket. And I said to myself and “Everybody said to me, well get a bat.” You got one chance to use a bat and if they take it away. “Get pepper stray.” You know how close they got to get to you, if you use pepper spray? You got one of these? [makes a gesture like she’s holding a gun and makes a sound of cocking a gun] They’re not gonna come near you and your child! So when you’re standing there, and you don’t know how to protect your child ? Get a gun in your home!”
JULIET HUDDY: “Well I was gonna say when I was in my In my early twenties I had a stalker. A lot of people have that situation whether they are on TV or not on TV. And I remember feeling so vulnerable. And I just remember constantly going to sleep at night wishing that I could go over and grab my dad’s gun. You know? And keep it behind my bed. You know the knife? The butcher knife in the kitchen wasn’t gonna work for me. You know?”
SPENCER: “I have two kids. I would never want a gun in the house.”
MCCARTHY: “I’ve been in circumstances like Sherri where, you know people tried to break in and I’m with my son going, “I wish I had something to protect myself with.””
SHEPHERD: “I think that’s the thing when you’re standing there and if you’ve ever been in that situation where you have children and you go what do I have?”
MCCARTHY: “I used to think like you.”
SHEPHERD: “I used to think like you too. When you’re sitting there going-“
SPENCER: “What changed you?”
MCCARTHY: “That happened to me. They were trying to get in and I felt out of control and I had a child, and I was thinking to myself I wish I had a gun and I wish, you know, I have it very well protected now. There’s no way. Locked up.”
SHEPHERD: “Locked up, go to the gun range, know how to use it. There was a man who broke into a woman’s house. She was up in the attic. She had her two twins. He, as soon as he put his face in the attic she shot him.

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My newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Armed doctor saved lives"

by John Lott on Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This is article 546 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights
My newest piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer starts this way:

On Thursday afternoon, Dr. Lee Silverman undoubtedly saved many lives. Using a handgun, the Delaware County psychiatrist stopped what both police and the district attorney described as a certain mass killing at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

The attacker, Richard Plotts, is a convicted felon, which bans him from legally owning a gun. But Pennsylvania’s universal background check law did not stop him. Neither did the hospital’s signs banning guns.

The proposed federal law on expanded background checks that President Obama continually pushes is similar to Pennsylvania’s and would not have stopped Plotts either. Indeed, it is hard to see how it would have stopped any of the other mass shootings during his presidency.

At Mercy Fitzgerald, caseworker Theresa Hunt was killed when Plotts opened fire during a regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. Lee Silverman. Fortunately, the doctor had his own gun and returned fire, hitting Plotts three times and critically wounding him.

After firing all the bullets in his gun, Plotts still had 39 bullets on him, bullets that he could have used to shoot many other people. Silverman’s three hits, however, made it possible for two other hospital employees to tackle the wounded attacker and secure his .32-caliber revolver. Plotts has since been charged with murder and attempted murder.

Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux was clear: “Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives. … Without that firearm, this guy [Plotts] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.” . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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Why Have a Bill of Rights ?

by Dr. Robert Owens on Saturday, July 26th, 2014

This is article 183 of 183 in the topic US Constitution

In any free society that area of life which is left to the sole discretion of the individual includes all actions that are not specifically forbidden by a general law. 

In our nation when it came time for the ratification of the Constitution it would have been impossible to gain the votes needed if the backers of a centralized national government had not promised that the first thing they did was pass a Bill of Rights.  It had been asserted by the proponents of liberty that to enumerate such a list would eventually become a statement that only those rights enumerated were protected.  However, it was generally believed certain rights were so important and so open to suppression that fundamental guarantees were needed.  In consequence the Constitution was lengthened to include the first ten amendments as the opening business of Congress. 

Over time the argument that these enumerated rights would come to be seen as the only ones protected has certainly come to pass, which is another of the assertions of the Anti-Federalists that have stood the test of time.  However, it has also been shown that without these constitutional protections these enumerated rights would have long ago been relegated to the ash heap of History. 

Even with the protection of the Bill of Rights there has been a steady chipping away at the rights our forefathers thought were so important.  A Supreme Court that has abrogated onto itself the power to nullify the will of the people as expressed in legislation and to invent rights that are nowhere enumerated debates whether or not “shall not be infringed” really means it is legal to restrict.   

In our age of seemingly endless technological change we must admit that any enumerated list of rights cannot be complete.  What about surveillance?  Does our right to privacy which has been asserted to allow tens of millions of abortions extend to our growing Orwellian Omni-present surveillance state?  Does the state have a right to follow us with drones?  To kill us without due process?  To collect our emails, our phone calls or keep a ledger of where we go?  Under President Bush people demonstrated because his administration wanted to see the records of library withdrawals.  Under President Obama the populace is silent about the most egregious violations of our rights.   

What about the rights of the States?  Do they have the right to be protected from invasion?  Do they have the right to pass and enforce laws that call for local agencies to enforce the federal laws that the central government refuses to enforce?   Ever since the 17th Amendment stripped the States of their representation in Congress our federal system has been debilitated to the point of paralysis.  Today the central government runs roughshod over the States demanding that they stand by helplessly as their citizens are harassed and their sovereignty is evaporated. 

If the Bill of Rights is to remain as any type of bulwark against tyranny it must be accepted that they contain a general assumption that government is restrained from infringing upon the traditional rights that we have enjoyed.  If we stand ideally by while our rights are redefined to irrelevance we will one day wake up to find ourselves in a prison camp we once called the United States of America. 

We have experienced over the course of the last two hundred years that the Constitution could be no more than a somewhat porous protection from the assumption of total power by a centralized government.  Today we endure levels of control and taxation that make the causes of our own Revolution pale in comparison.  It is hard not to believe that if Washington, Henry, and that generation were with us today they wouldn’t be issuing declarations and raising the alarm, “The totalitarians are coming!  The Totalitarians are coming!!” 

The only protection of this creeping corruption of our constitutionally limited government is an informed public.  If the people sleep the tyrants dream.  They dream of ordering society to match whichever version of a utopian pyramid scheme they adopt to fool the people.  It matters little whether they call it communism, fascism, or progressivism a re-education camp is a prison by another name.  It matters little whether we call it censorship or political correctness.  It matters little whether we call it taxes or penalties.  It matters little whether we call it coercion or regulation.  

What does matter is whether we are truly free or free only in name.  Can we do what we want or can we merely do what is allowed? 

Outside of the bounds of the constitutionally established amendment process the Progressives have used the fiction of a Living Document to make the Constitution a dead letter.  Executive orders, signing statements, court decisions, and the bewildering framework of regulation stretch the power of government while restricting the freedom of the people. 

Empires rise and empires fall.  Some fall due to invasion and some due to suicide.  The European Empires committed suicide in two fratricidal World Wars that destroyed their cities and left their people shell-shocked and unwilling to bear the burden of power. 

Today we watch while our great republic jettisons the world girdling empire it inherited from the exhausted Europeans.  We stand mute as our leaders abandon the leadership not only of the free world but of the world itself.  Not for the noble cause of reasserting freedom at home but instead because we have spent ourselves into bankruptcy with bread and circuses to amuse the masses while a clique of elites concentrates power.  We have empty suits leading representatives who have gerrymandered their way to perpetual election presiding over an unelected bureaucracy that rules by decree. 

Does liberty still ring or has the bell finally cracked beyond repair?  Why do we have a Bill of Rights?  So we can remember who we once were. 

Dr.

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Fortunately, doctor with a gun critically wounded shooter who attacked hospital, gun-free zone sign didn’t stop attack

by John Lott on Thursday, July 24th, 2014

This is article 545 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights
This attack apparently occurred in a gun-free zone.  Here is a great quote from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

“There’s a sign on the door that says you have to check your weapons at the front,” she said, “But you can’t expect every crazy person to do that.”

From Fox News about an attack at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, PA:

A doctor who was grazed by gunfire from a patient in his office at a suburban hospital on Thursday helped stop him by apparently returning fire with his own weapon and severely injuring him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.

The patient opened fire after entering the office with the caseworker, District Attorney Jack Whelan said. Witnesses reported hearing yelling before the gunshots.

Several hours after the shooting, investigators had only limited information on what happened inside the closed office but believe the doctor, a psychiatrist, “from all accounts, would have acted in self-defense,” Whelan said.

The doctor, who suffered a graze wound to his head, “faced a situation where his life was in jeopardy,” Whelan said. . . .

Another doctor and a caseworker were among those who helped wrestle the patient to the floor of a hallway and grabbed his weapon after he had already been critically wounded from several gunshots, Whelan said. . . .

CBS News has some more details:

The patient, who had psychiatric problems, opened fire after entering the doctor’s office with a caseworker Thursday afternoon, Whelan said. The female caseworker was killed. The doctor appears to have suffered only a graze wound and was expected to be released from treatment later in the day.

Authorities have not publicly identified the gunman or his two victims. CBS Philly reports Whalen said the gunman was shot three times. Both the doctor and the suspect were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for treatment, according to the station. . . .

The name of the attacker appears to be Richard Plotts.

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"Illegal Aliens Are What They Are" and "Moral Equivalency & Other Fantasies"

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans when it comes to illegal immigration is that the Democrats stand to benefit from increasing the Hispanic vote. But both are equally guilty when it comes to not stemming the invasion. Otherwise, we would hear the Republican politicians demanding that a huge wall be erected along our southern border, instead of parroting Obama’s call for comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty).

The problem is that folks on both sides of the aisle want to privatize the profits to be accrued from cheap labor while socializing the costs. If we were serious about solving the problem, we would, one, stop subsidizing illegals with free health care, free education and free food; and, two, we would fine and jail anyone responsible for hiring them. And I’m not just referring to smalltime outfits that hire a few guys to help out on construction jobs, but the folks who own the hotels and restaurants where these people are making beds and busing tables.

Obama wants Congress to help him bring what he refers to as “the best and the brightest” to the United States. If he’s referring to those illiterates sneaking across the border, perhaps he’s auditioning for a career as a stand-up comedian. Until now, I had assumed he kept his sense of humor concealed in the same vault where he’s concealed his birth certificate, his early travel visa and his college application.

The EEOC, like every other federal bureaucracy under Obama, has over-stepped its authority by constantly filing lawsuits against companies that insist their employees speak English.

But, then, there is no government agency that I wouldn’t like to see either diminished or eliminated altogether. What’s more, I would see to it that no government bureaucrat, be it at the city, state or federal level, ever received another bonus. What do they ever do that deserves one? It certainly can’t be for working overtime. As we all know, anytime you show up at one of those offices after closing time, whether it’s at 4:01, 4:31 or 5:01, you’ve found the doors locked and the lights off.

Speaking of federal agencies, I bet no conservative in America was surprised to hear that our State Department was far more incensed over the killing of one Arab youngster than it was by the killing of three Jewish teenagers in Israel. What’s more, Israel arrested six suspects in the murder of Abu Khdeir after a couple of days, whereas the Palestinians not only haven’t made any arrests in the murders of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, after a few weeks, but aren’t likely to in the next fifty years. But it’s only Israel that is ever condemned by the weasels at the U.N. and the anti-Semites who infest academia and the media.

It seems that Hillary Clinton, who is pinning most of her political hopes on carrying a large majority of the single woman vote, once, as a 27-year-old lawyer, defended a creep who beat and raped a 12-year-old girl. Recently, a four decades-old tape popped up on which she is heard laughing while saying that she had lost all faith in polygraph tests because her client had fooled the machine.

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Fortune Magazine completely mangles story on gun sales "declining"

by John Lott on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

This is article 544 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights
Fortune magazine’s Laura Lorenzetti makes a lot of logical mistakes in her “news” article here.

It looks like Americans may be buying fewer guns this year.

Smith & Wesson  SWHC , the 162-year-old gunmaker, lowered its guidance for the quarter and rest of the year, even as it reported better than expected sales in its fiscal fourth quarter that ended Apr. 30. Shares of Smith & Wesson’s stock had dropped nearly 9% by the close of trading Friday following the announcement.

The company reported sales of $170 million in its fourth quarter, higher than the average analyst estimate of about $164 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue was almost 5% less than the year-earlier quarter. . . .

The once high-selling gun industry may be facing a comedown as incidents of gun violence have soared this year. There has been an average of almost one school shooting every week for the past year and a half, the Washington Post reported earlier this month. . . .

Does reporter Laura Lorenzetti have any idea how inaccurate the Bloomberg claim that there was one school shooting every week for the last year and a half?  The claim that increased gun violence is responsible for a drop in sales makes many errors.  Does a sales drop for Smith & Wesson imply an overall drop in gun sales?  No.

So what do the NICS checks numbers show on gun sales (click on screenshot to enlarge it)?  NICS checks are not a perfect measure of gun sales, but it is hard to see how its biases have changed in a systematic way this past year.

With the exception of background checks in January and February, 2014′s background checks exceed those in 2013 and they are well ahead of those in 2012 for all months.  Fortune incredibly fails to even mention the explosion of gun sales right after Newtown and President Obama’s re-election.  Does anyone believe that January and February sales in 2013 were normal sales to make comparisons with?  Even if Smith & Wesson’s sales might be down for the last quarter, sales for the entire industry during the April through June quarter look like they are still higher than 2013.  How the Fortune reporter can spin a discussion from one gun maker into a general commentary on the entire gun industry is pretty disappointing.

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Obama Encounters an Apex of Anger

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, July 20th, 2014

This is article 994 of 996 in the topic Obama

By Alan Caruba

Barack Obama has managed to do something one would hardly imagine a President could achieve by the midpoint of his second term. He has managed to anger most segments of the American populace, including those to the far Left who constitute a significant part of his base.  It has taken time for most people to reach this point.

Americans are amazingly patient with their presidents, but Obama has pushed them beyond scandal fatigue. The “final straw” appears to be the illegal alien invasion masterminded by Obama.

What they are seeing and hearing is not what they were sold; a charming man of allegedly extraordinary intelligence. Friday’s press conference regarding the shoot down of the Malaysian commercial aircraft showed us a man utterly lacking any moral outrage and, as always, “leading from behind” by insisting this was Europe’s problem, not one that would be addressed by an America doing anything more than applying a few economic sanctions.

He looked and sounded bored, annoyed that he had to utter a bunch of empty platitudes about Russia; the same Russia with which he and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had declared a “reset” from previous administrations’ relations. Putin took his measure and saw weakness.

Obama’s response to the Middle East was to pull out all our troops from Iraq and a muddled series of actions in Afghanistan topped by the announcement of when troops there would leave, always a very bad idea when the enemy is still in the field. The “Arab Spring” became another Obama nightmare of bad decisions.

Lies, Lies, and More Lies

It took years, but it eventually became clear to most paying any attention that Obama has told so many lies that whatever he says now is deemed worthless. Then, too, his administration is now subject to congressional investigations that include the Internal Revenue Service and the Veterans Administration.

The Attorney General was slapped with contempt of Congress. A key figure in the IRS scandal, Lois Lerner, has pled the Fifth.

The House of Representatives is getting ready to sue Obama for failing to obey the Constitution’s separation of powers. The President’s efforts to ignore the Constitution have been met with an extraordinary number of Supreme Court rebuffs, many of which were unanimous.

How bad is Obama’s situation at present? One indication is the way the news media has been slowly, but steadily falling out of love with him. As Paul Bedard noted recently in the Washington Examiner, “In unprecedented criticism of the White House 38 journalism groups have assailed the president’s team for censoring media coverage, limiting access to top officials, and overall ‘politically-driven suppression of the news.”

David Cuiller, president of the Society of Professional Journalists, said, “It is up to journalists—and citizens—to push back against this force.

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East Tennessee family restaurant posts "Guns are Welcome"

by John Lott on Saturday, July 19th, 2014

This is article 543 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights

From WBIR in eastern Tennessee:

“As the owner, I wanted to stand my ground. I have that constitutional right. If you like it, that’s great, if you don’t, I’m sorry for you. I can’t change who I am,” said Sharma Floyd, with Shiloh Brew and Chew.
Floyd said she posted the signs about a month ago after reading a story out of North Carolina.
“They had put up a sign that said ‘No Weapons Allowed’ and they were robbed at gunpoint two days later. The convenience store manager was shot,” said Floyd. “And that got me thinking. I lost a whole group of motorcyclists because they thought I didn’t allow weapons. But I believe it’s ok to carry as long as you have a permit.”
The restaurant does not sell liquor, and Floyd said she asks anyone who orders a beer if they are carrying. . . .

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Chicago crime crisis: Holder to send ATF agents instead of cops

by Jim Kouri on Saturday, July 19th, 2014

This is article 329 of 329 in the topic Criminal Activity

During his Wednesday visit to the crime-ridden city of Chicago to meet with the Windy City’s Mayor Rahm Emanual and his public safety chiefs, Attorney General Eric Holder, said that as part of his goal to help the city government fight crime and reduce youth violence he is directing the head of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to deploy an additional seven ATF agents to its Chicago office.

According to a Justice Department press statement, the additional ATF agents will work with the U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon and with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The additional seven agents brings the total of ATF enforcement staff with sworn-police status to 52 men and women.

But many law enforcement officials complain that Holder is more interested in furthering his anti-gun ownership agenda than in protecting life and property in Chicago. “Why is he sending gun-grabbers to Chicago instead of real law-enforcement officers? The ATF has a history of exceeding their authority. Remember Waco? Fast and Furious?” notes former police sergeant and detective Marty Sachs.

Sgt. Sachs points to a quote by Attorney General Holder in which he explains the ATF strategy: “The Department of Justice will continue to do everything in its power to help the city of Chicago combat gun violence,” said Holder. “These new agents are a sign of the federal government’s ongoing commitment to helping local leaders ensure Chicago’s streets are safe.”

Former police detective Iris Aquino shook her head and said, “He said it himself: helping Chicago combat gun violence. Does that mean he’s not interested in knife violence? Or blunt instrument violence? What about IED [improvised explosive device] violence? This administration is wrong when it comes to street crime; wrong on fighting criminal alien gangs; and wrong on combating Islamic terrorists.

Last month, the ATF premiered its Chicago Crime Gun Intelligence Center which promised to bring together the anti-gun activities of the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police and the ATF to deal with the illegal sales and possession of firearms in the State of Illinois, home of President Barack Obama and birthplace of Hillary Clinton.

Holder’s press statement claims that: “Gun crime is the primary driver of homicide in Chicago, and sixty percent of the guns recovered in violent crimes in Chicago were originally sold in other states and trafficked into the city. Given the interstate nature of these crimes, it is critical that federal and local law enforcement work together to identify traffickers and enforce federal gun laws.”

“There a two things that seem to be an obsession with Holder: White racism and gun ownership. Just recently he blamed dissatisfaction with the Obama administration on racism against blacks. And he blames climbing crime statistics on guns. He’s wrong on both counts,” said political strategist Michael Barker.

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Obama uses Russia’s actions in the Ukraine to ban importation of AK-47s

by John Lott on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

This is article 542 of 547 in the topic Gun Rights
The day before the tragic shooting down of a passenger airline the Obama administration banned the importation of AK-47s from Kalashnikov company.  Here is the Treasury order:

374. If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions?  Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market?

If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction.  New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014.  If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory. [7-16-2014]

Of course, these aren’t the military versions of the AK-47 that are used in wars around the world, but civilian semi-automatic versions of the guns.

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