Efficient as ever, Hillary Clinton attacks 1st and 2nd amendments in one sentence


**Posted by Phineas


Hey, why only gut one amendment in the Bill of Rights when you can trash two at the same time? It’s a progressive win-win!

During a televised town hall, Hillary Clinton was asked about guns, and said that the viewpoint held by gun-rights advocates “terrorizes” the majority of Americans.

The town hall, broadcast live on CNN on Tuesday, closely resembled a commercial for Clinton’s new memoir, “Hard Choices.”


“We cannot let a minority of people – and that’s what it is, it is a minority of people – hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people,” said Clinton.

Get that? Not only are you allowed to own firearms only at the sufferance of the State, but you are not even allowed to hold a point of view that differs from the majority opinion, presumably as long as that majority happens to agree with the progressive statist position.

And “terrorizes?” Really, Hillary? I’m not allowed to hold the opinion that the natural right to self-defense allows me and all other Americans to arm ourselves and that the Bill of Rights recognizes that unalienable right against government power, because said opinion might make your neighbors in Chappaqua get the vapors? How weird. In all my reading about the American Founding and our constitutional settlement, I never ran across the part that talked about how we have free speech as long as it isn’t scary. I don’t recall Voltaire saying “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it, as long as it does not offend the majority.”

Hey, Hillary? What about other minorities? Blacks in the 1950s and 1960s were of the opinion that they held the same natural and civil rights as other Americans and loudly demonstrated to demand those rights be honored. That surely scared the majority Whites at the time, so should Blacks have not been allowed to hold those opinions? I’m curious for your thoughts on the matter.

File this away for 2016, folks, should Lady Macbeth decide to run: it is the opinion of a leading candidate for President of the United States, who swears an oath to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution —including the Bill of Rights— that you are only allowed to express your own opinions as long as most people are comfortable with them.

Comforting, isn’t it?

h/t Bryan Preston

PS: Hillary is no outlier for her party: just the other day, President Obama was praising Australia’s draconian gun confiscation law. The simple truth is that the Left approves of the Constitution only when it is convenient to them.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Another 2nd Amendment win in California


**Posted by Phineas

"Crime stopper"


Okay, someone has put something in the water at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; this is the second ruling in a row where they’ve defended the right to bear arms in self defense against hyper-restrictive California laws. This time, they smacked down the Yolo County Sheriff:

Just weeks after striking down the San Diego County “good cause” requirement as burdensome to the exercise of the Second Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Yolo County, CA’s requirement that a concealed carry applicant “prove they face a threat of violence or robbery” before being allowed to carry a gun.

The Court in its new-found crush on the Bill of Rights found that the application of the “good cause” rule in Yolo “impermissibly” infringed the plaintiffs 2nd Amendment rights. While the ruling only applies to the county in question, it seems to me this is another wedge in the door that opens the way for a state-wide ruling.

Civil liberties — what a concept!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Ninth Circuit overturns California gun law


**Posted by Phineas

law constitution bill of rights

When even the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says progressive gun-grabbers have gone too far, it’s something to take note of:

The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.” The Ninth Circuit thus joins the Seventh Circuit, and disagrees with the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits. (State courts are also split on the subject.)

“Shall issue” vs. “may issue” has been a big bone of contention among gun rights advocates here in California, as high-handed county sheriffs and city police chiefs have used the distinction to deny otherwise law-abiding citizens their right to carry a weapon.

Given the differences between the various circuit courts, expect this one to go to the federal Supreme Court.

PS: The Washington Post genuinely upgraded the paper by letting Ezra Klein go and adding Prof. Eugene Volokh, founder of The Volokh Conspiracy.

via PJM.

RELATED: More analysis. What next?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

A Christmas lump of coal for the gun-grabbers


**Posted by Phineas

"Crime stopper"

“Crime stopper”

It seems concealed-carry cuts down on gun crime:

The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

It’s logical: not only would potential victims be able to defend themselves, but the uncertainty of whether said potential victim (or anyone in the area) is carrying a weapon would tend to make a criminal less likely to strike. This woman might have been able to save herself. There’s a reason why the Founders protected the right to self-defense in the Bill of Rights.

Of course, logic, reasonableness, and constitutionalism will continue to be ignored by the Feinsteins, Bloombergs, Schumers, Morgans, and other gun-grabbers in the world.

via RBpundit

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Navy Yard shooting: an AR-15 *was* used there. Updated.


**Posted by Phineas

All too predictably, gun control advocates raced to take advantage of the atrocity of yesterdays’s mass shooting at the Navy Yard to press their case, this time by decrying the use of an AR-15 in the killings, the semi-automatic rifle having become the fear-object of choice for people who hate the Second Amendment (1).

Trouble is, the shooter didn’t use an AR-15. From what can be reconstructed, he entered the base armed with a legally-purchased shotgun (Joe Biden’s “Good Weapon”) and at some point obtained a pistol. But, gun-rights defenders are also wrong: there was at least one AR-15 involved in the shooting.

It was used by the police to kill the bad guy.

Sorry, gun-grabbers.

PS: After the last mass shooting, at Newtown, there was a lot of talk about the dangers of gun-free zones. So, will someone please explain, why, of all places, are military bases still  gun-free zones, per a Clinton-era regulation? These are people trained to use firearms and respond to combat situations. Why are we forcing them to be sitting ducks?

via Doug Powers

(1) And check out how this Advanced Placement Exam textbook mangles the Second Amendment. That is either gross ignorance or deliberate deception.

UPDATE: Based on a couple of comments on Twitter, I should clarify something. The point isn’t to argue over what kind of weapon was used, per se, but to correct the misinformation the reactionary Left uses to advance its agenda for an eventual gun ban. (Regardless of what they say, that’s where gun-control logic leads.) If left uncorrected with the truth at all times, the lie becomes the dominant narrative and the momentum goes to the gun-grabbers.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

(Video) Liberal racism in action: The Black NRA


**Posted by Phineas

Like AlfonZo Rachel and his friends say in the video below, comedienne Sarah Silverman and her friends may have had good intentions in mind with their “Funny or Die!” piece, but the message, when you think about it, is pretty danged racist.

In that patronizing, condescending way that progressives do so well.

Watch, and see if you agree:

Pretty amazing, no? And I bet none of those “enlightened, socially aware” people in Silverman’s video will ever get why.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Irony Alert: Barack Obama, world’s greatest gun salesman


**Posted by Phineas

Per Bob Owens, the effect Obama and the progressive agenda has had on firearms sales has been nothing short of phenomenal:

The United States is the most heavily armed nation in world history, and it seems we have President Barack Obama to thank for it.

Before you ask: we’re not talking about the U.S. military, we’re talking about the firearms owned by the general population. The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) estimates that there are roughly 300 million firearms in the United States — and of those, nearly 40 million new firearms have been sold just since Barack Obama came into office in 2009.

This is a staggering jump of more than 15 percent in just over four years, in a nation 237 years old.

Other estimates put the number of firearms in this nation much higher, such as the 310 million figure cited by the Congressional Research Service. An estimated 10 million firearms now enter the domestic market each year, and the majority of them are semi-automatics designed for personal defense.

To put these forty million new guns sold (along with up to 30 million used guns sold) in just over four years into context: the M1 Garand — the primary rifle of the U.S. military through the full mobilization of the country during World War II and the Korean War — saw just 6.25 million produced in its 21-year production run from 1936-1957.

Under Obama, Americans have purchased nearly seven times that number of new firearms — in just over four years.

There’s more: the numbers on ammunition sales are simply stunning. It seems people are stockpiling in fear of a ban.

The next time the firearms industry has their national convention, they should name Obama “salesman of the year.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

3D printed guns scare progressives, so of course they want to ban them


**Posted by Phineas

Because the future is frightening.

First, a BBC news video to show you what the fuss is all about:

The Telegraph describes it thus:

Instructions for making The Liberator, a plastic handgun that could escape detection by conventional airport security, were today made freely available to download from the internet by anti-government activists in the US.

It was created by a group in Texas that aims to make “WikiWeapons” that can be reproduced with a home computer and a $1,000 (£644) 3D printer that uses heated plastics instead of ink.

“It’s a demonstration that technology will allow access to things that governments would otherwise say that you shouldn’t have access to,” Cody Wilson, the leader of Defense Distributed, told The Daily Telegraph.

Emphasis added. And that scares statists like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who’s first, knee-jerk reaction is to ban it:

The Liberator may look like a toy, but “this gun can fire regular bullets,” Schumer said, calling for legislation outlawing the technology’s weapons potential.

The bill was drafted by Rep. Steve Israel (D-L.I.).

“Security checkpoints, background checks and gun regulations will do little good if criminals can print their own plastic firearms at home and bring those firearms through metal detectors with no one the wiser,” Israel said in a statement.

To Schumer, the ramifications of make-your-own untraceable and undetectable weapons are “stomach-churning.”

“Now anyone, a terrorist, someone who is mentally ill, a spousal abuser, a felon, can essentially open a gun factory in their garage,” Schumer said. “It must be stopped.”

Apparently Chuck (and Rep. Israel) have never heard of improvised firearms, before, such as the Sten gun, meant to be made in home workshops. And Loyalist militias in Northern Ireland practically made a hobby out of homemade submachine guns. (So did the I.R.A., from what I’m told.)

But it’s not what the terrorist or criminal might do with the weapon that truly scares progressives, though I doubt even Schumer realizes this. Look again at the bolded quote above — Wilson nails it. What truly scares the progressive statist is the loss of control.  The ideal, for Schumer and those like him, is the administrative state run by bureaucratic experts who decide what’s best for everyone. Life is too complicated for the “average Joe,” so we need ever more legislation and regulation to keep everyone safe and prosperous in line. That includes access to firearms, which have advanced beyond anything the writers of that dear, but now obsolete Constitution could imagine.

What frightens them is that it makes their precious regulations powerless. Like I wrote before on this issue:

But now think about the effect on gun control: this (3D priting) is the discontinuous innovation. Statists and gun-banners and those standing on the graves of children can scream as loud as they want for ever more laws controlling firearms, maybe even get them, but, as long as you can download the plans and have access to a printer… All those laws are useless. They’re the modern buggy-whips.

An idea once conceived cannot be un-thought, and technology once discovered cannot be undiscovered. Even the secret of making an atomic bomb is out there, in spite of all our efforts to keep it classified;  only the difficulty of obtaining the materials and constructing it have slowed its spread.

But combine 3D printers (which are only going to get smaller, cheaper, and more portable) with easy information distribution — hello, torrent sites! — and, well, Schumer and his wise, progressive control-freak buddies can write all the laws and regulations they want; it just won’t do any good. People will ignore them.

And that’s what scares the pants off progressives.

PS: I can see one potentially big benefit to the advent of 3D firearms: by showing how useless gun-control regulations are, it might actually spur us to deal with the real problem behind mass shootings, such as at Aurora and Newtown — mental illness and the lousy state of mental health care in the US.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Quote of the Day: On #GunControl, Obama, and lameducks


**Posted by Phineas

Writing in the Telegraph, Tim Stanley makes a trenchant observation in the wake of the defeat the gun-control bill in the Senate yesterday and the President’s angry reaction:

4. Barack Obama is a lame-duck president. Nobody listens to what he says anymore, nobody is interested in winning his approval and nobody much cares if he thinks they have “let the country down”. This is typical for a second-term president who has lost all their leverage because they’re no longer running for office and everybody is patiently waiting for the day when he quits the White House. But Obama’s difficult personality has doubled the size of the challenge. Gloating in victory, adolescent in defeat – the Prez doesn’t make it easy to work with him. Why should conservative senators give him a legislative victory after he has spent four years painting them as knuckle-dragging rednecks who hate women and the poor?

Narcissists just can’t stand it when their carefully nurtured inflated sense of self-esteem is punctured. When it happens, they take it personally and we get petulant tantrums, as we saw yesterday.

But this is just one victory for civil liberties against Progressive usurpations. Obama may have been checked in Congress on this, he may have little “banked political capital” left to shove major legislation through, but the presidency still has immense regulatory power, and Obama has often expressed regret that he couldn’t just bypass Congress.

The fact is that he can, quite effectively. So, while we indulge in a little justified satisfaction in this win for reason and constitutionalism, let’s also remain wary.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#Guncontrol: The fact-free debate


**Posted by Phineas

Samuel Johnson once famously said that “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Thomas Sowell might broaden that to “appeals to emotion are the last refuge of someone losing on the facts,” because that’s surely the case with gun-control advocates:

Amid all the heated, emotional advocacy of gun control, have you ever heard even one person present convincing hard evidence that tighter gun-control laws have in fact reduced murders?

Think about all the states and communities within states, as well as foreign countries, that either have tight gun-control laws or loose or nonexistent ones. With so many variations and so many sources of evidence available, surely there would be some compelling evidence somewhere if tighter gun-control laws actually reduced the murder rate. And if tighter gun-control laws don’t actually reduce the murder rate, then why are we being stampeded toward such laws after every shooting that gets media attention? Have the media outlets that you follow ever even mentioned that some studies have produced evidence that murder rates tend to be higher in places with tight gun-control laws?

The dirty little secret is that gun-control laws do not actually control guns. They disarm law-abiding citizens, making them more vulnerable to criminals, who remain armed in disregard of such laws. In England, armed crimes skyrocketed as legal gun ownership almost vanished under increasingly severe gun-control laws in the late 20th century. (See the book Guns and Violence by Joyce Lee Malcolm.) But gun control has become one of those fact-free crusades, based on assumptions, emotions, and rhetoric.

In a rational debate, the relevant committees of Congress would hold genuine hearings, take testimony, examine the research that’s already been done (1), and perhaps commission some social scientists to do a new study of the correlations between gun ownership and gun violence. It’s what we should expect from our legislators, whose duties include keeping bad laws from being passed as it does passing good laws.  And when it’s something as fundamental as further restrictions on our rights to bear arms and against unreasonable search, that duty grows more compelling.

Instead what we get are emotional appeals to “do something now,” regardless of whether it deals with the real causes of gun violence. Politicians trot out vapid arguments arguing that whatever it is they’re advocating is worth it, “if it saves just one life.” They play on fear and guilt — the fear that more children will be killed, if we don’t “do something now,” and the guilt they tell us we should feel, because we didn’t “do something” when we had the chance. Victims and their loved ones are hauled before the cameras to make emotional appeals to “do something, now,” playing a moral authority card that declares you heartless if you disagree.

And all of that is smoke and mirrors, sound and fury, meant to cover up the absence of fact in almost any of the gun-grabbers’ arguments. As John Adams once said:

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

And it’s on those facts and evidence we must rely, while marrying them to the same rallying cries of “fairness,” “justice,” and “safety” that the anti-Second Amendment crowd uses. We must then turn them on the gun-grabbers and demand they explain, for example, what justice there is in denying a Black woman the right to defend herself in Chicago.

In that way, we can beat back this latest assault on our liberties.

RELATED: Following up on my post on the Manchin-Toomey amendment from yesterday, it looks like Harry Reid is falling short of the votes to bring even this watered down measure to a vote. Good. Very good. (h/t ST)

(1) See also “More Guns, Less Crime, by John Lott.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)