Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Sobieski Gets the Second Amendment and the Kolbe Ruling

So, finally, Daniel John Sobieski actually gets the meaning of the Second Amendment.  While others have highlighted the huge danger that the 4th Circuits ruling in Kolbe establishes, few have stated why we are so worked up about it. It is not because twe are alarmed about losing our hobby. If the government decided to close down amateur radio, for example, I might be upset over the investments I have made in amateur equipment, but I would not be blogging about it. And I don't even hunt deer. Mrs. Polykahr might shoot me herself if I ever harmed one of her beloved Bambis. No, I, and most of the other people who are alarmed by the 4th Circuit's ruling are alarmed because if the Second Amendment is effectively read out of the Constitution, it will permit a future Leftist Government to take actions to criminalize gun owners and to do what it can to confiscate our guns. They will, no doubt, by their actions, bring about a civil war.

Sobieski's article can be found at the American Thinker today by clicking on Fourth Circuit Infringes on Heller. Sobieski writes:
Before gun control zealots shout “aha!” remember that Heller established that the right to bear arms was an individual right, not a privilege granted by the state. Our Founding Fathers made clear what they considered a militia to consist of and what the purpose for bearing arms was self-defense against thugs and tyrants, not to hunt deer: The famous ride by Paul Revere was not to alert hunters that deer season was now open, it was to notify free men that it was time for gun owners to grab their muskets and finally free themselves to fight tyranny.
But even Sobieski doesn't seem to understand that despite the rulings of these "Men in Black," the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are not granted by the Constitution. Rather, that document specifically acknowledges these rights to warn any government official not to infringe them. The rights acknowledged by the Constitution are granted by our Creator. Because of this, to restrict these rights is a sin against God. But the Left doesn't believe in God either, or they would take their calling to be a judge as a sacred duty.  A judge who took his calling seriously would judge according to the law, not make up laws to suit his opinion.  Each person is supposed to be a moral agent, acting under the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 27, 2017

More on the 4th Circuit Ruling in Kolbe

In case someone looked at the 4th Circuit Court ruling in Kolbe and thought that it only applies to the 4th Circuit, Jonathon Keiler writes a piece in the American Thinker today to disabuse that person entitled 4th Circuit Sets Stage for a New National Gun Ban. Keller argues that the 4th Circuit was anticipating a Clinton win, in which case she would already have her nominee sitting on the Supreme Court, and would have by now rammed a gun ban through at least the House. Keiler:
In an unusual opinion that at times reads more like an op-ed at the New York Times than a legal ruling, the 4th Circuit Court last week upheld Maryland's highly restrictive "Firearms Safety Act." It's apparent that the 4th Circuit acted in anticipation of a Hillary Clinton victory in November, in which case its decision would have gone unchallenged by the Supreme Court or affirmed, thus substantially laying the groundwork for the overturn of the Supreme Court's ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, and with that the effective national evisceration of the 2nd Amendment under a second Clinton administration. The 4th Circuit, like a lot of people, miscalculated, and their judicial overreach should push a heretofore reluctant Supreme Court to reinforce the Heller decision.
The 4th Circuit's decision in Kolbe et al v. Maryland was a direct, if often legally incomprehensible attempt to greatly limit the Supreme Court's seminal decision in Heller and set the stage for a new national ban on semi-automatic rifles. Heller held that the 2nd Amendment confers an individual not a collective right to keep and bear arms. Kolbe, so long as it stands, says this individual right does not extend to any firearm with military utility, which is arguably pretty much every gun ever made.
Keiler gets closer to the obvious point, but doesn't quite make the connection that the Second Amendment was designed so that the citizens of the United States would be armed with precisely the militarily useful weapons that would be needed should we be called upon to defend the nation. Certainly we may use these weapons in any way that is legal for us to use them. Hunting, sports such as bullseye matches, steel matches, International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) as well as long range shooting, and various combat training sports.  These were all once popular in the United States. Participation was high, and competition was fierce.  Ball games and other substitutes for such activity was relatively unknown then.

The Left in this country is not defeated.  They never rest and never give up.  The gun grabbers are just one vanguard of the Left, seeking to undermine and destroy the Constitution.  I would even argue that these people are traitors, though you can not prosecute them as such.  We need to be ever vigilant, and on the attack.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Why the Supreme Court Needs Neil Gorsuch

In an otherwise excellent article on the many mistakes the Fourth Circus...er...Circuit Court of Appeals made in deciding to uphold Maryland's law banning so called Assault Weapons, Charles C. W. Cooke overlooked the obvious.  The Second Amendment specifically intends that the American citizen should, in fact, be armed with weapons necessarily useful for war, in order to be a well regulated and ready militia.

Charles C. W. Cooke's article can be found at National Review, entitled The Fourth Circuit Runs Roughshod Over the Second Amendment. Go read the whole thing because it does provide useful information about the Court and how it goes about its work of undermining our rights.  Cooke writes:
As Judge Traxler’s dissent pointedly establishes, the majority achieved this transformation by contriving “a heretofore unknown ‘test,’ which is whether the firearm in question is ‘most useful in military service.’” In effect, this “test” is designed to permit judges to determine that any weapon they might dislike is unprotected by the Second Amendment and can therefore be prohibited with impunity. Forget that Heller contains its own explicit tests. Forget the “common use” standard. Forget “dangerous and unusual.” There’s a new kid in town, and he’s coming for your rifles.
If the Second Amendment were taken seriously by the Court system or our elected "leaders," each citizen not prohibited by law would be required to posses an M-16. and a certain amount of ammunition for it, and to be ready to deploy at  a moment's notice.  Saying that civilians should not posses Weapons of War is to turn the Second Amendment on its head.

Electing Trump was the beginning of fighting back against the Left's hostile take over of this nation. We, as both Christians and as Constitutional Conservatives need to become more militant in defending and asserting our beliefs in the face of the constant threat. The Left will not back down. They are implacable.  They are unreasoning and unreasonable.  Our only hope is if we defeat them totally

Update: David Codrea has a good point in Fourth Circuit Second Amendment Subversion Highlights Critical Need to Vet Judges over at Oathkeepers.org. We have been sold a mess of pottage many times before. One wonders about Justices such as Souter and Kennedy. Did Republicans knowingly put these traitors on the Court? If so, why should we trust them now?

Update 2: In a post at the libertarian site "Personal Liberty" by Will Grigg, he gets that the Second Amendment protects weapons useful for warfare, but then misses what Scalia was saying in the Heller case. While Scalia said that:“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. … Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited,” Scalia continued. “It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” Scalia made the distinction about the fact that people have a right to weapons "unconnected with service in the militia" because at the time, the nearest Supreme Court case dealing with the subject was the Miller case, where the Court said that to its knowledge, short barreled shotguns had no military use, and therefore denied Miller's argument. Scalia's point was that military usefulness was only ONE reason for the Second Amendment, not the ONLY reason for it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time for Congress to "REIN" In the Alphabet Soup

How come it took so long for someone to recognize the problem?  I have been on this case since...well...I can't really remember.  I even proposed a rule like the one Trump has made that says that for every new rule, two old ones must be repealed.  To find out what I am talking about, read Stephen Moore's post over at Townhall.com entitled Congress Must Stop Death-By-Decree. Moore writes:
Trump is off to a speedy start in rolling back the rule-making industry in Washington. He has signed an executive order that mandates that any agency wanting to implement a new business regulation must at the same time repeal two existing regulations. This should reverse the tide of regulatory burdens. Yet there's so much more to be done. And Congress, not just the president, will have to play a lead role.
Moore is right about the fact that Congress needs to get involved. First, it is the duty of Congress to make the laws that affect business, the people, and the economy. It is not the Executive branch's job. The Constitution firmly places making the laws in the hands of Congress, and executing the laws faithfully in the hands of the President. Some argue that the highly technical nature of such regulations makes it impractical for average citizen lawmakers to understand the myriad things over which they would be making laws. But the fact is that the people who generally make it to Congress are pretty sharp, and can quickly acquire knowledge enough of the subjects, and in any case, they can hire staff with knowledge of these matters to tutor and prepare them.

Second, it is the height of the meaning of "conflict of interest" to have the making of the law and the interpretation and enforcing of the law in the same agency.  Why can no one see this?  The possibilities for abuse are endless, and in fact have occurred under both Republican and Democrat administrations.  Since the courts tend to defer to the agencies in such matters, the chance for an ordinary citizen caught up in the byzantine red tape to receive justice is almost nonexistent.

Third, it is most undemocratic, which of course is the Progressive way.  While maintaining the forms of democratic governance, the Progressives have slowly piled one undemocratic law on another until our entire government is ruled by unelected bureaucrats and judges.  In point of fact, Betsy DeVos's statement that she wants to work herself out of a job should be on the lips of most of the cabinet positions and executive commissions created since the turn of the last century.  Most are not needed and do more harm than good.  Congress has slowly ceded so much power to these agencies, that at times it seems to have become irrelevant.
The solution is a law that requires congressional approval before a regulation takes place. If I had my way, each and every new rule would only take effect after a vote of approval by the House and Senate. If they have to stay up until midnight to do it, so be it.
That's what we pay these people for. At the very least, the Regulations in Need of Scrutiny Act (or the "REINS Act") would require congressional approval of any rule with a cost of $100 million to workers, employers or consumers.
At the very least, indeed.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Compelling Christians to Endorse Gay Weddings

In his most recent post, over at Townhall.com, entitled It Is Absolutely Outrageous for the Government to Force Christians to Violate Their Faith Michael Brown asks how this can happen. The answer I think is the unspoken assumption that these poor, confused folks have no choice in the matter of being gay. While the "gay gene" has not been discovered yet, and I doubt it ever will, belief in the "gay gene" is the over riding concept that makes violating the Constitution seem acceptable.  These people also view the Constitution as being written by old farts who could not possibly know what today's hip people know.  What arrogance.

Remember when the mixing of two different races, was viewed by some as against God's laws.  Never mind that the Bible never said a word about it.  These people, having no understanding of God's law, and view Christians who will not participate in gay weddings as being just like the bigots of old.  But there is a huge difference.  In the old days, people who viewed mixing the races as wrong or sinful often took action to murder couples of two races.  Nobody is murdering these people.  They are simply asking to be left alone.  The aggressors are now the ones supposedly discriminated against.

Michael Brown is right to cry foul here.  While discrimination because of race is, and was wrong, and there is no Biblical basis for it, discrimination against gay behavior is not in the same class.  I do not know if being gay is a choice or not, but engaging in gay behavior is.  It is the behavior, not the person that results in discrimination.  Say a gay person goes into a shop and wants to buy cookies.  Is anyone going to refuse?  No, of course not.  Even if a Christian knows that the person is gay, they are not going to refuse.  It is only when asked to participate in gay behavior that the Christian will refuse.  And being asked to supply cakes, flowers, or a venue for a gay wedding is asking participation.  In essence, the State is requiring Christians to endorse a gay wedding.  The State is compelling the expression of speech in favor of gay weddings,whether one believes in gay weddings or not.

Such outrageous court rulings can not be allowed to stand.  Eventually, one or more such cases will reach the Supreme Court, and it will be imperative that a strict originalist like Neil Gorsuch is on the court.  In the meantime, Christians should cry out about this as often as people will listen.


Monday, February 6, 2017

Christians Finally Getting Priority in Refugee Program

Uzay Bulut has a good article on the plight of Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS. The article is over at the Gatestone Institute entitled The West's Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians. Bulut writes:
Finally, after years of apathy and inaction, Washington is extending a much-needed helping hand to Middle Eastern Christians. U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.
Christians and Yazidis are being exposed to genocide at the hands of ISIS and other Islamist groups, who have engaged in a massive campaign to enslave the remnant non-Muslim minorities and to destroy their cultural heritage.
Without dwelling on the indifference of the previous administration to the fate of these people, who are the true refugees as the word is defined, u us gratifying to see that the Trump administration is finally doing something about it. The United States is a nation founded by Christians, based upon Christian law and values, and we should prioritize Christians in our refugee program. Let Muslim countries take in Muslims.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Trump Nominates Neil Gorsuch

President Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace Antonin Scalia has been praised by conservatives including some Never Trumpers like Glenn Beck.  Overall, I agree.  The Second Amendment is very important to me, but not at the expense of the other Amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Gorsuch does not really have a Second Amendment record, so getting at how he might rule on a Second Amendment case has to be done by looking at other rulings that have some reasonable bearing on the Second Amendment.  Andrew F. Branca has that article over at National Review today entitled What Justice Gorsuch Might Mean for the Second Amendment.

Branca is correct that we in the 2A community are often quick to cry wolf because we have been burned so frequently. And while we have lately been gaining ground, for too long we have been losing it by the trick of "compromise" in which the gun grabbers propose something, and we feel we have won because we talked them out of going the whole hog. But make no mistake, we have lost a little piece of our rights, and they will be back for more. The gun grabbers are never satisfied. So it is reassuring that an attorney who has been in the thick of gun rights for 30 years says that Gorsuch can (probably) be trusted.  There are no guarantees that we will not get another David Souter.

I am inclined to let Trump run with things, as long as he acts withing his authority under the Constitution.  So far, so good.