The forces of totalitarianism continue the march against freedom and liberty here in America as well as abroad. While there has been some good news on the immoral Lautenberg ex post facto domestic violence law, for the most part we are under assault on many fronts.
Most of what follows is from the National Rifle Association. They talk tough, but have a terrible record of caving in to various statist and groups based in sexism and political correctness. Pleas note that I am indeed a Life Member. I’m sure that groups associated with Gun Owners of America will be chiming in soon.
When it comes to rights and Americans I have a single response to the enemies of freedom and liberty; Molan Labe!
Over the last few weeks, we have received many inquiries regarding the UN and the impact of international treaties on our Second Amendment freedom.
The NRA has been engaged at the United Nations and elsewhere internationally in response to anti-small arms initiatives for over 14 years. In most cases, agendas for the elimination of private ownership of firearms are disguised as calls for international arms control to stem the flow of illicit military weapons. These instruments are generally promoted by a small group of nations and a large number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in conjunction with departmental bureaucracies in multi-national institutions such as the UN and European Union.
The new U.S. administration, to no one’s surprise, has changed direction in the UN with respect to international small arms control initiatives that were resisted by the previous administration.
The current issue under discussion, the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), is in the early stages of the negotiation process. There is no actual draft text at this time. Work on the ATT is scheduled to continue by a consensus process between now and 2012. It should be noted that any treaty must be approved by two thirds of the U.S. Senate for ratification.
Attempts to thwart our freedoms should be no surprise, given the anti-gun climate of the international community in general, and the current U.S. administration in particular.
More generally, the NRA does not concern itself with foreign policy or arms control initiatives—except to the extent they would directly or indirectly affect Second Amendment rights.
We have been actively opposing transnational efforts that would limit Second Amendment freedoms. For many years, NRA has been monitoring and actively fighting any credible attempts on the part of the UN to restrict our sovereignty and gun rights. As a recognized Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations since 1997, NRA gives gun owners a strong voice in the UN’s debate over global “gun control.” As one of over 2,000 NGOs representing everyone from religious groups to the banking industry, NRA has access to UN meetings that are closed to the general public, and is able to distribute informational materials to participants in UN activities.
Most importantly, NRA’s status as an NGO allows us to monitor more closely the internal UN debate over firearm issues and report back to our members. The role NRA plays within the UN as an NGO is almost identical to the role our registered lobbyists play every day on Capitol Hill and in state capitals across the nation—educating and informing decision-makers of the facts behind the debate, and working to protect the interests of American gun owners and NRA members.
Due to our NGO status, NRA was able to take an active role in thwarting the absurdly titled “UN Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” in 2006, and the previous meeting, the “UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons” in the summer of 2001.
The UN Small Arms Conference ended in deadlock with no formal conclusions or recommendations, due in large part to the NRA. In the final analysis, the complexity of the issue and the concerns of hunters, sport shooters and firearm owners world-wide prevailed. The failure of the program was total; no recommendations on ammunition, civilian possession or future UN meetings, or for that matter any other subjects, were adopted.
In addition to its UN activities, NRA is a founding member of the World Forum on the Future of Sport Shooting Activities (WFSA). The WFSA is an association of hunting, shooting, and industry organizations that was founded in 1996. The WFSA includes over 35 national and international organizations, and represents over 100 million sport shooters worldwide.
NRA members may rest assured that we are actively engaged in international matters. We have never hesitated, nor will we hesitate, to use the political and other resources available to us to resist any international agreement that could in any way affect our Second Amendment rights.
As we reported last week, on November 16, the NRA filed its brief with the U.S. Supreme Court as Respondent in Support of Petitioner in McDonald v. City of Chicago. The NRA brief asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment.
The McDonald case is one of several that were filed immediately after last year’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Court upheld the Second Amendment as an individual right and invalidated Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun possession, as well as the capital city’s ban on keeping loaded, operable firearms for self-defense in the home.
In September, the Supreme Court agreed to consider the McDonald case, on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. That court incorrectly claimed that prior Supreme Court precedent prevented it from holding in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment. As we argued at the time, the Seventh Circuit should have followed the lead of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Nordyke v. King, which found that Supreme Court precedent does not prevent the Second Amendment from applying to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
As a party in McDonald, the NRA is actively involved in this case and we believe our brief makes a clear and strong case in favor of incorporation of the Second Amendment (to see a copy of NRA’s brief, please click here).
Support for incorporation of the Second Amendment is very strong, and numerous additional briefs have recently been filed and signed by both federal and state officials.
This week, an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate signed an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief supporting the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The amicus brief bears the signatures of a record 251 Members of Congress and 58 Senators—the most signers of a congressional amicus brief in the history of the Supreme Court (in last year’s historic Heller case, a then-record 55 Senators and 250 Representatives signed an amicus brief supporting the Second Amendment as an individual right). (To see a copy of this brief, please click here.)
In addition to the federal brief, a large bipartisan group of state legislators and other elected officials from all 50 states, along with more than three-fourths of state attorneys general also filed amicus curiae briefs in the McDonald case this week. They, too, are supporting the NRA’s position that the Second Amendment is incorporated against the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
The state legislators’ brief bears the signatures of 891 state legislators and other elected officials—including two governors and three lieutenant governors. The state attorneys’ general brief was prepared by the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) and bears the signatures of attorneys general from 38 states. Both of these briefs were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. (To see a copy of the state legislators’ brief, please click here. To see a copy of the state attorneys’ general brief, please click here.)
The NRA is gratified that so many members of Congress along with a large number of state legislators and state attorneys general have joined this historic effort in support of our Second Amendment freedoms. Along with gun owners everywhere, we are grateful for their participation in ensuring that the Second Amendment applies across the nation, not just in federal enclaves.
“It is our sincere hope that the Supreme Court will follow the Constitution’s true meaning and hold that the Second Amendment applies to all law-abiding Americans, no matter what city or state they call home,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox.
Chicago has had a handgun ban and other restrictive gun laws in place for 27 years. The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments on McDonald v. the City of Chicago case in February 2010.
Then we have…
In another transparent attempt to undercut the Second Amendment fresh on the heels of his hidden-camera attack on gun shows, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, has alleged that the multiple murders that took place on Ft. Hood recently could have been prevented by changes in federal gun laws.
In an ad in the Washington Post on Monday, Bloomberg’s group claimed that the Ft. Hood murder suspect’s “gun purchase could have been key to the FBI’s investigation into his association with terrorists.”
Incredible. It has already been reported that before the suspect purchased the gun allegedly used in the murders, the FBI knew that between December 2008 and June 2009, he had sent 16 emails to a radical Islamic cleric based suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda. In one, he told the cleric that he could not wait to join him in the afterlife.
Nevertheless, after reviewing the e-mails, the FBI and other federal agencies concluded that the suspect was not a threat, and it has since concluded that the crimes of which he is suspected were not part of organized terrorism.
On November 9, the FBI stated “Major Hasan came to the attention of the FBI in December 2008 as part of an unrelated investigation being conducted by one of our Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs). JTTFs are FBI-led, multi-agency teams made up of FBI agents, other federal investigators, including those from the Department of Defense, and state and local law enforcement officers. . . . Investigators on the JTTF reviewed certain communications between Major Hasan and the subject of that investigation and assessed that the content of those communications was consistent with research being conducted by Major Hasan in his position as a psychiatrist at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Because the content of the communications was explainable by his research and nothing else derogatory was found, the JTTF concluded that Major Hasan was not involved in terrorist activities or terrorist planning. . . . [T]he investigation to date indicates that the alleged gunman acted alone and was not part of a broader terrorist plot.”
Bloomberg says that if the federal law requiring the FBI to purge the NICS system of records of approved gun purchasers had not been in place, the FBI would have known that Hasan had bought a gun and changed its judgment about him. But while few Americans exchange e-mails with radical clerics suspected of ties to al Qaeda, there are about 12 million NICS firearm checks annually. To Bloomberg, apparently, buying a gun is reason enough to be suspicious. Bloomberg also says that Congress should approve legislation introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), to allow Americans placed on the FBI’s terror watchlist to be prohibited from buying firearms, but to deny them the right to confront their accusers and the “evidence” against them. Both concepts received a nod from the Obama Administration on November 18. During hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) asked Attorney General Eric Holder whether the administration supported legislation to allow to FBI to retain NICS gun purchase records, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked Holder whether the administration supported legislation “closing” the so-called “Terror Gap.” Holder responded in the affirmative on both counts.
You would think that someone who can spend $200 million of his own money to get elected mayor of New York City three times could afford copies of the U.S. Code and the Constitution. Not only does federal law stipulate the specific grounds for denying a person the right to arms, the Fourteenth Amendment states that no one shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law.
And while he is at it, he could buy a copy of another well-known publication, Webster’s Dictionary, and look up the word “obsession.”
To see Bloomberg’s Washington Post ad, and whether your town’s mayor is allied with his group, see www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/terror_gap_ad.pdf.
Which is followed by…