Archive for March 10th, 2009


March 10, 2009

Why do I smell a Lautenberg..?

Emergency Alert!
— Compromise on massive land bill does not protect Second Amendment

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408

Tuesday evening, March 10, 2009

Gun Owners of America does not sound the “Emergency alarm”
often — and
when we do, we mean it.

Remember the massive land bill, S. 22, that passed out of the Senate
last month?

It was expected to pass quickly in the House, but your opposition to an
expansion of gun control contained in the bill forced it to be pulled
from the floor.

GOA has just learned that after some backroom deals, the bill is headed
to the floor WEDNESDAY MORNING, without any amendments to truly protect
your Second Amendment rights on National Park Service (NPS) land.

You have fought the battle over the NPS gun ban for a long time.

Unlike U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land,
which allow for state and local law to govern firearms possession, NPS
land is subject to a complete gun ban for any citizen who does not hold
a concealed carry permit.

The bill coming to the floor March 11 greatly expands NPS land, thus
spreading the agency’s anti-gun regulations into more areas.

S. 22 is actually a compilation of over 190 bills, many of which were
never even debated on their own merits.

Here are just a few examples of land expansions in the bill:

* Section 5204 of the bill establishes the Washington-Rochambeau Route
as a Historic Trail. This dual trail begins in Rhode Island and travels
650 miles to Yorktown, Virginia. The trail includes parts of major
thoroughfares on the east coast such as Interstate 95 and US Route 1,
meaning the gun ban could effect hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting
gun owners each day.

* Section 5301 authorizes the federal government to buy private land
adjacent to national parks and trails. Such land would be controlled by
the NPS, and thus be subject to the agency’s anti-gun regulations.

* Section 7002 makes the birthplace of William Jefferson Clinton a
National Historic Site. Perhaps it’s fitting that the legacy of former
President Clinton, who was responsible for so many anti-Second Amendment
laws, will include yet another “gun free” zone.

In all, the bill designates over 2 million acres of wilderness,
establishes three new national parks, a new national monument, three new
national conservation areas, and four new national trails.

In an effort to persuade pro-gun Congressmen to vote for the bill, the
leadership apparently agreed to one backroom change — an amendment to
protect hunting and recreational shooting.

The compromise measure misses the point. The founding fathers did not,
in their struggle to secure essential freedoms, craft the Second
Amendment with the idea that it would protect hunting and recreational

It is seemingly simple to understand, yet we have to continually remind
the Congress that the Second Amendment is not about hunting!

If we have any chance of stopping this bill, you must contact your
Representative right away.

The bill is scheduled to come to the floor before noon, Wednesday, March

Please don’t let Congress sneak this expansion of gun control through
the House under the guise that compromise language protects your Second
Amendment rights. It doesn’t.

ACTION: Right now, please use the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center
at to send your Representative the
pre-written letter below.

—– Pre-written letter —–

Dear Representative,

On March 11, the House intends to take up S. 22, a massive bill
containing nearly 200 separate pieces of legislation.

This bill will greatly expand land controlled by the Nation Park
Service, thereby expanding the agency’s anti-gun regulations.

There is compromise language being offered to supposedly protect hunting
and sport shooting. That is insufficient, as the Second Amendment is
NOT about hunting and recreational shooting!

And while there may be some parts of this bill that you support for our
state or our district, please do not give such parochial issues priority
over my Second Amendment rights.

I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to vote against this 1,294
page bill until the leadership allows an amendment that will truly
protect the right to keep and bear arms.

Gun Owners of America will rate a vote for this bill as an anti-gun
vote, and will inform me of your position.



Please do not reply directly to this message, as your reply will
bounce back as undeliverable.

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address may also be made at that location.

Civil Liberties versus Civil Rights

March 10, 2009

Civil Liberties versus Civil Rights. Over the past weekend my mailbox was inundated with questions having to do with the subject. I got tired of responding individually and decided to write a short essay about it. Basically, a comparison contrast piece.

First, some definitions;

Civil Liberties

civil liberties n. rights or freedoms given to the people by the First Amendment to the Constitution, by common law, or legislation, allowing the individual to be free to speak, think, assemble, organize, worship, or petition without government (or even private) interference or restraints. These liberties are protective in nature, while civil rights form a broader concept and include positive elements such as the right to use facilities, the right to an equal education, or the right to participate in government. (See: civil, civil rights)


Civil Rights

Personal liberties that belong to an individual, owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community.

The most common legal application of the term civil rights involves the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and residents by legislation and by the Constitution. Civil rights protected by the Constitution include Freedom of Speech and freedom from certain types of discrimination.


Leave it to Lawyers to muck things up beyond belief! They are nearly as bad as Economist’s when it comes to turning something, anything, from the profoundly simple to that which only confuses.

Both Liberties and Rights have much in common, or at least they appear to. So then, how are they differentiated one from the other? One must step away from politics and enter the metaphysical world of ethics.

In the realm of ethics, as applied in this context, there are the Natural and Unalienable Rights. These are rights that you, as a person are in fact born with, and can never be taken from you.

There are also Inalienable Civil Liberties or Rights. Those are rights that are granted via society or government. Those rights can be surrendered or forfeited based upon behavior. (The link above addresses both.)

The simplified version then, is that a “Natural” right cannot be taken or surrendered. But, again this is very simplified, a Civil Right or Liberty can be taken from you. Most often by surrendering a right for the perceived greater good. A good example would be surrendering your right to self defense via gun control. You will always have a right to self defense, in an ethical context, but you can choose to impose self restrictions upon yourself.

Further, society can in point of fact take your Unalienable Rights from you should it deem it necessary for the good of society. That being execution for true felonies.

Confusing even in a simplified version? Yes, admittedly it can be. A Civil Right is a Natural or God given Right. A Civil Liberty is granted by society or government.

These are the crux of such diverse issues as California’s Proposition Eight, as well as Gun Control, and the list just goes on from there.

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