The Georgia Racketeering Case Against Trump

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. American Patriots must join together, speak out in free and open discussion to fight the “woke” anti-American mob, and further the cause of FREEDOM.

The Basics of Georgia’s Indictment Against Trump

For those who haven’t closely followed the case of The State of Georgia v. Donald J. Trump et al, brought by Fulton County Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, be advised that a grand jury formally indicted the former President and 18 co-defendants on August 14, 2021, with charges that violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute, alleging that all of the co-defendants “knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy to unlawfully change the outcome” of the 2020 election.  Some defendants have also been charged with forty additional counts from other allegations, varying from; plotting to create pro-Trump slates of fake electors, to illegally accessing voting systems in search of fraudulent votes, to Trump himself calling Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensberger, asking him to “find 11,780 votes”, which would have swung the state’s electors in Trump’s favor.  Bear in mind, the text of Trump’s call to Raffensberger was, “What I want to do is this. I just want to find, uh, 11,780 votes, which is one more than (the 11,799-vote margin of defeat) we have, because we won the state.”  [1] 

The statement itself is not proof that Trump was demanding Raffensberger to “find” votes for Trump by hook or by crook.  It could easily be construed as a request for Raffensberger to consider potential fraud.  But as is the norm for the Democrat Party and their Propaganda Media Complex, the context of the statement is omitted to spin a sinister effort by their opposition.  Needless to say, if the political parties were reversed, everything would have been “hunky-dorry” and there wouldn’t even be a case against any Democrat.  But we’re dealing with Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and Orange Man must be vilified at every opportunity.  Trump himself was facing 13 separate counts, three of which have been dropped by Fulton County Superior Court Judge, Scott McAfee.  He now faces ten counts, the RICO charge, four counts of making false statements, two counts of filing false documents, two counts of forgery, and one count of impersonating a public officer.  Among the charges alleged by prosecutors, the Trump team is accused of attempting to coerce the Georgia state legislature to appoint alternate electors for Trump in case pending litigation in Pennsylvania determined that fraud had been discovered in that state.  Such a procedure is perfectly legal and has been employed before in other jurisdictions following other elections, namely in Hawaii, when John F. Kennedy disputed the 1960 election results.  Kennedy prevailed in a recount that was court-ordered after the results were audited twice and certified by Acting Governor James Kealoha.  The third recount was ordered on December 19, 1960, by Judge Ronald B. Jamieson, which was completed by December 28th, showing a Kennedy victory by 115 votes, and Jamieson then ordered the alternate slate of Democratic electors to be validly appointed.  Governor William F. Quinn certified the Democratic slate on January 4, 1961 and the state air-mailed the new certificate to Congress notifying them of the change.  Allegedly, the Georgia “Certificate of Ascertainment” was deemed a false statement because it did not follow language guidelines that specified it as an alternate slate that would only be valid pending external litigation.  Apparently, only Democrats are allowed to question election results.  

Four of the defendants have pled guilty to some of the charges and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.  The other 15 defendants have pled “not guilty” and are currently awaiting the outcome of decisions related to pretrial motions, which have brought the case into the limelight.  

Pretrial Motions

As a prerequisite to any impending trials, Judge McAfee has been dealing with several pretrial motions, to which he set a deadline of December 1, 2023.  Among those:

August 19, 2023 – Mark Meadows, White House Chief of Staff, charged with one count, the RICO count, submitted a motion to have the case dismissed entirely, based on the fact that the President must be provided close, confidential advice and assistance ensconced in federal law for nearly 100 years.  It also argues Meadows is immune under the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment, prohibiting charges that are “unconstitutionally vague”.

September 2023 – District Judge Steve C. Jones denied a motion by five defendants to move the case to federal court in an effort to “widen the jury pool”.  Fulton County is heavily Democratic.

October 5, 2023 – Judge McAfee denies campaign attorney, Sidney Powell’s motion to dismiss charges against her and three co-defendants in a breach of Coffee County voting equipment whereby she sent two operatives to copy data recorded by Dominion Voting systems machines.  The motion argued that there was no attempt to break in to the system because they were authorized by Coffee County and escorted by employees of the independent data forensics firm SullivanStrickler.  McAfee said he had “no authority to do that so close to her trial”.  What?

October 11, 2023 – Powell and Trump attorney Kenneth Chesebro, through their lawyers, argued that the alternate Trump electors could not be impersonating public officers because they were indeed public officers themselves under federal law.  Therefore, no conspiracy existed.  McAfee declined to dismiss the charges, saying they were not “defective”.

January 8, 2024 – Trump’s lead lawyer, Steven Sadow, submitted a motion for all criminal charges against him be dismissed due to presidential immunity, arguing that the acts described in the indictment are “at the heart of his official responsibilities as President”.

District Attorney’s Office Takes the Stand

Also on January 8, 2024, Mike Roman’s attorney, filed a motion alleging that Fani Willis and Nathan Wade, whom she had hired as a special prosecutor in November 2021, had been conducting a romantic relationship that dated back to 2019, asserting that Willis vacationed with Wade, and thereby profited from his hiring at a lucrative salary, forming a conflict of interest.  This is where the case gets “juicy” and places the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in serious jeopardy of its own credibility.

On February 15, 2024, Wade was called to testify on his relationship with DA Willis.  The legal team for the defendants questioned him about his alleged affair with Ms. Willis and when it began.  He repeatedly stated there was a romantic relationship but it didn’t begin until sometime in early 2022, after he was hired by Ms. Willis as a special prosecutor.  He was also questioned about a series of vacations the two had taken together in Mexico and the Caribbean, which he claimed were charged on his credit card, but reimbursed by Ms. Willis for her share in cash.  He could not produce any receipts or deposit slips for thousands of dollars spent on these elaborate vacations.

Prior to Wade’s testimony, the defense called Robin Yeartie to the stand, who testified under oath remotely that she was a close friend of Willis’ and had been a co-worker during the time frame when it is alleged that Willis and Wade were dating.  Ms. Yeartie was adamant that she had witnessed the two “hugging and kissing” before Wade was hired in November 2021.

Fulton County Georgia District Attorney, Fani Willis, takes the witness stand to testify of her relationship with Special Prosecutor, Nathan Wade, amid allegations of a conflict of interest and the “appearance of impropriety”.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

When Wade was dismissed from the stand, Willis stormed into the courtroom and told her DA’s office attorneys to put her on the stand.  She put on a performance for the cameras acting defiant and in near contempt of court.  She called the bundled papers detailing the motion requested by the defendants a pack of lies and reminded everyone that she was not on trial, but it was the Trump co-defendants who were on trial.  When questioned by the defense, she basically echoed Wades claims that the relationship had not begun until after Wade was hired and that she had always reimbursed Wade for her share of the vacation expenses, including airfare, with cash that she habitually kept laying around in her house.  When asked about her typical cash holdings, she replied, “on a bad day it might be $1,500, on a good day, it might be $15,000.”  Attorney Ashleigh Merchant probed her for the source of the cash, to which Willis replied she would typically take some extra cash when she was at the grocery store, but she didn’t have any receipts of any transactions, no bank records, and no statements of any kind.  OK, so if we go to the grocery store you frequent and subpoena the video surveillance footage of dates and times you were there to observe your “cash back” transactions, that would prove you’re telling the truth, right?  And if we go to your house right now, you can show us your cash box, right?  In other words, how much credibility would you assign to Willis and Wade?

McAfee Weighs In

On March 1, 2024, the cameras were back on in Judge McAfee’s Fulton County courtroom and he announced he would make a decision on whether to dismiss Fani Willis from the case within two weeks.  True to form, McAfee made his decision on Friday the 15th of March, wherein he ruled that Willis had a choice.  If she wanted to remain on the case and prosecute the co-defendants in Fulton County, she would have to fire Wade.  Wade resigned that afternoon.

On Wednesday the 20th of March, McAfee granted Trump and eight of his co-defendants permission to appeal, issuing a “certificate of immediate review”, which placed the case before the State Court of Appeals.  His ruling allows the State Court 45 days to decide whether to hear the appeal once it is filed.  Defense attorneys have 10 days to file the appeal. [2]

Democrat Lawfare 101

Full disclosure: McAfee contributed to the campaign of Willis and Fulton County I heavily Democratic.  It’s virtually certain that Trump could never get a fair trial in that jurisdiction.  There are other allegations that Willis’ office sent representatives to the White House and met with high ranking administration officials.  The Georgia case is just one of four jurisdictions in which Trump is facing legal challenges, all of them unprecedented.  Never in American history, has a former President been indicted for anything.  Of course no one is above the law, and any former President who breaks the law should be prosecuted, like an ordinary citizen.  But these alleged charges happened while Trump was in office which brings strong immunity claims.  A President must have clear consciousness to make difficult decisions at times and cannot be encumbered by concerns for his own legal jeopardy.  Apparently, Trump’s pleas for immunity have been ignored as well, and all four of the jurisdictions have the appearance of being coordinated by a politicized Justice Department determined to keep Trump from reentering the White House through this years’ election.  It is extraordinary that so many people have been influenced by the Propaganda Media Complex to accept the notion that all of this is normal and justified, when it is in fact, pure fascism to censor and eliminate your political opposition, particularly by any means necessary based on flimsy, or nonexistent evidence.

Almost in unison, you see high-ranking Democrats proclaiming that Trump must go down “to save our democracy”, while it is they who threaten the very soul of America.  Biden likes to shout that Trump would be on a mission of retribution and revenge if he gets elected.  It won’t be a revenge tour.  It will be a justice tour.  We the People can only hope that Trump proves “no one is above the law”, not even Democrats.

COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

FOOTNOTES

[1]  Georgia Election Racketeering Prosecution ; Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_election_racketeering_prosecution

[2]  Alexander, B., Gile, C., & Gregorian, D. ; Georgia Judge Gives Trump Permission to Appeal Order Keeping DA Fani Willis on Election Interference Case ; NBC News ; March 20, 2024

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/georgia-judge-gives-trump-permission-appeal-order-keeping-da-fani-will-rcna144265

FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. American Patriots must join together, speak out in free and open discussion to fight the “woke” anti-American mob, and further the cause of FREEDOM.

I would be remiss if I did not comment on last Monday’s FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, one of the most egregious violations of the Fourth Amendment in American history.  To form an opinion on the FBI search and seizure at former President Trump’s private residence required a little patience to wait and see some of the facts, at least what the Department of Justice (DOJ) may have been willing to reveal.  After several days of intense scrutiny, Attorney General, Merrick Garland, succumbed to the pressure and held a brief news conference on Thursday the 11th, wherein he announced that DOJ had given Trump and his lawyers an opportunity to object to the release of the Warrant.  Trump waived the option and the Warrant was released to the public on August 12th, the day after Garland’s announcement.

What Does the Warrant Say ?

In reference to the Warrant, DOJ cited three specific federal statutes; 18 U.S. Code § 793, 18 U.S. Code § 2071, and 18 U.S. Code § 1519.  I’ll get to these under a different Header but first I want to focus on Attachment B.

You can read the full 4-page Warrant and 3-page Receipt for Property HERE

If I’m not mistaken, this Warrant seems to be a “dragnet” search for literally anything.  Under “Property to be seized” it says, All physical documents and records . . . “ ; under “a” it says, Any physical documents . . . “ ; under “b” it says, “information, including communications in any form . . . “ ; under “c” it says, “Any government and/or Presidential Records . . . “ ; and under the last item “d” (not shown) it says, in full, “Any evidence of the knowing alteration, destruction, or concealment of any government and/or Presidential Records, or of any documents with classification markings.”  In short, that should cover anything and everything.

Then we look at the Fourth Amendment and see that it says;

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

We could argue whether the search was reasonable, but that is not my point of emphasis here.  I want to highlight two aspects of the Amendment; firstly, the DOJ prepared a “Probable Cause Affidavit”, as required, to present to a federal judge, Magistrate Bruce Reinhart, for issuance of the warrant, but they have refused to release said Affidavit to the public.  What exactly does that Affidavit say that American citizens are not entitled to review ?  Secondly, the above Attachment B clearly states that the FBI was looking for (in “c”), “any government or Presidential Records”, which essentially means they could take anything and everything, whereas the Fourth Amendment stipulates that “things to be seized” must be particularly described.  Attachment B is not “particular” by any stretch of the imagination.

The Cited Federal Statutes

On page 4 of the Warrant under “Property to be seized”, the DOJ lists three federal statutes that constitute potential violations if the government can prove that former President Trump possessed any documents illegally, the key word being “illegally”.

Under Title 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information  [1], with particular interest drawn to section (d), wherein it states, in essence that any person who lawfully possesses documents, photos, maps, notes, etc. related to the national defense, AND believes could be used to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, or transmits, or attempts to communicate, deliver, or transfer said information to any person not authorized to receive it; or, willfully retains it and fails to deliver it on demand to any officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it.

Under section (e) the same language is used verbatim with the distinction of the clause pertaining to unauthorized person(s) who may possess such information, as opposed to one legally in possession.  In a case concerning the President of the United States, he/she obviously held such information legally while in office.  Apparently, the pertinent portion of the statute is the last part, whereby the DOJ (wink,wink: the Biden Administration) considers it illegal for a former President to “retains it and fails to deliver it”, the said documents, after leaving office, despite a long history of Presidents having archival materials hauled away from the White House.  I’ll address the machinations of this procedure under the next Header. 

Previous subpoena requests for documents to be returned to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) were being complied with by Trump, but his cooperation was apparently not enough to prevent this unprecedented FBI raid.

Under Title 18 U.S. Code § 2071 –  Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally  [2], with respect to the assortment of documents removed from Mar-a-Lago, it’s obvious that Trump did not willfully conceal, destroy, or mutilate any of the records.  I suppose the DOJ is resting their case on the fact that Trump had yet to deliver/return some of the materials “removed” and packaged up by the GSA.

Under Title 18 U.S. Code § 1519 – Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcy  [3], again it is obvious Trump did not destroy, or alter any of the documents seized at Mar-a-Lago, unlike the 33,000 emails and every trace of them from her illegal private server, destroyed by Hillary Clinton using BleachBit and sledge hammers.  Oh wait, I almost forgot, she’s a prominent Democrat and therefore ABOVE the law.  I suppose by including this statute in the list of potential violations, it could have been relevant IF it was discovered that destruction took place.  Evidently there can be no charge on this statute.

The Presidential Records Act of 1978

All former Presidents before Nixon (Jan 20, 1969-Aug 9, 1974), were entitled to retain their own presidential records as personal property.  Due to Nixon’s Watergate scandal, by which he was forced to resign in disgrace, Congress passed the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act, making Nixon’s infamous tape recordings public property.  But that legislation applied only to Nixon’s administration.  [4]

Congress later passed the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (44 U.S. Code §§ 2201-2209) [5], with the intentions of preserving all presidential records as public property under the care and management of the National Archives.  The President is entitled to restrict access for as many as 12 years for certain records such as, executive orders, appointments to federal office, trade secrets, health records, and confidential communications.

44 U.S. Code § 2203, sub-section:(g)(1) “Upon the conclusion of a President’s term of office, or if a President serves consecutive terms upon the conclusion of the last term, the Archivist of the United States shall assume responsibility for the custody, control, and preservation of, and access to, the Presidential records of that President . . . “

Beginning with the Reagan administration, all presidential records, and those of the Vice-President, were to be sent directly to the National Archives and preserved as historical documents open to the American people.  Despite Trump’s claim that Obama hauled away 30 million pages, his archives are in the custody of a NARA office in Chicago.  [2]

However, it is customary for the General Services Administration (GSA) to package up the presidential records and it stands to reason that they would then take custody and deliver them to NARA.  The President isn’t expected to pack his own boxes and it’s unlikely that he would, unless of course, there was something he was trying to hide.  So  questions arise.  Why would the GSA send the boxes to Mar-a-Lago and not directly to the NARA ? And who was in charge of the chain of custody ?

I can think of only four possibilities; either Trump had some boxes sent to Mar-a-Lago in secrecy, either knowingly, or unwittingly; or the GSA did not act properly, either by mistake, or intentionally.

In any case, it was evident that Trump was cooperating in the effort to have those records returned to NARA and the Warrant to have them seized was extreme.

CONCLUSION

We have likely seen the extent of the DOJ’s comments, and we really won’t know the outcome of their investigation any time soon.  Don’t be surprised if their “investigation” lasts two years, designed to leave Trump under legal scrutiny all the while, before announcing they may have indictable charges in October 2024, just in time to destroy his expected candidacy. 

To me, the way the DOJ described Attachment B was extremely broad, and does not meet the “specificity” requirements of the Fourth Amendment, which leads me to the belief that the raid was a “fishing expedition” whereby they targeted a political opponent and conducted their search and seizure operation gathering everything they could find, in the hopes of finding something they could call illegal. 

Perhaps the PRA of 1978 allows the DOJ to phrase their Warrant so broadly, but the whole episode seems extreme and unnecessary.  American justice is founded in the principle of responding to a crime, conducting a thorough investigation, and identifying the perpetrator.  Targeting a person you hate and then trying to pin a crime on him is immoral, unjust, and corrupt.

COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

FOOTNOTES

[1]  Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793#:~:text=18%20U.S.%20Code%20%C2%A7%20793%20%2D%20Gathering%2C%20transmitting%20or%20losing%20defense%20information,-U.S.%20Code&text=Shall%20be%20fined%20under%20this,than%20ten%20years%2C%20or%20both.

[2]  Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2071

[3]  Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1519

[4]  Myre, Greg & Davis, Wynne ; The Reasons Why Presidents Can’t Keep Their White House Records Dates Bck to Nixon, NPR ; August 13, 2022

https://www.npr.org/2022/08/13/1117297065/trump-documents-history-national-archives-law-watergate

[5]  Presidential Records Act of 1978

Presidential Records (44 U.S.C. Chapter 22) | National Archives

[6]  Papenfuss, Mary ; National Archives Calls Out Trump’s False Accusation That Obama Snatched Documents, Huffington Post ; August 13, 2022

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/barack-obama-trump-national-archives_n_62f71fe6e4b095e7888098ba

New York Defies Second Amendment Ruling

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. American Patriots must join together, speak out in free and open discussion to fight the “woke” anti-American mob, and further the cause of FREEDOM.

Part 3 of a 3 part series on the 2nd Amendment

New York state legislators hammered out a hastily crafted bill in response to the recent Supreme Court decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen that openly defies the Second Amendment ruling.  (as a “primmer”, I highly recommend you read my last post HERE before proceeding).  The SCOTUS decision was announced on Thursday the 23rd of June.    

New York Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul signed the bill Friday the 1st of July.  It had passed the state Senate earlier in the day by a 43-20 vote along partisan lines, and by the Assembly that evening by a 91-51 vote.  [1] 

The votes are a matter of public record and should be listed on the official state website for reference when you next go to the polls to VOTE THEM ALL OUT.  Why, you may ask ?  Because you have 135 (43+91+1) ANARCHISTS occupying important positions in your state government.

The SCOTUS ruling is clear text language that absolutely guarantees the RIGHT of citizens to carry any weapon “in common use” in public for self-defense.  Justice Thomas’ opinion includes the phrases “all instruments that constitute bearable arms” and “modern instruments that facilitate armed self-defense”.  In other words, the ruling is NOT limited to handguns.  I argued in my previous post that AR-15s are extremely popular and could be considered “all instruments”, though not specifically mentioned in the SCOTUS ruling.

An actual quote taken from Justice Thomas’s opinion

The more important distinction is the word “right”.  New York seems to think they are still in charge of licensing privileges, placing the burden on applicants to prove they are of proper “character and conduct” in order to secure a license to carry a handgun.  [2]

Privilege implies that a certain benefit, or favor, has been granted by some authority (the licensing authority).  To legally operate a motor vehicle you need a state-issued driver’s license.  Driving a car is a privilege that can be suspended or revoked for various offenses.  In contrast, you have the constitutional right to practice any religion, to peacefully protest for redress of grievances, and in criminal proceedings, the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.  The same is true of the Second Amendment.  It is a constitutional RIGHT, not a PRIVILEGE. 

The Revised New York State Gun Law

The newly enacted law includes the following provisions:

The bill removes the “proper cause” requirement that previously allowed government officials to deny permits unless the applicant could “demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community”.

However, the applicant must still show they are of “good moral character”, whatever that means, and by whatever parameters they may decide.

Paine:  Here the state is presuming the applicant to be guilty of some undefined, morally objectionable behavior and must prove his innocence to qualify for an unnecessary license to exercise his Second Amendment right.  American jurisprudence assumes the accused innocent unless the government can prove guilt.

The Supreme Court acknowledged that there are “sensitive places” that could be restricted as so-called “gun free zones”, such as government buildings, and schools.  New York decided they could expand “gun free zones” to include medical facilities, places of worship, libraries, playgrounds, parks, zoos, summer camps, homeless shelters, addiction clinics, nursing homes, museums, theaters, stadiums, polling places, public transit, places where alcohol or marijuana is consumed, New York City’s Times Square, and private businesses without owner permission.

Paine:  That’s quite a list, and some of those places are not necessarily unreasonable.  But, parks seemingly include state parks where shooting for sport is appropriate; public transit is certainly a dangerous place where assaults occur at an alarming rate; and places where alcohol or marijuana is consumed is virtually everywhere.  In other words, the state wants to be able to prosecute anyone carrying a weapon, just like before. 

Applicants must complete at least 16 hours of “in-person” firearms safety training and at least two hours of training at a firing range, where they must prove their shooting proficiency according to standards to be developed by the state police. 

Paine:  I don’t see any provisions for those who have owned firearms for decades and are already well trained, or veterans who certainly are.  

Applicants must meet for an in-person interview with the licensing officer and provide names and contact information of their spouse or domestic partner, any other adults they live with and say whether children are in their home.  They must provide four character references.

The bill revives a dormant effort to create a state database tracking ammunition sales to license-holders buying certain kinds of ammunition. 

Paine:  How long before they ban the sale of ammunition outright ?

Bottom line: the state of New York, and others surely to follow, don’t want you to carry guns around in public, NO MATTER WHAT THE SUPREME COURT SAYS, and there is NOTHING they won’t do to stop you.

So Now Where Are We ?

We know that New York legislators are not ignorant of the SCOTUS ruling.  The Reuters article stated they had enacted this new law after the Supreme Court decision and CNN quoted the New York Governor as saying, “Because of the stroke of a pen, the Supreme Court removed longstanding limitations that we were able to use in the state . . . “.

That leaves just two reactionary possibilities; they either don’t understand the meaning of the ruling, in which case they are too stupid to hold public office; or they do understand the meaning and have chosen to ignore it as the law of the land.  I see no reason to believe the former, because these 205 elected legislators, many of whom are lawyers, can’t all be that stupid.  The only remaining possibility is that they have decided to ignore the Supreme Court ruling and, by extension, the Constitution itself. 

The state of New York has established a state of anarchy, where government officials are openly defying the Supreme Court of the United States.  I’m sure most, if not all, of the other seven states that previously had “may issue” permit programs (California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia) will follow suit and attempt to circumvent the SCOTUS ruling in a show of solidarity.  They can’t possibly expect their new law, and others that follow, to be upheld when challenged.  Perhaps they think they can buy time until they pack the court with liberal judges and reverse the ruling.  

In Marbury v. Madison [3] we learned that “a law repugnant to the Constitution is void”.  I don’t think we can count on the Supreme Court to push back against New York, or any other state, and issue any statements that declare these new “laws” unconstitutional.  We may see a few county Sheriffs say they won’t enforce them, but it will likely be up to individuals prosecuted under these illegitimate “laws” to challenge the state and fight for their Second Amendment right, citing NYSRPA v. Bruen.  Meanwhile, residents in these anarchist stateswill have to conform or move away into a state that is more respectful of your constitutional rights.  If you become victim of harassment by any authority, remember to cite NYSRPA v. Bruen and try to calmly resolve the situation before they make it more difficult (and expensive) for you.

You can ignore it and fight it, but you can’t win in court.

COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

Return to Part 1

Return to Part 2

FOOTNOTES

[1]  del Valle, Lauren & Stracqualursi, Veronica ; New York Democratic Governor Signs Law Limiting Concealed Carry of Firearms in Wake of Supreme Court Ruling, CNN ; July 1, 2022

https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/01/politics/new-york-gun-law-concealed-carry/index.html

[2]  Allen, Jonathan ; Factbox: What’s in New York’s New Gun Laws After Supreme Court Ruling?, Reuters ; July 5, 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/whats-new-yorks-new-gun-laws-after-supreme-court-ruling-2022-07-02/

[3]  National Archives ; Marbury v. Madison (1803)

https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/marbury-v-madison

SCOTUS Decides Landmark Second Amendment Case

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. Please join my Facebook group American Patriots in a free and open discussion to further the cause of FREEDOM.

Part 2 of a 3 part series on the 2nd Amendment

The Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights

It was an eventful week down in D.C., and when I say “down” I mean in the sewer that is our nations’ capitol.  The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled on arguably the most important case ever decided on the Second Amendment and unless you were paying attention on Thursday, the 23rd of June, you may have missed it completely with all the hysteria surrounding their ruling in Roe v. Wade the next day.

I consider it my job to research important matters so that hard-working patriots don’t have to.  The information you are about to see is not politically slanted or misrepresented in any way.  I disseminate facts after carefully examining the relevant particulars of the story, making sure I comprehend the true meaning of the text, the source, and the intention of the original report. 

There are “currently” [1] 43 States that are considered “shall issue” jurisdictions, whereby authorities must issue concealed-carry licenses whenever applicants satisfy certain threshold requirements, without granting licensing officials discretion to deny licenses based on a perceived lack of need or suitability.

Only six States and the District of Columbia have “may issue” licensing laws, under which authorities have discretion to deny concealed-carry licenses even when the applicant satisfies the statutory criteria, usually because the applicant has not demonstrated cause or suitability for the relevant license.  New York is “currently” the most restrictive.  No New York statute defines the term “proper cause”, the standard methodology used by authorities in considering applications, but state courts have held that an applicant shows proper cause “only if he can demonstrate a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.”  And the “special need” requirement is a formidable barrier.  Living or working in an area with high criminal activity is not considered dangerous enough to warrant a license.

The other states under “may issue” protocols are California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. 

[1]  I used the word currently in quotation marks because it described the conditions existing at the time of the Supreme Court decision.  My understanding is that the SCOTUS decision renders all such licensing requirements obsolete immediately.  Supreme Court decisions are virtually final.  The only way to reverse a Supreme Court decision is by constitutional amendment or a new ruling by the Supreme Court itself. The likelihood of either is slim.

For those who support the 2nd Amendment the case referenced below is a huge victory against the evil forces that are determined to erode our constitutionally protected rights.  Let’s look at the actual case and some details of the opinion.

NYSRPA v. Bruen,  [2]

Supreme Court of the United States Case No. 20-843 ;

Argued November 3, 2021 – Decided June 23, 2022

Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court

Chief Justice Roberts joined. Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett joined.

Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion.  Justices Sotomayor and Kagan joined.

Cite as:597 U. S. ____ (2022)

Opinion of the Court

NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL., PETITIONERS v. KEVIN P. BRUEN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW YORK STATE POLICE, ET AL.

The petitioners in this case, Brandon Koch and Robert Nash, both members of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc., are New York residents.  Both were denied “unrestricted” licenses to carry handguns for self-defense. 

The respondents in this case are the Superintendent of the New York State Police and a New York State Supreme Court Justice who oversees the processing of license applications in the petitioners’ home county.

Petitioners filed suit for violation of their Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  Their case was dismissed in District Court and upheld by the Court of Appeals, sustaining New York’s “proper cause” standard.

[2]  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/20-843_7j80.pdf

Highlights From the Opinion:

Because this Supreme Court decision is a public record document, not subject to copyright laws, I have quoted many passages verbatim.

The first paragraph of Justice Thomas’ opinion reads: page 7 (pdf)

   In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 u. S. 570 (2008), and McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742 (2010), we recognized that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect the right of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense.  In this case, petitioners and respondents agree that ordinary, law-abiding citizens have a similar right to carry handguns publicly for their self-defense.  We too agree, and now hold, consistent with Heller and McDonald, that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.

Thomas ends his second paragraph by writing, “Because the State of New York issues public-carry licenses only when an applicant demonstrates a special need for self-defense, we conclude that the State’s licensing regime violates the Constitution.”

Paine:  It didn’t take long to establish the right of any law-abiding citizen to carry a handgun in public.  Digging deeper into the decision, we can clearly see there are broader freedoms restored to “ordinary” citizens.

“Fortunately, the Founders created a Constitution – and a Second Amendment – intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs.”

“Although its meaning is fixed according to the understandings of those who ratified it, the Constitution can, and must, apply to circumstances beyond those the Founders specifically anticipated.”

“We have already recognized in Heller at least one way in which the Second Amendment’s historically fixed meaning applies to new circumstances: Its reference to ‘arms’ does not apply ‘only to those arms in existence in the 18th century.”

“Just as the First Amendment protects modern forms of communications, and the Fourth Amendment applies to modern forms of search, the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.  Thus, even though the Second Amendment’s definition of ‘arms’ is fixed according to its historical understanding, that general definition covers modern instruments that facilitate armed self-defense.”

Paine:  Right there, I’m tempted to say, “that’s good enough for me”.  Not only does this extremely important ruling expand the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding citizens to carry handguns in public, but it also applies to “modern instruments”, or weapons that are “in common use at the time” for self-defense,

Thomas did acknowledge earlier in his opinion that, “like most rights, the Second Amendment is not unlimited.  From Blackstone through the 19th century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.  For example, we found it fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons’ that the Second Amendment protects the possession and use of weapons that are ‘in common use at the time.’ ”

Paine:  By my interpretation Thomas was referring to out-of-the-ordinary extremely dangerous weapons, such as flame throwers, bazookas, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 50 caliber machine guns, shoulder-fired missile launchers, and other military grade weapons. 

Most handguns sold these days are semi-automatic weapons.  Arguably, the popular AR-15 and other models are semi-automatic rifles that could be construed as “in common use at the time”.

Restricting weapons for self-defense based on the length of its barrel is neither rational, nor a logical distinction between “common use” and “dangerous and unusual”.

It is my honest assessment that the popular AR-15 is now considered by the Supreme Court to be “in common use at the time”, and therefore protected by the Second Amendment, not only to possess, but to carry in public.

However, it may be advisable to check with local authorities before open-carrying an AR-15 in public in those aforementioned six states and D.C., or any jurisdiction that does not “currently” allow open-carry.

If my assessment turns out to be accurate, this case is the final “death blow” to the gun control advocates seeking a ban on “assault rifles” and high-capacity magazines.  But don’t hold your breath.

To clarify, the Second Amendment’s operative clause – “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” – guarantees the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation. 

“As we stated in Heller and repeated in McDonald, individual self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment right.”

“The definition of ‘bear’ naturally encompasses public carry.  Most gun owners do not wear a holstered pistol at their hip in their bedroom or while sitting at the dinner table.”

“To confine the right to ‘bear’ arms to the home would nullify half the Second Amendment’s operative protections.  Moreover, confining the right to ‘bear’ arms to the home would make little sense given that self-defense is the central component of the Second Amendment right itself.”

“The Second Amendment’s plain text thus presumptively guarantees petitioners Koch and Nash a right to ‘bear’ arms in public for self-defense.”

That right now applies to every citizen everywhere in the United States.

“Post-ratification adoption or acceptance of laws that are inconsistent with the original meaning of the constitutional text obviously cannot overcome or alter that text.”

Sensitive Places

The Supreme Court regularly considers historical traditions in deciding cases.  Those previously encountered situations are the first areas examined.  Apparently, historical records include relatively few 18th and 19th century “sensitive places” where weapons were prohibited (legislative assemblies, courthouses, etc.), and SCOTUS found no disputes regarding the lawfulness of weapons prohibitions. The Court acknowledges that “sensitive places” where arms-carrying could be prohibited is consistent with the Second Amendment and  

Constitutionally permissible.  It is understood that firearms may be restricted in such “sensitive places” as schools and government buildings.

However, the “sensitive places” doctrine does not apply to heavily populated areas such as New York City, simply because it is crowded or protected by a large police force.

Concerns of the Respondents

Thomas addressed the arguments presented by the respondents (Bruen and his legal defense) going back into early English law.  With much scrutiny he wrote how firearms carried in public by English citizens in the decades leading up to ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, there was no evidence that “the mere public carrying of a handgun would terrify people.  In fact, the opposite seems to have been true.  As time went on, domestic gun culture in England softened any ‘terror’ that firearms might once have conveyed.”

Serjeant William Hawkins, in his widely read 1716 treatise, noted that ‘Persons of Quality’ (law-abiding citizens) were ‘in no danger of offending against this Statute (the Statute of Northampton) by wearing common weapons’ because it would be clear that they had no ‘Intention to commit any Act of Violence or Disturbance of the Peace’.

Paine:  The Statute of Northampton was as act to codify the existing common-law offense of bearing arms to terrorize the people.  It is what could be called over-reach by authorities to reduce crime by penalizing law-abiding citizens who pose no threat to society.  The gun control advocates today are attempting to enact unnecessary legislation that doesn’t address the problem.  In fact, it exacerbates the problem of rampant crime by signaling the criminals that there are no good guys with guns.

Further addressing respondents’, Thomas cited numerous cases among the States in the early 19th century and antebellum periods as part of his extensive consideration in terms of the “historical tradition” principle – concluding that “All told, these antebellum state-court decisions evince a consensus view that States could not altogether prohibit the public carry of ‘arms’ protected by the Second Amendment or state analogues.”

The Closing

Thomas concludes his Opinion by writing, “The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not a ‘second class right subject to an entirely different body of rules that the other Bill of Rights guarantees.  We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.  That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion.  That is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him.  And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.

New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms.  We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

  —  It is so ordered.

Do you need a license to carry handguns and AR-15s ?

I’m not a lawyer and I don’t offer legal advice.  I’m simply expressing my opinions based on known facts and my interpretation of the Constitution.  Anyone who seeks specific guidance in legal matters should consult a competent Attorney. 

NYSRAP v. Bruen absolutely guarantees the right to bear arms in public for any weapon that could be deemed “in common use at the time” for self-defense.  It is my best assessment that this ruling nullifies all requirements to obtain permits or licenses to carry said “covered” (common use) weapons.  Requiring a license to exercise a constitutional right inherently undermines that right as it implies that a license could be denied, or revoked, as if it were a privilege.

That doesn’t mean the gun control advocates are going to give up and seek other ways to restrict that right.  Democrats don’t like to lose.  We have seen how they react to events that don’t go their way, advocating anarchy, inciting riots, demanding reforms to well-established norms.  Expect them to attack from different angles. 

You may be constitutionally protected to open-carry an AR-15 in public, but you could be subjected to intense scrutiny by authorities that might include some unpleasant treatment.  It would be wise to fully understand this Supreme Court case and be able to cite some of the provisions to defend yourself against authoritative harassment.  It’s also advisable to not dress in tactical gear while brandishing an AR-15 and act in any obviously threatening manner.  If you choose to open-carry any weapon in public, do it only while sober, act normal and remain civil.  It’s not a “toughest dude” contest.  Remember, the weapon is for self-defense.  Again, it’s best to check with local authorities.

One Last Thing:  Active Shootings   

The gun control advocates politicize every mass shooting before the crime scene is even processed, tugging on the emotional heartstrings of the weak-minded sheeple to support their gun grabbing agenda.  We all know “Gun Free Zones” don’t work.  We all know strict gun control laws don’t work.  Look at Chicago. 

There are numerous stories of good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns and minimizing casualties.  That’s why I support the advocates for armed guards in every public school in America.  The best way to save the children is to offer them armed protection.  Lunatics attack soft targets because they know they can inflict massive damage and notoriety.  The only way to stop it is to set up formidable barriers, i.e., armed security.  

If you happen to be “Johnny-on-the-spot” during a violent nearby crime with no police around, you could be faced with a tough decision.  You could be a hero, saving lives, while risking being mistaken for the perpetrator(s).  Personally, I would always choose courage over cowardice, but think about how you would signal first responders that you are a good guy (hands up, don’t shoot).  We all live in a dangerous world.  Be careful out there and always be situationally aware of your surroundings.  

If you decide to carry a weapon, it is always advisable to train with it and know your capabilities.  It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it, but it won’t do you much good if you can’t access it quickly and prevent an assailant from taking it from you.

Thank you SCOTUS for strengthening 2A.

Be safe.  Be a strong Patriot.  Lock and load. 

COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOMED

See Part 3 of the series HERE

Return to Part 1

On the 2nd Amendment

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. Please join my Facebook group American Patriots in a free and open discussion to further the cause of FREEDOM.

Part 1 of a 3 part series on the 2nd Amendment

Once again, the Democrats have shamelessly exploited a tragic event to resume their attack on the 2nd Amendment.  Their mantra of “never let a good crisis go to waste” is on full display as they pulled up simmering legislative measures and shout their demands into the nearest cameras.

Just to be clear, here is the actual Second Amendment (full text): 

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

  —  Ratified 15 Dec 1791

The recent Uvalde school shooting has placed “sensible gun control” alongside the January 6th Hearings under the brightest spotlights.  Don’t pay any attention to the myriad of disasters the Biden administration has created in the past 17 months.  The most important issues at the moment are to ban “assault weapons” and indict Trump for something, anything that would prevent him from running in ’24.  They haven’t told us what “assault weapons” are, but they’ll just leave it at that so they can expand the definition at whim.  Rest assured, if there are no firearms at all and a mob picks up pitchforks and pikes, they will be classified as “assault weapons” too, even if law-abiding “citizens” (oops, subjects) need them for other useful purposes.

There are numerous bill proposals in the House pending legislation that include a complete ban on all semi-automatic weapons and magazines that have a capacity over 9 rounds of ammunition.

Democrats can’t wait to get to the podium to express their self-righteous moral superiority and exploit the emotions of their supporters by seizing the moment to further corrode our constitutional rights, which are obstacles for the DNC in “fundamentally transforming” America into their utopian dreamscape.  The undeclared objective is to repeal the Second Amendment, disarm law-abiding citizens, and establish their communist regime permanently.

They camouflage their agenda under the guise of public safety, but the reality is; only criminals will be safer, and your citizenship will be transformed into subjugation.

One of the methods they plan to employ is essentially a repeal of the 4th Amendment that bypasses the individuals’ right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures . . . “ ; known as “Red Flag” laws.  There are 10 Republican Senators on board with these “Red Flag” laws, which will permit the “authorities” to enter your home and confiscate your legally owned property without due process based on a complaint, whether legitimate or disingenuous.  Anyone who is mad at you, or dislikes your politics, will be able to file a complaint and all of a sudden a search of your home becomes “reasonable”. 

It’s a two for one “sale”; repeal the 2nd Amendment and get rid of the 4th with it. Apparently, these RINOs and their DumboCrat cohorts have no compunction about violating their oaths to “support and defend” the Constitution. It’s difficult to keep up with their relentless attacks on our civil rights, which “coincidently”, is the Obama stratagem of war; overwhelm as many systems as possible, simultaneously, and erode the foundations of American values, its culture, and its institutions.  He is playing the long game.  He never thought of himself as holding power for eight short years.  The torch of his “legacy” is to be carried by many successors.  That’s why he organized a 30,000 member army of activists to further his agenda.  And that’s why I say he is orchestrating everything we see going on today.  If there was one phone the NSA should be eavesdropping, it’s Obama’s

I can’t imagine ANY President being worse, not even Biden.

Madison and Montesquieu

In Marbury v. Madison (1803), a case considered by many to be the most important case in Supreme Court history, Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle of “judicial review”, interpreted as the power of federal courts to void acts of Congress that conflicted with the Constitution.  Marshall’s rationale had to do with creating better balance between the three branches of government; Congress had power to create legislation, regulate expenditures, and impeach officials; the Executive branch (The President) had power to restrain Congress and held veto power over their legislation; but the role of the Supreme Court had not been clearly defined in terms of their checks on the other two branches.

Marshall concluded his written opinion by stating,

“Thus, the particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a law repugnant to the constitution is void; and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that instrument.”  [1]

The principle of separation of powers can be traced to the French philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu, Charles-Louis de Secondat (1689-1755), who wrote in his The Spirit of Laws that there should be balanced forces acting against each other to prevent tyranny.  He argued that “the separation of state powers should be by its service to the people’s liberty: legislative, executive and judicial.”  [2]

Let’s look at three of the Democrat “arguments”, and my replies to each one.  All  relate to their demands for stricter gun control.  But before I counter their foolishness with logic, let me warn any would-be trolls who think they can outwit me.  I choose my debates wisely.  That’s why I’m undefeated.  If you find yourself in an argument with me, it’s already over.  You just haven’t been able to accept it yet.  You might call it arrogance.  I’m just saying it matter-of-factly.

The Second Amendment is not absolute. 

Nonsense!  The Constitution is defined by its own language as the “supreme law of the land” [3] and is absolutely established as such.  

In the Preamble to the Bill of Rights, it is stated, in part, “RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.: 

ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.”  [4]

In other words, it is clear that the intention of Congress was to recognize the Bill of Rights as integral to the Constitution itself.  They were to be considered to be “supreme laws of the land”.  There is no ambiguity.  They are absolute.

Like ALL of the founders, Jefferson was much wiser than ANYone in Washington today.

When Joe Biden assumes the authoritarian’s pulpit and proclaims that the 2nd Amendment isn’t absolute, he is either ignorant or lying.  Webster defines absolute as “1a: free from imperfection ; PERFECT”.  There is zero possibility to improve it.

I’m guessing the left is using the words of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to persuade their gullible followers that the 2nd Amendment isn’t absolute when he wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller [5], wherein he wrote,in part, “the Second Amendment right is not unlimited . . . “

Biden and the rest of his ilk want you to think “unlimited” rights mean they are not “absolute”.  So they all repeat the phrase “Amendments are not absolute”, echoed ad nauseum by their propaganda machine, the mainstream media, expecting the notion to be accepted by the masses of useful idiots.  Goebbels once said, “If you tell a big lie often enough, it will become the truth.”

Stricter gun control laws work.

On the contrary.  Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, yet lead the nation every year in homicide by gun.

Top 10 U.S. Cities – ranked by gun deaths 2020 (in parentheses)  [6]

2021 & 2020 data is total number of homicides in each city – by various sources

Chicago: 2021, 797 – (? by gun); 2020, 772 – (692 by gun); 2019, 498 – (448 by gun)

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters the bulk of those homicides were gang related.  [7]  I guess black lives don’t matter there.

Philadelphia: 2021, 562 – (? by gun); 2020, 499 – (417 by gun); 2019, (303 by gun)

Houston: 2021, 479 – (? by gun); 2020, 400 – (357 by gun); 2019, (231 by gun)  

New York: 2021, 485 – (? by gun); 2020, 462 – (307 by gun); 2019, (172 by gun)  

Memphis: 2021, 346 – (? by gun); 2020, 332 – (299 by gun); 2019, (190 by gun)   

Detroit: 2021, 309 – (? by gun); 2020, 324 – (290 by gun); 2019, (222 by gun)   

Baltimore: 2021, 338 – (? by gun); 2020, 335 – (272 by gun); 2019, (319 by gun)   

Los Angeles: 2021, 397 – (? by gun); 2020, 349 – (268 by gun); 2019, (190 by gun)   

Dallas: 2021, 220 – (? by gun); 2020, 254 – (218 by gun); 2019, (167 by gun)  

Washington D.C.: 2021, 227 – (? by gun); 2020, 198 – (187 by gun); 2019, (144 by gun)

In 2020, handguns were involved in 59% of all U.S. gun murders, while rifles, including the category often referred to as “assault weapons”, accounted for just 3% of firearm murders.  [8]

All of the Top 10 cities are controlled by Democratic Mayors and all have restrictive gun control laws.  Some of the most restrictive are New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.  New York is the worst.  All “assault weapons” (whatever they decide that means) are banned.  Magazines are limited to seven rounds, and you can’t even buy ammunition without a background check.  There isn’t a single gun shop in the city of Chicago, yet police confiscated over 1,200 illegal weapons in 2021 and obviously gun control doesn’t work there.  Following an extensive permit procedure, Baltimore requires all successful applicants to post a newspaper article identifying the license holder.  That sounds like an advertisement for would-be burglars that you own a weapon they might want to steal.  

Gun Free Zones are a joke.  Narrow-minded liberals think posting a sign to advise would-be gun toters to leave their weapons at home is a great idea.  They fail to comprehend their message is a clear sign to evil-minded criminals that the facility is a soft target that offers little, if any resistance, where they can attack without much fear of retaliation.

Common sense controls like background checks, and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will save lives.

Here are some survey results cited by gun control advocates:  All are taken from a Britannica article titled, Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted?  [9]

A February 2018 Quinnipiac poll found that 97% of American voters and 97% of gun owners support universal background checks, 67% support a nationwide ban on assault weapons, and 83% support mandatory waiting periods for gun purchases.  [155]  It’s a fairly old poll at this point, but we’ll assume the sentiments haven’t changed much.

An NPR survey conducted in February 2019 found that 65% of Americans believed banning high-capacity magazines would reduce gun violence.  [165]

As they often say, “no one needs 30 rounds to hunt deer”.  And they claim that high-capacity magazines transform killings into mass murder. 

True, but their presumption is that deer hunting is the only use for a firearm, as if you’re not allowed to consider your own personal safety. 

During a 1985 debate of the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act amending the Gun Control Act of 1968, then Senator Biden is on record saying, “During my 12 1/2 years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime.”  He voted against amendments that would have enacted a 14-day waiting period for handgun sales.  [10]

Now he wants you to think banning guns will remove them completely from the population, but hasn’t told us what his plan is to confiscate them from criminals, just law-abiding citizens.  Criminals don’t care about gun laws and if the government bans semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, all law-abiding citizens will be severely restricted in any attempt to defend themselves and their families.  When the bad guy breaks in your house with an AR-15, you don’t want to be fighting him with a BB gun.  Furthermore, when seconds count, the police might be there in five minutes.  But don’t worry, they will process the scene carefully and probably collect enough evidence to identify the killer.  They might even lock him up for a few days.

Both the Heller case and in McDonald v. The City of Chicago, the Supreme Court decided that the Second Amendment acknowledged the right for private citizens to possess handguns in their own homes for personal protection.  These are modern-era cases and the Court obviously considered modern weapons.  Most handguns sold in the U.S. for many years now have been semi-automatic weapons with “high-capacity” magazines, holding 10 or more rounds.  It’s difficult to draw much distinction between a semi-automatic handgun and an AR-15 in terms of effectiveness or firepower at close range (inside the home).  In fact, the handgun is easier to handle and therefore a quicker draw in life-threatening situations.

Therefore, hypothetically, any future litigant fighting for his right to protect himself and his family inside his home with an AR-15, banned or not, could cite Heller and McDonald and have a reasonable expectation to win his case before the Supreme Court.  The same argument could be made for “high-capacity” magazines, as the Supreme Court was well aware of modern-day weaponry.  Seven rounds, ten rounds, 15 rounds – what’s the difference?  It’s just an arbitrary number.

Good spot for my own wisdom

I get it; they just want to limit the ability of a criminal to commit mass murder.  Oh wait, isn’t murder against the law already?  So, we can assume mass murder is illegal too.  Criminals don’t care about laws.  Biden himself said in his ’85 debate, “I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.”

If an evil mind wants to commit a massacre, he’ll find a way, whether it’s a bomb, a vehicle, or an illegal AR-15.  Pretzel logic always comes back to bite you in the ass.  They should call it “boomerang logic”.  If you can’t stop the bad guy, why restrict the good guy’s ability to defend himself, his family, and sometimes others?

Academics and politicians who state that none of the Amendments are “absolute” occupy a ludicrous and indefensible position.  If the supreme law of the land isn’t absolute, why have any laws at all ? 

COMMENTS always welcome

See Part 2 of the series HERE

FOOTNOTES

[1]  National Archives ; Marbury v. Madison (1803)

https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/marbury-v-madison

[2]  Wikipedia ; Constitution of the United States, Influences

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_United_States

[3]  The Constitution, Article VI, in part (2nd paragraph):

“The Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

[4]  The Bill of Rights, Preamble

https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992

[5]  District of Columbia v. Heller (No. 07-290) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES et al v. HELLER ; argued March 18, 2008 – Decided June 26, 2008

Justice Antonin Scalia delivered the opinion and was joined by Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito in a 5-4 decision.  Dissenters were Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, and Breyer.

HELD: (in part)

1 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.  Pp 2-53

2  Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited.  It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.  Pp 54-56

Two years later, the Supreme Court decided the case McDonald v. City of Chicago, 130 SCt 3020 (decided June 28, 2010), in favor of the Plaintiff wherein the Court determined that the Second Amendment rights supersede the laws of state and local governments.  In other words, despite Chicago’s strict gun laws, or any other place in America, it is perfectly LEGAL, and your RIGHT, to own a handgun in your home for protection. 

[6]  Everytown Research & Policy, 2020 vs. 2019 Gun Homicides ; Dec 16, 2021

https://everytownresearch.org/report/city-data/

[7]  A. P. ; 2021 Ends as Chicago’s Deadliest Year in a Quarter Century, U.S. News ; Jan 1, 2022

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-01-01/2021-ends-as-chicagos-deadliest-year-in-a-quarter-century

[8]  Gramlich, John; What the Data Says About Gun Deaths in the U.S. , Pew Research Center, FBI data ; Feb 3, 2022

[9]  ProCon.org ; Britannica, Should More Gun Control Laws Be Enacted? ;

Last updated Aug 7, 2020

https://gun-control.procon.org/

[155] Quinnipiac University ; U.S. Support for Gun Control Tops 2-1, Highest Ever ; Feb 20, 2018

https://gun-control.procon.org/additional-resources/footnotes-sources/#155

[165]  Montanaro, Domenico ; npr.org, Americans Largely Support Gun Restrictions to “Do Something” About Gun Violence ; Aug 10, 2019

https://gun-control.procon.org/additional-resources/footnotes-sources/#165

and the NPR article cited;

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/10/749792493/americans-largely-support-gun-restrictions-to-do-something-about-gun-violence

National Public Radio (NPR), an extremely biased “news” outlet, didn’t offer any data on the research methodology and the numbers surveyed.  The article did break down some of the questions and the responses by Democrats, Republicans and Independents surveyed.  For example, in the cited 65% composite response; 86% of Dems were in favor; and 59% of Independents, but just 49% of Republicans thought it would make a difference.

[10]  Frank, BrieAnna J. ; Fact Check: Biden Once Said He ‘Never Believed’ Gun Control, Federal Registration Would Reduce Crime, USA Today ; June 14, 2022

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2022/06/14/fact-check-biden-once-said-more-gun-control-may-not-reduce-crime/7609342001/

Whoa, where is the Disinformation Bureau?  USA Today admits that he said it, quoting the full context, but wants you to think the quote is a falsehood in the headline.  That’s what I call propaganda.  Your mind has been conditioned to believe that “fact check” means the story is going to debunk the claim.  Otherwise, why put “Fact Check” in the headline?

Why the Russians Can’t Win

Thomas Paine: American Philosopher, & Revolutionary

From 1776 through the formation of The Constitution I helped create America. Now I have returned to help save America. Please join my Facebook group American Patriots in a free and open discussion to further the cause of FREEDOM.

The American Revolution began on the 19th day of April 1775, when 77 militiamen assembled on the village green at Lexington, Massachusetts to repel some 700 British troops marching westward from Boston, aiming to secure all stores of weapons and capture Patriot leaders Sam Adams and John Hancock.  The skirmish that ensued left 8 Americans dead, 10 others wounded, and a retreat to nearby Concord had the British chasing them into a hornet’s nest.  About 2 hours after the shots ended at Lexington, the British regulars arrived at Concord amidst hundreds of armed Patriots.  They managed to destroy many military supplies but were soon routed by the minutemen and suffered heavy casualties.

Monument engraved in honor of the 76 Minute Men who stood behind Capt. John Parker on the 19th April 1775, Lexington, Massachusetts
Minute Man re-enactor at Concord, Massachusetts

“As the British retraced their 16-mile journey, their lines were constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls.  At Lexington, Captain Parker’s militia had its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily marched through his town.  By the time the British finally reached the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers had been killed, wounded, or were missing in action.  The Patriots suffered fewer than 100 casualties.”  [1] Although the Treaty of Paris wasn’t signed until September 3rd, 1783, officially ending the war, it was at the Yorktown peninsula, Virginia, on the 17th day of October 1781, where Lt. General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrendered his sword to General George Washington, that signaled the final battle.  It took six and a half years to expel the British and effect American independence

How The Ukraine War Resembles the American Revolution

Today we are witnessing a repeat of history, as the Russian military, under the direction of President Vladimir Putin, has invaded the Ukraine, vowing to reclaim the resource rich independent country that broke off from the former Soviet Union, dissolved in 1991.  There are parallels between these two conflicts and in the final analysis, unless Putin goes all-out bonkers leaving the Ukraine as a nuclear wasteland, I’m predicting resolution will be similar to our own 18th century war.

I will reprint a few excerpts from my own writings nearly 250 years ago that could essentially be used today as a rallying cry by Ukrainian Patriots.  You could simply replace the names “America” and England” by substituting “Ukraine” and “Russia”, respectfully, and you might think the paragraph was describing the current situation in Ukraine.

“THOSE who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.  The event of yesterday was one of those kind of alarms which is just sufficient to rouse us to duty, without being of consequence enough to depress our fortitude.  It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle. Or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.”  [2]

Here Paine is saying that battles lost are not prelude to eventual conquest, but rather a call to action, intensifying the outrage of the warrior routed from the field, and strengthening his resolve.  The cause of freedom will not be so easily won, requiring sacrifice along the way, but freedom will prevail in the end.

“Men who are sincere in defending their freedom; will always feel concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them; it is the natural and honest consequence of all affectionate attachments, and the want of it is a vice.  But the dejection lasts only for a moment; they soon rise out of it with additional vigor; the glow of hope, courage, and fortitude, will in a little time, supply the place of every inferior passion, and kindle the whole heart into heroism.”  [3]

Though the soldier mourns the loss of every brother-in-arms, he will gain the determination to defeat a conquering force and drive them out of his country.

“The soldier, above all others, prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

  —  Gen. Douglas MacArthur

“I close this paper with a short address to General Howe.  You, sir, are only lingering out the period that shall bring with it your defeat.  You have yet scarce begun upon the war, and the further you enter, the faster will your troubles thicken.  What you now enjoy is only a respite from ruin; an invitation to destruction; something that will lead on to our deliverance at your expense.  We know the cause which we are engaged in, and though a passionate fondness for it may make us grieve at every injury which threatens it, yet, when the moment of concern is over, the determination to duty returns.”  [4]

Paine tells Howe directly that Britain’s folly in conquering the American people and submitting its’ citizenry to foreign tyranny is doomed.  The flame of freedom cannot be extinguished by mercenaries with no skin in the game.  The Patriot will always regroup from setback, and will never rest until the cause of defending his family and freeing his homeland is achieved.

“If there is a sin superior to every other, it is that of wilful and offensive war.  Most other sins are circumscribed within narrow limits, that is, the power of one man cannot give them a very general extension, and many kinds of sins have only a mental existence from which no affection arises; but he who is the author of a war, lets loose the whole contagion of Hell, that opens a vein and bleeds a nation to death.  We leave it to England and Indians to boast of these honors; we feel no thirst for such savage glory; a nobler flame, a purer spirit animates America.  She has taken up the sword of virtuous defence; she has bravely put herself between Tyranny and Freedom, between a curse and a blessing, determined to expel the one and protect the other.”  [5]

It is Putin who must accept the sin of war.  His invasion was unprovoked.  His objective is to regain territory he believes to be rightfully Russian, to restore the glory of the former Soviet Union.  I’m certain that many of his nationalist countrymen support him.  His methods have been brutal, a scorched earth policy, particularly in the eastern regions of Dunbas, encompassing Mariupol, Donetsk, and the northeast city of Kharkiv, showing no regard for human life, epitomizing a “contagion of Hell” from which civilians have had great difficulty escaping, trapped within the ruins of the cities they once called home.

During the American Revolution, British forces, based in Charleston, burned family homesteads and committed atrocities across the villages and swamplands of South Carolina in an effort to flush out Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, the guerrilla fighter whose band of militia tormented Cornwallis all the way to Cowpens, where, on the 17th of January 1781, they were defeated by Marion and Continental Regulars under Lt. Col. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, his former commanding officer in the French and Indian War.  It was the beginning of the end for Cornwallis.  The Patriot (2000 film) is a pretty accurate depiction of this southern theater of the war.  [6]  

“Go home, sir, and endeavor to save the remains of your ruined country, by a just representation of the madness of her measures.  A few moments, well applied, may yet preserve her from political destruction.  I am not one of those who wish to see Europe in a flame, because I am persuaded that such an event will not shorten the war.  The rupture, at present, is confined between the two powers of America and England.  England finds that she cannot conquer America, and America has no wish to conquer England.  You are fighting for what you can never obtain, and we defending what we never mean to part with.  A few words, therefore, settle the bargain.  Let England mind her own business and we will mind ours.  Govern yourselves and we will govern ourselves.”  [7] 

Putin would be wise to acknowledge the history of the American Revolution, to recognize that his ambition may be larger than the ability of his military superiority to subdue a determined army of dedicated defenders.  Paine would give him the same advice he delivered to Howe; leave us alone and return to your own country before you lose everything.  Let us hope that Putin’s ego doesn’t overrule his sensibilities before this war drags on for years, and the Ukrainian people can get on with their lives.

COMMENTS always welcome

FOOTNOTES

[1] American Revolution Begins at Battle of Lexington ; Hulton Archive, history.com

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-american-revolution-begins

[2] Paine, Thomas ; The Crisis IV: Those Who Expect to Reap the Blessings of Freedom ; Common Sense, September 12, 1777, the day after the Battle of Brandywine, Chester County, Pennsylvania ; Philadelphia

[3] ibid.

[4] ibid.

[5] Paine, Thomas ; The Crisis V: To General Sir William Howe ; Common Sense, March 21, 1778, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

[6] The Patriot, a 2000 epic historical war film of the American Revolution, directed by Roland Emmerich, starring Mel Gibson in the title role as Benjamin Martin (depicting Francis Marion), Chris Cooper as Brig. Gen. Harry Burwell (depicting Gen. Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee), Heath Ledger as Gabriel Martin, and Jason Isaacs a Col. William Tavington (depicting Col. Banastre Tarlton).

In the climactic battle at Cowpens, South Carolina, Martin (Gibson) suggests to Gen. Burwell (Cooper) they employ the tactic of a “feigned retreat” (first known to be used by William the Conqueror at Hastlngs in 1066), whereby his militia skirmishes with the British near the crest of a hill, fakes a retreat over the hill, enticing the British to charge in anticipation of routing the rebels, then as the British break over the hill, they’re confronted by a much larger force of Continental regulars lying in wait.  In classic Hollywood fashion, Gibson avenges the murder of his son, Gabriel (Ledger), by killing Tavington (Isaacs) himself.

The Patriot (2000 film) – Wikipedia

[7] Paine, Thomas ; The Crisis V: To General Sir William Howe ; Common Sense, March 21, 1778, Lancaster, Pennsylvania