The Most Surprising Speaker At The 2A Rally

If you had told me that a former president of the Brady Campaign was going to speak at the 2A Rally Saturday, I would have wondered what substances you had ingested.

Dan Gross, former president of the Brady Campaign, was an unannounced speaker at the 2A Rally. What he said took a lot of people by surprise including me. You can listen to his short speech below:

Since then he has done a few interviews. The first probably was with John Crump who writes for Ammoland. His full candid interview is here. One thing Gross said really stood out in my opinion.

I think there are people on the “gun control or gun safety” side that have too loud of voice that really believe that there’s no place for guns in our country. Those are the people that lead to a lot of exhaustion that leads me to where I am now.

While Gross believes in background checks, he said he had no problem with someone selling a firearm to a friend without such a check. He also said it was wrong to focus on an assault weapons ban.

Given the tweets from Brady today, I can see why Gross has moved on. What they are calling for in the way of “gun violence prevention” will really have no impact. It is the mag bans, the “assault weapon” (sic) bans, and other such “gun safety” (sic) proposals.

Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation also interviewed Gross for Liberty Park Press. As he notes in his piece on it, they had a 50-minute phone conversation. Gross stressed that there is a common ground and government doesn’t have to be involved.

Gross acknowledged his apprehensions about appearing at the rally and speaking to a crowd of Second Amendment activists. His fears dissipated when it became evident that people who attended are interested in the same things he’s interested in, which boil down to safer homes and safer families.


“We still disagree on some things I am sure,” he emphasized, “but we can’t let that get in the way of a real opportunity to accomplish some things.”

Some of those things are keeping firearms secured from young children and getting more training. I can agree with that.

Gross said that he and Rob Pincus have been working together for the past year on creating a Center for Gun Rights and Responsibilities. It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

Not Even 24 Hours

Do we have all the facts – the real facts and not just suppositions – on the murders in El Paso or Dayton yesterday?

Of course the answer is no.

But does that stop the gun prohibitionists from dancing in the blood of the victims and from raising money?

Again, a big no.

This email was received less than 24 hours before the murderer started his rampage in El Paso.

Our
chapters are the heart and soul of our efforts and the ‘boots on the
ground’ in this battle against the epidemic of gun violence. If you’re
already involved, please forward this to a friend and ask them to join.

I am reminded of the response that attorney Joseph Welch gave to Sen. Joe McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings.

Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

The answer for the Brady Campaign and others of their ilk is a resounding NO!

Gun Control With My Music? No Thanks

I’m on the mailing list of the gun control organizations. I get the emails from Everytown and Brady and Giffords and the list goes on. I do it so I can read what they are up to in their own words. I’d encourage you to do so as well. It is important to know what the enemies of freedom are doing in advance rather than finding out after they’ve just passed another gun control law.

Anyway, in the Weekly Update from the Brady Campaign was this tidbit:

Brady Will be at Bonnaroo this June!


For the second year in a row, Brady is among a small group of nonprofits selected to partner with the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, taking place June 13-16 in Tennessee. We’re excited to introduce the 50,000 concert-goers to Brady and the fight to end gun violence. Our Team ENOUGH leaders will serve on a panel discussion about gun violence prevention, we’ll host an activist-oriented DJ set, and we’ll run a booth throughout the festival. If you’re at Roo, be sure to say hi!

Most people my age don’t have a clue what Bonnaroo is but impressionable Millennials do. Bonnaroo is a four-day music festival held in Manchester, Tennessee which attracts upwards of 100,000 festival goers for music, art, camping, and “changing the world.” Think Woodstock without the mud and with a dose of social justice.

I’ve looked over the list of bands and my age shows. With few exceptions, I don’t have a clue about the performers. Yes, I’ve heard of John Prine, Phish, and Cardi B but I couldn’t tell you a thing about Space Jesus or Trampled By Turtles.

Tickets are not cheap. The prices range from $279 to over $3,000. In other words, you are getting festival goers with deep pockets. It is no wonder that the Brady Campaign wants to be there.

The Brady Campaign knows they are in a culture war and the best way to attract more followers, informed or otherwise, is to go to these festivals. It is their equivalent to the NRA or Grass Roots North Carolina recruiting at gun shows. The problem for us in the gun culture is that there are a lot more people going to Bonnaroo than will be attending my local gun show and they are younger and much more impressionable.

Reactions, Pro And Con, To Connecticut Supreme Court Ruling

As you can well imagine the gun prohibitionists are ecstatic over the Connecticut Supreme Court’s constitutionally dubious ruling in Soto et al v. Bushmaster et al today. Both the Brady Campaign and the Giffords Law Center had filed amicus briefs in the case.

From the Brady Campaign which has been working hard to punch holes in the Protection of Legal Commerce in Arms Act for many years:

Justices have reversed a lower court ruling allowing the lawsuit to move forward and put the question to a jury of whether or not Remington and gun dealers can be held accountable for its role in the 2012 shooting. The lawsuit argues that the assault-style weapon used in the massacre had knowingly been marketed to the public despite being designed for military use. It is also argued that the weapon’s marketing deliberately appealed to young people, particularly those like the 20-year-old who killed 26 people in Newtown, Connecticut.


“This is a good day for justice and for victims of gun violence everywhere,” stated Brady President, Kris Brown. “The law requires everyone, particularly businesses, to operate in a way that will not cause foreseeable harm. It’s time for gun companies to be held to this same standard, and stop being allowed to put profits over people. Brady stands ready to continue our support of Sandy Hook families in their quest for justice.”


For 30 years Brady’s legal team has led the way in winning precedent setting cases that hold gun companies accountable for their role in gun crimes. These cases are reining in and challenging gun industry protection laws, and include a negligent marketing claim against the maker of an assault weapon used in a mass shooting in 1993. This case was discussed at length in today’s decision. Brady’s team provided advice and counsel to the Sandy Hook lawyers throughout the case, also filing an amicus brief in support of plaintiffs.


“We are happy that the Sandy Hook families will get the day in court they deserve. Companies that choose to market weapons of war to the public should not get a free pass from the duty to use the reasonable care that every other person or business must follow,” stated Brady’s VP of Legal, Jon Lowy. “It is unfortunate that the gun industry’s special protection law forced these grieving families to endure years of appeals to get what should be rightfully theirs — their day in court and an opportunity to prove their case. Thankfully this court recognized that if you unreasonably market weapons of war to the public, you can be held accountable for the consequences.”

Reader of this blog know that not one military in the world has adopted the semi-automatic AR-15 or its progeny for use. Calling it a “weapon of war” and “designed for military use” is an outright lie and both Brown and Lowy know it.

Likewise, the Cult of Personality’s Legal Arm otherwise known as Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has weighed in on the ruling with a comment from Adams Skaggs who is their chief counsel.

“Today’s decision is a victory for the families of Sandy Hook and a victory for the principle that no industry is above the law or above accountability. The Connecticut Supreme Court squarely rejected the idea that any industry, no matter how powerful, can slam the courthouse doors shut to the victims of their illegal marketing practices. Now, these families who suffered so much will have the day in court they rightly deserve. We look forward to working with them as this case moves forward, and to supporting all victims of American gun violence as they pursue justice.”

Understandably, those who stand for the rule of law and the recognition that the liability for the criminal misuse of any legal product lies with the criminal were not pleased with this ruling.

Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation responded strongly saying, in part:

“This ruling strains logic, if not common sense,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The court dismissed the bulk of the lawsuit’s allegations, but appears to have grasped at this single straw by deciding that the advertising is somehow at fault for what did that day in December more than six years ago.


“This is like suing Ford or General Motors because a car they sold was stolen and used to run over a pedestrian all because the car manufacturers advertised that their car had better acceleration and performance than other vehicles,” he added.


, 20, first killed his mother and took her legally-purchased Bushmaster rifle to the school, where he murdered 20 youngsters and six adults. The lawsuit contends that Remington’s advertising was designed to glorify the Bushmaster rifle and enhance its appeal to younger consumers.

Justice Richard Palmer, writing for the majority, said that the “regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the state’s police powers.”


“That is absurd in this case,” Gottlieb observed. “Did the advertising even remotely suggest that the Bushmaster is best for murdering people? It appears to me like the court was looking for a way to squeak around the provisions of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that Congress passed in 2005. After all, the court dismissed most of the allegations, but now has decided that advertising might be at fault. That’s a stretch of credulity worthy of surgical elastic.”


“There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever,” he said. “This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is located in Newtown, Connecticut and whom is the actual lobby for the firearms industry, also disagreed with the majority’s opinion in the ruling. While a bit more circumspect that the SAF’s comment, it still expresses their displeasure.

NEWTOWN, Conn. – The Connecticut Supreme Court today reversed (4-3) a state Superior Court ruling and decided in Soto v. Bushmaster that the case can go forward based on the plaintiffs’ allegation that the defendants marketing and advertising of a legal product somehow violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). The Court’s split decision held that CUTPA fit within an exemption to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that permits lawsuits where the defendant violated a statute applicable to the sale of firearms. In a strongly worded and well-reasoned dissent, Chief Justice Robinson rejected the majority’s overly broad interpretation of the scope of the limited exception, which is contrary to legislative text, canons of statutory interpretation and the legislative history of the PLCAA. The majority’s decision today is at odds with all other state and federal appellate courts that have interpreted the scope of the exception. As the trade association for the firearms industry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® filed an amicus brief in support of the defendants in this case and both respectfully disagrees with and is disappointed by the court’s majority decision.

Finally, from what I can tell from an internet search, neither Cerberus Capital Management nor Remington Outdoor Company have issued statements.

GRNC Alert On US Senate Gun Control Hearings

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who suddenly grew a spine during the Kavanaugh hearings may be backsliding a bit. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee he plans to hold hearings on gun control including on red flag laws. The Brady Campaign is crowing about it in an email and set up a special alert so as to pack the hearing room.

Grass Roots North Carolina took notice of the hearing a bit earlier and sent out their own alert. This is one that readers from anywhere can use to contact Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If you are from a state where one of your senators is a member of the committee, make sure to use their email contact form. Just modify the one GRNC composed to be sent to Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).

From GRNC:

THE GOP THREATENS A
GUN CONFISCATION
SCHEME


Is the old Lindsay back? According to US Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), so-called “red flag” laws are an area where
Republicans may just reach across the aisle…



As you review the details below, please keep a few things in mind:
  • “Red Flag Law” and “Extreme Risk Protection
    Order” are simply euphemisms for the unlawful suspension of a person’s constitutional rights, absent any due process
    , based
    solely on hearsay from an accuser who has neither witnessed a crime, nor been victimized by one.
     

  • The US House is currently held by Nancy Pelosi’s extremely anti-gun party. This means the Senate may be the
    only reliable road block to extremist gun control bills. Yet, we now see influential Republican senators suggesting they just might send a
    “red flag” bill to Speaker Pelosi for her party’s rubber stamp
    .


  • If it can pass the Senate, it’ll breeze through the House, and then it’s on to the
    President, who unfortunately, seems
    open
    to unconstitutional ‘red flag’ laws
    , and who gets along great with Lindsay Graham.

This is Serious

Wednesday,
speaking on CNN as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
Senator Graham confirmed that the powerful
committee will hold a hearing on gun control. The hearing is expected to
cover “extreme risk protection” orders (“red flag”
laws). Gun control is a topic usually shunned by members of the
Republican held senate, and rightfully so. This is why their sudden
interest in a gun
control hearing is an ominous sign. 


Click here to read the CNN story, a
story that quotes Senator Graham (emphasis ours):

I think there’s a lot of common ground

[with Democrats] on enrolling people in
the background system who
are a
danger to themselves or others.
It’s probably safe to assume that you
don’t want to be “enrolled” in anything
concocted by Lindsay Graham and approved by Nancy
Pelosi, especially when it comes to infringements on your Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The CNN Story goes on:

Graham, a supporter and strong ally of President Trump also says he has spoken with the President about it.

(See the last bullet point,
above)
.

Say NO to Ending
American Due Process

It is critical that
each of us contact the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Particularly North Carolina’s own, Senator Thom Tillis. Below,
see how you can reach each member, starting with Senator Tillis, and let them know that you expect them to stand for due process, for
gun rights, and against “red flag” laws
. 

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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!



  • SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TO US SENATOR THOM TILLIS
    (R-NC)
    : Tillis is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Use the link provided below, under ‘Contact Info,’ to
    visit his Senate contact form. Use the copy/paste message provided below, under ‘Deliver This
    Message
    .’   

  • PHONE ALL SENATE JUDICIARY REPUBLICANS: Use the phone numbers provided below. Tell them you
    are calling about the Judiciary Committee’s upcoming gun control hearing (March 26), and make the following points:

    • “Red
      flag” or “extreme risk
      protection” laws are a blatant violation of the due-process rights
      guaranteed to each citizen by the Constitution, not to mention a
      violation
      of Second Amendment rights themselves.

    • The Senator surely knows that the term “red flag law” is simply a euphemism for the unlawful suspension of Constitutional
      rights, and the suspension of these rights is based on hearsay from someone who was neither a witness to, nor a victim of, a
      crime.
    • Supporting this type of legislation would be a violation of the senator’s oath of office and would
      be a severe breach of the trust the senator has earned from the voters. 
    • No American lawmaker could support this sort of law and still
      claim to be a supporter and protector of the Bill of Rights. Therefore, I demand that the senator lend
      precisely zero support to any gun control legislation, particularly “red flag” bills.




  • PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO
    GRNC
    : Help us fight gun control while we promote Second Amendment principles. Please CLICK HERE to contribute. Bear in mind that GRNC is an all-volunteer organization, so you can be sure your
    donations are put to the best possible use. Any amount helps, and any amount is appreciated.

Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee: 
Committee Member Contact Info

Sen. Thom Tillis (NC)

(Please phone & email Sen. Tillis. Copy/paste text below.)
(202) 224-6342
web contact form
(email): 

www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) (Chairman) (202) 224-5972
n. Chuck Grassley (IA) (202) 224-3744
Sen. John Cornyn (TX) (202) 224-2934
Sen. Mike Lee (UT) (202) 224-5444
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) (202) 224-5922
Sen. Ben Sasse (NE) (202) 224-4224
Sen. Joshua Hawley (MO) (202) 224-6154
Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) (202) 224-3254
Sen. Mike Crapo (ID) (202) 224-6142
Sen. John Kennedy (LA) (202) 224-4623
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (TN) (202) 224-3344

DELIVER THIS
MESSAGE

Suggested Subject: “NO to Unconstitutional ‘Red
Flag’ Laws!
”  
Dear Senator Tillis:

It has come my attention that the Senate
Judiciary Committee intends to hold a gun control hearing on or around
March
26. I also understand that the committee chairman has expressed a
willingness to work with Democrats on gun control, specifically
so-called “red
flag” laws.

“Red flag” or “extreme risk protection” laws are a blatant violation of
the due-process rights guaranteed to each citizen by
the Constitution, not to mention a violation of Second Amendment rights
themselves. Because of this, supporting this type of legislation would
be a
violation of your oath of office and would be a severe breach of the
trust you’ve earned from the voters you serve. 

You know as well as I that “red flag
law” is simply a euphemism for the unlawful suspension of (several)
Constitutional rights. The suspension of these rights is based on
hearsay
from someone who was neither a witness to, nor a victim of, a crime. No
American lawmaker could support this sort of law and still claim to be a
supporter and protector of the Bill of Rights.

Therefore, I demand that you lend precisely zero
support to any gun control legislation, particularly “red flag”
bills. Rather, I expect you to speak against “red flag” laws, exposing
them for what they are.

I will be monitoring your actions on this
matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully, 

NY State Rife & Pistol Case Unnerves Brady Campaign

I had been waiting to see the response of the gun prohibitionists to the Supreme Court granting certiorari in NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York. Jonathan Lowy, head of the Brady Campaign’s Legal Project, didn’t disappoint. A fundraising email was sent out yesterday under his signature yesterday afternoon.

He said, in part, that the stakes are high and it is a case of “life and death”.

The Supreme Court announced yesterday that, for the first time in almost a decade, it will hear a Second Amendment case – the first gun case to be decided by a Court with two Donald Trump-appointees. The case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, challenges a city ordinance governing transportation of firearms. Make no mistake: the stakes could not be higher. Commonsense gun safety laws across the country are at risk. We need your support to make sure that the voices of Americans who want stronger gun regulation are heard loudly in the Supreme Court.


The stakes for this case are nothing short of life and death. Whatever the Supreme Court says in its decision will help determine whether Americans maintain the right to enact the strong, commonsense public safety laws they want and need to protect loved ones and communities from gun violence, or if judges will take this right from us. But the Framers put “well-regulated” in the Second Amendment and “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence for good reason. We are committed to making sure the Supreme Court doesn’t write the gun industry’s guns-everywhere vision into our Constitution.

 He goes on to say that the Supreme Court never meant the Second Amendment to apply outside the home as evidenced by the Heller decision. In my opinion, he has misconstrued the late Justice Scalia’s decision.

What is interesting about all of this is that none of the gun prohibitionist organizations bothered to file amicus briefs against the Supreme Court granting cert in this case. The only amicus briefs were from a coalition including GOA, another organized by the Attorney General of Louisiana on behalf of a number of states, and another from the Western States Sheriffs Association and various law enforcement groups. These all were in favor of cert being granted. I don’t know whether it was hubris or ignorance that explains the casual approach of the gun control industry to this case but I am certain they will now be submitting amicus briefs fast and furiously in support of the position of New York City.

A Takeaway For Gun Owners From Pelosi’s Campaign For Speaker

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Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will probably be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. I say probably because there are some Democrats that are opposed to her and the aging leadership. She, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and James Clyburn (D-SC) are all in their 70s. However, while this group of dissidents might prevent Pelosi from getting the requisite number of votes (218), it is doubtful they will win in the end.

In a story in the Washington Examiner about Pelosi’s campaign for Speaker and the battle her allies are waging on her behalf was this:

As the leadership fight escalates, Pelosi’s lined up endorsements from former President Barack Obama — who called Pelosi “one of the most effective legislative leaders” on Tuesday — and key advocacy groups that helped Democrats retake the majority. Progressive groups, gun control organizations, unions, reproductive rights groups like NARAL Pro-Choice and more have thrown their weight behind Pelosi’s speaker bid.


“Do you really want to make enemies out of these groups?” said (Rep. Jan) Schakowsky, adding later, that the fight “is not just inside baseball, this has enormous ramifications for how we successfully move forward to pass an agenda that’s going to help people.”

The Brady Campaign and Shannon Watts have all formally endorsed Pelosi for Speaker. Moreover, Michael Bloomberg who “invested” over $100 million in this election cycle to get Democrats elected has worked closely with Pelosi and shared office space with her super PAC.

What does this mean for gun owners?

It should be obvious – expect gun control to be on the Democrats agenda in the House from day one of the new Congress. Pelosi has a constituency to repay and she will. I fully expect that bills will be introduced that will contain every gun control measure that you can think of and some that we haven’t. Moreover, these bills will get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee and most will pass in the House. Furthermore, the Hearing Protection Act, national reciprocity, and even provisions for use of Pittman-Robertson funds to construct shooting ranges are dead.

Our only hope for stopping these infringements will be the Senate which remains in Republican hands. Even then, there are some Republicans who might vote for things like red flag laws or bans on bump fire stocks. Fortunately, the filibuster is still alive when it comes to bills passing the Senate and it still will require 60 votes to invoke cloture. Therefore, if you haven’t contacted your two Senators or Senator-elect, you better do it now and put opposition to gun control on their radar.

The Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” will epitomize the next two years when it comes to the fight for gun rights.

“I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers.”

The above quote comes from Susan Orfanos. She was the mother of Telemachus Orfanos who was one of the victims in the multiple murders committed at the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California. It was reported on the CBS Evening News for Friday, November 9th.

“He didn’t come home last night,” said his mother, Susan. “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns.”

The link to the story includes the video interview with her and a friend of the murderer.

I can excuse the bitter words of a distraught mother who lost a son. However, I have also gotten emails from both the Brady Campaign and the cult of personality known as Giffords calling for more gun control and asking for donations.

Excuse me but these murders happened in the gun control paradise known as California. Giffords Law Center rates the state an “A”. It is the only state in the Union rated this high. Even New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts only get A minuses. In the last Brady Campaign rankings I can find from 2015, California was the number one state in terms of adopting the gun control measures they wanted.

Red Flag laws?

Check!

Highly restrictive may issue concealed carry?

Check!

Ban on open carry?

Check!

Waiting periods?

Check!

Assault weapon (sic) bans?

Check!

Magazine size restrictions?

Check!

Purchase of ammunition only through licensed dealers?

Check!

Background check to buy ammo?

Check!

Ban carry in establishments that serve alcohol?

Check!

The state has every thing that the gun prohibitionists have been calling for to supposedly stop “gun violence” and “mass shootings” and yet it failed. When a murderer is determined to commit evil deeds the weapon really almost becomes irrelevant. It could just as easily have been an attack using a knife as in Melbourne, Australia on Friday. Even worse might have been an arson attack where an exit was illegally locked or blocked. Some of the worst night club fires in the US and the rest of the world have been due to arson.

My point is that there is little that can be done to stop the initial attack even with the most restrictive of laws. Evil people will do what evil people will do.

That said, there are a number of things that might have lessened the toll. For example, if the six off-duty cops there had been allowed to carry in the Borderline Bar, they could have responded with deadly force to stop the murders. Or, for example, as Greg Ellifritz points out, the murderer posted to Facebook and Instagram during the attack which was an opportunity to attack the murderer when he was distracted. While it might have been illegal in California, in many states you can carry in a place that serves alcohol so long as you don’t drink. This would be the place for Designated Defenders as suggested by Massad Ayoob.

I’m not sure how to prevent all mass violence events. I do think Malcolm Gladwell is on to something with his theory of threshholds where each event begets a larger and worse event. Media publicity doesn’t help. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be reported but restraint and discretion should be exercised. For a start, do like many bloggers and academics have pledged: don’t report the killer’s name. As the No Notoriety campaign suggests focus on the victims and not the killer.

It would be a start. In the meantime, be alert and be careful where you go.

And Now The Reactions From The Prohibitionists, Part 2

The Brady Campaign wasted no time in signalling their opposition to Judge Kavanaugh. I’m sure like the opponents marching on the steps of the Supreme Court last night, they had pre-printed press releases with the names Hardiman, Kethledge, and Barrett inserted in them.

From the Brady Campaign:

Washington, D.C., July 9, 2018 – This evening, President Trump announced his nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence expressed serious apprehension over the nomination, citing Judge Kavanaugh’s previous hostility to common-sense gun safety laws.

Brady Campaign co-president Avery Gardiner:

“We don’t have to guess when it comes to Judge Kavanaugh’s track record on gun laws – he’s made it quite clear where he stands. And for a president who took more than $30 million from the NRA, Judge Kavanaugh is a perfect fit. This is a judge who sees no difference between assault weapons and handguns, and who has stated that there is no judicial role when it comes to regulating gun ownership. We call on Judge Kavanaugh to tell the American people clearly and plainly how he interprets the Second Amendment. If he is as hostile to gun laws as he appears to be, then we will fight this nomination tooth and nail.”

Brady Campaign co-president Kris Brown:

“The NRA paid good money to get this nomination, and make no mistake – they’re popping champagne as we speak. Wayne LaPierre called this no less than the ‘ultimate prize,’ and we can all expect the gun lobby to outspend the million dollars they spent during the last Supreme Court nomination to push for Judge Kavanaugh. We at Brady are not going to let that happen without a fight, and without demanding a rigorous and exacting standard of questioning for Judge Kavanaugh about his judicial record. Brady has been at the frontlines of the legal battles for gun safety for nearly three decades, and we will press forward with this important fight in the weeks, months, and years to come.”

Brady VP of Litigation Jonathan Lowy:

“Judge Kavanaugh must tell the American public whether he will protect their most important right — the right to be safe from gun violence — or whether he will cater to the gun lobby’s agenda to let virtually anyone carry any gun, any time, anywhere. At the end of the day, it’s a simple question. Do you believe that the right to guns overrides the right to be safe from being shot? If the answer is yes, you simply aren’t fit for a lifetime appointment to America’s highest court.”

BACKGROUND

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a history of opposition to common-sense measures to promote gun safety.

  • In Heller v. District of Columbia (note: this is a different case than the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2008), Judge Kavanaugh dissented from the panel opinion that upheld a city law banning possession of semi-automatic rifles and requiring registration of all guns. In his dissent, Kavanaugh wrote that “there is no meaningful or persuasive constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles.”
    Kavanaugh further wrote that “semi-automatic rifles have traditionally not been banned and are in common use today, and are thus protected” by the Second Amendment. This would run counter to what numerous federal courts have ruled, placing the viewpoint far outside the mainstream legal opinion.
  • The dissent also read that there is an “absence of a role for judicial interest balancing or assessment of costs and benefits of gun regulation,” indicating that Kavanaugh would potentially rule against any sort of common sense gun safety laws.
  • Of the panel of three Republican-appointed judges, Kavanaugh was the only one to dissent and argue that the assault weapon ban is unconstitutional.
    The Brady Center also recently published a report on the 10-year anniversary of the landmark D.C. v. Heller Supreme Court case. 


The report:

  • Discusses the reality of what Heller does and does not allow, including that there are clear and valid reasons for certain firearms, such as assault weapons, to be banned from personal use and possession;
  • Explores the ongoing position, held by Brady and which numerous courts have agreed with, that the Heller decision can coexist with reasonable gun measures and laws; and
  • Examines key developments over the past ten years, over which approximately 1,200 Second Amendment challenges have been considered by state and federal courts. Many of the disputes have focused on common-sense gun laws regarding public carry, assault weapons and large capacity magazine bans, prohibited purchasers and background checks, and gun safety regulations. In over 90% of these cases, the courts have sided with Brady’s interpretation of Heller. Notably, the Supreme Court has only agreed to hear one major Second Amendment case in the decade since Heller; a Court featuring Kavanaugh could choose to hear many more cases in the near future.


Jonathan Lowy knows that the US Constitution does not include a “right to be safe from gun violence (sic)” nor does it explicitly include a right to privacy. It does, however, have the enumerated individual right to keep and bear arms. Hmm.

They are correct that the Supreme Court might finally agree to hear cases in the future involving the Second Amendment. Since McDonald, with the exception of Caetano v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court has not heard a Second Amendment challenge and Caetano didn’t involve firearms but rather stun guns.

Just because courts have misconstrued and ignored Heller and McDonald doesn’t mean they are right. That is akin to saying in 1910, 90% of white southerners thought segregation was correct. It wasn’t.

Finally, and I find this amusing, in the clearest indication that the Brady Campaign is not sharing in the largesse of Michael Bloomberg, they have resorted to promoting high priced lipstick as a means of fund raising.

House Democrats Pushing For Vote On HR 4240

HR 4240, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2017, is being pushed for a vote by virtually all the Democrats in the House plus another 11 Republicans. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) filed a discharge petition on Monday to get it brought from the House Judiciary Committee to the floor of the House for a vote. I should note at this point that no hearings have been held on the bill since its introduction.

Highlights of the bill include:

  • Reauthorization of the NICS Program.
  • Grants to the state to improve and automate reporting of prohibited persons. There are also penalties for failure to do so.
  • Amend HIPPA to allow mental health records to be reported to NICS database.
  • A relief from disabilities provision.
  • Require ALL firearm sales at a gun show to have a background check.
  • Require ALL firearm sales as a result of a ad, listing, posting, or other display to have a background check. This would include both sale ads and want to buy ads.
  • Transfers without background checks due to gun show or Internet ads will be subject to a fine and/or 5 year prison sentence. 
  • Prohibition of a gun registry (for now).
This is being pushed hard by the Brady Campaign as it goes far beyond the FixNics Act passed by the House as well as the Senate version. Noticeably absent is any penalty for Federal departments such as DOD for failure to report prohibited persons.
As to the Republicans, they are:

Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]* 11/03/2017
Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-8] 11/06/2017
Rep. Meehan, Patrick [R-PA-7] 11/07/2017
Rep. Curbelo, Carlos [R-FL-26] 02/16/2018
Rep. Costello, Ryan A. [R-PA-6] 02/23/2018
Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL-27] 02/23/2018
Rep. Dent, Charles W. [R-PA-15] 02/23/2018
Rep. Lance, Leonard [R-NJ-7] 02/27/2018
Rep. Mast, Brian J. [R-FL-18] 02/27/2018
Rep. Donovan, Daniel M., Jr. [R-NY-11] 02/27/2018
Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4] 02/27/2018

The dates after their names indicates when they became co-sponsors of the bill.

I intend to let my local Congressman know that I’m opposed to this bill as I see it as merely a first step along the road to universal background checks. We also know that there is no such thing as a “gun show loophole” and a “Internet loophole”. They are made up constructs to vilify the sale of private property within the spirit and letter of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Finally, in an ironic twist, the name of this bill – the Public Safety and Second Amendment Protection Act – is the same one chosen by the Kafkaesque Manchin-Toomey bill.