Posts Tagged ‘Second Amendment’

A meeting of the Second Continental Congress. Can you just imagine what it was like in that room?

What are you if you aren’t free? The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms

Before America’s founding fathers wrote the Second Amendment, securing our individual right to own a firearm, they wrote the Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms, paving the way for the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Becoming increasingly at odds with the British parliament, the members of the Second Continental Congress agreed to draft a declaration explaining why America was taking up arms against the British.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

House Holds AG Holder in Contempt of Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on Thursday for his role in suppressing and withholding Fast & Furious documents from congressional investigators. The bipartisan vote—255 to 67, with 17 Democrats joining 238 Republicans voting for contempt—marks the first time in history that the U.S. Congress has held an attorney general in contempt.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

The lead investigator, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, heads the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which last week voted to send the contempt citation to the floor of the full House.

Rep. Issa said that he’s committed to fixing the problems related to Operation Fast & Furious—where the Obama administration helped gun smugglers sneak firearms south of the border in an apparent attempt to create a demand for more gun control laws in the U.S.

The National Rifle Association, which contends the government used the operation to promote stricter gun control laws, warned lawmakers last week that it will use the contempt vote to rate lawmakers. The organization’s decision placed added pressure on House Democrats in gun-friendly districts.

Issa told CNN he was surprised that President Obama exerted executive privilege in an attempt to seal up the requested documents. This move, he says, indicates the White House’s role in Fast & Furious “has been greater than previously acknowledged.”

This revelation—that the President himself may have had more intimate knowledge of Fast & Furious—is motivating legislators on both sides of Capitol Hill. The ranking Senator on the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, said that he had previously only traced the Fast & Furious program to an assistant attorney general.

But now Grassley says that Obama’s claim of executive privilege “raises the question of what does the president know and when did he know it.”

As we reported earlier, the Gun Owners Foundation has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for DC to compel the Justice Department to produce tens of thousands of documents related to Operation Fast & Furious. If Eric Holder were to refuse the court’s demand for producing documents, then a “contempt of court” citation could land the attorney general in jail.

Arguing Semantics

When talking with staunch anti-gunners, it’s worth inquiring whether they object to firearms or to weapons. Contrary to their initial impression, the two are not the same. This Anschutz target rifle is a firearm. While it can be used as a weapon, it’s designed for an entirely peaceful purpose. That didn’t stop California from temporarily banning Olympic .22Short pistols as “assualt weapons” because of the forward location of their 5-shot magazines.

The cover of Guy Smith’s Gun Facts.

Arguing with Anti-Gunners. What is Your Defense?

We all have probably faced this argument before, defending our right to own a gun. I’ve been so blindsided by the question why I own guns by someone that is anti-gun, that I could only stammer, “It’s how I make my living.” To an anti-gunner this is in no way a valid reason to own a gun. Before getting into a discussion or argument with someone who does not believe anyone should own a gun, you should arm yourself with the facts.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (left) and House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa.

SC Rep. Gowdy: Obama May Fire AG Holder over Fast and Furious Scandal

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy has said that he thinks President Barack Obama may end up firing Attorney General Eric Holder before the 2012 election. Gowdy is an outspoken Congressional critic of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, and Gowdy said that he, Rep. Darrell Issa, and others pushing for accountability on Operation Fast and Furious will not stop until they get all the answers.

Illinois Supreme Court Justices

The Next Heller Case? Wilson v. Cook County Goes to Trial

Gun advocates in states that still have assault weapons bans have been wondering when some brave soul will sue to overturn those laws. Under the landmark DC vs. Heller case, the Second Amendment was interpreted as protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms in common use, subject to reasonable restrictions. Now, solo practitioner Victor Quilici and a small but dedicated legal team have a good test case in Illinois. The Illinois Supreme Court just ruled earlier this month that Wilson v. Cook County will go to trial.

Cars and guns should be quiet

Scary Cars? Yes, Just Like Those Scary Guns!

Steam-powered street vehicles first appeared in noticeable numbers in England in the 1830s. They were eventually driven out of common use by legislation backed by their competitors and “self-propelled carriages” did not reappear until the late 1890s. At the time, gasoline and alcohol powered cars were not the obvious choice over the steam and electric competitors. While they had many advantages, they also suffered from a great disadvantage — the noise of un-muffled engines.

Her home is her castle

Your Home is Your Castle and You Have a Right to Defend it

Since a young Oklahoma widow shot and killed a home intruder on New Year’s Eve 2010, the Castle Doctrine law has been making the national news. In the last few weeks, there has been a bigger push for states that do not have a Castle Doctrine law enacted to start one and even extend Castle Doctrine laws for states that have a form of the self-defense law. Most recently was Virginia’s House Bill 48 that passed the Senate on Friday, February 3, 2012 on a 12 to 6 vote and now will move to the Senate.

Virginia Senate in Session

Virginia State Senate Votes 21-19 to End One-Gun-Per-Month Limit

Today the Virginia State Senate voted to end Virginia’s long-standing limit of one handgun purchase per month. Virginia based this rationing of the 2nd Amendment right on the idea that limiting the volume of firearms sales could prevent illegal “gun running” to neighboring areas with stricter handgun laws or outright bans, such as Washington, D.C. They originally enacted the law in 1993 during a swelling of gun control measures that climaxed with the national assault weapons ban in 1994. Despite nearly two decades of this law’s enforcement, there is no evidence whatsoever that limiting law-abiding citizens to one handgun purchase a month had any effect on the illegal arms trade on the east coast.

The Second Amendment is my gun permit

Mentally Unfit? Who Says So?

On January 13, 2012, the First Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals ruled in United States v. Rehlander that the mentally ill should be able to own guns until there is a hearing “declaring them unfit.” The court stated that the right to bear arms cannot be revoked by the government without due process. The 14th Amendment, called the Due Process Clause, means that the government must follow fair procedures before taking away a constitutional right.

The Second Amendment is my gun permit

The Second Amendment is my gun permit.

In March 2007 and in April of 2007, Nathan Rehlander was involuntarily hospitalized under Maine’s “emergency procedure” for “suicidal impulses.” He was later discharged via court order stating that Rehlander needed treatment, but posed no risk of serious harm. In December 2008, during a response from an assault complaint, Rehlander was found in possession of a 9mm pistol. Under Maine law, Rehlander’s involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital meant that his right to own a firearm had been stripped away. He was indicted on the charge of possession of the firearm in September 2009. He pled guilty to the charge, but has since appealed the court’s decision.

The appellate court found that because there was no follow up from Rehlander’s hospitalization deeming him “mentally unfit,” there were no procedures in place to restore Rehlander’s rights to own a gun. “Thus, Maine treats its temporary hospitalization procedures as insufficient to nullify the right to possess guns.”