Archive for the ‘Second Amendment Foundation’ tag
Since their support of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment I’ve been questioning whether or not the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is still supporting gun rights or has finally succumbed to The One Ring’s corrupting power. A post by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned leads me to believe the latter:
We noticed SAF/CCRBKA’s booth on the NRA floor, but decided not to stop. But Think Progress did, and noticed they were handing out literature taking NRA to task over Manchin-Toomey:
But despite the bill’s (perhaps temporary) defeat in the Senate, CCRKBA doesn’t appear to be backing down — The Gun Mag, a Second Amendment Foundation publication, published an “NRA Meeting Special Issue” whose lead article takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey.
Many of the comments question the claim as it was posted on Think Progress. On the other hand neither the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) or SAF have refuted the claim.
It’s not wise for gun owners to support an organization that is trying to support gun control legislation and it’s even more unwise to support an organization that is trying to resurrect gun control legislation that has been put to rest. Because the charges against the CCRKBA and SAF are so severe and their previous behavior of supporting the Manchin-Toomey Amendment put their position into question I must hereby withdraw my support. If a representative of either organization is willing to come forth and refute the claim made by Think Progress I will reconsider but I will not give support to an organization that is trying to sell people down the river.
It appears that a little irony is playing out in Joe Biden’s task force. The Obama Administration has announced that they will consider spending $50 million to put police officers in public schools:
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is considering a $50 million plan to fund hundreds of police officers in public schools, a Democratic senator said, part of a broad gun violence agenda that is likely to include a ban on high-capacity ammunition clips and universal background checks.
The school safety initiative would make federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment, although it is not nearly as far-ranging as the National Rifle Association’s proposal for armed guards in every U.S. school.
I’m sure the National Rifle Association (NRA) will receive no credit for the idea, which is rather ironic consider the NRA’s actions towards the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). But this decision by Biden’s task force doesn’t surprise me, in fact I would have been surprised if they hadn’t announced something like this. When the NRA announced its School Shield program and voiced my concerns over expanding the police state already rampant in public schools:
This concerns me as well. Securing schools as much as sports stadiums requires making schools even more like prisons than they already are. Many major stadiums have metal detectors, cameras everywhere, and guards performing pat downs on those entering the venue. Since stadiums are private institutions I don’t care how they run their operations. In his apparently desperate attempt to the Connecticut shooting on something LaPierre hasn’t considered the consequences of making schools more like prison. If he believes violent media causes violence in society then submitting children to prison style security is likely to make them more subservient to the state. As the state has a vested interest in disarm the populace it would seem counterproductive to the goal of protecting gun rights to instill even more obedience into today’s youth. Maintaining gun rights requires a populace that will stand up to the police state, not submit to it. Having children go through metal detectors, submit to searches of their persons and belongings, and being under the constant eye of Big Brother can only instill authoritarianism, which directly opposes the stated goals of the NRA.
Putting armed officers in schools makes sense from the state’s perspective as doing so will help instill more obedience at an impressionable age. We already have schools teaching children that the police are their friends and that one should always truth police officers, which isn’t true:
In reality the police are the state’s expropriators:
The true purpose of police officers is to act as direct state expropriators. Notice that a majority of offenses one can be punished for involve no victims. Speeding tickets, parking tickets, fines for possessing verboten drugs, etc. are victimless crimes that involve the payment of money from offenders to the state. Even the prison system is nothing more than a special form of subsidy in the form of slave labor. Federal prisoners are generally “employed” by Federal Prison Industries, more commonly known as UNICOR. UNICOR is a government owned corporation that produces goods and services for the federal government. All federal agencies, with the exception of the Department of Defense, are legally required to source all needed goods and services through UNICOR unless UNICOR is unable to provide it or gives permission to the federal agencie to seek an alternate provider. Private prisons are another form of subsidy. Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison industry in the country, uses prisoners to provide goods and services to at extremely cheap prices. The police, through enforcing jailable offenses, provide both UNICOR and private companies like CCA with a source of extremely cheap labor. Both corporations enjoy a benefit over other domestic providers of goods and services since neither is obligated to follow labor laws such as paying workers a minimum wage. Effectively wealth, in the form of labor, is being transfered from prisoners to entities like UNICOR and CCA. The state’s courts have also ruled that the police are not obligate to provide protection, further invalidating any claim that their primary purpose is the defense of individuals from domestic threats.
It’s pretty easy to see why Biden’s task force has decided the NRA’s plan was a swell idea. Of course Obama’s administration needs to sell the idea, which will take a little finesse. Gun control advocates have been decrying the NRA’s idea because it would put more guns into schools. If Obama and his gang want to sell the idea they’re going to have to change the message, which they’re trying to do by claiming their plan won’t be as extensive as the NRA’s. This claim is an attempt to make the NRA look like overzealous extremists. Making the NRA appear to be overzealous extremists is necessary to forward the agenda of gun control because admitting the organization had a valid idea would give some the organization some credit and that may cause people to consider more of their ideas.
If Obama pursues the federally funded armed guards route you can rest assured he will say the federal funds will only go to arms school that are “at risk.” That is to say the federal government would start putting armed officers in a few schools initially and expand from there. At some point every public school would likely have posted armed guards but by then everybody will have forgotten about the NRA’s initial proposal and the gun control community’s reaction to it.
One question remains, why would gun control advocates go along with such an idea? They’ve been railing on the NRA’s proposal since it was made. How could they support the same proposal by the federal government? Easy. Gun control advocates don’t oppose guns, they oppose non-state agents having guns. Remember that gun control advocates are authoritarians and desire to grant the state totalitarian control so it can “advance” society in the “right” direction.
This will end up being an interesting month as far as gun rights are concerned. I wonder what other ideas will be announced by Biden’s task force next week.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) does a lot of things that really irritate me. On top of being unable to adopt new strategies in the fight for gun rights now that their strategy of political action has become less effective they also like to steal credit for that accomplishments of other gun rights organizations. Read the NRA’s press release regarding the gun rights victory in Moore v. Madigan. Do you notice anything missing? That’s right, the press released doesn’t mention the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF). Even though the case was initiated and funded by the SAF the NRA is taking sole credit for the victory.
Being dishonest by omitting due credit is a pet peeve of mine. In fact it irritates me to such an extent that I wouldn’t renew my NRA membership if I could do so and still remaining a member of the Oakdale Gun Club. My NRA membership fees would be far more productive in the hands of the SAF. The NRA is continuing to prove itself to be dishonest and incapable of adapting to changing circumstances. Both are unfortunate but I can at least understand the reason for the latter, it’s easy to become fixated on a strategy that has served you well in the past. What I can’t understand is the NRA’s unwillingness to acknowledge the efforts of other gun rights organizations. Far more could be accomplished through mutual cooperation than going it alone.
I know one of the biggest concerns the gun rights community has now that Obama will be in office for four more years are Supreme Court nominees. Several of the current robe-adoren ones are getting up there in age and will likely be retiring relatively soon. The main concern gun rights activists have is Obama appointing anti-gun justices who will reverse the decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. While the Supreme Court is potentially worrisome it’s also one of the branches that the gun rights community can, for the most part, control.
The Supreme Court only rules on cases that have been appealed to their level and they are willing to hear. Because of these two requirements, and the nature of the gun control movement, the gun rights community can mostly control whether or not gun rights cases get to the Supreme Court. Needless to say so long as the gun rights community doesn’t appeal cases to the Supreme Court level the Supreme Court doesn’t get to make a decision. Unfortunately this may mean holding off on lawsuits, which have proven to be a most effective tool as of late, if anti-gun justices are seated but it also means that the threat of seeing either previous victory reversed is mostly avoidable. This means that gun rights would not move forward through the judicial system but it also means it won’t move backwards either.
I also mentioned that the nature of the gun control movement plays are part in this equation. When it comes to court cases regarding gun rights the only two sides that are apt to file lawsuits are advocates of gun rights and advocates of gun control. Advocates of gun rights have good reason to file lawsuits against municipalities that violate gun rights but gun control advocates don’t because they want municipalities to violate gun rights. Without some kind of violation there aren’t grounds of lawsuits so it’s far more difficult for gun control advocates to initiate one. Furthermore the gun control movement has more limited resources available to it. The only gun control game in town that still has money is Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is funded by the personal fortunes of Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies. On the other hand the gun rights movement has the National Rifle Association (NRA), Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), Gun Owners of America (GOA), Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership (JFPO), and numerous state gun rights organizations. Combining forces these gun rights organizations have a funding base of millions of members. Considering the expense of hiring a lawyer that has the required credentials to argue in the Supreme Court it’s unlikely that gun control advocates are going to pursue such lawsuits.
If Obama appoints anti-gun justices to the Supreme Court the gun rights community stands to lose one of its most valuable tools, but it mostly control whether or not ground will be lost. The worst case scenario is that gun rights activists will need to pursue another strategy. One of my biggest criticisms of the NRA is their laser-like focus on a single strategy even when it’s ineffective. When one strategy fails or is no longer viable then another must be developed. Innovate or die is the name of the game. Just because the gun rights movement becomes cut off from the Supreme Court doesn’t mean the game is over, it means a different game must be played.
Of course the real problem is the fact that nine robe-adoren individuals can decide what is and isn’t allowed for an entire country but I touched on that argument already so I’ll not repeat it here.
The election may be over but self-declared Republicans and the gun rights community are still angry at Tuesday’s results. Ultimately nothing has changed on a federal level. Looking at Google’s federal election results the Democratic Party has retained its control of the Presidency and the Senate while the Republican Party has retained its control over the House. For the gun rights community this should be treated as good news. As I said, the presidential race was a complete loss as far as gun rights were concerned and that energies would have been better spend on congressional races. Without Congress to make and pass gun control laws the presidency doesn’t matter. This is where some gun rights activists will point out that the president gets to nominate Supreme Court justices but history demonstrates that “conservative” justices aren’t reliable defenders of individual rights anyways.
I know ammunition, gun, and gun accessory prices are going to jump sky high for the next few months because of Obama’s victory. This is an irrational response by the gun community because everything is the same today as it was the previous four years as far as the federal government is concerned. If you’re truly worried about the Supreme Court then you should advocate the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to cease brining more gun rights lawsuits. The Supreme Court only gets to rule on cases that get appealed to its level so if there are no new cases their previous judgements stand. Gun control advocates don’t have enough money or influence at this point to get cases to the Supreme Court so it’s really up to the gun rights community to decide whether or not new Supreme Court cases regarding gun rights are heard. Avoiding any detrimental affects caused by possible Supreme Court nominations is almost entirely in our hands.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the largest gun rights advocacy group in the United States (and probably the world). They’re feared by gun control advocates and cheered by most gun rights advocates. It’s easy to see why since the NRA has a notable history of success when it comes to fighting gun control legislation. Unfortunately success is often followed by stagnation and it has become apparent that the NRA has become stagnant.
The NRA’s primary power is its influence in the political system. When the NRA throws their support behind a politician gun control and gun rights advocates perk up. In the case of gun control advocates they take the NRA’s endorsement as a reason to oppose a politician while gun rights activists take the NRA’s endorsement as a reason to support a politician. This presidential election is important to note because both of the leading candidates have a history of opposing gun rights. It would seem in order to remain consistent supporters of gun rights the NRA would have to either endorse a third-party candidate or nobody. Instead they have decided to officially endorse Mitt Romney:
NRA Executive vice president Wayne LaPierre and NRA Political Victory Fund chairman Chris Cox will formally announce the endorsement at a Romney rally in Virginia later Thursday evening. Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan will also be on hand.
When all you have is a hammer it’s easy to see every problem as a nail. Let’s consider the situation, the NRA’s most effective tool to defend gun rights cannot be applied in this presidential election because both leading candidates oppose gun rights. Instead of searching their toolbox for a different tool they’ve allowed themselves to give their support to a candidate who open supports an “assault weapon” ban.
I’m glad the NRA isn’t the only game in town. If organizations like the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) didn’t exist we would soon find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. The NRA exhibits typic behavior or a large behemoth organization, wild success has cause it to be entirely unable to innovate. While the NRA continues with its strategy of endorsing candidates even though no pro-gun candidates exist SAF has opted for the strategy of filing lawsuits against violators of gun rights. Both District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago were SAF lead initiatives (which the NRA later tried to claim credit for) that ended up being very successful. Being smaller and more nimble SAF was able to recognize a failure in the NRA’s strategy and try something else.
It’s come to the point where I wish an NRA membership wasn’t required to maintain my Oakdale Gun Club membership. That requirement is the only reason I keep renewing my NRA membership. Instead of sending additional money to the NRA’s Political Victory Fund I send money to other organizations like SAF. Endorsing Romney is an overt move against gun rights and I don’t support organizations that oppose gun rights.
It appears that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has decided to surrender on the topic of gun rights this election cycle:
The NRA leadership is throwing its wholehearted support behind Republican Mitt Romney, who once incurred its ire by supporting stiff gun restrictions as governor of Massachusetts. Despite that history, it sees Romney as a vastly better gamble than President Obama, although Obama has done almost nothing to restrict gun use.
“We believe Mitt Romney would do a better job than President Obama,” said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA, which claims nearly 4 million members. “We believe that any of the candidates on the Republican side would be better on the 2nd Amendment” — the right to bear arms.
Thanks for nothing guys. I’m sorry but endorsing Romney is not the answer, it’s not even a valid option when it comes to supporting gun rights. I talked about this before but the NRA’s approach of supporting the “lesser” of two evils is pointless. We are all aware of Romney’s track record when it comes to gun rights, it’s abysmal. The very fact that he signed a permanent “assault” weapon ban in Massachusetts should have disqualified him from receiving any support from the NRA. I’d rather see the NRA come up and publicly state a vote of no confidence then concentrate their policial money on the legislature. Better yet move on to a new strategy like emulating the Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) tactic of suing state entities that violate the rights of gun owners.
You know what else pisses me off? Not only are the leaders of the NRA supporting Romney but, as I predicted, members of the NRA are now backing the dumb bastard as well. He suckered a huge audience with one speech. One measly speech caused a massive number of NRA members, the supposed guardians of gun rights in this country, to forget Romney’s track record and get behind him. What… the… fuck?
I knew this would be the outcome but it still hurts to see it officiated. Romney isn’t going to be any better than Obama when it comes to gun rights (or anything else for that matter). He’s talking a big game now as he’s trying to gather support from
suckers voters but we’ll be tossed under the bus the second he’s in office. Personally I’m not a fan of supporting a man when I know he’s going to run a knife in my back the second it’s turned.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gura won another court victory, this time in Maryland:
BELLEVUE, WA – A federal court ruling in Maryland, that the Second Amendment right to bear arms extends beyond the home and that citizens may not be required to offer a “good and substantial reason” for obtaining a concealed carry permit, is a huge victory, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
Ruling in the case of Woollard v. Sheridan – a case brought by SAF in July 2010 on behalf of Maryland resident Raymond Woollard, who was denied his carry permit renewal – the U.S. District Court for Maryland ruled that “The Court finds that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home.”
The ruling can be found here [PDF]:
The Court finds that Maryland‘s requirement of a “good and substantial reason” for issuance of a handgun permit is insufficiently tailored to the State‘s interest in public safety and crime prevention. The law impermissibly infringes the right to keep and bear arms, guaranteed by the Second Amendment. The Court will, by separate Order of even date, GRANT Woollard‘s Motion for Summary Judgment and DENY Defendants‘ Motion for Summary Judgment.
You know who’s a sad panda? The Brady Campaign [PDF] (I grabbed a copy of their case docket just in case they decide to toss this one down the memory hole). Apparently they had a vested interest in this case (page 70):
Woollard v. Sheridan (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland)
The Brady Center is assisting the State of Maryland in this case, brought by the Second Amendment Foundation and Raymond Woollard, challenging the validity of Maryland’s handgun permit process. The named defendants include the Secretary and Superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Terrence Sheridan, and three members of Maryland’s Handgun Permit Review Board.
To qualify for a handgun carry permit in Maryland, an applicant must establish that he or she is an adult; has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for which a term of over 1 year imprisonment has been imposed; has not been convicted of drug crimes; is not an alcoholic or drug addict; and has not exhibited a propensity for violence or instability that may render the applicant’s possession of a handgun dangerous. Additionally, the Superintendent of the State must determine that the applicant “has good and substantial reason to wear, carry, or transport a handgun, such as a finding that the permit is necessary as a reasonable precaution against apprehended danger.”
Plaintiffs contend that the State cannot require handgun permit applicants to prove the above, as it deals with “the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to keep and bear arms.” They allege this violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs are asking for permanent injunctive relief against the enforcement of the provisions regulating handgun permits.
On March 22, 2011, the Brady Center filed an amicus brief in the case arguing for dismissal of the lawsuit.
Too bad, so sad. SAF is proving to be the unstoppable behemoth of the litigation world and Alan Gura is their super weapon. I wonder how the Brady Campaign feels right now knowing they have been entirely ineffective at stopping those of us who believe in the right to keep and bear arms from advancing.
Either way this ruling is big. It not only abolishes Maryland’s ability to issue permits on a willy nilly basis but also sets a precedence, which will allow people in other “may issue” states to challenge such barriers between their right to carry a means of self-defense. I wonder who the next violator of the Second Amendment will be to fall before the might of SAF.
And as I travel the country talking to fellow National Rifle Association members, gun owners, and Americans from all walks of life, it is clear to me that the next decisive date in American history will be November 6, 2012 – the day America must decide whether President Barack Obama deserves a second term in the White House.
I say this because so many Americans genuinely, and rightly, fear that something is deeply wrong in our great nation. We fear that the America we know and love is in danger of jumping the tracks and spiraling out of control. We see a President whose values and goals are, in many ways, the exact opposite of our beliefs and what generations of Americans have fought and died for.
This is why all gun owners and freedom-loving Americans must ask this question: “If Barack Obama wins a second term in office, will my freedom, and particularly my Second Amendment freedom, become more or less secure?”
And then, we must consider the facts.
This is why I’m asking every NRA member, every gun owner, and every patriotic American to view next year’s election through the lens of freedom. If we fail to draw a line in the sand and defend the future of our Second Amendment rights, then we will lose the one freedom that gives common men and women uncommon power to protect all freedoms. And then, it’s only a matter of time before every freedom in our Bill of Rights is scaled back, diluted or even destroyed.
That’s good and all but it’s nothing everybody isn’t already vehemently aware of. Here’s my question, what’s the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) solution? Let’s take a look at the last election and consider what ended up happening. Last election was set between John McCain and Barack Obama, neither of which were good news. Even though McCain proved himself to be no friend of gun owners the NRA gave him the endorsement. I’m sorry but there was no acceptable reason to get behind McCain considering his history and the NRA should have either endorsed a third-party candidate (fat chance) or simply said, “Both major players are horrible, we’re ducking out of this and focusing our efforts on a contingency plan.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) moved in with several high-profile court cases that went so far as to incorporate the second amendment. In other words even under dire circumstances SAF found a different route outside of the decision between rock and hard place. Considering the NRA has far more resources available to them they should have been the ones initiating the lawsuits and moving them through, instead they simply continued with the status quo of endorsing the “lesser” of two evils.
So far the Republicans haven’t selected a nominee and there is a chance for the NRA to make a stand. Of the Republican candidates there is only one who will stand up for the rights of gun owners (and everybody else) and candidate is Ron Paul. Instead of complaining about Obama for the entire column LaPierre could have taken a stance and said, “Due to the threat of Obama to the rights of gun owners the NRA is hereby endorsing Ron Paul for Republican Party presidential candidate.” Unfortunately it appears as though the NRA is going to keep playing it’s old game of simply endorsing the Republican candidate.
As it currently stands the Republican Party appears to be setting up Romney to win by simply ignoring Ron Paul and hyping up each other candidate only to have them torn down (so far they’ve done this to Bachmann, Perry, and Cain with Gingrich being the fourth one receiving this treatment). If the election domes down to Obama versus
Obama II Romney will the NRA give Romney their endorsement? Will that be their way of fighting for the rights of gun owners?
SAF has the right idea, given the futility of getting true pro-gun candidates into office a new strategy had to be devised and utilizing the court system seems to be a fairly effective strategy. I believe the NRA should drop their tried and false approach of giving the “lesser” of two evils an endorsement and focus on a new and potentially more effective strategy. Perhaps they can start working with SAF from the start of each lawsuit instead of hoping in after all the real leg work as been done and claiming the credit. Maybe the NRA can say, “Well Obama and Romney are both bad for gun owner rights so we’re sitting this election out and concentrating on getting pro-gun Senate and House members in office.”
Yeah this is a rather long rant just to say, “Put up or shut up LaPierre” but I’m getting sick of constant compromises when it comes to my rights. Supporting the “lesser” of two evils doesn’t accomplish jack shit, it merely gives your endorsement to evil. When one strategy doesn’t work you need to be adaptive and move to a new strategy. If endorsing a real pro-gun candidate like Paul isn’t in the works then it’s time for something entirely different.
Seattle’s ban of guns in parks has been struck down for a second time. The Second Amendment Foundation’s (SAF) case against the city’s government went to the Washington State Cout of Appeals where it was struck down for a second time:
The Washington State Court of Appeals for Division 1 today unanimously upheld a 2010 King County Superior Court ruling against the City of Seattle’s ban on firearms in city parks in a lawsuit originally brought by the Second Amendment Foundation, other gun rights groups and five individual plaintiffs.
SAF Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said he had always been confident that the Appeals Court would rule “in favor of the law and against the attempt by Seattle to dance around it.”
“We told former Mayor Greg Nickels he was wrong,” Gottlieb said, “and we have reminded the city under Mayor Mike McGinn that it was wrong, and now the Appeals Court has confirmed our position.”
Strike another victory for SAF. Those guys are on one hell of a roll. It’s good to see Washington state refusing to allow cities to ignore the law by preventing citizens from legally carrying a means of self-defense in arbitrarily selected city properties.
I still don’t understand the thought process of some city governments. What is the point in banning the legal carry of firearms in parks? All you do is setup a section of the city where criminals can be reasonably assured unarmed victims are plenty.