firearms

The problem with fingerprint-recognition guns

Ed Markey

The Hill newspaper reports today that Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey (D-umbass) will introduce legislation to require all firearms produced in the United States to be equipped with advanced fingerprint recognition technology.

The monumental stupid and elitist of this suggestion could only have come from someone whose tongue is firmly implanted in the nether regions of Mothers for Justice and Equality, Project R.I.G.H.T. and other organizations dedicating to destroying the right of the people to keep and bear arms, stomping all over the Second Amendment and sporting a big, red “F” rating from the NRA.

A generally untested technology mandated for all firearms purchases? What could go wrong?

Well, imagine the following scenario.

You are a woman peacefully having dinner with your spouse and children. All is calm. All is peaceful. And then…

Three armed thugs stage a home invasion, threatening you and your family.

Your husband grabs his gun, equipped with the latest fingerprint-recognition technology, but the thugs mow him down in a hail of gunfire.

You grab your spouse’s pistol, hoping to protect yourself and your children, but unfortunately, the pistol does not recognize your biometrics. You and your children are helpless.

Oh, but you have your own gun that recognizes your fingerprints? So what happens if both of you are hurt or worse? Do you expect your children to grab your pistol and attempt to place it in your cold, lifeless hand in order to unlock its defensive power?

Georgia mulls protecting gun owners

Politico is reporting that Georgia politicians are mulling broader protections for gun owners. The latest plan is to ensure that people licensed to carry a gun will avoid arrest if they accidentally bring their firearms into the security checkpoint at Atlanta’s airport and if they willingly leave the security line, acknowledging their mistake.

It seems to be pretty commonsense legislation that would protect law-abiding citizens who make an honest mistake.

So is it any wonder the union that represents airport security screeners opposes the measure?

“The public has had 12 years’ notice that guns are prohibited,” said a statement from David Borer, general counsel for the American Federation of Government Employees. “Sooner or later they need to take responsibility for violating the law that’s meant to protect our officers and the traveling public.”

Really?

So the public cannot be allowed to make a mistake without having lives, livelihoods and records ruined by an agency that has had so many abuse allegations leveled against it that it has become a sad joke? This same agency that forced a cancer survivor to pull out her prosthetic breast, whose employees frighten small children, and whose employees sexually assault women at gunpoint, wants a zero tolerance policy for law-abiding citizens who make an honest mistake!

Ninth Circuit affirms the right to carry for self-defense

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a California law yesterday that allowed local governments to effectively ban citizens from exercising carrying a gun outside the home for the purpose of self-defense:

The Ninth Circuit’s decision in Peruta v. San Diego…affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public.

California law has a process for applying for a permit to carry a handgun for protection in public, with requirements for safety training, a background check, and so on. These requirements were not challenged. The statute also requires that the applicant have “good cause,” which was interpreted by San Diego County to mean that the applicant is faced with current specific threats. (Not all California counties have this narrow interpretation.) The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion written by Judge O’Scannlain, ruled that Peruta was entitled to Summary Judgement, because the “good cause” provision violates the Second Amendment.

The Court ruled that a government may specify what mode of carrying to allow (open or concealed), but a government may not make it impossible for the vast majority of Californians to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Your Congressman could help pave the way for another Second Amendment victory

Does the Second Amendment protect a citizen’s right to carry a gun outside the home for purposes of self-defense? It may seem like a silly question in light of two landmark United States Supreme Court decisions which established that the right to keep and bear arms is a protected individual liberty.

But, in a radical opinion issued in September, the Third District Court of Appeals held that there is no right to carry a gun for self-defense under the Second Amendment. The court also held that lawmakers can prohibit individuals from exercising their right absent a “justifiable need.”

The case, Drake v. Jerejian, deals with a New Jersey law that strictly regulates the issuance of gun permits to citizens. Essentially, a resident has to prove some compelling reason (“justifiable need”) to a superior court judge in order to obtain a permit, which are rarely granted.

Now, the appellate court recognized the precedent established by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and incorporated to the states in McDonald v. Chicago (2010), but the majority said that “[i]t remains unsettled whether the individual right to bear arms for the purpose of self-defense extends beyond the home.”

The plaintiffs in the case haven’t given up. In January, the Second Amendment Foundation and Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs filed a certiorari petition asking the Supreme Court to hear Drake, in what is the next big fight for this constitutionally protected civil liberty.

Moms Demand Action seeks to make more Americans victims of gun violence

Every once in a while, America experiences a tragedy that is so heinous and agonizing, that the sheer unimaginable horror of it sends the nation into a tailspin of shock and tears on a mass scale. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America were just such an event – an event where every one of us watched our televisions in horror, as planes filled with innocent people flew into buildings filled with innocent people, killing thousands.

The mass murder of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012 was another such event. We watched in horror as the details of the mass murder by Adam Lanza filled our television screens. America held its collective breath as the body count mounted. Little children… how could this happen?

Almost immediately, the calls for gun control began.

The media screeched about a gun violence epidemic.

Sports retailers buckled under gun control pressure and began to “re-examine” their gun sales policies.

CNN’s Piers Morgan beat an obnoxiously loud drum to destroy the Second Amendment of a nation for whose Constitution he has nothing but disdain.

Senators announce opposition to Obama-backed U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) faces a nearly impossible road to ratification after half of the United States Senate reiterated their opposition to the measure in a letter to President Barack Obama.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and signed by 50 senators, meticulously explained the reasons for opposition, including the lack of consensus at the U.N. and weak recognition of the lawful use of firearms.

“[T]he treaty was adopted by a procedure which violates a red line laid down by your own administration. In October 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the U.S. supported the negotiation of the treaty only by ‘the rule of consensus decision-making,’” noted the senators in the letter to President Obama.

“But in April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the U.N. General Assembly,” the senators wrote. “We fear that this reversal has done grave damage to the diplomatic credibility of the United States.”

President Obama supports the treaty, which was signed last month by Secretary of State John Kerry. Many Second Amendment supporters believe that the treaty will serve as a backdoor for gun control regulations, including gun registration, as a provision of the measure requires countries to track gun ownership of small arms to the “end user.”

The senators noted that the treaty’s lack recognition of lawful ownership and tracking requirements played a factor in their opposition.

Congress’ 10 Worst Infringements on Personal Liberty

The focus in on the NSA controversy and ObamaCare got us thinking — what are the worst laws passed by Congress? So we did some thinking and came up with some of the most egregious laws to be passed by Congress. The list was so large that we had to cut it into two posts one on personal liberty and the other dealing with economic liberty, which will be posted next week.

The following list isn’t in any particular order, so don’t take one bad law being ahead of another as anything significant.

Espionage Act (1917)

The Espionage Act, passed nearly two months after the United States entered World War I, has had startling ramifications for free speech in the United States. Shortly after becoming law, Eugene Debs, a socialist and labor leader, was arrested and convicted for giving a speech that “interfered” with the recruitment of soldiers for the war effort. The law primarily used for prosecution of alleged spies and whistleblowers working in the government. For example, the government tried to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame under the act, but the jury declared a mistrial. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also been charged under the Espionage Act. Both Ellsberg and Snownden’s disclosures were embarrassments for the government.

Indian Removal Act (1830)

Once again, laws don’t matter to Obama

President Obama clearly believes what Nixon once said, that if the president does it, it’s not illegal.  Now, he’s trying to circumvent the law that helps protect patient privacy in order to restrict millions of Americans from buying firearms.

From Reuters:

President Barack Obama said he wants to see state governments contribute more names of people barred from buying guns to the database, part of a sweeping set of executive actions he announced after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

The database, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, is used by gun dealers to check whether a potential buyer is prohibited from owning a gun.

States are encouraged to report to the database the names of people who are not allowed to buy guns because they have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, or have been found to have serious mental illnesses by courts.

Many states do not participate. So the administration is looking at changing a health privacy rule - part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) - to remove one potential barrier.

Here’s the problem with that.  You see, the law actually prevents people who have been adjudicated from owning firearms.  It says nothing about specific diagnosis.  It requires a court to determine an individual is unfit to own firearms.

President Obama seeks to skirt two laws in one fell swoop.

Unsurprisingly, gun rights advocates have reacted, sending thousands of letters to the Health and Human Services Department.  However, the department also received a number of comments from health professionals.

Gun Control Backfires on Obama

Barack Obama

President Obama loves to point to a poll that said 90 percent of all Americans wanted tougher background checks.  After the measure failed in the Senate, Obama wanted that 90 percent to let Congress know how they felt.

Talk about your backfires:

But a new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85% in multiple polls.

A plurality of Americans–47%–say they are either “angry” or “disappointed” with the Senate’s action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39% say they are “relieved” or “happy” about the vote.

I always thought those earlier numbers were soft, and they were.

You see, one of the issues has always been that many polls don’t really capture how committed to something a respondent really is.  Someone may support the idea of tougher background checks, but how important is really is to them.

Strange Logic About Violence in the Colorado Legislature

Colorado State Capitol

While I have my doubts about some of the more asinine gun control measures passing at the federal level, here in Colorado things aren’t looking so good for gun owners. Among the measures that stand a good chance of passing both houses of the legislature is banning concealed carry permit holders from bringing guns on college campuses. This would reverse a 2008 Colorado Supreme Court decision which stated that the CU Board of Regents could not prohibit permit holders from carrying concealed weapons on campus because college campuses were not exempted according to Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act of 2003.

These sentences in this Denver Post article jumped off the page:

“Students and guns are a bad mix,” said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, the sponsor of the bill, adding that college student engage in risky behaviors like heavy drinking and drug use.

“As the research shows, you don’t need a gun on a college campus to be safe,” Levy said, saying data overwhelmingly shows students are at low risk of violent crime on campus.


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