Mayor Group To Push For Destruction of the Constitution

A new $12 million television ad campaign from Mayors Against Illegal Guns will push senators in key states to back gun control efforts, including comprehensive background checks.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the ad buy Saturday — just days after Senate Democrats touted stronger background checks while acknowledging insufficient support to restore a ban on assault-style weapons to federal gun control legislation.

“These ads bring the voices of Americans — who overwhelmingly support comprehensive and enforceable background checks — into the discussion to move senators to immediately take action to prevent gun violence,” Bloomberg said in a statement issued by the group he co-founded in 2006.

The two ads posted on the group’s website, called “Responsible” and “Family,” show a gun owner holding a rifle while sitting on the back of a pickup truck.

In one ad, the man says he’ll defend the Second Amendment but adds “with rights come responsibilities.” The ad then urges viewers to tell Congress to support background checks.

In the other ad, the man, a hunter, says “background checks have nothing to do with taking guns away from anyone.” The man then says closing loopholes will stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining weapons.

The Senate is scheduled to debate federal gun control legislation next month. On March 28, the group plans for more than 100 events nationwide in support of passing gun control legislation that includes background checks.

Read more here.

Bank of America Freezes Gun Manufacturer’s Deposits Saying: “We Believe You Should Not Be Selling Guns On The Internet”

On December 29, 2011, Joseph P Sirochman, the owner of American Spirit Arms posted this on Facebook, via Ironic Surrealism.

All,
My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms and I wanted to share my recent experience with Bank of America .(which we have been doing business with for over 10 years)…. Everyone is familiar with the latest increase in guns sales , dealers selling out of inventory , Manufacturers back logged for months , large revenue all generated in the last two weeks …. American Spirit Arms is no exception to the overwhelming demand . What we have experienced is that our web site orders have jumped 500 % causing our web site E commerce processing larger Deposits to BANK OF AMERICA ..Well, this through up a huge RED Flag with Bank of America . So they decided to hold the deposits for further review , meaning that the orders/payments that were coming in through the web ,( being paid by the customer and that were shipped out by American Spirit Arms ),the BANK was keeping (UNDER REVIEW )..as you could imagine this made me furious…After countless hours on the phone with BANK OF AMERICA I finally got a Manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for FURTHER REVIEW …HER EXACT WORDS WERE …

..” WE BELIEVE YOU SHOULD NOT BE SELLING GUNS and PARTS ON THE INTERNET “

…I flipped the F**k Out and told them that they have no right to make up their own new rules and regs..that we are a firearms Manufacturer with all the proper licensing FFL (Federal Firearm license ), SOT and that we follow all Federal and All States’ rules and regulations on shipping Firearms and parts ..and that we are also Audited by ATF and Homeland
Security on a regular basis … She said that she understands that but that the deposits will be released After they have a chance to review and clear them …I told her that This was unacceptable and the those deposits (that were a week old by now ) needed to be released ASAP, that we are a small business and rely on the revenue to run and stay operational.

After that being said another Manager got involved and released one of the deposits (to help out )… So far to date after
Two weeks of sales only 1/3 of collected internet sales have been released ..I am still pissed and looking for another
Bank and options …
I just thought the public should know ..

I will keep everyone posted on new developments ..

Sincerely

Joseph P Sirochman
American Spirit Arms
16001 N Greenway Hayden Loop
Suite B
Scottsdale AZ 85260
480-367-9540 phone
480-367-9541 fax

Read more here.

Democrats to Veterans: Go To Hell

A major defense-spending bill hit an unexpected bump on its journey through the U.S. Senate over an amendment on veterans’ gun rights, which devolved into a heated floor debate and foreshadows a potential battle over Democrats’ vows to tweak the filibuster rules in the clubby, traditionally collegial body.
Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, wants veterans who have been deemed “mentally incompetent” to have their cases adjudicated by a judge — rather than the Department of Veterans Affairs, as happens currently — and argued that veterans who simply cannot support themselves financially are needlessly given the label and, as such, cannot buy or possess firearms.
“We’re not asking for anything big,” Mr. Coburn said Thursday evening on the Senate floor. “We’re just saying that if you’re going to take away the Second Amendment rights … they ought to have it adjudicated, rather than mandated by someone who’s unqualified to state that they should lose their rights.”
The late-night tussle served to pick at the scab of the ongoing debate over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bid to reform the chamber’s filibuster rules to place limits on the minority party’s ability to hold up debate on legislation, however.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, objected to Mr. Coburn’s proposal once he found out it was part of a package of amendments to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act the body was to vote on.
“I love our veterans; I vote for them all the time, they defend us,” Mr. Schumer said. “But if you are mentally ill, whether you’re a veteran or not, just like if you’re a felon, if you’re a veteran or not, and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun.”
After a similar plea from Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, and a warning from Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, that the move could embolden Democrats’ push for filibuster reforms, Mr. Coburn eventually backed off.

Read more here.

Ice-T Defends Gun Rights: “The Last Form Of Defense Against Tyranny”

Ice-T: Well, I’ll give up my gun when everybody does. Doesn’t that make sense? If there were guns here, would you want to be the only person without one?

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, anchor, Channel 4 News: So do you carry guns routinely at home?

Ice-T: Yeah, it’s legal in the United States. It’s part of our Constitution. You know, the right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.

Anchor: And do you see any link between that and these sorts of incidents (Aurora)?

Ice-T: No. Nah. Not really really. You know what I’m saying, if somebody wants to kill people, you know, they don’t need a gun to do it.

Anchor: It makes it easier though, doesn’t it?

Ice-T: Not really. You can strap explosives on your body, they do that all the time.

On anti-gun laws: “That’s not going to change anything. The United States is based on guns, you know.”

U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms

It may not come as surprising news to many of you that the United Nations doesn’t approve of our Second Amendment. Not one bit. And they very much hope to do something about it with help from some powerful American friends. Under the guise of a proposed global “Small Arms Treaty” premised to fight “terrorism”, “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates” you can be quite certain that an even more insidious threat is being targeted – our Constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to own and bear arms.

What, exactly, does the intended agreement entail?

While the terms have yet to be made public, if passed by the U.N. and ratified by our Senate, it will almost certainly force the U.S. to:

1) Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
2) Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
3) Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp).
4) Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.
5) short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.

Read more here.

Gun Rights Must Be Honored by States, Cities, High Court Rules in 5-4 Vote

By Greg Stohr

A divided U.S. Supreme Court extended the reach of the constitutional right to bear arms by saying it binds state and local governments as well as federal officials.

The justices, voting 5-4 in a case involving Chicago’s handgun ban, said an individual right to bear arms was among the fundamental guarantees protected against state interference through a constitutional amendment after the Civil War.

“A provision in the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the federal government and the states,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court.

The ruling broadens the sweep of the court’s 2008 ruling interpreting the Constitution’s Second Amendment as protecting the rights of individuals, rather than just those of state-run militias. It’s a victory for the National Rifle Association, which joined a group of Chicago residents in challenging the city’s laws.

It will open a new front in the fight over gun rights, setting the stage for courtroom battles over the constitutionality of weapons restrictions around the country.

The high court’s 2008 decision said the right to bear arms “is not unlimited.” The majority said the ruling didn’t cast doubt on laws barring handgun possession by convicted felons and the mentally ill or restrictions on bringing guns into schools or government buildings.

Second Amendment

Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment was originally aimed only at the federal government. The Supreme Court in the 19th century refused to apply the Second Amendment to the states.

More recently, the court has said that some, though not all, of the rights in the first eight amendments are so fundamental that they are “incorporated” into the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, which binds the states.

Chicago has been the only major U.S. city with a blanket prohibition on handguns. The ban was challenged by four Chicago residents, including Otis McDonald, a 76-year-old homeowner in the Morgan Park neighborhood on the city’s South Side.

McDonald, who says his home has been broken into at least three times, says he wants to keep a handgun by his bed for protection.

The Supreme Court’s 2008 decision invalidated the handgun ban in the District of Columbia, a federal enclave.

The case is McDonald v. City of Chicago, 08-1521.

Gun Rights Among High Court’s Final Decisions

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is handing down eagerly awaited rulings on gun rights and three other remaining cases in its last meeting until the fall and the final day of Justice John Paul Stevens’ long service.

The court is meeting Monday morning just a couple of hours before high court nominee Elena Kagan goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her confirmation hearing.

The justices could decide that the Second Amendment’s right to “keep and bear arms” serves as a check on local and state gun control laws, as well as federal restrictions.

The court also could strike down part of a 2002 corporate reform law that was enacted in response to scandals at Enron Corp. and other companies. The other remaining cases involve patents and a Christian group that bars gay students and wants official recognition from a state university.

The 90-year-old Stevens announced his retirement in April, paving the way for President Barack Obama to nominate Kagan to replace him. Kagan’s hearing begins early afternoon in Washington, in a Senate hearing room a short walk from the court.

Stevens will retire as the second-oldest justice, after Oliver Wendell Holmes, and tied for second-longest tenure with Stephen Field, whose service began during the Civil War. Stevens’ retirement will take effect on Tuesday, after 34 years, six months and 11 days as a justice.

William Douglas has the record, with more than 36 years on the Supreme Court.

How Obama Reduced Crime Rates

by John Lott

President Obama surely didn’t intend it, but he deserves some credit for last year’s 7.4 percent drop in murder rates. His election caused gun sales to soar, and crime rates to plummet.

While gun sales started notably rising in October 2008, sales really soared immediately after Mr. Obama won the presidential race. 450,000 more people bought guns in November 2008 than bought them in November 2007, that’s over a 40 percent increase in sales. By comparison, the change from November 2006 to November 2007 was only about 35,000. Over the last decade, the average year-to-year increase in monthly sales was only 21,000.

The increase in sales continued well beyond November 2008. From November 2008 to October 2009, almost 2.5 million more people bought guns in the 12 months after the election than in the preceding 12 months. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, doesn’t tell us how many guns each person bought just the number of people who bought them. Most likely though, gun sales rose by more than the number of people who purchased them.

At the same time gun sales were soaring, there was an unusually large drop in murder rates. The 7.4 percent drop in the murder rate was the largest drop in murder rates since the 1999. For those who don’t remember, 1999, when President Bill Clinton and Columbine occurred, was another time when gun sales soared. With people such as Elena Kagan serving as Mr. Clinton’s deputy domestic policy adviser were pushing hard for more gun control, Americans were worried that more gun bans were coming. And in response gun sales soared.

Just as higher arrest and conviction rates, longer prison sentences, or the more frequent use of the death penalty reduce crime, so does letting victims defend themselves with guns. More certain or greater penalties make it more risky for criminals to commit crime. Victims who can defend themselves can also make committing crime more dangerous and deter criminals.

Americans living in the District of Columbia and Chicago have seen this phenomenon themselves. After the ban went into effect in both cities, murder rates rose dramatically. After the Supreme Court threw out DC’s ban and gunlock laws in 2008, the District’s murder rates plunged by 25 percent in 2009. Indeed, my research in the just released third edition of More Guns, Less Crime shows that every place in the world that we have crime data for has seen murder rates climb when guns were banned.

If Mr. Obama really understood that letting law-abiding citizens defend themselves reduces crime, it is unlikely that gun sales would have had to increase. Yet, if the Supreme Court strikes down the Chicago gun ban this month, Americans may get to see yet again that more guns mean less crime.

Kagan Was ‘Not Sympathetic’ as Law Clerk to Gun-Rights Argument

By Greg Stohr and Kristin Jensen

May 13 (Bloomberg) — Elena Kagan said as a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk in 1987 that she was “not sympathetic” toward a man who contended that his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted for carrying an unlicensed pistol.

Kagan, whom President Barack Obama nominated to the high court this week, made the comment to Justice Thurgood Marshall, urging him in a one-paragraph memo to vote against hearing the District of Columbia man’s appeal.

The man’s “sole contention is that the District of Columbia’s firearms statutes violate his constitutional right to ‘keep and bear arms,’” Kagan wrote. “I’m not sympathetic.”

Kagan, currently the U.S. solicitor general, has made few public remarks about the Constitution’s Second Amendment. The Supreme Court in 2008 ruled, in a case that overturned the District of Columbia’s handgun ban, that the Constitution protects individual gun rights.

As a nominee to be solicitor general last year, Kagan told lawmakers that she accepted that 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller as a precedent of the court.

“There is no question, after Heller, that the Second Amendment guarantees individuals the right to keep and bear arms and that this right, like others in the Constitution, provides strong although not unlimited protection against governmental regulation,” she said.

Review Denied

The Heller decision left room for states to require registration of weapons. The majority also said the ruling didn’t cast doubt on laws barring handgun possession by convicted felons and the mentally ill, or restrictions on bringing guns into schools or government buildings.

The lower court ruling in the 1987 case, issued by the District of Columbia’s highest court, said the Second Amendment protects only the rights of states to raise militias, and not individual gun rights. The ruling upheld Lee Sandidge’s conviction for carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

The high court refused to hear the case, known as Sandidge v. United States. The memo to Marshall, found in his papers at the Library of Congress, includes a handwritten “D,” indicating that he was among those who voted to deny review.

White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said the position taken in the memo to Marshall reflected the prevailing view of the law at the time.

Reflecting Marshall

During her confirmation hearing to be solicitor general, the federal government’s top Supreme Court advocate, Kagan said she was trying to reflect Marshall’s views when she evaluated so-called petitions for certiorari, or cert petitions. She called herself a “27-year-old pipsqueak” working for a “90- year-old giant in the law.”

“He was asking us, in the context in those cert petitions, to channel him and to think about what cases he would want the court to decide,” Kagan said. “And in that context, I think all of us were right to say, ‘Here are the cases which the court is likely to do good things with from your perspective, and here are the ones where they’re not.’”

Marshall was a civil rights icon before becoming the first black justice. He led the legal fight to dismantle the “separate but equal” regime in public education, arguing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

As a justice, he opposed the death penalty and backed abortion rights and affirmative action. Kagan, now 50, clerked for Marshall during the court’s 1987-88 term and has described him as one of her heroes.

Clues to Kagan

The memos provide clues to Kagan’s potential approach as a justice. Much like Marshall, Kagan might find herself playing defense, at least in her first few years, working strategically to thwart the agenda of a more conservative majority.

Kagan on numerous occasions urged the justice to vote for so-called defensive denials, rejecting appeals from criminal suspects and defendants to prevent his more conservative colleagues from giving more power to police and prosecutors.

She urged rejection of an appeal from an Illinois man whose burglary conviction hinged on evidence discovered when he was stopped, ordered to lie down and searched by police. The search took place even though police lacked the “probable cause” required to make an arrest, Kagan said.

Kagan said she thought the court, if it heard the case, would uphold the conviction. That “would be an awful and perhaps quite consequential holding,” she wrote.

In recent years, Chief Justice John Roberts and four colleagues have joined forces in 5-4 decisions to strike down campaign finance regulations and limit shareholder lawsuits, as well as to protect gun owners’ rights.

B-Minus in Torts

The Marshall papers also include Kagan’s Harvard Law School transcript and glowing letters of recommendation to the justice from her professors. “She is soft-spoken and delightful to be with, but razor-sharp and iron-hard in intellectual give and take,” wrote one, Abram Chayes.

One professor referenced her transcript, which showed Kagan got off to a slow start as a law student. She received a B in criminal law and a B-minus in torts in the fall of her first year, later receiving predominantly A’s in classes including constitutional law.

“Whatever was in her way on those fall term exams, it wasn’t affecting her class performance even during the fall, and evidently was gone by exam time in May,” wrote Frank Michelman, who taught her in a spring property law course and said he had contact with his students starting in September.

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