Democrats leave dead dog and dead pony stench in the air
Even the mainstream media saw this coming: Stunts calibrated for TV spectacle and election-year political theater. Between staging filibusters and sit-ins, Democrats submitted four purposely-flawed go-nowhere bills they knew would never pass simply to put Republicans in the position of appearing callously, recklessly obstinate in the knee-jerk emotional wake of a mass shooting.
The problem with this particular dog-and-pony show, however, was both the dog and pony were long dead. Everyone could see the dog and pony were dead. Yet, the Democrats paraded a dead dog and dead pony around anyway.
By the time Democrats ended their “Don’t give up, don’t give in” 25-hour occupation of the House floor on June 22, the stench of dead dog and dead pony made it clear what the “show” was really about.
Lost in the nonsense was a ‘No Fly, No Buy’ compromise proposal drafted by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) that survived a June 22 “test vote,” defeating a motion to reject it in a 52-46 tally. While 52 votes is eight short of approval, it was enough to keep the bill alive for further review.
Unlike the Democrat’s “full stop, no recourse” ’No Fly, No Buy’ proposal — the same exact one defeated in December — Collins’ “Bipartisan ‘Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act of 2016’ would prevent people who are on the No Fly List or the Selectee List from purchasing firearms. The bill would allow the attorney general to block the sale of a gun if an individual is on the no-fly list or what’s called the “selectee list,” which requires additional screening at an airport.
It would also allow the decision to be appealed — a due-process not in the Democrats’ bill — and would notify the FBI if someone who was the subject of a terror investigation within the past five years buys a gun.
“Due process principles require that Americans denied their right to purchase a firearm under this provision have the opportunity to appeal this denial to a federal court,” Collins said in a statement published by the Associated Press.
Certainly, Collins’ bill has its critics, including the ACLU and the NRA. Both are among many advocacy groups that claim even with its due-process safeguards, the “secret” nature of the list presents a range of Constitutional concerns.
Keeping the compromise bill on the table “wasn’t a big victory, (but) it was a victory,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told the Washington Post, noting it the first time the NRA lost a vote in the Senate since 1994. “Now, the Republican leadership has the responsibility to bring this bill to the floor for a real vote.”
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THE PINK PISTOLS
LGBT gun-owners’ rights group: Gun control is killing us
The Orlando Pulse massacre has elevated a relatively obscure LGBT gun rights group to national prominence, reflecting not only the ideological and political diversity of America’s increasingly influential gay community, but dispelling the stereotype espoused by gun control lobbyists that all 100 million legal gun owners in the United States are violent, buck-toothed backwoods oafs.
In a June 22 New York Times column, Nicki Stallard, a spokesperson for Pink Pistols, called on America’s gay community to stop supporting a gun control movement that imperils gay people and to start taking responsibility for their own defense.
To those who track Second Amendment litigation, the Pink Pistols have established a presence as an effective pro-gun-owner advocacy group. It was Pink Pistol member Matthew Grace who secured a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court of Washington D.C. in May that now prevents the City of Washington from enforcing the “good reason” clause in its concealed-carry law. It was a significant victory for gun owners and applauded by Second Amendment groups nationwide.
Since the Orlando Pulse attack, “many L.G.B.T. groups have been calling loudly for laws restricting gun ownership,” Stallard writes. “But if anyone should be concerned about protecting the individual right to bear arms, it’s L.G.B.T. people. We need to stop preaching nonviolence and voting for politicians who don’t protect us.
“Violence toward L.G.B.T. people is real,” she continues. “We are victimized at far greater rates than other minority groups. We often face multiple assailants. The attacks are frenzied and quickly escalate from harassment, to fists, to something altogether different. People die.”
Within days of the Orlando Pulse attack, membership in Pink Pistols quadrupled, from 1,500 to more than 6,500 “and new chapters are starting across the country,” Stalled writes. “Gun stores are reporting a spike in sales to L.G.B.T. buyers, and gun trainers are reaching out, offering free training or discounts.”
The Atlanta Pink Pistols chapter reported its membership went from about a dozen to 150 in the days after the Orlando Pulse shooting.
“This is a call to L.G.B.T. people to take their own defense seriously, and to question the left-leaning institutions that tell them guns are bad, and should be left to the professionals,” Stallard concludes. “Become a professional. You’re allowed. That’s what the Second Amendment is for. We can fight back when our lives depend on it.”
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“New Jersey” + “smart guns” = “dumb smart gun law” **
You never hear “New Jersey” used in the same sentence as “smart” when it comes to many things—and certainly not when it comes to firearms laws. So, when you say “smart guns” in a “New Jersey” context, it’s like an oxymoron wrapped in a paradox slathered with hyperbole.
The New Jersey State Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 20 submitted a proposed bill to the state senate to repeal the state’s 14-year-old “smart gun” law that limits legal handgun sales to only “personalized guns,” or smart guns.
Problem is, “personalized guns,” or smart guns, aren’t available at the consumer level.
New Jersey’s “smart gun” requirement was roundly criticized as a “dumb law.” According to Eve Flanigan of Guns.com, “even gun control advocates inside the State Assembly have acknowledged that these laws haven’t helped their cause.”
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IN THE COURTS
Pennsylvania Supreme Court dilutes state preemption, reinforces local gun laws
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on June 20 upheld lower court rulings that the State Legislature violated the Keystone State’s constitution when it tacked a state preemption law onto a bill about copper wire theft in 2014.
The now-voided state preemption bill allowed citizens and civil right groups, such as the NRA, to sue towns and cities that try to regulate guns within their borders in a more restrictive manner than encoded in state law.
The decision is a defeat for the 10th Amendment more than a loss for the Second Amendment, while it is a victory for the 14th Amendment “and for Philadelphia and other local governments,” according to Pat Loeb of CBS News.
Philadelphia Assistant City Solicitor Richard Feder told CBS News that Philadelphia was not intimidated when the law was passed two years ago and the NRA sued over the city’s requirement that lost or stolen guns be reported, but smaller towns were.
“The threat of attorney’s fees was a very real and problematic aspect of the bill and a lot of local governments throughout the Commonwealth repealed their lost and stolen gun ordinances,” Feder told Loeb.
NRA Attorney Jonathan Goldstein told the Associated Press that the 10th Amendment says only the state can regulate firearms. Local gun control is unconstitutional, Pennsylvania’s new law illegal, but, Goldstein said, the NRA will respect and abide by the ruling.
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