Gun News of the Week: NRA Says Media Deliberately Hiding Supreme Court Nominee's Anti-Gun Record

TOP STORY
NRA: Media purposely obscuring Garland’s anti-gun record

NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox claims “the media” is hiding facts in its reporting of Judge Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination by obscuring his anti-gun rulings as “procedural” instead of ideological.

Cox, wiring in the June issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom journal published May 24, said the skewed reporting is not an accident or bad journalism, “but an attempt to confuse people regarding (Garland’s) view of the Second Amendment.”

Garland, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, was nominated by President Barack Obama in March to succeed the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February.

The Republican-controlled House and Senate have not moved on confirming Garland. In fact, in early May, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) dismissed the possibility of confirming Garland in a post-election lame duck session, even if Hillary Clinton wins in November, citing a long-held position that a new president should pick someone to fill the vacancy on the high court.

Some within the GOP, and many gun owners, argue it would be wise to confirm Garland before the election because if Clinton wins, she could potentially name a more liberal, more anti-gun justice than Garland to the bench.

But Cox and others say the general media reporting of Garland as a moderate on gun-related litigation is inaccurate. He specifically cited a March New York Times editorial that attacked the NRA for opposing Garland’s nomination simply because “it doesn’t like him” and “for no fact-based reason.”

“The New York Times’ March editorial criticizing the NRA’s opposition to Judge Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination is a contender for the most extreme case of media bias in recent memory,” Cox writes.

There are, indeed, many “fact-based reasons” for the NRA and gun owners to oppose Garland’s nomination, he writes, including:

NRA v. Reno: In 2000, the NRA sued to block the Clinton Justice Department from compiling and retaining records from firearm background checks. Federal law requires destruction of records from approved checks; prohibits transferring the information to and recording it at a government facility; and prohibits the government from using the records to establish any firearm registration system. The retention scheme, the NRA argued, plainly violated these provisions.

“Of the three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit who heard the case, Garland was one of two who voted to uphold the Clinton administration policy, thus allowing the federal government to keep records on law-abiding gun owners who passed a federal background check,” Cox writes.

Parker v. District of Columbia: This was the precursor case to 2008 Heller v. D.C. ruling. After a three-judge panel held the D.C. handgun ban violated the Second Amendment, D.C. the District asked the full court to save the ban. Garland voted in favor of rehearing the case.

“Judges do not vote to rehear decisions with which they agree,” Cox writes. “If a judge thinks a panel’s opinion was wrong, he or she votes to have the full court rehear it. If a judge thinks a panel’s opinion was correct, he or she lets it stand. Plain and simple.”

Bottom line, according to Cox, is Garland should be unacceptable to gun owners, regardless of the specter of an even “more” anti-gun candidate being nominated by Hillary should she win.

“Both Heller and McDonald v. Chicago were decided by a single vote, and that vote is now gone,” Cox added, underlining the significance of the next Supreme Court selection.

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CELEBRITIES ARE SMART!
Messing up an already dopey ‘message’

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month and if you are a celebrity who missed out on the PETA Express to Infamous Inanity, this is your chance to cash in some serious-face face time with your fans just to let them know you are against bad things, are on the “right side” of issues important to the little people and, most importantly, that you “care.”

Take, for instance, former TV actress Debra Messing, who seized a “gun moment” to elevate her “care factor” in the Ditherdom to “raise awareness” about gun violence in America by posting a selfie on Instagram on June 1 just as the nearby campus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was in lockdown for what turned out to be a murder-suicide initiated by a lunatic with a grudge—yet another act of gun violence in a lethal gun-free zone.

Messing, wearing an orange shirt with the logo from Katie Couric’s debunked gun control ideologuementary ‘Under The Gun,’ tweeted a selfie captioned: “HORRENDOUS Watching news about shooting at UCLA with casualties while taking selfie 2bring awareness to Gun Violence.”

The reaction among the normally fawning Hollywood press wasn’t good. “Normally, the ‘Will and Grace’ star would be feted by her fans and fellow celebs for participating in a self-indulgent, shallow act meant to show that she is on the ‘right side’ of an issue but, ultimately, would make no actual impact on anyone’s life,” writes Larry O’Connor on June 2 in Hotair.com. “After all, that’s what Hollywood celebrity activists do.”

As events unfolded on UCLA’s campus through the afternoon, “Messing’s Instagram plea for peace accompanied by her lovely face caught in thoughtful and evocative contemplation was interpreted by many as, perhaps, a bit narcissistic,” O’Connor added.

As AWR Hawkins recounts in Breitbart.com, “Messing apparently faced significant backlash shortly after posting the tweet. In a series of follow-up messages, the ‘Will and Grace’ star said she never intended to cause offense and was simply a victim of ‘the horrendous irony of the timing’ of the post.’”

In other words, it was merely “HORRENDOUS irony” that her tweet — “HORRENDOUS Watching news about shooting at UCLA with casualties while taking selfie 2bring awareness to Gun Violence” — occurred while there was an actual shooting at UCLA.

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STATE ROUNDUP
Missouri Constitutional carry, lifetime permits, ‘Stand Your Ground’ on Gov.’s desk

Speculation continues regarding how Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon will respond to pro-gun measures in Senate Bill 656, which was approved by the Republican-controlled State Legislature and is currently awaiting his signature.

If Nixon signs the 72-page bill into law, Missouri would become a constitutional carry state, meaning concealed carry is “allowed” without a permit wherever open carry is “allowed.”

The bill also includes provisions for lifetime carry permits that would only require a background check every five years and excludes the obligation to retreat first in Missouri’s castle doctrine.

The bill moved out both state legislative chambers in mid-May with enough votes to override a veto of the governor: 24-8 in the Senate and 114-36 in the House.

Sen. Brian Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, who sponsored the proposal, told the Associated Press that he sought the changes stipulated in SB 656 to help people protect themselves and their families.

Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, told the AP that the “stand your ground” measure would ensure people don't suffer legal repercussions for defending themselves. “We’re going to give that added level of protection to those who are attacked,” Dixon said.

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IN THE COURTS
California Supreme Court rules gun in backpack is the same as gun in back pocket

The California Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 30 that carrying a loaded gun in a backpack strapped to the body is no different from carrying it in your clothes. Therefore, if you are in a state—such as California—where the public display of firearms is generally illegal, you are committing a crime by carrying a firearm hidden from the public in your backpack because you and, apparently, your gun-laden backpack are in public.

The court's ruling clarified California law, which makes it a crime to carry a loaded firearm on one's person in public without a concealed carry license issued by a sheriff or police chief, according to the state attorney general's office.

"The distinction is untenable," Justice Ming Chin wrote. "It would require, for example that we treat differently a gun in a zippered pocket of a pair of cargo pants — which would violate the statute—from a gun in a fanny pack tied around the waist—which would not violate the statute—even though, from the perspective of easy access, the gun at the waist might be closer at hand than the gun in the knee pocket of the cargo pants."

The ruling came in a criminal case against Steven Wade, a Los Angeles County man accused of carrying an unregistered, loaded revolver in his backpack while police chased him.

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