Reader Matthew Howe writes:

As you probably know by now, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday. He was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and his passing opens up the possibility that the court will tilt the other way. Most of the coverage is focused on the political battle: will Majority Leader McConnell allow a vote before the next president is sworn in, or will the Republicans stand firm and block any nominee President Obama puts up? What’s being talked about less is how offensive the entire situation is . . .

How is it, in a supposed representative democracy, that one man is so important? Think about it. The Supreme Court actually has more power than the President or Congress. If four unelected lawyers who serve for life decide to hear a challenge to the Heller decision, it’s done. If five of them vote to strike down Heller, the Second Amendment as an individual right is gone. Just like that.

The President can’t do that. Congress can’t do that. The Supreme Court can do that.

Five unelected lawyers have the power to meddle with the Constitution itself. Since there are now four sitting pro-Heller justices sand four (assumed) anti-Heller justices, it all comes down to one person. One person who can cripple the individual right to own a firearm. And short of electing a President who will flip the court back to a pro-2A stance, there is nothing the people can do about it once it has happened.

Fortunately, we’re not powerless. Contact Senator McConnell. Swallow your bile and thank him for announcing he will not allow a vote on a SCOTUS candidate until after the next President is inaugurated. Politely encourage him to stick to that position and super-politely let him know of the consequences for abandoning that stance.

Contact every pro-2A senator with the same message. If you need help, here’s a web-page with links go directly to the email contact page for every pro-2A senator currently serving (last updated during the XM-855 debate).

But we need to do more. We need to confront the root problem, which is the absurd amount of power concentrated in the Supreme Court. The power that one swing vote Justice possesses.

The first thing we can do is keep the government as pro-2A as possible. That means, voting. But not just in the big-ticket national elections. We need to vote in every single election, school board, mayor, city or county legislator, and state-level offices.

Here’s the dirty little secret: turnout in the off-year elections is tiny. A committed group of pro-gun, pro-liberty voters who take a few hours to research the people running in these races (or run themselves) and then support the most pro-liberty candidates can have a huge influence on local, state and even national politics.

As important, the more liberty-loving people we help into local and state offices, the more states in which our point of view eventually dominate. And states are the key. Many are aggressively pushing back against federal gun control. If the SCOTUS rules that Heller no longer stands, it matters little if you live in a state that’s solidly pro-gun. It’s we fools who are trapped by our careers in places like New York and California who will suffer.

Second, no doubt many of you know who talk show host Mark Levin is. Love him or hate him, he’s gone beyond just ranting on the radio to propose a potentially real solution to the root problem: a convention of states which will amend the Constitution and hobble the overly-powerful central government. One of the proposed amendments would allow Congress or states to override Supreme Court decisions by a 3/5 majority vote. A lot of people have voiced opposition to this idea, but I invite you all to research it. If it sounds like a good idea, then get on board.

But a convention of the states isn’t going to happen unless enough states are in the pro-liberty camp. Which means building a pro-liberty majority from the ground up. And that means voting. And donating…in every election, no matter how small. (And if it’s hard to get to the polls because of work, request an absentee ballot. That’s what I do.)

Losing Scalia was a body blow, but not one we can’t recover from. The real test of our commitment is seeing if we can work to make sure we’re never stuck in this position again, a position where one SCOTUS appointment can potentially alter the basic structure of our civil rights.

Because that’s not how America should work.

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168 Responses to The Lesson of the Loss of Scalia

  1. You used the term “un-elected” judges, which is fine,but I think a more accurate phrase is 9, politically appointed lawyers…….

    I think that captures exactly who these judges tend to be, especially on the left.

    • I agree that they are “politically appointed,” but I disagree with “especially on the left.” Both sides appoint candidates based upon a perceived parallel between the candidate’s views and the President’s. Yes, merit plays a significant role, but it seems it is politics first, merit second. Moreover, historically, the Senate generally approved candidates for both the appellate and Supreme Court based solely on merit, but now it is always a political battle royale.Candidates have to be carefully prepared for their cross-examination,reading all of their prior past opinions (and dissents) to answer a withering barrage of questions designed to elicit whether the candidate will vote for or against the political ideology of the questioner.

      • We need to quit appointing Justices for life and actually follow the rules that were set down for them and keep them based on good behavior towards the integrity of the Constitution.

        • In the Supreme Court, following the rules actually does mean lifetime appointments, actually.

          The countermeasure to rogue courts and activist judges was supposed to be impeachments, but I don’t know of even one instance where that’s happened. We do need a constitutional amendment to make judges easier to deal with.

        • Odd. This even we discover the initial reports of “heart attack” were untrue. We also discover he was found with a pillow over his face. And had turned down a security detail. SMH. This will not end well.

        • He declined the usual security detail


          coroner: “it wasn’t a heart attack” … “he died of natural causes”.


          “We discovered the judge in bed, a pillow over his head. His bed clothes were unwrinkled,”

          Anyone who thinks “this will end well” is entitled to their opinion, but I wouldn’t place bets on it

        • The Far Rght Wing is already going wild with “conspiracy theories”. The Liberals murdered him or it was a hit ordered by Obama etc. etc. Strange with all those people and close friends the hit men were able to materialize out of nowhere, they had no vehicles, and even no black helicopters were seen or heard. And there is no such thing as Star Trek transporter beams except in the mind of the Far Right which will tell you exist because they imagine them to exist.

          All that leaves out only one other possibility. The Aliens did it from the planet Romulus which have a base at Wright Paterson Air Base in Ohio. But not to worry Hillary says she will expose it if it exists when she becomes President. Now what more proof do you need that the Aliens did it. Its the only time the Far Right will believe what Hillary says.

        • In sum, this is the “perfect storm” gray area … enough circumstantial evidence to suggest foul play while authorities deny any evidence of foul play, aside from initial reports as to hart attack being false, and oh, he was found with his pillow over his head. My point being: this is the perfect middle ground for those who shout “CONSPIRACY THEORY!” to demand a new appointee before a full investigation, and those who promote conspiracy theories to demand a full (or perhaps impossible) investigation before anyone can be seated. The perfect storm, as I put it.

        • To jip

          dunno where you’re getting aliens from Star Trek from. My point is that the way this is shaking out, every side is going to have meat to chew, which is the worst possible outcome. My kingdom for either an absolute air-tight case of natural death or foul play, This muddy middle ground of conflicting reports is the stuff of nightmares. And yes, muddy middle ground is precisely what it’s looking like it is. He said/she said, I saw this, she saw that, they’re surrounded by security, no they turned it down.

        • I think its a lose, lose situation for the Republican side. They probably will turn down Obama’s appointee for the Court but that will take it right up to the election which if the Republicans win will tie them up in a big fight which will prevent any cooperation on legislation in Congress. If the Republicans loose the Presidential election they will once again be faced with someone even worse with little or no chance of preventing the nomination from being approved.

          Remember the Republicans only pay lip service to their Constituents on highly controversial subjects but they really could not care less. Their main agenda is to make lots of money by letting big business rape the consumer every which way possible and they need Democratic cooperation to lessen or eliminate the laws that prevent them from raping the public. To get that cooperation with the Democrats they have to let them win by abandoning the wishes of their Constituents while cleverly blaming their failures on guess who, “the Democrats”. It works like a charm every time and the Republicans and Democrats slap themselves all on the back behind closed doors and with hushed tones and they all open their envelopes that are stuffed with cash from the filthy rich who really control the Country.

          As one former Congressman admitted “We all feed from the same corrupt filthy cash filled trough”. What a joke but they have always gotten away with it.

          And remember the old adage “Never believe what any Politician says but rather what he does” which can always be counted on after the election to be “absolutely nothing”. They are too busy filling their greedy pockets with cash.

        • Actually, we need to quit letting dems get elected president. That means voting for the R no matter what. Don’t agree? I give you justices Kagan a Sotomoyer.

      • Why is it, then, that no “liberal” judge that I can recall has ever sided with conservatives in high-profile cases, yet “conservative” judges have sided with liberals on several? It’s like everything else. Bi-partisanship means conservatives caving to liberals. Never the other way around.

  2. Yes we do need to do MORE…are we calling for civil war??? We will NEVER replace Scalia. All we can do is forestall the death of gun rights/America. Stock up-millions of very angry folks…plenty of pro-liberty folks.

  3. Remember just like an overturn of Roe v Wade doesn’t make abortion illegal neither does an overturn of Heller automatically take away all your gun rights. It takes legislation. So if you elect pro Second Amendment majorities then your rights are safe.

    • As the author points out, pro-2A states would be okay even if Heller was repealed. But in places like California and New York, millions of our gun-loving brethren will be under the boot.

      • The Bill Of Rights were put in so that individuals and states would be protected from an overbearing Federal Government. There actually was a great fear of the Federal Government by some people ( such as Patrick Henry ) at that time. Alien & Sedition Acts are a good example of the Feds screwing over people in our early republic.

        • Actually, prior to the passage of the 144th Amendment the Bill of Rights only applied to the Federal Government So if Heller were overturned we would be back to pre-Civil War law.

          And Levin is full of it. Under his proposal Heller would have won. It was a 5-4 decision.

        • Those F’d up states are still part of MY America. They are getting f’d up by evil communist_liberal_progressive (D) POS mfr’s. It doesn’t matter how f’d up the current POS prez is or any of the latest POS (D)bag replacement tools campaigning this year. We will still be ~stuck with all the POS (D) VOTERS out there who could be considered ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS, if they were not more deleterious than that so they are POS. That’s what needs to be fixed.

          The non (D) out here haven’t moved (except maybe also slightly left as well) all the hope and change sh_t is their evil creep.

  4. While all this advice is well and good. We do not need a Constutional Convention. We MUST admend the Second Amendment to read…

    “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms for self protection, shall not be infringed.

    That ends the debate, regulations, policy’s, signage and all other Manet which government currently infringes our second amendment.

    • Unfortunately to people who aren’t as pro-2nd amendment as the rest of us that leaves a lot of wiggle room. The better way to do it would just amend it to say “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

      • Agreed. Simpler the better, the concern is infringe under what circumstance. Which is how we’re in the mess today Perhaps the Right of the people to keep and bears arms for lawful self protection

        • The absolute right of the people, individually and collectively, to keep and bear all personal arms of every kind now known or yet to be invented, along with the ammunition, accouterments, gear and supplies associated therewith, shall not be infringed in any way nor taxed beyond the amounts assessed against other goods generally.

          P.S. and if you don’t like that, there’s probably a reason you don’t like it such as you’re trying to infringe on other liberties and freedoms but those pesky armed citizens keep getting in your way with their freedom-loving ways. Too bad.

        • Cadeyrn, the restriction against screwing with religion has long been interpreted as forbidding taxation at all. The wording of 2A is stronger, no taxes should apply to purchases of guns and ammo, and CHL fees should come from general revenues. Likewise FFLs. Try to find licensing fees for churches, or pastors, regulations for training or experience (by government, of course they enforce their own), business taxes or property taxes of any kind, try to imagine equivalent treatment of 2A. All the common sense gun control in the world would disappear if they were funded by taxpayers. I do not need a background check before buying a gun. If society wants me to have one, society should pay for it! Likewise licensing fees for a CHL, etc.

        • My intent was merely to prevent the “tax stamp” approach to infringement based upon the old saying “the power to tax is the power to destroy.” If they impose a thousand-dollar tax per gun, or a ten thousand dollar tax, then the right ceases to exist as a practical matter.

          If there is to be any government, however, it must have revenue from somewhere, therefore some tax will occur. It would seem appropriate to incur no greater tax for a firearm than, say, for the computer with which so many people exercise their first amendment right.

        • I agree, there has to be some tax, but it does not have to be a tax on our freedoms. Plus, I would bet that the amount of actual revenue from firearms taxes is minimal, they are intended as control, not revenue production.

      • It already says this. Don’t think for a second that those who are against the right to keep and bear arms would act any differently

    • 2A currently worded is okay. The big problem is that many of the courts and judges either will not uphold or hear cases which are an infringement on the 2A. During the 60s, 70s and 80s, the courts were loathe to take up 2A cases and the legislators licked their chops with glee.

    • Umm, what is wrong with it as it originally stands? It is quite clear. Those who choose to pretend it is not clear would not act any differently towards your revision. And would most likely use it against any weapon that is designed for “sport”, etc

      • It is clear only to those who:

        a) know how to speak, read and write the English language, which is a vanishingly small proportion of people in this country, and

        b) who are familiar with the founding of the republic, ie, the Federalist Papers, etc.

        That’s a vanishingly small cohort of this country now.

    • In our nation’s Constitutional history, from ratification of the Bill of Rights until now, not one word of the first ten amendments has been modified, revoked, repealed or revised, so far as I know. SCOTUS may have on many occasions subverted their intent without actually changing their content, but official, legal, Constitutional action has never occurred. It would be a very dangerous precedent to promote such a policy at this time, or at any time.

      If any attempt is made at correcting government nullification of the Bill of Rights and the 28 or so enumerated natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights therein it MUST be in the form of a new amendment on the order of “With regards to the first ten amendments to The Constitution of the United States of America; all government entities, bureaus and officials are required to apply strict scrutiny to their interpretation according to the meaning of the language as it was understood at the time of their ratification. Failure to apply such strict scrutiny shall result in the individual and their immediate supervisor being charged with violating their oath of office and upon conviction being removed from their position and barred for life from holding or being appointed to any position paid for by tax payer funds.”

    • Your proposed language would significantly narrow the scope of the Second Amendment as it now stands. The Second Amendment was not simply to assure a right of self-defense, nor for that matter a right to hunt or for recreation. it was to ensure that the People (in their sovereign capacity) had the means to overthrow a tyrannical government should the necessity arise (an idea expressed in the Declaration of Independence).

    • How’s this for a Second Amendment that can’t be mistaken for some sort of collective “right” or government privilege *and* preserves the entire intent of the original?

      The right of the individual to keep and bear arms in defense of self and state, and for sport and any other lawful purposes, shall not be infringed. The state, to ensure the just rule of law and provide for the general defense, shall organize and train a citizen militia and may call forth the armed citizenry in time of need.

      • If you just have to get crazy, how about “Neither Congress not the states or localities shall make any law concerning firearms or other weapons.” Reminiscent of “Congress shall make no law, etc” I think that would have the effect of repealing all previous gun control at the same time, just as a bonus.

      • Unfortunately, “…lawful purpose…” makes it dependent on other legislation.

        No change in the wording of the Second Amendment will change its effect because the problem lies not in those who misinterpret its intent, but rather in those who choose to ignore its intent.

    • There are several states out there that have RKBA written into Constitution in a way that is easier to unambiguously parse from modern English perspective, and which makes it clear that it’s not all about the militia, and is an individual political right. For example, WA:

      “The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired”

      I would expand it to “make, own, possess, transfer, carry and use for the purposes of”, but otherwise this is way better than the 2A wording.

      • And Leftists in those states do their level best to subvert and infringe upon those “unambiguously worded” state RKBA amendments just like they do the one in the main Constitution.

        You cannot word something so unambiguously that a Leftist can not try to tell you “but what you really meant was… ” in such a way that it supports the Leftist’s position. That’s what they do.

    • Sorry, but I disagree. The 2nd Amendment as written by the founders is very clear. We have to start controlling the narrative instead of allowing the Feds of this corrupt administration to do so. They know what they are doing. It’s highly calculated. For example, they have taken the word “Militia” and made it the equivalent of “Extremist” and “Terrorist”. We saw it with the recent Oregon situation. The same day the Oregon standoff ended, the FBI announced their new “Don’t Be a Puppet” program ( The “Militia Extremists”, “often calling themselves ‘Patriots'” are now officially called out as one of the “Domestic Extremist Ideology” groups to watch out for. Not really new, but now just institutionalized even further. This is all part of the orchestrated attack on the 2nd Amendment. We have to start controlling the narrative and not bending to that narrative, or to the public opinion of the useful idiots they use to expand the narrative.

    • An article 5 convention of the states is exactly how such a proposed amendment could be ratified without 2/3rds of congress. Read about it.

  5. I thought the Q & A with Chuck Todd and Ted Cruz on Meet The Press was very interesting. Cruz was really making Liberal Todd look like an idiot when it came to the impact and legality of the Senate not appointing an immediate SCOTUS replacement. The Senate has actually done this before. Cruz also went on to explain the impact and procedures of lower court rulings when combined with a SCOTUS awaiting replacement. Cruz is pretty sharp on these things.

  6. As a lawyer, I may be a bit biased, but the power of our Supreme Court is what makes this country so unique amongst the democracies of this world. We alone have a constitutional – as opposed to statutory – Bill of Rights. Most all democracies have a Bill of Rights, but it can be changed at a whim by their legislatures. Only ours cannot be changed so lightly; only ours attempts to put certain rights beyond the power of a mere majority to ever change. The power vested in the Supreme Court can seem undemocratic at times, but their power is constrained to reviewing what has been written in the Constitution. We will certainly disagree with their interpretations from time to time but, in theory and usually in practice, they do not get to create law out of whole cloth. That one man seems so important to our right to keep and bear arms is troubling but under most any other system, we would have lost that right long ago. Maybe a democratic check on the Supreme Court through a supermajority vote is a good idea, but I cannot think of many unjust Supreme Court decisions that would have ever been overturned had such a system been in place. I can think of a few just ones that might have been.

    • …in theory and usually in practice, they do not get to create law out of whole cloth.

      Laughable statement in the light of RoeVWade and gay marriage decisions and the fact that 4 of the current judges ignore the plain text of the 2ndA.

      • Oh, I can name a heck of a lot more decisions than that where they made-up law out of whole cloth. Still, in the grand scheme of things, it is not a frequent occurrence. And although the gay marriage decision was a laughably bad decision in terms of its legal reasoning, many conservative jurists at lower court levels wrote very defensible opinions in support of gay marriage being a constitutional right.

        • Agreed. Many people look at marriage as a religious matter, but in practice in all states of the Union, it is instead a civil union with significant legal consequences. All marriages today are performed under license from the State (or political subdivision such as a county or parish), and as such the government cannot, legally, discriminate between those who wish to wed and shoulder the benefits and burdens of a civil union. Moreover, it vastly simplifies all the issues attendant to raising children, divorce and its attendant issues, and death and its attendant issues of inheritance. Other than an (unlawful) hatred of gays, there is no valid legal reason not to recognize such unions in the courts, which is what the Supreme court’s decision provides. Religious objections, under the First Amendment, are meritless.

        • Agreed. I support a woman’s right to choose for herself whether or not to have an abortion, but that does not blind me to the tortured path SC took to arrive at Roe v Wade. I think that decision should have been left to states, but I also believe that once SCOTUS made the decision they did, the way to rescind it was by an amendment, not continued intrigues for the next 100 years, bouncing back and forth between legal and illegal and carrying irrational attitudes about other rights along with it, lying cheating and stealing while justifying actions by twisted words and tortured logic. 2A, abortion, whatever, to change a constitutional provision, however we arrived at it, while proclaiming that 150% of the American people support your own personal decision and want you as emperor, then an amendment can be passed in weeks. If it hasn’t been done, there’s a reason.

      • Except you’re completely wrong in regards to gay marriage. The 14th Amendment states that the government MUST treat all citizens equally and cannot selectively pick groups to deny them equal treatment. There is no way to ignore what is in the 14th Amendment and the four justices who voted against gay marriage did so because they violated the First Amendment and wanted to use their religious views as a justification for the government to discriminate against a group of citizens. The only way for it to be Constitutional to make gay marriage illegal would be to repeal the 14th Amendment….which given how much people are getting sick of Christian’s bigotry, that would end very badly for you if the 14th Amendment were to be repealed.

        • Well prepare to reap the whirlwind when a singleton sues for discrimation against unmarried persons, and all the fed’s preferential laws regarding marriages are nullified. The institution gays supposedly fought for will then be nothing but a document written by a church, unrecognizable to the state.

        • That sounds like a great thing. I’m all for it. But can we make it happen even faster? Say, if we legalize polygamy or something?

    • Well JeffR law-splain how with ease and 95% who apply for can get a CCW in Sacramento County CA while citizens from surrounding counties cannot. The answer is an elected Sheriff who recognizes 2A while the others do not or make it difficult. If shall not be infringed means what it says, why at every turn does CA restrict access to arms and now working on restricting ammo? Please help me understand the state regularly denies lawful self protection in public.

      • Because you (like me) live in an incredibly un-gun friendly state where the majority of our fellow citizens would prefer that you be denied your constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Without a constitutional Bill of Rights and the power of the Supreme Court, you (and me) would likely own nothing more than an over-under shotgun. And your elected sheriff would be powerless to change that. I have lived in either DC or Chicago most of my adult life. Without the Supreme Court serving as a check, however imperfect, on the decisions of state and local legislatures, I wouldn’t be “allowed” to own firearms. Full stop. That isn’t law-splaining. That’s life. The best outcome is for us to turn all of our legislatures, state and local, into pro-gun bodies. The Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court is our imperfect backstop.

        • Points taken. The core issue is local & state juristictions interpreting under what conditions and method a citizen can protect themselves from assault, rape and murder. The endless debate of what militia or infringe means is a denial of rights.

          I just finished Origins and Development of the Second Amendment by David Hardy. Well worth the read.

    • Jeff, well stated. Lest us not forget that the same source that provides the 2A, so provides for the SCOTUS. we cannot pick and choose after the fact. One might not like all decisions, but it is the best system in the world I have yet investigated. Let us just hope future decisions go “our” (pro gun rights) way….if you want to discuss abortion/medical rights, and when a living person exists or not, perhaps one best go to an anti or pro abortion forum and bitch there.

    • “As a lawyer, I may be a bit biased, but the power of our Supreme Court is what makes this country so unique amongst the democracies of this world. We alone have a constitutional – as opposed to statutory – Bill of Rights. Most all democracies have a Bill of Rights, but it can be changed at a whim by their legislatures. Only ours cannot be changed so lightly; only ours attempts to put certain rights beyond the power of a mere majority to ever change. ”

      That’s not true. There are many other countries that require a supermajority to amend the constitution, and that have some sort of Supreme Court or Constitutional Court body that is the final authority on applying said constitution to any legislation.

      If by “most all democracies” you mean countries with political systems derived from British, which incorporate the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy, you would be mostly correct. But most other countries aren’t like that.

      Some even go further. For example, a number of provisions in the German constitution cannot be amended at all.

      • I will concede that it has been many years since I studied this issue, but are you aware of a country, other than the US, that has both an entrenched bill of rights and a constitutional court? I was aware that Canada came close to such a system but not quite. One without the other is kind of meaningless.

    • …in theory and usually in practice, they do not get to create law out of whole cloth.

      The entire power this article is based on is a result of the court creating law out of whole cloth, as you put it.

      See Marbury vs. Madison. The Constitution does not grant the Supreme Court, or any court for that matter, the authority to overturn legislation based on judicial review. That right is reserved for the States and the People.

      Yet with Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme Court seized that power, and it has been simply accepted by everyone.

      Every time the Supreme court declares a law to be unconstitutional, they are committing an unconstitutional act themselves.

  7. my frequent visits here have made me keenly aware of how limited my knowledge on political issues is.
    so, commenting as a conceptual amputee, i’m going on record as having expressed my utter fear of a con- con.
    something about just opening that door… and finding the history eraser button. the candylike button…

    • First you must actually read the Constitution. An Article V “Convention of the States” is NOT a Constitutional Convention:

      “…on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof…”

      Despite doomsday warnings by Progressives an Article V convention in no way authorizes or allows a complete carte blanche revision or re-writing of the Constitution.

      I strongly recommend that you buy or borrow a copy of “The Liberty Amendments” by mark Levin

      • The scope of a constitutional amendment is not limited. It can, for example, read, “the entirety of the Constitution is hereby repealed and replaced with, …”.

        Since the state convention can initiate the amendment process, if the states were to approve such an amendment, it would be perfectly valid and legitimate, and it would in fact be a complete rewrite of the constitution.

  8. If McConnell stalls, it will only be long enough to see Hillary in office. What’s worse, an Obama appointee or a Clinton Appointee? I don’t see the GOP winning another Presidential election until they divorce religion from politics and figure out how to connect with the middle class. Freedom doesn’t just mean the right to own guns. It also means the right to make choices for yourself and your family without some hypocrite hitting you over the head with a Bible.

    • See, I thought the problem was the GOP has chosen NOT to stand for the values that they say they believe in. The republicans (from my perspective) have bent over backwards to try and win people that don’t have any concrete values, and have alienated the people who actually want them to stand for something.

      This is why (in spite of what the Republican Party wants) Trump and Cruz are battling for first place. They both stand for something and don’t try to please everybody.

      • Are you contending that people who are not religious conservatives have no “concrete values”? To put it politely, I most vehemently disagree, and I am persuaded that Mark Twin is most assuredly in my camp; to him, the loudest Bible thumpers were often the greatest hypocrites, liars, and cheats with no true moral compass.

    • If you actually believe that Progressivism and Liberalism do not have ALL of the trappings of a religion, including the passionate fervor with which the adherents promote their orthodoxy, then you are not a good student of politics or history.

      On a very basic level the only real difference between political orthodoxy and religion is the substitution of a charismatic leader and/or his philosophy with the concept of an Omnipotent god.

      While many conservatives profess a strong religious conviction, the far-right Christian conservative is hardly the defining characteristic of conservative politics. So far as I know there is no conservative (or even RINO) candidate that proposes that everyone MUST be Christian, only that in their opinion Christianity is a good thing and they support it and believe in it.

      The far-left dogmatic fascism of Progressive politics has, however, become the defining characteristic of that political class. In the mindset of the Progressive to be opposed to their concepts of political orthodoxy is to be a sinner worthy of the utmost contempt and retribution.

      • “only that in their opinion Christianity is a good thing and they support it and believe in it.”

        And will push for the spending of all religions’ tax dollars to push its agenda alone. And punish those who do not agree, with fines and jail time, murder only if they think they can get away with it. Really just that simple and innocent. Like the past couple thousand years.

      • I agree Cliff H. The left and it’s cult of prgressivism is as dogmatic, hateful, controlling and bigoted as any fundumentalist christian, and much more bloody and homicidal than christians have been for over a hundred years. The progressives have overthrown the dominance of christian based and guided law and custom and replaced it with Humanism. And like all revolutions, the new controlling belief system is always bloodier, more tyrannical and more homicidal than what was replaced.

        The fight for the “right” to murder the most helpless among us, the unborn, is one example.

        But the idea that what was before with the control of more conservative christian based law was better, to me is incorrect. It is simply the other side of the coin of tyranny. The attempt to outlaw same sex marriage or the general support for the War on Drugs, and the vice laws against gambling and prostitution as examples.

        Any law that attempts to regulate or outlaw what an adult chooses to put in their bodies or to control what two adults freely choose to do between each other is tyranny.

        Until there us a willingness by the general public to allow adults to act as adults, the fight for the right to be tyrants to others, and the resistance to such tyranny, will continue.

        Until most people are willing to follow G-d’s will, to give us, his children, the freedom to follow his laws or not, and let us pay the consequences of following them voluntarily, or not, as he does; this ongoing battle among his children for freedom from tyranny will continue.

    • While I agree no one should try to force biblical beliefs on anyone, neither should anyone be persecuted for believing in the bible. That should be left for the home and church.

      It the same as with gay marriage, now if you say you don’t support it your a bigot. Personally everyone can do and belive and say want they want, provided they are not hurting, being hatefull, or belittling someone else.

      The first amendment is being degraded too, can’t say your against gay marriage, for gun rights/the second amendment, or you neighbor who’s Muslim might be a terrorist(AG will prosecute for that) and you might be charged with a hate crime.

    • cjstl this is why I have reservations about Cruz – the whole bringing religion into every argument thing. I’ll go to church if I want to hear about bible and god and such. I like his stance on 2A, but I like Trumps stance too, but he is just so kooky and reactionary to have finger on the button. We will see what develops.

      • Rubio, a staunch Catholic, also. There hardly any need to mention Carson (as his exit from the campaign is virtually assured) his infantile literal interpretation of the Bible, and his avowed belief that the country should be governed by his Biblical beliefs.

        • “..his avowed belief that the country should be governed by his Biblical beliefs.”

          Were it only so well. I don’t even know what “his” Biblical beliefs are. But simply comparing the size of the entire Bible; much less the parts devoted to laws/restrictions on freedom; to the size of the current Federal Code; it is way beyond even the most remote possibility, that a government grounded in Biblical, rather than the currently en vogue progressive, beliefs, is not a marked improvement. Not a gun restriction mentioned anywhere in the bible, for example. Don’t remember seeing Obamacare mentioned, either.

    • cjstl, I agree completely, but the GOP decades ago staked their future on kowtowing to religious fanatics, and they seem to think it is working. Until that changes, all of our rights are endangered by one side or the other.

    • Liberals are extremely religious, and force you to worship too. Only they don’t bow to a deity, they worship the all mighty state, and command you to do its bidding without question.

  9. The Supreme Court does NOT have such power, under the Constitution. They have created (seized) it, and have been allowed to do so multiple presidents and congresses.

    How many times on this site have we read posters blathering on about the NRA overstating the threat of the left, about the next election, etc. That the NRA is always “they are trying to raise money again”. Well be glad the NRA go a clue a few decades ago and in NOT asleep.

  10. McConnell hasn’t thought this through. There is no way the Republicans can win this.

    If he stalls, Republicans will lose both the Senate and the Presidency. The next Senate majority leader simply implements the “nuclear option”, which allows changing Senate rules with a simple majority, to eliminate the ability of Republicans to filibuster an appointment. If Hillary wins, we will probably get a moderate. If Bernie wins, we will definitely get a liberal.

    On the other hand, If McConnell cooperates now, he will lose the support of his base. But that’s not as bad as losing the Presidency, control of the Senate, and appointing a lifetime liberal.

    So Mr. McConnell, for all our sakes, suck it up and cooperate.

    • F#ck you troll. For you and the establishement there is always a reason not to die on the hill.

      Not this time though, even as stupid as McConnell is, he knows that if he lets Obama appoint someone that will blow up the GOP.

      • Ad hominems are not allowed here, and hardly further your credibility. He has a valid point. If McConnell blocks an appointment, the court will be without a deciding vote for at least a year, and that would be a very bad thing. Every case concerning 2A rights, no matter how important, would likely be left with the Court of Appeal decision, as a tie in the Supreme Court is the same as an affirmance of the lower court decision. The President has the right, indeed a duty, to propose a candidate to fill the role, and you can’t simply assume that any candidate will align with Obama on any and all issues.

        • I don’t agree that the court would necessarily be without a deciding vote, or even that such an absence would be such a bad thing.

          In a case of startling national importance one justice can recuse him/herself, allowing the remaining seven to decide the case. Fed SCOTUS decisions cannot comfortably be put off for a year. In reality the Court often pushes important issues out three or four years until it sees a serious split between the various courts of appeal.

          The danger of pushing the selection off until after the next president has taken office is not large. All talk of the senate changing hands is beside the point. The issue is the presidency. As we saw in 2012, the senate and presidency can go in opposite directions.

          I would give a gentle reminder to those social conservatives who didn’t vote in 2012: There is an important reason to vote for the lesser of two evils. That reason abides in the word “lesser.” Getting half a loaf is much better that getting no loaf at all.

    • There is a time to over-analyze and a time to just say “Hell no!” and hold your ground.

      I hope the Republicans understand that they are going to be expected to hold their ground, no “favors”, no “concessions”, no “working together” because that has NEVER WORKED with the modern liberals or “progressives”. These are the idiots who have never read history and are openly declaring that they are “socialists” without understanding what that means in terms of misery and death. They simply expect that they will be able to take whatever they want from anyone without consequences.

      Turn out the vote. Every conservative, every one of the gun-folk, every freedom-loving American. This is it. Get them some coffee, load them in your truck, car, boat or moped and get them to the polls. It’s never been easier to email your Senator and Representative either. Tell them “I love America and every one of the rights protected by the Bill of Rights. I’m watching to make sure you do too.”

      Don’t waste time mumbling about armed resistance. If people won’t go vote, they sure as hell won’t take up arms to starve in the cold and the mud and blood waiting for death from drones, snipers, artillery, etc.

    • Paul has a point. I just listened to an analysis arguing that Obama is likely to nominate a guy who actually supports the Heller and McDonald decisions. Neither Hillary nor Bernie can be expected to do so.

      • Sotomayor (sp?) actively lied to the senate, and made that obvious within a couple months, with no ill effects. I do not trust Obozo to scrub my floor, and anyone he nominates is dead to me. I have no control of anything (until I do) but that is my opinion.

    • “If Hillary wins, we will probably get a moderate. If Bernie wins, we will definitely get a liberal.”

      Paul, I’m pretty sure your definition of a moderate does not agree with mine. In the current field, I suspect Trump would attempt to nominate a moderate, no one else. Hillary would nominate a liberal, and Bernie would nominate the farthest left extremist he could find. Which is not an indictment of Bernie, BTW, he does not deny what he is, unlike most all other candidates currently. I kinda like the guy, but his beliefs are nuts.

      • “The left” is not homogeneous.

        Hillary would nominate someone who could be relied on to uphold whatever gun control legislation she is thinking of passing (probably AWB 2.0 + UBC).

        Bernie would nominate someone who could be relied on to uphold whatever economic policies he’s thinking of passing, which would surely be challenged in court along the same lines as ACA.

        Whether one or the other ends up “more left” in general is hard to predict.

        • Bernie has spoken of one definite “litmus test”: a nominee must be committed to overturning Citizens United.

        • AWB 2.0 and UBC will be proven worthless and without effect within 18 months, what will she follow with? And she is just as much a socialist as Bernie, the difference is only that she is unable to tell the truth about anything.

          Not into tricky names. WTF does citizens united do?

        • It’s the decision that said that campaign contributions by independent non-profits are free speech, and therefore cannot be restricted. It’s what created Super PACs, thereby permitting candidates with richer donors to have a bigger voice on issues, and potentially drown out their opponents.

    • If Hillary wins, you’re definitely not getting a moderate specifically on gun control, given that she’s made it her signature issue.

    • Provided Obama doesn’t make the entire RNC see red by making a recess appointment in the next few days,
      McConnell is in trouble either way.

      1:Roll over for Obama: McConnell meets ‘personally’ with the President and takes concessions to let his appointment through. He and anyone who followed him will be facing righteous anger now and problems when they’re up for re-election. I give this about 70% odds.

      2: Delay, Fillibuster, and Deny: Get villified by the leftist media, people who don’t vote republican anyway get all huffy. I honestly don’t think the fallout of doing this is as bad as everyone is imagining, but it’s still not great.


      3: Obama MIGHT appoint a moderate, constitutionalist candidate, in order to not make waves in an election year. He’s still, afterall, beholden to his DNC masters, and they don’t want him shitting on their cake. It’s unlikely, but remotely possible that the candidate could actually be acceptable. I give this about as much of a chance as Kanye West spontaneously combusting in the next 7 days.

      • Stalling to get the right candidate has several advantages-
        the more the MSM talks about SCOTUS and why it matters, the more Americans get educated.
        The more Americans get educated on 2A civil rights, the more the numbers go up on “no more gun control”.

        The more attention, the better- its a Democrat and Socialist killer issue.
        Here is more proof:

  11. The Supreme Court teaches us that the Constitution sets the boundaries on governance through rule off law, legal argument and precedence and for better or worse, that the meaning of political truth, like it or not will be settled by vote or by war. Scalia has found his boundary and you will find yours. Those of us who are left will continue to debate the limits or lack thereof. It is the Republican way.

  12. will Majority Leader McConnell allow a vote before the next president is sworn in, or will the Republicans stand firm and block any nominee

    The Republicans don’t have to stonewall or sandbag. They can also put Obama’s nominee to a vote and vote NOT to confirm.

    Of course, this option only works if McConnell can count to 51, and I’m not sure he can.

    • That is what they should do if they want to maintain the semblance of actually doing their job.

      But they have already said that they’re refusing to consider any candidacy, instead. Which is a really stupid tantrum to throw, for very weak reasons (given the constitution and precedent), and weakens their overall standing.

      What they’re afraid of is that Obama will offer someone who is actually acceptable to them – not as radical as Scalia, but still conservative enough – and they’ll have to explain why they didn’t vote for that guy. “Because Obama” would just sound inane.

      Also, suppose a Republican president wins, but Senate flips to Dems, they will also need a moderate-conservative candidate that they can get confirmed. If by that time Republicans have already refused to confirm any of these candidates when Obama offered them, they’d be in a tight spot.

  13. “And short of electing a President who will flip the court back to a pro-2A stance, there is nothing the people can do about it once it has happened.”

    There is something. It’s called civil war, and people like Ginsberg seem to hunger for it.

      • It certainly worked the last time if the result you wanted was human freedom. I consider the 2A an issue of freedom, though I think there are good peaceful solutions. For a start the so-called social conservatives could take the trouble to vote, even in such case as they find neither candidate very suitable.

        • The last time it would have been far cheaper to just do a gov’t buy-up of the slaves like Australia did with guns. Slavery was already on its way out economically and popularly. The lives freed by Emancipation cannot begin to equal the lives lost in the war. Remember the slave import business had voluntarily accepted a shut down about 50 years before the war.

          I’m not sure if I misunderstood Craig, or if he’s actually accusing me of promoting civil war.

    • The problem with things like that are that the winner is usually nothing like the founding fathers. Just look at history. In other words be careful what you wish for.

  14. The probability that Heller will be overturned by a reconstituted court is essentially nil. The Court does not work that way, under the principles inherent in the concept of stare decisis. The Court very rarely overturns prior case law, an excellent discussion of which can be found in Justice Thomas’ dissertation in his concurrence in McDonald, pointing to the Slaughter House cases, a series of cases that gutted the Congressional intent behind the 14th Amendment (until an end run was found), despite scholarly dissertations and the near unanimous agreement that the cases were wrongly decided. Yet over one hundred years later, the Court has not done so, and until it does, that decision is binding on all other courts in the country.

    Instead, the worst case scenario, flowing from the ambiguous language Scalia used in defining the scope of the Second Amendment and leaving that determination to later cases, will be ab erosion of the scope and a limitation to the right to self-defense in the home with firearms regulated by governmental fiat (such as the AR ban in Highland Park, Illinois, and an affirmation of cases upholding limits on concealed carry in the restrictive states in the North East and California).

    • Thanks, Mark, that is what I have understood for 50 years. How is it that a majority of Americans seem to believe that if they elect the correct demagogue, he can appoint a single SC justice and reverse the past 50 years? Why does nobody already know what you just stated?

      • Because all of this is just convention and custom. It can be broken if the stakes are high enough, and people involved are on one or the other side of them.

        Legally speaking, SCOTUS can overturn any past decision, and there’s no-one to challenge them on that.

        They choose not to, generally speaking, but they can always choose differently.

        • Very well said! That is why gun rights need to focus on projecting a wholesome image and local races. Bringing lawsuits and relying on the Supreme Court to rule in favor of RKBA is a recipe for failure since it only takes one ruling to eliminate RKBA and rulings that strengthen govt power are almost never overturned.

  15. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the machinery of the Court. It works most of the time, and there have been periods when one vote kept the nation on the rails. I’d much prefer a 7-2 or 8-1 or even 9-0 ideological orientation, and some day we might have it. In fact, with a Republican President, we might shift the Court to 7-2. Fate has a way of intervening (as it just did).
    I’ve been seeing rumbles that the 4th Circuit decision striking parts of the MD Act will go up. WE DO NOT WANT THAT until a Pro-2A Justice is seated. Even with a vacancy, we have a minority and it will be a sure reversal. Cross your fingers that the Court denies Certiorari. As an aside, if Scalia was worried about his health, that could be the reason for the Court’s sidestepping of the issue coming from the 9th Circuit.
    Obama will push hard to seat an activist. McConnell has to plug the gap ir we have a serious problem.

  16. Presidents, Senators, Congressmen, even Justices, they all come and go. But SCOTUS rulings are (mostly) forever.

    If we don’t own the Supreme Court, we don’t own the Constitution. If we don’t own the Constitution, that same document, which is supposed to protect us will, be the instrument they use to kill us, under the color of law.

    This really is an existential battle.

    • Ralph, I agree with you to a great extent. One issue that can never be factored in is how the evolution of the justice’s thinking will go. There are both liberal and conservative appointees who have disappointed the base. Not every justice stays as ideologically pure as Scalia (except when it suited him not to be).

      Ralph, if Obama would nominate a very moderate justice, one just left of center, do you think it would be politically better or worse for the senate Republicans to sit on the nomination? Would the general public be upset with the Senate for “playing politics”? Or, if they voted in a true moderate, would there be a huge backlash from the base?

      • One issue that can never be factored in is how the evolution of the justice’s thinking will go.

        You could not be more correct. For example, Harry Blackmun started out as a right-winger — he and Warren Earl Burger were called “the Minnesota Twins” — and then, swollen with power and his own exaggerated sense of self-importance, he became the most liberal member of the Court.

        At this point, it doesn’t matter who Obama nominates. The Republicans cannot permit a lame duck Democrat President to make such an important lifetime appointment. They have to reject, not merely filibuster, and it’s up to that twink McConnell to keep his troops in line. Some Republicans, like Kirk and Toomey, will defect and vote to give Obama a kiss on his way out.

  17. The real lesson of Scalia’s death is for all those voters who stayed home in 2012 and didn’t vote for Romney because he wasn’t conservative enough, giving Obama a second term. Who would you rather have as President today nominating a SC justice? All those crying about the death of the 2A need to wake up and make the commitment to get out and vote, not just in the national election, but the caucuses, primaries, state and local elections. So what if your guy isn’t the nominee. Remember, the next president will probably get to pick at least three new justices. Ask yourself who you want to pick them. I know who I don’t want to pick them.

    • I think the lesson is that the GOP needs to quit sticking us with candidates that Republican voters can’t stomach in hopes of picking up dem votes.

  18. I was under the impression that McDonald v heller Chicago was more important than Heller vDC. I thought heller only applied specifically to DC and because it is a district not a state it has less bearing on the rest of the nation. But McDonalds ruling stands for the whole nation. Correct?

    • @S.Crock, no, that’s not correct.

      The DC case supported a right to bear arms that the Federal government was infringing upon. It outlined the reach of that right, and also some limits. That case had no bearing on the states, because when written, 2A did not restrict state action at all. So neither did Heller.

      The Chicago case made the right binding upon the states too, through the 14th Amendment. So, had the DC case gone the other way, there would have been no McDonald case, because it depended on the right set out in Heller.

      Not all of the Bill of Rights is binding on the states. For example, the Grand Jury Clause of the 5th Amendment does not apply to the states. So just because the Feds were subject to 2A in Heller does not mean that the states had to be subject to it in McDonald.

      So, both cases were critical.

      I hope this helps.

      • Awesome that helps greatly! Im writing a research paper on it now and my professor kinda gave me some false info about it.

      • Why are parts of the BoR not binding? Didn’t the 14th amendment make the BoR binding on state governments and specify that it is not only for the federal government?

        • >> Why are parts of the BoR not binding? Didn’t the 14th amendment make the BoR binding on state governments and specify that it is not only for the federal government?

          There’s nothing quite like that in the text of 14A. Here’s what it actually says:

          “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

          “Privileges and immunities” sounds like it, but it doesn’t specify which privileges those are. And it was largely emasculated by Slaughterhouse Cases:

          That leaves “due process”, and this is how all the BoR that has been applied to states so far has been done. But because of how vague that is, it’s done on a case by case basis:

  19. I really think the amendment that need editing is the 10th.
    It should read like this.

    The powers not expressly delegated to the United States by the Constitution. The use of the word “expressly” means that the Constitution grants no implied powers to the United States Federal Government, are reserved to the citizens unless granted to the States by the citizens of the State. Any Federal employee whether they be in the Judiciary, Executive Branch, or Legislative Branch that doesn’t heed this Amendment as a minimum shall be impeached, stripped of their citizenship, removed from office and never be allow to serve in Government at any level for the rest of their lives.

  20. I think the marble-mouth McConnell needs to keep his fucking mouth shut. What sort of wisdom is there in announcing to Obama, and the Obama media, what your strategy is, and what you plan to do? Right now, it’s being suggested that Obama could make a recess appointment (Congress is in recess until Feb. 22 – why is anybodies guess) and that appointment would be there until the end of the current congress, in 2017. The point here is, if you’re going to block anyone Obama nominates, then just do it, but don’t tell everyone that you’re going to do it.

    • Exactly correct. Strategic ambiguity would have been far better. In fact, they could have done even better by stating that they were going to observe a proper period of respect for the man and the institution before getting into the politics of a replacement. This would have highlighted the liberals’ rush to convert the court and would have “outed” their agenda even more than it has been already. Would have gotten more effect and closer to the general election if they thought about it for a few minutes before tweeting, but that’s what the modern Republicans do: they shoot from the hip too early and too often.

  21. >> I also believe that once SCOTUS made the decision they did, the way to rescind it was by an amendment, not continued intrigues for the next 100 years, bouncing back and forth between legal and illegal and carrying irrational attitudes about other rights along with it, lying cheating and stealing while justifying actions by twisted words and tortured logic.

    The problem is that the system allows for the roundabout way to do it via SCOTUS, at least in theory. And this in turn results in pressure from the legislative and the executive on the court to be more partisan, which is hurting everyone in the end. Judges are not supposed to have party affiliations. That we even speak of “conservative majority” or “liberal minority” in a court deciding constitutional matters is a travesty.

    A better way to do so would be to change the rules such that a narrow split is not a win for one side or the other, but is considered as indicator that constitution is vague on this matter. If that happens, the court should be required to author constitutional amendments (as many as there are differing opinions) that would cause the entire court to unanimously uphold one opinion if adopted; and those amendments should be submitted to the usual ratification process, except only one of them can be ratified. If no amendment is ratified, then majority ruling applies, but it does not set any precedent for future cases (since it’s clear that there is strong disagreement on this issue, it should remain open for consideration as and when needed).

    I would even go further and set a 3/4 limit for what constitutes a “split vote”. With 9 justices, this would mean that 6:3 and 7:2 would also be considered split. So basically unless 8 out of 9 justices say that something is or isn’t constitutional based on the present text of the Constitution, it is considered ambiguous and should be amended for clarity.

    • Well, that would certainly be a fun discussion for the nation to enter into. Not sure it could get a fair hearing, though, many members of the voting public will drop it like a rock when they discover there’s no free stuff involved.

  22. Is there anyone in the legal profession that we could put up that would just do the right thing for the right reasons.???just as a good american…without all the left right bs…no one leaps to mind…spare me the extremists on BOTH sides plz…John Jay, first supreme court justice, confirmed unanimously in 1789 would be very disappointed indeed…

  23. I would not get in an uproar about it. The Supreme Court has heard very few cases in the last 100 years on the Second Amendment. They almost always let stand the lower courts findings and have dodged the Second Amendment issues so many times in the past I have lost track of them all.

    Its sad to think that the Supreme Court could not give a flying “F” what the Constitution says and that the Second Amendment was saved by only one vote from Scalia. It shocked me beyond belief when it happened. Not that I am just beating up on the Liberal side of the court as the Conservative side of the court has also ignored the Constitution on other important matters as well. At least Scalia was there when we needed him and now that he is gone it is bad for gun rights but good for other humanitarian issues which I will not discuss as that subject could go on for days and few people are willing to look at the abuse by the Court from both sides of the political spectrum. Its a sad day for America when neither the Liberal or the Conservative side of the court respects the Constitution and what it stands for depending on which ax is to grind on which subject. I have no respect for any of them anymore especially when the Constitution is very clear on certain rights and neither side could care less about what is clearly spells out in plain English.

  24. “If five of them vote to strike down Heller, the Second Amendment as an individual right is gone. Just like that.”

    Not true at all. It doesn’t mean the right is gone. It just means the right is unprotected.

    Notice I didn’t say “unenforced.” While it may become unenforced by the government, I can guarantee you it will not be unenforced.

  25. “The President can’t do that. Congress can’t do that. The Supreme Court can do that.”

    Just because the Supreme Court lies to us about the meaning of a phrase in the Constitution does not change the agreement that our forefathers made with the States and We The People. If they “alter” that meaning, as representatives of the federal government, the federal government has broken that agreement.

    • First of all I agree with everything you said but the reality is the Supreme Court makes a mockery of the Constitution every day as they vote the way they want the Constitution to read not the way it really reads. That is reality and now one has been able to stop them ever.

  26. I already know what Obama is going to do. He is going to pick a more moderate candidate that is centrist on most issues so the candidate appeals to both sides. But the only liberal part about him will be that he is anti gun. The republican controlled senate will vote for him anyway because they only disagree on one issue.

  27. NRA will save us. Alan Gura toiled away to get 2nd Amendment cases in front of the Supreme Court, then NRA backstabbed him at the last minute, hiring Paul Clement to steal 10 minutes out of the 30 Gura had for oral argument in the McDonald case in front of the Supreme Court.

    Richard Pearson of Illinois State Rifle Association was there for the Supreme Court appearance with Otis McDonald. Pearson is one of the people who conned Otis into signing on to the lawsuit against the City of Chicago. A black man from the south side of Chicago made a great faceman for the ISRA. Makes them look trendy.

    After the U.S. Federal Appeals Court in Chicago struck down IL’s concealed weapons statute in Dec. 2012 based on the McDonald decision, NRA contract lobbyist Todd Vandermyde put Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties in Rep. Brandon Phelps HB183 “NRA backed” carry bill. DTI will only affect black people in Chicago like Otis McDonald, so who cares? Not the racist hicks from southern IL who compose 95% of NRA & ISRA members. What would we do without NRA lobbyists like Vandermyde looking out us?

    • I have been a member of the NRA since 1962 and I have to laugh whenever I hear someone like you ranting against the NRA usually because he is to cheap ass to pay the very small membership dues. If you follow what the NRA has done since 62 (you can even read old NRA Magazines to find out) the conclusion is so easy a Moron could understand that without the NRA fighting for decades for gun rights, today no one would even own a gun in America period. The NRA is the biggest and richest pro-gun organization that protects gun rights. Not that other organizations have not also helped out but they are and remain small potatoes compared to the NRA.

      And just remember one thing the NRA is composed of human beings, they have not always made the right decisions but no organization in the world is perfect and to bad mouth them because they may have done something you did not agree with matters not a wit because in the end they won a lot of big ones and thousands of small battles for gun rights. If the NRA ever goes our gun rights would go the same day.

      • Funny that you mention 1962. Do you know that NRA supported the Gun Control Act of 1968?

        “We do not think that any sane American, who calls himself an American, can object to placing into this bill the instrument which killed the president of the United States.”

        • Go back and re-read my post, obviously you did not comprehend it or if you did you picked and chose what you wanted to hear while ignoring all the rest.

        • You said:

          “If you follow what the NRA has done since 62 (you can even read old NRA Magazines to find out) the conclusion is so easy a Moron could understand that without the NRA fighting for decades for gun rights, today no one would even own a gun in America period”

          The truth is that NRA was pro-gun-control until mid-80s, and have actively participated in writing the existing federal gun control laws such as NFA and GCA.

        • You know not only Zero about Politics and the gun ban laws connected with it but you imply the NRA conjured up all these laws that you mention which they did not. Anyone who is familiar with what goes on when the laws are about to be passed knows that first the NRA fights them and then if they know that there is no hope of preventing them from being passed they water them down as much as possible. That is the only thing they can do and if there where no NRA the laws that are passed would be far worst.

          Now let me refresh your memory about the Reagan Gun Ban that Reagan supported and he was a Republican. Reagan was a popular President and the NRA new that when Reagan even lined up the Republicans as well as the Democrats what chance did they have of stopping it. The answer was absolutely none but you mention this law like it was the NRA who conjured it up all by themselves and got it passed.. That’s is nuts.

          And how about when the NRA even outfoxed Clinton’s gun ban. The NRA tried desperately to stop it from being past but when it was passed it was the NRA that put a sunset provision in the law that made it expire and revert back to letting people own high capacity magazines. I suppose you will find a way to blame them for Clintons ban especially when Clinton personally called corrupt Congressmen many who were Republicans and bribed them with promises of Federal subsides for their particular states. How could you even dare blame the NRA for this.

          As I have said before I have never understood how anyone who loves guns and believes in the Second Amendment would try to destroy the NRA, its like biting off the hand that is feeding you or the people that are protecting you. Destroy the NRA and you doom the Second Amendment and anyone who would argue with that knows nothing of the history of the onslaught against the Second Amendment. But when it comes to some Conservatives its better to save a penny today because they are too cheap to join the NRA and then lose their gun collections tomorrow that may be worth thousands. This only makes sense to them not any rational person.

        • You really know little of that time its obvious.. Kennedy was a very well liked President and emotions ran high at that time. Many pro-gun people supported some of the ’68 gun control act because it banned the importation of cheap military rifles. The American firearms industry was losing a lot of money at the time because of all the hundreds of thousands of military surplus rifles flooding into the country.

          Now lets put our thinking caps on especially in regards to that time in history. The American Firearms industry was a big cash contributor to the NRA so it was felt that banning the military surplus would keep Americans working in the industry as well as continuing to support the NRA. As I have stated emotionalism ran high over this assassination as well and anything foreign was considered evil including surplus rifles. This is not an usual feeling even to this very day when dealing with the Far Right. Have you ever heard week in and week out the Henry Repeating Arms Company bad mouthing foreign made guns on American Rifleman TV. Henry Repeating Arms supports the NRA but foreign companies that make replica’s from Italy sure do not. Money talks today as it did back then and who can blame the NRA for going were the money was and is.

          History is a lot more complicated than you make it out to be and what looks like a bad move today was not thought of as being all that bad back then. And some of the bad things in the ’68 gun law were eventually repealed like the ammo record requirement which the NRA helped to get repealed. So give them some credit where credit is due and do not judge them so harshly for a decision that was made a half century ago in the heat of the period and was an attempt to save the American firearms industry and the jobs they provided to American workers.

      • Glad you’re here to tell us how it really works. Where to start: you’re a baby boomer and believe that institutions will save you. You insult President Obama and call him a half breed, but if anyone questions NRA or lays out the facts about how they sold you out, you don’t investigate for yourself, but attack the messenger. “I’m angry and don’t trust the government, America is over but NRA cares about me!” Okay sure.

        In short, you are the rube at the county fair who got ripped off by the carny show. There are plenty of retarded hicks living in southern IL who voted for Rep. Brandon Phelps thinking they would get a carry bill, but instead they got Duty to Inform so they can be executed by police with legal cover. Moonshine decreases the IQ of NRA members.

        I’ve known Richard Pearson for 15 years. He’s a clown who couldn’t punch his way out of a paper bag. Met Otis McDonald on more than one occasion. You’re going to tell me how it works? The worse the Illinois carry bill, and the more armed citizens get raped and murdered because of Duty to Inform, the more job security the NRA lobbyist has to “fix” their own garbage bill. That’s the only reason Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham pay money to a sick amoral rat like Todd Vandermyde, which tells you what NRA is all about- treason.

        • Quote: ———————–Glad you’re here to tell us how it really works. Where to start: you’re a baby boomer and believe that institutions will save you. You insult President Obama and call him a half breed, but if anyone questions NRA or lays out the facts about how they sold you out, you don’t investigate for yourself, but attack the messenger. “I’m angry and don’t trust the government, America is over but NRA cares about me!” Okay sure.—————————————

          Well someone has to tell you how it works as you seem to be unaware of how it does indeed work. Secondly I never insulted Obama and I voted for him twice and would do it again in a heart beat. Shows you how much you really know about me doesn’t it?

          The NRA sold us out? If that had happened none of us would own guns today. If you weren’t such a Moron you would have studied the entire history of the NRA in their fight against gun ban laws. You would have realized that you do not look at one battle and how the Generals fought it, rather you look at the entire on going war and how many battles were won by the NRA. Even a naïve young college history student could figure that one out. Its not rocket science. Like most Morons you cannot see the forest for the trees. Its the overall good the NRA has done and comparing an entire organization to this or that member who may or may not done what you wanted to dictate to him shows only your ignorance and arrogance.

          I have some advice for you spend just a few pennies and join the NRA if you value your Second Amendment rights because other organizations as good and as dedicated as they are to defending gun rights are small potatoes compared to the NRA. When the NRA speaks the politicians do take notice as many in the past have bee voted out of office because of the NRA’s influence with the voters. Now this is how it works Moron and you are right, you should be glad I explained to you how the real world of politics works. If you had been an NRA member I would not have had to lecture you on the basics.

  28. I’m very happy to see the discussion of Convention of States. I personally feel it’s the only way we will get real reform in our presently broken system.

    I don’t understand the opposition. For me that’s RMGO and NAGR. There is no more risk to our rights with the convention than there is any day that congress is in session. Feinstein could propose to remove 2A today and congress could pass it, with the same high bar of support as the convention could. 2A rights are already infringed across the various states, RF has it right, why do we have to fear one man (or woman) going forward?

    Yes we need statesmen delegates. Yes we need to be careful in the writing of the proposed amendments to avoid codifying powers that don’t exist now. But without a convention (and possibly ammendments), no fundamental change in the federal government will occur. I see it completely as a state’s rights issue, and because they’ve been so trampled by Washington, they need to be taken back explicitly.

    • Technically you are right the States have the right to make gun laws which supersedes Federal Law but that is not reality. The Feds enforce the gun ban laws and ignore States rights and the Courts always back them up 100 percent. And if they did not there is always the jack booted storm troopers that would invade the States and enforce any law the Feds made. But it never comes to that because the Feds control the tax money and some States would even go bankrupt if it were not for the Feds propping up their debts so when the Feds say jump the States say “how high do you want us to jump”. That is reality.

      The Courts have never been very kind to gun rights and for good reason. As Mao Zedong once said “Power comes out of the barrel of a gun” and the people in power are well aware of the fact that the more guns that are out there the less power they have and they want absolute power over everyone. Power is what they live for and many a man when faced with fleeing and living or staying and dying because he did not want to live without his power decided he could not live without his power. Examples are too numerous to mention but Hitler would have been the poster boy for it. He could easily have fled Germany for South America and just maybe never have been caught like Joseph Mengele did but Hitler could not bear to go on living without his power.

      And remember the Constitution does not mean what is says it means even if written in plain English, rather it means what the Supreme Courts says it means and they will twist it anyway they can, Liberals twisting it one way and Conservatives twisting it the other way. The Court has many times been known to vote according to what the popular opinion has been rather than what the Constitution said. Again that is reality so when one says “They cannot do this its against the Constitution” you are not living in the real world. The know they can get away with just about anything as long as the people either do no not care or have been brainwashed into believing that it is for their own good that they give up their freedom for a little temporary security if indeed they even get that.

      The average American today does not even know what is in the Constitution and if they did they could not care less. They are more worried about how they are going to pay bills, how they are going to afford medical care or how they are going to afford paying for their children’s education and when they are not thinking about that they think about who will win the next ball game and if the price of beer or gasoline has gone up. They do not think about losing their liberties because for them they know they have none anyway as they must obey the laws “or else” as the Nazi’s were so fond of saying and everyone knew what “or else” meant.

  29. Our Constitution has survived largely in tact for two centuries…it was assembled by some of the wisest thinkers in the history of western civilization…thinkers of the type that seem quite rare today. When considering an Article V Convention of the States, think long and hard about who you would chose to argue your desires, then think longer and harder about who might be chosen to argue on the side of those who disagree with you.

  30. Words to remember

    District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), writing for the majority in a 5-4 decision affirming the Second Amendment right of individuals to keep and bear arms:

    We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government—even the Third Branch of Government—the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope too broad. . . . Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem. That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.

    • I agree with most of what you say but you live in a fantasy world. Russia has a constitution too and you would be surprised how close it mirrors ours but it is a sham. Our Constitution is fast becoming a sham as well. Do you remember when the arrogant Soda Mayor with a smirk on her face stared down the Republicans when they asked her whether she believed in and would uphold the Second Amendment. She refused numerous times to answer the question. The Republicans went ahead and voted for her to become a Supreme Court Justice.

      Soda Mayor and other Justice’s like her can and will every chance they get chip away at the Second Amendment because they know that they can completely ignore any Constitutional right and get away with it because they believe and often have absolute power to do anything they want. That is reality. If it was not the Republicans would never even have considered letting her on to the Supreme Court. I sat in astonishment after they said they would not block her from becoming a Supreme Court Justice when she blatantly in no uncertain terms let it be known by refusing to answer the question that she would not support the Second Amendment in any way shape or form.

      If you think America today is anything remotely like it was when Washington was alive you live in a fantasy world as today the Constitution is not worth the paper it is printed on. It is extinct, it is a sad joke to history, and what is worse the average American could not care less. That is reality and there is nothing we can do about it. I was lucky enough to see “the last of the old America” but todays Americans never knew what that country was like to live in. Even when you tell them, they do not believe you.

      • Russian constitution is modeled after the French constitution. It doesn’t really mirror US constitution particularly close, other than the fact that both set up presidential (rather than parliamentary) republics with a strong executive.

      • “If you think America today is anything remotely like it was when Washington was alive you live in a fantasy world as today the Constitution is not worth the paper it is printed on.”

        But according to you the NRA is noble, almighty, and can’t be questioned. America is corrupt, every institution is corrupt, including the Supreme Court, but the NRA survives as a shining beacon of hope. Even when NRA lobbyists like Todd Vandermyde deliberately sell out the interests of the people they are supposed to represent, Chris Cox & Chuck Cunningham send him a check. NRA will save you.

        You are a perfect example of what’s wrong with NRA and the gun rights movement in general. A sad desire to look up to others as authority figures. Wayne LaPierre is your friend because you saw him on stage once, right? You remind me exactly of the huge cluster of retarded hicks from southern IL who let Vandermyde put Duty to Inform in Brandon Phelps carry bill. When their mother gets disarmed, abducted and raped by a police impersonator, the rednecks will probably send Vandermyde a thank you card.
        H.L. Mencken was right, Boobus Americanus is alive and well in America. Duhhh.

        • Have any of you ignorant Morons ever studied the History of the NRA and how many battles they have won and how many anti-gun politicians they succeeded in voting out of office. Where in the hell do you live, in a cave? No other pro-gun organization has ever come close to the success of the NRA in fighting for gun rights. Its history proves it. You can rant and rave when they may have made a mistake or not done what you personally wanted them to do but no one who has half a brain can ignore the over all good that they have accomplished in their ongoing fight to preserve the Second Amendment. You really cannot see the forest for the trees.

          Let loose a few pennies you cheap stingy cheap skate and join the NRA because without them the politicians will fear no one when it comes to be re-elected. Even Al Gore admitted he lost the Presidential election because of the NRA and its members all voting against him. And it was not just NRA members because they have friends like you who are cheap skates and refuse to join but they too voted against Gore because they were talking to NRA members who kept them informed.

          Can you really say with a straight face you would even own a BB gun today if it were not for the tireless efforts of the NRA fighting for your Second Amendment rights. If your sane you cannot.

  31. I wonder who is on Valerie’s short list.

    I agree the best option for gun rights at this point is to delay any Jarrett appointment, but I don’t see any upside here. If the Republicans block a vote, the Dems will use this to their advantage to win over the sheep and we’re looking a Hillary appointment anyway. Damn.

  32. I have only recently come to this conclusion, but it’s asinine for the supreme court to wield as much power as they do. There is no reason or need for them to somehow sit as the highest “interpreters of the law”.

    Everyone has a brain, and if the law is not obvious enough for a jury to understand it, it’s a crap law and needs to go.

  33. Sorry, but the blame for this is entirely the fault of Congress. What so many forget, something everyone in the legal profession seems to encourage, is that Congress has the power to regulate the federal courts. This power is defined broadly. Unlike the presidential requirement for Senate permission/approval for judicial appointees, there is no similar check by the executive. I.e. the President does not have a say or veto in the exercise of this congressional power.

    The real question we should be asking of our candidates is would the support or encourage congressional regulation to require strict scrutiny to all Bill of Rights cases. Such instruction could also codify the what is meant by strict scrutiny.

    The single biggest tool in the courts that Progressives have used has been the application of intermediate scrutiny on such cases and the lack of a bright-line definition.

    • Paul, I presume you’re construing “constitute”, in the statement “To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court”, to include defining their functions and the manner of their functioning. That would, indeed, include decreeing the level of scrutiny to be applied by the courts for various issues, but with a problem: they cannot so “constitute” the Supreme Court itself, since their power is given only over “tribunals inferior to”.

      I think the clearest way to approach it would be for Congress to declare a finding that it was the plain intent of the Congress that the Fourteenth Amendment was to incorporate all rights against the states equally, and cite instances in the Reconstruction era to illustrate how various rights were to be upheld as broadly and vigorously as possible against the states. That was the meaning taken in terms of the Second Amendment immediately, as state militias were forbidden to continue disarming blacks, as well as with the freedoms in the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments (in instances I can think of).

      Since it is the province of Congress to declare what Congress means by legislation, this would be a firm foundation for requiring strict scrutiny for all rights, with the Fourteenth as the cornerstone.

  34. We want activists on the Court — activists who take every bit of the Bill of Rights and associated rights as seriously as possible. We want activists who will bring an end to secret courts, an end to no-knock warrants, an end to judges instructing juries that there is no right of jury nullification, an end to continually nudging the boundaries of our rights in favor of police power and against individual citizens.

    We need an activist who will declare that “shall not be infringed” is more extensive than free speech, because it puts no limits on who can do the infringing. We need an activist who will point out that the only authority in matters of armed citizens given in the Constitution is in Article I, Section 8, and it doesn’t say anything about limiting the types of arms, while it does provide for requiring disciplined keeping and bearing, as well as training for all citizens — and, indeed, arming all citizens.

    It is no offense to be an activist for the cause of liberty.

  35. “…an end to continually nudging the boundaries of our rights in favor of police power and against individual citizens.” Excellent analysis. An end to police power is not what most NRA members want. When the U.S. Federal Appeals Court in Chicago totally overturned Illinois concealed weapons statute in Dec. 2012 (Moore v. Madigan) the IL legislature had six months to pass a carry bill.

    NRA lobbyist for IL Todd Vandermyde fell all over himself to put Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties in Rep. Brandon Phelps HB83 “NRA backed” carry bill, because the anti-gun Chiefs of Police wanted to be able to execute armed citizens at will. Tim McCarthy of Orland Park was president of the
    IL Chiefs when Vandermyde cut the deal on DTI. That’s the same Tim McCarthy who was a Secret Service agent when President Reagan was shot, and the same Tim McCarthy who does press conferences with Jim & Sarah Brady to promote gun control.

    Many NRA members are closet fascists who wave the flag and beat their chests about their God-given rights, but really they are stupid enough to believe the police are their friends because “they are the good guys” and “we’re on the same side as the police.”

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